Top (Thirteen) Tuesday: Spring Reading

Every Tuesday, The Broke and the Bookish hosts a top ten linkup, and this week’s is “Top Ten Books On Your Spring TBR List.”

But rules are hard, so mine has 13.



 Lena Dunham >>> I’m reading this because it’s trendy. No shame.

DAMAGED GOODS Dianna F Anderson >>> I follow @diannaeanderson on Twitter and am looking forward to her take on Christian purity culture.

BLOG, INC. Joy Deangdeelert Cho >>> I’ve practically done no real research into how to blog properly, or better, or profitably, so it may be time to actually read this book that’s been gracing my shelves for some six months now.

SEARCHING FOR SUNDAY Rachel Held Evans >>> I would give this a shot regardless, but the copy for Held Evans new book sounds super good and, for me, timely as I’m meandering through the process of figuring out and finding church (like pretty much all of my millenials peers who didn’t jump straight from Moody to ministry.)

ALMOST FAMOUS WOMEN Megan Mayhew Bergman >>> It just sounds fantastic.


 Sarah Addison Allen >>> I’m still one behind with Allen (haven’t yet read Lost Lake), but First Frost is a sequel to (the lovely) Garden Spells, so it’ll lure me in first.

TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE Jenny Han >>> I’ve seen this YA novel given thumbs up by enough bloggers to put it on my Overdrive holds. (And then suspend that hold indefinitely because, ehmm, I’m way behind on reading my Overdrive books.)

I CAPTURE THE CASTLE Dodie Smith >>> Apparently this is basically a classic, and also YA, which sounds like a nice gateway drug for me to get into some classics later this year.

MISTBORN Brandon Sanderson >>> Isaac’s been reading these and really liking them, so I thought I’d give them a shot. I doubt I can catch up before he gets around to starting the fourth book, but I can always use a good fantasy series in my life.

GLITTERING IMAGES Susan Howatch >>> This is another book where I don’t know much about it, but it’s well recommended enough that I got it from paperback swap a couple of months ago and it’s been waiting for me ever since.

STONE MATTRESS Margaret Atwood >>> I need to read more Atwood, and her newest short story collection has gotten a few rave reviews from bloggers I trust.


 Sara Gruen >>> Loved Water for Elephants, and looking forward to trying another Sara Gruen.

HAUSFRAU Jill Alexander Essbaum >>> I’m still newly thrilled that ARCs are a thing I can do. I requested this mostly because it popped up on the Goodreads New Releases in my genres page for March, and, well, it was gorgeous. I think I read the marketing copy too. Maybe.

Happy Spring Reading!

Books, books, books: July

Oh hey, book talk time. So if you don’t really like reading about the books other people are reading… then I’m not sure why you’re here anyways. Books, guys. Like the lifeblood of my soul.

Errr. And on that note, here’s some short and sweet (or long and rambly) reviews of a few of the books I read during July. Hint: they were mostly pretty awesome.


The Girl You Left Behind  
Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes stole my beating and reading heart with Me Without You. On my second of her books, she didn’t fail me one bit, with a story of two young women and a painting that connects them. The Girl You Left Behind begins with several chapters with a young woman named Sophie Lefevre trying to maintain the family’s hotel and tavern in WWI German-occupied France while her husband fights for their country.

But when we get to the biggest cliffhanger of Sophie’s story, it ends for the time being, and the main plot begins. (I had to put the book down at this point and pick up the next chapter after a night of sleep. The transition feels odd at the time, even if it makes sense later on.) Liv’s story takes place in the present and unravels the mystery of a long missing portrait of Sophie, painted by her husband, Edouard Lefevre—as well as unraveling Liv’s own life.

Conclusion: loved it, will read more Moyes.

Farewell, Four Waters  Kate Mccord
Categorizing this “fiction” isn’t entirely accurate. Farewell, Four Waters is a fictionalized account of the author’s time as a aid worker in Afghanistan.

I was able to read this a little early (it comes out in October) so I won’t give much away. I particularly loved how much I learned here: about aid work, about Afghanistan, about being an expat of any sort in an unfamiliar, and sometimes unfriendly, culture.

It was enjoyable fiction, but I think I valued how much I learned about a foreign culture just as much as, if not more than, the entertainment value.



Floating City 
 Sudhir Venkatesh

Just let me tell you, this book took me entirely too long to finish. I went long spans of days ignoring it on my kindle, and finished plenty of other books while doing that ignoring.

But here’s the funny thing: I also really enjoyed it. It was just the sort of thing that I really enjoyed a few pages at a time. In a funny way, I think I also kept forgetting that I would enjoy reading it—despite the memoir tone, the amount I was learning about underground culture made it feel like it should be too educational to be all that enjoyable!

Venkatesh recounts several years of his work as a sociologist at Columbia University, from when he first arrived and was struggling to gain trust in the circles he was researching, to years while tenured with a vast network of contacts in the underground markets of NYC. Very interesting, very informative, and very enjoyable.


Garlic and Sapphires Ruth Reichl

I wish I could pronounce “Reichl,” because I would be talking about this memoir so much more. Ruth Reichl’s stories of her time as the chief food critic at the New York Times in the late 20th century are brilliant. I love her writing, her sense of humor, and her storytelling style.

I basically know so much more now about food and restaurant culture and lots of things about fancy eating that I will very likely never actually need to know.

And I was also reminded on about every single page how much of a picky eater I am. Really, really picky. It’s an awful thing. But this book? This book is a great thing.


The Tent Margaret Atwood

This is my second experience with Atwood. I am STILL enamored by her The Handmaid’s Tale (and still equally tempted to go back and reread or to shove it into the hands of any willing reader friend) and have since picked up more Atwood for my TBR list.

The Tent is dozens of short pieces, ranging anywhere from two to seven pages. Some read like poems, others like essays, and still others almost like short stories. I read these over several months, so the reading experience was fragmented, but I overall enjoyed them each time. I’d love to go back eventually and reread some or all, because I feel like these pieces are the kind that just get better the second time around.


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