Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #40

Posted September 28, 2019 by Lisa Mandina in CUTBR, giveaway / 4 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.   Taken by Erin Bowman:

There are no men in
Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on
his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding
light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared
to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and
starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council
leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies
beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can
cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes
after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be
taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?


My thoughts:
I know I’ve read others by this author that I liked, but don’t know if I’ll get to this one? 

Verdict:  Toss

2.  Must’ve Done Something Good by Cheryl Cory:

If you love “The Sound of Music” and “Pride and Prejudice,” prepare to be enchanted by “Must’ve Done Something Good!”

O’Rourke, “The Sound of Music” devotee and born procrastinator, is
about to die. Well, she thinks she is, anyway, and so attempts a
last-ditch bargain with God for her life.

“You guys are my
witnesses,” she tells her sisters somewhere over Connecticut. “If we get
out of this plane alive, I promise to do something good with my life.”

on firm ground, Kate and Meg won’t let their sister forget her promise,
and with their years of practice hitting just the right chords of guilt
(“What kind of person lies to God?” Meg wants to know), Sylvie finally

A teaching position at the broken-down St. Matthew’s High
School appears to be Sylvie’s perfect opportunity to do some good. That
is, until she’s snubbed by a fellow teacher on the first day of school.

she’s becoming a bit too invested in the students’ fall fundraiser or
directing the school’s sure-fire musical disaster, Sylvie’s charmingly
irreverent style gets her called down to the principal more often than
her students. Can Sylvie keep her promise and make it through the year,
dignity and sanity intact?

My thoughts
Not sure exactly why I added this one.  Not one I care so much about now.

Verdict: Toss 

3.  A Call to Creativity:  Writing, Reading, and Inspiring Students in the Age of Standardization by Luke Reynolds:

In this age of
standardization, many English teachers are unsure about how to
incorporate creative writing and thinking into their classroom. In a
fresh new voice, Luke Reynolds emphasizes that “creativity in our lives
as teachers and in the lives of our students is one of our most vital
needs in the 21st century.”

Based on his own journey as an
English teacher, A Call to Creativity is a practical guide that shows
teachers how they can encourage and support students’ creativity in the
English/language arts classroom. The book offers both the inspiration
and practical steps teachers need to engage their students through a
variety of hands-on projects and worksheets that can be used immediately
to insert creativity into any standards-based curriculum.

Book Features:

–Adaptable projects tested in diverse school environments.
–Guiding questions at the end of each chapter.
–Lesson plans for creative writing assignments.
–Over 30 pages of worksheets and sample assignments.

Reynolds has taught 7th- through 12th-grade English in Massachusetts
and Connecticut public schools, as well as composition at Northern
Arizona University. He is co-editor of the bestselling book Burned In:
Fueling the Fire to Teach.


My thoughts:  
I’m not an English teacher anymore, only did that for one year.  And while I’m sure this has some good stuff in it, it doesn’t fit my current career.

Verdict: Toss

4.  Wicked Jealous by Robin Palmer:

Simone never saw herself
as the “cute girl”—she was always the chunky, band tee wearing,
France-obsessed smart girl. But now that Simone’s a few pounds lighter
and sporting a new retro style, things have gotten, well, weird. Her
crush Jason seems to actually know she exists. And when Simone’s
soon-to-be stepmonster Hillary stops ignoring her, Simone knows
something is up. When Simone’s brother offers to let her move in with
him and his six roommates on the beach for the summer, Simone jumps at
the chance. But living with seven very different college boys isn’t
exactly helping her land her very own happily ever after.

My thoughts:  
This one actually sounds kind of good, I don’t remember adding it, but I kind of want to read it still!

Verdict:  Keep

5.   Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins:

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel
emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an
inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen
and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying
heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy
warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

My thoughts:
So, I do love this author. But while I think I might still want to read this some day, I don’t think I need to keep it on my Goodreads TBR, because it is a pretty popular one I’ll remember.  Plus we have it on our shelves at my library.

Verdict:  Toss

6.  Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones:

Sophomore Year Was Never Supposed to be This Complicated

years ago, Lorelei McAlister’s parents disappeared without a trace, and
she is finally beginning to accept the fact that they’re never coming
back. Life must go on. She’s got her grandparents and the support of her
best friends, and high school is not quite as painful as she thought it
would be.

But This is What Happens When You Fall for the Angel of Death.

Until the day the school’s designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins
to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside
her house in the dark, tough, sexy Jared Kovach – comes to school.
Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other, and Lorelei seems to be
the reason for their animosity.

Life as She Knows it is About to Change Forever.

What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell
Jared he can’t have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death
comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Death and the Girl Next Door proves Darynda Jones is a force to be reckoned with.

My thoughts:
This doesn’t sound that original. But I feel like maybe I should read this author at some point?  I don’t know.  Probably won’t read this anytime soon.

Verdict: Toss

7.  Lucci-The No Smoochie Poochie by Donna L. Sadd:

Imagine adopting a dog
to find out that he doesn’t give smoochies, kisses, lickies-nothing.
Well, one family adopted a brother and sister pair of Dachshunds to find
out just that; little Lucci (pronounced-loochy) was a no smoochie
Poochie! Smile and giggle reading how this family, along with 2 other
rather unique resident pups, tries everything to the point of exhaustion
and still never gives up to get Lucci to give smoochies. Folks say that
LUCCI is a perfect bedtime read for young children.

My thoughts:  
As adorable as this sounds, I have no idea why in the world I added it?

Verdict:  Toss

 8.  Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan:

Can you save someone from something that’s already happened?

expectations for his forced vacation with his father at the Leisure
World Holiday Complex are low. He hates sports, and his father is mostly
lost in drink and depression. But then he sees a strange girl swimming
in the fake lake, and everything changes. Lexi has a smart mouth and a
killer swim stroke, but dark secrets swirl around her. She’s got bruises
and cuts that seem to be getting worse instead of better. She’s always
alone. And her watch is ticking backwards. When a dark figure begins to
stalk Lexi and Daniel, the truth must come out. This gripping ghost
story will raise goose bumps and questions: does a traumatic past mean
the future is a foregone conclusion?

My thoughts:
Doesn’t sound that great to me.  Ghost story or not.

Verdict:  Toss

9.  Altar of Eden by James Rollins:

Baghdad falls . . . and
armed men are seen looting the city zoo. Amid a hail of bullets, a
concealed underground lab is ransacked–and something horrific is set
loose upon the world.

Seven years later, Louisiana state
veterinarian Lorna Polk investigates an abandoned shipwrecked fishing
trawler carrying exotic caged animals, part of a black market smuggling
ring. But there is something disturbingly wrong with these beasts–each
an unsettling mutation of the natural order, all sharing one uncanny
trait: incredibly heightened intelligence.

Joining forces with
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jack Menard–a man who shares with her a dark
and bloody past–Lorna sets out to uncover the truth about this strange
cargo and the terrorist threat it poses. Because a beast escaped the
shipwreck and is running amok–and what is about to be born upon the
altar of Eden could threaten not only the future of the world but the
very foundation of what it means to be human.

My thoughts:
I love James Rollins, but haven’t been in the mood to read this type of book in a while.  Plus, I don’t know that I need to keep his books on here, he’s popular enough I can always just look up books by him and see what I haven’t read if I decide to try again.

Verdict: Toss

10-11.  The Know it All:  One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World  and The Year of Living Biblically:  One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs:

Part memoir and part education (or lack thereof), The Know-It-All
chronicles NPR contributor A.J. Jacobs’s hilarious, enlightening, and
seemingly impossible quest to read the Encyclopaedia Britannica from A
to Z.

33,000 Pages
44 Million Words
10 Billion Years Of History
1 Obsessed Man

fill the ever-widening gaps in his Ivy League education, A.J. Jacobs
sets for himself the daunting task of reading all thirty-two volumes of
the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His wife, Julie, tells him it’s a waste of
time, his friends believe he is losing his mind, and his father, a
brilliant attorney who had once attempted the same feat and quit
somewhere around Borneo, is encouraging but unconvinced.

With self-deprecating wit and a disarming frankness, The Know-It-All
recounts the unexpected and comically disruptive effects Operation
Encyclopedia has on every part of Jacobs’s life — from his newly minted
marriage to his complicated relationship with his father and the rest
of his charmingly eccentric New York family to his day job as an editor
at Esquire. Jacobs’s project tests the outer limits of his
stamina and forces him to explore the real meaning of intelligence as he
endeavors to join Mensa, win a spot on Jeopardy!, and absorb 33,000
pages of learning. On his journey he stumbles upon some of the
strangest, funniest, and most profound facts about every topic under the
sun, all while battling fatigue, ridicule, and the paralyzing fear that
attends his first real-life responsibility — the impending birth of
his first child.

The Know-It-All is an ingenious,
mightily entertaining memoir of one man’s intellect, neuroses, and
obsessions, and a struggle between the all-consuming quest for factual
knowledge and the undeniable gift of hard-won wisdom.

From the bestselling
author of “The Know-It-All” comes a fascinating and timely exploration
of religion and the Bible.Raised in a secular family but increasingly
interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs
decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible as literally
as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments.
To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the
hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of
mixed fibers; to play a ten-string harp; to stone adulterers.

resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and
irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history’s most
influential book with new eyes.

Jacobs’s quest transforms his
life even more radically than the year spent reading the entire
“Encyclopedia Britannica” for “The Know-It-All.” His beard grows so
unruly that he is regularly mistaken for a member of ZZ Top. He immerses
himself in prayer, tends sheep in the Israeli desert, battles idolatry,
and tells the absolute truth in all situations – much to his wife’s

Throughout the book, Jacobs also embeds himself in a
cross-section of communities that take the Bible literally. He tours a
Kentucky-based creationist museum and sings hymns with Pennsylvania
Amish. He dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and does Scripture study
with Jehovah’s Witnesses. He discovers ancient biblical wisdom of
startling relevance. And he wrestles with seemingly archaic rules that
baffle the twenty-first-century brain.Jacobs’s extraordinary undertaking
yields unexpected epiphanies and challenges. A book that will charm
readers both secular and religious, “The Year of Living Biblically” is
part Cliff Notes to the Bible, part memoir, and part look into worlds
unimaginable. Thou shalt not be able to put it down. 

My thoughts:
I know that at some time I want to read all the books by this author, I loved the one I did read, Drop Dead Healthy.  But I will just keep one of these on my Goodreads list, so I will at least have his name remembered.

Verdict:  Keep one – Toss one

Final Thoughts:
So I actually did 11 off my list this week, and I’m only keeping 2 of them, so that is good.

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 8 off, I have 3,142 books listed now, and last week I ended with 3,147.  So I improved!  A tiny bit.

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.    


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 early 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:

2010-2014 ARCs:

2015-2016 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

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4 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #40

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