Top 10 Tuesdays: Books I Added to My TBR But Forgot Why

Last summer, I did a whole series of TBR Benchwarmers posts, which were about many of the books that had been on my list for way too long. I’ve had my Goodreads account for about 5 years now, and my list has close to 3700 books on it! It’s no surprise that many of those are books that I can’t remember adding at this point. For this week’s topic, I went back through where I left off with my Benchwarmers series, and started looking through my pages of books and see which ones I had no memory of adding. Many of them are books that I found randomly while browsing Goodreads, and couldn’t remember adding, although once I saw the synopses again, I could usually figure out why.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1) The Book of You by Claire Kendal

24516182I have no memory of this book at all, but I can easily see why I added it to my list. This book is a thriller, that has been compared to Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep. It is about a woman named Clarissa who is afraid of her colleague Rafe, who won’t leave her alone. When Clarissa is selected for jury duty, she is happy to get a break but as she listens to the kidnapping case that she is assigned to, she starts to notice disturbing parallels to her own situation and the story that the witness is telling. I have no idea how I first came across this book, but I would guess it was from browsing for more thrillers. Even back in 2016, I had a habit of searching for thrillers, adding them to my list, and then never reading them. I’m expecting to like this one though because Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep are two of my favourite thrillers, and this one has been compared to both. I suspect one of the reasons I haven’t read this is because I thought it wasn’t available from the library, but I’ve just checked and they have it, so there’s really no excuse.

2) The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe

17987215I also went through a phase of adding a ton of YA realistic fiction to my list, including a bunch of books that I chose based on some buzzwords, even though I knew little about them. I think this book first drew me in because of the cover, and especially once I saw the mention of autism in the synopsis. It is about a 16-year-old girl named Daisy, whose brother has autism and she has always helped out with him. When her parents suddenly announce that they will be sending her brother to an institution, Daisy is angry and decides to rebel by slacking in school, quitting the jazz band and orchestra, and falling for a bad boy. The only person who won’t let her forget who she was is an exchange student Cal, who is also a brilliant musician, and soon finds herself torn between the two boys, as well as trying to figure out what is best for her brother. I work with adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, so I’m always interested in reading books on the topic. I’m especially interested in stories from the perspective of their siblings, since it is still a relatively underrepresented point of view. I know why I added this one to my list, but I’d completely forgotten it was there.

3) All I Love and Know by Judith Frank

18730156I have no memory of this book whatsoever. I have no idea where or how I found it, but it’s been on my list for years now. It is about a couple, Matthew and Daniel, who are living a quiet life together until they learn that Daniel’s twin brother and sister-in-law have been killed in a bombing in Israel. When the decision comes up about who will raise the couple’s two children, both Matthew and Daniel are left questioning themselves and their family. Matthew wonders what his place is in a family that has never completely accepted him or his relationship with Daniel, and Daniel questions how to reconcile the fact that he is Jewish and gay. When the family learns that the deceased couple’s intent was for their children to be raised by Matthew and Daniel, it forces them to redefine themselves and their family. After reading the synopsis again, I’m not surprised that I added this one to my list since it does sound pretty interesting, but I’m also not particularly surprised that I put it off this long either.

4) Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel

16248194I suspect I must have been browsing the recommendations pages for contemporary or family stories, since this one was added to my list around the same time as the previous book, and it’s also one that I’m not sure how else I would have found. This book is about a woman named Georgia, who has moved back to Miami with her husband and toddler, hoping for a fresh start. Her husband’s sleep disorder cost him his job, Georgia’s business has failed, and their three-year-old has become mute. Georgia’s father and stepmother offer them a second chance, including a position studying extreme weather patterns for her husband, Graham, while Georgia takes a job as an errand runner for a man living as a hermit. When Graham leaves for a give-week trip to study Hurricane Alley, the secret behind their son’s mutism seems to be revealed, but Georgia is faced with the realization that her choices may have put her son in danger. To be honest, it took me a couple of tries to really understand what this book was about, which is probably why I’ve been putting it off so long. The title and cover also don’t really give much indication of what it’s about, so I’m not surprised that I’d forgotten about it.

5) The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman

18623494I think of all the books here, this is the one that I remember best, although it’s still been on my TBR for four years without me ever thinking to pick it up. This book is about a woman named Rachel, who seemed to have a perfect life with her husband Max and their daughter Ellie, until the day Rachel dies unexpectedly. Rachel finds herself caught in some kind of limbo, where she can’t let go of her family and watches as they begin to move forward with their lives without her. When Max is eventually persuaded to start dating again, Rachel starts to grieve for the life she’s lost. I added this one to my TBR because it seemed like such an interesting premise, and it reminds me a tiny bit of The Lovely Bones, at least in terms of the idea of the person who died being able to watch their family. I’ve seen some pretty mixed reviews for this one, but it’s definitely one that I’d love to give a chance at some point because it seems like such a different spin on the typical contemporary story.

6) You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

25679559This was another book that I added in a slew of YA realistic fiction books, and then forgot about. This one is about a girl named Jaycee, whose brother has passed away. On the anniversary of his death, she decides to break into one of his favourite places, the ruins of an asylum, along with four of her classmates. While there, she discovers her brother’s map and a list of unfinished dares that he left behind, and decides to complete the list as a tribute to him along with her eccentric group of friends. I’m not surprised that I added this one to my list since it sounds like an interesting plot, but also not surprised that I’d forgotten about it. I have a ton of YA books dealing with grief and loss of a sibling on my TBR, to the point where I burnt myself out a bit on reading that kind of storyline. It does sound like this one has an interesting setting and I’d still be willing to give it a chance at some point, but I’m not that surprised it’s sat on my list for 4 years already unread.

7) The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

21469095This is probably the other book here that I remember best, mostly because I saw it again not too long ago on Book Outlet. This book is about a teenage girl named Ella, who has always lived in her twin sister Maddy’s shadow, but has chosen to focus on her art instead of competing for attention. After a heated argument, the sisters get into an accident, and only Ella survives. However, when she wakes up in the hospital, she is surrounded by people who assume she is Maddy, and Ella decides to go along with it, and soon learns that her sister’s life was full of secrets. I think of all the books here, this is also the one that I’m most likely to pick up first. I always forget about it, but every time I see the synopsis, it sounds so good! It reminds me a bit of a YA verison of Beside Myself, which I read a couple of years ago and absolutely loved. Like a lot of YA books, this one has also received very mixed reviews, which may be why I haven’t picked it up yet, but it does sound very interesting.

8) The Word for Yes by Claire Needell

25613939. sy475 The only thing I could remember about this book is that it had one of the lowest average ratings on my TBR! In fact, I only have 4 books currently on my TBR that are already published that have a lower rating overall. This book is about siblings, Jan, Erika and Melanie, whose parents have divorced, and the sisters have a strained relationship with each other. When Melanie is sexually assaulted at a party, the sisters all have to deal with the aftermath. I’ve seen a wide variety of criticisms of this one, including everything from the author trying to take on too much in the span of such a short book, to the characters being one-dimensional and unlikeable. I’ve left it on my TBR anyway because the plot did sound like it had potential, but it does put me off a bit to see so many negative reviews. I don’t generally let the reviews sway me, but when the majority are bringing up the same concerns, it’s a bit harder to put them aside. I’m still mildly interested in trying this one, but I doubt I’ll be getting to it any time soon.

9) God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

248103I’m pretty sure I added this one to my list mostly because the title was interesting, because I can’t remember anything else about it. It is about a woman named Trixie who replies to a personal ad that is asking for “a friend for the end of the world,” which connects her with Jacob, free-spirited writer. Together, the two of them try to come to terms with the fact that both of their fathers have left them, in different ways. Even after reading the synopsis again, I’m still not too sure what it was about the book that interested me, and I’m not surprised that I’d forgotten about it. The Goodreads synopsis seems pretty vague, but it somehow has received very good reviews, with an average rating over 4 stars. I can’t really see myself picking this one up yet, but I’m intrigued enough to at least leave it sitting on my TBR. It’s another book where I can’t even remember where I found it, but I would assume by browsing Goodreads recommendations at the time.

10) The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

25639296I vaguely remember adding this one to my list, but I’m not that surprised I forgot about it since I tend to gravitate toward adult thrillers more than YA thrillers. It is about two friends, Tessa and Callie, who both were witnesses to a murder when they were only 7 years old, and were responsible for sending a man to death row for the crime. Although they were friends, the girls never talked to each other about what they saw. Ten years later, Tessa is returning to their town for the first time to say goodbye to her father, who is dying, and Callie, who has been stuck there all along escapes the past by drinking and partying. Soon after Tessa returns, another body is found that seems to fit the serial killer’s pattern, causing her to question whether the killer could still be out there, and she decides that she needs to find out what Callie saw. After looking at the synopsis again, I can easily see why I added this one to my TBR since it is a storyline that I always tend to find intriguing, although I don’t think I’ve read it as a YA thriller before. I’m also not surprised that I forgot about it because I have so many other similar books, so this one kind of got lost in the shuffle.


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