Top Ten Books I Recently Added to My TBR List & Tuesday Intro

Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday
 is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that asks bloggers to create Top Ten lists on a variety of bookish topics. Most of the books on my list came from combing everyone else’s lists during the last Top Ten Tuesday TBR busting topic, Top Ten Early 2016 Releases I’m Anticipating. My 2016 TBR is officially out of control! And, this week’s topic will definitely not help matters.

Top Ten Books I Recently Added to my TBR List


As Close to Us As Breathing
 by Elizabeth Poliner (March 15, 2016)
Katie McD at Bookish Tendencies
included this multi-generational family saga on her early 2016 releases list. I’ve heard good things about Lee Boudreaux Books (this book’s imprint) and can’t resist a family saga centered around summer!

June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (May 31, 2016)
Beverly-Whittemore’s 2014 novel, Bittersweet, is one of my top summer reads…so, I was excited to hear she had another one coming out this year!

Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser (February 2, 2016)
Rory at Fourth Street Review
‘s Debut Novels to Look for in Early 2016 list has already delivered me one winner (Only Love Can Break Your Heart), so I’m hopeful a second one of her picks will deliver!

The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson (March 7, 2016)
Heather @ Capricious Reader
included this novel in her 2016 Preview and the focus on multiple generations of women in the South appeals to me.

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (January 1, 2000)
I finally read my first Margaret Atwood novel (The Handmaid’s Tale) over the holidays and am now looking for my next one. Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm is enjoying The Blind Assassin now, so I think this might be the one!

The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee (January 12, 2016)
I’d had my eye on this debut novel about four women living as expats in Hong Kong, then Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books’s review officially jumped it onto my TBR.

The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock (July 12, 2016)
Yet another Rory recommendation…she said “absolutely nothing overshadows Donald Ray Pollock’s new novel” in her 2016 preview post. I have never read this author, but looks like I need to!

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (March 22, 2016)
I’m a sucker for A) debuts and B) family reunion type novels…and this one has been getting a lot of attention lately. I hope it lives up to the hype.

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner (January 5, 2016)
I saw this memoir about a girl growing up in a polygamist culture on the Book of the Month Club’s January selection list and Beth Fish Reads told me to “go ahead and get myself a copy”, so it must be good!

Watch How We Walk by Jennifer Lovegrove (January 1, 2013)
Naomi at Consumed by Ink
‘s review of this novel about a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses made me want to scratch my fringe religion itch yet again (I’ve already hit Mormonism and Scientology).

Tuesday Intro

First Chapter First Paragraph


Every Tuesday, fellow blogger Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where bloggers share the first paragraph of the book they are currently reading or thinking about reading soon.

Youngblood, Matt Gallagher

Plot Summary from Amazon

The US military is preparing to withdraw from Iraq, and newly-minted lieutenant Jack Porter struggles to accept how it’s happening—through alliances with warlords who have Arab and American blood on their hands. Day after day, Jack tries to assert his leadership in the sweltering, dreary atmosphere of Ashuriyah. But his world is disrupted by the arrival of veteran Sergeant Daniel Chambers, whose aggressive style threatens to undermine the fragile peace that the troops have worked hard to establish.

Here’s the first paragraph of the Prologue (this quote is from an uncorrected proof):

It’s strange, trying to remember now. Not the war, though that’s all tangled up, too. I mean the other parts. The way sand pebbles nipped at our faces in the wind. How the mothers glared when we raided houses looking for their sons. The smell of farm animal waste and car exhaust blending together during patrols through town, rambling, aimless hours lost to the desert.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

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35 Comments

  1. Diane wrote:

    Hmmm, that intro turned me off a bit. I don’t think I’d like this one for some reason but, I’ll be curious as we do seem to like a lot of the same books.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  2. Beth F wrote:

    hummm, I’m not sure this one is for me. Hope you’re enjoying it.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  3. Carmen wrote:

    I’m looking forward to your reviews of the books above to see what’s good.
    I’d definitely keep reading. Iraq taught us hard lessons that should be absorbed even if it is through fiction.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  4. I really want The Sound of Gravel. I may use one of my Audible credits on it, depending on the narrator.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  5. Alissa wrote:

    Always like to see your recommendations but as an FYI, The Expatriates isn’t the authors debut novel. She also wrote The Piano Teacher which I read a few years ago and enjoyed.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  6. I wouldn’t continue reading, simply because it doesn’t seem like my kind of book. I hope you’re enjoying!

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  7. From reading the intro, it doesn’t seem to be my kind of book.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  8. Great list, and thanks for the mention! I might have to add a few more of these to my list as well… my TBR is getting too fat!

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  9. Naomi wrote:

    Yay – so happy that Watch How You Walk made it on your list! 🙂
    Blind Assassin is a good one, too. If you’re looking for a third Atwood, one of my favourites is Alias Grace.
    I’m also starting to feel like I should give this Donald Ray Pollock guy a try…

    I’m going to go against most of your others commenters and say that I would definitely read on based on that first paragraph.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  10. Kay wrote:

    The prologue description is certainly vivid. You can feel the sand and the desert. That being said, not really my sort of book.

    I’m interested in The Expatriates and The Nest. And Bind Assassin is a book that picked up over and over through the years and then put down again. It’s a long one, in case you wonder. LOL

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  11. Susan wrote:

    I don’t think this one is for me.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  12. Gabby wrote:

    I’ve got The Blind Assassin in my TBR pile too! It’s pretty far down the list, but I loved A Handmaid’s Tale so I’m definitely eager to get into more Atwood

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  13. I’m not a fan of war or stories about wars. But on your Top Ten, I loved The Blind Assassin and want to read The Nest.

    Here’s mine: “THE EMPTY HOUSE”

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  14. I am looking forward to reading June also. I hope you enjoy Blind Assassin. It was my first Atwood (and so far only). I really loved her writing.

    Young Blood sounds like a very relevant and moving book. I haven’t heard of it before. I will have to look for it.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  15. Laurie C wrote:

    Yikes to that TBR list, although I went kind of crazy on NetGalley recently, myself!

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  16. Nise' wrote:

    I love debut books too and two of these are going on my be on the lookout list!

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  17. My list is totally out of control — and I haven’t even looked at books coming out after March. I really liked The Nest, The Expatriates, and The Sound of Gravel. I read The Blind Assassin ages ago and while it’s not my favorite Atwood (that would be Alias Grace), it’s worth reading. I’ve been hearing great things about Sweetgirl. Good luck getting to all those books!

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      A lot of people have mentioned Alias Grace upon seeing this list…might be swapping Blind Assassin out for it! And I will mark the ones you mentioned – give them a little bump up my list!

      Posted 1.22.16 Reply
  18. I’m not sure how excited I am about Young Blood, but a resounding, “YES!” to The Expatriates (after Catherine’s comments!) and The Nest!!

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I’m about 70% through Youngblood and I feel like I’m working my way through it…and I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve had a bad sinus cold all week or if I’m really just having trouble getting into the book.

      Posted 1.22.16 Reply
  19. Andi wrote:

    The Nest is so so so pretty. Every time I see that cover I get an itchy clicking/ordering finger.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Ha – I know! I haven’t requested it….yet. But, I feel like I will.

      Posted 1.22.16 Reply
  20. Amanda wrote:

    Gah! More books to go on my list. I loved Bittersweet and I totally forgot I wanted to request June. I have the Expatriates on my list today too- sounds so good! Quite a few more I need to add I see

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I’m hoping June lives up to Bittersweet – it’s a hard act to follow in the twisty beach read category!

      Posted 1.22.16 Reply
  21. As Close to Us as Breathing just showed up in my mailbox and I’m so, so excited for it. Can’t resist those multi generational sagas either.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Oooh – lucky you! I just requested it on Edelweiss, so fingers crossed…although I’ve so far gotten zero approvals from Lee Boudreaux Books 🙁

      Posted 1.22.16 Reply
  22. Evert once in a while I like to read a book set during war. Thankfully, it’s a world unknown to me which is why I like to read a bit of it. Young Blood sounds like one I should try.

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  23. I love the snippet from Young Blood; you should definitely keep reading. OMG, that TBR list! I really want to read The Nest when it releases; I refuse to request another ARC when I still have some to read. The Expatriates is another I want to read this year, and The Sound of Gravel is really anticipated and has a buzz in front of it. I hope you get to them all!

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      Me too – I’m sure I won’t, but I’ll try!

      Posted 1.22.16 Reply
  24. Can’t say that the intro to Young Blood appealed to me, though I’m not a fan of war stories in general. Hope all those wish list books make it to your shelf. 🙂

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
  25. Lindsay wrote:

    I liked “Bittersweet” and I didn’t realize the author had another book coming out! I’m totally intrigued by the cover too!

    I read “The Handmaid’s Tale” back in high school and didn’t really like it, but I’m hoping to re-read it this year. I think it will resonate a lot more now that I’ve had some life experience. I picked up “The Blind Assassin” secondhand years ago and I’ll get to it one of these days — maybe sooner than later, since it seems once you read one Margaret Atwood book, you can’t stop!

    Posted 1.19.16 Reply
    • admin wrote:

      I don’t think I would’ve appreciated The Handmaid’s Tale in high school…definitely not enough life experience yet.

      Posted 1.22.16 Reply
  26. I would keep reading that one…sounds like it could be interesting!

    I’m going to add the Expatriates to my to-read list!

    Posted 1.20.16 Reply
  27. Judy wrote:

    The Blind Assassin is one of my favorite Atwood novels, as well as Alias Grace. I have already got The Sound of Gravel. And I am thrilled to know about the new one by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. I too loved Bittersweet! I lucked out with Edelweiss and got The Expatriates. Others I am looking forward to are Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta and Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax. 2016 is going to be a great year for fiction!

    Posted 1.20.16 Reply
  28. susan wrote:

    Yes, I really want to read the new Janice Lee book too! Yay!

    Posted 1.27.16 Reply

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