Bye-Bye Books: Decluttering my TBR February 2019

This post was inspired by Ally’s series (which was inspired by Lia at Lost in a Story).

It works like this

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopsis of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

The Coma by Alex Garland

The acclaimed author of The Beach returns with a mesmerizing and highly original work of intrigue.

Proclaimed “a gifted storyteller” by The New Yorker and “a huge literary talent” by Kazuo Ishiguro, Alex Garland, the internationally bestselling author of The Beach, The Tesseract, and writer of the critically acclaimed film 28 Days Later, returns with yet another gripping page- turner that blurs the edges of reality and probes the boundaries of consciousness. A man is attacked on the Underground and awakens to find himself in a hospital, apparently having emerged from a coma. Or has he? Garland’s brilliant tale is illustrated with forty haunting woodblock print illustrations by his father, Nicholas Garland, a well-known political cartoonist for the Daily Telegraph (UK) and noted artist.

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: The reviews aren’t great on this one and I honestly have no idea why I added it to my TBR in the first place.

***

Midnight Magic (Midnight Magic #2) by Avi

Mangus the Magician must free a princess from a terrifying ghost. But Mangus doesn’t believe in ghosts. Actually, he doesn’t even believe in magic. His servant boy, Fabrizio, is the princess’s secret friend and determined to prove that the ghost is real.

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: First of all, the author doesn’t have a last name… just kidding, I’m ditching this simply because I have no idea why I added this in the first place.

***

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: This just does not appeal to me anymore. I actually think I owned this at one point, but ended up donating it.

***

Pussy, King of the Pirates by Kathy Acker

A loose reworking of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island, Acker’s radical interpretation is a masterfully directed, wild trek through real and imagined history, from the most famous whorehouse in Alexandria through an unidentified, crumbling city that may or may not be sometime in the future. “Acker pushes language to the tension point, explodes and reclaims it”.– Boston Sunday Herald.

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: I remember the day I bought this at a little pop-up book shop many years ago. The checkout guy saw the title and nodded appreciatively and drawled, “niiiiice.” I do still love the cover… whether I read it or not is an entirely different story.

***

Open House by Elizabeth Berg

Open House, Open Heart

Elizabeth Berg has made a name for herself by writing provocative, engaging novels that strike a deep emotional chord with women everywhere. Her topics have ranged from parental estrangement and the death of a dear friend, to the unique bonds that can develop between sisters, or between a straight woman and a gay man. But at the heart of each is a common theme#151;a woman put to the test, stretched to the limits of her emotional boundaries by the vagaries of life. Berg’s latest, IOpen House,/I follows this tried-and-true formula by telling the story of one woman’s struggle to survive divorce.P
Throughout the 20 years of her marriage, Samantha Morrow has been content with her life, though she knows it isn’t perfect. She has a nice home, a great son, and a husband she loves. But everything is turned upside down when her husband, David, tells her he wants out of their marriage. His rapid departure on the heels of this announcement leaves Sam horribly shocked, utterly confused, and oddly obsessed with Martha Stewart. Her initial reaction is to go on a spending spree, charging thousands of dollars worth of merchandise at Tiffany’s to her husband’s credit card. But when reality sets in and her husband cuts her off, she realizes that if she wants to keep the house she loves and make a home for herself and her son, she’s going to have to generate some income.P
Her first solution to this dilemma is to find a couple of roommates. Between the finished portion of the basement and the extra bedroom upstairs, Sam figures she can take on two boarders and mitigate a large portion of the mortgage payment. She finds her first boarder quickly#151;the septuagenarian mother of an acquaintance#151;and is delighted. Lydia Fitch is quiet, clean, concerned, friendly, and more than eager to play grandmother to Sam’s son, Travis. Which is just as well, since Sam’s own mother doesn’t quite fit the bill. In fact, Sam’s mother has made a career out of dating since the death of her husband two decades ago and is now determined to fix Sam up as soon as possible#151;a plan with foreseeable disasters written all over it.P
Sam’s life is further complicated when she starts looking for a job, for other than a gig singing in a band years ago, she’s never been employed. But then King, the gentle giant of a man who helps Lydia move in, puts Sam in touch with the employment agency he works for. Suddenly Sam is off on a variety of short-term jobs, everything from making change at a Laundromat, to working as a carpenter’s helper. When she gets the devastating news that Lydia has decided to marry her long-time beau and move out, Sam takes on a second boarder for the basement space: a sullen, depressed college student.P
Meanwhile, Sam’s relationship with David has given way to an awkward tiptoeing d�tente as he starts building a new life for himself, replete with an upscale condo and a new girlfriend. Travis starts acting out and behaving as sullenly as the new boarder, and Sam finds herself eating all the time and gaining weight. Throughout it all, the one steady force in Sam’s life is King, whose implacable calm and supportive friendship provides a stabilizing rudder in the storm-tossed sea of Sam’s life. But Sam soon discovers there is much more to King than she realized and it will force her to rethink everything she has come to hold true.P
One of Berg’s greatest strengths is her keen eye for the tiny details and intimate thoughts that allow her readers to relate to her characters on a deeply personal level. Watching Sam try to create a home that will nurture her soul by stocking it with the best of household items is funny but heartbreaking. Yet the journey she travels, a journey of self-discovery that shows home really is where the heart is, makes it all worthwhile. Berg’s mix of pathos and humor (and in this case, a hilarious dead-on skewering of Martha Stewart) lends her prose a tantalizingly perverse flavor that is both entertaining and oddly satisfying.P
#151;IBeth Amos/IP
Beth Amos is the author of several mainstream suspense thrillers, including ISecond Sight, Eyes of Night,/I and ICold White Fury./I. She lives in Wisconsin, and is at work on her next novel.P

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: Dude. That synopsis was a novel itself. I didn’t even feel like reading it just now to decide whether I want to keep it or not. So, pass. (Also the cover is awful)

***

Princess of the Midnight Ball (The Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy #1) by Jessica Day George

Rose is the eldest of twelve princesses forced to dance through the night in an underground palace. Galen is the soldier turned gardener who falls for her. The key to breaking the spell lies in magic knitting needles, an invisibility cloak, and-of course-true love. Inspired by “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,”

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: This is actually rated fairly high and I’m always down for a retelling.

***

Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle #1) by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver is here. A monumental literary feat that follows the author’s critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Cryptonomicon, it is history, adventure, science, truth, invention, sex, absurdity, piracy, madness, death, and alchemy. It sweeps across continents and decades with the power of a roaring tornado, upending kings, armies, religious beliefs, and all expectations.

It is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and conflicted Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight. It is a chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe–London street urchin turned swashbuckling adventurer and legendary King of the Vagabonds–risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox…and Eliza, rescued by Jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals in order to reinvent a contentious continent through the newborn power of finance.

A gloriously rich, entertaining, and endlessly inventive novel that brings a remarkable age and its momentous events to vivid life–a historical epic populated by the likes of Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, William of Orange, Benjamin Franklin, and King Louis XIV–Quicksilver is an extraordinary achievement from one of the most original and important literary talents of our time.

And it’s just the beginning …

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: Anyone else a little turned off by the phrase, “monumental literary feat”? Cuz I am.

***

Trading Up by Candace Bushnell

With a brilliant comic voice as well as Jane Austen’s penchant for social satire, Candace Bushnell, who with Sex and the City changed forever how we view New York City, female friendships, and the love of a good pair of Manolos, now brings us a sharply observant, keenly funny, wildly entertaining latter day comedy of manners. Modern-day heroine Janey Wilcox is a lingerie model whose reach often exceeds her grasp, and whose new-found success has gone to her head. As we follow Janey’s adventures, Bushnell draws us into a seemingly glamorous world of $100,000 cars, hunky polo players and media moguls, Fifth Avenue apartments, and relationships whose hidden agendas are detectable only by the socially astute. But just as Janey enters this world of too much money and too few morals, unseen forces conspire to bring her down, forcing her to reexamine her values about love and friendship–and how far she’s really willing to go to realize her dreams.

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: I feel like I added this back in my obsessive Sex and the City Days.

***

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

What if our pain was the most beautiful thing about us? In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, a private journal of love notes written by a husband to his wife passes into the keeping of a hospital patient, and from there through the hands of five other suffering people, touching each of them uniquely. I love the soft blue veins on your wrist. I love your lopsided smile. I love watching TV and shelling sunflower seeds with you.

The six recipients – a data analyst, a photojour­nalist, a schoolchild, a missionary, a writer, and a street vendor – inhabit an acutely observed, beauti­fully familiar yet particularly strange universe, as only Kevin Brockmeier could imagine it: a world in which human pain is expressed as illumination, so that one’s wounds glitter, fluoresce, and blaze with light. As we follow the journey of the book from stranger to stranger, we come to understand how intricately and brilliantly they are connected, in all their human in­jury and experience.

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: I can actually picture myself a decade ago standing in Barnes and Noble, reading the synopsis of this book. I’m still pretty intrigued.

***

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone — or something — starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects . . . Harry Potter himself?

Date added to TBR: Jun 27, 2011
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: OK, so, don’t hate me but I’ve tried reading Harry Potter on several occasions and I just can’t get into it, friends. I want to be super into it simply because the fandom has so many amazing things (a freaking theme park!), but gah! I just can’t!

***

 

Here are the stats

Starting Total TBR Count: 1760

Previous Total TBR Count: 1849

Total Marked TBR ASAP: 132

Updated Total TBR Count: 1896

Total Ditched Today: 8

Total Kept Today: 2

 

 

7 thoughts on “Bye-Bye Books: Decluttering my TBR February 2019

  1. Good job ditching 2 books! (Tho HP really?!?! have you tried the audiobooks? they are sooooooo good) “monumental literary feat” sounds absolutely miserable and might be even worse than that novel of synopsis that I didn’t even bother to read either 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

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