Yes, folks, it’s time for another stroll down TBR lane to see which books remain on the list and which will go. Strangely, every book that ended up on this week’s TBR Hole list has a terrible cover. Except for Challenger Deep. I think.
Here’s how the Down the TBR Hole game is played (created by Lia @ LostInAStory):
1. Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
2. List books in ascending order (oldest first).
3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
4. Read the synopses of the books.
5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
Genre: YA contemporary
Goodreads rating: 4.14
Number of Pages: 320
I liked Shusterman’s book Unwind, so I thought I’d give Challenger Deep a try. Unlike Unwind, which is YA dystopia, Challenger Deep is a YA contemporary that explores mental illness through the viewpoint of a brilliant boy absorbed in the fantasy that he lives on board a ship headed for the deepest point on Earth: the Marianas Trench.
Genre: YA LGBTQIA
Goodreads rating: 3.98
Number of Pages: 470
In this “funny and heartbreaking” book, Cam is a girl who likes girls. When Cam’s parents die, she is forced to move in with her conservative aunt in Miles City, Montana–where she falls for a cowgirl named Coley. Sounds like a winner. 🙂
Genre: YA fantasy
Goodreads rating: 3.88
Number of pages: 384
Jeremy Johnson has lost his mother and now hears the ghost of Jacob Grimm (one of the Grimm brothers) speaking to him. The story is told from the first person POV of Jacob Grimm, who also protects Jeremy from evil. Interesting premise. Readers seem to either love it or hate it.
Genre: New-Adult Romance (aren’t they all?)
Goodreads rating: 4.40
Number of pages: 423
I must have heard something really special about this book if I added it despite the fact that it’s a romance–which I don’t normally read. The ending is supposedly a real tear jerker. Maybe I’ll save it for when I’m in the mood for a good cry.
Genre: Adult Fantasy-Humor
Goodreads rating: 4.25
Number of pages: 412
Oops, I forgot I took a look at this one not too long ago. I adored Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, enjoyed Anansi Boys, and appreciated most of Neverwhere, but when I recently picked up Good Omens I found I just wasn’t in the mood for the “wink, wink, nudge” writing voice.
Hello, fellow book junkies! Here’s a fun trick to try when your TBR list gets longer than a Duck Dynasty character’s beard. You know those books you clicked on as “want to read” way back when? They looked wonderful at the time, but in hindsight maybe they don’t need to take up quite so much space on your TBR. “Down the TBR Hole” is a brilliant way to whittle books off your list. It comes from Lia @ Lost in a Story, and I first saw it on Regina @ Bookish in Bed’s blog, so thanks, Regina!
How to go Down the TBR Hole: 1. Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf. 2. List books in ascending order (oldest first). 3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. 4. Read the synopses of the books. 5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
Here are my five picks for the week. Let’s see if any make the cut.
When, oh, when will I finally get around to reading this timeless classic?! Anne of Green Gables is only 320 pages long, so I suppose even if it doesn’t totally keep my interest, it’ll be a quick read. Judging by the quote, it’s a pretty joyful story, too, which is something I can always use more of: “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
I’m kind of on the fence about this book. Some readers had a hard time with the oppressor-oppressed romance and relating to the main characters. It’s also a very heavy story–understandable considering the theme. Lies We Tell Ourselves has a lot going for it too. It’s an important story about racial oppression, which is something we have a long way to go toward needing to improve in society today. Apparently, Robin Talley has a great writing style (which is a big plus for me). It’s also well-researched, which is cool since I’ve been liking historical fiction a lot more lately. Oh, and we mustn’t there’s an F/F romance.
Is anyone else weary of stories about characters whose relatives die? This book opens with a nice, voice-y protagonist mentioning that her mother and sister have died. Uh-oh. I get that people die, and it is a very, very sad thing, but there are ways to build conflict and tension in a novel without needing people to die all the time. The opening of The Sky is Everywhere also has the MC saying her grandmother believes “a particular houseplant. . . reflects my emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.” Quirky. I like it.
The Everafter has an average 3.71 rating on Goodreads. That’s a little on the low side, but then again rating isn’t everything. I loved The Graces by Laura Eve, for example, and can’t fathom why Goodreads insists it is only a 3.28 star read. Reviews of The Everafter also abound with the word “depressing.” That’s not a good sign. It’s hard enough to stay positive without reading a depressing story. Sorry but. . .
I really enjoyed books one and two of Kasie West’s Pivot Point and have been wanting to read something else by her. The Distance Between Us intrigues me with its premise: “Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment. However, the book is also labeled by some readers as a “cheesy romance.” (I should’ve have looked a little closer at the cover). I prefer books that explore human connections beyond stereotypical boy-girl romance, so. . .
Thanks to the beautiful book blogger with exquisite reading tastes, Cover2CoverMom, for this awesome book tag because, well, reflecting on books and movies might possibly make me happier than not having to wake up for work in the morning.
Best Book I’ve Read So Far In 2017
Illluminae by Amie Kaufman. It’s thrilling and entertaining. The hardcover version is super creatively presented through e-mails, case notes, diagrams, etc., but let me tell you a little secret: the audio book version is amazing, too. I worried it might not capture the unique storytelling of the hardcopy version, but the audio book was GREAT. No wonder it won the 2016 Audie Award for Multi-Voiced Performance!
Best Sequel I’ve Read So Far In 2017
Looking back on this year’s books so far, I’m surprised how few sequels I’ve read–or rather, maybe not that surprised, since I’ve always favored stand-alones. Nonetheless, in this category, I’ll have go with A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab. (More about that in a different category below.)
New Release I Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To
I’m excited about Renee Ahdieh’s newest book, Flame in the Mist. Her writing is lovely and the story takes place in Japan, so. . .
Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo!!!
Bardugo KNOWS how to write action and adventure. Her female characters are so strong–I’m thinking of Nina and Inej from Six of Crows. Yep, surely Bardugo will knock it out of the park with Wonder Woman.
Uh-oh. Okay, this is kind of like a kid being disappointed because Santa brought a shiny new bicycle rather than the motorized scooter the kid was expecting, but I have to say my biggest disappointment might have been A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (gasp! my FAVORITE AUTHOR?!). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book immensely, but the disappointment stemmed from how a couple of huge plot points raised in the first book–that I was dying to see resolved–were glossed over in the finale. Otherwise, A Conjuring of Light was fantastic.
Because I was intrigued by the story and atmosphere of the movie Carol starring the Cate Blancett and Rooney Mara (probably two of the best actresses working right now), I wanted to read the book it’s based on. The The Price of Salt. gave me one of my favorite new (well, from the 1950s) writers, Patricia Highsmith. Her writing is flawless. I loved every word of The Price of Salt.
EVERY character in Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer. Seriously, you guys, you have to read this one. The world-building will whisk you away.
Book That Made Me Cry
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry definitely made me cry. There were truly noble characters and powerful, moving moments. I definitely wiped tears from my cheeks as I read.
Book That Made Me Happy
Shocker: I don’t read a lot of happy books, so back we go to Illuminae. It made me happy because it had a fresh concept and was utterly entertaining.
Favorite Book to Film Adaptation I’ve Seen This Year
Wonder Woman!!!!!!!!! The scene when Diana bravely charges into No Man’s Land to draw enemy fire so the others can cross fires me up every time. Did you know the movie studio wanted director Patty Jenkins to REMOVE THIS SCENE ENTIRELY? It is the BEST SCENE IN THE MOVIE. Thank God Jenkins stuck to her guns.
Favorite Review I’ve Written This Year
This year has been so crazy busy I’m happy to have written ANY reviews!
Most Beautiful Book I’ve Bought So Far This Year
The blue and gold cover of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor is everything. What a gorgeous color combination. I already liked it from the pictures I’d seen, but when I held the book in my hand, the gold shimmered and seemed three-dimensional. Beautiful!
Books I Need To Read By The End Of This Year
So. Many. The average number of books I read is WAY down from ten books to around four, so my TBR’s backing up worse than my kitchen sink at Thanksgiving. These are some of the many books I’d like to get to before the end of the year:
The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente-Must read this if for no other reason than it has the longest title I’ve ever seen.
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas – Because EVERYONE is talking about it.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – I can’t believe I didn’t get to this in high school–sorry, Mrs. Bernard!
Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness #1) by Tamora Pierce – I haven’t read any Tamora Pierce yet and really want to!
Hello, fellow book junkies. ‘Tis the season to be spooky, so I’m super thankful to thegrishalieutenant for this awesome Halloween Book Tag!
CARVING PUMPKINS-What book would you carve up and light on fire?
I’m mad at The Bone Witch for being so darn aimless, especially after I’d looked so forward to reading it.
TRICK OR TREAT – What character is a trick? What character is a treat?
For this category I chose two different blond guys. . .
Eli Cardale from V.E. Schwab’s Vicious. Every character in this book is as morally ambiguous as can be, but Eli Cardale is one of the biggest dicks tricks.
Matthias Helvar from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows. This hunky blond from the icy north gives me the shivers in a good way.Definitely a treat.
CANDY CORN – What’s a book that’s always sweet?
Most books I read these days have somewhat of a dark edge, so I’ll have to reach way back into my reading history (and even farther back historically since this book was published in 1902!) for a riches to rags story I’ll never not be touched by: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
GHOST – What character would you love to visit you as a ghost?
It might be interesting to be visited by the ghost of Karou from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone. I think she’d show me interesting things.
DRESSING UP IN COSTUME – What character would you want to be for a day?
I’d want to be Nimona from the graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson, because Nimona gives a total of zero f–ks, and I would like to know what that feels like.
WIZARDS AND WITCHES – What is your favorite Harry Potter moment?
When Harry Potter first takes the train to Hogwarts on track nine and three quarters and meets Ron and Hermione. It’s just so darn magical.
BLOOD AND GORE- What book was so creepy you had to take a break from it?
It’s a tie between these two books because the idea of pure, cold evil terrifies me like nothing else.
Hello, fellow book junkies! My name is Eve, and I am a bookaholic. Thanks to eloquent, well-read, super friendly Orang-utan Librarian for tapping me to do this book tag and thus giving me license to explore my inner bookaholic.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT NEW BOOKS?
The smell of them! Whenever I crack open a brand new book I’m transported to all the happy moments when I’ve started a new story. Something else I like about owning my own book rather than borrowing it from the library is that I don’t have to worry as much about spills or pages getting bent from me falling asleep on them. And I love goodies that accompany pre-ordered books. Oh, and getting authors to sign my books live and in person.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU BUY NEW BOOKS?
I used to buy a lot of books. A lot, a lot. Between my book-loving husband and me, we’ve filled our bookshelves with books stacked two, three, and sometimes four rows deep. There is simply no more room for new books.
The way I come by books nowadays looks like this:
40% borrowed from library
20% Kindle e-books
20% Netgalley ARCs
15% new book purchases
5% used book purchases
Each time I don’t buy a book I feel guilty. Authors work so hard at crafting the stories I love to read, so I have made a vow to myself that when I am a successful published author, I will buy every book I read. That is a promise.
BOOKSTORE OR ONLINE SHOPPING — WHICH DO YOU PREFER?
If these two choices were at either side of a teeter-totter, the teeter-totter would be completely level. Bookstore browsing is so, so, so fun, but then again online purchases are so darn easy. Both are great!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BOOKSHOP?
Yes, a used bookstore called Bookman, just a five-minute drive from my house.
DO YOU PRE-ORDER BOOKS?
When I absolutely, positively can’t wait to read a book and there’s no other way to get my hands on it, I WILL pre-order.
DO YOU HAVE A MONTHLY BOOK-BUYING LIMIT?
I don’t have a spending limit, just an awareness of limited funds.
BOOK-BUYING BANS, ARE THEY SOMETHING FOR YOU?
I don’t ban myself from buying books because, well, here’s a secret. I am a bit of a rebel; if I disallowed myself from buying books, I’d probably end up buying a bunch just to spite myself.
HOW BIG IS YOUR WISH LIST.
There are around 400 books on my wish list, and that’s just I like it. It’s I’ll never be without ideas for good books to read. 🙂
WHICH THREE BOOKS FROM YOUR WISH LIST DO YOU WISH YOU OWNED RIGHT NOW?
A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab – It’s not due out until 2017, but I want it in my hot little hands right now. I am dying to know how the series ends!!
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – I adored the characters and worldbuilding from book one, Six of Crows, and people are raving about book two so, yeah, that one.
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Okay, I realize that’s four books, but after reading The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, I am so enamored with the series that I must own all the books now! 🙂
When I first saw this tag (two months ago, yes, it’s taking me that long to get caught up on book tags)I assumed I was supposed to type 7 lines from page 7 of a book I am READING. Of course, the directions clearly state the passage should come from MY OWN work in progress, which I didn’t notice until after I’d already located and typed out 7 lines from The Casquette Girls.
Anywho. . . here’s the not-exactly-earth shattering passage from my work in progress, a modern day YA paranormal that’s been a ton of fun to write.
Go to page 7 of your work-in-progress.
Scroll down to line #7.
Share the next 7 lines of your manuscript in a blog post.
Tag 7 other writers (with blogs) to continue the challenge.
Eve’s 7/7/7 Snippet
From the other side of the door, Adam clears his throat and answers in a voice much lower than I’ve ever heard from him. “What is it, Callie?”
It feels strange to hear him say my name since he’s never used it before.
“How’s the cat?” I ask.
“Not. . . good.” Adam still hasn’t opened his bedroom door.
Ah, classic literature, I’ve loved it since 9th grade when my beloved English teacher (“Mama B,” we called her) got me hooked. Today is my birthday, so I’m especially grateful to Charley @ BooksAndBakes for giving me this opportunity to walk down Classic Book Memory Lane by tapping me for this Classic Books tag. Here goes. . .
An overhyped classic you didn’t really like:
Anything by Ernest Hemingway (except The Old Man and the Sea). His sparse writing style and testosterone-fueled navel-gazing just doesn’t suit me.
Favorite time period to read about:
1800s England–thanks in no small part to Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Charles Dickens.
Favorite fairy tale:
I’m having a conniption trying to limit myself to one favorite fairy tale. Fairy tales are life! How to choose? I’ll compromise and say my favorite is any fairy tale with a princess in it. Wait, then there’s Jack and the Beanstalk. But that’s not my favorite. Hansel and Gretel? Rumpelstiltskin? No, how about anything by the Brothers Grimm? Does Peter Pan count as a fairy tale? Alright…I’ll go with Cinderella. Yes, I love the magic and how the good-hearted, mistreated girl gets her comeuppance.
What is the most embarrassing classic you haven’t read?
I am not proud to admit I’ve never read a Shakespearen play in its entirety. I’ve seen Shakespearean plays–does that count?
Top 5 classics you’d like to read soon:
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Faust by Goethe
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Yes, that is six, which is five in book junkie terms.
Favorite modern book/series based on a classic:
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (a modern retelling of King Lear). Not that I looooved A Thousand Acres, but it’s the only retelling of a classic book I’ve read that comes to mind.
Favorite movie version / TV series based on a classic:
1. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Watching this movie honestly felt like seeing the book come to life.
2. Sense and Sensibility (1995)starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, screenplay by Emma Thompson, directed by Ang Lee. Loved it!
Worst classic to movie adaptation:
A classic novel that made a big impression on me emotionally was The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne. Unfortunately, the movie adaptation with Demi Moore (who I’ve liked in other films) didn’t do the story justice.
Favorite edition(s) you would like to collect more classics from:
I’m not gonna lie, I do not understand this question.
An under-hyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. It’s weird in the best way and masterfully written.
While I admit I’m really interested in reading your responses to this Classic Books tag, if you’re, y’know, busy getting ready for Valentine’s Day or whatever, feel free to pass. 🙂 –Eve