TBR List

Every time I venture out into the vast vastness that is the “internets,” I manage to find something to add to my TBR list. Mind you, my list is different from my pile. (Does that sound icky? My pile?) My list contains books I want to read but have yet to acquire, whereas my pile consists of actual physical books in my possession that are, well, piled around the house. While I’ve made a firm agreement with myself not to add to the pile, I am free to add to the list as much as I please. I thought I’d share selections of this list with you, so either you can add items to your list, or so you can say things like, “I read that. It sucked.” Then I can make space on the list for something else. Or maybe you’ll say, “You must read that now!” and then I can get it from the library, because we all know library books can never be part of the TBR pile because you have to return them eventually. I love loopholes.

Without further ado, here are this week’s TBR list items:

Any Bitter Thing, by Monica Wood

Synopsis: “After surviving a near-fatal accident, thirty-year-old Lizzy Mitchell faces a long road to recovery. She remembers little about the days she spent in and out of consciousness, save for one thing: She saw her beloved deceased uncle, Father Mike, the man who raised her in the rectory of his Maine church until she was nine, at which time she was abruptly sent away to boarding school. Was Father Mike an angel, a messenger from the beyond, or something more corporeal? Though her troubled marriage and her broken body need tending, Lizzy knows she must uncover the details of her accident — and delve deep into events of twenty years before, when whispers and accusations forced a good man to give up the only family he had.”

It occurs to me that even as I’ve compiled a TBR list, I haven’t kept track of where I found these books. That might help me remember why I picked them, because I’m not sure what drew me to this one. I think I may have picked it because it has what sounds like a good story and also some suspense.

The Dart League King, by Keith Lee Morris

Synopsis: “An intriguing tale of darts, drugs, and death. Russell Harmon is the self-proclaimed king of his small-town Idaho dart league, but all is not well in his kingdom. In the midst of the league championship match, the intertwining stories of those gathered at the 411 club reveal Russell’s dangerous debt to a local drug dealer, his teammate Tristan Mackey’s involvement in the disappearance of a college student, and a love triangle with a former classmate. The characters in Keith Lee Morris’s second novel struggle to find the balance between accepting and controlling their destinies, but their fates are threaded together more closely together than they realize.”

As a former league pool player (Oh yes. It was quite fun and I was actually good at it, so naturally I had to quit.), the framework of this novel intrigues me. You always hear that everyone has stories, and I used to find myself sitting in the pool hall, wondering about the people I saw once a week, both on my own team and on our competitors’ teams. Morris actually took the idea and did something with it. Imagine! You can read an excerpt here.

Comedy at The Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America, by Richard Zoglin

Synopsis: “In the rock-and-roll 1970s, a new breed of comic, inspired by the fearless Lenny Bruce, made telling jokes an art form. Innovative comedians like George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Robert Klein, and, later, Steve Martin, Albert Brooks, Robin Williams, and Andy Kaufman, tore through the country and became as big as rock stars in an era when Saturday Night Live was the apotheosis of cool and the Improv, Catch a Rising Star, and the Comedy Store were the hottest clubs around.

In Comedy at the Edge, Richard Zoglin gives a backstage view of the time, when a group of brilliant, iconoclastic comedians ruled the world — and quite possibly changed it, too. Based on extensive interviews with club owners, agents, producers — and with unprecedented and unlimited access to the players themselves — Comedy at the Edge is a no-holds barred, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most influential and tumultuous decades in American popular culture.”

Back in 1986, between my junior and senior years of high school, I got the idea that someone–well, I–should write a book about Saturday Night Live and the impact it had on comedy in America. At that time, I still thought I would be a writer for Rolling Stone, you know, instead of a person who writes about books other people have actually written on thissere blog. I had this idea that Saturday Night Live was to comedy in the 1970s as Paris was to American fiction in the 1920s: it was the place all the talented people gathered to create. While this book is not exclusively about Saturday Night Live, it is about the growth of a comedy culture that made it possible.

So share if you like. Any opinions on these? Other suggestions?

*images from amazon.com

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