Saturday, October 12, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #42

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?
So, while I'm making a teensy bit of progress, I think I want to try to push that number each week up to 20 instead of just 10.  Let's see how that goes!


1.  Gravity by Melissa West:
In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

 
My thoughts:
Hmm, this is an interesting synopsis.  But I don't know if I'd get to it or not. 

Verdict:  Toss


2.  The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant:
Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant's grandfather and two granduncles, "The Wettest County in the World" is a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder. The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks and moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. Forrest, the eldest brother, is fierce, mythically indestructible, and the consummate businessman; Howard, the middle brother, is an ox of a man besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War; and Jack, the youngest, has a taste for luxury and a dream to get out of Franklin. Driven and haunted, these men forge a business, fall in love, and struggle to stay afloat as they watch their family die, their father's business fail, and the world they know crumble beneath the Depression and drought.White mule, white lightning, firewater, popskull, wild cat, stump whiskey, or rotgut -- whatever you called it, Franklin County was awash in moonshine in the 1920s. When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of "Winesburg, Ohio," was covering a story there, he christened it the "wettest county in the world." In the twilight of his career, Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads trying to find the Bondurant brothers, piece together the clues linking them to "The Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy," and break open the silence that shrouds Franklin County.

In vivid, muscular prose, Matt Bondurant brings these men -- their dark deeds, their long silences, their deep desires -- to life. His understanding of the passion, violence, and desperation at the center of this world is both heartbreaking and magnificent.



My thoughts
I think there was a movie that I really liked based on this, so that's why I added it. But now I doubt I'd ever read it.

Verdict: Toss 



3.  Ravage by Jeff Sampson:
Lex is a teenage Grim Reaper with the power to Damn souls, and it’s getting out of control. She’s a fugitive, on the run from the maniacal new mayor of Croak and the townspeople who want to see her pay the price for her misdeeds. Uncle Mort rounds up the Junior Grims to flee Croak once again, but this time they’re joined by Grotton, the most powerful Grim of all time. Their new mission is clear: Fix his mistakes, or the Afterlife will cease to exist, along with all the souls in it. 

The gang heads for Necropolis, the labyrinth-like capital city of the Grimsphere. There, they discover that the Grimsphere needs a reboot. To do that, the portals to the Afterlife must be destroyed…but even that may not be enough to fix the damage. Things go from bad to worse, and when at last the fate of the Afterlife and all the souls of the Damned hang in the balance, it falls to Lex and her friends to make one final, impossible choice.
 
My thoughts:  
So this is the third book in this series.  And I haven't read either of the others?  Not sure why I added it.

Verdict: Toss


4.  Crash by Lisa McMann:
If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of three books from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

In this riveting start to a gripping trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.



My thoughts:  
I liked the Wake series by this author, but I haven't read this one yet.  I know I still want to, but don't actually probably need to keep this on my TBR list on Goodreads, we do have it in the library.  So I do plan to read it, but won't keep it on my list.

Verdict: Toss



5.   The Complex by C. Zaragoza:
The Complex - a young adult dystopia

Helena Linx is dying. Isolated and quarantined for over a decade, sixteen-year-old Helena lives in a virtual utopia run by a medical council bent on saving the world from a fatal and almost incurable disease. The pandemic has been contained, but she and hundreds of others are still waiting to be cured. Helena dreams of returning to the outside world and leaving behind the heavily regulated world of the Eyam Complex, a place where everything runs according to plan…until one fateful morning.

Things begin to change in the complex. And after everything dear to Helena—her father, her brother, and her boyfriend—is taken away, she finally gets what she wants.

But life on the outside isn’t what Helena expected. Never in her wildest dreams did Helena think that she’d leave Eyam only to become so desperate to get back in.


My thoughts:
I know why I added it, it's a dystopian, but I also know I probably won't ever read it.

Verdict:  Toss



6.  Blood Feud by Lisa Alther and Martha Kaplan:
America's most notorious family feud began in 1865 with the murder of a Harmon McCoy, a Union soldier, by a Confederate Hatfield relative. But Southern grudges run long and deep. More than a decade later tempers flared over stolen hogs. This accusation triggered years of bloody violence and retribution that led to a tragic Romeo-and-Juliet interlude, a Supreme Court ruling, and Kentucky’s last public hanging. The final feud trial took place in 1898, but the rivalry didn’t end there. Its legend continues to have an enormous impact on the popular imagination and the people of the region. Here is a fascinating new look at the infamous story of the Hatfields and the McCoys.

My thoughts:
This story has fascinated me ever since I saw that History Channel movie about the Hafields and McCoys, so that's why I added this.  However I know I will probably never get to this. AND I'm in the middle of another one I'm reading, so I'm going to get rid of this one for now.

Verdict: Toss



7.  Elements of the Undead Omnibus by William Esmont:
This omnibus combines the first three Elements of the Undead books in a single volume.

Book One - Fire
When Megan Pritchard clocks in for her late night shift in a Nevada brothel, she has no way of knowing it will be her last. Around the world, the dead are rising, and mankind is on the express train to extinction. As her coworkers turn into cannibalistic zombies, Megan is forced to flee into the desert with nothing but the clothes on her back and a vague plan to reach her sister in southern Arizona.

Book Two - Air
When the dead rise in Houston, Dave and Chris Thompson find themselves stranded on the top floor of the Liberty Medical Center, with nowhere to run and no help in sight. With Dave's broken leg making movement impossible and the disintegration of civilization accelerating around them, they have to act fast, or be consumed by the seething horde below.

Book Three - Earth
It’s been three years since the undead dragged mankind kicking and screaming from the top of the food chain and sent him scurrying into the dark corners of a dead world.

For a beleaguered band of survivors in southern Arizona, life is about to go from bad to worse. The rains have failed and, they have no choice but to leave the safety of their home in search of water. But before they can make their move, they must face a new threat from the undead, a threat beyond anything in their worst nightmares.


My thoughts:  
Again, I don't read as much zombie stuff as before.

Verdict:  Toss


 8.  Two Graves by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child:
After his wife, Helen, is brazenly abducted before his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers, chasing them across the country and into Mexico. But then, things go terribly, tragically wrong; the kidnappers escape; and a shattered Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world.

But when a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels-perpetrated by a boy who seems to have an almost psychic ability to elude capture-NYPD Lieutenant D'Agosta asks his friend Pendergast for help. Reluctant at first, Pendergast soon discovers that the killings are a message from his wife's kidnappers. But why a message? And what does it mean?

When the kidnappers strike again at those closest to Pendergast, the FBI agent, filled anew with vengeful fury, sets out to track down and destroy those responsible. His journey takes him deep into the trackless forests of South America, where he ultimately finds himself face to face with an old evil that-rather than having been eradicated-is stirring anew... and with potentially world-altering consequences.

Confucius once said: "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, first dig two graves." Pendergast is about to learn the hard way just how true those words still ring.

 
My thoughts:
This was a series that started off with one of my all time favorite books, and for a while kept me interested.  At this point though, I'm so far out of it, and not sure I'm going to be interested anymore.  But I figure if I ever decide I want to go back, these are well enough known authors it will be easy enough to find.

Verdict:  Toss


9.  The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson:
Luke Carney has no idea what possessed him to move back to Shelter Springs, Colorado, to set up his veterinarian practice. His parents have long since left, the small farming community is on the brink of extinction, and only one close friend from his childhood remains--Taycee Emerson, his best friend’s little sister, who isn’t so little anymore.

Then there’s the matter of Shelter’s Bachelorette, an online reality dating show created to raise some much needed funds for the town.

Unwittingly cast as the bachelorette, Taycee wants out, especially when she discovers that Luke, her childhood crush, is back in town and will be one of the bachelors. To make matters worse, it's up to the viewers--not her--to decide which bachelors stay or go. And they all seem to like Luke.

Unwilling to let him break her heart again, Taycee launches a subtle attack on Luke’s good name with the hope of getting him voted off the show. But she’d forgotten that Luke's an eye-for-an-eye kind of guy, and when he discovers what she's up to, it means revenge.

 
My thoughts:
This one still sounds kind of good to me. 

Verdict: Keep



10.  Petroplague by Amy Rogers:
What if bacteria turned all the gasoline
in Los Angeles turned into vinegar?
Carmageddon doesn’t begin to describe it.
PETROPLAGUE does.


UCLA graduate student Christina Gonzalez wanted to use biotechnology to free America from its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Instead, an act of eco-terrorism unleashes her genetically modified bacteria into the fuel supply of Los Angeles, turning gasoline into vinegar.

With the city paralyzed and slipping toward anarchy, Christina must find a way to rein in the microscopic monster she created. But not everyone wants to cure the petroplague—and some will do whatever it takes to spread it.


From the La Brea Tar Pits to university laboratories to the wilds of the Angeles National Forest, Christina and her cousin River struggle against enemies seen and unseen to stop the infection before it’s too late.


My thoughts:
There was a time I was reading tons of books like this. I'm just not really doing that anymore.

Verdict:  Toss

 
11.  Flu by Wayne Simmons:
There's a nasty flu going round. An epidemic, they call it. The posters say to cover your mouth when you sneeze, and throw away the tissue.

But such simple measures won't help.

Because when you catch this flu, armed police come and lock you in your house to die alone.

When you catch this flu, it kills you in days.

And two hours after it's killed you, your eyelids snap open again...

FLU is a pacey, terrifying, frighteningly real zombie horror story.


My thoughts:
Honestly, I don't read that many vampire books anymore either.

Verdict:  Toss


12.  House of Skin by Jonathan Janz:
All it needs to live again is fresh blood!

 Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.

 Julia Merrow has a secret almost as dark as Watermere’s. But when she and Paul fall in love they think their problems might be over. How can they know what Fate—and Annabel—have in store for them? Who could imagine that what was once a moldering corpse in a forest grave is growing stronger every day, eager to take her rightful place amongst the horrors of Watermere?


My thoughts:
Not sure why I added this, probably just due to a horror kick I was on at the time.

Verdict:  Toss


13.  The Bridge by Jane Higgins:
The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside.

Nik is still in high school but destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn’t chosen. There must be an explanation, but no one will talk about it. Then the school is bombed and the hostiles take the bridges. Buildings are burning, kids are dead, and the hostiles have kidnapped Sol. Now ISIS is hunting for Nik.

But Nik is on the run, with Sol’s sister Fyffe and ISIS hot on their trail. They cross the bridge in search of Sol, and Nik finds answers to questions he’d never dared to ask.

The Bridge is a gritty adventure set in a future world where fear of outsiders pervades everything. A heart-stopping novel about friendship, identity and courage from an exciting new voice in young-adult fiction.


My thoughts:
Nah, doesn't sound that great to me.

Verdict:  Toss


14.  Rescuing the Children:  The Story of the Kindertransport by Deborah Hodge:
This important book tells the story of how ten thousand Jewish children were rescued out of Nazi Europe just before the outbreak of World War 2. They were saved by the Kindertransport — a rescue mission that transported the children (or Kinder) from Nazi-ruled countries to safety in Britain.

The book includes real-life accounts of the children and is illustrated with archival photographs, paintings of pre-war Nazi Germany by artist, Hans Jackson, and original art by the Kinder commemorating their rescue.


My thoughts:
Definitely still sounds like a good one!

Verdict: Keep


15.  Dear Teen Me:  Authors Write Letters To Their Teen Selves:
Dear Teen Me includes advice from 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends--and a lot of familiar faces--in the course of Dear Teen Me.

My thoughts:
As much fun as this sound like it would be to read, just don't know that I'd get time to get to it.

Verdict:  Toss


16.  The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist:
Four nearly identical girls on a desert island. An unexpected new arrival. A gently warped near future where nothing is quite as it seems.

Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a very different kind of girl—the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck—suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned.


My thoughts:
Doesn't sound that interesting to me

Verdict:  Toss


17.  The S Word by Chelsea Pitcher:
First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.


Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.


My thoughts:
This is still one I want to read.

Verdict: Keep


18.  Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight:
Steamy, funky, and thoroughly modern, Austin, Texas isn’t much like the gardened country estates of Jane Austen’s work. But there might be a few similarities in its inhabitants…

Cate Kendall is no stranger to daydreams of brooding men and fancy parties—after all, she teaches one of her beloved Jane Austen novels in her English classes every year. But as for romance or adventure in her own life, the highlight of most weeks is Scrabble with her cute coworker, Ethan, and he draws the line at witty banter. But Cate is ready for a change. When she finds a mysterious journal that seems to have a link to the soul of the great Jane Austen herself, she knows it’s her chance. And she grabs on with both hands…

Before she knows it, Cate has invented an alter ego with an attitude, attended some seriously chic soirees, and gotten tangled up with a delicious mystery man. And she’s uncovered enough unexpected secrets about Ethan that her Scrabble partner has taken to brooding looks and unfathomable silences. It’s a positively Austenite predicament, and Cate is sure she’ll land in hot water and heartbreak—but maybe not with Jane herself to guide her…


My thoughts:
Hmm, kind of sounds good, but I don't know when I'll get to it.

Verdict:  Toss


19.  Darklandia by T.S. Welti:
Manhattan, 2147

Seventeen-year-old Sera Fisk gleefully celebrates the death of her 114-year-old great-grandmother, the last Atraxian alive who still remembers what New York was like before Felicity.

There is only one principle of Felicity: Suffering is optional. Those who disagree or forget this principle, as Sera's father did, are detained and “purified”. Through the use of the Darklandia virtual reality and mandatory water rations, the Department of Felicity has transformed metropolises all over the country into happy, obedient communities.

Inspired by her great-grandmother's last words, Sera stops drinking the water rations and is soon recruited by Nyx into a rebel organization in the midst of planning a full-scale attack on Darklandia. When Nyx attempts to override the Darklandia system, he stumbles upon shocking information about Sera and her family. After years of living in a haze of virtual reality and drugs, Sera finds herself running from a powerful surge of raw emotions and a government agency intent on keeping reality a secret.


My thoughts:
Doesn't sound that different from other dystopia type of books, so I'll skip.

Verdict:  Toss


20.  That Time of the Month by Emily Shaffer:
Recently fired and almost broke, thirty-year old Ellie decides to push all distractions aside and form a crash-or-burn plan to save herself and finally pursue her dreams. She gives herself one month to make the near-impossible happen, otherwise she has to leave New York City and move into her niece's toy room.

The plan seems simple but becomes complicated by a nosey best friend, a difficult roommate, a dreamy stranger, and a really bad ring. As the month progresses, Ellie must confront the realization that by deciding to focus on herself, she may have become completely self-centered.

Will she let her own ambitions, insecurities, and assumptions ruin her friendships and get in the way of a possible romance? Ruled by endless lists and fueled by several plates of pie, Ellie's comical thoughts and mishaps drive this story from the office to the coffee shop during a month that will leave her with a broken foot, a great pair of shoes, and a forever changed life.


My thoughts:
While the cover makes me want a piece of French Silk pie, the synopsis doesn't sound that unique to me.

Verdict:  Toss

Final Thoughts:
Keeping three this week, which seems to be about the norm for me, even though I went through twice as many books!

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 17 off, I have 3,117 books listed now, and last week I ended with 3,135.  So I improved about 17 this week, that's good!

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 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:

2011-2016 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

10 comments:

  1. The S Word is a new book to me that I now want to read. I've also always wanted to read Rachel Anderson's books, so I hope you get to that one. Great job on your toss/keep this time. Thanks for sharing your ARCs!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks like you're really getting through those books on your shelves and on your giveaway! Congrats. I totally agree with you on the vampire one. I think I used to see the word vampire and just add it without reading the synopsis. Glad you got to toss so many this week. I think since you have so many on your tbr pile, doing 20 this week was really smart. Keep up the good work!

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That or similar to Twilight, and I added it. Yeah, I think I'm bumping up to 20 a week. I've got too many to go! Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  3. I watch documentaries on WWII and the Holocaust--and I've probably watched a documentary on the kindertransport, I think--but I would find it tough to read a Holocaust book, whether fiction or nonfiction!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read a lot of them. I cry every time, but I feel it is worth it for me. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. 3 of 20! Another brilliant job of cutting down that TBR! You're really blazing through your TBR and you're going to get there :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Surface Tension sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a big fan of Mike Mullin, so it is probably a good one! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete

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