Top of the TBR 7.1.19

Top of the TBR is a weekly post I created that will showcase any new books added to my Goodreads TBR recently, with a short explanation of why each title caught my interest. I’ll aim for 5-10 books per post; in weeks that I’ve added more than that, I’ll hold some back, and in weeks that I don’t have enough, I’ll include titles I haven’t discussed yet. Each title will be linked back to its Goodreads page for anyone interested in exploring further, as I’m not a fan of copy/pasting synopses. Anyone who wants to take part in this series with me is absolutely welcome! Please link back to any of my Top of the TBR posts so I can see what you’re reading! 🙂

Here are some of the new books I’ve added on Goodreads over the last week:

40163119. sy475 Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe (Pub: Feb. 2019)

How I found it: This nonfiction account of the Troubles in Northern Ireland caught my eye when Rachel first reviewed it, but I hadn’t caught the nonfiction fever yet then. When it showed up again as one of her favorite books of the year so far in this excellent mid-year post, I was ready to add it immediately.

Why I added it: Other than loving Milkman, I don’t know a lot about the Troubles. I don’t know where my sudden interest in nonfiction came from (and I warn you, it’s going to be a prevalent part of this post), but suddenly everything I don’t know much about seems like a great opportunity to read a book. I think I’m finally far enough out of college that learning is fun again.

Priority: Middling. My nonfiction queue is really getting to be quite full, but it’s available through my library so I’m hoping to check it out as soon as all of my current holds have come through.

25852784Evicted by Matthew Desmond (Pub: March 2016)

How I found it: I’ve seen this one around, but again didn’t realize I was interested in nonfiction until recently. Sarah’s enlightening review was all I needed to be convinced!

Why I added it: It feels like essential reading. Landlords are everywhere, and though I’ve never had trouble with them I do want to be informed about common-but-overlooked problems with living in the US.

Priority: Middling. This seems like something that I should read, but as it’s already a couple of years old it doesn’t feel quite as urgent. It is available through my library, which helps.

42188604. sy475 In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (Pub: Nov. 2019)

How I found it: I came across this title in another fun mid-year post, this one from Hannah, and thought it sounded absolutely stunning. (The cover doesn’t hurt.)

Why I added it: I already have Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties on my TBR, and rarely add multiple books by the same author, but sometimes an exception is necessary. This memoir sounds different enough from the short story collection that even if I dislike one (which seems unlikely), I’ll probably remain interested in the other.

Priority: Low. Just because I think I might still read Her Body and Other Parties first, and don’t have a set schedule.

94337Mindunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker (Pub: 1995)

How I found it: I watched Netflix’s Mindhunter series last month or so, which led me to pick up this author duo’s most recent release. I wish I would have read this book before watching/reading the others, but the way Ren @ What’s Nonfiction? described this one to me convinced me to give this one a chance, even if I am getting to it in the wrong order.

Why I added it: I wasn’t sure after The Killer Across the Table whether I wanted to read any more of these authors’ books, but sometimes it’s difficult to gauge interest based on one book. I’m intrigued enough about FBI/serial killer interviews to want to give them another (better) chance.

Priority: Low at the moment, as I was planning to take a break from this subject matter after The Killer Across the Table, but I’ll probably watch Mindhunter season 2 when it’s released in August, and may subsequently want to pick this up more urgently.

29916641. sy475 Dust Bath Revival by Marianne Kirby (Pub: Nov 2016)

How I found it: Melanie recommended this one to me as a good example of YA horror. Her review is certainly compelling!

Why I added it: At first I was uncertain because zombies are my least favorite monster, but it sounds like zombies are more background material here while community unrest and the challenge of surviving in a strange and hostile place may take precedence. And that does sound appealing!

Priority: Low. This sounds like it would be a great spooky October read, but I don’t yet have a copy and I do already have a ton of spooky October reads. But it’s only a novella, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit it in somewhere!

36739320. sy475 Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch (Pub: July 2019)

How I found it: On the BOTM site, as a nonfiction add-on for July.

Why I added it: I did not add this book to my July BOTM box, but was intrigued enough to add it to my TBR anyway. I studied linguistics a little in college (a very little), and thought I’d like to read about the ways that the Internet has changed how we write and speak. BOTM assures it is not a dull read.

Priority: Low. I didn’t purchase a copy through BOTM this month and my library doesn’t seem to be expecting to get this one either. I’m not excited enough to rush out and buy it, and I don’t know how else I’ll get my hands on it, so this one’s pretty up in the air right now.

36510722Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Pub: July 2019)

How I found it: I’ve seen this one around, but somehow never really ended up looking into it until it showed up as one of BOTM’s July selections.

Why I added it: It’s been a while since I’ve read historical fantasy, and jazz-age Myan mythology fantasy sounds absolutely divine.

Priority: Middling. I’ve got a couple of other fantasy reads to finish up before I’m ready to start another one, but I’ve gotten very excited for this one very quickly! I’ll pick it up as soon as I get to a fantasy lull.

42201421The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World by Amy Reed (Pub: July 2019)

How I found it: Another add-on option through BOTM. Actually, I think BOTM is launching a separate-but-connected YA box, and this is one of the choices.

Why I added it: Amy Reed is another author that I already have on my TBR for another book- The Nowhere Girls. I made the exception again, basically just to keep this one on my radar for now. The BOTM description won me over even though the Goodreads description doesn’t wow me, but it looks just weird enough to fit my taste. It focuses on two “loner” teens, with some magical elements thrown in.

Priority: Low. Not sure if this will be up my alley or not. I’ll probably still want to read Nowhere Girls first, even if I do decide to read this one.

33786693. sy475 No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us by Rachel Louise Snyder (Pub: May 2019)

How I found it: I read Melanie’s fantastic review!

Why I added it: Like Evicted, this sounds like necessary reading about the often-overlooked challenges some face every day. It’s a true crime nonfiction about a topic much more prevalent than serial killers, so I’m interested in checking out another side to that genre.

Priority: Middling. This is a newer release that I’m more immediately interested in, but as I’ve mentioned, my nonfiction queue (and my library holds list) is quite full. I’ll pick this up as soon as I can.

42201850The Need by Helen Phillips (Pub: July 2019)

How I found it: I saw this title in Hannah’s fun anticipated releases post.

Why I added it: This is a horror novel about a mother who’s home alone with her children, faced with an intruder “who knows far too much about her and her family.” After recently enjoying Melanie Golding’s Little Darlings (review coming soon!) I’m in the mood for another story about the potential horrors of motherhood. It sounds deliciously dark.

Priority: High. I’m in the mood for some spooks that don’t need to wait until October, and this sounds summer friendly.


After last week, when I realized I had only added four titles to my want-to-read shelf, this week has been a killer for my TBR! And I don’t mind it. It’s so odd for me to see that I’ve added 6 nonfiction titles in a single week, though. More than half of this list! My reading tastes are certainly changing. Fiction still has my heart, but I really need to make nonfiction a more permanent part of my reading life, as I seem to be much more interested in it than ever before.

Have you read any of these titles, or see any you recognize from your own TBR?


The Literary Elephant

16 thoughts on “Top of the TBR 7.1.19”

  1. As I look at my TBR, I think I add things when I’m in a mood, and I think your list shows that too. Non-fiction is becoming a priority for you, so you noticed it a lot this week. You’ve got some really interesting stuff here. Enjoy your non-fiction adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! That’s true, I think my TBR definitely reflects different “moods” for reading I’ve felt through the years. I usually end up reading more of a variety throughout the month, because I find sticking to a single genre rather exhausting no matter how much I enjoy it, but my TBR definitely shows more concentrated doses!


  2. So many good ones here!! Rachel also really sold Say Nothing to me, she had such high praise for it. It’s on my list too, I just haven’t been able to get in the right mindset for it yet, I guess. I loved Sarah’s review of Evicted too, it sounds incredibly important and actually I’ve had a copy of it forever but again, one of those I can’t seem to get in the right place for. Glad I could recommend you Mindhunter, it’s a good one to read alongside the series for sure! I can’t wait for the next season. I didn’t like it all that much when I first tried watching it, gave up on it for awhile, and when I tried it again it completely won me over. I’m interested in No Visible Bruises too but I know it’s one of those that’s going to just be so, so tough to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I’m really looking forward to these!
      I know what you mean about needing to be in the right mood/mindset for a heavy topic; I especially feel that way about No Visible Bruises, which I know will be a valuable read, but also probably painful.
      I do think Mindhunter will give me a better perspective on the whole series; it really is a shame I didn’t look into the order of publication a bit more thoroughly to begin with because in retrospect I do wish I had read that one first. I felt much the same as you about the first season- it took me a few episodes and then a break from the series before I came back to it and was able to really invest in watching it. But I thought it ended on such a tense, interesting note and I’m excited to see where it’ll go next! I’m glad it’s coming so soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so glad it’s coming soon too! I’m excited to see what direction they take it in, and curious what else they might incorporate from his books or from Robert Ressler’s. You’ll be fine to read that one out of order, you got a little bit of his background from the show, it might just be more helpful to hear in his own words, and about the breakdown he had from the stress of the work. We’ll have to reconvene and discuss when the season is released 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I should definitely look into Ressler’s work as well! And I’d love to chat about season 2, none of my “real life” friends have gotten into the show yet, so I can’t discuss any spoilers with them 😆

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m also compelled to read Evicted. As you’ll learn when you read No Visible Bruises, housing is an issue that is connected to domestic violence. It costs so much to move that a lot of women aren’t willing to leave the home where the abuses lives. However, there is a new mindset that a shelter is not the best place for a woman, as I mentioned in my review, and that she shouldn’t have to leave her home.

    I live in Indiana, which has some extreme rules about landlords and renters. I would argue that the squatter’s rights laws we have here are too extreme. But, there are just as many abusive landlords, if not more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I do remember that from your review! It might be interesting to read No Visible Bruises and Evicted side by side, or back to back. It does make sense that a big change like moving can be seen as harder to deal with than staying in a situation that while bad, is at least familiar. From a moral perspective, it does seem more appropriate that the perpetrator should endure the challenge of finding a new place to live rather than the victim, but of course in reality there are always more factors in play than hypothetical morality. I’m looking forward to reading both books and feeling more informed.


      1. I hope you read them both together and do reviews either back to back or in the same post! I know a blogger who does that (the same post with two similar books) and she always has something interesting that gets revealed unintentionally.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds like a really interesting way to review! I usually prefer to switch genres often, but after finding some fascinating comparisons between two apocalyptic books last month and now wanting to pair these two, maybe I should try reading related books occasionally. I do love juxtapositions.


  4. Thank you for the shoutout!
    I really hope you’ll get to The Need soon because I would love to hear your thoughts. I really am keen on that book as well and should just buy it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been in the mood for darker summer reads, so I’m really hoping to pick that one up! I’ll definitely keep an eye out for your thoughts as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so excited to see Say Nothing on here! I feel you with the recent nonfiction obsession, I feel like my own reading has been very similar lately. Fiction will always be my first love, but there are so many great and varied nonfiction titles out there, it’s almost overwhelming. No Visible Bruises has been on my TBR as well, that sounds amazing and harrowing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m definitely looking forward to both Say Nothing and No Visible Bruises! As much as I enjoy sleeping, I really resent those lost hours when I think of all the books I don’t have time to read, lol. I’m with you 100%- I could never give up fiction, but nonfiction is a giant door to have suddenly opened! So many choices, and I’m already so indecisive…

      Liked by 1 person

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