TBR: What’s on Deck for June 2017


My TBR (To Be Read) List is getting unruly. There are 128 books sitting out there waiting to be picked as my next read. Some have been sitting there since 2012! I have a goal this year to pay more attention to the version of myself who deemed a book worthy of being placed on my TBR List. As such, I am going to prioritize what is out there on my TBR each month. Here is what I hope to get to in June.

Newly Added TBR Picks (< 1 year): 

1. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett: Being billed as a YA “You’ve Got Mail” is a sure fire way to make it to the top of my TBR pile. Date added: May 22, 2017

2. The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes: All of Jojo Moyes’ books have been getting the cover redesigns to fall in line with her trademark look and so they have been resurfacing in the new releases section I scour. I was attracted to the hot pink cover – I am not ashamed to admit it, but having Jojo Moyes as author and a historical fiction flashback approach made me decide this was going to be a priority book to read. Date added: May 13, 2017

3. Learning to Breathe by Karen White: I read a Karen White novel a while ago that I enjoyed and have always intended to go back. When her name caught my eye on a recent bookstore stroll, this book in particular spoke to me. This story follows a woman whose heartbreak is tested when her lost love returns to town. The description involves meddling sisters, historic movie theaters, and war time love letters – yes, please! Date added: May 13, 2017

4. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid: One of my favorite authors lately, I have enjoyed her other books, especially this one. This book is about a marriage on the brink and a plan to discover what each of them wants. I am slightly afraid of this in-depth, honest look at marriage, but TJR never lets me down. Date added: July 12, 2016

Long Ago Added TBR Picks (> 1 year):

1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: I think I might be the last person on earth who hasn’t read this memoir. One of my friends has been recommending this book to me for years, stating it to be her very favorite book. And while her enthusiastic stamp of approval should have been enough to get me to open the book (which is sitting on my shelf), I was always afraid that it would be too depressing. The recent preview for the movie version coming out is helping me get over that and I have big plans to finally read this one. Date added: August 24, 2012 – I believe this is the very first book I ever put on my Good Reads “Want to Read” shelf!

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver


Image from Amazon.com

Title: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Author: Lionel Shriver

Published: July 2006

Rating: ★★★★

Summary: This is the story told from the perspective of Eva as she explores motherhood and marriage all set against the landscape of her son’s horrific role in a school massacre.

Why I Am Recommending: I was terrified to read this book, which I did due to a graduate class assignment. Although I found this to be a dark novel, it was an interesting dive into the deepest and darkest parts of a person’s psyche. It felt like you were inside of Eva’s head just as if you were in your own with no filter for what is right or wrong. Eva’s doubts and relationship challenges are ones that any person can understand. It is also an interesting study on the way a person who commits a mass murder may have developed. I don’t know that I spent much time considering the childhood and life of a person before they commit the heinous act, but it was fascinating. This book is not for the feint of heart, so proceed with caution, but know that it is an exceptionally well-written and developed story.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker


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Title: The Age of Miracles

Author: Karen Thompson Walker

Published: June 2012

Rating: ★★★★

Summary: Julia is an 11-year-old navigating adolescence in suburban California. What makes Julia’s story unique, is that she is coming of age in a time when it is discovered that the world’s spinning has slowed. This novel follows Julia as she negotiates growing up and the ever-changing world in which she is living.

Why I Am Recommending: I love a child’s voice in a novel. I like to see the world through their eyes. That perspective is made even more interesting as Julia experiences the impact of the slowing earth in addition to her take on other, more traditional rights of passage. Julia is a very likable character with whom I could easily connect with my younger self. I also found the slowing of the earth to be very realistic and therefore scary. I still don’t feel quite right about extra hot days or warm days in the winter because of this book. I thought this was a very thoughtful book and I loved the way the book ended.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


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Title: Attachments

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published: April 2011

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: Lincoln’s new job is to monitor the emails of the company’s employees to look for any threats. In the process, he finds himself more than monitoring, but rather reading the correspondence between two employees. He becomes invested in their lives, and develops feelings for one of them.

Why I Am Recommending: The concept of this story is admittedly creepy, but Lincoln becomes so endeared to you that you bypass his stalking tendencies and start rooting for him. Rainbow Rowell is so good at writing sweet love stories full of substantive emotions and authentic portrayals. The format of the book is unique and although it took me a while to remember which storyline went with which sender, I came to find it a quick and effective way to propel the story forward. Although selecting a favorite Rainbow Rowell is like choosing a favorite child, I would say this one is definitely a contender. Enjoy!

Landline by Rainbow Rowell


Image from Goodreads

Title: Landline

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published: July 2014


Summary: Georgie is one half of a successful TV writing duo and although her career has seen some success, her home life is stuggling. Connecting with her husband has become worse and worse and when he takes their kids for the holidays and leaves her behind, she has plenty of time to contemplate their relationship. This reflection is aided with the assistance of the old yellow telephone she used to talk with her now husband back when their relationship was brand new.

Why I Am Recommending: Of any of the Rainbow Rowell books I have read, I was most skeptical of this one, but my trust in her writing convinced me to give it a try. As always, it was another great one. This story explores a relationship that began in college and spans over the course of time leading them to their young family life. Their relationship has developed a wedge in it and their paths continue to diverge. Although she uses a magical phone to tell the beginning of their relationship, and I thought it might be hokey, I loved reliving the development of a relationship from new to committed. Any person in a committed relationship will be able to connect with this book and take a few lessons from it.

Shelter Me by Juliette Fay


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Title: Shelter Me

Author: Juliette Fay

Published: January 2009

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: Janie is depressed. Her husband recently died, leaving her with her grief and two young children. Every day is a struggle for her, but that is made slightly easier by the support of her family. This is the story of Janie trying to pull her life together.

Why I Am Recommending: I read this book a while ago and have also reread it, which is a very unusual thing for me to do. I really connected with Janie and found her character and her predicament to be very realistic. I like that Fay showed her grappling with the grief and the daily struggles in a way I would imagine to be fairly believable. I think the character development in this book is great and I grew to love all of the characters. I am not sure everyone I recommend this to would give it 5 stars like I did (I just totally synced with Janie), but I do find that it is mostly well-liked.

The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver


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Title: The Post-Birthday World

Author: Lionel Shriver

Published: March 2007

Rating: ★★★★

Summary: Irina is content with her life as a children’s book illustrator living in England with her long-term partner, Lawrence. Lawrence and Irina take snooker player, Ramsey, out for his birthday each year. This year, however, Irina takes Ramsey out on her own as Lawrence is away. Irina finds herself drawn to Ramsey and here the story diverges into parallel stories: one where she resists her attraction to Ramsey and one where she gives in to the attraction.

Why I Am Recommending: This book is exceptionally well-written. I was in awe of Shriver’s parallel story writing and the threads she wove between them. Absolutely beautifully written. That being said, this book is not everyone’s cup of tea. This is a dense novel that spends a great deal of time immersed in a person’s psyche. The writing is brutally honest and makes the reader face the darkest thoughts of their mind, but it is an impressive spectacle nonetheless. This book does have some sexually graphic passages, so if you are sensitive to that you may want to steer clear. I only recommend this book to the most avid readers who would appreciate the intense writing of Shriver–definitely not a breezy read recommendation. This would be a great pick for a serious book club as there is a lot to talk about and dissect