The To Be Read Stack…

I think there is an inherent amount of dishonesty in blogging. Why would anyone want to blog about the bad stuff? It’s not as interesting and, generally, nobody wants to present themselves unfavorably. I certainly don’t. I don’t want to tell you I’m overwhelmed and overworked (both of which are true), because then I feel ungrateful – and that’s not true either. I’m incredibly grateful for all the review copies I receive, I’m thankful I have two jobs that I love, and I know I’m lucky to be renovating a house. Does that mean I don’t feel like I’m drowning in books, in need of a vacation, and tired of looking at unfinished floors (and walls and bathroom)? No. I think both feelings – grateful and overwhelmed – can exist at the same time.

Do I think these worries are silly in the face of what’s going on in West, Texas and Chicago and Boston (and the world at large)? Yes, though it does not make them any less present.

I’m sharing this because I’m curious how other people do it. How do you find time to review two to three books a week (or, prolific people, four or more books a week), participate in memes, and still have time for everything else? Do you feel guilty when you don’t review a book? Anyone have the work-life balance thing figured out?

With that being said, this is what’s upcoming on the blog. I feel silly sharing it ( as it can seem like a filler post and a little bit like bragging – neither of which I intend). However, I like seeing the upcoming lists of others – so I thought I’d try it here.

Review Copies:

To Be Read

The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (translated from Spanish)
Freud’s Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman
The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick (this might be a decline to review)
Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty
A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
The Demonologist by Andrew Pryor (this might be a decline to review, it’s been compared (unfavorably) to The Da Vinci Code)
Telling the Bees Peggy Hesketh
The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig

To Be Read 2
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (this is one of my current reads, it’s absolutely amazing)
Silken Prey by John Sandford
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
Anna 2026 by Lucas Morgan
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls by Anton Disclafani
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths


Festival Man by Geoff Berner
True by Erin McCartney (the main character is a female Rory)
One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis
The Other Child by Charlotte Link
Godforsaken Idado by Shawn Vestal
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Jershon
Save Yourself Kelly Braffet
& Sons by David Gilbert
The Longings of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown
Swimming to Elba by Silvia Avallone
Mo Said She Was Quirky by James Kelman
Wrecked by Charlotte Roche

So those are some of the books you have to look forward too. That’s not even including books from my personal library that I would like to get to. Anyone like a good renovation before and after (though now the interwebs can see my bedroom, I don’t know how I feel about that)?

26 thoughts on “The To Be Read Stack…

  1. Well, NOS4A2 of course but I already shared how I feel about that. 😛
    I’m really interested in reading The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls. I also have the The Ashford Affair to get through… was trying to do that before it’s released to the rest of the world but that’s not likely to happen. Several other good ones that I’m going to have to check out now… and here I was trying to reduce my TBR pile. Oh well.


    1. I might have offered to trade my little finger for the NOS4A2 ARC. I wish I was kidding. It would’ve been worth it though. 😉

      The TBR pile is hopeless, as in truly, absolutely it will never be under control hopeless. I think that’s part of what gets me down – I will never actually read everything I want to read.


      1. Oh, yes. Little fingers, kidneys… whatever! Oh, well. Soon enough. 🙂
        I can definitely understand that. I have mountains of books at home yet I continue requesting new ones and I go to my used bookstore far too often. Glad that I at least have my ARC pile below 20 though. Progress?

        I just got an ARC of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls so excited for that. 🙂


      2. NOS4A2 is good – really, really good. It’s easily competing for my favorite book of the year so far (with Double Feature and Donnybrook).


      3. But in regards to your actual question on being overwhelmed by your TBR pile… I do my best to read books in the order their published. Totally sounds like a chore but as soon as I get a new ARC I’ll put a note on my calendar regarding the publication date. I’ve learned now to feel guilty when a book just isn’t for me and have been getting better at setting them aside and (maybe) coming back to them in the future if I feel it’s just not the right time. This year I’ve cut way back on my ARC requests but still have been overwhelmed. I guess I just try and do the best I can… that’s all I can do. 🙂


      4. I have trouble figuring out what gives. Is it working out (which has been pushed aside lately, but I blame that on all the snow)? Is it cooking? Cleaning? Obviously I can’t push aside work. Or do I pass on books. I have to work on saying no. And I need to stop pressing the netgalley request button. And I need to stop browsing used books sales…

        Basically, what you said.


    2. hahaha… my working out has gotten seriously pushed aside but not as a conscious decision to stay home and read more. I do share the cooking and my kids help out around the house a lot with cleaning… I don’t know it’s really difficult still. I also need to learn just to stay off Goodreads (and Edelweiss and Netgalley) so that I’m not constantly adding more to my TBR pile. I already have plenty to read in this lifetime. Never ending battle.


  2. Uh… overwhelmed just looking at these stacks and not seeing anything I recognize except NOS4A2! So, maybe I’ve been blogging long enough and have satisfactorily pissed off enough followers and thus have zero obligation-guilt, that I just don’t give a crap about pleasing anyone by myself on my blogging habits, thankyouverymuch. I no longer accept reviews and my only rule to myself is to yap about every book I read unless I don’t want to. Sorry, I’m not trying to be deliberately unhelpful. I think you should read THE OTHER TYPIST! It looks to be the shortest and I’m really intrigued by the title. I am already wondering about the other typist that this typist is other to and how did he/she deserve a book by being ‘other’?! what dastardly deeds have been down by a typist, no less. Oh yea, rushing out to find out more… see ya.


    1. I’m just a guilty person (and a yes person – as in ‘why yes I can do that and that and that’ – typical oldest child), though I’ve moved on from letting it consume me like it used to. I admire your blogging confidence though, we’ll see where I am in a year. You’re not unhelpful, in fact, it’s good to know that some people blog really and truly for themselves. I don’t accept self-published authors anymore (though I think I only ever agreed to two). I’m on the auto mail list for a few publishers, which is how those piles happened.

      The Other Typist looks promising, I will report back on it by the first week of May. Apparently, it’s an unreliable narrator – always intriguing (plus, the Hitchcock comparison).


  3. I know exactly what you mean. I feel overwhelmed all the time when thinking about how many books I still need to read, and my TBR pile just keeps growing and growing. It’s hard finding a balance between blogging and work and social life. I don’t know how some people read SO MANY books and still have a life. I hope you enjoy your upcoming reads!


    1. I’m really curious as to how people read 4 or more books a week. Do they really read them? Do they ever sleep? I don’t like the idea of only reading new releases, but I also don’t like to say no to something that looks intriguing. Just looking for the balance, I guess, if it’s even possible to have one.

      And I’m willing to bet I’ll at least enjoy one or two of these…


    1. That’s not a bad idea. I recently consolidated my review books (and my personal books and my library books) and it overwhelmed me. I may have to separate them back out if I don’t want the stacks to mock me every time I walk by them.


  4. Oooh, I have A Hundred Summers and The Ashford Affair on my want-to-read pile…The Sound of Things Falling sounds interesting, will have to look it up on GoodReads.

    Best of luck getting through the review books and the e-galleys! I actually slowed down requesting for galleys because I realised my to-read pile (both books from publishers and my own books) was getting too tall! Like, literally…it created a barricade of sorts on my desk, lol xD


    1. The Sound of Things falling is translated from Spanish and it is supposed to be really good – we’ll see, it is one of the books I am most looking forward to.

      I had mixed feelings on Overseas so I am curious to see where A Hundred Summers takes me. I go through phases on netgalley, sometimes I request a lot, sometimes I go weeks without. The publisher’s books tend to come in seasonal waves as well.

      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with piles that threaten to topple.


  5. I feel sometimes overwhelmed as well..Aidan helps me though with the writing bit but sometimes I just don’t feel like I want to post that day but then someone says something incredibly helpful or nice..or decides to read or watch something I reviewed..then the time spent feels worthwhile! I totally get you though!


    1. I know you already know (of course), but your husband is a keeper – you’re audio reviews are adorable.

      The comments are probably one of my favorite things about blogging. I got a really nice one the other day on my Walking Disaster post and it actually made my week, so I know exactly what you mean. I also appreciate when people read my reviews even when they know it’s a book they’re not interested in.

      And I added The Third Man to my netflix queue, I have you and Aidan to thank for that.


  6. The Mystery Woman was a quick (no pun. LOL) read for me. Then again I’m a fan of Quick and it’s one I had to read. Ooooh I want to read The Demonologist (I haven’t read The Da Vinci Code so I go in blind). Stoker’s Manuscript is one that sounds interesting. I LOVED The Ashford Affair-that’s one you have to read.

    I will admit…I’m overwhelmed at the moment. I have 10 books to read / review and 3 interviews to prep (which requires reading one of the requested books in order to come up with questions). I have 4 reviews to write and one of them is for a Monday posting and another I’ve been trying to write since early March. How do I balance it? I pick the days of the week where I have nothing going on and write reviews and usually crank out 3-4 in one sitting while I catch up on the DVR in the background. I try to aim for 8 reviews a month, but I know some months I won’t get that. Any interviews on my blog have been scheduled up to 2 months before they get posted. I wonder how some blogs can crank out 2-3 reviews a day plus a bunch of other content. If I have a few low key days at home that’s when I schedule x posts (either memes / get cover reveal posts ready so I just have to insert the image, etc).

    Don’t feel guilty if you are feeling overwhelmed and trying to balance real life. It’s ok to feel that way and in the end, review / post on your schedule.


    1. Make the pun intended! Puns are the best,

      I’ve always declined interviews because they seem like so much extra work, but they are something I’ve thought about. Currently, I write my reviews as I post them and my top ten lists a few weeks in advance.

      And really, how do those bloggers do it. I know some of the larger websites, like non-bookish Young House Love and A Cup of Jo are professional bloggers and have help, but how do the rest of the people do it? How does anyone find time to produce a quality review every day. It’s mind boggling. Or, perhaps, I struggle more to write something than most do…?

      Now I feel guilty about feeling guilty :). Kidding. The absolute worst thing that could happen (aside from disappointing myself) would be for the publishers to stop sending me books, and I think I would survive that.


  7. I’ve decided to never let my NetGalley requests be more than double the number of reviews I’ve submitted… this completely arbitrary decision has kept ii in check for me… We’ve got some matches on our TBR list inc. A Dual Inheritance and & Sons.


    1. & Sons has been compared to The Art of Fielding, so I’m excited to see how it holds up. And to be fair, some of my egalleys aren’t actually coming out until Autumn, so I have time, it’s just knowing they’re there…

      I think you’d like The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls if you haven’t checked it out already.

      You’ve already read The Other Typist (for which I am now excited based on your review) and I’ll be curious to read your thoughts on Swimming to Elba. I was such a wonderfully behaved teenager that I’m interested to see what qualifies as teenage girls behaving badly 😉

      Of course, I had the best of intentions of rereading Gatsby before the movie, but that’s not going to happen either. And like I said on Twitter, Wrecked is an absolute disaster (I do wonder if it lost some of its nuance in translation), Freud would have a field day with that novel (entirely about sexual hang-ups, and father and mother issues – also involving sex).


  8. I wonder the same thing all the time. How do people seem to have more time than me? Especially the people that have children! Better time management, I suppose? Or maybe they are much more proficient at writing reviews than I am (it takes me a long time to get my thoughts out some days). Faster readers? I don’t know. But then there’s also the whole reading thing – these other people are not only cranking out several reviews a week, they are also able to read several books a week! I’m always curious to hear about how others organize their busy lives, that’s for sure!

    Good luck working on your TBR 🙂


    1. Thanks.

      It truly is mind boggling sometimes. I am a very proficient reader – I am thorough and fast. Writing is an entirely different story. It took me about 10 hours to write my latest review and I am wholly unsatisfied with it. I know I shouldn’t take it so seriously, but if I really love a book, I want to do it justice.

      The most I seem to be able to manage is two reviews a week and one list of some sort. I admire those who do more.


  9. My TBR is always out of control. I’ve learned to be OK with that fact of life. I like to read, I like to acquire books. It is what it is. 🙂

    I’ve been on a blogging break recently so I haven’t been posting at all. I used to try and post several times a week, but when it stopped being fun and felt more like work, I backed off. When I get back to it, I’ll post when I have something to share. I’m good with that.


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