Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List

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This week’s prompt really forced me to stop and think about what books I’d like to read over the next few months. I always have a mental list on the go, but it shifts all the time and I tend to forget what I resolved to read in my mind after a few days. Writing it down is going to help me stay the course. This list doesn’t include the books I’ll be reading for Paris in July (I haven’t decided on them yet),  for my book group or for Mary Stewart Reading Week. I have to keep in mind that summer does go through September because, to me, summer ends in July. The school district where I work is on a modified year-round schedule and the kids start back to school on July 21 this year. For some reason, that puts an end to summer for me too, but it is really quite far from the end! Here are the books I hope to read by September 23, the first day of autumn:

1. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters – This is my most anticipated book of the year and I have a galley that I am quietly hoarding. I will probably read it during a long weekend in July.

2. The Secret Place by Tana French – Can you believe I have never read Tana French? I’ve heard great things about her latest book so I will make it my first.

3. The Arsonist by Sue Miller – I’ve always liked Sue Miller. The Senator’s Wife is one of the most astonishing books I’ve ever read. The Arsonist sounds like it will be a good one, too.

4. The Frozen Dead by Bernard Minier – At atmospheric thriller that was a bestseller in France – I can’t resist.

5. Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell – I’m saving this one as a treat.

6. The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield – I’ve owned this book for a few years now and am finally planning to read it sometime soon.

7. Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym – I haven’t read a Pym in over a year now – I look forward to entering her world again.

8. Heat Lightning by Helen Hull – I had a goal to read all of my Persephone’s this year and I haven’t read any! I think Heat Lightning is a good place to start and it also meets my goal of reading more American women authors.

9. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope – I also had a goal to read two Trollope novels and I haven’t done that either (yet). It’s time to get a move on.

10. Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor – I just finished Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont and it was brilliant, to say the least. I must read more of Taylor’s books.


What are you looking forward to reading this summer?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year



I’ve always enjoyed reading Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) posts on the blogs I follow, but I’ve never participated myself … until now! Yes, this is my very first Top Ten Tuesday post and I love the topic. As we approach the half-way point of 2014 I’ve been thinking a bit about what my favorite books of the year have been and this event has helped me to narrow it down. Since I decided to participate only last night (and I worked the night shift) I didn’t have much time to write the post so I have given each title three descriptors to give you an idea of why I loved them. I linked the books to my reviews if I wrote one or to the publisher’s page if I didn’t. One of the titles, Station Eleven, doesn’t pub until September, but I had to include it because it is outstanding – something to put on your fall TBR.  So, here goes:




1. High Rising by Angela Thirkell – Witty, silly and downright fun.

2. The Vacationers by Emma Straub – Humorous, family drama, with a beautiful Spanish setting.

3. The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen – Powerful, gorgeous writing, and challenging.

4. I Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardottir – Frightening, gut wrenching,  and heart breaking.

5. Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey – Suspenseful, sad, and gripping.

6. Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead – Sophisticated, set in the ballet world, and melancholy.

7. The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin – Romantic, sparkling, and Neo Victorian.

8. A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor – Gothic, funny, and dark.

9. The Shelf by Phyllis Rose – Companionable, passionate, for book-lovers.

10. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – Stunning, thought-provoking, dystopian.



What are your favorite books of the year (so far)?