I have been terrible with my reading lately. Terrible. I have been doing almost none. So, this spring TBR is full of books I keep meaning to get to and then don’t – like I said, I’ve been a terrible reader. But with the weather warming up, it means being able to sit out on my swing and read. That should fix this problem right up.
Happiness by Will Ferguson – Yup, this one has been on previous TBRs, but I swear, I will actually get to it one of these days.
When an enormous, self-help manuscript lands on Edwin de Valu’s desk, it seems destined for the trash can. The trouble is this doorstopper is a unique thing–a self-help book that actually works–and before Edwin knows it, a chain of events has been started that will have enormous consequences not just for his own life, but for the world at large.
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneger – I’ve had this book for years. I’ve gotten halfway through. I really need to read it all.
Julia and Valentina Poole are semi-normal American twenty-year-olds with seemingly little interest in college or finding jobs. Their attachment to one another is intense. One morning the mailman delivers a thick envelope to their house in the suburbs of Chicago. From a London solicitor, the enclosed letter informs Valentina and Julia that their English aunt Elspeth Noblin, whom they never knew, has died of cancer and left them her London apartment. There are two conditions to this inheritance: that they live in it for a year before they sell it and that their parents not enter it. Julia and Valentina are twins. So were the estranged Elspeth and Edie, their mother.
The girls move to Elspeth’s flat, which borders the vast and ornate Highgate Cemetery, where Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Radclyffe Hall, Stella Gibbons and Karl Marx are buried. Julia and Valentina come to know the living residents of their building. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword-puzzle setter suffering from crippling obsessive compulsive disorder; Marijke, Martin’s devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth’s elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt’s neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including – perhaps – their aunt.
The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu – Picked this up from bookoutlet last month. I own it. Now I need to read it.
Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.
In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.
But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself
Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire – Another one I got halfway through and didn’t finish. I’m trying to decide if I need to go back to the beginning of the series, or if I should just read this one (since A Lion Among Men was so awful and I know I’ll never finish it)
Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law, and Dorothy is back. Amid chaos and war, Elphaba’s green granddaughter born at the end of “Son of a Witch”, comes of age. Rain will take up her broom, and bring the series to a close.
The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley – I read the first book years ago. I have always meant to get around to the rest of the series.
In 1950s English bucolic Bishop’s Lacy, narrator Flavia de Luce 11, has a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders. Puppeteer Rupert Porson has his strings sizzled, his charming helper Nialla suspect. Astride trusty bicycle Gladys, she investigates Gibbet Wood madwoman, vicar, German pilot, and poisoned chocolates.
The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman – This has been on my TBR list for years.
The Story Sisters, charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and stays there, a detective who finds his heart’s desire, and a demon who will not let go.
The Children of Men by P.D. James – I am annoyed at me for not having read this already.
The Children of Men is a story of a world with no children and no future. The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live . . . and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race.
A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore – I have started and stopped this book so many times. It is always funny. I have no idea why I’ve never finished it.
Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy. A little hapless, somewhat neurotic, sort of a hypochondriac. He’s what’s known as a Beta Male: the kind of fellow who makes his way through life by being careful and constant — you know, the one who’s always there to pick up the pieces when the girl gets dumped by the bigger/taller/stronger Alpha Male.
But Charlie’s been lucky. He owns a building in the heart of San Francisco, and runs a secondhand store with the help of a couple of loyal, if marginally insane, employees. He’s married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy. And she, Rachel, is about to have their first child.
Yes, Charlie’s doing okay for a Beta. That is, until the day his daughter, Sophie, is born. Just as Charlie — exhausted from the birth — turns to go home, he sees a strange man in mint-green golf wear at Rachel’s hospital bedside, a man who claims that no one should be able to see him. But see him Charlie does, and from here on out, things get really weird. . . .
People start dropping dead around him, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death. It’s a dirty job. But hey, somebody’s gotta do it.
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler – I had to take it back to the library. It was so good. I must finish reading it.
Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks.
One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon’s grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.
The Fold by Peter Clines – The only book on the list that hasn’t appeared on at least one list before.
The folks in Mike Erikson’s small New England town would say he’s just your average, everyday guy. And that’s exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he’s chosen isn’t much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he’s content with his quiet and peaceful existence.
That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: far out in the California desert, a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to “fold” dimensions, it shrinks distances so that a traveler can travel hundreds of feet with a single step.
The invention promises to make mankind’s dreams of teleportation a reality. And, the scientists insist, traveling through the Door is completely safe.
Yet evidence is mounting that this miraculous machine isn’t quite what it seems—and that its creators are harboring a dangerous secret.
As his investigations draw him deeper into the puzzle, Mike begins to fear there’s only one answer that makes sense. And if he’s right, it may only be a matter of time before the project destroys…everything.