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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

A Special Edition of TBR Additions - all thanks to Jack Edwards

I started putting together another TBR list and noticed that a LOT of my additions are due to watching one of my favorite YouTube reviewers, @JackEdwards (Jack in the Books). He's a young Brit living in Paris, a recent university graduate in Literature. He's entertaining to watch and gives thoughtful, helpful reviews. I like that his taste is different than mine and I don't always love his recommendations, but I'm always glad I read them.

He enjoys translated books, particularly from Asia (as do I); he enjoys books that expand his understanding of genders/races/experiences different than his (as do I), and he prefers books under 300 pages (I don't care; I actually love a LONG book now and then). Be sure and visit his channel and see if you pick up a few list additions too. Here's the list of the most recent recommendations by Jack that made my list:

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2003, 180 pages

Synopsis: in this translated novella, a math professor has an accident and can only remember last 80 minutes at a time so his housekeeper and her son move in to take care of him; a charming story of found family and living in present

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Genre: Thriller

Published 2017, 368 pages

Synopsis: dark academia - seven Shakespearean students are friends and one dies and one of them is imprisoned for the murder that he may or may not have committed; who dunnit?

Brother by David Chariandy

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2017, 192 pages

Synopsis: this powerful and heartbreaking novel explores, race, masculinity, family and identity played out with two Trinidadian brothers in the UK, a single mom, gang violence and more

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

Genre: General Fiction

Published 1992, 274 pages

Synopsis: this dreamy and bittersweet story is about a family divided by politics and revolution with a touch of magical realism

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2020, 433 pages

Synopsis: a girl goes to college having never had a crush, a kiss, or any hint of romance and as she meets people, she's exposed to different definitions of love/sexuality and tries to find her way; a story of gender identity and acceptance (Jack says it imparts knowledge in gentle, approachable way)

Word Perfect by Susie Dent

Genre: Nonfiction

Published 2021, 416 pages

Synopsis: a book with a story about English words/phrases and their beginnings for every day of the year - like snaccident = accidentally eating a whole package of biscuits; or, 'turning a blind eye' from Nelson putting the telescope to his missing eye to ignore the order to stop fighting, etc.

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2021, 364 pages

Synopsis: the book has a Harry Met Sally vibe romance about a long time friendship gone awry. The two finally agree to meet and try to fix it; the book is filled with good banter and has a great ending (Jack says: a good escape book)

** finished the audio

Love in Color by Bolu Babalola

Genre: Short Stories

Published April 2021, 290 pages

Synopsis: a collection of short stories reframing myths from around the world to make them female-centric and empower women.

** finished - review here

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Genre: General Fiction

Published June 2021, 336 pages

Synopsis: a couple meets in college and become best friends and both are authors whose work reflects the other's style. They meet annually to take a trip together until there's a major disagreement. Gradually they decide to meet again to see if their friendship can be fixed (ala Harry Met Sally).

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

Genre: General Fiction

Published February 2021, 155 pages

Synopsis: this debut novella is written in the second person (hmmm?) and is about two black Londoners, one a dancer, one a photographer, as they struggle to fit in, fall in love, and face tragedy

**finished, review pending

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Genre: SciFi

Published May 2021, 456 pages

Synopsis: (this recommendation was seconded by my nephew, so it's currently on my nightstand!) a man wakes up on a spaceship but doesn't remember how he got there; the crew is dead and he discovers he's supposed to save the world; (Jack says it's a master class in world building)

**finished - review here

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2007, 248 pages

Synopsis: a sudden romance between an adolescent boy and a summer visitor to his family's villa on the Italian Riviera; explores new romance, unrelenting desire and fascination as the two realize they may never again find what they experienced: true intimacy.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Genre: General Fiction

Published Sept 2021, 636 pages

Synopsis: following the path of an ancient story, this one is told in three timelines: ancient Constantinople, current Idaho, and the future in a spaceshi (Jack promises it's filled with lots of beautiful descriptions) His recommendation is supported by two friends whose opinions I trust......

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Genre: Fantasy

Published 2019, 213 pages

Synopsis: translated - what would you change if you could go back in time? this book follows four people and their experiences with time travel - but only from a specific table in a specific coffee shop

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo

Genre: General Fiction

Published 2016, 163 pages

Synopsis: translated - written with minimalist prose, the story of a woman who starts exhibiting 'weird' behavior after the birth of her first child so her husband sends her to a male psychiatrist where she tells of her life of submission and gender discrimination

One of the reasons I continue to watch YouTube reviewers and watch for BookBub lists and follow reading blogs is because there are just so many books out there that sound right up my alley but I would never find otherwise. I'm thankful for all those readers sharing their insights and their reading suggestions. I'm all for it!! I hope you find some in this list culled from Jack Edwards' recommendations that sound interesting enough to make your TBR list.

Welcome to Bookshelf Journeys.

It's my goal to provide real reviews of the books I read without totally rehashing every plot. I'll never spoil a story by giving away a plot twist! Hopefully you'll find one or two of interest and will discover a new book or author to add to YOUR TBR list.  Take a moment to explore, read a couple reviews, and let me know what you think.


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