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:
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.
Evicted 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.
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.
Mindunter: 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.
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!
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.
Gods 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.
The 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.
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.
The 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