Monday, June 28, 2021

The TBR Pile


 LUCY BURDETTE: this is a photo of my recent TBR pile. I know we’ve talked about this subject before, but the decision still flummoxes me every time. So here we are again: if you have a stack of books (oh surely you must), how do you decide what to read next?

In this case, all the books were bought by me so I do want to read each of them. And I like to alternate women’s fiction with mystery sometimes. Since taking the photo last week, an online friend told me she had loved Lost in Paris so that’s where I started. Lovely book, especially for Paris nuts like me. Last night I started Sarah Stewart Taylor‘s. It's excellent and I wonder why I waited so long??

So what’s in your pile and how do you choose?


JENN McKINLAY: I’m traveling right now, doing research on Martha’s Vineyard — a hardship, I know. So my TBR pile consists of two books — a women’s fiction novel, LIFE’S TOO SHORT by Abby Jimenez and a sneak peek at an upcoming new mystery PRIDE, PREJUDICE, AND PERIL: A Jane Austen Tea Society Mystery by Katie Oliver — both of which are proving to be excellent! Sometimes packing light works out! 


RHYS BOWEN:  As usual my TBR pile is all books I have to blurb, that will be coming out later this year. The one I’m really looking forward to is called Once Upon a Wardrobe and is about a little boy who is dying and wants to know if Narnia is real. His sister seeks our C S Lewis to find the truth

But I’ve just finished an Indian mystery called a Will to Kill— strangely retro. The Golden Age transported to India.


I’m hoping for time to read my own choice of books on vacation in San Diego...

 

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I would hate for anyone to see my TBR piles(s), because, yes, there are multiples, all over the house. And that's not counting the blizzard of books on my Kindle!!! What I choose to read next is very capricious. Sometimes something new, sometimes it's books I've been meaning to read for ages. For instance, last week I read Ian Rankin's A SONG FOR THE DARK TIMES, which had been in the pile for at least a year. Then I read all three of Connie Berry's excellent Kate Hamilton books, because she'd been on JRW and I thought they sounded just my cup of tea (and they were!) Now I'm reading the new Damien Boyd Nick Dixon novel, DYING INSIDE. This British series is very procedural, and very well done. And next up after that is Sarah Stewart Taylor's A DISTANT GRAVE, which I have been very much looking forward to! Oh, and I may have to order LOST IN PARIS, on Lucy's recommendation.


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Oh, I love hearing about the piles! On my already read all-star list: the terrific debut ALL HER LITTLE SECRETS by Wanda Morris. Run run run to preorder. Seriously. Do not miss this! Also the debut HER NAME IS KNIGHT by Yasmin Angoe is completely riveting. Double wow. Here's my stack right now: The brilliant brilliant FIVE STRANGERS by E.V. Adamson. SURE to be a bestseller, a true pageturner. The wonderful Tracy Clark'S RUNNER, of course, and the NEW John Lescroart, THE MISSING PIECE! (He is such a genius.) And Sarah Strohmeyer has a new book--a thriller titled DO I KNOW YOU? I cannot wait to read. What a luscious reading future for me! 




 

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Hank, I was just rereading Sarah Strohmeyer's THE PENNY PINCHERS CLUB - I'm delighted to know she has a new novel coming out. She's such an interesting example of writing across multiple genres: comedic cozy mystery, womens fiction, YA and now domestic thrillers.

 

As for me, my TBR contains the usual mix of science fiction/fantasy and crime fiction, leavened with various reads I arbitrarily deem "summertime." I got a copy of THE SWEETEST DAYS, our recent guest John Hough Jr's exploration of a long-time marriage. I bought Katherine Addison's THE WITNESS FOR THE DEAD, an "in the world of" sort-of sequel to her Hugo- and Nebula award nominated THE GOBLIN EMPEROR. But I've decided I want to re-read the first book, so I guess that's also on deck for my TBR? 

 

Finally, I picked up HOSTAGE by Clare Mackintosh, because who doesn't love claustrophobic thrillers set on a flight? The heroine is a flight attendant who discovers her husband and child are being held by bad guys in London, just as she takes off for a 20 hour flight to Sydney. Of course, the baddies want her to help them...  

 


Okay Red Readers, let's hear what's on your pile and how you choose!

71 comments:

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  2. Rhys, "Once Upon a Wardrobe" sounds like a marvelous book . . . it's definitely going onto my to-be-read pile.
    Hank's First Chapter Fun keeps my to-be-read pile growing at an alarming rate so I think my teetering to-be-read pile will keep me reading into the next century . . . .

    How do I decide what to read?

    First, anything I won on Goodreads or LibraryThing or was given permission to read on NetGalley because I owe them a review.
    Then anything written by any of the Jungle Red ladies.
    Then I just attack the pile, my choice driven by genre and the books I’ve just finished reading [see above]. Right now, I’m reading a NetGalley book, Andrew Kaplan’s “Blue Madagascar” but Clare Mackintosh's "Hostage" is calling to me . . . .

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  3. Rhys, Thanks for adding a book to my October releases. Must check out Once Upon a Wardrobe.

    How I pick? Half the time, the books are picks for me - ARCs I've agreed to read and review. The other half, I try to pick up a book from a series I'm trying to catch up on or a debut that's caught my attention after it was released. Sometimes years after since I can't possibly get to all the books, even though I am trying.

    Right now, I'm starting Pony Up by Sandy Dengler. Got to admit, I'm not completely sure what is next on my list. I have several potentials, but I need to sit down and figure out what I'm actually going to slip in before I hit some new releases later this month.

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    1. And by later this month, I, of course, mean July. Because isn't everyone working on their July books already? No? Just me. Okay then. Carry on. :)

      (Seriously, I try to be at least a week ahead of where I intend to post a review since I need time to write the review and polish it and schedule it. So I've actually finished my first two books for July already.)

      And the July books I have on my TBR pile for a couple weeks from now are:
      Rocky Road to Ruin by Meri Allen
      Much Ado about Nauticaling by Gabbi Allan
      A Time to Swill by Sherry Harris

      And I'm just now noticing the theme in those pen names for new series starting the end of July. Different publishers, too.

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    2. Mark, I often have problems keeping up with favorite series, because like you I'm reading other books. Sometimes I'm caught by the lure of the new (and there's always something new) and lately I've been doing more reading because I'm "in conversation" with another author on Zoom.

      Then I turn around and find Kent Krueger has published another three or four Cork O'Conner books, and How am I supposed to keep up with that?

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    3. Julia, that is my situation as well! I just started reading mysteries a few years ago and I LOVE to read series. Every time I begun to read a series that already has many books in it, I am making a new commitment. The problem around here is that basically stopped doing everything else except reading. (And baking because I can listen to books while I'm in the kitchen!)

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  4. OMG, between the JRW blog and FCF, my TBR pile is enormous. I have 8 books out of the library including Arsenic and Adobo. I cannot renew that one so it must be next. I have A Dream of Death by Connie Berry, The Secret Stealers by Jane Healey, also not renewable, Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron which I somehow missed. Also, in the pile: One Taste Too Many by Debra Goldstein and the next book in two series, The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg and Murder Under Cover by Kate Carlisle.

    I own many books I intend to read in July in my TBR pile on my Kindle and my bookcase. I finally read the first book in Maddie Day's Country Store mysteries and see why Jay loves her books. I have at least 3 more of them on my Kindle. I have Trust Me, one of Hank's thrillers and a Louise Penny among the books on my bookshelf that I'll read in July. I am wait for several books to drop, and just got Arlene McFarlane’s latest in her delightful Valentine Beaumont series. So, I'm looking at laughter and thrills for my summer reads.

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    1. Judy, I promise you will enjoy Connie Berry's series!

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    2. I have loved everything you have recommended! And I am listening to the Audible of Kissed a Sad Good-bye. It is a superb audio! Loving it!

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  5. I get some of the books in my TBR pile from Jungle red guests! Right now it includes The Mountains Wild, and the Abrams book is on hold at the library. Beth Kanell's This Ardent Flame is waiting for me to pick it up at the library. I'm binge-reading the Maisie Dobbs series and have An Incomplete Revenge waiting for me.

    My blogmates Sherry Harris and Liz Mugavero (aka Cate Conte) each have a new book out at the end of July, so A Time to Swill and Claws for Alarm are both on the stack, too!

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  6. It's making me a little dizzy to read about all of your wonderful stacks--too many books and not enough time!

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    1. I'm not sure who originally said the following quote but I heard the late great Warren Zevon say it: "We buy books because we think we're buying the time to read them". Always struck a chord with me.

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    2. Jay, that makes perfect sense to me and I believe it to be true!! More books=more time

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    3. Jay, that's a fabulous quote!

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    4. Lucy, if that's true I'm going to be busy for a while.

      Julia, I have that as my profile quote on my Goodreads page.

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  7. To be read piles? PSHAW! Bunch of amateurs, all of you! LOL. These days, it seems I've amassed a legion of books waiting to be read. I just call it my To Be Read Corner Of My Room.

    How do I choose? Well, given that I just finished the Daniel Silva thriller THE CELLIST (due out July 13th) in order to write a review, review books come first. Unlike Rhys, I thankfully only have to read between 2-4 books each review cycle so that particular part of the pile is manageable.

    After that, I choose books based on what I'm in the mood for usually. Feel like reading a thriller where the bullets are flying and the bodies are hitting the floor, pull out one of those books. (I just was named a Mitch Rapp Ambassador again this year so I'm looking forward to my ARC of the book ENEMY AT THE GATES arriving soon!)

    A favorite author released a book that I just can't wait to read...that becomes the next book to be read.

    I need a fix of whodunnit, out comes a straight up mystery. (Finished an ARC of the Elizabeth Breck's DOUBLE TAKE, which is due out in October, and the 2nd in her Madison Kelly PI series is phenomenal. And at the moment, I'm the "leading authority" on that because my Goodreads review is the first review of the book that has been "published". HA!)

    Do I feel the need for the comfort and familiarity of a beloved cozy mystery series where I get a brain teasing mystery and either lots of food or books entering into the narrative? Well, I've got plenty of those books too. And boy do I love to read them. Wait until you all read the Maddie Day book NO GRATER CRIME (Due out late August). And I'm eagerly awaiting the new Sherry Harris book A TIME TO SWILL at the end of July too!

    There's no set way for me to decide what's next. But hey, as long as something is next I'm good with that.

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    1. I'm with you, Jay. Sounds about right for how to choose the next one. ARCs first, then mood. :)

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  8. Between the books I've bought/been given, the Nook and Kindle books I have not yet read, and the 800+ books donated to my Little Free Library (my co-steward keeps bringing them!), my TBR "pile" would fill five floor to ceiling bookshelves 6' wide. My husband said he doesn't worry about the house blowing away because all the books are holding it down.

    How do I decide which to read next? Who knows. But lately I've been reading more e-books since I fell and strained my right hand. The left hand is already having arthritis issues, and holding a real book is very painful. So in the last couple months my choice depends of the TBR in the e-reader.

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    1. Ouch, Karen! I do love physical books, but ebooks have become my platform of choice. In my case, it's because I can zoom the font to as large a size as comfortable, and the backlit screen works perfectly in my bedroom. I have two soft-light lamps I love, but they're not great for reading. The ebook reader solves that problem. Plus, if I run out the battery, I know it's definitely time to turn the lights out and go to sleep!

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    2. All of the above, Julia. The e-reader is brilliant for reading in bed with a partner, too. I turn the device light way down, and am never worried about losing my place if I inevitably fall asleep while reading.

      My mother loves the Nook I bought her years ago. She has the font so big she has to turn the page every sentence, but it works great for her. And we bought her a pyramid-shaped pillow so she can prop up her e-reader without having to hold it. I think that might be my next purchase, too.

      Thank you, Lucy/Roberta. It could be much worse, and I'm grateful it isn't.

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    3. Ouch, Karen, no fun! Hope your hand heals quickly!

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    4. Thank you, Judy. It's been almost a month already.

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  9. The pile teeters -- what can I say?

    Last week I read THE DAMAGE by Caitlin Wahrer, not to be missed. Trust me. I also discovered something in the middle of the pile, THE THREE MRS. WRIGHTS, by Linda Keir. Also very good if not quite in the usual genre. And then there was Edward Rutherford's CHINA, which I devoured.

    That's three off the stack. I'm reading THE BURNING GIRLS by C.J Tudor. But I just added four this morning -- all shortlisted for the Scottish Crime Debut of the Year 2021. Maybe I should unfriend Bloody Scotland!

    An advantage of my Kindle devotion is the ability to download samples, read a chapter or two before buying. A disadvantage is that I end up with more samples than I'll ever get to. I just cleaned out all the ones that had been sitting around for three months or more. And sometime this weekend I woke up at three a.m. thinking I didn't have time to read all the books I wanted to read. Depressing.

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    1. Just keep plugging Ann, and see Jay's theory above!

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    2. The Three Mrs. Wrights is on my TNR pile, too. I think I'll have to make a lineup!

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    3. TBR pile. Darn autocorrect.

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  10. Daniel Silva's new release, Korelitz's THE PLOT, Connie Berry's ART OF BETRAYAL, Adams's HAIRPIN BRIDGE, Andrews's WHO IS MAUD DIXON, Leon's TRANSIENT DESIRES

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  11. Wow! So many books! Pleasurable agony. Lately my book choices are whatever the library is finally sending me from my hold list, which grows by leaps and bounds. I just finish Jane Harper's THE SUVIVORS and before that was THE RIDE OF HER LIFE, non fiction by Elizabeth Letts, which I highly recommend. Hoping THE HIDING PLACE, by Paula Munier and THE STILLS by Jess Montgomery will come soon. Also looking forward to THE MAZE by nelson DeMille.

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  12. Becky Sue EpsteinJune 28, 2021 at 8:26 AM

    Currently really enjoying reading my way through Lucy Burdette's Key West series. Amazed I never found these before. Really craving a Cubano sandwich and cafe con leche, pretty much all the time.

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    1. thanks so much Becky, I'm very glad you found them! Unfortunately, cravings are a side effect of reading them--writing them too...

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    2. I had an amazing Cuban sandwich the other day, and of course thought of Lucy and Key West! No cafe con leche though, sadly.

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  13. Yes yes, THE PLOT , incredibly thought-provoking I read through it! HOSTAGE Also incredible and surprising, and coincidentally, TJ Newman’s FALLING Which has essentially the same airplane hostage premise but is a completely different book. Really intriguing to read both of them – – one a lightning fast thriller, and the other gorgeously literary. Loved love loved both of them. I agree about. THE DAMAGE, brilliantly good!

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    1. Hank, I double checked because I thought I had heard the plot of HOSTAGE before, and found it's just that there have been enough trapped-on-a-plane novels and movies to form its own genre. Really, it's the modern locked-room mystery, when you think about it.

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  14. Thanks to JRW, I'm currently in the middle of Iona Whishaw's Lane Winslow series. I'm waiting on #4 to become available through Libby--a great library app for e-books. Like Karen, I sometimes have trouble holding a real book, but my reader only needs a finger to turn the page :-)

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    1. Flora, I read straight through the series! Now forthcoming books will be on my MUST BUY list!

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    2. Me, too. I am so glad to have found that series through FCF last year!

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  15. Too many books in my TBR file to list. Some are ARCs and I try to read those first based on my deadline. Sometimes I choose a book by the number of pages. Right now I'm reading an ARC of The Evening's Amethyst by Marni Graff.

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    1. Dru, you must be swamped with all your reviews and reading for your blog!

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  16. Reading today's post makes me realize just how much I am missing my local library (still closed/COVID), because one of my favourite past times is to go browsing through the stacks there. It's like a giant always-available TBR. I never know what I'll come home with, but I always know I'll find something to read.

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    1. Amanda, that's so sad that the library is still closed. Hope it opens up soon.

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  17. I have To Be Read SHELVES. And yet, I still add to it at a rate that will never allow me to finish unless I live to be 100 and never purchase another book. Yeah. Ain't happening.

    This week, I'm reading pages submitted by my fabulous critique buddies...an early peek at what will be out next year! You're all in for some good reading! After that, I have Sarah Stewart Taylor's two new ones. I loved her earlier books, so I'm sure I'll read these two back to back. I also have BLANCHE ON THE LAM by Barbara Neely and BITTERROOT LAKE by Alicia Beckman AKA Leslie Budewitz coming up.

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    1. Annette, I just finished BITTERROOT LAKE. Loved it!

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    2. Barbara Neely's Blanche books are wonderful, Annette.

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    3. Annette, my feeling is: better to be a book addict than a yarn addict. Books are heavy, true, but they can be contained, while an ever-growing stash can take over a house. :-)

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    4. When I start to feel overwhelmed by books, so many I know I'll never manage to read them all, I think about what it would be like to NOT READ. And then I'm thankful that I'll never run out of books.

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    5. I have books and yarn. The yarn does tend to escape it's holding zones more than books.

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  18. Some day the dogs will go charging through the house, barking at the yard guys, and knock over one of my TBR piles, crushing me beneath it. Seriously. I have been working my way through Iona Wishaw's Lane Winslow books, but then Connie Berry appeared on Jungle Red and picked me to win the third book in her Kate Hamilton series. Deb, who thought it sounded like a cool series, jumped in ahead of me to read them all on her Kindle while I waited for mine to arrive in the mail. She said I must, MUST read them in order from the beginning. So now I'm part way through the second Kate Hamilton, with the third sitting on my kitchen table, and Lane Winslow #4 waiting on my nightstand.

    How do I pick what to read next? I am guided by Jungle Red and Deb.

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    1. Debs is a very good reference Gigi! She's added lots to my piles too...

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    2. There you are again, Debs! Glad to have such incredible company as Gigi and Roberta.

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  19. I'm with Annette! I have TBR shelves, as well. LOL!

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  20. My TBR pile is pretty focused these days. As Board member of the Crook's Corner Book Prize project, ($5,000 for the best debut novel set in the South). I am reading two books on our long list, which will be announced n August. Both look promising. I'm also trying to be a conscientious member of two book groups, for which I'm reading the enticingly titled My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite and the classic, Our Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston. However, I am frequently tempted to ignore all those "shoulds" and return to Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead, one of my favorite reads of the year--long, intricate plot, gorgeous writing. And finally, I miss reading mysteries! So, I'm going to order The Thursday Murder Club to listen to on Audible. Whew. Do we all read too much?!

    author name

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    1. I agree with Karen, not possible! I'm intrigued by what I've heard about Great Circle

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  21. My TBR pile usually has the next book, that I haven't read, in series of my favorite authors. Because I've met so many new to me authors here at JRW, there is larger like than two years ago. I'm a slower reader so the pile now takes up three shelves in my bookcase. A little sample list includes Jess Montgomery's The Widows and The Hallows, Kate Carisile's The Grim Reader, P. J. Tracy's The Cold Heart, Paris is Always A Great Idea, Martin Walker, The Fallen Architech, On The Hook by Betty Hechtman, etc. My Kindle had a pretty good list in it but I hate searching for the titles among the books I read already. If there is a way to separate the read from the want to read, please let me know.

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  22. I have so many books to read that it is both anxiety-producing and an embarrassment of riches. I juggle the NetGalley ARCS, reading by publication date, the library books, the books I've won, and the books I've purchased, and those I've been gifted. And now I'm participating in two different rereads, one book each per month. Right now I'm reading a book I won right here: The Audacity of Sara Grayson. It's good, folks! I'm picking up 4 holds at the library today: The Women of Chateau Lafayette, Hairpin Bridge, Pack Up the Moon, and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake. Why do holds all come in at once in a big clump? I'll be slipping in ARCS between those, the latest Ann Charles Deadwood book, and probably an ebook or two I won recently. I try to alternate genres so they don't run together in my mind or at least time periods.

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  23. Jungle Reds, many many wonderful books on your TBR lists!

    LOST IN PARIS is wonderful. You are in for a treat. I read an advanced digital copy from NetGalley and I loved the book.

    Lots of books on my TBR list.

    Preordered: MOCHA, SHE WROTE by Ellie Alexander
    THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK by Kate Carlisle (hope I remember the title)

    Owned on my Shelves: BEAUTY IN BREAKING by Dr. Michelle Harper
    HAMNET by ?
    THE HUNDRED YEARS OF LENNI AND MARGOT
    PRIDE AND PREMOTIION
    THE DATING PLAN
    EARTHA KITT MEMOIR
    JULIANNA MARGUILES MEMOIR
    SPLENDID AND VILE by Erik Larson
    THE LAST UNICORN by Peter Beagle
    THE P.G. WODEHOUSE biography

    How do I decide?

    No idea how I decide. I would start reading a book and then if the story grabs me, I continue reading the book. If not, then I move on to another book and see if I can continue to read the book.

    There are many books on my TBR at NetGalley, which reminds me. I need to read these then write reviews before publication.

    Diana

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    1. Diana, Hamnet is by Maggie O'Farrell, and she is a favorite author for me. That's why it's so frustrating that I haven't gotten to Hamnet yet. It has the plague for goodness sake, and the plague is one of my favorite reading themes. I'm hoping for a miracle of time slowing down.

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    2. Kathy, thanks for the author's name. I got the paperback with the blue book cover that I really like.

      Diana

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    3. Diana, that's a beautiful cover. I have the hardback, but I'm thinking of getting the paperback just for its cover.

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  24. As Pat phrased it above, I have such an embarrassment of riches waiting for me to read. I have an good-sized antique round table in my bedroom that is a TBR table, a TBR cart, several TBR baskets, a TBR small bookcase, and various TBR piles on tables. Oh, and I also have the TBR Kindle books, which include the books from NetGalley. And, there are the ARCs, which along with the NetGalley are review books. I really shouldn't be thinking about all of this because I'm getting further behind with a new rescue dog in the house, an eight-year-old Brittany who is clinging to me and scared of Philip. Working on it.

    Anyway, there is somewhat of a method to my madness of TBR books. I read the books I am reviewing in time (mostly) for their publication dates. There are some who are absolutes in my ARC/review list, and right now the following books are in that queue: The Hollywood Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal, Survive the Night by Riley Sager, The Crooked Shore by Martin Edwards, A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson, A Scone of Contention by Lucy Burdette, The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny, The King of Infinite Space by Lyndsay Faye, Shot Caller by Jen Danna, and 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard. That takes me through August, and some of those might be reviews after publication date. I have to mention a few coming up in September, as they include Hank's. They are Her Perfect Life by Hank Phillippi Ryan, The Stolen Hours by Alan Eskens, The Heron's Cry by Ann Cleeves, and The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward.

    Right now I am trying to finish Laurie King's Castle Shade (a past publication date review, yikes), and I've had way too many interruptions. Immediately following is Susan's Hollywood Spy.

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  25. And, of course, I forgot some. Hostage by Clare Mackintosh, The Pact by Sharon Bolton, and The Maidens by Alex Michaelides, the new Jessica Fletcher by Terrie Moran, and The Distant Dead by Lesley Thomson. Whew! It's an impossible list, and I'm a slow reader. Sigh.

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  26. I read On Harrow Hill, the new Dave Gurney novel, by John Verdon and loved it. I'm so passionate about reading British crime novels, but decided I needed to discover a few more new American ones. Sally at Murder by the Book recommended this one. It was fantastic, so I went back and picked up the first in the series, Think of a Number. I love reading all the posts by friends on social media recommending books. Although I enjoy cozies, I'm drawn to darker works and ominous looking covers. Naturally, I'm going to read anything my favorite authors publish. Uh, Deborah, I'm getting impatient! :) I'm about to start Louise Penny's All The Devil's Are Here (fabulous title!).

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  27. There are certain authors who will always go to the very top of Mt. TBR (you know who you are ;-) and library due dates also factor in, along with my mood at the time. After a heavier work, I might need M. C. Beaton or some short stories before moving on. At the beginning of COVID quarantine, my library extended all the due dates by two months and increased the budget for ebooks, which led to many of us learning to prefer the ebooks, like flipping a switch. I'll still read "tree books" but they are no longer my first choice, and I never would have predicted it. Thanks for new books and for online book talks, so we never need to be bored or lonely. <3

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  28. I plan to be buried in a coffin of my books that have been read and let the gods of literature take the rest. Oy vey.

    As to how I read, much like Jay I read ARCs first and then go by my mood. In this stack, however, I have two that I'm rereading because the authors will be with me on a panel at Bouchercon. Two more reside in my Kindle as ARCs. Hank's HER PERFECT LIFE (OMG! I'm dying to read the last part tonight!) and WE WERE NEVER HERE by Andrea Barth.

    If you've never read Rudolph Fisher, DO IT! A Harlem doctor from the 30s who died too young wrote some of the most immersive novels of early Harlem. His writing puts me right there in time and place. I was reading THE CONJURE MAN DIES while my hubby was reading THE WALLS OF JERICHO, and we ended up reading passages to each, so excited about the way he wrote and the characters he created.

    Stay cool, everyone!

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