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 Ghost of Greenwhich Village by Lorna Graham
In this charming fiction debut, a young woman moves to Manhattan in search of romance and excitement—only to find that her apartment is haunted by the ghost of a cantankerous Beat Generation writer in need of a rather huge favor.
For Eve Weldon, moving to Greenwich Village is a dream come true. She’s following in the bohemian footsteps of her mother, who lived there during the early sixties among a lively community of Beat artists and writers. But when Eve arrives, the only scribe she meets is a grumpy ghost named Donald, and the only writing she manages to do is for chirpy segments on a morning news program, Smell the Coffee. The hypercompetitive network environment is a far cry from the genial camaraderie of her mother’s literary scene, and Eve begins to wonder if the world she sought has faded from existence. But as she struggles to balance her new job, demands from Donald to help him complete his life’s work, a budding friendship with a legendary fashion designer, and a search for clues to her mother’s past, Eve begins to realize that community comes in many forms—and that the true magic of the Village is very much alive, though it may reveal itself in surprising ways.
My Thoughts: This sounds cute. There was a time when I was younger that everything about New York City grabbed me. I couldn’t wait to be there. Now that I live here, the glamour has kind of worn off, even though I still love this glorious city, so my draw to the setting isn’t as big as it once was. As cute as this book sounds, I know I probably won’t ever get around to reading it. There are too many other books. VERDICT: TOSS
The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon
When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core. Everyone connected to school, and to Claire, finds their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the various faculty and staff whose lives are immersed in the daily rituals associated with it.
Everyone wants to know how Claire died, at whose hands, and more importantly, where the baby that she recently gave birth to is a baby that almost no one, except her small innermost circle, knew she was carrying.
At the center of the investigation is Madeline Christopher, an intern in the English department who is forced to examine the nature of the relationship between the school’s students and the adults meant to guide them. As the case unravels, the dark intricacies of adolescent privilege at a powerful institution are exposed, and both teachers and students emerge as suspects as the novel rushes to its thrilling conclusion.
With The Twisted Thread, Charlotte Bacon has crafted a gripping and suspenseful story in the tradition of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, one that pulls back the curtain on the lives of the young and privileged.
My Thoughts: I’m not the most avid thriller reader, but I do love a good murder mystery and this one sounds right up my alley. The limited reviews it has on Goodreads are pretty mixed though, so now I’m torn. If anything it helped my find The Secret Society by Donna Tart which might be a better one to start with… VERDICT: KEEP (for now)
All About Love: Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion by Lisa Appignanesi
Unruly, unpredictable—love is a maddening deity. In this insightful and eloquent meditation on that many-splendored thing, Lisa Appignanesi draws together psychology, literature, popular culture, and her own experiences in order to tangle with love’s paradoxes across the span of our lives. Beginning with the rose-tinted raptures of first love, she proceeds to love in marriage, triangulated love, jealousy and adultery, love in the family, and friendship. By illuminating the expectations, the joys and difficulties, and the cultural undercurrents that accompany each stage, Appignanesi raises provocative questions about love in the twenty-first century: Has the unbinding of obstacles to love emptied it of meaning? Do our desires for variety and experimentation result in increased anxiety? What gains and losses have come from greater openness and equality and the burgeoning sphere of virtual fantasy? As rewarding as it is captivating, All about Love will leave you a little wiser about the emotion that rules our lives.
My Thoughts: Was this 19 year old Lexie’s attempt to figure out her emotions? Perhaps. Does this interest me at all anymore? Nope. VERDICT: TOSS
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.
My Thoughts: This has been on my list for SO LONG. Of Mice and Men and East of Eden are two of my favorite classic reads and I honestly don’t know why I haven’t tackled this one yet. I finally have a copy so I’ll hopefully get around to this beast soon. VERDICT: KEEP
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Margaret Simon, almost twelve, likes long hair, tuna fish, the smell of rain, and things that are pink. She’s just moved from New York City to Farbook, New Jersey, and is anxious to fit in with her new friends—Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie. When they form a secret club to talk about private subjects like boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret is happy to belong.
But none of them can believe Margaret doesn’t have religion, and that she isn’t going to the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What they don’t know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything—family, friends, even Moose Freed, her secret crush.
Margaret is funny and real, and her thoughts and feelings are oh-so-relatable—you’ll feel like she’s talking right to you, sharing her secrets with a friend.
My Thoughts: This is a classic. I can’t believe I never read this book growing up and it feels like it is a must-read, even as an adult. VERDICT: KEEP