Tackling Mount TBR - Summer Edition

Reading is one of my favorite things to do during the hot and lazy days of summer! More daylight hours means more natural light to read by. With so many great books being released lately, it has never been more easy to increase the size of my TBR pile. This summer I'm hoping to put a sizable dent in the mountain of books I've amassed. I'm not imposing any book buying bans on myself (because I know I would fail miserably), but I would like to pay special attention to all the potentially wonderful books currently residing on my shelves. So, without further ado I present:


The Darlings by Cristina Alger - After reading Greg's review over at The New Dork Review of Books, I knew I had to read this one soon. Books set in NYC always hold a special place on my shelves, but add in a wealthy dysfunctional family going through a scandal, and you've hooked me.

The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons - I've heard this one would be great for fans of "Downton Abbey." Many books like to tie themselves to famous works but don't actually have much in common, so we shall see if the comparison is accurate. Based on all the positive reviews, this sounds like a great atmospheric novel to lose myself in. 

When She Awoke by Hillary Jordan - Borrowing from Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Jordan erases the line between church and state in a very powerful and dystopian way. I'm really interested in seeing what kind of reaction I will have while reading about such stigmatization of women. 

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami - Talk about major intimidation! I signed up for Dolce Bellizza's Japanese Literature Challenge as a way to push myself to tackle this Murakami which has been sitting on my shelf for years. 

The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont - Another addition to the TBR pile based on a book blogger recommendation. Ti at Book Chatter says, "The Starboard Sea is a book that reads easy, yet gives you plenty to think about." I also love books that center around prep schools.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton - No summer is complete without throwing in a classic novel. I adore Wharton and consider her the queen of dramatic irony. While there wasn't as rigid a class structure in the US as in other countries at that time, Wharton manages to subtly remind us that they did exist and explores them with such nuanced writing. I have no doubt the this one will not disappoint.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain - The title alone speaks volumes to my introverted heart. Succeeding in today's world often feels like a contest to see who can talk the most and/or the loudest. I'm not saying one way or the other is right, but I'd love to see a little more respect for those of use who are "quiet."

The Submission by Amy Waldman - Another novel centering around a controversial topic. The jacket copy promises a "debate about the claims of grief, the ambiguities of art, and the meaning of Islam." Hopefully this one will be presented in a way that gets me thinking and questioning. I love a good philosophical debate. 

Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee - In an effort to add more non-fiction to my reading  repertoire I've decided to dive into this Pulitzer winner. Cancer has always been mystifying and, in all honesty, quite a scary disease, so I'm hoping to find a little more insight in this "biography." If nothing else I'm sure I'll take away some interesting anecdotes with which to pepper my conversations. 

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer - Armchair travel alert! Hungary, Paris, and Budapest all in one book. I've had my sights set on these cities as vacation destinations for a while, but until I have unlimited funds, I will have to settle for a journey through the written word. Plus, this satisfies my need for a chunkster clocking in at around 750 pages. 

             What one book are you hoping to tackle this summer? 

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. Be sure to check out what others are listing as their must-reads this summer. Who knows what new titles you'll find!


  1. Ahh I loved so many of these!! I loved The Submission, When She Woke, and The Darlings. Quiet was much more dense than I expected but still was very good. Technically I still have like a quarter of Emperor of Maladies left but that one is a great one too. Great choices!

  2. You've got some great titles. I have Quiet on my iPad. It's not on my list today but it is on my reading list for 2012. Kafka on the Shore and the Starboard Sea are two of your titles that I'm going to have to check out. Thanks!

  3. I read and enjoyed Quiet earlier this year. Go introverts! The House of Mirth is on my TBR list, but probably not this summer. And while I love some modern Japanese lit (such as Ishigura), I can't seem to warm to Murakami for some reason (though I haven't read him yet). Have you read any of his work before?

  4. Some of these are tempting me to increase my TBR... The Starboard Sea sounds great, and I've heard such good things about The House at Tyneford.

    This summer I'm going to focus more on my TBR, especially the books that have been on there the longest. Luckily, most of them are ones I'm still really excited about.

  5. I really want to read When She Awoke. I got it as a Christmas present and still haven't gotten to read it!

    Kafka on the Shore is the book that ignited my love for Murakami!

  6. You have some awesome books on your list! I am also keeping my eye out for The Darlings and The House of Tyneford. The House of Mirth is sitting on my eReader, maybe I'll make that another one of my classic reads for the summer, we'll see. And of course best of luck with The Invisible Bridge ;)

    Oh, the only book I did read from your list was Quiet which I thought was encouraging imo (being an introvert myself xD)

  7. You have some good ones planned for summer. I liked Quiet a lot and have several others of those on my own TBR list --happy reading

  8. I read Greg's review of the The Darlings too and it definitely made me want to read it! If you like Prep school books, you may like The "Year of the Gadfly". I read it about a month ago and really liked it. I would like to read Quiet too.

    Have a great summer! Is that pic in the upper left of the post where you will be spending your summer? If so, jealous!

  9. I am listening to Quiet at the moment, and am loving it! Although I appear to be an extrovert, I am actually a secret introvert, so the book is really enlightening to me on several levels. I think you will get a lot out of it. Great summer choices, I must say!

  10. I am pretty sure I heard an interview with the author of Quiet on NPR. The book sounds very fascinating.

  11. I hope you enjoy Kafka on the Shore! It was truly a weird book for me at first, but one that stayed with me for a while. Quite unique!

  12. I love when bloggers post lists like this one. Reading is so much fun and it is great to share what everyone is reading. Thank you for the short reviews of the books and bringing them onto my radar.

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  13. Nice! I loved Quiet!! http://may-theforcebewithyou.blogspot.hk/ I've reviewed it here, feel free to comment/follow !


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