Down the TBR Hole – TBR Wednesday (Week 2)

Week 2! This is a popular tag, so I thought I’d give it a shot! If you’re like me, your TBR list is so long that you’ll never get through them all. Here are 5 books on my TBR list. Have you read any of them? Are any of my keeps worth bumping to the top of my TBR list? Let me know!

1. The Last Letter From Your Lover by JoJo Moyesimg_2425
Publish Date: July 7, 2011
# of Pages: 390
Goodreads Rating: 3.94
Date Added to TBR: October 9, 2011
Description (from Goodreads): 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.

Why is this book on my TBR list?: I added this because it got good reviews on Goodreads and seemed like something I’d enjoy. Since I’ve read (and liked) two books by Moyes now, this book is a keeper!

Verdict: Keep

2. The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollockimg_2426
Publish Date: July 12, 2011
# of Pages: 261
Goodreads Rating: 4.09
Date Added to TBR: October 9, 2011

Description (from Goodreads): In The Devil All the Time, Donald Ray Pollock has written a novel that marries the twisted intensity of Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers with the religious and Gothic over­tones of Flannery O’Connor at her most haunting.

Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrifi­cial blood he pours on his “prayer log.” There’s Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial kill­ers, who troll America’s highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. There’s the spider-handling preacher Roy and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but also violent man in his own right.

Donald Ray Pollock braids his plotlines into a taut narrative that will leave readers astonished and deeply moved. With his first novel, he proves himself a master storyteller in the grittiest and most uncompromising American grain.

Why is this book on my TBR list?: I’m kind of a baby when it comes to reading scary things (or watching scary things, or thinking about scary things) . . . but I still added this one to my TBR list. Re-reading the description again, it still sounds like something I’d enjoy reading (during the daytime, with the lights on, cat in lap).

Verdict: Keep

img_24233. Secrets in the Cellar
 by John Glatt
Publish Date: March 3, 2009
# of Pages: 256
Goodreads Rating: 3.81
Date Added to TBR: October 9, 2011

Description (from Goodreads): Josef Fritzl was a 73-year-old retired engineer in Austria. He seemed to be living a normal life with his wife, Rosemarie, and their family—though one daughter, Elisabeth, had decades earlier been “lost” to a religious cult. Throughout the years, three of Elisabeth’s children mysteriously appeared on the Fritzls’ doorstep; Josef and Rosemarie raised them as their own. But only Josef knew the truth about Elisabeth’s disappearance…

For twenty-seven years, Josef had imprisoned and molested Elisabeth in his man-made basement dungeon, complete with sound-proof paneling and code-protected electric locks. There, she would eventually give birth to a total of seven of Josef’s children. One died in infancy—and the other three were raised alongside Elisabeth, never to see the light of day.

Then, in 2008, one of Elisabeth’s children became seriously ill, and was taken to the hospital. It was the first time the nineteen-year-old girl had ever gone outside—and soon, the truth about her background, her family’s captivity, and Josef’s unspeakable crimes would come to light.

John Glatt’s Secrets in the Cellar is the true story of a crime that shocked the world.

Why is this book on my TBR list?: Sometimes reading about society’s underbelly is morbidly fascinating, which is why I originally added this book to my TBR list. But . . . I have two kids now and have enough scary stuff to think about. No need to add to the list!

Verdict: Gone

4. After America by Mark Steynimg_2422
Publish Date: August 8, 2011
# of Pages: 349
Goodreads Rating: 4.15
Date Added to TBR: October 9, 2011

Description (from Goodreads):
 After America takes on Obama’s disastrous plan for our nation, and reveals exactly what a post-American world will look like if we don’t change our ways soon. Says Steyn: “Nothing is certain but debt and taxes. And then more debt. If the government of the United States had to use GAAP (the ‘Generally Accepted Accounting Practices’ that your company and the publisher of this book have to use), Uncle Sam would be under an SEC investigation and his nephews and nieces would have taken away the keys and cut up his credit card.” Slim as it is, however, Steyn argues there is still hope. “Americans face a choice: you can rediscover the animating principles of the American idea—of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the opportunities to exploit your talents to the fullest—or you can join most of the rest of the western world in terminal decline. This is a battle for the American idea, and it’s an epic one, but you can do anything you want to do. So do it.” Bitingly funny and wickedly clever, After America is Mark Steyn at his best.

Why is this book on my TBR list?: I read political books on both sides of the fence, which is why I added this book. That said, I’ve had my fill and then some of politics these past few months.

Verdict: Gone

5. Inside Scientology by Helen Hollickimg_2424
Publish Date: July 5, 2011
# of Pages: 444
Goodreads Rating: 3.85
Date Added to TBR: October 9, 2011

Description (from Goodreads): Scientology, created in 1954 by pulp science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world’s fastest growing religion, with millions of members and huge financial holdings. Celebrity believers keep its profile high. Teams of volunteer ministers offer aid at disaster sites like Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a very closed faith, harassing journalists and others thru litigation & intimidation, even infiltrating high levels of the government to further its goals. Its attacks on psychiatry & its requirement that believers pay as much as tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation have drawn scrutiny and skepticism. Ex-members use the Internet to share stories of harassment and abuse. Reitman offers the first full journalistic history of the Church of Scientology, in an evenhanded account that establishes the truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientology’s development from the birth of Dianetics to today, following its metamorphosis from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a global spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers and ex-followers. Based on five years of research, unprecedented access to Church officials, confidential documents and extensive interviews with current and former members, this is a defining book about a little-known world.

Why is this book on my TBR list?: Just as I enjoy reading both sides of politics, I also enjoy reading about different religions. I don’t know much about Scientology, but I’m interested in learning more.

Verdict: Keep


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