5 Books On My TBR Shelf I’m Excited About (Week 4)

I’ve accepted that my TBR shelf is out of control, so let’s talk about what I’m excited to read!

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1. Girl in Translation 
by Jean Kwok
Publish Date: April 29, 2010
# of Pages: 290
Goodreads Rating: 3.96

Description (from Goodreads): 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.

Why am I excited to read this book?: I find stories about immigration and other other cultures fascinating, and I adore this cover.


z32. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publish Date: October 1, 2006
# of Pages: 337
Goodreads Rating: 3.89

Description (from Goodreads): Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all–hope–in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

Why am I excited to read this book?: I remember reading this book description at Barnes & Noble when I was in college. It appealed to me back then, and it still does today. I really need to read it!


z53. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Publish Date: May 11, 2004
# of Pages: 250
Goodreads Rating: 3.91

Description (from Goodreads): Wake up, Caitlin

Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known. He’s magnetic. He’s compelling. He’s dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else–her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?

Why am I excited to read this book?: I have yet to read a Sarah Dessen novel, but I see her name all over the place. I’d really like to give her a try, and this book sounds  interesting!


z14. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hossenini
Publish Date: May 22, 2007
# of Pages: 372
Goodreads Rating: 4.34

Description (from Goodreads):
At once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them – in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul – they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

Why am I excited to read this book?: I’ve heard nothing but good things about this author. The Kite Runner is also on my TBR list!


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5. A Storm of Swords 
by George R.R. Martin
Publish Date: March 4, 2003
# of Pages: 1,177
Goodreads Rating: 4.54

Description (from Goodreads): Here is the third volume in George R.R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Together, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces manoeuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords…

Why am I excited to read this book?: I love the Game of Thrones books the way I love the Outlander books, but each book is such an epic to get through. I have to space them out so I don’t get disheartened by the sheer size of them.


Let’s Talk!

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

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