I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess. I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it. I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.
Here is how it works:
- Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
- Read the synopses of the books
Decide: keep it or should it go?
The Bay At Midnight by Diane Chamberlain
Her family’s cottage on the New Jersey shore was a place of freedom and innocence for Julie Bauer — until tragedy struck when her seventeen-year-old sister, Isabel, was murdered.
It’s been more than forty years since that August night, but Julie’s memories of her sister’s death still color her world, causing turmoil in her relationships with her teenage daughter, Shannon, and her mother, Maria.
Now an unexpected letter from someone in her past raises questions about what really happened that night. Questions about Julie’s own complicity, about a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. Questions about the person who went to prison for Izzy’s murder — and about the man who didn’t.
Now Julie must harness the courage to revisit her past and untangle the shattering emotions that led to one unspeakable act of violence on the bay at midnight.
My Thoughts: Ok, this sounds really good. It’s hard cuz it’s probably not something I will seek out, but the story sounds engrossing and exciting… VERDICT: KEEP
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Paris, July 1942: Ten-year-old Sarah is brutally arrested with her family in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, the most notorious act of French collaboration with the Nazis. but before the police come to take them, Sarah locks her younger brother, Michel, in their favorite hiding place, a cupboard in the family’s apartment. She keeps the key, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.
Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s sixtieth anniversary, Julia Jarmond, an American journalist, is asked by her Paris-based American magazine to write an article about this black day in France’s past. Julia has lived in Paris for nearly twenty-five years, married a Frenchman, and she is shocked both by her ignorance about the event and the silence that still surrounds it. In the course of her investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connects her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl’s ordeal, from the terrible days spent shut in at the Vel’ d’Hiv’ to the camps and beyond. As she probes into Sarah’s past, she begins to question her own place in France and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.
Writing about the fate of her country with a pitiless clarity, Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and denial surrounding this painful episode in French history.
My Thoughts: I don’t normally like to read World War II novels because they just make me sad. I always end up liking them because the stories are usually great, but I just know they are going to emotionally wreck me and make me feel sick. I’ve been told this book is amazing though, and I’m pretty sure my mom has a copy and once I run out of books here during the quarantine…. VERDICT: KEEP
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
Three female friends face midlife crises in a no-holds-barred exploration of sex, marriage, and the fragility of life.
Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Will it bring the fulfillment she is searching for?
Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for – a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband?
Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges – a gay, rebellious teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts.
As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.
Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner. Hopkins’s gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse perfectly captures the inner lives of her characters.
Sometimes it happens like that. Sometimes you just get lost. Get lost in the world of Triangles, where the lives of three unforgettable women intersect, and where there are no easy answers.
My Thoughts: I vividly remember seeing this cover at Barnes and Noble for the first time and being so drawn to it. I didn’t buy it though and have never gotten around to reading it. Reading the description now, it doesn’t really appeal to me anymore. VERDICT: TOSS
The Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes
It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, asking her to leave her husband.
Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper’s archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie’s search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.
A spellbinding, intoxicating love story with a knockout ending, The Last Letter from Your Lover will appeal to the readers who have made One Day and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society bestsellers.
My Thoughts: Despite several of my friends telling me I need to read a JoJo Moyes book, I have yet to get around to it. I hear they’re really great, and this one does sound like something I would like a lot. VERDICT: KEEP
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers.
Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and doll-sized cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, dizzy with the mixed signals of a boss who claims she’s on a diet but has Isabella file all morning if she forgets to bring her a chocolate muffin. Mary thinks she might cry with happiness when she finally meets a nice guy who loves his mother, only to realize he’ll never love Mary quite as much. And Lauren, a waitress at a Midtown bar, swears up and down she won’t fall for the sleazy bartender—a promise that his dirty blond curls and perfect vodka sodas make hard to keep.
With a wry sense of humor, Jennifer Close brings us through those thrilling, bewildering, what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. These are the years when everyone else seems to have a plan, a great job, and an appropriate boyfriend, while Isabella has a blind date with a gay man, Mary has a crush on her boss, and Lauren has a goldfish named Willard. Through boozy family holidays and disastrous ski vacations, relationships lost to politics and relationships found in pet stores, Girls in White Dresses pulls us deep inside the circle of these friends, perfectly capturing the wild frustrations and soaring joys of modern life.
My Thoughts: In this season of my life when all of my friends are getting married, I relate to this book already. I’ve been wanting to read this for a while and it’s one of those books that every time I see it somewhere I think, “Yeah, I need to get to that one.” Maybe I’ll read it for my Charms O.W.L. in The Magical Readathon this month since I need a white cover…VERDICT: KEEP
Alright, mostly keeps this time! I feel like that hasn’t happened in a while. Have you read any of these? Which would you have kept? Which would you have tossed? Let me know in the comments 🙂