Top of the TBR 2.10.20

Top of the TBR is a (now biweekly) post that showcases some of the books recently added to my Goodreads TBR, with a short explanation of why each caught my interest. Each title will be linked back to its Goodreads page for anyone interested in exploring further. 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 youโ€™re looking forward to reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some of the books Iโ€™ve added on Goodreads recently:

49223060. sy475 Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel (Pub: Mar 2020)

How I found it: I’ve seen a lot of anticipation for this one among thriller readers, but wasn’t really paying attention to it until I saw it on Kristen’s list of her favorite mysteries and thrillers!

Why I added it: I haven’t been reading as many thrillers the last couple of years, but I’d love to find more that can really surprise me and/or give me some commentary to sink my teeth into. I thought this one was in good company on Kristen’s list, which bodes well!

Priority: Low. This book comes out in March, but my focus at that time will be on the Women’s Prize longlist, which means this will have to wait for now!

45730892Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison (Pub: Dec 2019)

How I found it: Melanie posted an excellent review of this one on her blog!

Why I added it: I don’t often (okay, ever) read self-help or health books, but I found myself so interested in the details of this book- about the history of dieting and its place in society, and modern wellness crazes as dieting. It sounds like there’s interesting info here for anyone with an eye toward body image, good or bad.

Priority: Low. It’s not currently available through my library.

47364233Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Pub: Feb 2020)

How I found it: I think I’ve seen other readers anticipating this one, but it was Emily May’s review on Goodreads that hooked me!

Why I added it: This is a 1980’s story of a young Scottish boy with a distracted father and alcoholic mother, whose older siblings find their own ways to escape and leave him to hold the family together. It looks like a hard-hitting story that I could love.

Priority: Middling. This one is available at my library, and I am trying to keep up with as many new releases this year as I can. But again, I’m trying to keep my reading schedule open until I can plan around the Women’s Prize.

45553633. sy475 The Truants by Kate Weinberg (Pub: Jan 2020)

How I found it: This one has been on my radar for months, but comparisons to The Secret History had me keeping a cautious distance- then I read Karissa’s wonderful review and my optimism was restored!

Why I added it: If it can live up to the Secret History comparisons, this could be absolutely brilliant. It’s a campus novel about a group of students and a teacher who becomes perhaps too involved in their lives. Of course the synopsis also promises a tragedy, a secret, a mystery…

Priority: Middling. This one is also available at my library, and a recent release that I’d love to pick up soon. Once the Women’s Prize list is announced in March I’ll have a better idea of where I can fit this into my reading schedule, and hope to bump it up to high priority as soon as possible.

42119168. sy475 Anna K by Jenny Lee (Pub: Mar 2020)

How I found it: This one’s a BOTM selection for February!

Why I added it: This is a young adult contemporary romance marketed as a Gossip Girl-esque retelling of Anna Karenina. I actually read the sample on BOTM’s website (I’d link it, but I don’t think you can see anything on the site without a membership) and hated it, and yet I’m so morbidly curious that I couldn’t walk away. This will be an interesting experience for sure, and very possibly a miss for me, but I was in the mood to give it a chance!

Priority: High. I’d like to keep up with my BOTM choices this year (as I say every year, before failing miserably), and it would also give my romance reads some more variety this month, in preparation for my romance Spotlight post coming up later in February.

826846The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (Pub: 1951)

How I found it: Wyndham was an author I missed in my recent Spotlight on Sci-Fi post, who came up in the comments (thanks Callum)!

Why I added it: I was thrilled to add several sci-fi books to my TBR based on titles and authors that different commenters had mentioned there, but instead of turning this into a sci-fi TBR post I’m sticking to mentioning this one title I’m excited about: a post-apocalyptic classic in which plants walk about, wreaking havoc on humanity.

Priority: Low. This is available through my library, so it’s ready when I am; but I’m now realizing a downside to my spotlight series this year: it’ll be harder to pick up fresh recommendations promptly while I’m focusing on the next upcoming genre.

38599259. sy475 Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown (Pub: Jan 2020)

How I found it: Booksandlala has been mentioning this one on various social media!

Why I added it: Sometimes I agree with Lala’s recommendations. This looks like a fantasy/magical realism YA book about a black teen girl in New York who “travels between two worlds,” which seems both literal as a magical element but also may serve as a commentary on culture? GR calls it “heavily autiobiographical.” I don’t read a lot of YA these days, but this would be perfect for Black History Month and sounds like just the sort of story I would still enjoy from the YA age range.

Priority: Middling. My library doesn’t seem to have it, but I’d be happy to pick up a copy.

45046574You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce (Pub: Apr 2020)

How I found it: Hadeer briefly mentioned this one in her January wrap-up post! This is kind of comical actually, as she had only a sentence or so about it in her post and wasn’t finished reading it at the time, but I was attracted to the cover (not this cover) and went looking for the blurb, and was sold on the premise of a maybe-dead novelist who left behind a final manuscript full of secrets.

Why I added it: Hadeer calls it a “very creepy supernatural thriller.” Goodreads likens it works by Gillian Flynn and Neil Gaiman. What’s not to like?

48128302. sy475 The Snow Collectors by Tina May Hall (Pub: Feb 2020)

How I found it: This has been on my radar, but it wasn’t until reading Laura’s appealing description in her recent review(s) that I realized this might be a great fit for me! Even though sadly it wasn’t for Laura.

Why I added it: It looks like a gothic historical novel about a solitary woman thrown into an old mystery. GR has this to say: “Suspenseful and atmospheric, The Snow Collectors sketches the ghosts of Victorian exploration against the eerie beauty of a world on the edge of environmental collapse.” It sounds right up my alley.

Priority: High. I just put a hold on this one through my library, letting it jump the queue in my TBR because with a title like The Snow Collectors I know I won’t get to it until next winter at least if I don’t pick it up now.

1012204. sx318 Appetites: Why Women Want by Caroline Knapp (Pub: Apr 2003)

How I found it: Gil mentioned this one as a favorite in her nonfiction wrap-up for January, and for a book 17 years old it still sounds (frustratingly) timely.

Why I added it: Knapp asks (and attempts to answer, I’m sure) “How does a woman know, and then honour, what it is she wants in a culture bent on shaping, defining and controlling women and their desires?”

Priority: Low. This is available through my library, so it’s ready when I am! But again, Women’s Prize.


Have you read any of these books, or recognize them from your own TBR?


The Literary Elephant

20 thoughts on “Top of the TBR 2.10.20”

    1. Thank you! I’m looking forward to checking out some of his titles. And now that Wyndham is firmly on my radar, I’d definitely be interested in any reviews you might have on his work coming up this year! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I loved The Truants but for me, it was nothing like The Secret History. Not in a bad way, I just I felt like the only overlap is the whole ‘dark academia’ subgenre. Both books feel really rooted in their settings and the two couldn’t be further apart. I would still highly recommend The Truants though, it really is fantastic, but try to put the Secret History comparisons to one side. I really hope you enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the info! I think that bodes well for me actually, when a book tries too hard to be similar to a very popular book that came before it, it can really backfire imo. I definitely prefer a similar vibe with completely different characters and plot and everything, so I think The Truants might turn out to be just right for me. I’m so glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great list! I’m also really looking forward to reading Darling Rose Gold when it comes out, and I want to read Anti-Diet because it might dovetail nicely with the themes of Appetites. I’m really hoping that Anti-Diet will be heavier on the cultural analysis and lighter on self-help, especially since dieting has always struck me as a gendered and classed phenomenon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!
      Darling Rose Gold looks so appealing!
      And I completely agree- I’m much more interested in the way dieting reflects society than on the self-help angle of Anti-Diet; from the comments that came up surrounding Melanie’s review it does sound like there’s a good amount of history and cultural background woven into the book, which is what I’m looking forward to. And I’d be very interested in your take on how well Anti-Diet works with Appetites!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a fun idea for a blog series, especially since we’re always adding books to our TBR, haha!

    I still have to write my full review of You Let Me In, but I loved it so much and found it so affecting I hardly know where to begin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ It gives me a chance to shout out other bloggers and lets me talk about more books than the ones I’m finding time to read, so I really enjoy it! And there’s never a shortage of TBR books, lol.

      That’s so exciting! I’m looking forward to your review!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “I actually read the sample on BOTMโ€™s website and hated it, and yet Iโ€™m so morbidly curious that I couldnโ€™t walk away.”

    This is…… SO intriguing.

    I had a somewhat similar experience to Laura with The Snow Collectors, which I finished last night – debating between 3 and 4 stars, but if I go with 3 it’s a high 3. It’s a VERY interesting book, it just didn’t fully come together for me. Worth reading though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cannot put my finger on what it is I’m hoping to get out of reading Anna K, especially since I loathed the characters in the sample. I’m hoping I won’t end up hate reading it, but I think there’s more intent behind the unlikability… I’m just so curious about it!

      I’m glad you thought Snow Collectors was worth the read, even though it wasn’t a perfect book for you either! I’m looking forward to reading your review!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, I probably didn’t explain that well! I took the autobiographical comment to mean that the cultural commentary comes from the author’s life, while I’m assuming the magical elements are just a device to enhance the themes. But it will definitely be interesting to read it try drawing the line between memoir and fantasy!


  5. I really want to read Anti-Diet too after Melanie’s review! Normally, I never read diet or health books but that one caught my attention. And thanks for the shout-out! I hope you enjoy The Truants when you get to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same! The historical and cultural angle to the diet book really appeals to me.
      And thank you, I’m really looking forward to The Truants after reading your review! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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