Down the TBR Hole #6

Welcome to this week’s edition of Down the TBR Hole! Most of the books this week I have added within the last year and I still have very little memory of them. That either says something poor about me or about the books and I’d rather not delve into that at this hour. Anyway, here are some books from my TBR that had me scratching my head.

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The Introvert by Michael P. Michaud

A vacuum salesman by day, the introvert lives a quiet life alone with his dog until a work relationship and a dark secret from his past team up to create an uncomfortable imbalance in his otherwise ordered life, one that soon finds him squarely at the center of a murder investigation. With his thoughts continually urging him to make people “red and open” and to “achieve it” with his girlfriend Donna, what follows is a sometimes brutal, oftentimes hilarious, and absurdist account of the life of one very anti-social and unexpected anti-hero.

Say what? This doesn’t sound like me at all. Where did this come from? Why did I click it? Was I in a state of severe coffee deprivation? These questions will never be answered. All I know is…

Verdict: tenor

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The Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh

Sarah Gilchrist has fled London and a troubled past to join the University of Edinburgh’s medical school in 1892, the first year it admits women. She is determined to become a doctor despite the misgivings of her family and society, but Sarah quickly finds plenty of barriers at school itself: professors who refuse to teach their new pupils, male students determined to force out their female counterparts, and—perhaps worst of all—her female peers who will do anything to avoid being associated with a fallen woman.

Desperate for a proper education, Sarah turns to one of the city’s ramshackle charitable hospitals for additional training. The St Giles’ Infirmary for Women ministers to the downtrodden and drunk, the thieves and whores with nowhere else to go. In this environment, alongside a group of smart and tough teachers, Sarah gets quite an education. But when Lucy, one of Sarah’s patients, turns up in the university dissecting room as a battered corpse, Sarah finds herself drawn into a murky underworld of bribery, brothels, and body snatchers.

Painfully aware of just how little separates her own life from that of her former patient’s, Sarah is determined to find out what happened to Lucy and bring those responsible for her death to justice. But as she searches for answers in Edinburgh’s dank alleyways, bawdy houses and fight clubs, Sarah comes closer and closer to uncovering one of Edinburgh’s most lucrative trades, and, in doing so, puts her own life at risk…

Although the Goodreads rating for this book is hovering near my “do not read” mark, this one still sounds completely fascinating. I’ll keep it around, see what happens.

Verdict: KEEP

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To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France–a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family’s business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.

I think I just added this one because of its popularity when it came out. Couldn’t walk into a book store without this sucker smacking you in the face. Over it. Purely love story? Not my cup of tea.

Verdict: tenor

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The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

I’m on a fence about this one. On one hand I want to delete it on principal because of the author because I can be petty like that. On the other hand, it sounds like it might actually be an okay book. Do I keep an “maybe okay” book on the list? In this case, I think I’m going to listen to a review done by someone who has yet to steer me wrong and…

Verdict: tenor

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Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other

Oh good grief. What the *mutter mumble* was I thinking. Most of the *mutter* books this week sounds so *mumble* terrible. It was just last December for goodness sake! What the ever loving *grumble* was I thinking.

Verdict: tenor

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Talk about a successful TBR purge! I kept %20 of the books on my list this week. But honestly, I wonder what the heck was going on in my head last December to add most of these? To say they were not up my alley would be a serious understatement. Have a lovely weekend, folks!

7 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #6

  1. Go TBR cleaning!!! I started doing this last week and it feels so good (even though I’ve added so many books to my TBR since then that the number has grown….. oops).

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  2. I’m glad you kept The Wages of Sin, it’s not perfect but I thought it was a promising debut if you enjoy historical mysteries. I too look at books on my To Read shelf and wonder why I added them. I’ve been enjoying taking part in this meme but frankly it’s going to take years to go through my whole shelf…and (whisper) I can keep adding new books.

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