Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Nine Novels I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why

Are you the person who told me about one of these novels? Have you read any of these? Please remind me of why I should read these novels.  Or not.

No One is Here Except All of Us: A Novel 
by Ramona Ausubel

In 1939, the families in a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world: deny any relationship with the known and start over from scratch. Destiny is unwritten. Time and history are forgotten. Jobs, husbands, a child, are reassigned. And for years, there is boundless hope. But the real world continues to unfold alongside the imagined one, eventually overtaking it.

All I Have in This World: A Novel by Michael Parker

Two strangers meet over the hood of a used car in Texas: Marcus, who is fleeing both his financial and personal failures; and Maria, who after years of dodging her mistakes has returned to her hometown to make amends. One looking forward, the other looking back, they face off over the car they both want and think they need: a low-slung sky-blue 1984 Buick Electra. The car, too, has seen its share of failures. After knowing each other for less than an hour, Marcus and Maria decide to buy the Buick together. As this surprising novel follows the rocky paths of the Electra and its owners--both past and present--these two strangers form an unexpected and ultimately resilient alliance.

In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

Set in England, this is a novel about a successful career woman in her forties who renounces the world to enter Brede monastery, a cloistered order of English Benedictine nuns and what happens to her thereafter.

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses) by Terri-Lynn Defino

A whimsical, moving novel about a retirement home for literary legends who spar, conjure up new stories, and almost magically change the lives of the people around them. 

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

In the summer of 1984, twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace of Huntsville, Alabama, visits her father in Harlem, where her fascination with outer space and science fiction interfere with her finding acceptance.

Cilka's Journey: A Novel by Heather Morris

Her beauty saved her — and condemned her. Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1942, where the commandant immediately notices how beautiful she is. Forcibly separated from the other women prisoners, Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly taken, equals survival. When the war is over and the camp is liberated, freedom is not granted to Cilka: She is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a Siberian prison camp. But did she really have a choice? And where do the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when she was still a child? In Siberia, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she meets a kind female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing and begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions. Confronting death and terror daily, Cilka discovers a strength she never knew she had. And when she begins to tentatively form bonds and relationships in this harsh, new reality, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love. From child to woman, from woman to healer, Cilka's journey illuminates the resilience of the human spirit—and the will we have to survive.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson

Cussy Mary Carter is the last of her kind, her skin the color of a blue damselfly in these dusty hills. But that doesn't mean she's got nothing to offer. As a member of the Pack Horse Library Project, Cussy delivers books to the hill folk of Troublesome, hoping to spread learning in these desperate times. But not everyone is so keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and the hardscrabble Kentuckians are quick to blame a Blue for any trouble in their small town. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's determination to bring a little bit of hope to the darkly hollers.

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngston

A professor in Denmark and a grandmother in England begin a correspondence, and a friendship, that develops into something extraordinary.

Rules for Visiting: A Novel by Jessica Francis Kane

At forty, May Attaway is more at home with plants than people. Over the years, she's turned inward, finding pleasure in language, her work as a gardener, and keeping her neighbors at arm's length while keenly observing them. But when she is unexpectedly granted some leave from her job, May is inspired to reconnect with four once close friends. She knows they will never have a proper reunion, so she goes, one-by-one, to each of them. A student of the classics, May considers her journey a female Odyssey. What might the world have had if, instead of waiting, Penelope had set out on an adventure of her own? Rules For Visiting is a woman's exploration of friendship in the digital age. Deeply alert to the nobility and the ridiculousness of ordinary people, May savors the pleasures along the way--afternoon ice cream with a long-lost friend, surprise postcards from an unexpected crush, and a moving encounter with ancient beauty. Though she gets a taste of viral online fame, May chooses to bypass her friends' perfectly cultivated online lives to instead meet them in their messy analog ones. Ultimately, May learns that a best friend is someone who knows your story--and she inspires us all to master the art of visiting.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about any of these.

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. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


  1. The same thing happens to me -- I forget to write down where the recommendation came from, and then I wonder why I put a book on my wish list. Mine are mostly from book reviews, but it's hard to go back and find them.

    I'm afraid all your mystery titles are just as mysterious to me as to you.

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  2. Those are all new to me ones. I hope you still get to read them eventually!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  3. I've read two of these:
    The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek was a real slog for me. The subject was interesting, the story was good, but the writing was uneven.
    Meet Me at the Museum is an epistolary novel, a form I particularly like, and I really enjoyed it.

    My library has just re-opened for curbside pickup only. I just picked up two books I put on hold months ago. I was happy to get Julian Barnes' Man in the Red Coat but I drew a complete blank when I saw Sharks in the Time of Saviors. Huh? What's this?

  4. Oh my, so many of these sound great. Rules for Visiting reminds me of 84 Charring Cross Road. I love reading about monastery life and the Bar Harbor Retirement Home one sounds delightful as well.

  5. Great list! I've heard really good things about The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.

  6. Rumer Godden is an author I've read and liked very much. Her books are so varied and so interesting.

  7. I have seen quite a few TTT posts today and mostly, I wouldn't read those books either. LOL.

    But you have quite a few interesting among them (as am sure do I). I haven't read any of them but I would love to explore:
    No One is Here Except All of Us
    Cilka's Journey
    Meet Me at the Museum.
    They all sound like books I would enjoy.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

  8. My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich sounds like a fun summer read. I've added it to my TBR.

    Thanks for stopping by my post this morning!

  9. I know there’s some controversy surrounding Cilka’s Journey but I thought it was an incredibly powerful story.

  10. I need to read Rules For Visiting

  11. I haven't heard of these so I'm no help! lol. I think this is a great way to clean our TBR's a bit! :)

  12. I do that all the time too. I haven't read any of these, but I want to read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. I read The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes which is based on the same events.

  13. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who does this. I sometimes look at my reading queue on Kindle and wonder, "Where did this book come from? Why did I add it?" The only one of your lot that I have read is the one by Rumer Godden. It was so many years ago that I only vaguely remember it, but I do seem to remember it as being a pleasurable read.

  14. Bar Harbor was kind of fun. A good premise. It was rather unremarkable but still pleasant if that makes any sense.

  15. I LOVED/likeed 4 of those and reviewed them-- Bar Harbor, Meet Me at the Museum, Bookwoman, and House of Brede. Except Bar Harbor, I loved them. Bar Harbor was "good".

  16. I wish I was better at writing down recommendations and where they came from. If I don't immediately read them, I forget.

  17. The Book Women of Troublesome Creek is supposed to be a really good novel based on real life. It's about the Kentucky Librarians. A definite read.

  18. The cover and title of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek would get me interested before even reading what it's about. I'm a sucker for titles with the words book and/or library in them.

  19. Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane seems like a charming, fun story!

    My TTT list!

  20. I have a few of these on my mental TBR list. Haven't gotten as far as actually buying them!

  21. they are all new to me but my life as an ice cream sandwich sounds like a hoot
    sherry @ fundinmental

  22. I started the Book Woman of Troublesome Creek as an audiobook, but became disinterested and quit it. I did finish Meet Me at the Museum, and I'm almost sure the copy I read came from your "hand-me-downs." You. might have had two copies! LOL

  23. I haven't read any of these, but I've heard that Meet Me at the Museum is wonderful!

  24. I read and enjoyed both The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and Cilka's Journey.


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