I think I just need to accept at this point that my TBR is only going to keep expanding every month. This month, I only (?) 64 books added to my TBR, so I would say that’s still pretty under control. A few of those books are 2019 releases that I saw Goodreads friends adding to their lists already, and I wanted to add them to mine so I don’t forget about them by the time they come out. Many of the books I added are also ones that I heard about through the vloggers I watch, and are probably books I never would have heard of otherwise. I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to get my TBR down to a reasonable number, since I don’t plan to stop adding anything new. Sometimes I’ve heard about an upcoming book so far in advance, that by the time it actually does come out, I think it’s been out for a long time already. I’ve found it most helpful to keep my TBR pretty full so I have all the books I want to read in one place, and it’s fun sometimes to just skim through it.
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week. It is hosted by TyngaReviewsand ReadingReality.
1) Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky
I added this one to my list shortly after making my Stacking the Shelves post last month, because I saw a vlogger mention it in their video. I actually can’t remember whose channel I was watching at the time, but the book sounded so interesting! Mammoth is about a plus-sized girl and fashion blogger named Natalie Page who gets an internship to go to an Ice Age dig site, working with her hero who hosts a popular paleontology podcast. Unfortunately, her hero turns out to be completely unlike what she expected, and Natalie needs to learn to stand up for herself in a male-dominated field. Honestly, I’m mostly interested in this one because I love archaeology and paleontology. I find it so fascinating, and I have never seen a book with a character who has these interests before. I’m not entirely sure how the fashion blogging comes into play, but I’m interested to see how that works.
2) Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley
I seem to have developed a really irritating habit of assuming that certain books are graphic novels when they are not. I’m pretty sure I also saw this book on a vlog channel, and thought it looked like a fun graphic novel….only to discover that is isn’t a graphic novel at all. This book is the first in a series about a girl named Charlotte Usher who wants to become popular at school, in spite of the fact that she is now a ghost. Stories about people trying to become popular don’t usually appeal to me that much, but this one just seemed so different. I thought it was cool to have it told from the perspective of a ghost, and I’m curious to see how a ghost can even become popular. I naturally assumed that other people in the school wouldn’t be able to see her, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It does seem to skew a little bit younger than I’m normally interested in reading, but it also seems fun, so I’m willing to give it a chance.
3) The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong, translated by Chi-Young Kim
I discovered this book pretty randomly on Goodreads, but it sounded very interesting. This book is a psychological thriller, by an author who is tagged as “Korea’s Stephen King.” To be honest, that has me a tiny bit worried since I haven’t been a huge fan of either of the stephen King books that I’ve read, but that’s more to do with the writing than the stories themselves. His plots interest me, but I wasn’t a fan of the writing style. This book is about a 26-year-old boy named Yu-jin who wakes up to a phone call from his brother, asking if everything is okay at home since he had missed a call from their mother the previous night. Yu-jin then finds his mother dead at the bottom of the stairs, and can’t remember what happened the night before due to memory problems associated with his lifelong history of seizures. I love a good psychological thriller, and I have definitely never read one set in Korea before.
4) Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer
Again, I assumed this was a graphic novel and it isn’t! This book is about a guy named Martin Banks who discovers that reality is just a computer program, and he can change things by modifying the file. When the changes he makes are noticed, he decides to go back to Medieval times and pose as a wizard, where his “powers” will seem more believable. It sounds like it could be a pretty fun book to read, and the premise is definitely interesting. I’m a little worried about this one because most of the reviews I’ve seen tend to agree that although the idea is interesting, the execution isn’t the best. The last book I read that was anywhere close to this kind of storyline was A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, which I struggled to get through, so I’m hoping this one will be at least a little more fun to read.
5) Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman
Finally one that actually is a graphic novel! I haven’t read any of Alice Oseman’s books yet, although I’ve always heard great reviews for them. This book is a bind-up of the first two chapters of Alice Oseman’s ongoing webcomic about two boys who meet at a British all-boys school. Charlie is openly gay and dating a boy who wants to keep their relationship a secret, and Nick is a rugby player who is a year older, and has heard about Charlie as “the gay kid who was bullied” but has never spoken to him. This sounds absolutely adorable, and I’ve been wanting to branch out and read more graphic novels (hence the tendency to mix up books and think they are graphic novels, possibly?). I have seen nothing but rave reviews for this one so far, and I’m looking forward to giving it a chance. I guess in theory I could just go online and read it as a webcomic, but I wouldn’t mind waiting to see it in book form.
6) The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
I first heard of Holly Black this year because of all the hype around The Cruel Prince. which I also have on my TBR. This one attracted my attention because of the first few lines of the Goodreads synopsis, where are “Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves.” The book is about a girl named Hazel and her brother Ben who live in Fairfold, a town where humans and fae both live. Hazel knows that the faeries can be dangerous and once knew how to stop them. There is also a boy who has slept in a glass coffin for generations, whom Hazel and Ben were both in love with when they were children. I’m not entirely sure what the plot of this book will be, but it sounds a lot like a fairy tale-ish kind of story, and I always tend to love those! In any case, it’s starting to seem like Holly Black is an author I should try. I’ve only just realized that she was a co-author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, which I’d heard about for years but never picked up. She seems like one of those authors that I should have read a long time ago, and somehow missed out on.
7) Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
This is another book I discovered through watching vloggers talking about books they’d hauled, and I was immediately drawn in by the cover art. This book is about two children, Ben and Rose, who are go on quests to find something they are missing, and who exist 50 years apart. Ben is looking for the father he has never known, and Rose is trying to find a mysterious actress. Ben’s story is told through words, and Rose’s is told through pictures, and eventually the two stories converge. I’m interested in this one because I want to see how the author can bring the two stories together smoothly when they are told in completely different formats. It is quite a lengthy book at over 600 pages, but from what I’ve seen in other reviews, the majority of it is Rose’s pictures so it still moves pretty quickly. I’m very interested in this one because it seems like such a unique style.
8) All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
Emily Giffin is one of those authors who I’ve always had a mild interest in reading, but never actually picked up any of her books. I saw the movie version of Something Borrowed, without realizing that it was one of her books, and I have several others on my TBR. All We Ever Wanted is her most recent release, which I saw in my local newspaper which gave it a great review. The book is about a photo that is taken of a teenage girl who is drunk at a party, which is goes viral. It is told from the perspectives of the girl, her father, and the mother of the teenage boy who took the picture in the first place. Both parents are trying to protect their children, and Lyla, the teenage girl, just wants to put the whole incident behind her. Of all the Emily Giffin books I have on my TBR, this is the one that I think I’m likely to read first. It sounds like a very timely and relevant story, and I’m always a bit of a sucker for anything that is social media-focused.
9) The Grave Keepers by Elizabeth Byrne
I think I’d seen this book around for a few months now, but finally decided to add it to my TBR after looking at the synopsis for the first time. This book is about a girl named Athena Windham whose parents own a cemetery in New York, where people can sit in their own grave while they are alive, and it is treated as your own personal space to be decorated as you like. Athena and her sister live very secluded lives after their older sister died in an accident, and their parents became very overprotective. I’m not entirely sure what the plot of this story is, but the synopsis also mentions a ghost that is hanging around the cemetery and wants to keep the sisters nearby. It sounds like a creepy kind of story that sounds incredibly intriguing. The book only came out last September, so there aren’t too many reviews for it yet, but I think it is definitely worth a try.
10) Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter
I recently picked up a copy of Burying The Honeysuckle Girls by the same author at a library book sale, after having it on my TBR for several years. I’m not even sure I realized this was by the same author when I added it to my list. This book is about a woman named Daphne whose fiance, Heath, is experiencing escalating nightmares that strain their relationship. Heath insists that the two of them go on a week-long couples retreat with a psychologist who specializes in repressed memories. They arrive, only to find out that the retreat has some very unusual rules, including constant monitoring with hidden cameras, no contact with other guests, and giving up their house keys and cellphones. The whole repressed memory concept alone was intriguing enough, but adding the extra layer of this weird couples retreat makes it that much more interesting to me. It also helps that it has a very interesting cover design. I’m starting to realize that cover art in general interests me more than I thought — it doesn’t completely determine whether I want to read the book, but it certainly helps catch my attention.
11) A Flicker in the Clarity by Amy McNamara
I actually can’t remember where I discovered this one, but the synopsis sounded too intriguing to pass up. It is about two girls, Evie and Emma, who are best friends, until Evie makes a mistake, causing Emma to ignore her and replace her with a new best friend. Evie eventually decides to move on and meets a boy named Theo, but just as she is about to let go of the past, Emma comes back and seems willing to let her back in — if Evie is willing to jump through all the hoops first, putting up with all kinds of strange behaviour from Emma. I thought this one was interesting because of the whole friendship dynamic, and I’m very curious to see what Evie possibly could have done that upset her friend so badly. This book only came out in June of this year, so it does not seem very well-known yet. It definitely sounds like an interesting story.
12) Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
This is yet another example of a book that I assumed was a graphic novel, but it isn’t either. It is a middle grade book, which is definitely outside my comfort zone, but it seems like it might be fun to try. The book is about a girl named Melly who joins the school band because her best friend begs her too, and she discovers that she loves playing the drums. Melly ends up going to summer camp, where she is faced with some big life changes — including developing feelings for a girl named Adeline. I very rarely read middle grade books because I am more than an decade outside of the target age group, but I liked the idea of an LGBT plot in a middle grade story. I’m not even sure why I assumed this one would be a graphic novel, but I would guess it is because of the cover artwork. This book isn’t exactly at the top of my priority list, but it sounds like something I might enjoy reading anyway.
13) Digging In and All the Good Parts by Loretta Nyhan
I was really on the fence about adding Digging In to my TBR because I have no interest at all in gardening or reading about gardening. It is about a woman named Paige who is having trouble coping with the death of the man she loved. She begins to dig in her yard one day, and decides to make her yard into a vegetable garden, which for some reason alarms the others in her small gated community. I saw this book on a list of upcoming releases for the year, and for some reason I kept coming back to it even though I initially wrote it off completely because of the gardening focus. I added All the Good Parts to my list that same day, and I can’t remember if I knew at the time that they were by the same author. All the Good Parts is about a woman named Leona who finds out that if she wants to have children, she doesn’t have much time left but she doesn’t have any good prospects for a potential father. She has to decide whether she wants to be a mother at all, and if so, which of the men in her life is the most suitable partner. It appealed to me because it was a little bit different from anything else I’ve read, and it seems like an interesting story.
14) The Humans by Matt Haig
This is another book that is a bit outside my comfort zone, but it seems like a very creative story. I first heard about it on one of the vlog channels I was watching (I believe it was Books with Emily Fox). This book is about a man named Professor Andrew Martin, whose dead body is taken over by an alien who is sent to Earth to destroy one of Professor Martin’s projects. The alien soon starts to learn about humans in general, and about Professor Martin’s life specifically, and starts to grow attached to his wife and son, forcing him to choose between completing his mission and going home, or staying on Earth with them. Aliens are definitely not something I normally read about, so this book is immediately a little different from what would usually appeal to me. I absolutely love the concept of the alien trying to fit in to the life of the person he took over, and seeing humans from the perspective of other beings is always a lot of fun. It definitely seems like a great way to branch out a bit and try something new.
15) Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
I added this book to my list because I read and absolutely adored Autoboyography, and soon discovered that this was the latest book by this pair of authors. It does bother me a bit (irrationally, I guess) that it is two authors writing under one joint name — why not just put both names? In any case, this book is about two best friends, Josh and Hazel, who decide to start setting each other up with other people and going on double dates. I’m sure this one will be on the predictable side, but it also sounds like it will be a lot of fun to read. It is the kind of book that I would need to be in the right mood to pick up, but one that I might also really love. I have a few other Christina Lauren books on TBR, although I’m not very interested in the Beautiful Bastard series, and I’m on the fence about Dating You/Hating You, but mostly because I think the title is annoying. If anyone has read these books, please let me know what you think and if they are worth a try!
16) The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti
This is another book that originally caught my attention because of the very interesting cover artwork. This book is about a town where a thousand dead birds fall onto a high school baseball field, which starts off a horrible chain of events. One of the reporters investigating the fallen birds catches baseball coach Nate Winters hugging a student, Lucia, in front of a motel and the student quickly claims that she is having an affair with the married man. Shortly after her claims, Lucia disappears and it is down to her teacher Bridget Harris to try to figure out the truth about what happened to her, and about her relationship with Nate. I generally love this kind of mystery/thriller, so this is right up my alley. I’ve had Kate Moretti’s The Vanishing Year on my TBR since it came out in 2016, and also recently added her 2018 release In Her Bones as well. With three books of hers that interest me, I think it’s about time that I give at least one of them a try!
17) Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir and Lucky Penny by Ananth Hirsh
Finally, two actual graphic novels on this list, which I discovered while browsing specifically for more graphic novels since it is a style I would like to read a little more often. Archival Quality is about a woman named Celeste who starts to work as an archivist at a museum after losing her job at the library, and begins to dream of a mysterious woman who asks for her help. Lucky Penny is about a woman named Penny who is going through a period of very bad luck, and is trying to find her way to becoming a “real” adult. Of the two, I am definitely more interested in Archival Quality, but both look like they will be fun to read. In general, I have read very few graphic novels over the years and I was actually actively against reading them for a long time because I just didn’t think I’d be a fan of the style. Luckily, after reading some really great ones I’ve become a lot more open to them in general, and would love to try more.
18) Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk
This is another one that is actually a graphic novel, but it is also a middle grade book so it is a bit outside my comfort zone. It is about a girl named Danielle who is moving on to middle school, and inherits a magical sketchbook that brings the ideal best friend she draws to life, along with her favourite cartoon villain who also comes to life and offers her very bad advice. Danielle needs to figure out how to manage her friendship with Madison, the best friend she created, while also keeping the villain under control, all while dealing with the day-to-day life of being a middle school student. Once again, this is not necessarily the kind of book I would usually pick up, but it sounded like so much fun to read. For some reason, it reminded me a bit of Anya’s Ghost, which I loved, because both deal with a student who has an unusual friend who tries to “help” them make friends. It looks like it will be a quick and fun book to try.
19) For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
This is due to be this author’s second book within the year, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if it ends up getting pushed back a bit since it is due out in December. This book is about a couple named Natalie and Will, whose young son says he was a victim of the school principal, who has been accused of molesting another student. To protect her son from having to go to trial, Natalie comes up with an elaborate murder plot and enlists her husband to help her. I have read quite a few thrillers, but I don’t think I’ve ever read one where the main characters try to take justice into their own hands like this. To be honest, I added this to my TBR before reading through the synopsis thoroughly, so I thought it was just a Jodi Picoult-type story about the accusations against the principal. Having that extra element of the parents seeking justice on their own just makes me want to read it that much more.
20) The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl
I added this one to my list along with For Better and Worse, after browsing a list of upcoming thrillers. This one just came out in May, and it is about a woman named Cecilia who ends up giving a ride home to a little boy whose parents forgot to pick him up from the swimming pool. When they get to his house, she finds that it is completely abandoned and has no choice but to bring the boy home with her, triggering memories from her past and disrupting the life she has created for herself with her husband and two children of her own. This is another one that initially intrigued me because of the cover, and I also liked that it was set in Norway since that was a little different. It sounds like a very interesting story, and exactly the kind of thriller that I usually really enjoy. The reviews I’ve seen for this book so far have been fairly mixed — most have mentioned that the characters are unlikable and there are some plot elements that are completely unrealistic, but I’m willing to give it a fair chance anyway.
21) Carnivalesque by Neil Jordan
I added this book to my list just a couple of days ago after seeing it mentioned by a vlogger, and the concept sounded so intriguing. It is about a boy named Andy who visits a carnival with his parents. While visiting the House of Mirrors, he walks right into the mirror, and then sees another boy who looks exactly like him leave with his parents. Andy is then pulled into a new and strange world, where he takes on a new identity and learns to become a part of this carnival world. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a good look at the Goodreads page when I added this one, and since then I’ve discovered that is has an extremely low average rating, with only 2.71 stars overall, although this is based on under 150 reviews. I still find the concept pretty interesting, but I’m a bit on the fence about whether this one will end up remaining on my TBR. If anyone has tried this one and has any feedback about it, please let me know!
22) Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
I added this book to my list just yesterday after finding it on a list of upcoming YA books for this year. This book is about a Native American teenager named Louise who breaks up with her boyfriend after he makes fun of Native people in front o her. When she is paired with the school newspaper’s new photojournalist to cover the school’s controversial production of The Wizard of Oz, featuring a more diverse and inclusive cast, Louise has to deal with the tensions and prejudices of others in her town. The last book I read that had a Native American protagonist was The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which I honestly didn’t like very much. I thought it was great to see another upcoming YA book with a Native American protagonist, since they are definitely underrepresented, and the storyline in general sounded very interesting. This book is not out until October of this year so I doubt I will read it before the year is over, but it is definitely one that I want to keep in mind for later.