Top Ten Tuesday: Highest Rated on TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

As this is a freebie week, I pondered what sort of list to do. There just seems to be so many options! Finally, I settled on looking at two of my Goodreads shelves – my general Want to Read, and my specific NetGalley TBR. I’ll be looking at what the top rated books are on both shelves, and have a peek at what I might have to look forward to! As some of these only have a handful of ratings, for the Want to Read shelf I’ll be looking for books with 100+ ratings, and for the Netgalley TBR, it’ll be 50+.

Top Ten Highest Rated Books

Want to Read Shelf

Some of these have been on the Want to Read for so long I’m not sure if I’m even still interested, but the five highest rated (with almost 100 or more ratings) are –

Orchid – Shane K.P. O’Neil

Imagine, if you will, the dread at losing the one you love – when all that you hold dear is suddenly, and inexplicably, taken from you. And then, when all seems lost and nothing can lift the darkness threatening to consume you, a stranger walks up to you and says he can restore all you have lost. What would you do? Could you resist that last glimmer of hope?

This is the dilemma facing Mark Wiseman. While standing at his wife’s graveside and looking down on her casket, a man tells him he can give her back to him. Should he let her go? Or should he accept the offer to be with his beloved once again? For such things carry a price and is it a price he is able to pay?

The Sandman: King of Dreams – Alisa Kwitney

The first and only comic book to receive the World Fantasy Award, The Sandman continues to break new ground in the comic book medium and beyond. Author Alisa Kwitney explores its beginnings and chronicles the comic’s emergence as a unique and undeniable force in the literary world. Richly illustrated, this history shows how Gaiman and The Sandman‘s gifted artists, such as Dave McKean and Yoshitaka Amano, create a haunting (and haunted) main character who wields immense power. With illustrations never before published, behind-the-scenes stories, handwritten notes, and interviews with Gaiman himself, this volume is a true testament to the dream king and his creator. 

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson

An unforgettable true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to end mass incarceration in America — from one of the most inspiring lawyers of our time.

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit law office in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to defending the poor, the incarcerated, and the wrongly condemned.

Just Mercy tells the story of EJI, from the early days with a small staff facing the nation’s highest death sentencing and execution rates, through a successful campaign to challenge the cruel practice of sentencing children to die in prison, to revolutionary projects designed to confront Americans with our history of racial injustice.

One of EJI’s first clients was Walter McMillian, a young Black man who was sentenced to die for the murder of a young white woman that he didn’t commit. The case exemplifies how the death penalty in America is a direct descendant of lynching — a system that treats the rich and guilty better than the poor and innocent. 

The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says good-bye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Yours Mine Ours – Bridgitte Lesley

In so many families there is a ‘yours’ and a ‘mine’ scenario. Your children. My children. And sometimes ‘ours’. Dawn and Dutch had both had it rough. Their partners had both moved on. Leaving them both thinking that they were pretty useless. In everything including the bedroom duties. Which really was not the case. It was a Sunday afternoon when Dawn had taken her family out to lunch that she met Dutch. Dutch was with his family doing the karaoke. At a little pub come restaurant. Dawn became the star performer but soon had to run off. Soon enough Dutch and Dawn started dating. They weren’t youngsters. But the feelings coursing through their bodies were both new and strange. They hadn’t lived their lives when they should have. They had one tiny little tiff which provoked the little jealous monster. But it soon blew over. Dutch’ family soon became Dawn’s. Dawn’s family admired Dutch. It ended up as ours. A chuckle awaits you! Enjoy! 

NetGalley TBR

This isn’t ALL of my NetGalley books, as I only added a few of them onto Goodreads, but these are from my most recent approved books.

Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ RevolutionR.F. Kuang 

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel.

Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.

Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down?

Our Share of Night – Mariana Enríquez, Translated by Megan McDowell

Gaspar is in danger. Only six years old, he is frightened he may have inherited the same strange abilities as his father, Juan; a powerful medium who can open locked doors, commune with the dead, and possess the ancient forces of the Darkness.

Now father and son are in flight, hunted by the Order, a group of wealthy acolytes who seek to harness the Darkness, no matter the cost. Among them, Gaspar’s grandmother, whose twisted desires have already driven her to commit unspeakable acts.

Nothing will stop the Order, nothing is beyond them. Surrounded by horrors, can Gaspar and Juan break free?

Spanning the brutal years of Argentina’s military dictatorship and its turbulent aftermath, Our Share of Night is a haunting, thrilling novel of broken families, cursed land, inheritance, power, and the terrible sacrifices a father will make to help his son escape his destiny.

The Seawomen – Chloe Timms

Esta has known nothing but Eden’s Isle her whole life. Raised by her grandmother, after a fire claimed her parents and scarred her face, she’s instructed to piety, to deference, and acquiescence by a religious society that will not suffer anything else. Cut off from the moral iniquity of the mainland, the island believes it can stay free of the Seawomen – creatures from the water that came upon land to corrupt God’s creation and Man. The inhabitants fear the water and believe the only way to remain virtuous is to never enter it, and for the women to conceive within 12 months of their appointed motheryear.

If they do not conceive, they’re cast back into the ocean as a sacrifice in an act called the Untethering.

Esta witnesses such an act as a child. Her childhood growing up on the island is fraught with tension as she comes to the terms with the prohibitive malaise of the culture she finds herself in. Before long, she gets a taste of freedom and the potential of the world that is much larger than Eden’s Isle. But she is bound, like many women before her, when she is married off and her motheryear is finally declared. Will she conceive a child in her loveless arranged marriage, or suffer the same fate of many women before her, and be Untethered?

The Final Strife – Saara El-Arifi

Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.
Clear is the blood of the slaves, of the crushed, of the invisible.

Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.

Anoor has been told she’s nothing, no one, a disappointment, by the only person who matters: her mother, the most powerful ruler in the empire. But when Sylah and Anoor meet, a fire burns between them that could consume the kingdom—and their hearts.

Hassa moves through the world unseen by upper classes, so she knows what it means to be invisible. But invisibility has its uses: It can hide the most dangerous of secrets, secrets that can reignite a revolution. And when she joins forces with Sylah and Anoor, together these grains of sand will become a storm.

As the empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.

This Place Is Still Beautiful – XiXi Tian

Despite having had near-identical upbringings, sisters Annalie and Margaret agree on only one thing: that they have nothing in common. Nineteen-year-old Margaret is driven, ambitious, and keenly aware of social justice issues. She couldn’t wait to leave their oppressive small-town home and take flight in New York. Meanwhile sweet, popular, seventeen-year-old Annalie couldn’t think of anything worse – she loves their town, and feels safe coasting along in its confines.

That is, until she arrives home one day to find a gut-punching racial slur painted on their garage door.

Outraged, Margaret flies home, expecting to find her family up in arms. Instead, she’s amazed to hear they want to forget about it. Their mom is worried about what it might stir up, and Annalie just wants to have a ‘normal’ summer – which Margaret is determined to ruin, apparently.

Back under each other’s skins, things between Margaret and Annalie get steadily worse – and not even the distraction of first love (for Annalie), or lost love (for Margaret) can bring them together.

Until finally, a crushing secret threatens to tear them apart forever.


So there we have it – the ten highest rated books from my Want to Read and NetGalley TBR shelves! If you’ve read any of these, I’d love to hear what you thought!

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