Got no self control, and I don’t mean cigarettes and alcohol, ’cause when it comes to books I can’t say not… ~ Original by Bebe Rexha, spinoff by me.
Hey everyone, and welcome to this new post of me justifying the vertiginous growth of my TBR pile!
I first planned doing one of these each time I clicked on five “Want to Read” buttons on Goodreads, but I don’t think it’d be wise to publish three similar posts the same day, every day.
Instead, weak me is going to randomly select five of my most recent TBR picks and explain what reasons have pushed me to want to adopt these babies.
Becoming Belle ~ Nuala O’Connor
Expected rating: ★★★✰✰
How I found about it: Remember the controversy about authors not wanting to be tagged in reviews? Well, Nuala O’Conor told me she doesn’t mind it at all. I searched for some of her books and here we are.
Why it’s in my TBR: (Nuala’s kindness, first of all.) Have I already said that I’m a lost cause when it comes to historical fiction? Worse when it’s based on a true story + the cover, you know me.
Synopsis: A witty and inherently feminist novel about passion and marriage, based on a true story of an unstoppable woman ahead of her time in Victorian London.
In 1887, Isabel Bilton is the eldest of three daughters of a middle-class military family, growing up in a small garrison town. By 1891 she is the Countess of Clancarty, dubbed “the peasant countess” by the press, and a member of the Irish aristocracy. Becoming Belle is the story of the four years in between, of Belle’s rapid ascent and the people that tried to tear her down.
With only her talent, charm, and determination, Isabel moves to London alone at age nineteen, changes her name to Belle, and takes the city by storm, facing unthinkable hardships as she rises to fame. A true bohemian and the star of a dancing double act she performs with her sister, she reigns over The Empire Theatre and The Corinthian Club, where only select society entertains. It is there she falls passionately in love with William, Viscount Dunlo, a young aristocrat. For Belle, her marriage to William is a dream come true, but his ruthless father makes clear he’ll stop at nothing to keep her in her place.
Reimagined by a novelist at the height of her powers, Belle is an unforgettable woman. Set against an absorbing portrait of Victorian London, hers is a timeless rags-to-riches story a la Becky Sharpe.
Girl in Translation ~ Jean Kwok
Expected rating: ★★★★✰
How I found about it: I read an article (that I can’t find, sorry) about new #ownvoice authors.
Why it’s in my TBR: Even if I’m not Chinese, I feel like I could relate to this book on so many levels: I’ve migrated to a country where language, culture, and society are way different from my native ones + my personality has constantly morphed for a long time to adapt to my surroundings.
Synopsis: Introducing a fresh, exciting Chinese-American voice, an inspiring debut about an immigrant girl forced to choose between two worlds and two futures.
When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family’s future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition. Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.
Through Kimberly’s story, author Jean Kwok, who also emigrated from Hong Kong as a young girl, brings to the page the lives of countless immigrants who are caught between the pressure to succeed in America, their duty to their family, and their own personal desires, exposing a world that we rarely hear about.
Written in an indelible voice that dramatizes the tensions of an immigrant girl growing up between two cultures, surrounded by a language and world only half understood, Girl in Translation is an unforgettable and classic novel of an American immigrant-a moving tale of hardship and triumph, heartbreak and love, and all that gets lost in translation.
The Library of Lost Things ~ Laura Taylor Namey
Expected rating: ★★★★✰
How I found about it: Marie’s post on her favorite tropes caused my TBR pile to swellTM.
Why it’s in my TBR: *trying to keep calm about it* It says library, you see. And what makes it dramatic is that it’s a library of lost things. *swoons* I think the dynamics will be pretty good.
Synopsis: From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.
While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.
Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.
Daisy Jones & The Six ~ Taylor Jenkins Reid
Expected rating: ★★★★★ (I hope it’s worth the hype.)
How I found about it: Everyone has been talking about it (I usually give a wide berth to hyped books when they’re in the center of attention), but Sandee’s review brought it in my TBR radar.
Why it’s in my TBR: To be honest, mostly because of Sandee’s review. I don’t really feel attracted by the book or its story (it reminds me of a book I’ve had a bad-ish experience with) but I want to see what’s so good about Reid’s novels. (Her next will have “five” in the title, right?)
Synopsis: Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ‘n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) ~ V. E. Schwab
Expected rating: ★★★★★ (six, maybe?)
How I found about it: Tumblr edits, lol.
Why it’s in my TBR: Ahhhhh, the synopsis makes the story sound like I want to live in it. I mean, historical fiction ft. magic? *goes wild*
Synopsis: Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
Have you recently added any amazing books to your TBR list? Have you read any of those I mentioned? Please let me know what you thought of them!