Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #47

Posted November 16, 2019 by Lisa Mandina in CUTBR, 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?

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.  All Through My Town by Jean Reidy:

Rising, waking
Bread is baking
School bus honks its horn

are the people in your neighborhood? Perfect for the pre-K set, this
adorable rhyming text takes a walking tour of your community. The fresh
modern art of Leo Timmers features hidden details and a perennial theme
reminiscent of Richard Scarry. Little ones will beg to re-read again as
they discover the characters who repeat throughout the art in this sweet
and vibrant story.


My thoughts:
Absolutely no idea why this is on my list?

Verdict:  Toss

2.  Gulp:  Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach:

“America’s funniest
science writer” (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an
unforgettable tour. The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain:
the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the
cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero
gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing?
Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the
stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts?
Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists
who tackle the questions no one else thinks of—or has the courage to
ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant,
and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach at
our side, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists,
Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water
rectally), rabbis and terrorists—who, it turns out, for practical
reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts.

Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.

My thoughts
I really know that I need to read something by this author. Just not sure if this is the one I’ll start with.  Or if I need to keep her books on my list since she is such a well-known author.

Verdict: Toss 

3.  Grace Lost by M. Lauryl Lewis:

Twenty-year-old Zoe Kate
is young and naïve, and quite frankly a loner. When her lifelong
friend, Adam Boggs, comes home for the summer they find themselves
thrust into the middle of a zombie plague. As they flee their hometown
in hopes of finding safety, they come across two other survivors, Emilie
and Gus. The group of four quickly form bonds and must make difficult
choices at every turn in order to stay alive. They will witness
unimaginable horrors and experience unthinkable losses as life and death
mix together in ways that were never meant to be. Things aren’t always
as they seem when God’s Grace has been Lost to humanity.

(Intended for mature audiences due to language, graphic horror, and sexual content)

My thoughts:  
Hmm, I’ll probably skip this one.

Verdict: Toss

4.  Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board by Zoe Aarsen:

McKenna Brady thinks her
junior year of high school is going to be the best ever when she’s
welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High
School led by blond, gorgeous Olivia Richmond.

Prior to junior
year, McKenna was known in her small town as the girl whose twin sister
died in a tragic house fire, and she’s overjoyed at the prospect of
redefining her identity. She has a date to the Homecoming dance with
Olivia’s handsome older brother, and a good chance of being elected to
student council. For the first time since McKenna’s parents divorced,
things are looking up.

But everything changes the night of
Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover birthday party. Hannah, the shy,
mysterious new girl in town, suggests that the girls play a scary game
called Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, during which Hannah makes
up elaborate stories about the future ways in which beautiful Olivia,
brassy Candace, and athletic Mischa will die. The game unsettles McKenna
because she’s already escaped death once in her life, but she doesn’t
want to ruin her friends’ fun. It’s only a game, she reminds herself.

it doesn’t seem like a harmless game a week later when Olivia dies
unexpectedly in a violent car crash, exactly as Hannah predicted. And
something begins haunting McKenna’s bedroom at night, leaving her clues
that all seem to point to Hannah. McKenna enlists the help of her cute
next-door neighbor Trey in finding out exactly what kind of curse Hannah
has put on all of the popular girls in the junior class.

Hannah rises to popularity and seemingly steps into the life Olivia left
unfinished, McKenna and Trey know they only have a limited amount of
time to bring an end to Hannah’s game before more lives are lost.

My thoughts:  
So I picked the updated cover, as you can see it was made into a movie just recently on Hulu.  Still sounds like I might enjoy it, and since I don’t have Hulu, maybe I should keep the book here?

Verdict:  Keep for now

5.   Furry Friends Forevermore by Gary Kurz:

How will we meet our beloved pets in the hereafter?

Will our pets look and act the same in heaven as they did in life?
Will the reunion last for eternity or only for a precious few fleeting

While coping with the loss of a cherished pet, solace can be
found in knowing that one day we’ll meet our furry friends in heaven.
But how can the idea of eternity with our devoted companions provide
comfort if we don’t understand what that future will look like? Drawing
on Scripture, Gary Kurz helps grieving people understand the mystery of
death, painting a pragmatic, yet comforting portrait of the reunion we
will have with God and our animal confidants in heaven.

Uplifting, compassionate and wise, Furry Friends Forevermore
transforms grief to hope, allowing pet lovers to take comfort in the
knowledge that we will indeed meet our cherished best friends once more.

Praise for Gary Kurz and Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates

inspiring and comforting. . .a must read if you want to know that
without a doubt you will see your pets in heaven.” –Mary
Buddemeyer-Porter, author of Will I See Fido in Heaven?

“A great comfort to me and all I am associated with.” –Terry Hickey, Founder, Halton/Peel Pet Loss Support Group

My thoughts:
It’s extremely possible I added this to my TBR about the time I lost my sweet Sydney, my first dog that was all mine, raised from a puppy.  Don’t know that I need to read and be sad though.

Verdict:  Toss

6.  Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin:

Nothing is as it seems in this darkly romantic tale of infatuation and possession, inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

was the perfect girlfriend: smart, gorgeous, and loved by everyone at
New England’s premier boarding school, Thorn Abbey. But Becca’s dead.
And her boyfriend, Max, can’t get over his loss.

Then Tess
transfers to Thorn Abbey. She’s shy, insecure, and ordinary—everything
that Becca wasn’t. And despite her roommate’s warnings, she falls for
brooding Max.

Now Max finally has a reason to move on. Except it
won’t be easy. Because Becca may be gone, but she’s not quite ready to
let him go…


My thoughts:
If you know me, you know I love retellings like this. And since I’ve never read Rebecca, that actually makes me more intrigued to read it.  Plus I kind of like the cover.

Verdict:  Keep

7.  My Darrling by Krystal M.:

To the world,
nineteen-year-old Isaac Darrling was nothing more than pure,
unsalvageable evil, a sadistic serial killer on a quest for notoriety,
To me, he was the love of my life.
My obsession.
My Darrling, as I called him.
is a story about unconditional love in its rawest—and possibly
sickest—form. A story that forces you to face the dark and the beautiful
sides of forbidden love.

My thoughts:  
Doesn’t grab me anymore.

Verdict:  Toss

 8.  Letting Ana Go by Anonymous:

In the tradition of Go Ask Alice and Lucy in the Sky, a harrowing account of anorexia and addiction.

was a good girl from a good family, with everything she could want or
need. But below the surface, she felt like she could never be good
enough. Like she could never live up to the expectations that surrounded
her. Like she couldn’t do anything to make a change.

But there was one thing she could control completely: how much she ate. The less she ate, the better—stronger—she felt.

But it’s a dangerous game, and there is such a thing as going too far…

Her innermost thoughts and feelings are chronicled in the diary she left behind.


My thoughts:
Now, when I was a teenager, Go Ask Alice was one of the most interesting books I’d ever read.  And I know this is the same type of book, so as a teenager it would probably get me.  These days I’ll stick to finding the true diaries/memoirs.

Verdict:  Toss

9.  Towering by Alex Flinn:

High in my tower I sit. I
watch the birds fly below, the clouds float above, and the tall green
forest stretch to places I might never see.

Mama, who isn’t my
mother, has kept me hidden away for many years. My only companions,
besides Mama, are my books—great adventures, mysteries, and romances
that I long to make my reality. But I know that no one will come to save
me—my life is not a fairy tale after all.

Well, at least no one
has come so far. Recently, my hair has started to grow rapidly and it’s
now long enough to reach the bottom of the tower from my window. I’ve
also had the strangest dreams of a beautiful green-eyed man.

Mama isn’t around, I plan my escape, even if it’s just for a little
while. There’s something—maybe someone—waiting for me out there and it
won’t find me if I’m trapped here Towering above it all.


My thoughts:
This is an author that I like her fairy tell retellings, so I’ll still want to read!

Verdict: Keep

10.  Parallel by Lauren Miller:

Your plan changes. Your destiny doesn’t.

Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She’d go to Northwestern, major in
journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she
turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior
year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth
birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she
wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she’s
in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight,
it’s as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin,
her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the
result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living
an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby’s life changes
every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her
parallel is living out Abby’s senior year of high school and falling for
someone Abby’s never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her
ever-shifting existence, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus
on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might
just be her soul mate, and the destiny that’s finally within reach.

My thoughts:
Nothing too original

Verdict: Toss

11.  September Girls by Bennett Madison:

When Sam’s dad whisks
him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he’s all
for it– at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is
anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and
everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem
inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the
Girls, and she’s different from the others. Just as he starts to fall
for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows
that if he’s going to get her back, he’ll have to uncover the secret of
this beach and the girls who live here.

My thoughts:
So, this is one I’ve wanted to read for a long time. I followed this author on Twitter when I first joined a long time ago, so I kind of still want to read it, even if the synopsis is kind of vague.

Verdict: Keep

12.  Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn:

On a cool autumn night,
Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school
party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles
away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there.
She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories
of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces
of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured
memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will
never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

My thoughts:
I don’t know, if I haven’t gotten around to this one by now, I may never get to it.

Verdict:  Toss

13.  The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare:

Fans of The Mortal
and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane
like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling
tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and
illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories
illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring
personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the
#1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The
Infernal Devices

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short
stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan,
this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time
and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new
illustrated material.

My thoughts:
I will have to read this at some point.

Verdict: Keep

14.  Emma vs. the Tech Guy by Lia Fairchild:

If you think you know
me, you’re dead wrong. Yes, I’m driven and calculating and my colleagues
see me as a cold, workaholic who has stopped at nothing to create the
top fashion magazine in Southern California. But working my ass off
isn’t the only reason I got there. And those little indiscretions used
to be content hiding in the back of the closet.

Then Guy Walker
enters my office. Sexy, sweet, and super popular, the new tech guy is
taking our office by storm. Sure, I notice him. But I won’t risk him
derailing every strategy I have in place. If he gets too close, he might
discover my secrets, and that could ruin my career and turn my life
upside down.

This hilarious chick lit book will pull you into its world and leave you loving its fun, witty characters.

My thoughts:
This sounds like it is still fun, I need to see if I can find it!

Verdict: Keep

15.  Teardrop by Lauren Kate:

Never, ever cry…

Eureka won’t let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother
was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no
meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the
boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean.
And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak,
about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her
mother’s death and Ander’s appearance seem connected, and her life takes
on dark undercurrents that don’t make sense. Can everything you love be
washed away?

My thoughts:
I really liked the Fallen series by this author.  I probably need to read this one as well.

Verdict: Keep

16.  eloves me eloves me not by L.A. Johannesson:

Still single at 39,
Kayte Wexford has everything but Mr. Right. She has a fabulous career
and interesting friends, but there’s still no one waiting at home for
her but the dog.

With keyboard at the ready, she turns to technology for help, hoping online dating will finally deliver the man of her dreams.

me, eloves me not is a contemporary romantic comedy that follows
Kayte’s online dating adventures while focusing on the relationships of
four main characters, each with their unique views on love: Kayte is the
ever-hopeful romantic, Roman the consummate bachelor, Thomas is newly
and skeptically single and Chloe is already living happily ever after.

Kayte as she meets a series of cyber-suitors and learns what she will
and won’t do in the name of love. See if you can you predict where Kayte
will end up and with whom.

My thoughts:
As much as I like the cover of this one, it has been done and redone, and done by some authors I love, so I will probably not need to go back and find this one.

Verdict:  Toss

17.  Above by Mackie Burt:

Callie Lane is your
typical all-American teenager, struggling with issues of love and
jealousy, boys, schoolwork, picking out the right clothes, right vs.
wrong, good vs. evil and navigating her way through the straits of
“growing up.” The only difference is that Callie is dead. And her world
is now ABOVE.

When 17 year-old Callie’s life is suddenly cut
short, she “wakes up” ABOVE, and soon discovers it’s not exactly what
she expected. Still reeling from the fact that she is, in fact, no
longer living, Callie learns that she’s also part of a select group of
recently-passed teens fated to become Guardians.

Not only does
Callie have to go to Guardian school, her dead grandmother happens to be
the headmistress and the curriculum includes revisiting every mistake
she’s ever made. And since no one seems to want to give her a straight
answer about anything — including the mysterious empty room next to
hers — Callie comes to realize that life ABOVE is even more confusing
than the life she just left behind.

Callie must come to terms
with her Watched resisting her guidance, her feelings for Logan, a boy
she’s drawn to but who withholds from her, and the knowledge that she is
a target for the evil that exists ABOVE. But her hardest lesson will be
to understand that she has as much to give as she has to learn. Callie
must choose to acknowledge and accept her gifts, embrace her fate, and
become a Guardian who can make a difference that will impact the worlds
below, ABOVE and beyond.

My thoughts:
Doesn’t sound like anything that original.

Verdict:  Toss

18.  Isabella, Star of the Story by Jennifer Fosberry:

Every day is an adventure with Isabella!

everyday visit to the library becomes an unexpected adventure through
the pages of classic children’s book favorites! Like Goldilocks,
Isabella searches for a book that is juuust right.

Should she
host a silly tea party in Wonderland with the Mad Hatter? Take a
Technicolor trip through Oz with the Cowardly Lion? Or have a
swashbuckling good time with the Lost Boys?

Join Isabella as she
imagines herself in the starring role of these beloved stories and
discovers the extraordinary power of reading. Anything is possible
between the pages of a good book!

My thoughts:
It’s a picture book, so not really me.  But I can see why I added it in case I ended up being an elementary librarian.

Verdict:  Toss

19.  The Chick Flick Project by Courtney Elliott:

Callie Nichols is fed up
with constantly putting herself out there to only be rejected again and
again. After her most recent failure, she comes up with a solution. She
decides to start modeling her love life after all of the big screen’s
most recognizable love stories. Hilarity, heartbreak, mishaps and mayhem
ensue. She hopes that maybe one of them actually figured out the secret
to true love. The only problem: no one ever told her that sometimes
your Hollywood Happy Ending is where you least expect to find it.

My thoughts:
Eh, probably not that original.

Verdict:  Toss

20.  A Ghost Hunter’s Guide to the Most Haunted Houses in America by Terrance Zepke:

In this book,you’ll
learn the dark and compelling history and hauntings that take place in
the most haunted houses in America. This handy reference includes lots
of photographs, fun facts, and visitor information. From southern
California to upstate New York, our nation is full of haunted houses.

Winchester House…where the owner had a seance room and communed with spirits nightly.

Loretta Lynn Plantation…home of country music superstar Loretta Lynn and several restless spirits.

Amityville House…is it haunted or a hoax?

Whaley House…officially certified “haunted” by the U.S. government!

…and much more!

My thoughts:
So many books with all this info, as well as the internet these days.

Verdict:  Toss

Final Thoughts:
Keeping seven again this week.

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. 

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:

2011-2017 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.  

It’s possible I may have some more choices when I actually do the giveaway next week, but since I’m out of town at a conference this weekend, I didn’t have time to take any better pictures.  So stay tuned!

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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10 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #47

  1. Thanks again for sharing your ARCs! I too have seen books on my Goodreads from a long time ago and can't remember why I added them. I don't see a rafflecopter entry form this week, so maybe you just forgot to include it.

  2. Wow good for you for clearing out so many. I had Teardrop on my shelf and tried to read it, but I wasn't a fan. It's very drawn out and slooooow. But you may like it. The Bane Chronicles I have kept too. Huge fan of Cassandra Clare. I hope you get to read some soon and that NaNoWriMo is going well for you.

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews

    • See, I liked her other series, so figured I might want to try it. I had trouble getting into the Infernal Devices, but hope I'll enjoy the Bane Chronicles. NaNoWriMo is going slow, but okay. Thanks for stopping by!

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