Saturday, February 9, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR with Giveaway: Down the TBR Hole #8

This meme was started by Lost in a Story.  Here is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
Because I have so many to do, I'm going to try to do this weekly, and do 10 at a time.

1.  The Sexual Life of Catherine M. by Catherine Millet:
Hailed as "the most explicit book about sex ever written by a woman" (Edmund White), The Sexual Life of Catherine M. has become the most controversial book on sexuality since The Story of O. Millet, the editor of Art Press, has led an extraordinarily active sexual life -- from alfresco encounters in Italy to a gang bang on the edge of the Bois du Boulogne, to a high-class orgy at a Parisian restaurant. Her highly graphic account is a relentlessly honest look at the consequences of sex stripped of sentiment and a fearless unmasking of the fallacies and disturbing truths of female sexuality. 

My thoughts:  Something I can totally tell as I go through my TBR on Goodreads is that I added books in phases, something I know that I still kind of do.  You can tell I'd read something kind of sexy with a lot of the books you'll see posted today.  I think maybe I'd just read the Chelsea Handler book that was similar, and so either there was a display with books like that or I went searching for books like hers after I read it.  Anyway, not sure this is one I care anymore about reading.

Verdict:  Toss

2.  Memoire Sexuel:  The Erotic Diary of a French Girl in Spain by Valerie Tasso:
As a well-bred middle-class French girl, Valerie Tasso radiates a sophistication and poise that Spanish men find irresistable. She also possesses an insatiable sexual appetite. On the pages of Mémoire Sexuel, these two elements ignite into a riveting tale of sexual promiscuity.
In this very personal diary, Valerie passionately describes her many sexual encounters with friends and strangers alike. The story dramatically turns when a sudden financial crisis convinces Valerie to begin a new life as a high-class call girl in Madrid. From sex in a graveyard to fetish play, Valerie finds this life far more enjoyable than she could ever have hoped.
Her amazing sexual evolution and ironic rebirth through prostitution ultimately liberates Valerie as she learns to appreciate her true self.

My thoughts:  Basically the same as on the last book. But I will add in that as I think back to the time when I added this, I was hanging out with a group of much younger people at my part time job, and they were kind of a wild and crazy bunch, so that probably added in to me reading this or wanting to read this.  However, not sure this is one I care about anymore.

Verdict:  Toss

3.  Up For Renewal:  What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex, and Starting Over by Cathy Alter:
By age thirty-seven, Cathy Alter had made a mess of her life. With a failed marriage already under her belt, she was continuing down the path of poor decisions, one paved with a steady stream of junk food, unpaid bills, questionable friends, and highly inappropriate men. So she sat down and asked herself what she truly wanted. A decent guy. A nicer home. More protein. When she took a closer look at her wants, she noticed something that seemed very familiar -- with the addition of exclamation points, her list could easily be transformed into the cover lines on every women's magazine: Find the love you deserve! Paint to the rescue! Eggs-actly perfect meals! 

So Cathy gave over her life to the glossies for the next twelve months, resolving to follow their advice without question. By the end of her subscriptions, she would get rid of upper-arm jiggle, crawl out of debt, host the perfect dinner party, run a mile without puking, engage in better bathtub booty, ask for a raise, and rehaul her apartment. 

Well, at least that was the premise of her social experiment. What actually happened was much less about cosmetic change and much more about internal transformation. Singular in its voice and yet completely universal, Up for Renewal will appeal to all who have ever wondered if they could actually make their life over.  

My thoughts:  Honestly, most self-help books seem to kind of be a waste of time to me.  The time spend reading them I could use to do the things I already know that I need to do. And while this one sounds like it might be a fun read, don't know that I'll ever fit it into my reading schedule.

Verdict:  Toss 

4.  Confessions of a Working Girl by Miss S.: 
Miss S is smart, sassy, sexually frustrated, and broke. 
A university art student with rent money due, she spots an ad for a different type of student job - in a brothel. Offered a job on the spot, Miss S is amazed by her new working world. Suddenly, she can earn enough money doing something she is good at and get all the sex she needs. That is, if she can find a way to fit in with fellow working girls such as Tina the house snitch and Carry the resident shrink... not to mention the bizarre cast of clients. 
Everyone has a skeleton in their closet, a dirty little secret... you know the one I mean. I don't feel ashamed of mine. People are always interested in the details when they find out what I do, but are slightly ashamed to ask questions. I don't mind, as long as they are discreet.
Confessions of a Working Girl is the true and intimate diary of Miss S's extraordinary first year in a brothel, revealing what goes on behind the secret curtains of sex for hire and what a Gemini half hour really involves ...
My thoughts:  This one sounds a lot like many romance novels, doesn't it?  This true story actually sounds like it might be interesting.

Verdict:  Keep

5.  Live Nude Elf by Reverend Jen:
Live Nude Elf chronicles Reverend Jen's two-year stint as sex columnist for; she details her “sexperiments,” ranging from harrowing (working as a live nude girl at “Wiggles”) to embarrassing (fellatio school) to transcendent (reaching a mystical state through tantric sex). Along the way there is transvestitism, female ejaculation, opium smoking, and heartbreak.

In the Rev's “art star” world, where a young bisexual boy named Orion has sex with a jar of mayonnaise, the more mundane acts of romance—kissing, buying dinner for a lover, and just making eye contact in the sack—become rare and subversive. The experiments, orgies, balloon fetish parties, a stint as the “lube girl” on a porn set, the “lab partners,” and the late nights begin to wear on the Reverend, who craves normalcy, and the columns change their tone: Jen takes care of a friend’s baby, navigates yuppie bars trying to snag a millionaire hubby, and dates a silver fox, “someone older, distinguished, wealthy, and simply grooving with the eternal now.”

After a decade of New York City affairs, Jen unexpectedly falls in love and must decide: Does the life required of an artist and a sex columnist preclude her from monogamous romantic love? 

My thoughts:  Um, I think this one was on a table at the bookstore where I work.  And I think it is a little bit too extreme for me at this time.  Maybe some day, but for now, I don't think so.  In a way, it seems like a way out there Sex and the City, definitely very Samantha-esque.

Verdict:  Toss 

6.  Button, Button:  Uncanny Stories by Richard Matheson:
What if every time you pushed a button you received $50,000...but someone you didn’t know died? Would you still push the button? How many times?
"Button, Button", which inspired a memorable Twilight Zoneepisode, is just one of a dozen unforgettable tales in this new collection by Richard Matheson, the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend and What Dreams May Come. This volume contains a number of stories that were adapted for television, as well as a new introduction by Matheson himself. 
This collection of stories features "Button, Button," soon to be a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.
My thoughts:  I decided I wanted to read this shortly after I read the I am Legend short stories book by the author.  I may still want to read this some day!
Verdict:  Keep
7. - 10.  Books by Wendy Markham:    
There are a lot of things worse than being SLIGHTLY ENGAGED…being entirely broke, completely alone and wholly perplexed.
It's been a year and a half since Tracey and Jack moved in together, and everything's totally perfect�well, okay, almostperfect. There's still Tracey's mom, who says they're "living in sin," and her friends, who are all smug, married and totally sure that there would already be a ring on Tracey's finger if she hadn't been in such a rush to cosign a lease. Even Tracey is beginning to wonder whether Jack really is looking for a permanent relationship, or whether she's just renting space in his heart.
But just when Tracey's doubts are seriously raging out of control, Jack's mom lets her in on a secret--he's just taken an heirloom diamond out of the family's safe-deposit box, which must mean that he's going to propose any day now.
Okay, any week now…
Any month now?
My thoughts:  I read the first two in this series, I may some day want to go back and see how the rest of the story goes.

It seemed exciting at first, but after two and a half years in New York, Tracey has to admit her life…well, sucks. Sure, she makes a decent living as a copywriter, but Blaire Barnett Advertising is a cutthroat world that basically swallows her life. If she does manage to get home before nine, she's usually greeted by husband Jack's best bud, an almost�permanent fixture in their tiny, unaffordable apartment. Add the circus freaks stomping around upstairs, and Tracey decides it's time to move.
After quitting her job, she and Jack take the plunge into the nearby suburbs of Westchester and quickly discover they're in way over their heads. Their fixer-upper is unfixable, the stay-at-home yoga moms are a bore and Tracey yearns for her old friends�she even misses work!
So which life does she really want? Other than Jack's wife, who is she? If Tracey merely has to find her own Slightly Suburban niche, it had better be just around the corner, because there're no subways here!
My thoughts:  Now this is the 5th one in the series listed above, but for some reason I don't have the fourth one listed.  I probably can just keep the one above and remember to go on if I ever get to them.
A tale of two Mikes...and the one that got away Once upon a time in the 1980s, a girl named Beau was torn between two Mikes: did she prefer her high-school sweetheart or the sexy stranger she'd picked up in an airport bar? One she eventually married, the other she left behind (and forgot all about, or tried to, anyway). 
But which Mike did she choose? This delightful tale by the bestselling author or Slightly Single and Slightly Settled alternates between the story of Beau's summer of Mikes and the outcome fifteen years later. . .without giving away which Mike ended up where--in Beau's marriage bed or in her memory. 
In the "Now" chapters, the former swinging single lives in the 'burbs with a childbirth-traumatized body, an increasingly distant husband and a sad sack maid who isn't much for cleaning. When out of the blue the Mike-not-taken sends her flirty e-mail, she suddenly finds herself back to square one, trying to decide which man is the Mike of her dreams.

My thoughts:  Hmm, while this one kind of sounds unique, I don't know if I am that into reading it.

Maggie is best buddies with Dominic. Charlie is best friends with Julie. Through the magic of the Internet, they set up their pals on the most romantic blind date ever. Naturally, Maggie and Charlie tag along for moral support-what are best friends for? Yet when the two matchmakers meet, their concerns for their charges take a backseat. As Maggie looks at Charlie, she thinks she feels the earth move. Laying his eyes on his fellow Cupid, all Charlie can think about is kissing her delectable mouth. Shes involved with someone. Hes Manhattans most committed bachelor. What will it take for a pair of modern matchmakers to realize this simple truth: that when it comes to finding a soul mate, true love can be found when you least expect it? 

My thoughts:  Now, this one does sound like it could be a fun one.  But I'll probably not keep it on my list.  Just remember that I liked the author enough to maybe search for other books by her in the future.  Besides, it's always possible I might not be able to even find any of these anymore. 

Verdict:  Keep the first one, toss the others for now.

  Only kept 3 again this week!  Yay!  Another successful clean up!  Have you read any of the books above?  Do you go through phases where you add a ton of books just like one you just read and loved?

Now to do more with the physical books, you need to enter my giveaway below!

Once again this is a US only giveaway, unless you are International and see a book here you really want and would be willing to pay for the difference in the shipping through Paypal or some other way.  Just as with the past weeks, you get to pick any book from the pictures below, as long as they don't get traded away, or picked by last week's winner, and I will pick a surprise book from the piles to add to your choice.  Here are your choices:  

2018 ARCs

2017 ARCs

2013-2016 ARCs

Those are your choices!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter below!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway