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:
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold (Pub: April 2019)
How I found it: This one caught my eye from Ren’s post of her favorite new nonfiction of the year so far!
Why I added it: I’ve been interested in true crime lately (and nonfiction more generally), and this one stood out to me for the Jack the Ripper connection but primarily for the fact that “it delves into the Victorian experience of poverty, homelessness, and alcoholism, but also motherhood, childbirth, sexuality, child-rearing, work, and marriage, all against the fascinating, dark, and quickly changing backdrop of nineteenth century London.”
Priority: Low. This sounds great, but I’ve got a lot of other nonfiction already on the docket for this summer (and beyond) so I’m not sure when I’ll get to it.
Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky (Pub: July 2019)
How I found it: I’d heard of this one a while ago without looking into it, but then saw it again on Bookstagram last week, compared to Sally Rooney’s work.
Why I added it: I mean, Sally Rooney. Not having read it yet, I’m not sure how well the comparison holds up, but I was sold on unlikable characters. I love to see what a book can do beyond making characters “likable.”
Priority: Low. I’ve got some recent and upcoming new releases I’m already more focused on, so I’m not sure when I’ll get to this.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Pub: March 2015)
How I found it: I live in the world.
Why I added it: I feel like I’m pretty late to this one, but I don’t want to miss it completely. I hear it’s depressing and fantastic and I always meant to read it eventually but realized last week it wasn’t actually on my TBR, so I’m remedying that.
Priority: Low. This sounds like a good winter read, so I’ll put more effort into adding it to my reading schedule then.
Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman (Pub: April 1992)
How I found it: I’ve been thinking and chatting about Netflix’s Mindhunter series lately. Ressler is one of the main characters in that series, so I went looking through his titles, for a little more background.
Why I added it: I just read a book by John Douglas last month- Douglas was Ressler’s partner in the FBI. It seems like a good idea to check out Ressler’s perspective as well! I decided to start off with the very first published book this time, since I ended up regretting not doing that with Douglas’s work.
Priority: Low. I’m planning to watch the new season of Mindhunter in August. At some point afterward I’ll read Douglas’s Mindhunter book. And after that, eventually I’ll read this.
Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey (June 2019)
How I found it: In Hannah’s recent romance mini-reviews post!
Why I added it: I’m still fairly new to the romance genre and struggling a bit with finding titles that I’m going to like; I think the best way to learn how to find what I’m looking for is just to keep trying different things. I know Tessa Bailey is a big name in romance, so I’ll give this new release a chance.
Priority: Low. I’m currently reading only about 2-3 romances a year, and I’ve already chosen my next contender: Kasey McQuiston’s Red, White, and Royal Blue. I’ll probably pick this up after that.
Constellations by Sinead Gleeson (Pub: April 2019 – UK)
How I found it: I read Rachel’s glowing review!
Why I added it: This is a collection of nonfiction essays about the author’s life and body, which might not have caught my attention on its own, but the way Rachel describes it makes it sound absolutely brilliant. Heavy but resonant, each essay a valuable contribution to the set.
Priority: Middling. There aren’t many essay collections in my TBR, and this one sounds great so I’d like to bump it up my list if I can find the time. The catch: this one’s only out in the UK right now, which is not where I live, so I’ll have to acquire a copy before I can seriously commit to a time frame.
Lanny by Max Porter (Pub: March 2019)
Why I added it: I’m particular about magical realism, but when it works for me I really love it. I also like some experimental writing, and have seen a few readers predict that this one will appear on the Man Booker longlist later this month.
Priority: Middling. This looks fairly short and engrossing, which would be easier to fit into my reading schedule. I don’t really think I’ll get to it before the Man Booker longlist announcement, and its presence or absence there will definitely affect my timing with this one.
The Body in Question by Jill Ciment (Pub: June 2019)
How I found it: Mentioned on bookstagram.
Why I added it: This looks like a nice fictional piece to read in conjunction with my true crime fascination. It’s a short work about a sequestered jury on a big murder trial, in which an affair between two jury members will have deep consequences.
Priority: Middling. I’m really curious about this one, and it is available through my library (though currently checked out and not due back until August).
The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley (Pub: July 2018)
How I found it: I read Hannah’s enthusiastic review!
Why I added it: So much of what Hannah says about this book in her review sounds appealing to me, and I’m almost always interested in classics retellings. I haven’t even read Beowulf yet, but I know that I will want to read a retelling of it.
Priority: Low, because I’ve not yet decided whether to go ahead and read this before Beowulf or after; if after, it’ll take me longer to get around to because that’s not an urgent title on my TBR.
For once, there are no “high priority” books in this list. Priority for me is determined by a mix of excitement and ability to fit the title into my reading schedule, and with the Man Booker longlist looming ahead (finally!), I’m trying to be realistic about my scheduling expectations for once. It’s possible that when I see the list I’ll decide not to read it in its entirety and will find myself with more time for new-to-me books like these, but in the meantime I’m trying not to plan anything else for myself in August, reading-wise. I’m mentioning this mainly because I don’t want the handful of “low priority” books on this list to make it seem like I’m not excited about what I’m adding to my TBR; if it’s here, I’m excited!
Have you read any of these books, or recognize them from your own TBR?
The Literary Elephant