Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #1

Posted November 12, 2018 by Lisa Mandina in / 4 Comments

I just saw this awesome idea at The Life of a Book Nerd Addict, and decided it was definitely something I needed to participate in.  I love all the fun Top 10 and Stacking the Shelves memes, participate in those and Can’t Wait Wednesday, when I have time.  But, this is a meme that I might actually get my TBR list on Goodreads taken care of.  I know earlier this year I decided I was going to start going through and weeding out books I either didn’t think I was interested in anymore, or maybe I’d put them as TBR for a contest or something, or maybe it was by an author that I knew I’d never forget I wanted to read all their books, so it wasn’t needed to be on my huge TBR list.  And I mean huge, I have over 3000 books just on my TBR list, and I’ve moved some to a list for free or very cheap ebooks I’ve downloaded, and there are almost 2000 books on there.  Now I won’t cut off of that second list, they are books I actually own.  But the other TBR list on Goodreads, the one everyone has, that one I need to work on. 

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.  So here we go!

Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs by Michael Novacek:

Over the past six years Michael Novacek, the Provost of Science at the American Museum of Natural History, has led a team of international scientists to the Gobi Desert on the greatest dinosaur expedition of the late 20th century. 

Closed to the West since the 1920’s, the remote sands of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert constitute the richest fossil site in the world. In Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs, Novacek invites the reader along with his team as he recounts the day-to-day drama of field exploration and discusses the remarkable discoveries that he and his colleagues unearthed, fossil finds that have helped to reshape our understanding of the dinosaur and early mammal era. 

Interweaving the adventure of field research with chapters that bring the reader up to date on contemporary dinosaur theory and science, Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs brings the excitement of scientific discovery to life. 

My thoughts
Well, I love dinosaurs, and my 2nd dream job would have been to be a paleontologist.  I don’t have a lot of time or the attention to read books like this these days.  However, I think this is a lesser known book, not a big name, so I don’t want to forget it.  

Verdict:  Keep

Rex Appeal:  The Amazing Story of Sue, the Dinosaur That Changed Science, the Law, and My Life by Peter Larson and Kristin Donnan:

When Peter Larson and his team from the Black Hills Institute discovered the world’s largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton beneath a South Dakota butte in 1990, they had no idea that it would be the find of a lifetime. Sue, as the skeleton came to be known, would ultimately not only lead them to international recognition, but also pull them into a world of FBI investigations, Native American land claims, competitive paleontologists, and avaricious museum curators. This gripping story chronicles the adventures of Larson and his group, explaining the art, technology, and politics behind one of the most successful group of T-rex hunters. 

My thoughts:  
Are you seeing a trend in the first TBR books I added to Goodreads?  This whole thing with Sue was going on, or at least coming to  light to the public about the same time that I was taking these types of classes in college.  So I have always been very interested in this whole story.  I think this unique and personal take on the story  is one that I will some day still want to read.

Verdict:  Keep

Quest for the African Dinosaurs: Ancient Roots of the Modern World by Louis L. Jacobs:

Winner of the Colbert Award for the best adult book about dinosaurs

Louis Jacobs reopened paleontologists’ eyes to the African continent when he uncovered a major fossil site in the hills of Malawi in the 1980s. During five digging seasons in Malawi and three in Cameroon, Jacobs found the remains of two meat-eating theropods, two herbivorous sauropods, an odd crocodile about the size of a Chihuahua, and rare early mammals. Now in paperback, Quest for the African Dinosaurs includes Jacobs’ new introduction, which discusses recent developments in paleontological research in Africa.  

My thoughts:
See both book thoughts above.

Verdict:  Keep

 Feathered Dinosaurs by Christopher Sloan:

All the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, right? Wrong. Exciting new fossil research suggests that though most of the dinosaurs did die out, flying dinosaurs didn’t. They survived and changed over all those millions of years. 

My thoughts:
Well, this one is a National Geographic book, and while I know that means it will have some incredible illustrations, I believe there will be newer updated books with more up-to-date scientific facts and theories.

Verdict:  Toss

Heroes of the Holocaust:  True Stories of Rescues by Teens by Allan Zullo:

Maria Andzelm was a Catholic teenager whose family took in two Jewish men in Nazi-occupied Poland and hid them under their barn floor. She brought them food and books, but they were caught and paid a terrible price. Maria’s stirring story is one of five featured in this important book of young people putting their lives on the line for others.  

My thoughts:
So, another topic I used to read tons and tons of nonfiction books about the Holocaust.  I guess I liked to cry or something.  This is a hard one, because I know it is something I’d probably be interested in. But, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to it.  So…

Verdict:  Toss

Loose Girl:  A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen:

For everyone who was that girl. 
For everyone who knew that girl. 
For everyone who wondered who that girl was.

Kerry Cohen is eleven years old when she recognizes the power of her body in the leer of a grown man. Her parents are recently divorced and it doesn’t take long before their lassitude and Kerry’s desire to stand out–to be memorable in some way–combine to lead her down a path she knows she shouldn’t take. Kerry wanted attention. She wanted love. But not really understanding what love was, not really knowing how to get it, she reached for sex instead.

Loose Girl is Kerry Cohen’s captivating memoir about her descent into promiscuity and how she gradually found her way toward real intimacy. The story of addiction–not just to sex, but to male attention–Loose Girl is also the story of a young girl who came to believe that boys and men could give her life meaning. It didn’t matter who he was. It was their movement that mattered, their being together. And for a while, that was enough.

From the early rush of exploration to the day she learned to quiet the desperation and allow herself to love and be loved, Kerry’s story is never less than riveting. In rich and immediate detail, Loose Girl re-creates what it feels like to be in that desperate moment, when a girl tries to control a boy by handing over her body, when the touch of that boy seems to offer proof of something, but ultimately delivers little more than emptiness.

Kerry Cohen’s journey from that hopeless place to her current confident and fulfilled existence is a cautionary tale and a revelation for girls young and old. The unforgettable memoir of one young woman who desperately wanted to matter, Loose Girl will speak to countless others with its compassion, understanding, and love.  

My thoughts:
This one speaks to me for personal reasons.   Both for knowing people, and for feeling my own issues with some of it during my college years.  I still feel like I want to read this at some point, and so I will probably leave it on my list for a future read at some point.

Verdict:  Keep

Quirkyalone:  A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics by Sasha Cagen:

A funny, upbeat, inspiring guide for all those singles who identify with enjoying their unique lifestyles while waiting for the right romance to come along. A celebration of the discerning singles everywhere–the quirkyalone!

There was a time when a single woman over 25 was called an old maid. Mothers fretted these unfortunate creatures might be condemned to a committing a crime of tragic proportions: living a life of eternal spinsterhood. Fortunately, in the 21st century, tv shows like Sex and the City affirm that it’s more than ok – it’s cool to be single. Sasha Cagen has coined the term that defines the lonely romantic who prefers her (or his) own company to that of a less desirable counterpart. Defining “singledom as a natural resting state” for quirkyalones, Cagen’s guide is the best kind of self–empowerment: incisive, savvy, hilarious. Equal parts self–help and hilarious pop culture, QuirkyAlone is self–empowerment for the wise people of the world. Including quizzes, lists, it’s not–your–average–relationship–book.   

My thoughts:
While this one still is me, alone and single and never not been single at the age of 46, I just never seem to get into singles books.  No matter how inspirational they are supposed to be, or help me not be alone, or empower me, whatever.  

Verdict:  Toss

Strange Attractors by William Sleator:

Recent high school graduate Max is looking forward to his visit to Mercury Labs, an honor for top science students, when his mother tells him he’s already been there–yesterday. Then Eve, the daughter of the Lab’s top scientist, Dr. Sylvan, calls Max and asks him to return what he took from the Lab. But Max doesn’t remember anything at all, and discovers that there are two Eves and two Dr. Sylvans. Which ones are real and which are imposters? What does Dr. Sylvan’s work on the chaotic bifurcation graph have to do with time travel?  

My thoughts:
I’ve never been disappointed in this author, and since there will not be any more books by him, I want to at some point in my life. read them all. So, goofy, outdated cover or not, I know that I will enjoy the story, and that it will be a fun, easy read.

Verdict:  Keep

The Spirit House by William Sleator:

A foreign exchange student comes to live with Julie’s family for a year—setting off a frightening chain of events  

Julie isn’t thrilled about her parents’ decision to sponsor a foreign exchange student from Thailand. Not only is the stranger going to live with them for a year, but Julie is convinced he’ll be a nerd and will embarrass her at school. But when a tall, handsome, super-cool guy named Bia arrives, Julie is suddenly the envy of all her girlfriends.
Dominic, Julie’s 11-year-old brother, is also thrilled to have Bia around the house. So to make the guest feel at home in America, Dominic builds a traditional Thai spirit house in the backyard. Overnight, Bia seems to undergo a major personality change. He’s mean and spiteful and lies about everything. He also seems terrified of something . . . or someone. Has Dominic’s construction somehow invoked a vengeful spirit? Is Bia the bearer of luck so bad it could harm Julie and her family?  

My thoughts:
As you can see, this one got an updated cover, looks like they did a reprint or republish in 2015.  Other than that, same reasoning as above, in that I still want to read everything by this author.

Verdict:  Keep

Dangerous Wishes by William Sleator:

Three years of bad luck have passed since Dom’s sister lost a valuable jade necklace on her way to Thailand. When his family travels there, he is determined to recover the necklace and appease the vengeful spirit. When Dom meets Lek, an English-speaking Thai his age, he thinks he’s got the solution. But Lek has something with supernatural owers, too — powers that can be deadly. “Riveting. Vintage Sleator.”– “The Horn Book”  

My thoughts:
Again, I will read all this author’s books.  Some day.

Verdict:  Keep

Boltzmon! by William Sleator:

A boltzmon, remnant of a black hole, materializes in eleven-year-old Chris’s bedroom and transports him to a parallel world, where he encounters the bitter woman his overbearing older sister will become, after his death, if he cannot convince her to change.  

My thoughts:  Don’t know if you caught it, but this is actually the 11th book I’ve included in this post, even though it is a 5-10 book meme.  Since the next one on the list was by the same author as the last ones, I figured I’d go ahead and include it this time, so that the next time I do this meme I’ll be starting with something different instead of including something almost the exact same as another post.  So, all the same reasons as above.

Verdict:  Keep

Have you read any of these books?  Would you suggest that I keep any of the ones I thought I’d toss?  Let me know what you think of this post.  I cleared 3 books off of my list, that’s a good start, right?  

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4 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #1

  1. I've seen this on other blogs and it's a great idea. I try and regularly go through my TBR list on Goodreads (and Amazon -yes, I have two wish lists of books I don't even own but want to read lol) and get rid of things I'm no longer interested in or feel like I probably wouldn't read anytime soon. I still have a lot! LOL I hope you can read some of these soon!


    • I'm horrible about saving things. My email is so full! I read and then don't delete, and sometimes don't put in folders. So then I get tons and tons. I just cleared out one of my email sections in Gmail this morning. Thanks for visiting!

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