TBR Lows and Highs #5

Happy Tuesday! Today’s post is another TBR Lows and Highs, which apparently I haven’t done since April. Woops.

  • Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
  • Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
  • Find 5-10 (or more, if you feel ambitious!) titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”)
    • ALTERNATIVE OPTION: Find 5+ titles that are at the BOTTOM of your TBR—books you want to read someday, just not right now!
  • Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation
  • Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
  • List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)

I decided to do one of these because recently I’ve decided to purge a bunch of books. The ones I’m going to list aren’t all of them. I did get rid of more, but they were already taken by a buddy and I don’t remember what they were. So bear with me, you get to see some, pbtbt.

The lows

I’m not gonna go through each of these individually, but overall, my motivation for this purge was to meet my tbr goal. I set a goal in January to have my fictional tbr down to 200 by the end of the year. After this purge, it’s sitting at 212 or something, which I think is doable. There are a few books in there that I did read and disliked or DNF’d as well, but most of these are unread.

The highs

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This is a bit outside my normal genre but not by much. I’m really in the mood for a fast paced, kind ridiculous book and this seems to be it.

Goodreads synopsis: A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson – I think I missed my window to read this, as it’s now November. Buuut you never know, creepy books are fun year round.

Goodreads synopsis: In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Prosper’s Demon by K. J. Parker – This one popped onto my radar thanks to Katy @bookbinderway. It sounds neat!

Goodreads synopsis: In a botched demonic extraction, they say the demon feels it ten times worse than the man. But they don’t die, and we do. Equilibrium.

The unnamed and morally questionable narrator is an exorcist with great follow-through and few doubts. His methods aren’t delicate but they’re undeniably effective: he’ll get the demon out—he just doesn’t particularly care what happens to the person.

Prosper of Schanz is a man of science, determined to raise the world’s first philosopher-king, reared according to the purest principles. Too bad he’s demonically possessed.

In the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu – This one doesn’t have a cover yet! All I know is that it’s a fantasy 1984 – sounds neat!

Goodreads synopsis: None. Literally, all I know is ‘fantasy 1984’.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – I haven’t actually read a Matt Haig yet but there are a few of his books on my list at this point. This one is just the latest.

Goodreads synopsis: Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

And that’s it! Lemme know what you think! Happy reading!

TBR Lows and Highs #3

top books 2017(1)

Hi it’s 2am and my brain has woken me up because it demanded water because I drank a lot of alcohol and then went to bed so here we are. Time to purge some books.

  • Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
  • Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
  • Find 5-10 (or more, if you feel ambitious!) titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”)
    • ALTERNATIVE OPTION: Find 5+ titles that are at the BOTTOM of your TBR—books you want to read someday, just not right now!
  • Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation
  • Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
  • List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)

The Lows

The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia – I went through a spurt of ‘I love steampunk’ when I was 22 or 23 or something, and then I never actually read any of the books… and now my interest has waned a bit unfortunately.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – This book has been on my to read list for years. Since 2014 maybe? I’ve almost purchased it probably ten times and always end up putting it back. I think that says something, so off it goes.

The Cardinal’s Blades by Pierre Pevel – So, I reread the synopsis of this book on goodreads and honestly it’s a bit overwhelming, and my 2am brain cannot take it, therefore it goes. Will I feel this way in the morning? Who knows!

Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick – Another one of those ‘almost bought ten times’ books

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – This book I physically own, so it’ll be donated or something. This one is going because it’s been in the ‘maybe’ pile the last three times I’ve gotten rid of books… and it survived each time, but I have never had the urge to pick it up. I’ll just watch the movie.

The Half Made World by Felix Gilman – Another victim of my steampunk phase. I don’t not like steampunk I guess, but I don’t know. I’m picky now? haha

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow – I have no good reason for this one, other than I’ve lost interest.

Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little – Same here. Just… not feelin it.

The Highs

The Island of Sea Women

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

Goodreads synopsis: Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.

Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them—The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives.

Me and the Devil

Me and the Devil by Nick Tosches

Goodreads synopsis: An aging New Yorker, a writer named Nick, feels life ebbing out of him. The world has gone to hell and Nick is so sick of it all that he can’t even have a glass of champagne. Then one night he meets a tantalizing young woman who agrees to come back to his apartment. Their encounter is the most strangely extraordinary of his life. Propelled by uncontrollable, primordial desires, he enters a new and unimagined dimension of the forbidden and is filled with a sexual and spiritual ecstasy that is as intense as it is unholy.

Suddenly Nick’s senses are alive. He feels strong, unconquerable, beyond all inhibition and earthly morality. He indulges in life’s pleasures, pure and perverse, sublime and dangerous, from the delicate flavors of the perfect tomato to the fleshy beauty of a woman’s thigh. But Nick’s desire to sustain his rapture leads him to a madness and a darkness far greater and dreadful than have ever ridden the demon mares of night.

Writing in a lineage that includes Dante, William S. Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Hubert Selby, Jr., and Hunter S. Thompson, Nick Tosches may be America’s last real literary outlaw-a fearless, uncensorable seeker of our deepest secret truths and desires, from the basest to the most beautiful. Me and the Devil is outrageous, disturbing, and brilliant, a raw and blazing novel truly unlike any other. Like the man said: Read him at your peril.

Unfettered (Unfettered, #1)

Unfettered by a bunch of people

Goodreads synopsis: You define life or it defines you.

In Shawn Speakman’s case, it was both.

Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hogdkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Shawn quickly accrued a massive medical debt that he did not have the ability to pay. That’s when New York Times best-selling author Terry Brooks offered to donate a short story Shawn could sell toward alleviating those bills—and suggested Shawn ask the same of his other friends.

Unfettered is the result, an anthology built to relieve that debt, featuring short stories by some of the best fantasy writers in the genre.

Goblin Slayer, Vol. 1 (Goblin Slayer Manga, #1)

Goblin Slayer by Kumo Kagyu

Goodreads synopsis: A young priestess has formed her first adventuring party, but almost immediately they find themselves in distress. It’s the Goblin Slayer who comes to their rescue–a man who’s dedicated his life to the extermination of all goblins, by any means necessary. And when rumors of his feats begin to circulate, there’s no telling who might come calling next…

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grisha Verse, #0.5, #2.5, #2.6)

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads synopsis: Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

And that’s it! Now it’s 3am and I should probably go back to sleep, ahaha. Nighty night

TBR Lows and Highs #1

Blogmas 2018

Hello, Happy Saturday! I’m starting a new posting series today! I saw this on Sionna @BooksInHerEyes‘ page, and thought it looked neato. So I’m gonna try it. I’ve been on Goodreads since 2011, and I’ve been adding books to my TBR since then as well. Most of them I never read (shocker). So this will be interesting.

  • Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
  • Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
  • Find 5-10 (or more, if you feel ambitious!) titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”)
    • ALTERNATIVE OPTION: Find 5+ titles that are at the BOTTOM of your TBR—books you want to read someday, just not right now!
  • Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation
  • Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
  • List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)

The Lows

How the Mind Works by Stephen Pinker – I love neuroscience, psychology, brain physiology, etc etc. I am removing this one for one reason: The publication year. This book debuted in 1999. The information we’ve learned about the brain over the past two decades is astounding, and I feel like reading this book at this point be a bit pointless. I’m sure Steven Pinker has a newer book out that I could read.

The Map of Time by Felix J Palma – This book is a victim of a change of taste. I added it to my TBR back in 2011, when I was 21, and since then the synopsis just doesn’t pick my interest anymore.

The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckly – Same as above. In 2011 I was caught up in The Walking Dead, so zombies were very much on my radar. Not so much anymore. But, for any of you that do like zombies, it’s not a general ‘zombie apocalypse’ book – it has more to it than that. Check it out if it’s your thing.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson – Once upon a time, I read The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo and actually rather enjoyed it. I think I gave it four stars or something. This book is just a victim of time. Too much time has passed for me – I’ve lost interest.

Whitechapel Gods by S. M. Peters – can you tell, by this first list here, that is 2011 I was on a bit of a steampunk kick? Can you tell? While I still like steampunk occasionally I’m a bit more picky now. This one’s synopsis doesn’t do much for me anymore, unfortunately.

The Highs

I tend to add books to my TBR in spurts – five books here, ten books there, and then I don’t add any for months. What I’m going to do is base my posting of this series on this pattern. Therefore, these posts will be irregular, waiting on new books to be added to my TBR (because I’m not going to add them just because to get one of these babies up)

The Gender Games by Juno Dawson

The Gender Games: The Problem with Men and Women, from Someone Who Has Been Both

Goodreads Synopsis: Why we are all being messed up by gender, and what we can do about it.

‘It’s a boy!’ or ‘It’s a girl!’ are the first words almost all of us hear when we enter the world. Before our names, before we have likes and dislikes – before we, or anyone else, has any idea who we are. And two years ago, as Juno Dawson went to tell her mother she was (and actually, always had been) a woman, she started to realise just how wrong we’ve been getting it.

Gender isn’t just screwing over trans people, it’s messing with everyone. From little girls who think they can’t be doctors to teenagers who come to expect street harassment. From exclusionist feminists to ‘alt-right’ young men. From men who can’t cry to the women who think they shouldn’t. As her body gets in line with her mind, Juno tells not only her own story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society’s expectations of gender – and what we can do about it.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1)

Goodreads synopsis: Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.

But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Goodreads synopsis: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for creating “complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means -and what it costs- to face the truth.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Goodreads synopsis: The Rules of Blackheath

Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…

Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

The Humans by Matt Haig

The Humans

Goodreads synopsis: Body-snatching has never been so heartwarming . . .

The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable novel about alien abduction, mathematics, and that most interesting subject of all: ourselves. Combine Douglas Adams’s irreverent take on life, the universe, and everything with a genuinely moving love story, and you have some idea of the humor, originality, and poignancy of Matt Haig’s latest novel.

Our hero, Professor Andrew Martin, is dead before the book even begins. As it turns out, though, he wasn’t a very nice man–as the alien imposter who now occupies his body discovers. Sent to Earth to destroy evidence that Andrew had solved a major mathematical problem, the alien soon finds himself learning more about the professor, his family, and “the humans” than he ever expected. When he begins to fall for his own wife and son–who have no idea he’s not the real Andrew–the alien must choose between completing his mission and returning home or finding a new home right here on Earth.

And that’s it for today! I’ve decided I rather like this type of post. I hope to do more of them. Happy reading! 😀