Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #48

November 23, 2019 CUTBR, giveaway 12

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.  Just One Day by Gayle Forman:

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.

When
sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets
laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of
Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one
day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson,
until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in
Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson
embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her
life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her
almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

 

My thoughts:
A popular author that I enjoyed the books I have read.  But I don’t think I need to keep this one on my list even though I might still read it at some point.

Verdict:  Toss

2.  Elegy by Tara Hudson:

A stalker ghost,
misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths—Amelia Ashley has faced them
all. Now her greatest hope is to spend the rest of her afterlife with
her living boyfriend, Joshua. But the demonic forces return to give her
an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one
living person per week until she does.

Amelia fears she might
really be doomed, until the forces of light give her another option. She
can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she
joins them, she can never see Joshua again.

Faced with impossible choices, Amelia decides to take her afterlife into her own hands—and fight back.

My thoughts
I liked the first book in the series, but still haven’t read the second one, so I’ll take the third one off till I know if I like the second one and want to read on.

Verdict: Toss 

3.  The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White:

Isadora’s family is
seriously screwed up—which comes with the territory when you’re the
human daughter of the ancient Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris. Isadora is
tired of living with crazy relatives who think she’s only worthy of a
passing glance—so when she gets the chance to move to California with
her brother, she jumps on it. But her new life comes with plenty of its
own dramatic—and dangerous—complications . . . and Isadora quickly
learns there’s no such thing as a clean break from family.

 

My thoughts:  
Um, it’s Kiersten White, who I currently believe can write no wrong.  So, yeah, I’ll be keeping, although I think maybe I actually have a copy of this, so I need to check on that and maybe switch it over to my TBR-owned list.

Verdict:  Keep

4.  Conjured by Sara Beth Durst:

Eve has a new home, a
new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told
that she’s in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous
magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she
knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the
people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or
do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a
tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during
the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let
anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her
eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she
blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that
days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve
must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but
the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

My thoughts:  
It sounds good, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to it.

Verdict: Toss

5.   What Once We Feared by Carrie Ryan:

When the zombie
apocalypse hits and the dead begin to rise, Jonah and his friends are on
a class field trip downtown.  Panicked, they make a split-second
decision to seek shelter in the Overlook, an apartment complex built
like a fortress on the edge of town.  But as they begin to face the
realities of what it will take to survive, they realize that while
making the decision of where to run was easy, living out the
consequences of that decision may be impossible.  From Carrie Ryan, the New York Times bestselling author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth books, What Once We Feared is
an original digital short story about facing a world that is forever
changed and in which survival means more than merely escaping the
undead.

My thoughts:
I love this series, so I need to read anything that goes with it!

Verdict: Keep

6.  My Beloved Brontosaurus by Brian Switek:

Dinosaurs, with their
awe-inspiring size, terrifying claws and teeth, and otherworldly
abilities, occupy a sacred place in our childhoods. They loom over
museum halls, thunder through movies, and are a fundamental part of our
collective imagination. In My Beloved Brontosaurus, the dinosaur
fanatic Brian Switek enriches the childlike sense of wonder these
amazing creatures instill in us. Investigating the latest discoveries in
paleontology, he breathes new life into old bones.

Switek
reunites us with these mysterious creatures as he visits desolate
excavation sites and hallowed museum vaults, exploring everything from
the sex life of Apatosaurus and T. rex’s feather-laden body to just why dinosaurs vanished. (And of course, on his journey, he celebrates the book’s titular hero, “Brontosaurus”—who suffered a second extinction when we learned he never existed at all—as a symbol of scientific progress.)

With
infectious enthusiasm, Switek questions what we’ve long held to be true
about these beasts, weaving in stories from his obsession with
dinosaurs, which started when he was just knee-high to a Stegosaurus. Endearing, surprising, and essential to our understanding of our own evolution and our place on Earth, My Beloved Brontosaurus is a book that dinosaur fans and anyone interested in scientific progress will cherish for years to come.

My thoughts:
This is a hard one.  Because the science and what we know about dinosaurs has changed so much even since this book was published 6 years ago, but all the other stories and such in the book sound like something I’d still enjoy.

Verdict:  Keep

7.  Kingdom Come by Michelle Smith:

The world is coming to an end, and “Crazy Kerrigan” has a front-row seat.

Centuries
ago, scrolls calling forth the four horsemen of the apocalypse were
discovered, sealed until their rightful heirs were born. Now, those
scrolls are being opened.

When her small town crumbles during her
stay in an institution for troubled teens, eighteen-year-old Kerrigan
Monroe is one of the few left standing. She and a handful of other
survivors take cover as everything they’ve ever known is reduced to
rubble. When the smooth voice behind a cryptic radio broadcast beckons
her to a safe house, she and the others abandon their temporary haven,
and embark on a cross-country journey toward refuge.

Upon
discovering the identity of the man behind the voice, Kerrigan is
smacked with the revelation that he’s not the only heir to these
scrolls. Now, she must make a choice: join this dark stranger and lead
the New World by his side, or fight for what’s left of humanity.

Either decision will bring power. Either decision will bring death.

My thoughts:  
Doesn’t sound like anything that new and different.

Verdict:  Toss

 8.  Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Stephanie Hemphill:

From award-winning
author Stephanie Hemphill comes the fascinating story of Mary Shelley, a
brilliant teenager who wrote one of the greatest literary masterpieces
of all time: Frankenstein.

An all-consuming love affair.

A family torn apart by scandal.

A young author on the brink of greatness.

Hideous
Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a
teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow
of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the
story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of
literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life
by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.

Mary wrote Frankenstein at the
age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the
atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around
her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest
minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.

This
luminous verse novel from award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill
reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in
history.
 

My thoughts:
This one still sounds good to me.

Verdict:  Keep

9.  Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction – And My Own by Mika Brzezinski and Diane Smith:

Mika Brzezinski is at
war against obesity. “On Morning Joe, “she is often so adamant about
improving America’s eating habits that some people have dubbed her “the
food Nazi.” What they don’t know is that Mika wages a personal fight
against unhealthy eating habits every day, and in this book she
describes her history of food obsession and distorted body image, and
her lifelong struggle to be thin. She believes it’s time we all learned
to stop blaming ourselves, and each other, and look at the real
culprits–the food we eat and our addiction to it. Mika feels the only
way to do this is to break through the walls of silence and shame we’ve
built around obesity and food obsessions. She believes we need to talk
openly about how our country became overweight, and what we can do to
turn the corner and step firmly onto the path of health. So Mika made a
deal with her very close friend Diane: they would work together on this
book and on their personal goals, to help Diane drop 75 pounds and to
break Mika’s obsession with staying superthin. As she did in her
bestseller “Knowing Your””Value, “Mika has packed each chapter with
insights from notable people in medicine, health, business, the arts,
and politics. Singer Jennifer Hudson, the late writer and director Nora
Ephron, TV host Gayle King, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and many
others open up to Mika about their own challenges and what works for
them when it comes to food and diet. It’s time we stopped whispering the
F-word (“fat”) the way we used to shun the C-word (“cancer”). This
book–with its trademark Brzezinski smarts, honesty, and
courage–launches us into a no-holds-barred conversation with family and
friends, in schools and kitchens, in Congress and the food industry, to
help us all find ways to tackle one of the biggest problems standing
between us and a healthier America.

 

My thoughts:
Probably not something I’d get to.

Verdict: Toss

10.  Feedback by Robison Wells:

Benson Fisher escaped from Maxfield Academy’s deadly rules and brutal gangs.

Or so he thought.

But
now Benson is trapped in a different kind of prison: a town filled with
hauntingly familiar faces. People from Maxfield he saw die. Friends he
was afraid he had killed.

They are all pawns in the school’s
twisted experiment, held captive and controlled by an unseen force. As
he searches for answers, Benson discovers that Maxfield Academy’s plans
are more sinister than anything he imagined—and they may be impossible
to stop.

My thoughts:
I liked book one, so I need to read this one too.

Verdict:  Keep

 
11.  The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie by Leanna Renee Hieber:


I’m coming for you.

The whispers haunt her dreams and fill her waking hours with dread. Something odd is happening. Something…unnatural.

Possession
of the living. Resurrection of the dead. And Natalie Stewart is caught
right in the middle. Jonathon, the one person she thought she could
trust, has become a double agent for the dark side. But he plays the
part so well, Natalie has to wonder just how much he’s really acting.

She can’t even see what it is she’s fighting. But the cost of losing her heart, her sanity…her soul.

My thoughts:
I read the first and liked it, so I need to read this one too!

Verdict: Keep

12.  So What Do They Really Know by Cris Tovani:

In So What Do They Really Know? Cris
Tovani explores the complex issue of monitoring, assessing, and grading
students’ thinking and performance with fairness and fidelity. Like all
teachers, Cris struggles to balance her student-centered instruction
with school system mandates. Her recommendations are realistic and
practical; she understands that what isn’t manageable isn’t sustainable.

Cris
describes the systems and structure she uses in her own classroom and
shows teachers how to use assessments to monitor student growth and
provide targeted feedback that enables students to master content goals.
She also shares ways to bring students into the assessment cycle so
they can monitor their own learning, maximizing motivation and
engagement.

So What Do They Really Know? includes a wealth of information:

Lessons from Cris’s classroom
Templates showing how teachers can use the workshop model to assess and differentiate instruction
Student work, including samples from linguistically diverse learners, struggling readers, and college-bound seniors
Anchor charts of student thinking
Ideas on how to give feedback
Guidelines that explain how conferring is different from monitoring
Suggestions for assessing learning and differentiating instruction during conferences
Advice for managing ongoing assessment
Cris’s
willingness to share her own struggles continues to be a hallmark of
her work. Teachers will recognize their own students and the challenges
they face as they join Cris on the journey to figure out how to raise
student achievement.

My thoughts:
Since I’m not in the classroom anymore, probably don’t need to, and won’t have time to read this.

Verdict:  Toss

13.  This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink:

Claire Kincaid’s family has been in business for over fifty years.

The voodoo business.

Part
of the International Guild of High Priests and Priestesses, a secret
society that have practiced voodoo for generations, the Kincaids run an
underground supply house for authentic voodoo supplies. Claire plays
along, filling orders for powders, oils and other bizarre ingredients in
the family store, but she has a secret.

She doesn’t believe.

Struggling
to reconcile her modern sensibilities with a completely unscientific
craft based on suspicion, Claire can’t wait to escape New Orleans – and
voodoo – when she goes to college, a desire that creates almost constant
conflict in her secret affair with Xander Toussaint, son of the Guild’s
powerful founding family.

But when a mysterious customer places
an order for a deadly ingredient, Claire begins to realize that there’s
more to voodoo – and the families that make up the Guild – than meets
the eye.

Including her own.

As she bands together with the
other firstborns of the Guild, she comes face to face with a deadly
enemy – and the disbelief that may very well kill her.

My thoughts:
I don’t know, it still sounds good. But it has a pretty low rating on Goodreads.  But I want more books on voodoo, and I do love the cover!

Verdict: Keep – for now

14.  Becoming by Raine Thomas:

**Optioned for movie rights by multiple-award winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions.**

Every
three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens
explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life
a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster
placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted
into a sixth.

As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels
the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the
inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet.
She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel,
really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really
without family.

To top it all off, she’ll finally find out why she’s having the power surges: she isn’t entirely human.

Amber
must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking
the loss of the most important relationship she’s ever had. Her choice
will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her
against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very
life.

Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.

My thoughts:
Doesn’t sound that unique, other than the exploding thing maybe.

Verdict:  Toss

15.  Jaguar Sun by Martha Bourke:

DECEMBER 21, 2012 Will that fateful day destroy our world, or did the Mayans have something else in mind?

Maya Delaney knows. Unfortunately.

Maya Delaney is just an average sixteen-year-old. She’s busy dealing with exams, her soon to be ex-boyfriend and fitting in.

But Maya’s got bigger problems. She’s hiding a major secret from her dad and having strange visions she can’t control.

In
her struggle to figure out who she is, she learns that she is meant to
fulfill an ancient Mayan Prophesy and bring forth a New Age on earth.

Will the spirit magic Maya wields be enough to defeat Toltec, an evil society bent on keeping her from her destiny?

Or will that destiny destroy her?

My thoughts:
It’s hard to really read and get into the 2012 end of the world books now.

Verdict:  Toss

16.  The Forgetting Curve by Angie Smibert:

Aiden Nomura likes to
open doors—especially using his skills as a hacker—to see what’s hidden
inside. He just keeps pulling until one cracks open, exposing the flaws.
The universe—or someone else—will fix things. It’s like a game…until
it isn’t.

When a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic opens in
Bern, Switzerland, near Aiden’s boarding school, he knows things are
changing. Shortly after, bombs go off within quiet, safe Bern. Then
Aiden learns that his cousin Winter, back in the States, has had a
mental breakdown. He returns to the US immediately.

But
when he arrives home in Hamilton, Winter’s mental state isn’t the only
thing that’s different. The city is becoming even stricter, and an
underground movement is growing.

With the help of
Winter’s friend Velvet, Aiden slowly cracks open doors in this new
world. But behind those doors are things Aiden doesn’t want to
see—things about his society, his city, even his own family. And this
time Aiden may be the only one who can fix things…before someone else
gets hurt.

My thoughts:
Read the first one, so feel like I need to read this one as well.

Verdict:   Keep

17.  Tumble and Fall by Alexandra Coutts:


A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An
asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe
is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question
is, what to do with the time that’s left? Against this stark backdrop,
three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship
and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts’s TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.

My thoughts:
I like the cover, but I’m just not that excited for this one.

Verdict:  Toss

18.  Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella:

Lottie just knows that
her boyfriend is going to propose, but then his big question involves a
trip abroad — not a trip down the aisle. Completely crushed, Lottie
reconnects with an old flame, and they decide to take drastic action. No
dates, no moving in together, they’ll just get married . . . right now.
Her sister, Fliss, thinks Lottie is making a terrible mistake, and will
do anything to stop her. But Lottie is determined to say “I do,” for
better, or for worse.







My thoughts:
Well, Kinsella books are hit or miss for me. And she’s a big enough author that I don’t need to keep her books on my TBR to remember probably.

Verdict:  Toss

19.  The ‘Geisters by David Nickle:

When Ann LeSage was a
little girl, she had an invisible friend – a poltergeist, that spoke to
her with flying knives and howling winds. She called it the Insect. And
with a little professional help, she contained it. And the nightmare was
over, at least for a time. But the nightmare never truly ended. As Ann
grew from girl into young woman, the Insect grew with her. It became
more than terrifying. It became a thing of murder. Now, as she embarks
on a new life married to Michael Voors, a successful young lawyer, Ann
believes that she finally has the Insect under control. But there are
others vying to take that control away from her. They may not know
exactly what they’re dealing with, but they know they want it. They are
the ‘Geisters. And in pursuing their own perverse dream, they risk
spawning the most terrible nightmare of all.

My thoughts:
This sounds interesting, but it’s got a low rating on Goodreads.

Verdict:  Toss

20.  Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller:

A cruise ship. A
beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?In the
Bermuda Triangle–a lot.Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her
crappy life–her fathers death years ago, her mothers medical problems,
and the loser who’s practically stalking her–seventeen-year-old Autumn
Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she
wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she’s gone nuts for more
than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they’re a happy couple… a
hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying Happy Anniversary…
and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV
medication. Autumn visits the ship’s doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot
to make the craziness go away. Instead, she’s warned that these alternate
realities could become permanent.She just has to ask herself one
question–how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?

My thoughts:
I honestly can’t even tell for sure what this is going to be about.

Verdict:  Toss

Final Thoughts:
Keeping eight this week, getting too close to almost half!

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:

2016-2017 ARCs:

2015 ARCs:
2013-2014 ARCs (if you pick Zodiac, I kind of want to keep it with Wandering Star):

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 Responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #48”

    • Lisa Mandina

      I need to read it, but don't know when I'll get to it, so time to pass it on. As for reducing, that really only counts I think if I stop adding! lol! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I've got to just realize that if I'm not in the mood, no sense keeping it. If I want bad enough to read it, I'll go looking for it at some point. Thanks for visiting!

  1. Samantha@WLABB

    The Wedding Night was my least favorite Kinsella book, but Just One Day is my favorite of Forman's series. I think I loved the second book even more than the first.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Maybe some day I'll get around to it. It's in the library where I work, so I can always grab it if I get the inkling to read it. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Reese's Reviews

    Looks like you added some new ARC's! Looking good with clearing them out. I have Just One Day and Chaos of Stars on my shelf too. I have been trying really hard to clear out sequels for books I haven't read yet. Great job this week!

    Sharrice @Reese's Reviews

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