Top of the TBR is a new series I’m starting with the intent of it eventually replacing my book hauls. Since my TBR goal for this year is tied to the new books I’m buying throughout the year, I will (probably) still be mentioning new titles I’ve acquired each month for a while yet. But by the end of the year, Top of the TBR should have completely replaced those book hauls. (See my first Top of the TBR post for more info on why I’m making this switch.)
But what is Top of the TBR? Good question. It’s a weekly post that will showcase any new books I’ve 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:
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier. (Pub: 1969)
Why I added it: I’ve only read du Maurier’s Rebecca, which is one of my all-time favorite books, and I’d very much like to branch out with some of her other brilliant novels. I’ve also got My Cousin Rachel on my TBR, so I’ll aim to read these two before adding more du Maurier books to my TBR- I like to add only one or two books by any given author rather than bogging down my list with an entire series or oeuvre.
Priority: Middling. I expect that du Maurier will be an author I love beyond Rebecca, so it makes sense to prioritize what I know I’ll enjoy, but I don’t have a copy of this one yet and it sounds like a good book for fall.
So Sad Today by Melissa Broder. (Pub: March 2016)
How I found it: I read Broder’s The Pisces (and loved it!) almost a year ago. Upon completion, I looked up other works by the author, and this was the only non-poetry title I came up with.
Why I added it: I wasn’t sure at first whether enjoying Broder’s fiction meant I wanted to read her essay collection, but after seeing Rachel’s review last week I was ready to give it a chance.
Priority: Middling. I might make this a part of my summer nonfiction list, as I don’t have any other essay collections in mind yet and I do want to read a variety of types/subjects for that.
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. (Pub: May 2019)
How I found it: I’ve seen ARCs of this one floating around the blogosphere and Bookstagram, etc. It’s been on my radar for weeks.
Why I added it: I’m not sure that I’ve ever read an LGBTQ+ rom com. I just don’t read romances very often, but I’ve heard too many good things about this one to skip over it for something more lackluster, which tbh is my usual .
Priority: Middling. I read usually 2-3 romances a year, and I already have Hoang’s The Bride Test coming up soon in my reading queue, so it’ll probably be a few months before I’m ready for another. But this will be the next in line.
Naamah by Sarah Blake. (Pub: Apr 2019)
How I found it: I saw this short but intriguing review, which was the first time I realized that this book is about the biblical Ark story, from Noah’s wife’s perspective.
Why I added it: To keep it on my radar, primarily. I do look through my Goodreads TBR shelf quite often, taking off anything that I’ve decided against reading and checking in on titles I’ve been on the fence about, so I’ve mainly added this one in the interest of further consideration. It seems like there are quite a few lukewarm and negative reviews, so even though the premise intrigues me I’ll have to look into this one further before I go looking for a copy.
Priority: Low. Not even sure I will read. (If you’ve read this, please share your thoughts!)
An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim. (Pub: June 2018)
How I found it: I don’t remember. This has been on my TBR for a while but got shifted in the order of my list this week when I entered a Goodreads giveaway for it (still ongoing if you’re interested!)
Why I added it: This is a sci-fi dystopian in which a flu pandemic rages through America and a woman decides to try time travel to save her boyfriend. If I remember correctly, the themes running under the surface plot have more to do with uprooting one’s life and then finding oneself in a strange place not entirely like what was expected, similar to an immigrant’s experience. I was getting a bit of an Exit West vibe from the synopsis, which is a favorable comparison for me.
Priority: Low. If I won a free copy I would get around to this one faster, but as I don’t yet have a copy and I do have a list of more pressing summer reads (probably the reason most of this list is turning out to seem low priority, tbh), I’m not in a hurry to get to this one.
The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith. (Pub: Oct 2019)
How I found it: Mentioned on Bookstagram.
Why I added it: The Library of the Unwritten is a place in the afterlife full of unwritten books, as far as I understand. The librarian has to hunt down a missing book, with “a handful of Hell’s most unlikely escorts.” If that’s not intriguing, I don’t know what is.
Priority: Middling. I’m looking forward to catching some early reviews of this one, which could either prompt me to drop this book entirely, or bump it up to the top of my list, depending on whether the promise of the premise seems to hold up in execution.
Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, trans. Marilyn Booth. (Pub: 2010/2018)
How I found it: I did a thorough look through the Man Booker International longlist earlier this year, and actually thought I’d put this one on my TBR at that point. Now that it’s won, I went back to its Goodreads page to read more about it and realized it wasn’t on my list yet, for some reason.
Why I added it: I’ve become much more interested in winners and nominees of literary prizes in the last couple of years, and I do want to be a more worldly reader. I added quite a few of the longlisted titles for this prize of translations into English, and of course I want to read the winner.
Priority: Middling. Maybe high. I don’t have a copy yet, but I’d love to get to this one before shifting focus to the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in July.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. (Pub: Oct 2019)
How I found it: I went searching for this one on Goodreads last week. I vaguely remembered Bardugo had another book coming out this year and wanted to look it up.
Why I added it: This is Bardugo’s first adult book. I liked her Grisha trilogy and loved Six of Crows, but have opted out of King of Scars (so far) because I’m not much in the mood for YA spin-off fantasy this year, apparently. An adult possibly-fantasy book sounds much more my current speed, and the mention of Yale secret societies dabbling in the occult sounds like something I must explore further.
Priority: High. This sounds like a great October read, I’d really like to read it upon release.
Have you read any of these books, or recognize them from your own TBR? Spot something new that you like? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
The Literary Elephant