Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #15

Posted March 30, 2019 by Lisa Mandina in giveaway / 10 Comments

This meme was started by Lost in a Story.  Here is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Because I have so many to do, I’m going to try to do this weekly, and do 10 at a time.

1.  Cabel’s Story (Wake #1.1) by Lisa McMann:

A free online story by
Lisa McMann. A companion to the first Dream Catcher novel, Wake, this is
Cabel’s perspective of the field trip that Janie and he took with their
English class.

My thoughts:
I will definitely want to read this at some time, and it is just a free book to read online.  I should just make it a goal to get it read soon!  Then I can move it from my TBR list to my Read list on Goodreads.

Verdict:  Keep

2.  Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell:

Gen’s family is more
comfortable spending time apart than together. Then Gen’s mom signs them
up for Camp Frontier, a vacation that promises the “thrill” of living
like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions,
Gen nevertheless manages to email her friends back home about life at
“Little Hell on the Prairie,” as she’s renamed the camp. It turns out
frontier life isn’t without its good points, like the cute boy who
lives in the next clearing. And when her friends turn her emails into a
blog, Gen is happily surprised by the fanbase that springs up. But just
when it seems Gen and family might pull through the summer, disaster
strikes as a TV crew descends on the camp, intent on discovering the
girl behind the nationwide blogging sensation, and perhaps ruining the
best vacation Gen has ever had.

My thoughts:
So I went through a phase of reading lots of books that referenced the pop culture phenomenon of Little House on the Prairie, after reading some bios of actresses on the show, as well as a fan’s book where she traveled to visit the places Laura Ingalls Wilder lived in her life and that she wrote about in the series.  That’s probably where this one comes in.  Now, for some reason I feel like I own a copy of this, but until I find it, I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to reading it.

Verdict:  Toss

3.  Dead Girl’s Blog by Donna Burgess:

Meet Audrey Scott.
She has it all. She’s the most popular girl at Lincoln High and dates
Tommy Barker, the cutest boy in the senior class. She has a credit card
with no limit, is head cheerleader and was probably going to be
homecoming queen again this year—until she was bitten by a Deader. Worst
part of it? He ruined her best jeans.
But that’s just the tip of the
putrid iceberg. Now, Audrey is beginning to fester. She doesn’t smell
very fresh. Her hair comes out, along with pieces of scalp. Her friends
no longer want to hang out with her. Tommy has moved on to a new girl.
And poor Audrey is suddenly wearing Depends and hanging with her lame younger sister, Cindy.
world isn’t like it was. Disease is in the air and people have become
infected. The dead are no longer buried because they won’t stay put in
their graves. They are sent out to big, green pastures with electric
fences, where they remain until they rot away to nothing.
Told in
blog form, this short is an introduction to Diary of a Dead Girl, a
darkly humorous young adult novel by Donna Burgess, scheduled for
release in the second half of 2011.
Also included is the bonus short story, Under a Blanket of Blue, a Romero-inspired tale of zombies, love and survival.

My thoughts:  
Don’t even remember why I added this one.  If it had been a free ebook I’d downloaded, I’d switch it to that TBR list, but it isn’t one I have.

Verdict:  Toss

4.  The Lady in the Tower:  The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir:

The imprisonment and
execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, in May 1536
was unprecedented in English history. It was sensational in its day, and
has exerted endless fascination over the minds of historians,
novelists, dramatists, poets, artists and film-makers ever since.

was imprisoned in the Tower of London on 2 May 1536, and tried and
found guilty of high treason on 15 May. Her supposed crimes included
adultery with five men, one her own brother, and plotting the King’s

Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to her
arrest. Was it Henry VIII who, estranged from Anne, instructed Master
Secretary Thomas Cromwell to fabricate evidence to get rid of her so
that he could marry Jane Seymour? Or did Cromwell, for reasons of his
own, construct a case against Anne and her faction, and then present
compelling evidence before the King? Or was Anne, in fact, guilty as

Never before has there been a book devoted entirely
to Anne Boleyn’s fall. Alison Weir has reassessed the evidence,
demolished many romantic myths and popular misconceptions, and rewritten
the story of Anne’s fall, creating a richly researched and impressively
detailed portrait of the dramatic last days of one of the most
influential and important figures in English history.

My thoughts:
This was probably during my phase of watching the show The Tudors.  So while I still am interested in this topic, not sure when I’ll ever read something like this.

Verdict: Toss 

5.  The Zombie Autopsies:  Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse by Steven Schlozman:

As the walking dead rise
up throughout the world, a few brave doctors attempt to find a cure by
applying forensic techniques to captured zombies.

On a remote
island a crack medical team has been sent to explore a radical theory
that could uncover a cure for the epidemic. Based on the team’s research
and the observations of renowned zombie expert Dr. Stanley Blum, THE
documents for the first time the unique biology of
zombie organisms.

Detailed drawings of the internal organs of
actual zombies provide an accurate anatomy of these horrifying
creatures. Zombie brains, hearts, lungs, skin, and digestive system are
shown, while Dr. Blum’s notes reveal shocking insights into how they
function–even as Blum and his colleagues themselves begin to succumb to
the plague.

No one knows the ultimate fate of Dr. Blum or his
researchers. But now that his notebook, THE ZOMBIE AUTOPSIES, has been
made available to the UN, the World Health Organization, and the general
public, his scientific discoveries may be the last hope for humans on

My thoughts:  This one sounds like fun.  But still not sure if I’ll get to it.

Verdict: Keep – for now

6.  Subject Seven by James  A. Moore:

Years ago, scientists
began developing the ultimate military weapon: deadly sleeper assassins
housed within the bodies of teenagers. Now, Subject Seven, the dangerous
alter-ego living inside a 16-year-old boy, has escaped the lab and is
on a mission. His objective? To seek out others like him and build an
army capable of destroying their creators. 

Hunter, Cody, Gene,
Tina, and Kylie: five teenagers leading typical lives, until the day
they each receive a call from a mysterious stranger-and learn that their
destinies are intertwined. Subject Seven holds the key that connects
them all. And a vicious, bloody battle for their lives is just

My thoughts:  
Sounded good at the time. And I’m sure it is good, but I just don’t know if I’ll get to it.

Verdict:  Toss

7.  I Totally Meant to Do That by Jane Borden:

Jane Borden is a hybrid
too horrifying to exist: a hipster-debutante. She was reared in a
propert Southern home in Greensboro, North Carolina, sent to boarding
school in Virginia, and then went on to join a sorority in Chapel Hill.
She next moved to New York and discovered that none of this grooming
meant a lick to anyone. In fact, she hid her upbringing for many
years–it was easier than explaining what a debutante “does” (the short
answer: not much).

Anyone who has moved away from home or lived
in (or dreamed of living in) New York will appreciate the hilarity of
Jane’s musings on the intersections of and altercations between Southern
hospitality and Gotham cool.

My thoughts:
Doesn’t sound like one I’m really going to be interested in anymore.

Verdict:  Toss

8.  The Customer is Always Wrong:  The Retail Chronicles by Jeff Martin:

From mom-and-pop
general stores to big-box, strip-mall chains, it is impossible to
consider the American experience without thinking about the
buying-and-selling retail culture: the sales and the stockrooms, the
shift managers, and the clock punchers.

The Customer Is Always Wrong
is a tragicomic and all-too revealing collection of essays by writers
who have done their time behind the counter and lived to tell their
tales. Jim DeRogatis, author of Let It Blurt, for example,
describes hanging out with Al himself at Al Rocky’s Music Store, while
Colson Whitehead explains how three summers at a Long Island ice cream
store gave him a lifelong aversion to all things dessert-like. This book
not only shines a light on the absurdities of retail culture but finds
the delight in it as well. 

My thoughts:
This is a hard one!  I love this type of thing, as someone who has worked in retail for most of my life with part time jobs, I’m sure I’d relate to this.  I might keep it just in case.

Verdict:  Keep – for now

9.  Hater by David Moody:

A modern take on the
classic “apocalyptic” novel, Hater tells the story of Danny McCoyne, an
everyman forced to contend with a world gone mad, as society is rocked
by a sudden increase in violent assaults. Christened “Haters” by the
media, the attackers strike without warning and seemingly without
reason. Within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become
frenzied, vicious killers. As the carnage mounts, one thing soon is
clear: everyone, irrespective of race, gender, age, or class, has the
potential to become either a Hater or a victim. At any moment, even
friends and family can turn on one another with violent intent. In the
face of this mindless terror, all McCoyne can do is secure his family,
seek shelter, and watch as the world falls apart. But when he bolts the
front door, the question remains: Is he shutting the danger out or
locking it in?

My thoughts:  This one still sounds good.  I thought that I’d heard there was going to be a movie made of this?  Did I miss it?

Verdict:  Keep

10.  The Family that Couldn’t Sleep:  A Medical Mystery by D.T. Max:

For two hundred years a
noble Venetian family has suffered from an inherited disease that
strikes their members in middle age, stealing their sleep, eating holes
in their brains, and ending their lives in a matter of months. In Papua
New Guinea, a primitive tribe is nearly obliterated by a sickness whose
chief symptom is uncontrollable laughter.
What these strange
conditions–kuru, scrapie, and mad cow disease–share is their cause:
prions. Prions are ordinary proteins that sometimes go wrong, resulting
in neurological illnesses that are always fatal. Even more mysterious
and frightening, prions are almost impossible to destroy because they
are not alive and have no DNA.

In The Family That Couldn’t Sleep,
essayist and journalist D. T. Max tells the spellbinding story of the
prion’s hidden past and deadly future. Through exclusive interviews and
original archival research, Max explains prion diseases’ connections to
human greed and ambition–from the Prussian chemist Justus von Liebig,
who made cattle meatier by feeding them the flesh of other cows, to New
Guinean natives whose custom of eating the brains of the dead nearly
wiped them out- and their impact in the world today. With precision,
grace, and sympathy, Max explores maladies that have tormented humanity
for centuries and gives reason to hope that someday cures will be found.  

My thoughts:  Still sounds really intriguing.  I also have an uncle who contracted some sort of prion disease and died very quickly from it. So it still is something I’m interested in.

Verdict:  Keep

Final Thoughts:
Keeping half, tossing half this week.  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 into the
Link-up below.  It will also get you an extra entry into my giveaway at
the bottom of this post.   


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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.  This week I’m upping the prize, 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. 
Here are your choices:

Above are my 2018 ARCs

2017 ARCs

2014-2016 ARCs

Sorry for the blurry pictures.  I updated them at night, and there’s not a lot of light where I have them sitting.

You get to pick two this time, plus I’ll throw in a surprise one!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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10 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #15

  1. I haven't read any of the books you featured this week and wouldn't want to read them either. I am still interested in Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

    • Well, so these are only books on my Goodreads shelf, these are not actual books from my physical shelves. So Goodreads keeps track of it for me, since the ones I decide to toss, I delete from the site. In a way, these posts are nice, because if I change my mind about one of the books, or someone comments that I should keep one, I can come back here to find it. Thanks for stopping by!

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