Tuesday, November 8, 2016

11 Recent Additions to My To-Read List

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is about what we've added to our reading queues lately. I have both a maybe-to-read and a to-read list on Goodreads, and all the books below are recent additions to the to-read list (an insurmountable 401 books long), which means I really do want to definitely try to possibly get to them one day. (#bookwormproblems)

1. Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
(The Chronicles of St. Mary's #1)

How I found it: Goodreads Choice Awards (book #7 in the series is nominated)

From Goodreads: Meet the disaster-magnets of St. Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document -- to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions... and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back -- to the death. And, as they soon discover -- it's not just History they're fighting.

2. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
(The Checquy Files #1)

How I found it: Goodreads Choice Awards (book #2 in the series is nominated)

From Goodreads: "The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her. Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, "The Rook" is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.

3. Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

How I found it: another blog

From Goodreads: Comprising a selection of essays, "Upstream" finds beloved poet Mary Oliver reflecting on her astonishment and admiration for the natural world and the craft of writing. As she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, finding solace and safety within the woods, and the joyful and rhythmic beating of wings, Oliver intimately shares with her readers her quiet discoveries, boundless curiosity, and exuberance for the grandeur of our world. This radiant collection of her work, with some pieces published here for the first time, reaffirms Oliver as a passionate and prolific observer whose thoughtful meditations on spiders, writing a poem, blue fin tuna, and Ralph Waldo Emerson inspire us all to discover wonder and awe in life's smallest corners.

4. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

How I found it: last week's Top Ten Tuesday (on a sci-fi list)

From Goodreads: "Flowers for Algernon" is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie's intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance -- until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?

5. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

How I found it: looking up good reads for fall

From Goodreads: A young family...moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

6. The October Country by Ray Bradbury

How I found it: looking up good reads for fall

From Goodreads: Ray Bradbury's second short story collection is back in print, its chilling encounters with funhouse mirrors, parasitic accident-watchers, and strange poker chips intact. Both sides of Bradbury's vaunted childhood nostalgia are also on display, in the celebratory "Uncle Einar," and haunting "The Lake," the latter a fine elegy to childhood loss.

7. A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner

How I found it: NetGalley e-mail

From Goodreads: Wartime intrigue spans the lives of three women past and present in the latest novel from the acclaimed author of "Secrets of a Charmed Life." February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Resistance spy. Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark...

Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.

8. Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

How I found it: NetGalley browsing

From Goodreads: A missing woman leads her twin sister on a twisted scavenger hunt in this clever debut novel of suspense for readers of "Luckiest Girl Alive "and "Reconstructing Amelia." Featuring a colorful, raucous cast of characters, Caite Dolan-Leach s debut thriller takes readers on a literary scavenger hunt for clues concealed throughout the seemingly idyllic wine country, hidden in plain sight on social media, and buried at the heart of one tremendously dysfunctional, utterly unforgettable family.

9. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

How I found it: I read and loved Ivey's second book, "To the Bright Edge of the World"

From Goodreads: Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart -- he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone -- but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

10. I See You by Clare Mackintosh

How I found it: NetGalley browsing (and I liked the author's first book)

From Goodreads: When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that. Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make? "I See You" is an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning psychological thriller from one of the most exciting and successful British debut talents of 2015.

11. Bleaker House by Nell Stevens

How I found it: BookRiot (the delightful penguin cover totally caught my eye!)

From Goodreads: Twenty-seven-year-old Nell Stevens was determined to write a novel, but somehow life kept getting in the way. Then came an irresistible opportunity: she won a fellowship to spend three months, all expenses paid, anywhere in the world to research and write a book. Did she choose a glittering metropolis, a romantic village, an exotic paradise? Um, no. Nell chose Bleaker Island, a snowy, windswept pile of rock off the Falklands. There, in a guesthouse where she would be the only guest, she imagined she could finally rid herself of distractions and write her 2,500 words a day. In three months, surely she'd have a novel, right?

A whimsical, entertaining, thought-provoking blend of memoir and travelogue, laced with tongue-in-cheek writing advice, Bleaker House brilliantly captures the hopes, fears, self-torture and humour of being young and yearning to make a creative life. With winning honesty and wit, Nell's race to finish her book emerges as a fascinating narrative in its own right. 


  1. I don't think I knew the Mary Oliver book was a book of essays. I must go add this to my TBR. Thank you!


    1. It sounds so wonderfully transportive, too. I'm totally expecting to feel like I'm sitting on a rock by the river in the cover!

  2. I loved the snow child, what an original read.

    Gill x


    1. That's how I felt about Ivey's new book, "To the Bright Edge of the World." It was a great blend of dynamic characters, adventure, Alaskan history and a hint of magical realism.

  3. I kid you not, I just checked out Rook and Just One Damned Thing After Another from my library this past Saturday. I really want to make time to get to them both!

    1. Well that's a crazy coincidence!!! Great minds thing alike, obviously! ;) I'll look forward to your (hopefully postive!) reviews, since I probably won't get to them before the end of the year.

  4. Love, love, loved The Snow Child! Flowers for Algernon brings back so many memories. I think it was one of the first discussion type books I ever had to read in school.

    1. I somehow missed "Flowers for Algernon" in both high school and college... I had a vague recollection of hearing the name before, but I had no idea what it was about until I looked it up last week. It's funny how required reading varies so much school by school!

      Since you enjoyed "The Snow Child," you should check out Ivey's new book. It's one of my favorites this year!

  5. I love that you shared how you found each book. And I just added One Damned Thing After Another to my Goodreads to-read list, thanks to seeing it here. :-)

    1. Doesn't it sound like a fun series?! I couldn't believe I'd never heard of it before.

  6. Flowers for Algernon was made into a movie in the late '60s with Cliff Robertson called Charly. If you enjoy the book (which I had to read in high school, yes I'm that old) then maybe you would like the movie too if you find it.

    I also read and enjoyed The Snow Child. And I See You is on my list also. Enjoy what you read this week!

    1. After looking up "Flowers for Algernon," I got the idea that it's fairly common high school reading, but it definitely wasn't something we read at my school. Thanks for letting me know about the movie -- I love seeing the film versions of books I've read. I recently read "Rebecca" and I'm planning to watch both movies!

  7. I haven't read Flowers for Algernon since high school, but I loved it and remember it fondly. It's a really solid read!

    1. I'm glad to hear that, Gabby! I'm getting the impression that it's a very common required reading book, but not so at my high school apparently! Maybe that's not a terrible thing, though -- sometimes I think some of the books I read in school would've hit home more if I'd had more life experience before reading them.

  8. I'm really behind on The Chronicle's of St. Mary's books, but I'm a big fan of the series. They're so much fun! The Snow Child is also a great read. If you liked Ivey's second book, then I think you'll love it.

    1. The Chronicles of St. Mary's looks like a blast! I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of the series before. I'm really looking forward to "The Snow Child" -- I already love the cover, I'm sure I'll love the writing, and I'm fully expecting to love the plot!

  9. We're on the same wavelength! I just bought House Of Leaves as well... I've also read The Snow Child and it's excellent.


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