Monthly TBRs

January 2017 TBR


Goodbye December, and hello January!

I’m going to keep this month’s TBR fairly short both in number of books and the size of the books I am planning to read.  For the first half of 2017, I am focusing on NetGalley books that were sent to me in 2016 for review that I didn’t get around to reading and reviewing as I should have.  I know, I am horrible.  I am ready to climb out of my NetGalley hole this year and get my act together.  Having a smaller TBR will also help to give me time to play a little catch up on my book reviews.  I have some awesome books to review and cannot wait to share my thoughts with you all!

Let’s see what I will be reading this month, shall we?


 Books for Review:

» Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

*Blogging for Books

When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.

Eventually he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach. With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common. However, Felix has another twist in mind, and his enemies are about to find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever. But how will Felix deal with his invisible Miranda’s decision to take a part in the play?

» The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock


In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled.

» Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen


Filled with insights that are hallmarks of Anna Quindlen’s bestsellers, this extraordinary novel is about a woman coming of age, as she unearths secrets about her family and her town, and surprising truths about herself.

For generations the Millers have lived in Miller’s Valley. Mimi Miller tells about her life with intimacy and honesty. As Mimi eavesdrops on her parents and quietly observes the people around her, she discovers more and more about the toxicity of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, the flaws of marriage, the inequalities of friendship and the risks of passion, loyalty, and love. Home, as Mimi begins to realize, can be “a place where it’s just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel content.”

Miller’s Valley is a masterly study of family, memory, loss, and, ultimately, discovery, of finding true identity and a new vision of home. As Mimi says, “No one ever leaves the town where they grew up, even if they go.” Miller’s Valley reminds us that the place where you grew up can disappear, and the people in it too, but all will live on in your heart forever.

» In the Light of What We See by Sarah Painter


Brighton, 1938: Grace Kemp is pushed away by the family she has shamed. Rejected and afraid, she begins a new life as a nurse. But danger stalks the hospital too, and she’ll need to be on her guard to avoid falling into familiar traps. And then there are the things she sees…Strange portents that have a way of becoming real.

Eighty years later, Mina Morgan is brought to the same hospital after a near-fatal car crash. She is in terrible pain but recalls nothing. She’s not even sure whom to trust. Mina too sees things that others cannot, but now, in hospital, her visions are clearer than ever…

Two women, separated by decades, are drawn together by a shared space and a common need to salvage their lives.


Book Club Selection:


» The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.

booktopboarderHave you read any of the books on my TBR?  What did you think?

Which books are you planning on reading this month?

Comment below and let me know 🙂

Happy reading!

40 thoughts on “January 2017 TBR”

  1. OhMeGosh! The Invention Of Wings sounds SooO Good! added to my TBR, thank you Amanda for bringing this one to our attention. You & I will be on the same path the 1st half of 2017 cuz I need to clear some arcs from Netgalley & Edelweiss if I ever plan to read one f my own books again lol smh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought so too! That’s why I suggested it as our January read. Sue Monk Kids also wrote The Secret Life of Bees which I loved, so I’m excited to read The Invention of Wings! Supposedly it was rated as one of the top book club reads of 2015.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I’ve actually heard a lot about The Secret Life Of Bees & I didn’t know it was the same author. I hope your book club enjoys this read & I’ll be keeping an eye out for your thoughts 😉


      1. That seems to be the case. I definitely have a lot of respect for her. She writes beautifully and seems to have very solid concepts, but something was just off for me. I am hoping to see your review soon!


  2. I love the sound of In the light of what we see and I’ve been meaning to read The invention of wings for forever. I’m also curious about The Smell of Other People’s Houses :O

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am about half way through. Sadly I think I am the only one in the club not 100% in love with it thus far, but things can always turn around!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think DNFing a book is 100% fine as long as you give it a fair shot (some say the magic number is 20%) and can back up your decision to stop reading it. I don’t even think you need to post a review for a DNF book on your blog, just provide the info to NetGalley.

      NetGalley is a beautiful thing if used correctly. I obviously didn’t understand how it worked when I started and am now paying for it. Just don’t make the mistakes I made and you’ll be fine 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Going through and requesting a million books not thinking I’d get approved for any because I was a new blogger, then getting approved for 75!!! Seriously only request the ones you really want to read and only so many at a time until after you see if you get approved or not.


  3. That is one of my New Year’s resolutions! Getting out of my NetGalley hole. Lol! Good luck to you in 2017! I have In Light of What We See on NetGalley too, and it’s been on there literally forever. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it. I also wanna read Hagseed and The Smell of Other Peoples Houses.


  4. I made the same mistake as you on my first foray into Netgalley, but I think I’m catching up a little now. I’ve read The Smell of Other People’s Houses and I thought it was amazing, so hopefully you’ll enjoy that one! The Invention of Wings sounds really good, and Miller’s Valley sounds like something I’d enjoy too, I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts 🙂


  5. Does this mean you’re turning off, or whatever, your Netgalley? I don’t know much about except bloggers fall down the rabbit hole! I have enough books at home to keep me busy…. and so do all the Netgalley fans, from what I hear 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I won’t be deleting my account or anything crazy like that! I just don’t allow myself to browse through the books available for request. Once I reach that magic 80% I will use it the correct way. NetGalley is a beautiful thing when used correctly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so happy you liked it!! ❤ And I think that keeping TBRs short in our months are the way to a good life, haha! My January reads were a joke, as my life got crazier than I expected during my vacation, but I'll stick to the short TBR thing in February ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OMG OMG DISNEY WORLD!!!! If my math is correct (spoiler alert, it never is), you’re like really close to going, aren’t you?? =DD Ohh, this will be beautiful!!! I hope the trip goes well and that you all have a great time!!

        My vacation was awesome, but life has been positively hectic since I’ve returned! I honestly thought I’d be settled and bored by now, haha!

        Liked by 1 person

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