Saturday, November 23, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #48

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.  Just One Day by Gayle Forman:
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there's an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

 
My thoughts:
A popular author that I enjoyed the books I have read.  But I don't think I need to keep this one on my list even though I might still read it at some point.

Verdict:  Toss


2.  Elegy by Tara Hudson:
A stalker ghost, misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths—Amelia Ashley has faced them all. Now her greatest hope is to spend the rest of her afterlife with her living boyfriend, Joshua. But the demonic forces return to give her an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one living person per week until she does.

Amelia fears she might really be doomed, until the forces of light give her another option. She can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she joins them, she can never see Joshua again.

Faced with impossible choices, Amelia decides to take her afterlife into her own hands—and fight back.


My thoughts
I liked the first book in the series, but still haven't read the second one, so I'll take the third one off till I know if I like the second one and want to read on.

Verdict: Toss 


3.  The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White:
Isadora's family is seriously screwed up—which comes with the territory when you're the human daughter of the ancient Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris. Isadora is tired of living with crazy relatives who think she's only worthy of a passing glance—so when she gets the chance to move to California with her brother, she jumps on it. But her new life comes with plenty of its own dramatic—and dangerous—complications . . . and Isadora quickly learns there's no such thing as a clean break from family.
 
My thoughts:  
Um, it's Kiersten White, who I currently believe can write no wrong.  So, yeah, I'll be keeping, although I think maybe I actually have a copy of this, so I need to check on that and maybe switch it over to my TBR-owned list.

Verdict:  Keep


4.  Conjured by Sara Beth Durst:
Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.


My thoughts:  
It sounds good, but I don't know if I'll ever get to it.

Verdict: Toss


5.   What Once We Feared by Carrie Ryan:
When the zombie apocalypse hits and the dead begin to rise, Jonah and his friends are on a class field trip downtown.  Panicked, they make a split-second decision to seek shelter in the Overlook, an apartment complex built like a fortress on the edge of town.  But as they begin to face the realities of what it will take to survive, they realize that while making the decision of where to run was easy, living out the consequences of that decision may be impossible.  From Carrie Ryan, the New York Times bestselling author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth books, What Once We Feared is an original digital short story about facing a world that is forever changed and in which survival means more than merely escaping the undead.


My thoughts:
I love this series, so I need to read anything that goes with it!

Verdict: Keep


6.  My Beloved Brontosaurus by Brian Switek:
Dinosaurs, with their awe-inspiring size, terrifying claws and teeth, and otherworldly abilities, occupy a sacred place in our childhoods. They loom over museum halls, thunder through movies, and are a fundamental part of our collective imagination. In My Beloved Brontosaurus, the dinosaur fanatic Brian Switek enriches the childlike sense of wonder these amazing creatures instill in us. Investigating the latest discoveries in paleontology, he breathes new life into old bones.

Switek reunites us with these mysterious creatures as he visits desolate excavation sites and hallowed museum vaults, exploring everything from the sex life of Apatosaurus and T. rex’s feather-laden body to just why dinosaurs vanished. (And of course, on his journey, he celebrates the book’s titular hero, “Brontosaurus”—who suffered a second extinction when we learned he never existed at all—as a symbol of scientific progress.)

With infectious enthusiasm, Switek questions what we’ve long held to be true about these beasts, weaving in stories from his obsession with dinosaurs, which started when he was just knee-high to a Stegosaurus. Endearing, surprising, and essential to our understanding of our own evolution and our place on Earth, My Beloved Brontosaurus is a book that dinosaur fans and anyone interested in scientific progress will cherish for years to come.


My thoughts:
This is a hard one.  Because the science and what we know about dinosaurs has changed so much even since this book was published 6 years ago, but all the other stories and such in the book sound like something I'd still enjoy.

Verdict:  Keep


7.  Kingdom Come by Michelle Smith:
The world is coming to an end, and "Crazy Kerrigan" has a front-row seat.

Centuries ago, scrolls calling forth the four horsemen of the apocalypse were discovered, sealed until their rightful heirs were born. Now, those scrolls are being opened.

When her small town crumbles during her stay in an institution for troubled teens, eighteen-year-old Kerrigan Monroe is one of the few left standing. She and a handful of other survivors take cover as everything they've ever known is reduced to rubble. When the smooth voice behind a cryptic radio broadcast beckons her to a safe house, she and the others abandon their temporary haven, and embark on a cross-country journey toward refuge.

Upon discovering the identity of the man behind the voice, Kerrigan is smacked with the revelation that he's not the only heir to these scrolls. Now, she must make a choice: join this dark stranger and lead the New World by his side, or fight for what's left of humanity.

Either decision will bring power. Either decision will bring death.


My thoughts:  
Doesn't sound like anything that new and different.

Verdict:  Toss


 8.  Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Stephanie Hemphill:
From award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill comes the fascinating story of Mary Shelley, a brilliant teenager who wrote one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time: Frankenstein.

An all-consuming love affair.

A family torn apart by scandal.

A young author on the brink of greatness.

Hideous Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.

Mary wrote Frankenstein at the age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.

This luminous verse novel from award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in history.

 
My thoughts:
This one still sounds good to me.

Verdict:  Keep


9.  Obsessed: America's Food Addiction - And My Own by Mika Brzezinski and Diane Smith:
Mika Brzezinski is at war against obesity. "On Morning Joe, "she is often so adamant about improving America's eating habits that some people have dubbed her "the food Nazi." What they don't know is that Mika wages a personal fight against unhealthy eating habits every day, and in this book she describes her history of food obsession and distorted body image, and her lifelong struggle to be thin. She believes it's time we all learned to stop blaming ourselves, and each other, and look at the real culprits--the food we eat and our addiction to it. Mika feels the only way to do this is to break through the walls of silence and shame we've built around obesity and food obsessions. She believes we need to talk openly about how our country became overweight, and what we can do to turn the corner and step firmly onto the path of health. So Mika made a deal with her very close friend Diane: they would work together on this book and on their personal goals, to help Diane drop 75 pounds and to break Mika's obsession with staying superthin. As she did in her bestseller "Knowing Your""Value, "Mika has packed each chapter with insights from notable people in medicine, health, business, the arts, and politics. Singer Jennifer Hudson, the late writer and director Nora Ephron, TV host Gayle King, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and many others open up to Mika about their own challenges and what works for them when it comes to food and diet. It's time we stopped whispering the F-word ("fat") the way we used to shun the C-word ("cancer"). This book--with its trademark Brzezinski smarts, honesty, and courage--launches us into a no-holds-barred conversation with family and friends, in schools and kitchens, in Congress and the food industry, to help us all find ways to tackle one of the biggest problems standing between us and a healthier America.
 
My thoughts:
Probably not something I'd get to.

Verdict: Toss


10.  Feedback by Robison Wells:
Benson Fisher escaped from Maxfield Academy’s deadly rules and brutal gangs.

Or so he thought.

But now Benson is trapped in a different kind of prison: a town filled with hauntingly familiar faces. People from Maxfield he saw die. Friends he was afraid he had killed.

They are all pawns in the school’s twisted experiment, held captive and controlled by an unseen force. As he searches for answers, Benson discovers that Maxfield Academy’s plans are more sinister than anything he imagined—and they may be impossible to stop.


My thoughts:
I liked book one, so I need to read this one too.

Verdict:  Keep

 
11.  The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie by Leanna Renee Hieber:
I'm coming for you.

The whispers haunt her dreams and fill her waking hours with dread. Something odd is happening. Something...unnatural.

Possession of the living. Resurrection of the dead. And Natalie Stewart is caught right in the middle. Jonathon, the one person she thought she could trust, has become a double agent for the dark side. But he plays the part so well, Natalie has to wonder just how much he's really acting.

She can't even see what it is she's fighting. But the cost of losing her heart, her sanity...her soul.


My thoughts:
I read the first and liked it, so I need to read this one too!

Verdict: Keep


12.  So What Do They Really Know by Cris Tovani:
In So What Do They Really Know? Cris Tovani explores the complex issue of monitoring, assessing, and grading students' thinking and performance with fairness and fidelity. Like all teachers, Cris struggles to balance her student-centered instruction with school system mandates. Her recommendations are realistic and practical; she understands that what isn't manageable isn't sustainable.

Cris describes the systems and structure she uses in her own classroom and shows teachers how to use assessments to monitor student growth and provide targeted feedback that enables students to master content goals. She also shares ways to bring students into the assessment cycle so they can monitor their own learning, maximizing motivation and engagement.

So What Do They Really Know? includes a wealth of information:


Lessons from Cris's classroom
Templates showing how teachers can use the workshop model to assess and differentiate instruction
Student work, including samples from linguistically diverse learners, struggling readers, and college-bound seniors
Anchor charts of student thinking
Ideas on how to give feedback
Guidelines that explain how conferring is different from monitoring
Suggestions for assessing learning and differentiating instruction during conferences
Advice for managing ongoing assessment
Cris's willingness to share her own struggles continues to be a hallmark of her work. Teachers will recognize their own students and the challenges they face as they join Cris on the journey to figure out how to raise student achievement.


My thoughts:
Since I'm not in the classroom anymore, probably don't need to, and won't have time to read this.

Verdict:  Toss


13.  This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink:
Claire Kincaid’s family has been in business for over fifty years.

The voodoo business.

Part of the International Guild of High Priests and Priestesses, a secret society that have practiced voodoo for generations, the Kincaids run an underground supply house for authentic voodoo supplies. Claire plays along, filling orders for powders, oils and other bizarre ingredients in the family store, but she has a secret.

She doesn’t believe.

Struggling to reconcile her modern sensibilities with a completely unscientific craft based on suspicion, Claire can’t wait to escape New Orleans – and voodoo – when she goes to college, a desire that creates almost constant conflict in her secret affair with Xander Toussaint, son of the Guild’s powerful founding family.

But when a mysterious customer places an order for a deadly ingredient, Claire begins to realize that there’s more to voodoo – and the families that make up the Guild – than meets the eye.

Including her own.

As she bands together with the other firstborns of the Guild, she comes face to face with a deadly enemy – and the disbelief that may very well kill her.


My thoughts:
I don't know, it still sounds good. But it has a pretty low rating on Goodreads.  But I want more books on voodoo, and I do love the cover!

Verdict: Keep - for now


14.  Becoming by Raine Thomas:
**Optioned for movie rights by multiple-award winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions.**

Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.

As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really without family.

To top it all off, she’ll finally find out why she’s having the power surges: she isn’t entirely human.

Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she’s ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.

Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.


My thoughts:
Doesn't sound that unique, other than the exploding thing maybe.

Verdict:  Toss


15.  Jaguar Sun by Martha Bourke:
DECEMBER 21, 2012 Will that fateful day destroy our world, or did the Mayans have something else in mind?

Maya Delaney knows. Unfortunately.

Maya Delaney is just an average sixteen-year-old. She’s busy dealing with exams, her soon to be ex-boyfriend and fitting in.

But Maya’s got bigger problems. She’s hiding a major secret from her dad and having strange visions she can’t control.

In her struggle to figure out who she is, she learns that she is meant to fulfill an ancient Mayan Prophesy and bring forth a New Age on earth.

Will the spirit magic Maya wields be enough to defeat Toltec, an evil society bent on keeping her from her destiny?

Or will that destiny destroy her?


My thoughts:
It's hard to really read and get into the 2012 end of the world books now.

Verdict:  Toss


16.  The Forgetting Curve by Angie Smibert:
Aiden Nomura likes to open doors—especially using his skills as a hacker—to see what’s hidden inside. He just keeps pulling until one cracks open, exposing the flaws. The universe—or someone else—will fix things. It’s like a game...until it isn’t.

When a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic opens in Bern, Switzerland, near Aiden’s boarding school, he knows things are changing. Shortly after, bombs go off within quiet, safe Bern. Then Aiden learns that his cousin Winter, back in the States, has had a mental breakdown. He returns to the US immediately.

But when he arrives home in Hamilton, Winter’s mental state isn’t the only thing that’s different. The city is becoming even stricter, and an underground movement is growing.

With the help of Winter’s friend Velvet, Aiden slowly cracks open doors in this new world. But behind those doors are things Aiden doesn’t want to see—things about his society, his city, even his own family. And this time Aiden may be the only one who can fix things...before someone else gets hurt.


My thoughts:
Read the first one, so feel like I need to read this one as well.

Verdict:   Keep


17.  Tumble and Fall by Alexandra Coutts:
A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.


My thoughts:
I like the cover, but I'm just not that excited for this one.

Verdict:  Toss


18.  Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella:
Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose, but then his big question involves a trip abroad — not a trip down the aisle. Completely crushed, Lottie reconnects with an old flame, and they decide to take drastic action. No dates, no moving in together, they’ll just get married . . . right now. Her sister, Fliss, thinks Lottie is making a terrible mistake, and will do anything to stop her. But Lottie is determined to say “I do,” for better, or for worse.





My thoughts:
Well, Kinsella books are hit or miss for me. And she's a big enough author that I don't need to keep her books on my TBR to remember probably.

Verdict:  Toss


19.  The 'Geisters by David Nickle:
When Ann LeSage was a little girl, she had an invisible friend - a poltergeist, that spoke to her with flying knives and howling winds. She called it the Insect. And with a little professional help, she contained it. And the nightmare was over, at least for a time. But the nightmare never truly ended. As Ann grew from girl into young woman, the Insect grew with her. It became more than terrifying. It became a thing of murder. Now, as she embarks on a new life married to Michael Voors, a successful young lawyer, Ann believes that she finally has the Insect under control. But there are others vying to take that control away from her. They may not know exactly what they're dealing with, but they know they want it. They are the 'Geisters. And in pursuing their own perverse dream, they risk spawning the most terrible nightmare of all.

My thoughts:
This sounds interesting, but it's got a low rating on Goodreads.

Verdict:  Toss


20.  Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller:
A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?In the Bermuda Triangle--a lot.Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her fathers death years ago, her mothers medical problems, and the loser who's practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser's suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying Happy Anniversary... and suddenly, she's full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these alternate realities could become permanent.She just has to ask herself one question--how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?

My thoughts:
I honestly can't even tell for sure what this is going to be about.

Verdict:  Toss


Final Thoughts:
Keeping eight this week, getting too close to almost half!

I know that usually I will post how many are left this week compared to last week, but I honestly got this post done in October as part of my Blogging Ahead Challenge, so I don't have the numbers ready from last week's post, since it isn't done yet. 

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:


2016-2017 ARCs:

2015 ARCs:

2013-2014 ARCs (if you pick Zodiac, I kind of want to keep it with Wandering Star):



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.  





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

12 comments:

  1. Letters to the Lost has been on my TBR for too long. I admire your dedication to reducing your TBR--I need to do the same!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to read it, but don't know when I'll get to it, so time to pass it on. As for reducing, that really only counts I think if I stop adding! lol! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. I had Tumble & Fall for a long time too, but like you I just couldn't get myself excited about it and I ended up getting rid of it.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I've got to just realize that if I'm not in the mood, no sense keeping it. If I want bad enough to read it, I'll go looking for it at some point. Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  3. The Wedding Night was my least favorite Kinsella book, but Just One Day is my favorite of Forman's series. I think I loved the second book even more than the first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe some day I'll get around to it. It's in the library where I work, so I can always grab it if I get the inkling to read it. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. The Good Luck Girls sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks like you added some new ARC's! Looking good with clearing them out. I have Just One Day and Chaos of Stars on my shelf too. I have been trying really hard to clear out sequels for books I haven't read yet. Great job this week!

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finding more as I unpack boxes and decide I may never get to some! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. The Chaos of Stars does sound good... and ooh there goes a Kinsella novel! Hopefully less than 8 next time but I think you're still doing so well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just don't know that Kinsella always is my cup of tea anymore. Thanks for visiting!

      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.