Today I begin my TBR adventure at 499 books. Here we go!
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Synopsis: “The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he’s away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle’s vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven’t heard, spiking Mary’s curiosity.”
Verdict: This is one of those classics I’ve always had on my list to read. I’m definitely keeping it on here.
Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer
Synopsis: “In the summer of 1957, Frances and Bernard meet at an artists’ colony. She finds him faintly ridiculous, but talented. He sees her as aloof, but intriguing. Afterward, he writes her a letter. Soon they are immersed in the kind of fast, deep friendship that can take over—and change the course of—our lives.
From points afar, they find their way to New York and, for a few whirling years, each other. The city is a wonderland for young people with dreams: cramped West Village kitchens, rowdy cocktail parties stocked with the sharp-witted and glamorous, taxis that can take you anywhere at all, long talks along the Hudson River as the lights of the Empire State Building blink on above.”
Verdict: I do not remember adding this one at all. It would appear this is an epistolary novel that was inspired by the real life correspondence between the writers Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell. That, alone, is intriguing. Based on the reviews, though the average isn’t really that great at 3.68, it would appear maybe it’s one that I would like. I’m going to tentatively keep it for now.
Song of All Songs by Donna Dechen Birdwell (Earthcycles #1)
Synopsis: “Long after the apocalypse, Earth has repeopled itself. Twice.
Despised by her mother’s people and demeaned by her absent father’s legacy, Meridia has one friend—Damon, an eccentric photologist. When Damon shows Meridia a stone he discovered in an old photo bag purchased from a vagrant peddler, she is transfixed. There’s a woman, she says, a dancing woman. And a song. Can a song contain worlds? Oblivious of mounting political turmoil, the two set out to find the old peddler, to find out what he knows about the stone, the woman, and the song. But marauding zealots attack and take Damon captive. Meridia is alone. Desolate. Terrified. Yet determined to carry on, to pursue the stone’s extraordinary song, even as it lures her into a journey that will transform her world.”
Verdict: There are very few reviews, but they are very good. One review, alone, made me decide this book is probably for me. I’m going to keep it and hope I can get a hold of it at some point.
The Art of Steampunk by Art Donovan, et al.
Synopsis: “The Art of Steampunk seeks to celebrate the world of Steampunk: a world filled with beauty and innovation. A world in which steam power and technology intertwine to create machines that are not only functional and practical, but unique and striking.
Inside, you will find the fantastical and stunning artwork of Steampunk artists from around the world. The 17 artists featured on these pages, among the frontrunners of the Steampunk genre, have had their work displayed at an exhibition at The Museum of History of Science at the University of Oxford, UK and have attracted the media attention of BoingBoing, one of the world’s largest blogs. Their artwork consists of everything from clocks and watches to light fixtures and jewelry, but every piece demonstrates hours of painstaking work and devotion from its creator. You will find that the artists themselves are just as unique and colorful as their masterpieces. Fully embracing Steampunk ideology, many have adopted a Victorian alter ego—a mad scientist persona to match the complicated intricacies of their artwork.”
Verdict: While this does look interesting, and I do enjoy steampunk, I mainly like it for the fiction. This it the type of book I’d probably pick up in a bookstore and peruse to see the images, but I don’t really feel the need to keep it on here to seek it out. I’ll remove it.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
Synopsis: “Twelve-year-old CeeCee is in trouble. For years she’s been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille— the crown-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. Though it’s 1967 and they live in Ohio, Camille believes it’s 1951 and she’s just been crowned the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.
The day CeeCee discovers Camille in the front yard wearing a tattered prom dress and tiara as she blows kisses to passing motorists, she knows her mother has completely flipped. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, a previously unknown great-aunt comes to CeeCee’s rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. Within hours of her arrival, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricities—a world that appears to be run entirely by women.”
Verdict: For some reason, I’m not really feeling this one at the moment. I’m not really in the mood for sugary sweet. I think I’ll remove it.
Well, there you have it! I kept three reads and removed two leaving me with a total of 497 heading into next week. Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading !