Favorite Things, Humor, Soul Homework

What Books Are On Your To Be Read List?

I keep a TBR list on my phone. What is a TBR? It’s definitely not this:

TBR stands for “to be read”, and a TBR list is a list of books I wish to read.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve devised a system that I’ve been working on since the pandemic. Because I’m a slow reader, I only hold a few books at a time. I don’t like keeping books from other readers because I don’t think it’s fair. So right now, I have a large list of books on my phone’s notes that are waiting to be held at my local library.

I love receiving book suggestions. I get them from my mom, my friends, blogging friends, magazine articles, websites, social media, store cashiers, and so on. Finding new book suggestions has become my new favorite pastime.

To be honest, reading has become my new favorite pastime. I never imagined I’d say this, but it’s true.

In my book, I discuss how I lost interest in reading during the five years I was in perimenopause. Brain fog, memory loss, pain, and other problems sapped my desire to read. I couldn’t concentrate long enough to read anything other than social media. Can you imagine? But now I’m more than making up for it.

So I’m opening a little today, being vulnerable, and allowing you in.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

Welcome to my ever-growing To Be Read List. This does not include what is currently on hold at the library, which I will include at the top of the list. This also does not include what I’m currently reading.

I’m proud of who I’m becoming. 🙂

Being held at the library:

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect us From Violence by Gavin De Becker

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia

All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living by Morgan Harper Nichols

The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van der Kolk

1- You Were Never Broken: Poems to Save Your Life by Jeff Foster

2- Your Art Will Save Your Life by Beth Pickens

3- A Year to Live: How to Live This Year As If It Were Your Last by Stephen Levine

4-The Past Life Perspective: Discovering Your True Nature Across Multiple Lifetimes by Ann C. Barnham MA, LMFT

5- The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest

6- Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

7- The Song of The Seed: A Monastic Way of Tending the Soul by Macrina Wiederkehr

8-Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

9- Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

10- What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce Perry

11- The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

12- The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer

13- Ways of Seeing by John Berger

14- Finding Freedom: How Death Row Broke and Opened My Heart by Jarvis Masters

15- Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair by Anne Lamott

16- Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander M.D.

17– Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential by Caroline Myss

18- Broken Horses: A Memoir by Brandi Carlile

19- The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

20- The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

21- Unseen City: The Majesty of Pigeons, The Discreet Charm of Snails, & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness by Nathanael Johnson

22- The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

23- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

24- 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Gregory Rabassa

25- All About Love: New Visions by Bell Hooks

26- The Guncle by Steven Rowley

27- Crying in Hmart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner

28- The Music of Bees: A Novel by Eileen Garven

29- Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind: How to Stop the Cycle of Anxiety, Fear, and Worry by Jennifer Shannon

30- The Awakening by Kate Chopin

31- Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains by Cassie Chambers

32- The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

33- The Beauty of What Remains: How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift by Steve Leder

34- More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us by Steve Leder

35- Men Explaining Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

I hope I’ve given you some new reads. I’d love to hear your book recommendations so that I may add more books to my TBR list.

64 thoughts on “What Books Are On Your To Be Read List?”

    1. No, but thank you for the reminder! I was at the library last week, trying to recall the title of the book you recommended, but I didn’t have my phone on me and forgot. Menopause brain fog caused me to forget to add it to my list AND to return to your blog to look it up. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I recently read Hazel Prior’s How The Penguins Saved Veronica, which was a light read, perfect for the summer, still smiling. I am currently reading Ann Bogel’s Don’t Overthink It which is filled with practical advice that I need to hear. I have lined up Brenda Ueland’s If You Want To Write which I read in college, know it influenced me positively, but have forgotten the deets of it.

    I’m not familiar with your choices by Caroline Myss and Anne Lamott, but other books by those authors helped me find my way to who I am now. Back when I was a spiritual quest to be authentic. ☯️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m already invested in your three suggestions.

      When I began writing this post, I was excited about all of the recommendations I was about to receive. I know my TBR list is already long, and it may take me a while to get to those books, but the best part is that my friends are recommending them to me.

      I’m not familiar with those choices either, LOL. In fact, I can’t remember where I got those suggestions. I should start making a note of where I found each book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I will too! I’ve enjoyed all of the writing books you’ve suggested in the past.

        Funny story, I believe you (and several others) recommended Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way last year? I added it to my library list, and I read “it.”

        Well, what I thought was “it.”

        I ended up only getting the morning pages journal. Recently, I decided to order it for a friend’s birthday gift and I discovered there is an actual BOOK that goes along with the morning pages.

        HEAD SLAP.

        Long story short, I moved the book to the top of my library list and plan to read it soon. Before wrapping it, I looked through the chapter titles in my friend’s copy. I’m already so excited to read it, and now I totally get why so many of you were telling me to read it. LOL


  2. Ooooo. I love books and love reading other people’s book recs so I cannot wait to pour through your list. Other people’s books recs are fab bc you can really shift your perspective.

    Right now my TBR list is not for *me*! I’m trying to compile a TBR list for an older relative currently shielding from COVID, bored of her usual authors. She reads romance & mysteries (not bodice ripper, not scary). So my TBR are books I’m hoping will fit her – not too complex with light romance, light mystery, not scary. It is a fun challenge. Looking at 3 authors: Liane Moriarty, Susan Meissner, & Susanna Kearsley. I know Kearsley. Perfect distraction. Short n sweet. If u r interested in trying her books, I’d suggest *avoiding* reading anything about her, her book(s), blurbs, etc. Anything you read will be a spoiler. Remember the goode olde days when you just read a book and did not know anything about it (not even the jacket blurb)? The thrill of jumping into the unknown? Anywho, if u want to try something diff, Kearsley is best consumed with the empty, beginner’s mind (lol). Thus is *not* life changing fiction like you usually read 🙂 though so I dunno that I’d recommend for u…..

    I know less about the other 2 authors but Meissner seems safe and Moriarty has a kind of right now ness that my relative likes (I just gotta find something, um, less OMG than Big Little Lies…. that’s a wee bit too intense for my kind-soul of a relative!). Again tho… not life changing fiction. Just light reads. Wish me luck.

    I do dig me some life changing stuff but lately I’ve been looking to history. For that (ironically) I need current stuff – articles, papers, and a French dude who records soporific audio discussions (you get sleepy and u learn! Bonus!). I have learned so many mind blowing things that I did not know. (I swear I’m not your crazy relative on Facebook.) Anywho, right now I’m learning about the history of textiles & fashion and how that history reflects changes in society, etc. (Just occurred to me that this ties into The Awakening – in your book list. Spoiler – the main character’s clothing is reflective of both her internal & external state & status. Dude I’d totally forgotten that!)

    Oh! Wanted to say – seeing The Awakening on your list reminded me of a college course reading list. It is like u r dipping a toe into that list Kari! The Awakening, that Yellow Wall Paper short story…. both part of the curriculum. So I tentatively list here some of the other books in that course: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (spoiler: look for how women are sources of bottomless sympathy), Sula & Beloved by Toni Morrison, Moma Day by Gloria Naylor. Huge caveat: I read these books loooong ago and don’t know how they’ve aged. But a gazillion years ago a college Lit teacher thought there were shared themes withThe Awakening and the wallpaper short story. As we used to say…. YMMV. 🙂

    Sorry for the novel (ha!) length comment. And again thank you for sharing your awesome reading list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More novels in my comment section, please. This applies to everyone. As you know, I love these conversations.

      I also love that you are creating a TBR list for someone who is trying to keep herself safe from COVID. I didn’t even consider that aspect when I was writing this. So let us hope that this comment section serves as a space for sharing book recommendations to those who are staying inside due to health restrictions, fear, anxiety, whatever the case may be. Maddie, you’re an inspiration. 🙂

      The Yellow Wallpaper and The Awakening were added while doing research for my book. I learned that many years ago, women combating the same issues I was were synonymous with being a witch. For possessing a uterus, for example, you may be burned at the stake. The fact that most women don’t know about this is sad. I can’t believe it took me this long to discover it. I also can’t believe I’ve never read anything by Toni Morrison before. I’m bumping her to the top of the list.

      A large part of the reason I haven’t read these books is that I never enjoyed reading as a child or a teenager. I didn’t realize reading might be enjoyable until Oprah launched a book club in the late 1990s. I read the book She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb and I couldn’t put it down. I found that reading could be fun if you find an author you like, and there isn’t a deadline to finish reading.

      Never apologize for the length of your comments. I’m so grateful for every single one of them.


      1. Kari you are marvelous (also *Billy Crystal voice* you loook mah-velous 🙂 ). I always feel like I should apologize for my wordy comments. You always make me feel ok for leaving wordy comments. Did I mention that you’re marvelous (absolutely mahhh-velous dahhh-ling)?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Butting in here, but I’ve also been reading lite these days. Your relative might like Colleen Oakley; I’ve just read/listened to her latest (The Invisible Husband of Frick Island) and an earlier one (You Were There Too). Another author you might try is Laura Dave (The Last Thing He Told Me). These are all audiobook listens for me; I like a light book to listen to when I’m doing chores and don’t need to concentrate much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for the suggestions! You’re totally not butting in – you’re Fairy Godmothering / Mr Roger’s level Helpering (my apologies to the English language). Those books look perfect for my relative (and also me!). Adding to my list! Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my all-time favorites is Orlando by Virginia Woolf. In many ways her novel of a young man who lives for centuries, becoming a young woman along the way, is pretty relevant now, and it covers a wide range of subjects.
    And another that comes to mind is Aldous Huxley’s Island. Most people think of Brave New World that they had to read in high school but Island was Huxley’s attempt at presenting a sane, healthy society–something else that seems very relevant these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Would you believe I’ve never read either of these? I’m adding them to my list! While I was at the library today (see? I HAVE A PROBLEM), I realized I should’ve mentioned in my post that there are a lot of classics I’ve never read. I’m not sure I’ll like many of them, but I’m always willing to try.

      Thank you for the suggestions!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I requested the Guncle a few months ago from our library and I am still waiting for that hold to come in; it looks like such a cute book and I am betting it’s very popular! I actually don’t keep a TBR list but I do have a Pinterest board devoted to books and when (if!) I run out of ideas on what to request I take a look through that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait to read it! You read so quickly that you don’t even need a TBR list!

      This is the issue I currently have: while picking up my library holds, I make the mistake of walking around the library and discovering other books I want to read as well. It’s becoming a problem. 🙂


      1. I have to not walk around the library when I run in to pick up books or I walk out with a good dozen more than I had planned on!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. YES! I also feel guilty when I take the books they have displayed on the end caps or from displays they’ve set up! I tell the librarians that they’ve made them too irresistible. 😉


  5. books I have yet to read Some old Bloke by Robert Llewellyn (a book I helped finance), The Usagi Yojimbo Saga Book 1, You don’t know me but you love me (the lives of Dick Miller),Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx, As I knew him My Dad Rod Serling, I’m the man by Scott Ian & Cherry Hill by Jona Frank

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I rely on my book club to suggest what I read, which has been very helpful because I never really pay attention to what I want to read until I’m standing in a library thinking: HMM, WHAT WAS THAT ONE BOOK CALLED? I recently read MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE – I really enjoyed it. I also REALLY loved THE BOYS IN THE BOAT. I like non-fiction and still love anything Jeanette Walls has written like THE GLASS CASTLE. I can’t say that I’ve read anything that has really influenced my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard Maybe You Should Talk to Someone was good! Added!
      You’re the second person in the comments to mention The Glass Castle, so it’s officially bumped to the top of the list. That’s how it works. Kidding, there’s no system. LOL

      I love the fact that you have a book club! How fun is that? It would be a lot of fun to have an online blog book club.


  7. Oh, you know I love a post like this! Thank you 🙂 Looking forward to checking out (literally) some of the titles you’ve shared. I like the eclectic nature of your list. It’s been a long time since I read Allende, but I LOVED her early work when I was in my 20s. And I’ve read The Awakening at more than one key juncture in my life. But it’s a hard read (emotionally). I know so many people who can’t say enough good things about The Midnight Library, but I really disliked it. Didn’t finish it. I loved the premise but didn’t like the writing. I really liked Erica Bauermeister’s The School of Essential Ingredients (fiction) and House Lessons (about renovating a house) and think you’d like both of those. I tried The Scent Keepers and that one didn’t click for me. Rebecca Solnit’s essays helped me survive the Trump administration, but I haven’t read any of her books, and bell hooks is so good. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on more of what you read.

    I’m really hoping that I will be able to read again the way I once did. I can’t attribute the change in my habits to menopause. I’m not quite sure what it is; probably a combination of factors. I haven’t been able to concentrate the way I once did. Often when I do set aside time to read, I fall asleep after only a few pages. I’m hoping to do much more reading and writing when fall arrives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t wait for you to comment!

      Can you believe I just discovered Isabel Allende this year? I am so glad I did. Have you read her book, The Soul of a Woman?

      You weren’t the only one who disliked it. I think it was my friend LA (you should check out her blog, by the way) who suggested it. Her comment section was divided between those who liked it and those who didn’t. That’s why I needed to read it for myself. I was instantly intrigued, LOL.

      I’m adding all of your books to my list. If you wrote a book of about all of your book suggestions, I’d buy that book. Could I write the word book anymore in this comment?

      Lack of motivation and lack of concentration were my top symptoms of perimenopause, aside from migraines. Yet, they are rarely discussed. I blame the patriarchy.


  8. TBR (to be read), PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon), PBR (Professional Bull Riders)
    So many choices!

    I love your vast TBR list; you really go deep in your reading. I’m generally more on the light side of things; I do love biographies the most. (But the Red Tent was great!) I’m currently reading Mademoiselle Chanel; it’s fiction but based on the life of Coco Chanel. Super interesting as I had no idea how hard her life was at the beginning; she was self-made.

    Kind of off-topic, but when I started loving books it was in the late eighties and I read a lot of Danielle Steele books and then moved onto Stephen King. Both are great writers, but totally different genres. I would read a lot more these days if not for the INTERNET. *Pointing fingers at you Al Gore!* 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Professional Bull Riders! Why didn’t I think of that one??

      For many years, I was a light-hearted reader. In fact, if you were to look at my basement bookshelves, they are stacked high with Jennifer Weiner, Judy Blume, and Tori Spelling. I’m an open book (see what I did there?). I’ve had a need for significance in my books since entering menopause and since changing my religious point of view. That’s something I don’t talk about often. I wasn’t a particularly nice person on the inside for many years, which is why I need these deep books. But every once in a while, I enjoy a good Tori Spelling book. 🙂

      Adding that Coco Chanel book to my list!

      I also liked Stephen King and Danielle Steele books in the 80s! Two more authors I like from the 80s are Mary Higgins Clark and LaVeryle Spencer. In fact, my all-time favorite book is Bittersweet by LaVeryle. It’s a love story set in Door County Wisconsin. It’s kind of cheesy, but it’s a terrific beach, airplane, get lost in your feelings- type of book.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I keep my TBR on goodreads. I have one friend in particular who is my book recommendation friend and we’ll send each other texts every couple of months with what we are reading. I’ve had lots of reading phases in my life – literary fiction, classic, nonfiction, bodice rippers. Lately, I’m finding myself drawn to airport bookstore reads. Your list is inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to be honest, I don’t know anything about Goodreads. I’ve heard of it through Google searches and other bloggers, but I’m not sure what it’s used for. I’m also the same person who doesn’t own a Kindle, so that should give you some context LOL. I’m intrigued (in a positive way) by all the different methods we can get books into people’s hands. That, in my humble opinion, is a step in the right direction. 🙂

      Side note- Bodice Rippers would be an excellent band name.

      Off to Goodreads to do some fun research…


  10. When 2021 started I was reading a book a month, for the first time in my life. Then COVID hit and I was reading nothing. I’m trying to get back into it but I’m having such a hard time carving out the time to do it. I love what reading, and reading finds, has done for you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s true! When I find the time I think about how I should read a book and then I go and work on something else. I feel like I’m stuck in this forward momentum and can’t stop to relax. It’s a weird space to feel like you can’t relax, but I’m stuck in it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have unmedicated ADD, which explains why I take so long to read books. Right now, I currently have four (FOUR) books on my coffee table that I’m attempting to read at various times. It would be tough to make it understandable for those who don’t have ADD. I want to read different books at different times of the day, or when I’m in different moods. Don’t even get me started on the number of books I’ve started and given up on…sigh.


  11. I bet you knew in advance that I’d love this post! I remember when you told me a few years ago that you didn’t read many books and I was shocked. A writer that didn’t read? Say it ain’t so! I’m so glad to hear that you’re making up for lost time.

    My TBR list is in a Word document on my laptop because it’s three typed pages long! And you know all the hundreds of books I still have in my house to be read. So many books, so little time couldn’t be more true.

    I hope you decide to join Goodreads. I’ve been using it for years. I know there’s different ways to use it, but I use it to keep track of all the books I’ve read. I then rate and review them. You can add friends just like on other social media, so you can see what your friends are reading, too.

    The main library I use currently has a book on hold for me that I requested. It’s one you had suggested before: Think Like a Monk.

    Non-fiction suggestions for you would be anything written by Anne Lamott, and a book called When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions by Sue Monk Kidd.

    Fiction: some of my favorites that I think you would like, too: The Fault in our Stars by John Green; The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood; Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen; The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (an old classic – first read it when I was around 12 and have re-read it twice as an adult!); The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd; Olive Kitteridge and the follow-up book, Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout.

    Will be going through your list and looking at other people’s suggestions, too! I don’t need anymore books added to my TBR list but…


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! When I was writing this post, I hoped you would enjoy it!

      I finally understand the term, “so many books, so little time.” I love that I’m finally in on the joke. 🙂

      So, I checked out Goodreads yesterday, thanks to Katie, and I made the mistake of looking at their awards first. I shouldn’t have done that. Long story. I really like the idea of keeping track of the books you’ve read! I also love the idea of rating them, although I’m not a big fan of writing reviews…I also dislike writing bio’s, so it falls in line with that mindset. I’m writing on my calendar, “spend time on Goodreads” in order to give it a fair shot.

      I use the interlibrary loan at my local library more than any other service there. If I had to guess, 80% of the books I get from the library come from other libraries. Even though my library is HUGE, they don’t have copies of the books I’m looking for, so I’m grateful they provide that service.

      A word about the author Jay Shetty. I don’t like his social media presence, but I really loved the book and his writing. So don’t look him up before you read his book. Trust me on this. The book has helped me rethink my perspective on a variety of different things, particularly the final chapter.

      I read The Fault in Our Stars many years ago. I’m a huge fan of John Green. I just finished his latest book. I also read Water for Elephants. Loved that book as well.

      I’m going to add the rest of your books to my list! Thank you for your suggestions.

      Do we ever need more books?? 😉


      1. I’m not a fan of writing book reviews either. My reviews on Goodreads pretty much suck. They’re basic. I never get into elaborate detail like a lot of reviewers do. Just so you know, you don’t have to write reviews. You can just rate the book and leave it at that.

        Thanks for the heads up on Jay Shetty. I picked up the book today and I have not looked him up, so I won’t do so! I don’t want his social media presence to “ruin” my opinion on him before I read the book.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Very interesting post! I will be using it and suggestions from the comments to start my own list. I read a lot of non-fiction, and just finished A Woman Of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. It is about an American woman,Virginia Hall, who worked as a spy during WWII. She was born into a wealthy family, but chose to work as a spy in France. The back cover refers to her as ” the American spy who changed the course of World War II.” A quick read about a fascinating person.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My dear, you need to join a book club or two or three, like me! Like somebody else here said, that’s where I get most of the titles I read. Many of them popped up in various other comments. I won’t add any particular suggestions because you probably already have enough to last a lifetime here!
    Well, maybe you can check me on that last comment because I will give you recommendations for authors I’ve enjoyed and discovered in my classics and fiction book clubs respectively: Mark Twain and Ann Patchett.
    When I make my own selections I tend toward nonfiction and just pick books on the clearance tables in the bookstores that deal with subjects of interest to me.
    And I can only handle reading 3 books max at the same time. More than that and I start to get the characters AND times AND places mixed up!
    Happy Reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I recently joined Goodreads! Oh my goodness, what a find! But yes, you’re correct, a book club would be an excellent idea for me.

      I’m the same way you are and I can only read two or three books at a time. During the colder months, I tend to take on more books because I have more time to hunker down.

      Happy Reading to you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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