Saturday, November 9, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #46

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.  Too Cool for School for Elizabeth Collins:
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL is an exciting new memoir by award-winning essayist and teacher Elizabeth Collins.

Elizabeth Collins was considered an excellent, highly qualified high school English teacher, but a sudden partisan attack against her purpose and character left Collins reeling and nearly destroyed her teaching career.

Collins became an unwitting target, “a too-liberal” teacher with an Obama sticker on her car and a Ms. in front of her name who, a couple people feared, might “indoctrinate” conservative, Catholic girls into her own intellectual, independent ways.

What began with a petty complaint spiraled into heinous threats against Collins’ family, relentless legal harassment, heart problems, and an internationally reported fiasco.

Lauded as “a hero and a martyr” for refusing to give in after the threats and for daring to write about her experiences as a teacher, Collins was also considered dangerous because of her open-minded politics and willingness to speak.

TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL explains the kind of teacher Collins was and is, what she wrote about teaching on her widely-read blog, Pretty Freaky, and how she survived the madness of being the center of a story that is still reported—and misreported.

When a good teacher can be targeted for having interesting ideas about teaching, and using social media to share her thoughts, who is safe? Who will want to teach in the current teacher-hating climate where teachers are not allowed to do their jobs?

Collins’ fascinating memoir is at once heartbreaking, deeply funny, uplifting, and terrifying. Filled with invaluable teaching tips and lesson ideas, along with the provocative story of Collins’ educational background and unconventional classroom experiences, TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL is essential reading for all teachers, parents, students, and anyone concerned with the state of American education today.

 
My thoughts:
Probably good, but not interested really anymore.

Verdict:  Toss


2.  The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth:  Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins:
When school lunchroom doors open, hungry students rush in, searching for tables where they wouldn't be outsiders. Of course, in middle school and high school, almost everyone is an outsider: the nerds, the new girls, the band geeks, the loners; even the "popular" cheerleaders. Alexandra Robbins' The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth takes us inside the hallways of real schools to show us how shifting cliques and permanent marginalization affect children. Following individual students over the course of a year, she tracks the plight and possibilities of self-confessed nerds, freaks, punks, Goths, and weirdos. Her central message is heartening: Our increasingly homogenized society ultimately needs and welcomes the cafeteria fringe.

My thoughts
As interesting as it still sounds, just don't know when I'd get around to reading it.

Verdict: Toss 


3.  The Gaggle:  How the Guys You Know Will Help You Find the Love You Want by Jessica Massa:
Now in paperback, The Gaggle captures the zeitgeist of today's “post-dating” world where instead of traditionally dating, women find love by cultivating a “gaggle” of men.You know you’re great, so why haven’t you been on a classic dinner-and-a-movie date since . . . well, forever? Because as it turns out, you are now living in a post-dating world, where the old rules for romance no longer apply. Suddenly, everything and nothing is a date. But this means that you have much more going on in your love life than you realize.

Say hello to your gaggle.

Your gaggle is the group of guys in your life who you might not be “dating,” but who play different roles, fulfill different needs, and help you figure out who you are and what you want. Though no two gaggles are alike, there are ten types of men a gaggle might include, such as the Ego Booster, the Hot Sex Prospect, and the Boyfriend Prospect. Romance, excitement, self-discovery, love…all this will be yours, once you start thinking of each man you know and meet as a potential guy in your gaggle.

In this clever and groundbreaking debut, based on nationwide interviews with women and men, Jessica Massa reveals that the potential for romance is all around you. The Gaggle is the ultimate guide to embarking on an entirely new path to love in a world that has left traditional dating behind.

 
My thoughts:  
Pretty much giving up on any of these types of things working for me.  Because they don't.  I'm 47, I've had times in my life where I've hung out with groups of guys, had friends that were guys,  you name it.  None of that works.  Probably just for me.  I'm going to be alone forever.

Verdict: Toss


4.  Endurance by Ann Aguirre:
When rebellion destroys the underground world in which Thimble and Stone have grown up, they take Stone's son and try to escape the chaos. Along the way, they must evade the Freaks, beings who feed on human flesh. Leaving behind the roles of Builder and Breeder which they were assigned at birth, they wander the underground tunnels, looking for safety yet afraid to go "topside" where legend has it that the light and water will burn their skin from their bones.

Their journey takes them upward to an unimagined world of tinned food, comfortable furniture, and books. Away from their regimented society for the first time, and still facing imminent danger, Thimble and Stone acknowledge the forbidden attraction which both have denied for years.


My thoughts:  
I don't know if I'll ever get around to this series, and if I do, I need to read the first one to see if I like it before I get to any of the others.

Verdict: Toss


5.   More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell:
Customer (holding up a book): What’s this? The Secret Garden? Well, it’s not so secret now, is it, since they bloody well wrote a book about it!

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops was a Sunday Times bestseller, and could be found displayed on bookshop counters up and down the country. The response to the book from booksellers all over the world has been one of heartfelt agreement: it would appear that customers are saying bizarre things all over the place - from asking for books with photographs of Jesus in them, to hunting for the best horse owner’s manual that has a detailed chapter on unicorns.

Customer: I had such a crush on Captain Hook when I was younger. Do you think this means I have unresolved issues?

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops has yet more tales from the antiquarian bookshop where Jen Campbell works, and includes a selection of ‘Weird Things...’ sent in from other booksellers across the world. The book is illustrated by the BAFTA winning Brothers McLeod.


My thoughts:
Loved the first book. This one never was available in the store where I work, so I need to order it online.

Verdict: Keep


6.  Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love:
For those who thirst for accounts of paranormal romance, Trisha Telep has compiled some of the most thrilling takes of forbidden love in this collection. First crushes and last rites; dark spells and bright magic; forbidden lovers and enchanted beings -- and always, always the hungry games of desire. Pucker up for a darkly sweet collection of ghosts, shape shifters, fairies, unicorns, vampires, and demons in tales from today's biggest writers of the paranormal persuasion.


My thoughts:
Nothing new here, but there are some awesome sounding authors included. 


Verdict: Toss


7.  World of Shell and Bone by Adriana Ryan:
In a world ravaged by a nuclear holocaust, Vika Cannon knows there are no guarantees: no guarantees of safety, no guarantees that your neighbor is not actually a spy for the government, and no guarantees you'll be allowed to emigrate to a new life in China.New Amana is dying. Food and water are scarce, and people suffering from radiation-caused mutations--the Nukeheads--are the new class of homeless. Vika has just one purpose: to produce healthy progeny using a Husband assigned by the Match Clinic. Unhealthy children are carted away to Asylums to be experimented on, just as Vika's little sister Ceres was, eight years ago. Parents incapable of producing healthy progeny are put to death in gas chambers.When she's assigned a Husband shortly after her twentieth birthday, Vika expects him to be complacent and obedient. But Shale Underwood has a secret. He is a member of the Radicals, the terrorist group intent on overthrowing the government. And Shale has information about Ceres.As she learns more about the Rads's plan, Vika finds herself drawn to Shale in ways she'd never imagined. When freedom calls in the way of a healthy pregnancy, will she betray her government and risk death for Shale and Ceres?

My thoughts:  
Nah.  Too much of the same here.  Plus, she's holding her boob in her hand on the cover and for some reason it is bugging me for this picture. Almost doesn't match what the story is supposed to be.

Verdict:  Toss


 8.  Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain #1) by Kellie Sheridan:
After surviving a deadly plague outbreak, sixteen-year-old Savannah thought she had lived through the very worst of human history. There was no way to know that the miracle vaccine would put everyone at risk for a fate worse than un-death.

Now, two very different kinds of infected walk the Earth, intent on nothing but feeding and destroying what little remains of civilization. When the inoculated are bitten, infection means watching on in silent horror as self-control disappears and the idea of feasting on loved ones becomes increasingly hard to ignore.

Starving and forced to live inside of the abandoned high school, all Savannah wants is the chance to fight back. When a strange boy arrives with a plan to set everything right, she gets her chance. Meeting Cole changes everything. Mere survival will never be enough.

 
My thoughts:
Hmm.  Probably not.  Plus, don't quite get the cover.

Verdict:  Toss


9.  The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson:
Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you're the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect--read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice--stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you've had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie's secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She'll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie's going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.

 
My thoughts:
I actually still like the sound of this one.

Verdict: Keep


10.  The Worlds We Make by Megan Crewe:
The virus has taken away Kaelyn’s friends, her family, her home.

And now a deadly enemy threatens to take the one hope she has left:
THE CURE.

When Kaelyn and her friends reached Toronto with a vaccine for the virus that has ravaged the population, they thought their journey was over. But now they're being tracked by the Wardens, a band of survivors as lethal as the virus who are intent on stealing the vaccine no matter what the cost.

Forced onto the road again, Kaelyn and her companions discover the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta is their best hope for finding scientists who can reproduce the vaccine. But with the virus already spreading among them, the Wardens hot on their trail, and hundreds of miles to cross, Kaelyn finds herself compromising her morals to keep her group alive. Her conscience seems a small price to pay if protects them and their precious cargo. Unless even that is not enough...

In the final installment in Megan Crewe’s captivating the Fallen World trilogy, Kaelyn is on the run from her biggest adversaries yet. While she continues to face horrific loss, her resolve is still strong. But to survive this shattered world, will she have to sacrifice all that's left of the girl she was?


My thoughts:
I really like this series, and I need to read this final book!

Verdict:  Keep

 
11.  The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson:
Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.

Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they'll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself - and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.

In this exhilarating third installment to her New York Times bestselling series, Maureen Johnson brings the sinister streets of London to life with her signature wit and page-turning suspense.


My thoughts:
Another series that I really like and need to keep or finish reading!

Verdict: Keep


12.  The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller:
On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.


My thoughts:
I still kind of want to read this one.

Verdict: Keep


13.  The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan:

The incredible story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in U.S. history.
The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942. One of the Manhattan Project’s secret cities, it didn’t appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women recruited from small towns across the South. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but they were buoyed by a sense of shared purpose, close friendships—and a surplus of handsome scientists and Army men!

But against this vibrant wartime backdrop, a darker story was unfolding. The penalty for talking about their work—even the most innocuous details—was job loss and eviction. One woman was recruited to spy on her coworkers. They all knew something big was happening at Oak Ridge, but few could piece together the true nature of their work until the bomb "Little Boy" was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, and the secret was out. The shocking revelation: the residents of Oak Ridge were enriching uranium for the atomic bomb.
Though the young women originally believed they would leave Oak Ridge after the war, many met husbands there, made lifelong friends, and still call the seventy-year-old town home. The reverberations from their work there—work they didn’t fully understand at the time—are still being felt today. In The Girls of Atomic City, Denise Kiernan traces the astonishing story of these unsung WWII workers through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents. Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is history and science made fresh and vibrant—a beautifully told, deeply researched story that unfolds in a suspenseful and exciting way.


My thoughts:
They compare it to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which I devoured, so I feel like I still want to read this one.

Verdict: Keep


14.  Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton:
Ari can't help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can't be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it's impossible to protect herself when she doesn't know what she's running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won't stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.


My thoughts:
Although I can tell why I added it, plus it is going to take place in New Orleans, a future one, but still, I don't think I'll get to it.  And actually I have the whole trilogy on my TBR, so I'll get all of them off with this post.

Verdict:  Toss


15.  Reboot by Amy Tintera:
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.


My thoughts:
I know this was a popular book at one time, but don't know that I'll get to it.

Verdict:  Toss


16.  Shifting by Bethany Wiggins:
After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal.

Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.


My thoughts:
I've liked other books by this author, and I like the idea that this is based on a Navajo legend. 

Verdict:   Keep


17.  Through Frankie's Eyes by Barbara Gail Techel:
Renowned novelist E.M. Forster wrote: "I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves." If your authentic self has disappeared beneath a burden of should haves or could haves-pleasing everyone but yourself, worrying about everything that's out of your control while ignoring what only you can change, settling for less than you know you can be-this is such a book. Author Barbara Techel has certainly gone farther down the path toward self-discovery than most of us have dared, and here she shares that journey with readers ready for its influence on their own choices. It's your time: to grow; to learn from a woman who's overcome her deepest fears to live joyfully, with integrity and intent; and to marvel at the magic of it happening under the guidance and knowing eyes of a small, red dog on wheels. Let this story seep into your consciousness and inspire you-indeed, allow you-to start or continue your own fulfilling journey to who you really are. You've picked up this book because you're craving the inspiration and uplift it so generously offers. Don't put it down. It's a gift, if you're ready to accept it. Read it. Hold onto it to remind you that though you may have work to do, you absolutely can achieve the life you're striving for. Free yourself of the things that no longer matter, and embrace how beautiful the world is to someone who can see it...through Frankie's eyes.

My thoughts:
There's a dachshund on the front, and I want to keep it just because of that.  But I know it's not something I'd probably ever get around to reading.

Verdict:  Toss


18.  Zoo by Tara Elizabeth:
A chronicle of my time living in a zoo . . . I'm not really sure where to start, and you may have trouble believing me even as I tell you my story. My family did. They laughed the first time I told them, so now I just say it was all a crazy dream. You see, I died in a totally preventable car accident . . . or so I thought. When I opened my eyes, I was shocked to discover that I had been resurrected into the year 2282 and, just as unbelievably, was locked up in a zoo! A HUMAN ZOO! Oh wait, I mean the People's Past Anthropological Center.

The Global Government created the Centers because all of the different cultures of the world had, over centuries of time, slowly absorbed into one uniform culture. Everything and everybody felt the same, and the world didn’t like it. So, to help the people of 2282 find cultures they thought worthy to live their lives by, they used time travel to zap the people of the past into the future. They created enclosures to house their live human exhibits. And that's what happened to me. I became a research project, a source of entertainment. I was a prisoner who was over two hundred years away from my family and friends.

Most of my time in the enclosure was spent trying to escape. I also made friends, lost friends, fell in love, was betrayed, was held captive within captivity, and lots of other fun stuff. There were some shocking moments and some devastating moments . . . It’s a lot to recount, but I’ll try my best to tell you all about my time travel . . . PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE.

I'm Emma, by the way.


My thoughts:
Um, weird sounding, but nah.

Verdict:  Toss


19.  Furious by Jill Wolfson:
Three high school girls become the avenging Furies of Greek legend.

We were only three angry girls, to begin with. Alix, the hot-tempered surfer chick; Stephanie, the tree-hugging activist; and me, Meg, the quiet foster kid, the one who never quite fit in. We hardly knew each other, but each of us nurtured a burning anger: at the jerks in our class, at our disappointing parents, at the whole flawed, unjust world.

We were only three angry girls, simmering uselessly in our ocean-side California town, until one day a mysterious, beautiful classmate named Ambrosia taught us what else we could be: Powerful. Deadly. Furious.


My thoughts:
Well, doesn't sound that original, although I do kind of like the cover. 

Verdict:  Toss


20.  The Sphinx Project by Kate Hawkings:
Not many people can say their entire existence has been one big lab experiment: poked and prodded by scientists, genetically modified to be the best and endure the worst, subjected to daily tests and trials that would kill a normal human. All Michaela wants is her own life, to be able to go to school, flirt with boys, maybe eat ice cream now and then. So when the chance to escape finally comes, Michaela and her sister grab it, taking their friends with them.

But they weren’t the only ones to find their way out of those labs. Following close behind are another breed of creature, one that doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, who exist only to feed their own hunger. The appearance of a strange boy who seems too much like them to be a coincidence makes things even more confusing. But as the world begins to literally fall apart around them, Michaela must accept his help, especially when she could lose the very thing she holds dearest: her sister.


My thoughts:
Again, doesn't sound that original.

Verdict:  Toss


Final Thoughts:
Keeping seven this week, although several of them are parts of series I've already read and enjoyed, so it makes sense.

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:



2015-2017 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.  



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. I've only read one Megan Crew book and really enjoyed her story telling. The book store one is a book I'd definitely read.

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    1. Yeah, I've enjoyed all of Megan Crewe's books that I've read, so need to read more. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I actually have Reboot and Maureen Johnson's series unread as well. The Summer I Became a Nerd is on my TBR. There is a blogger I follow, who is always screaming about that book.

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    1. I know, I've heard a lot of good stuff about it! Thanks for visiting!

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  3. Wow you did awesome this week! Funny thing about Endurance by Ann Aguirre, I legit just read it today haha. Reboot I read and loved but book two sucked. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton I really liked but I haven't finished them in forever so I don't know if they were super great. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller was an adorable read so good choice on keeping it. Glad you've been able to get so many books cleared out.

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews

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    1. If only I didn't keep adding! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  4. I love how you have upped your game lately and have started including 20 books instead of 10. And the only one I am familiar with here is Reboot, but I never read it and doubt that I will...

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    1. I've got to, although I keep adding, so not sure how much good I'm doing. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I would likely try Surface Tension from the group of books. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. The Good Luck Girls sounds interesting.

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