Category Archives: Top of the TBR

Nonfiction November (Prompt 5)

Sadly, my busy season this year prevented me from taking part in most of the Nonfiction November prompts during the weeks they were going on (I might still participate late), but I couldn’t miss out on the final week now that I’m back! This week’s topic is from Rennie: New Nonfiction on My TBR (focusing on titles we’ve found through Nonfic Nov posts).

This is really the perfect prompt for me after my recent blogging/reading interruption, as I’m going back through the posts I’ve missed and adding plenty of recommendations from other bloggers to my TBR! A disclaimer: I’m not completely caught up yet, so I’ll still be checking out more lists and adding to my TBR after posting this, but I wanted to get to this prompt before the end of the week in case anyone else wants to join in before the end of the month.

And to share the love, I’ll be linking back to the posts I’ve gotten recommendations from so that if you’re looking for more nonfiction (or even just great bloggers to follow) you can find those here as well!

Let’s jump into the list.

68783. sy475 Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Posted by: Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus. She’s written an excellent post about nonfiction books dealing with the mind and mental illness!

I first heard about this book in high school, but I had forgotten all about it in recent years until seeing it again in Diana’s post! It’s about a young woman’s experience at a psychiatric hospital; in her account, “she draws attention to the absurdity of the rules and to the embedded sexism.” (Diana’s words.)

40121993The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by EsmΓ© Weijun Wang

Posted by: Hannah @ I Have Thoughts on Books.

I had seen this one when it was released but then hadn’t really heard much about it after the initial buzz of excitement faded. Hannah’s review makes it sound like essential reading from an important perspective, and very well-written as well! In fact, both of the nonfiction reviews in Hannah’s recent post sounded so good that I added the second one she talks about there to my TBR also:

40046084 Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden

(Also posted by Hannah)

This is a memoir “about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager” (words from the synopsis). It’s also a story about family, loss, and forgiveness. All of that sounds good of course, but what sold me was Hannah’s insisting that the structure of the book is excellent, with a surprising and impactful ending.

32076678. sy475 The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Posted by: Portia @ The Owlery Reader (and others)

I had never heard of this one before, but it’s appeared on several nonfiction favorites posts this month, and it sounds excellent! It looks like the author, who was at the time against he death penalty, signed up for a summer job helping to (legally) defend men accused of murder, only to discover a man she does not want to live in the wake of his crime. As she digs into his case, she also delves into her own past, and realizes crime and its consequences are not as black-and-white as she had imagined.

43231095. sy475 American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Marueen Callahan

Posted by: Sarah @ Sarah Ames-Foley

I actually talked to Sarah about this one as a spooky read back in October, but was excited to see it appear on her nonfiction favorites list! I was getting a bit burned out with serial killer true crime earlier this year, but Sarah says this one is particularly haunting and the killer surprisingly unknown, and I’m looking forward to checking it out! It focuses on Israel Keyes, whoΒ  committed numerous murders completely undetected for over ten years.

38362811 The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

Posted by: Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction?

I just added this one to my TBR today, after finding the link to Ren’s review in Sarah’s nonfic TBR post! This one had been on my radar but I was hesitant to add it since I’d never gotten around to West’s Shrill. After looking closer however, I think this one might be a better fit for me! At least to start with. It’s a humorous (and passionate) critical look at current issues and politics, which sounds right up my alley based on my recent nonfiction interests!

43726557 The Seine: The River That Made Paris by Elaine Sciolino

Posted by: Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction?

Much to my own surprise, I also added this one to my TBR today after seeing Ren’s review. (Seriously, are you followed Ren yet? Even- especially- if you think nonfiction isn’t your thing, her reviews are so detailed and interesting that you’re bound to discover you’re interested in more topics than you thought!) I don’t read a lot about nature or specific places (travel books), but the way Sciolino uses the Seine to explore history, culture, architecture, etc. sounds so intriguing, and provides the human connection I tend to need in the books I read.

25019 The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

Posted by: Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

I’ve got to admit, it was the Oxford English Dictionary detail tacked on to the end of the title that really drew my curiosity here. It looks like when the men who put together the OED were recognized afterward, it came out that one of them had been an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. I’m so intrigued.

Know My Name Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Posted by: Rachel @ Pace Amore Libri, Karissa @ Karissa Reads Books (and others)

This one was already on my radar (though I realized a week or so ago that I’d forgotten to add it to my TBR), but I’m so excited about it and recently picked up a copy so I had to include it with links to a couple of great reviews! Chanel Miller is Emily Doe, whose witness statement against Brock Turner in a sexual assault case was all over the internet a few years back. Here she shares not only her identity, but reveals a flawed system and examines the aftermath of a trauma. I’ll be reading this one very soon.

Are any of these titles on your TBR, or books you’ve read? What did you think? Help me decide what to prioritize, please!

 

The Literary Elephant

 

Top of the TBR 10.07.19

Top of the TBR is a biweekly post that showcases any books recently added to my Goodreads TBR, 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! πŸ™‚

Here are some of the new books I’ve added on Goodreads recently:

43268770. sy475 Girl by Edna O’Brien (Pub: Sept 2019)

How I found it: While browsing new releases on Goodreads.

Why I added it: I very much enjoyed O’Brien’s short story, Paradise, from the Faber Stories collection when I read it earlier this year. I’ve been meaning to look into more of O’Brien’s work, but hadn’t decided on what to pick up next when I came across this one, which looks excellent! Set in a Nigerian forest, this is a story of abducted women.

Priority: Middling. I’ve pretty much already decided what I’m going to be reading for the rest of the year and this one wasn’t on the list, but it’s very tempting!

867361Sybil: The True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities by Flora Rheta Schreiber (Pub: 1973)

How I found it: I remember discussing this book (and watching some of the film) in my high school psychology class. I always meant to pick it up at some point, and was reminded of it when Sybil came up in Norman’s Ask Me About My Uterus.

Why I added it: I tend to enjoy reading about mental health and/or how the human brain works, and this nonfiction account is a classic. I’ve also had my perception of multiple personalities altered by reading Freshwater last year, which showed me how deeply culture can affect our perception of neurodiversity; I’ll be interested to pick this up with that in mind.

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

6520929. sy475 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Pub: April 2009)

How I found it: I was only been vaguely aware of this one, but as it took the #1 spot on Guardian’s list of the 100 best books of the 21st century it recently caught my attention.

Why I added it: Any such list is, of course, subjective, so I’m not rushing out to read all of the books featured that I haven’t read yet, but I am intrigued enough to check out what is *supposedly* the best book of this century! It’s historical fiction, which isn’t always my favorite, but I would like to find something new (to me, at least) to appreciate from that genre. Maybe this is it.

Priority: Low. Also readily available through my library.

33608721. sy475 Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli (Pub: 2016)

How I found it: This one might also have been on the Guardian list of best books, if I remember correctly, but I didn’t know what it was until I suddenly started seeing it quite often on Bookstagram over the last couple of weeks!

Why I added it: I really liked Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive, a fictional story about the US border crisis. This is a nonfiction piece about Luiselli’s real experience speaking with children at the border.

Priority: High. This is really short and just came in at my library. I’ll pause my October spooky reads to fit this one in soon.

43263520. sy475 The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (Pub: Oct 2019)

How I found it: I’ve seen this one in lists of upcoming releases, but neither the cover nor the title really caught my eye. Then I saw two positive reviews for it on Goodreads that convinced me to look closer! I’ll link the reviews here and here in case anyone’s curious.

Why I added it: This is a YA dystopian in which girls are banished from their homes for a year in their teens when they are supposedly emitting a magical womanly power that’s considered dangerous to both men and women around them. The story focuses on the dangers these 16 year-olds face in the woods, from the elements, other people, and most of all each other.

Priority: Middling. This sounds like it could be hit or miss for me, but it’s already been optioned for filming so I’d like to get to it before it’s overhyped if possible.

43982054The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Pub: Sept 2019)

How I found it: This is everywhere lately, since Oprah just picked it up for her book club and the publisher has seemingly been sending free copies to every big bookish social media account

Why I added it: I actually think I’m more interested in Coates’s non-fiction, which I still haven’t read, but after skipping my BOTM box twice in a row I was just in the mood to order this time, and this was the best contender.

Priority: High. I’ve fallen behind on my BOTM selections again, so I’m going to try my best to read this one either in October or November to avoid falling farther behind!

43069290Unbelievable by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

How I found it: This book was previously published under the title A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America, which I had heard of but hadn’t really looked into. This story was recently adapted into a Netflix series however, and I’m very in the mood to watch it, so I finally looked closer.

Why I added it: A real story of a girl who reported being raped and was not believed by anyone sounds infuriating but also right up my alley. The fact that it kept happening to more and more women makes it feel like essential reading. I also saw that Rachel started reading it and said it was good so far!

Priority: High. I’ve put a hold on it at my library, but it’s currently checked out. I remain undecided on whether I’ll go ahead and watch the series in the meantime or hold out to read the book first. I find myself caring less which order I consume different formats in lately, so I’ll definitely get to both either way.

46344636The Keeper Jessica Moor (Pub: March 2020)

How I found it: Penguin just had an “influencer event” to introduce some of their upcoming titles, and this is one that I’ve seen Bookstagramers picking up and promoting!

Why I added it: This looks like a literary thriller featuring a murdered woman who worked at a domestic violence shelter; the crime is supposed to be shocking/thrilling but also speak more deeply about “violence against women and the structures that allow it to continue.” I definitely want to keep that on my radar.

Priority: Middling. I’ll keep an eye out for early reviews prior to release, and if it still sounds good I might want to pick this one up right away!

32758901. sy475 All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Pub: May 2017)

How I found it: This novella has been winning awards and making a splash in the sci-fi community, and I just saw an announcement that this series is getting a full novel next year. It just felt like time to get around to it.

Why I added it: I like sci-fi. I like novellas. This one’s about a security android that calls itself Murderbot. “Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.” It sounds hilarious but also insightful.

Priority: Middling. The length makes this really tempting to pick up immediately, and it looks like it’s in my library’s database. But I might want to try timing it so I can read all of the novellas just before the novel’s release. Tbd.

43232971The Vagina Bible by Jennifer Gunter (Pub: August 2019)

How I found it: I read Ren’s stellar review!

Why I added it: One of the things I was hoping to find in Norman’s Ask Me About My Uterus was some general info about endometriosis and how it’s treated; though I ended up enjoying that the book was a personal story rather than a medical overview, this informational book about female health and debunking vagina myths came at just the right time. It looks like it covers everything I didn’t know I was interested in learning, and just seems generally very useful for any living person with a uterus.

Priority: High. I’ve already ordered a copy, and am planning to start reading as soon as it arrives. Ren says it’s not exactly binge material, so I can’t say for sure when I’ll finish and review, but I’m really looking forward to it!

 

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

 

The Literary Elephant

Top of the TBR 9.23.19

Last week was a doozy and I fell quite behind on my blogging plans for the week, so here’s to hoping this week will go better! I’ve got some exciting things coming up, including my review of The Testaments… In future I might use this Monday post as a place to also preview my reading/posting for the week, but my schedule is all over the place this time of year so now is not the time, sadly. In the meantime, business as usual…

Top of the TBR is a weekly post I created that will showcase any 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! πŸ™‚

Here are some of the new books I’ve added on Goodreads recently:

41817481Underland by Robert MacFarlane (Pub: May 2019)

How I found it: I’ve seen this one a bit on Bookstagram (I believe it won a prize that I don’t really follow), but it was Ren’s excellent recent review that made me look closer!

Why I added it: I haven’t read much (okay, *any*) nonfiction about nature / the environment… so far. But this one gives me Overstory vibes, which was a novel that left such a lasting impression for me that I think I should venture further into the topic. The way that humans have been using/destroying the planet has definitely been on my mind lately.

Priority: Low. This is something I want to read eventually, but am not in a rush for. The end of the year is a time when I like to finish projects I’ve already started rather than beginning new ones, which will probably become apparent throughout this list.

18770438Space Invaders by Nona Fernandez, translated by Natasha Wimmer (Pub: 2013)

How I found it: Every day last week brought the announcement of another category of National Book Award nominees; this is one title that caught my eye from the translated literature list!

Why I added it: I believe this is a story about a group of kids (now adults), who realize one of their friends may have been tied up in the politics of 1980’s Chilean dictatorship; they were old enough to sense that something wasn’t right, but too young to do anything about it. Plus some video game elements thrown in?

Priority: Low for now, because it’s not at my library, but we’ll see what happens with the award. I may add other nominees to my TBR as well as I find out more about them. Relatedly…

43152994Black Light: Stories by Kimberly King Parsons (Pub: Aug 2019)

How I found it: This is the only title from the NBA fiction longlist I hadn’t heard of, so of course I immediately looked it up.

Why I added it: It looks excellent. Here’s a bit from the blurb- “In this debut collection of enormously perceptive and brutally unsentimental short stories, Parsons illuminates the ache of first love, the banality of self-loathing, the scourge of addiction, the myth of marriage, and the magic and inevitable disillusionment of childhood.

Priority: Middling. There are a number of books on the NBA lists that are already on my TBR and I’m tempted to reach for some of them while the prize is going on. Or… I might stick to my end-of-the-year reading plans and focus on the NBA after the award announcements. I’m not sure yet.

12543Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (Pub: 1994)

How I found it: I had to read part of this for a college class and always meant to pick up the rest of the book; I did a book tag recently that reminded me I wanted to read this and didn’t actually have it on my TBR yet.

Why I added it: Writing is something that interests me and fills a lot of my time, so I do like to read tips and experiences occasionally!

Priority: Low. This is available at my library, so I’ll pick it up when I feel like it. I don’t have specific timing plans.

227603Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel (Pub: 1994)

How I found it: The same book tag put this one back on my radar.

Why I added it: I’ve been wavering on this one since it came up in a college class, but a few helpful comments on my tag post made me realize that even if the age that it snapshots might be in the rearview now, it could still be a worthwhile snapshot to check out anyway. This focuses on depression among “America’s youth.” (Quotations because this refers to the youth of 1994.)

Priority: Low. Everything is low because I’m swamped.

33917. sy475 The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (Pub: 2003)

How I found it: I’ve been meaning to read some of Lahiri’s work for years, and Melanie’s positive review of this one made this the title I am now most interested in.

Why I added it: This is a story about a family immigrating from India. I’m interested in the immigration themes/commentary, but also on the identity aspect, which is something I always enjoy. Bonus- it was previously nominated for the Women’s Prize!

Priority: Middling. I see this one’s available on Kindle Unlimited, and I’ve been trying to get going there again (currently reading: Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, slowly). At Melanie’s recommendation I just read a short story of Lahiri’s last week and liked the writing, so I would like to get to this one!

497499. sy475 The Door by Magda Szabo, translated by Lex Rin (Pub: 1987)

How I found it: I’ve seen this one around during Women in Translation month (August), but it was Rachel’s intriguing review last week that really piqued my interest!

Why I added it: This is the story of a relationship between two women- a writer and her housekeeper. I have only a hazy idea of what to expect here, and honestly that is very appealing. I’ve seen mostly positive but vague reviews, so I’m proceeding with the blind hope of feeling the same!

Priority: Low. I don’t have a copy, I’m swamped, etc. I’ll get to it when I get to it.

40642333The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson (Pub: March 2019)

How I found it: This is an adult fantasy that’s been on my radar since publication, but it was Naty’s good experience with this book recently that convinced me to look closer!

Why I added it: Fantasies in historical settings are perhaps my favorite type of historical fiction lately. This one’s set in 1490s Spain, which sounds excellent. I really don’t need to know more than that, though the mention of djinn doesn’t hurt!

Priority: Low. (Are you even surprised at this point?) This is available at my library, so it’s ready when I’m ready!

 

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

 

The Literary Elephant

 

Top of the TBR 9.16.19

Top of the TBR is a weekly post I created that will showcase any 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! πŸ™‚

Here are some of the new books I’ve added on Goodreads recently:

35487761. sy475 Tangerine by Christine Mangan (Pub: March 2018)

How I found it: Two of my friends read this book over the summer, and one of them (Naty) wrote this very appealing review!

Why I added it: Historical mystery is a subgenre I haven’t read much from, but two positive reviews from friends seems like a great way to wet my feet with historical fiction again. The relationship between the main women of this story looks intriguing, and I’m also attracted to the missing husband and the Tangier setting. Worth a try, I think!

Priority: Low. I’m sure my irl friend would let me borrow her copy, but I think I’ll wait until summer rolls around again, as it seems like a good warm-weather book.

42117622Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty (Pub: July 2019)

How I found it: I read Nirmala’s excellent review!

Why I added it: I like books that explore grief, and this one looks like it has a good blend of humor as well. I’m especially interested in the ways that this book tackles grief over a missing person- how does one grieve for someone that is still hoped to return at any moment? etc.

Priority: Low. This one’s available through my library, so I can pick it up whenever I’m ready, but I am planning to focus on unread books on my own shelves for a while. (I was also hoping to read Grief is the Thing with Feathers later this month, so I’ve already got some grief coming up.)

Gwendy's Magic Feather: (The Button Box Series)Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar (Pub: Nov 2019)

How I found it: I’m struggling to remember, but I think I saw a Goodreads ad for it? Maybe because I’d read the first book in this series last year?

Why I added it: This is a sequel to Gwendy’s Button Box, a Stephen King co-written horror that I liked but didn’t love. I’m mostly curious about the fact that this is still written in a fictional town that Stephen King frequently uses in his writing, though apparently he didn’t co-write this second novel. I’m interested to see where this series goes without King moreso than I’m interested in continuing with the plot, but if this is as quick a read as Button Box I’m willing to stick with it.

Priority: Middling. My library has the first volume, so I’m hoping they’ll pick this one up as well; it’s easy to prioritize free, short reads.

67697Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault (Pub: June 1969)

How I found it: After reading Frankissstein, I was talking with Rachel about fictionalized historical figures / biographic fiction, and she mentioned this title (part of a series) about Alexander the Great.

Why I added it: I’ve very much enjoyed reading about Mary Shelley in Frankissstein and Mary’s Monster (review coming soon) and would like to try reading up on other historical figures that catch my interest in a way that’s grounded in fact, but a bit more artistic/fictional than straight-up fact-reporting.

Priority: Middling. This is yet another title I’ve found conveniently free on Kindle Unlimited lately, so if I can get back into the habit of reading a bit at a time that way, this is one of the few titles that I’m really interested in getting around to there before my subscription ends.

18668483In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill (Pub: Oct. 2012)

How I found it: In a Netflix ad. ‘Tis the season for all things Stephen King- a Netflix film related to this short story is releasing next month!

Why I added it: I’ve been enjoying Stephen King adaptations lately. I loved both It movies, and earlier this year I watched a Netflix film of 1922, another short story adaptation that was very atmospheric and compelling despite how disturbing I find rats (thanks, 1984). Plus, Joe Hill.

Priority: High. This looks super short (less than 50 pages!) and the film is coming soon.

13416089Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught (Pub: Sept. 2012)

How I found it: I read Elysa’s glowing review!

Why I added it: It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA mystery, but I’m very intrigued by the way teen mental disorders are portrayed here- it looks like a cast of neurodiverse characters (the MC has schizophrenia), and Elysa says it’s written well!

Priority: Low. This is available at my library, but again, I’m trying to clear some unread books from my own shelves before I start picking up all the whims again.

39220683. sy475 The White Book by Han Kang (Pub: May 2016)

How I found it: I looked up all of Kang’s other publications after reading (and loving) The Vegetarian last year, but to avoid cluttering my TBR I usually try to add only one book by an author at a time, and then after reading I add the next book from the author that I want to read; I recently read (and loved) Kang’s Human Acts, and upon finishing that one, added The White Book.

Why I added it: Kang is a superb writer, I want to read all of her work that I can. This one looks like an excellent examination of grief, this time in the form of a woman mourning her sister, who died shortly after birth.

Priority: Low. I’ll probably buy a copy and read this one next year. As much as I’m looking forward to it, I’ll be sad to have caught up with Kang’s English translations.

 

Even though there are a lot of “low priority” books on this list, I am excited about all of these books; it’s just that familiar matter of too many books, too little time that makes it so hard to keep up with everything I’m interested in. But it’s good to have choices!

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

 

The Literary Elephant

Top of the TBR 9.9.19

Top of the TBR is a weekly post I created that will showcase any 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! πŸ™‚

I had to skip this post last week to fit in my August wrap-up and some Booker Prize content, but I’ve added so many books to my TBR since the last time I posted a Top of the TBR that I’ll just be picking and choosing the titles that catch my eye right now. And so, here are some of the new books I’ve added on Goodreads recently:

43289181Cantoras by Carolina de Robertis (Pub: Sept 2019)

How I found it: I’ve been seeing positive reviews for this one on Bookstagram!

Why I added it: This is a historical fiction novel about queer women in the tumultuous political climate of 1970s Uruguay. The narrative spans decades, following five women’s lives as they find sanctuary both on an isolated cape and with each other. I can see why this is getting high ratings.

Priority: Low, sadly. It’s not currently available at my library and I’m trying to prioritize books I already own (and haven’t read yet) for the next few months.

35605474Ask Me About My Uterus by Abby Norman (Pub: March 2018)

How I found it: I’ve seen this one before, but it wasn’t until hearing about it on a Reading Women podcast last week that I realized it was about endometriosis and doctor dismissal of female pain.

Why I added it: I’ve been talking with a friend for months about her belief that she has endometriosis, and her doctor’s unwillingness to take her requests for treatment seriously, so this sounds like a perfect way to learn more about a phenomenon I didn’t even know existed before this year.

Priority: High. I’ve got Three Women slated as my next nonfiction read, and I’m aiming to pick up this one after.

44142473. sy475 Milton in Purgatory by Edward Vass (Pub: Aug. 2019)

How I found it: I saw Kristen talk about this one in her August wrap-up!

Why I added it: I read Bottled Goods from this collection of Fairlight Moderns earlier this year, and enjoyed it enough that I wanted to pick up another title from the set. I’ve been slow getting around to it, as I haven’t heard much about the other books, but this one sounds mysterious and intriguing!

Priority: Low. Not available at my library, and I don’t want to buy right now while I’m trying to lower the percentage of unread books on my shelves.

46642254. sx318 Mostly Hero by Ana Burns (Pub: Oct. 2019)

How I found it: A friend and I discovered while browsing the current titles that Faber is soon releasing a new batch of Faber Stories.

Why I added it: I’ve just finished reading the final volume from the original set of 20 Faber stories (I’ll have the mini-reviews for my latest reads up tomorrow!) and am eager to see what more this collection will have to offer. I’ve actually added all 10 new titles to my TBR, but this is the one I’m most excited about, from the author of Milkman.

Priority: High. Since short stories don’t take much time out of my reading schedule (plus I had a goal to read more short stories this year), I probably will allow myself to purchase some of these and read them right away even though I’m trying to cut back on buying new books. Some exceptions must be made.

19194802Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (Pub: 1985)

How I found it: I just finished reading (and loved!) Winterson’s Frankissstein at the end of August, and wanted to pick up more of her work. Melanie recommended starting with this one!

Why I added it: Aside from the recommendation (thanks, Melanie!) this is one of Winterson’s titles that I’ve actually heard of, as well. I believe it’s semi-autobiographical.

Priority: Middling. I can read this for free on Kindle Unlimited; I don’t go for ebooks much, but free is convenient, so I’m hoping to get around to this one before my subscription ends in a couple of months.

44294958Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians, and the Weird in Flyover Country by B. J. Hollars (Pub: Sept. 2019)

How I found it: I saw Ren’s enticing review!

Why I added it: I have lived in the Midwest all my life, and love all things strange! The legends Ren mentioned in her review didn’t sound familiar to me, which means I expect to find some fun new content here. I appreciate that it sounds like the author neither believes these tall tales nor is trying to disprove them- objective reportage of folklore and its place in society is definitely appealing.

Priority: Low, sadly. I’d love to pick this up in October, but again, I’m trying not to keep buying a ton of new books at the end of the year and this one’s not at my library.

36723245The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir (Pub: June 2018)

How I found it: BOTM put this one on my radar last year, but it seemed like it could either be very my taste or very not, so I’ve just been patiently waiting for some indication of whether I should read it or not. Finally an irl friend I trust read it.

Why I added it: My friend rated it 4 stars and specifically recommended it to me, which is a very good sign. It’s about a religious reality TV show, and a girl who rebels.

Priority: Middling. I will probably borrow this from my friend in the near future, and I prefer to read borrowed books right away (they give me anxiety if I leave them sitting around). So, not sure exactly when, but soonish.

24612419All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (Pub: April 2014)

How I found it: I read (and quite enjoyed!) Toews’s Women Talking earlier this year and have been vaguely planning to pick up another Toews book but only recently remembered to actually add it to my TBR. I’ve talked with a couple of Toews readers now (including Karissa!) about where I should go next with her work, and this one sounds like the best first choice.

Why I added it: This is one of Toews’s most well-known works, from what I’ve gathered, and it features two close sisters- one a pianist, and one who wants to die. It sounds like it will make me cry.

Priority: Middling. This one is available at my library, and the synopsis sounds perfect for fall/winter.

39813948The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien (Pub: Sept. 2014)

How I found it: This one’s been on my radar for a long time, but I used to not read memoirs, and then I read The Glass Castle, which I liked but made me think I didn’t need to read more stories about women growing up in extreme families. Sarah’s recent review convinced me to rethink that assumption!

Why I added it: My parents were tough, but the synopsis states that Maude’s parents tried to “eliminate weakness” by subjecting her to awful tasks and keeping her isolated, so this will surely put my childhood into perspective.

Priority: Middling. Another title available through my library, and I am hoping to increase my nonfiction intake in the last few months of this year!

43261166Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur (Pub: Oct 2019)

How I found it: BOTM put this on my radar, as it’s one of their September selections.

Why I added it: From one difficult childhood memoir to another… I actually skipped my BOTM box this month because I didn’t feel the need to own this one or read it immediately, but I do think I’ll give it a try at some point. Complicated family dynamics appeal to me, and apparently The Glass Castle is not the only memoir out there with that sort of content!

Priority: Low. It might end up at my library, or I could add it to a later BOTM box if I see convincing reviews in the meantime, but right now I’m just not in a hurry. Interested, but patient.

 

I suppose ten titles is enough for now, but I’ve got plenty more in store for next week as well! I’m reading a few long books in September, so I’m looking forward to catching up on some of my tags and non-review content in the next couple of weeks.

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

 

The Literary Elephant

Top of the TBR 8.26.19

Top of the TBR is a weekly post I created that will showcase any 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! πŸ™‚

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

41709682Exhalation by Ted Chiang (Pub: May 2019)

How I found it: A bookstagrammer I enjoy following recently started a booktube channel; while watching her first video I realized I shared most of her opinions, and had to look into this one book she mentioned that I hadn’t read yet! I’ve seen this one around before, but never really known what it was.

Why I added it: science fiction short stories, with a 4.36 GR rating and high praise from someone who seems to share my reading taste was all the reasoning I needed!

Priority: Low. I think I could really love this, and I should make more of an effort to read books that I expect to love, but this one’s not available at my library and I want to focus more on unread books on my shelves for the remainder of the year.

Blank 133x176Sisters by Daisy Johnson (Pub: upcoming, unknown)

How I found it: Callum shared the news about this one!

Why I added it: I absolutely loved Johnson’s Everything Under from the Man Booker longlist last year, and enjoyed her story collection Fen earlier this year as well. I just find her writing so intelligent and engaging, and I’m pretty sure I’ll read anything she ever writes. But this one is perhaps a Stephen King-esque horror, which sounds particularly amazing!

Priority: High. I need this in my life.

2563843There Are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry (Pub: March 2007)

How I found it: I just read Barry’s Night Boat to Tangier from this year’s Booker Prize longlist, and I loved his prose enough that I went looking through more of his titles for a follow up read.

Why I added it: My goal to pick up more short stories this year seems to have turned into a habit of adding all the story collections to my TBR rather than actually reading them, but they do look appealing! This looks very Irish, a bit dark, and pleasingly short.

Priority: Low. I don’t have a copy readily available and again, I’m going to try to stick to unread books I already own for the next few months.

25614241Beatlebone by Kevin Barry (Pub: Oct. 2015)

How I found it: Same as above.

Why I added it: I thought it would be a good idea to give myself a non- short story option from this author as well, and I was attracted to the idea of Beatles fiction. This might also have a magical element, which should be interesting. I feel like this could be really hit or miss, so we’ll see how it goes.

Priority: Low, same reason as above.

44329108Red Rising: Sons of Ares Vol. 2: Wrath by Pierce Brown (Pub: Nov. 2019)

How I found it: Brown recently announced this upcoming release on social media.

Why I added it: I read and quite enjoyed Vol. 1 of this graphic novel series last year, and have read and quite liked the rest of the author’s work (except for Dark Age, which just came out and I’m planning to read it in Sept.), so adding this one seemed like a no-brainer.

Priority: Middling. I had a goal to read more graphic novels this year, which I completely forgot about and have obviously been failing at as a result. It would be nice to pick this up before the end of the year, but I might save it for next year and try the graphic novel goal again, in earnest this time.

42927050. sy475 The Perfect Wife by J P Delaney (Pub: Aug. 2019)

How I found it: I’ve seen a couple of highly intriguing reviews for this one lately, including Donna’s and Sarah’s!

Why I added it: I enjoyed Delaney’s debut, The Girl Before back in 2017, but for some reason never came back to the author. Looking back, I think the previous book just didn’t appeal to me as much, but I’ve heard some good buzz about this third release and should definitely give the author another go.

Priority: Middling. I like to get to thrillers while they’re new, and this one is available through my library, so I’m tentatively hoping to pick it up sometime in the next 2 months.

42194605Horizontal Collaboration by Navie and Carol Maurel (Pub: Jan 2017)

How I found it: I read Callum’s 5-star review!

Why I added it: Again, I’d really like to read more graphic novels. But even aside from that goal, this just sounds like a fantastic, hard-hitting story that’s right in tune with my reading interests. I don’t read much WWII fiction lately, but this one addresses that time period from an angle I haven’t come across before: hidden affairs between French women and occupying German men.

Priority: Middling. This one looks like it might be harder to get my hands on, since my library doesn’t have it, but as soon as I renew my graphic novel goal I’m going to want to pick this one up for sure.

7029668Purge by Sofi Oksanen, trans. by Lola Rogers (Pub: 2008)

How I found it: I read Rachel’s excellent review!

Why I added it: This looks like a book about Soviet occupation in Estonia, which is a topic I don’t know much about yet, as well as a tale of two women “dogged by their own shameful pasts and the dark, unspoken history that binds them.” The younger woman is a sex trafficking victim on the run. All of this sounds fascinating and important.

Priority: Middling. This is available through my library and again, I’d like to make a point to incorporate more translations into my regular reading, so hopefully I’ll get to this one sooner rather than later.

42924675Pleased to Meet Me by Bill Sullivan (Pub: Aug. 2019)

How I found it: I read Sarah’s thoughtful review!

Why I added it: I’ve been slacking on nonfiction in August, but I am still interested in branching out more in that category. This one’s a science nonfiction, which doesn’t necessarily sound like something I’d seek out on my own, but Sarah says it’s written for the layman, and I am curious about what makes people tick!

Priority: Low, only because it’s not available at my library and I do have a little stack of nonfiction starting to pile up. Not sure when I’ll get to this, but I’m intrigued!

 

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

The Literary Elephant

 

 

 

 

Top of the TBR 8.19.19

Top of the TBR is a weekly post I created that will showcase any 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! πŸ™‚

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

11989. sy475 The Plague by Albert Camus (Pub: June 1947)

How I found it: In Diana’s excellent Translated Literature Tag post! Also I read Camus’s Create Dangerously last year, so I’ve been somewhat on the lookout for a next title to try.

Why I added it: I really want to read more translated lit, and this has been an excellent month (WIT month!) to see what’s out there and boost the translations section of my TBR. Camus doesn’t fit into Women In Translation reading (which I’m still planning to contribute some reviews toward before the end of the month!) but I hope to be reading more translations throughout the year henceforth.

Priority: Low. This one is available through my library, which helps, but I have too many other TBR plans right now to be picking up new things. The trend continues…

9998The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe (Pub: 1962)

How I found it: This one also appeared in Diana’s Translated Literature Tag post, but seeing it there reminded me that I’d enjoyed her review as well!

Why I added it: A man on a day trip becomes trapped in a seashore village. He is lodged with one lonely woman at the bottom of a sand pit. This just sounds so bizarre and compelling that I can’t pass it up.

Priority: Low. I’m a bit more interested in this one than the Camus, but it’s not available at my library which will make it harder to come by. (I’m trying really hard to stop buying every book that looks good, it’s an unsustainable habit.)

43209280 Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention by Donna Frietas (Pub: Aug. 2019)

How I found it: I’ve seen this one around bookstagram a bit, but it was Jenna’s recent review that really caught my attention!

Why I added it: Though my interest in fiction has grown, I would still say I’m fairly picky about memoirs. But this one sounds like a subject I’d be interested to read about- a college woman stalked by her professor- that would be difficult to read about from any other perspective than a firsthand account. So I’ll give this one a go for sure.

Priority: Middling. I’d like to get to this one while it’s still fairly new, but it doesn’t seem to be at my library yet, so we shall see.

44596140How Quickly She Disappears by Raymond Fleischmann (Pub: Jan 2020)

How I found it: Naty spotted this one! She’s got a good eye!

Why I added it: The Dry meets The Silence of the Lambs in historical small-town Alaska. I mean, could it possibly sound more promising? There’s also a missing twin, a German bush pilot, and some sort of mysterious game involving tasks in exchange for information. If Fleischmann can pull this off… it should be great.

Priority: Middling. Could easily be shifted to high, but I’d like to see what Naty thinks! If it’s a success, January would be a great time to read a cold-setting thriller like this.

40390773. sx318 I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi (Pub: Aug. 2019)

How I found it: I read Ren’s wonderful review!

Why I added it: This is another new-release nonfiction title that I’ve seen around a bit but not looked into (I should have!). It’s a set of essays that read more or less like a memoir about life with mental illness (bipolar II disorder, anxiety, depression). This is another topic that is probably ideal to read in a firsthand account, and it’s a subject I’ve not read about before, which adds to the appeal.

Priority: Middling. Again, I’d like to get to this while it’s new, but my library doesn’t have it.

 

And that’s a wrap! It was a slow week for my Goodreads TBR, which is actually nice because I’ve got so much on my plate already and am tentatively planning to focus on books I already own (and can get through the library) in my TBRs for the next few months. It’s actually kind of torturous to look through all the books I’m excited about reading that I don’t have time for yet- a side effect I wasn’t expecting from this series, but the excitement of sharing new finds has so far outweighed any negatives.

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

 

The Literary Elephant