Saturday, September 28, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #40

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.   Taken by Erin Bowman:
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

 

My thoughts:
I know I've read others by this author that I liked, but don't know if I'll get to this one? 

Verdict:  Toss


2.  Must've Done Something Good by Cheryl Cory:
If you love "The Sound of Music" and "Pride and Prejudice," prepare to be enchanted by "Must've Done Something Good!"

Sylvie O'Rourke, "The Sound of Music" devotee and born procrastinator, is about to die. Well, she thinks she is, anyway, and so attempts a last-ditch bargain with God for her life.

"You guys are my witnesses," she tells her sisters somewhere over Connecticut. "If we get out of this plane alive, I promise to do something good with my life."

Back on firm ground, Kate and Meg won't let their sister forget her promise, and with their years of practice hitting just the right chords of guilt ("What kind of person lies to God?" Meg wants to know), Sylvie finally caves.

A teaching position at the broken-down St. Matthew's High School appears to be Sylvie's perfect opportunity to do some good. That is, until she's snubbed by a fellow teacher on the first day of school.

Whether she's becoming a bit too invested in the students' fall fundraiser or directing the school's sure-fire musical disaster, Sylvie's charmingly irreverent style gets her called down to the principal more often than her students. Can Sylvie keep her promise and make it through the year, dignity and sanity intact?


My thoughts
Not sure exactly why I added this one.  Not one I care so much about now.

Verdict: Toss 



3.  A Call to Creativity:  Writing, Reading, and Inspiring Students in the Age of Standardization by Luke Reynolds:
In this age of standardization, many English teachers are unsure about how to incorporate creative writing and thinking into their classroom. In a fresh new voice, Luke Reynolds emphasizes that “creativity in our lives as teachers and in the lives of our students is one of our most vital needs in the 21st century.”

Based on his own journey as an English teacher, A Call to Creativity is a practical guide that shows teachers how they can encourage and support students’ creativity in the English/language arts classroom. The book offers both the inspiration and practical steps teachers need to engage their students through a variety of hands-on projects and worksheets that can be used immediately to insert creativity into any standards-based curriculum.

Book Features:

--Adaptable projects tested in diverse school environments.
--Guiding questions at the end of each chapter.
--Lesson plans for creative writing assignments.
--Over 30 pages of worksheets and sample assignments.

Luke Reynolds has taught 7th- through 12th-grade English in Massachusetts and Connecticut public schools, as well as composition at Northern Arizona University. He is co-editor of the bestselling book Burned In: Fueling the Fire to Teach.
 
My thoughts:  
I'm not an English teacher anymore, only did that for one year.  And while I'm sure this has some good stuff in it, it doesn't fit my current career.

Verdict: Toss



4.  Wicked Jealous by Robin Palmer:
Simone never saw herself as the “cute girl”—she was always the chunky, band tee wearing, France-obsessed smart girl. But now that Simone’s a few pounds lighter and sporting a new retro style, things have gotten, well, weird. Her crush Jason seems to actually know she exists. And when Simone’s soon-to-be stepmonster Hillary stops ignoring her, Simone knows something is up. When Simone’s brother offers to let her move in with him and his six roommates on the beach for the summer, Simone jumps at the chance. But living with seven very different college boys isn’t exactly helping her land her very own happily ever after.

My thoughts:  
This one actually sounds kind of good, I don't remember adding it, but I kind of want to read it still!

Verdict:  Keep



5.   Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins:
Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?


My thoughts:
So, I do love this author. But while I think I might still want to read this some day, I don't think I need to keep it on my Goodreads TBR, because it is a pretty popular one I'll remember.  Plus we have it on our shelves at my library.

Verdict:  Toss



6.  Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones:
Sophomore Year Was Never Supposed to be This Complicated

Ten years ago, Lorelei McAlister's parents disappeared without a trace, and she is finally beginning to accept the fact that they're never coming back. Life must go on. She's got her grandparents and the support of her best friends, and high school is not quite as painful as she thought it would be.

But This is What Happens When You Fall for the Angel of Death.
 
Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, tough, sexy Jared Kovach - comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other, and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.

Life as She Knows it is About to Change Forever.
 
What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Death and the Girl Next Door proves Darynda Jones is a force to be reckoned with.


My thoughts:
This doesn't sound that original. But I feel like maybe I should read this author at some point?  I don't know.  Probably won't read this anytime soon.

Verdict: Toss



7.  Lucci-The No Smoochie Poochie by Donna L. Sadd:
Imagine adopting a dog to find out that he doesn’t give smoochies, kisses, lickies-nothing. Well, one family adopted a brother and sister pair of Dachshunds to find out just that; little Lucci (pronounced-loochy) was a no smoochie Poochie! Smile and giggle reading how this family, along with 2 other rather unique resident pups, tries everything to the point of exhaustion and still never gives up to get Lucci to give smoochies. Folks say that LUCCI is a perfect bedtime read for young children.

My thoughts:  
As adorable as this sounds, I have no idea why in the world I added it?

Verdict:  Toss


 8.  Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan:
Can you save someone from something that’s already happened?

Daniel’s expectations for his forced vacation with his father at the Leisure World Holiday Complex are low. He hates sports, and his father is mostly lost in drink and depression. But then he sees a strange girl swimming in the fake lake, and everything changes. Lexi has a smart mouth and a killer swim stroke, but dark secrets swirl around her. She’s got bruises and cuts that seem to be getting worse instead of better. She’s always alone. And her watch is ticking backwards. When a dark figure begins to stalk Lexi and Daniel, the truth must come out. This gripping ghost story will raise goose bumps and questions: does a traumatic past mean the future is a foregone conclusion?

 
My thoughts:
Doesn't sound that great to me.  Ghost story or not.

Verdict:  Toss


9.  Altar of Eden by James Rollins:
Baghdad falls . . . and armed men are seen looting the city zoo. Amid a hail of bullets, a concealed underground lab is ransacked--and something horrific is set loose upon the world.

Seven years later, Louisiana state veterinarian Lorna Polk investigates an abandoned shipwrecked fishing trawler carrying exotic caged animals, part of a black market smuggling ring. But there is something disturbingly wrong with these beasts--each an unsettling mutation of the natural order, all sharing one uncanny trait: incredibly heightened intelligence.

Joining forces with U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jack Menard--a man who shares with her a dark and bloody past--Lorna sets out to uncover the truth about this strange cargo and the terrorist threat it poses. Because a beast escaped the shipwreck and is running amok--and what is about to be born upon the altar of Eden could threaten not only the future of the world but the very foundation of what it means to be human.

 
My thoughts:
I love James Rollins, but haven't been in the mood to read this type of book in a while.  Plus, I don't know that I need to keep his books on here, he's popular enough I can always just look up books by him and see what I haven't read if I decide to try again.

Verdict: Toss



10-11.  The Know it All:  One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World  and The Year of Living Biblically:  One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs:
Part memoir and part education (or lack thereof), The Know-It-All chronicles NPR contributor A.J. Jacobs's hilarious, enlightening, and seemingly impossible quest to read the Encyclopaedia Britannica from A to Z.

33,000 Pages
44 Million Words
10 Billion Years Of History
1 Obsessed Man

To fill the ever-widening gaps in his Ivy League education, A.J. Jacobs sets for himself the daunting task of reading all thirty-two volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His wife, Julie, tells him it's a waste of time, his friends believe he is losing his mind, and his father, a brilliant attorney who had once attempted the same feat and quit somewhere around Borneo, is encouraging but unconvinced.

With self-deprecating wit and a disarming frankness, The Know-It-All recounts the unexpected and comically disruptive effects Operation Encyclopedia has on every part of Jacobs's life -- from his newly minted marriage to his complicated relationship with his father and the rest of his charmingly eccentric New York family to his day job as an editor at Esquire. Jacobs's project tests the outer limits of his stamina and forces him to explore the real meaning of intelligence as he endeavors to join Mensa, win a spot on Jeopardy!, and absorb 33,000 pages of learning. On his journey he stumbles upon some of the strangest, funniest, and most profound facts about every topic under the sun, all while battling fatigue, ridicule, and the paralyzing fear that attends his first real-life responsibility -- the impending birth of his first child.

The Know-It-All is an ingenious, mightily entertaining memoir of one man's intellect, neuroses, and obsessions, and a struggle between the all-consuming quest for factual knowledge and the undeniable gift of hard-won wisdom.



From the bestselling author of "The Know-It-All" comes a fascinating and timely exploration of religion and the Bible.Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers.

The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history's most influential book with new eyes.

Jacobs's quest transforms his life even more radically than the year spent reading the entire "Encyclopedia Britannica" for "The Know-It-All." His beard grows so unruly that he is regularly mistaken for a member of ZZ Top. He immerses himself in prayer, tends sheep in the Israeli desert, battles idolatry, and tells the absolute truth in all situations - much to his wife's chagrin.

Throughout the book, Jacobs also embeds himself in a cross-section of communities that take the Bible literally. He tours a Kentucky-based creationist museum and sings hymns with Pennsylvania Amish. He dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and does Scripture study with Jehovah's Witnesses. He discovers ancient biblical wisdom of startling relevance. And he wrestles with seemingly archaic rules that baffle the twenty-first-century brain.Jacobs's extraordinary undertaking yields unexpected epiphanies and challenges. A book that will charm readers both secular and religious, "The Year of Living Biblically" is part Cliff Notes to the Bible, part memoir, and part look into worlds unimaginable. Thou shalt not be able to put it down.
 


My thoughts:
I know that at some time I want to read all the books by this author, I loved the one I did read, Drop Dead Healthy.  But I will just keep one of these on my Goodreads list, so I will at least have his name remembered.

Verdict:  Keep one - Toss one



Final Thoughts:
So I actually did 11 off my list this week, and I'm only keeping 2 of them, so that is good.

Once again you can see that I may have dropped some, but you can also see how many I've added during the week as well because I'm also pointing out how many books are on my Want to Read list on Goodreads each week.  This week, after taking these 8 off, I have 3,142 books listed now, and last week I ended with 3,147.  So I improved!  A tiny bit.

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 will also get you an extra entry into my giveaway at the bottom of this post.      
 


Giveaway:
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.  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.  As I mentioned above, unpacking is finding a lot of books to get rid of, so you have even more to pick from this week!  Here are your choices:   

2018 ARCs:



2017 ARCs:



I'm continuing to add 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.  


And here are the older ones I've cleaned out as I unpack:

2010-2014 ARCs:



2015-2016 ARCs:


Once again I'm going to let you pick two, along with me throwing in a surprise third book!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below.   Disclaimer:  Unfortunately, while I've only had it happen once, I'm going to have to make a statement like other giveaways I've seen on blogs that I am not responsible for lost mail.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 comments:

  1. You're getting there with improving! I have to admit that I remember when Sweet Evil was all the rage. Once again, not one I ever got to but I have those covers burned in my memory forever :P

    Olivia-S @ Olivia's Catastrophe

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    Replies
    1. They are neat covers, and ones I'd like to read some day if I have time! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Great job this week tossing! I still see books I missed out on, so thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. I'll be adding more at the end of every month if I have new ARCs to share. Thanks for continuing to be a faithful and interactive follower!

      Delete

I love to get comments and I read them all! If you leave a link in your comment, I just might visit you back.