Saturday, March 30, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #15

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.  Cabel's Story (Wake #1.1) by Lisa McMann:
A free online story by Lisa McMann. A companion to the first Dream Catcher novel, Wake, this is Cabel's perspective of the field trip that Janie and he took with their English class. 

My thoughts:
I will definitely want to read this at some time, and it is just a free book to read online.  I should just make it a goal to get it read soon!  Then I can move it from my TBR list to my Read list on Goodreads.

Verdict:  Keep

2.  Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell:
Gen's family is more comfortable spending time apart than together. Then Gen's mom signs them up for Camp Frontier, a vacation that promises the "thrill" of living like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions, Gen nevertheless manages to email her friends back home about life at "Little Hell on the Prairie," as she's renamed the camp. It turns out frontier life isn't without its good points, like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing. And when her friends turn her emails into a blog, Gen is happily surprised by the fanbase that springs up. But just when it seems Gen and family might pull through the summer, disaster strikes as a TV crew descends on the camp, intent on discovering the girl behind the nationwide blogging sensation, and perhaps ruining the best vacation Gen has ever had. 

My thoughts:
So I went through a phase of reading lots of books that referenced the pop culture phenomenon of Little House on the Prairie, after reading some bios of actresses on the show, as well as a fan's book where she traveled to visit the places Laura Ingalls Wilder lived in her life and that she wrote about in the series.  That's probably where this one comes in.  Now, for some reason I feel like I own a copy of this, but until I find it, I'm not sure if I'll ever get around to reading it.

Verdict:  Toss

3.  Dead Girl's Blog by Donna Burgess:
Meet Audrey Scott. She has it all. She’s the most popular girl at Lincoln High and dates Tommy Barker, the cutest boy in the senior class. She has a credit card with no limit, is head cheerleader and was probably going to be homecoming queen again this year—until she was bitten by a Deader. Worst part of it? He ruined her best jeans.
But that’s just the tip of the putrid iceberg. Now, Audrey is beginning to fester. She doesn’t smell very fresh. Her hair comes out, along with pieces of scalp. Her friends no longer want to hang out with her. Tommy has moved on to a new girl.
And poor Audrey is suddenly wearing Depends and hanging with her lame younger sister, Cindy.
The world isn’t like it was. Disease is in the air and people have become infected. The dead are no longer buried because they won’t stay put in their graves. They are sent out to big, green pastures with electric fences, where they remain until they rot away to nothing.
Told in blog form, this short is an introduction to Diary of a Dead Girl, a darkly humorous young adult novel by Donna Burgess, scheduled for release in the second half of 2011.
Also included is the bonus short story, Under a Blanket of Blue, a Romero-inspired tale of zombies, love and survival.

My thoughts:  
Don't even remember why I added this one.  If it had been a free ebook I'd downloaded, I'd switch it to that TBR list, but it isn't one I have.

Verdict:  Toss

4.  The Lady in the Tower:  The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir:
The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, in May 1536 was unprecedented in English history. It was sensational in its day, and has exerted endless fascination over the minds of historians, novelists, dramatists, poets, artists and film-makers ever since.

Anne was imprisoned in the Tower of London on 2 May 1536, and tried and found guilty of high treason on 15 May. Her supposed crimes included adultery with five men, one her own brother, and plotting the King's death.

Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to her arrest. Was it Henry VIII who, estranged from Anne, instructed Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell to fabricate evidence to get rid of her so that he could marry Jane Seymour? Or did Cromwell, for reasons of his own, construct a case against Anne and her faction, and then present compelling evidence before the King? Or was Anne, in fact, guilty as charged?

Never before has there been a book devoted entirely to Anne Boleyn's fall. Alison Weir has reassessed the evidence, demolished many romantic myths and popular misconceptions, and rewritten the story of Anne's fall, creating a richly researched and impressively detailed portrait of the dramatic last days of one of the most influential and important figures in English history.  

My thoughts:
This was probably during my phase of watching the show The Tudors.  So while I still am interested in this topic, not sure when I'll ever read something like this.

Verdict: Toss 

5.  The Zombie Autopsies:  Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse by Steven Schlozman:
As the walking dead rise up throughout the world, a few brave doctors attempt to find a cure by applying forensic techniques to captured zombies.

On a remote island a crack medical team has been sent to explore a radical theory that could uncover a cure for the epidemic. Based on the team's research and the observations of renowned zombie expert Dr. Stanley Blum, THE ZOMBIE AUTOPSIES documents for the first time the unique biology of zombie organisms.

Detailed drawings of the internal organs of actual zombies provide an accurate anatomy of these horrifying creatures. Zombie brains, hearts, lungs, skin, and digestive system are shown, while Dr. Blum's notes reveal shocking insights into how they function--even as Blum and his colleagues themselves begin to succumb to the plague.

No one knows the ultimate fate of Dr. Blum or his researchers. But now that his notebook, THE ZOMBIE AUTOPSIES, has been made available to the UN, the World Health Organization, and the general public, his scientific discoveries may be the last hope for humans on earth.

My thoughts:  This one sounds like fun.  But still not sure if I'll get to it.

Verdict: Keep - for now

6.  Subject Seven by James  A. Moore:
Years ago, scientists began developing the ultimate military weapon: deadly sleeper assassins housed within the bodies of teenagers. Now, Subject Seven, the dangerous alter-ego living inside a 16-year-old boy, has escaped the lab and is on a mission. His objective? To seek out others like him and build an army capable of destroying their creators. 

Hunter, Cody, Gene, Tina, and Kylie: five teenagers leading typical lives, until the day they each receive a call from a mysterious stranger-and learn that their destinies are intertwined. Subject Seven holds the key that connects them all. And a vicious, bloody battle for their lives is just beginning.

My thoughts:  
Sounded good at the time. And I'm sure it is good, but I just don't know if I'll get to it.

Verdict:  Toss

7.  I Totally Meant to Do That by Jane Borden:
Jane Borden is a hybrid too horrifying to exist: a hipster-debutante. She was reared in a propert Southern home in Greensboro, North Carolina, sent to boarding school in Virginia, and then went on to join a sorority in Chapel Hill. She next moved to New York and discovered that none of this grooming meant a lick to anyone. In fact, she hid her upbringing for many years--it was easier than explaining what a debutante "does" (the short answer: not much).

Anyone who has moved away from home or lived in (or dreamed of living in) New York will appreciate the hilarity of Jane's musings on the intersections of and altercations between Southern hospitality and Gotham cool.

My thoughts:
Doesn't sound like one I'm really going to be interested in anymore.

Verdict:  Toss

8.  The Customer is Always Wrong:  The Retail Chronicles by Jeff Martin:
From mom-and-pop general stores to big-box, strip-mall chains, it is impossible to consider the American experience without thinking about the buying-and-selling retail culture: the sales and the stockrooms, the shift managers, and the clock punchers.

The Customer Is Always Wrong is a tragicomic and all-too revealing collection of essays by writers who have done their time behind the counter and lived to tell their tales. Jim DeRogatis, author of Let It Blurt, for example, describes hanging out with Al himself at Al Rocky’s Music Store, while Colson Whitehead explains how three summers at a Long Island ice cream store gave him a lifelong aversion to all things dessert-like. This book not only shines a light on the absurdities of retail culture but finds the delight in it as well.

My thoughts:
This is a hard one!  I love this type of thing, as someone who has worked in retail for most of my life with part time jobs, I'm sure I'd relate to this.  I might keep it just in case.

Verdict:  Keep - for now

9.  Hater by David Moody:
A modern take on the classic “apocalyptic” novel, Hater tells the story of Danny McCoyne, an everyman forced to contend with a world gone mad, as society is rocked by a sudden increase in violent assaults. Christened “Haters” by the media, the attackers strike without warning and seemingly without reason. Within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied, vicious killers. As the carnage mounts, one thing soon is clear: everyone, irrespective of race, gender, age, or class, has the potential to become either a Hater or a victim. At any moment, even friends and family can turn on one another with violent intent. In the face of this mindless terror, all McCoyne can do is secure his family, seek shelter, and watch as the world falls apart. But when he bolts the front door, the question remains: Is he shutting the danger out or locking it in?  

My thoughts:  This one still sounds good.  I thought that I'd heard there was going to be a movie made of this?  Did I miss it?

Verdict:  Keep

10.  The Family that Couldn't Sleep:  A Medical Mystery by D.T. Max:
For two hundred years a noble Venetian family has suffered from an inherited disease that strikes their members in middle age, stealing their sleep, eating holes in their brains, and ending their lives in a matter of months. In Papua New Guinea, a primitive tribe is nearly obliterated by a sickness whose chief symptom is uncontrollable laughter.
What these strange conditions–kuru, scrapie, and mad cow disease–share is their cause: prions. Prions are ordinary proteins that sometimes go wrong, resulting in neurological illnesses that are always fatal. Even more mysterious and frightening, prions are almost impossible to destroy because they are not alive and have no DNA.

In The Family That Couldn’t Sleep, essayist and journalist D. T. Max tells the spellbinding story of the prion’s hidden past and deadly future. Through exclusive interviews and original archival research, Max explains prion diseases’ connections to human greed and ambition–from the Prussian chemist Justus von Liebig, who made cattle meatier by feeding them the flesh of other cows, to New Guinean natives whose custom of eating the brains of the dead nearly wiped them out- and their impact in the world today. With precision, grace, and sympathy, Max explores maladies that have tormented humanity for centuries and gives reason to hope that someday cures will be found.

My thoughts:  Still sounds really intriguing.  I also have an uncle who contracted some sort of prion disease and died very quickly from it. So it still is something I'm interested in.

Verdict:  Keep

Final Thoughts:
Keeping half, tossing half this week.  Have you read any of these?  Would you suggest I keep any I'm tossing?  And if you're inspired to do this on your blog, please feel free to join into the Link-up below.  It will also get you an extra entry into my giveaway at the bottom of this post.   

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

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.  This week I'm upping the prize, you get to pick any two books 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:

Above are my 2018 ARCs

2017 ARCs

2014-2016 ARCs

Sorry for the blurry pictures.  I updated them at night, and there's not a lot of light where I have them sitting.

You get to pick two this time, plus I'll throw in a surprise one!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway