Saturday, June 8, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #25

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 Academie by Susanne Dunlap:
Madame Campan’s Academie Nationale is one of the most celebrated schools in all of France, and her students are equally illustrious. Meet the impetuous Eliza Monroe - la belle Americaine - whose father will one day be named president of the United States. And Hortense de Beauharnais, Josephine Bonaparte’s stunningly beautiful daughter, who has fallen for a man her family will never accept. Meanwhile, Caroline Bonaparte - yes, Napoleon’s sister - will stop at nothing to capture the attention of a handsome young general, even if it means crossing her brother. And then there is (the original character) Madeleine de Pourtant, daughter of a volatile actress in the Comedie Francaise, who harbors a secret that could tear apart the world of the dazzling young socialites. Before the term is out, one girl will find true love, one will be heartbroken, and a third girl’s dreams will take a deadly turn.
My thoughts:
I didn't realize this one was sort of historical fiction when I first saw it on my list, but because of that, I'm definitely still interested.

Verdict:  Keep

2.  TV Goes to Hell:  An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural:
Bringing together elements of the road movie and the horror genre, Supernatural follows brothers Dean and Sam Winchester as they crisscross America, struggling to protect humanity from what lurks in the dark by battling monsters, witches, demons, angels, the Devil, and sometimes even each other. A natural heir to The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural has developed a strong cult following as it evolved past its monster-of-the-week origins and into a global battle between Heaven and Hell, as Dean and Sam attempt to avert the Apocalypse. Amidst the action and horror, the brothers enjoy the pleasures of the road, listening to hard rock, drinking beer and eating fast food, while driving their iconic Impala.

TV Goes to Hell is the first book to give a full and fascinating examination of the series under the creative control of creator/producer Eric Kripke. This collection of essays, written by leading scholars, situates the series within debates surrounding folklore, religion, comedy, gender, and sexuality, and considers the impact of the show's genre-bending hybridity and its signature use of hard rock. The book aslo examines the show's innovative approach to storytelling and its unique relationship with its critics and its fans. Designed for fans of the show, as well as scholars and students, TV Goes to Hell unravels the wonders and horrors of Supernatural.

(Includes a comprehensive episode guide through season six.)

My thoughts:  
As much as I used to devour any and all books, including nonfiction, about my favorite tv series, I don't have the time these days to get around to them.

Verdict: Toss

3.  New England Witch Chronicles by Chelsea Luna:
NEW ENGLAND WITCH CHRONICLES is the first book in the four-book bestselling young adult series. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were an embarrassing stain on America’s revered past. Innocent people were persecuted at the hands of a few overzealous Puritans, but what if real witches existed during those colonial hunts? What if there are witches in present day New England? That’s what Alexandria Ramsey’s crazy grandmother believes. Grandma Claudia claims Alex descends from a long line of New England witches.

Modern day witches in Hazel Cove, Massachusetts? Unlikely, but strange things are occurring in the weeks preceding Alex’s seventeenth birthday. Alex is haunted by bizarre recurring nightmares of a man chasing her through the Hazel Cove Cemetery. On a few occasions, when her emotions have spiraled out of control, inanimate objects have shattered around her. But that’s just a coincidence, right? Alex isn’t so sure, especially after a local girl, who supposedly dabbled in witchcraft, was killed in the nearby forest.

Alex knows something strange is happening. With the arrival of a new boy in town, James Van Curen, who is causing problems between Alex and her best friend, Peter, Alex feels like her entire world is on the verge of chaos. Could Alex really be a witch? Is it possible Hazel Cove will become a battleground for modern-day witches and witch hunters?

My thoughts:  
Kinda sounds good. But don't know when or if I'd get to it.

Verdict:  Toss

4.  Z:  Zombie Stories by J.M. Lassen:
When the zombie apocalypse comes, it's not just those crusty old folks who will struggle against the undead, it's young people. What happens when you come of age during the zombie apocalypse?

Zombie Stories has the answer to that question.

Zombie Stories gathers together some of the hottest zombie fiction of the last two decades, from authors including Kelly Link, Jonathan Maberry, and Catherynne M. Valente. These stories focus on those who will inherit a world overrun with the living dead: a young man who takes up the family business of dealing with the undead, a girl dealing with her abusive father... who has become a zombie, a poet who digs up the wrong grave, and a Viking maiden imprisoned with the living dead...

My thoughts:
While this has one of my favorite authors in it, Jonathan Maberry, I don't really read that many zombie stories these days.

Verdict:  Toss

5.   31 Dates in 31 Days by Tamara Duricka Johnson:
On the eve of her 31st birthday, after yet another painful breakup, Tamara Duricka Johnson decides it’s time to overhaul her dating habits. When a friend jokingly suggests that she embark on a “dating project,” inspiration strikes: in honor of turning 31, she'll go on 31 dates in 31 days — and resist the urge to turn each date into her next relationship. Instead, she’ll have to wait until the 31st date to pick one of the 30 men to go out with a second time. Some dates are awful, while others are amazing—but all of them help change her attitude about dating and men in general. She opens up to the world around her and develops a handful of crushes, making it difficult to decide who will be the lucky final date. In the end, though, she realizes there’s only one man of the entire thirty that she can see herself marrying — and one year later, she does. Chatty, fun, and confessional, 31 Dates in 31 Days is an entertaining journey that offers astute insights into the modern dating scene.
My thoughts:
I've mentioned before about how I went through a phase of reading lots of dating memoirs such as this.  I also mentioned that I no longer think they will have anything to do with my life, so I don't really care anymore.

Verdict: Toss

6.  A Cure to Die For by Stephen G. Mitchell:
A Cure To Die For is a medical thriller about a wonder drug, a miracle cure and a conspiracy to destroy it. A genetically engineered cure for the common cold--a simple, inexpensively-grown plant--turns out to be a cure for cancer and threatens to make most other drugs obsolete. The discovery triggers a crisis of medical, corporate and political greed that sweeps the country as the government and the media conspire with Big Pharma to keep the miracle drug off the market. 

Alex Farmer, a drug-addicted doctor with a shattered life, and Cyd Seeley, a research assistant with a deadly secret, are inadvertently thrown together to protect a medical breakthrough that could change the face of healthcare forever. Amid the suspense of harrowing kidnappings, manhunts, political and corporate intrigue, Wall Street corruption, suicides, arrests and terrifying escapes--in the Montana wilderness, in the high-tech world of Houston, Texas, in the political cesspool of Washington D.C., and on a massive Indian reservation--Alex and Cyd fight to survive a perilous journey where the fate of a healthy planet hinges on the
 survival of a tiny seed.

My thoughts:
Hmm, even though I don't read a lot of this type of book anymore, this one sounds like it could be good. But who knows when I'd get to it.

Verdict:  Toss

7.  Frail (Dust #2) by Joan Frances Turner:
Being human is a disadvantage in post-apocalyptic America...Now that the Feeding Plague has swept through human and zombie societies, it seems like everyone is an "ex" these days. Ex-human. Ex- zombie. Except for Amy, that is. She's the only human survivor from her town-a frail. And if the feral dogs, the flesh-eating exes, and the elements don't get her, she just may discover how this all began. Because in this America, life is what you make it...

My thoughts:  
So, this is a sequel to a book I think I either still have on my TBR shelf, or I may not even have it since I may have donated it to my school library, or else taken to Half Price bookstore.  I guess I'll find out when I really start packing my books to move. But anyway, until I read the first one, I may not care about this one.

Verdict: Toss

 8.  1Q84 by Haruki Murakami:
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s — 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.

My thoughts:
I've heard so much about this one, I feel that I need to try to read it at some point.  However, I also feel it is so well known that I probably don't need to keep it on a list somewhere.

Verdict: Toss

9.  Invisible by Jeanne Bannon:
Lola’s not pretty. Lola’s not popular. Lola wishes she could disappear … and then one day she does just that...

For seventeen-year-old Lola Savullo, life is a struggle. Born to funky parents who are more in than she could ever be, Lola’s dream of becoming a writer makes her an outsider even in her own home. Bullied and despised, Lola still has the support of her best pal Charlie and Grandma Rose.

Not only is she freakishly tall, Lola’s a big girl and when forced to wear a bathing suit at her summer job as a camp counselor, Lola’s only escape from deep embarrassment seems to be to literally vanish. Soon after, she discovers the roots of her new “ability”.

Slowly, with Charlie’s help, Lola learns to control the new super power. The possibilities are endless. Yet power can be abused, too…

Then, when tragedy strikes, Lola must summon her inner strength, both at home and at school. She has to stand up for herself, despite the temptations and possibilities of her newfound super power.

A coming-of-age story that will warm the heart.

My thoughts:
It kind of sounds good, kind of sounds like a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode.  But I don't know that I'd ever get around to it.

Verdict:  Toss

10.  Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough:
Delaney Collins doesn't believe in fairy tales. And why should she? Her mom is dead, her best friend is across the country, and she's stuck in California with "Dr. Hank," her famous life-coach father—a man she barely knows. Happily ever after? Yeah, right.

Then Dr. Hank tells her an outrageous secret: he's a fairy godmother—an f.g.—and he can prove it. And by the way? The f.g. gene is hereditary. Meaning there's a good chance that New Jersey tough girl Delaney is someone's fairy godmother.

But what happens when a fairy godmother needs a wish of her own?

My thoughts:
Sounds similar to other books I know of.

Verdict: Toss

Final Thoughts:
Did a great job this week with my Goodreads list, dropping nine!  So you can see that I may have dropped some, but you can also see how many I've added during the week as well, I'm also pointing out how many books are on my Want to Read list on Goodreads each week.  This week, after taking these 9 off, I have 3,190 books listed now, and last week I ended with 3,191. So I kind of did better!  Got rid of more than I added!  

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 in and share a link in the comments, since it's not really catching on, I'm not going to waste time with the link up this week.  It will also get you an extra entry into my giveaway at the bottom of this post.      

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:   

2018 ARCs:

2017 ARCs:

2014 ARC:

And, surprise!  I am adding in my early 2019 ARCs now.  You can pick one of your two choices from the picture below, the other book you pick needs to come from the pictures above.

Once again I'm going to let you pick two, along with me throwing in a surprise third book!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below. 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway