The Tottering TBR // Episode XI

A weekly post wherein I pretend to lament the fact that I have so many books on my TBR… but in fact am secretly rubbing my hands together with delight that there are so many amazing books left to be discovered…

I’m back!  The Tottering TBR hasn’t been so much of a weekly post these last few weeks because I haven’t been much of a blogger these last few weeks, either!  But that’s all water under the bridge, and I am really feeling like getting back in the groove.

As to be expected, the TBR has grown astoundingly since I last updated you all – it’s been three weeks, after all!  Strangely, I haven’t been checking books off the list in the same proportion…  hmmmmm…

Added to the General TBR:

Okay, so I personally feel that sixteen books in three weeks isn’t too bad – that’s only five(ish) books a week, right??  There have been some really great reviews out there, so I definitely blame all of you!  :-D

Off the General TBR:

51hxd4eaesl-_sx329_bo1204203200_The Travelers is my only reviewed book, although there are a couple more on the stack.  I have to confess that I have also been reading lots of comforting fluff, most of which isn’t on any of my lists at all.  One would think that with almost 900 books on the list, I could find one of those to read!  Ah well, such is life.

However, I also realized that I had three separate books on the list by the same author – and all three of them actually belong together in a series!  So I was able to knock three off the General TBR and kick them over as one entry to the Series TBR, which somehow gave me the illusion of actually accomplishing something…

I also read and reviewed both Volumes One and Two of The Magician’s Workshop, neither of which were on a list at all!

Total for the General TBR:  Well, for those of us who can do math, you’ll see that I had a net gain of twelve, which means I’m up to 881!

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Added to the Personal TBR:

Free Kindle books are still slaughtering my attempt to keep this tab under control – I added thirteen titles!

Off the Personal TBR:

51zdbg9-lal-_sx258_bo1204203200_However, I did make a smidge of progress at this end, having read and reviewed both Terms & Conditions and The New Way Things Work.

Total for the Personal TBR:  605 (up eleven!)

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Added to the Series TBR:

The only addition here was kicking those books over from the General TBR – so Melanie Dickerson’s Hagenhiem series is now on this list.  I actually did read one of the books from this series quite a long time ago and kind of didn’t like it a whole lot, so there is a really good chance that if I ever get around to reading this series, I won’t actually end up reading it.  My original review even says that I wouldn’t read it again…  but the premises for her other books do sound intriguing…  even though I’m pretty sure they’ll end up being terrible… ah well.

Off the Series TBR:

No progress here.  I’m in between series since I abandoned one and had to wait for the first book for my next series to come in the library.  I should be starting Thorn Jack very soon, though.

Total for the Series TBR:  147 (up only one!)

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Total for the Mystery Series TBR:  Nothing added or removed from this series (although I did review the next book in the Joseph O’Laughlin series, Shatterwhich was fabulous), so we are holding steady at 71.

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Added to the Nonfiction TBR:

Three titles here, two of which are due to fabulous reviews:

  • FictionFan reviewed Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson.  Besides sounding like a really intriguing look at a pivotal point in history, I’m anticipating determining whether or not President Wilson really was as useless as FF seems to think he was.  ;-)
  • Lady Fancifull waxed eloquent in her review of The January Man by Christopher Somerville.  As someone who loves to be outdoors for any and all reasons, this book really does sound lovely.

Off the Nonfiction TBR:

Nothing here, as the two nonfiction titles that I read were actually listed on the Personal list (the Nonfiction list is only nonfiction titles that I don’t personally own, you see!)

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  61 (up three)

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Grand Totals for the Last Three Weeks:  Up 33 and down 6 for a grand total of up 27, which means only an average of 9 per week…  I believe that I am showing amazing restraint!

The Tottering TBR // Episode X

A weekly post wherein I pretend to lament the fact that I have so many books on my TBR… but in fact am secretly rubbing my hands together with delight that there are so many amazing books left to be discovered…

My tenth installment of the Tottering TBR already!  It’s hard to believe.  It’s also hard to believe how much my list has grown just in those ten weeks!  :-D

Also, this has nothing to do with my TBR at all, but I did have one other exciting event this week – I opened a small Etsy store!!  I am making and (hopefully) selling notebooks, the kind that are very popular as inserts for Midori or traveler’s notebooks.  Feel free to stop by and take a look at ThreeTreeWhimsy.  I’m still working on international shipping, but that will hopefully be coming soon as well!

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Added to the General TBR:

Besides adding three books due to random advertising emails, I was inspired to add three other books by different reviews around the blogging neighborhood!

  • It’s no surprise that Cleopatra inspired me to add another thriller to the list – Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson sounds delightfully shivery.  This isn’t the first Swanson book I’ve added to the ol’ TBR, so we’ll see when one finally crops up!
  • 31394845While Sarah over at the Critiquing Chemist gave it a middling 3/5, I still thought her review of The Ill-Kept Oath by C.C. Aune sounded intriguing.  I do love books set in a magical Regency period!
  • I’m almost positive that someone else I follow read The Book of Strange New Things by F.F. Sunland and didn’t care for it, but nevertheless was intrigued by the Weird Girl’s review over on That’s What She Read.

All in all, six new titles on the TBR.

Off the General TBR:

19286545Actually a decent week here.  I reviewed The Shapeshifters, Bitter Greensand also Not George Washington, which will appear in January’s minireviews at a later date.  I also reviewed The White Featherbut it sadly wasn’t on the official TBR…

So, three off!

Total for the General TBR:  869 – only up three!

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Added to the Personal TBR:

Free and 99¢ Kindle books are killing me!  Six more this week!  I can’t resist them!  (Okay, that’s actually a lie.  I resist tons of them.  I just can’t resist all of them!)

Off the Personal TBR:

I reviewed another Rutherford Montgomery/Famous Horse Story book, Crazy Kill Range, which will appear in January’s minireviews.  So, one off!

Total for the Personal TBR:  594 – five up!  This one is creeping up when it really ought to be creeping down!  *shakes fist at Kindle*

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Added to the Series TBR:

Nothing added this week – go me!

Off the Series TBR:

15850894I removed one series that, on closer review, looked extremely boring (the English Ivy series by Catherine Palmer).  I also removed the Lyra Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede because I got all five of them for $2.99, which means they shifted to the Personal TBR instead.

Total for the Series TBR:  146 – DOWN TWO!!!  Woot!

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Added to/Off the Mystery Series TBR:

Nothing here, and I actually still haven’t read the next Joseph O’Laughlin book yet, either; I’ve been plowing my way through Bitter Greens and also trying to catch up on a few Kindle books… I have a bad habit of adding them and then never actually reading them!

Total for the Mystery Series TBR:  Holding steady at 71.

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Added to/Off the Nonfiction TBR:

No changes here.

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  Holding steady at 58.

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Grand Totals for the Week:  Up twelve and down seven means I’ve only gone up by five for the second week in a row!  Go me!  :-D

The Tottering TBR // Episode IX

A weekly post wherein I pretend to lament the fact that I have so many books on my TBR… but in fact am secretly rubbing my hands together with delight that there are so many amazing books left to be discovered…

Happy New Year!!!  It’s hard to believe that we are already into 2017!  Where has the time gone??

Hopefully I will be posting a Rearview Mirror post for both December and 2016 as a whole this week.  In the meantime… surely all the spare time for reading that I had between the holidays means that I’ve made a dent in the TBR, right??

Added to the General TBR:

So it seems like it should be a great thing when I read a book and really like it, and it is… except then it means that I usually end up adding the rest of that author’s bibliography to the TBR!  This week I found myself adding books by Sharon Bolton, Kasie West, and Lauren Miller, for a total of nine more titles to the TBR!

Off the General TBR:

512jwvtpll-_sy344_bo1204203200_Three books down this week.  Dead Sea Cipher by Elizabeth Peters will show up on the December Minireviews.  I also read and reviewed Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton (brilliant) and Parallel by Lauren Miller (quite good).

Total for the General TBR:  866 – up six!

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Added to the Personal TBR:

Four Kindle books this week, plus a Christmas book – the Slightly Foxed edition of Terms and Conditions by Ysenda Maxtone Graham.  I’m about two-thirds of the way through this gem – absolutely delightful!

Off the Personal TBR:

Well, I get a bonus four titles off due to earlier miscounting, plus I read and reviewed Midnight: Wild Stallion of the Westso down five!

Total for the Personal TBR:  589 (steady!)

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Added to/Off the Series TBR:

Nothing on or off for this tab this week.  I’m waiting for the first book of my new series to come in from the library, so not really any progress here.

Total for the Series TBR:  Holding stead at 148

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Added to/Off the Mystery Series TBR:

18453116Nothing on or off for this category, either.  I did read the next of the Joseph O’Laughlin books, though – Lost was a pretty solid read, and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

Total for the Mystery Series TBR:  Holding steady at 71

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Added to/Off the Nonfiction TBR:

Another null category!

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  Holding steady at 58

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Grand Totals for the Week:  Up thirteen and down eight gives me a grand total of only going up five overall for this week!  Such self-restraint!

The Tottering TBR // Episode VIII

A weekly post wherein I pretend to lament the fact that I have so many books on my TBR… but in fact am secretly rubbing my hands together with delight that there are so many amazing books left to be discovered…

Merry Christmas!!!  As usual, I am writing this post on Saturday to be published on Sunday, by the time you read this I will probably be enjoy a peaceful morning with the husband and the dog, and hopefully you have had a similarly quietly enjoyable holiday weekend.

Added to the General TBR:

I’ve caught up on most of the backlog of reviews I had to read, which is a mixed blessing as you all managed to add six more titles to the list…

  • the-facts-of-life-and-deathFictionophile’s review of Yuletide Treasure by Andrea Kane from a couple of weeks ago appealed to me as it involves one of my favorite tropes – marriage first, then romance.
  • Cleopatra said that The Stepmother by Claire Seeber was a sort of modern-day retelling of Snow White.  Despite the fact that she warns that this isn’t a book to read if you want characters to love, this thriller sounds quite exciting.
  • Carol’s review of Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett over at Reading, Writing & Riesling made that read sound intriguing.  Carol says the book has a realistic protagonist who has problems, but isn’t ruled by them.
  • I do love some relaxing chicklit that still has engaging characters and a nice story, so Janet’s review of Wildflower Bay by Rachel Lucas made it sound like that may fit the bill!!
  • Kristy’s review of The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty over at The Literary Sisters was quite interesting – a Southern Gothic fairytale retelling??  Sounds perfect.
  • Finally, Cleo got in a double-whammy by also adding The Facts of Life & Death by Belinda Bauer.  While it doesn’t 100% sound like a normal read for me, the fact that Cleo says that this is one of her favorite crime novels of all time makes me think that it is worth the read!

Off the General TBR:

51fzcsz93tl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Despite the fact that I reviewed three books this week from this category, only two of them were officially on the list.  Love Among the Chickens  was not, in fact, on my list.  So, only Crimson Bound and Entreat Me – both fairy tale retellings, actually – got checked off this week.

Total for the General TBR:  860 (up four!)

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Added to the Personal TBR:

Only two freebies this week, so I am showing some restraint!

Off the Personal TBR:

I did read one personal book this week, but I haven’t reviewed it yet.  So – nothing!

Total for the Personal TBR:  589 (up two!)

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Added to the Series TBR:

Three chicklit series inspired by random publisher emails, I’m afraid.

Off the Series TBR:

639197Well, I had another DNF – I got about a third of the way through the second book in the Hound Saga, The Princess and the Bear.  And it was just painfully boring.  I really tried to get into it and just couldn’t.  I may try picking it up again at some point, but I really doubt it, so at this point, I’m just counting the series as a DNF and taking it off the list.

Total for the Series TBR:  148 (up two!)

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Added to the Mystery Series TBR:

Nothing this week!  So much restraint!

Off the Mystery Series TBR:

Nothing here, either, but I have started the Joseph O’Laughlin books by Michael Robotham.  I really enjoyed the first book, Suspectand am about 15 pages into the second book, Lost, which has also started quite well with gunshot wounds, amnesia, and suspicion.

Total for the Mystery Series TBR:  71 (holding steady!)

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Added to the Nonfiction TBR:

Nothing added here, either.  Whew.

Off the Nonfiction TBR:

13022713No progress, either, of course.  However, I did finally finish P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letterswhich was absolutely brilliant and completely fascinating.  But since it wasn’t officially on the list, it doesn’t really knock down the numbers, I fear…

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  58 (holding steady!)

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Grand Totals for the Week:  Eleven added and three off, so a total of eight up for the week!

The Tottering TBR // Episode VII

A weekly post wherein I pretend to lament the fact that I have so many books on my TBR… but in fact am secretly rubbing my hands together with delight that there are so many amazing books left to be discovered…

Not such a hot week on TBR reduction this week as I haven’t blogged much.  I’ve felt a bit under the weather, plus last weekend was the family Christmas, which involved three solid days of shenanigans.  I come from a large, boisterous, and close-knit family.  I dearly love them, but, as an introvert, sometimes I need some time to regroup!

Added to the General TBR:

I’m still behind on reading other people’s reviews, but I managed to add four here.

  • Fictionophile read The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner.  This sounded like a really interesting domestic thriller, and Lynne says, “It shows how a seemingly idyllic existence can, with just a shade of menace, turn on a dime into a stifling, frightening, nightmare.  With a clever plot twist and a satisfying ending this novel is highly recommended!”
  • 22840421I’ve heard mixed reviewed about My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, but Stephanie’s review confirmed that that I definitely want to read this book!  You all know that I love a generous dollop of humor in my books, and Stephanie said this book made her laugh out loud on multiple occasions.
  • I’m always on the lookout for a new chicklit author who can write a story beyond smut scenes strung together, and Jill Mansel is a name I hadn’t heard before.  FromFirstPagetoLast reviewed Meet Me at Beachcomber Bayand it sounds relaxing but engaging.  Janet says, “This is a warm and witty novel, packed full of wonderful characters. Perfect for a lazy summer’s day or a dark winter’s night. A lovely bit of escapism for a few hours.”
  • Finally, I feel as though I have heard of Graham Greene before, but none of his books sounded particularly familiar to me.  However, The Literary Sisters reviewed Travels with My Auntwhich sounds like a delightfully entertaining romp.  They said that “It’s kinda like Jeeves and Wooster, without the butler and with a wild old lady thrown into the mix.”  Well that sounds alluring!

Off the General TBR:

While I only read and reviewed one book this week, I also moved three books from the General TBR to the Series TBR, so I am theoretically down four.  Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales was this week’s review.  I do have two more books waiting on the stack (plus the first book in the new mystery series I’ve started), so hopefully they will come off sometime this week!

Total for the General TBR:  856 (holding steady!!!)

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Added to the Personal TBR:

Not only did free Kindle books rack up this week, I also discovered several titles on my Kindle that weren’t actually on the list – tragedy!  Overall, I added a devastating fourteen books.

Off the Personal TBR:

8024836-_uy200_Well, I did knock one off!  I reviewed Lad of Sunnybank by Albert Payson Terhune – it will show up on this month’s minireviews.

Total for the Personal TBR:  587 (up THIRTEEN!)

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Added to the Series TBR:

Well, I kicked two books from the General TBR onto the Series, plus another series inspired by the author’s newsletter.  So overall three.

Off the Series TBR:

Nothing off, but I did start a new series this week.  The Hound Saga begins with The Princess and the Hound, which was an alright beginning, but if the second book doesn’t engage me more, I probably won’t bother with the rest.

Total for the Series TBR:  146 (up three!)

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Added to the Mystery Series TBR:

51q8r2eel-_sy344_bo1204203200_Sometimes I’m just living life and suddenly remember a book I read a long time ago and want to read it again.  Growing up, my dad loved Patrick McManus, and many of his short stories (he mostly wrote articles for magazines like Outdoor Life) have a permanent place in the family vernacular.  (Most particularly his brilliant thesis on sequences, found in The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw).  However, this week I happened to remember that McManus also tried his hand at fiction writing with a mystery series starring a reluctant sheriff named Bo Tully.  Long story short – that series is on the list.

I also shifted a Sophie Hannah book from the General TBR to the Mystery Series.  One of these days, I’ll actually read one of her books…

Off the Mystery Series TBR:

I actually started a new mystery series this week, although I haven’t reviewed the first book yet.  I’ll leave you in anxious anticipation for that review by not revealing which series I have begun…

Total for the Mystery Series TBR:  71 (up two!)

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Nonfiction TBR:  This stayed steady this week – nothing added, nothing off.

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  58 (steady!)

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Grand Totals for the Week:  23 added, 5 off – up a total of 18!!!!!!

The Tottering TBR // Episode VI

A weekly post wherein I pretend to lament the fact that I have so many books on my TBR… but in fact am secretly rubbing my hands together with delight that there are so many amazing books left to be discovered…

Added to the General TBR:

crosstalkOkay, so I am going to switch up the format of both this and the Personal tab just a smidge for these posts.  Basically, I’ve recently subscribed to several email lists that send out book bargains every day, which means that I’m adding quite a few books to the General TBR, and also free Kindle books to the Personal list.  So while I’ll update how many books have been added, I really only want to bother mentioning individually the books that have been added to the list thanks to an actual specific person/blogger, unless, of course, a book I added is just so amazing that I have to ramble about them!

So there is this problem with finishing a really good book – it means that I want to read other books by the same author!  This little issue added a lot of books to the TBR this week.  Six books in this category, specifically – five by Phillip Margolin (as the Amanda Jaffe books were quite good, and he’s written several stand-alones), and Robert Glancy’s other book, Please Do Not Disturb since I actually ended up really enjoying Terms & Conditions.  

As for actual reviews, I’m kind of behind on reading them, but I was intrigued by The Captive Reader’s review of Crosstalk by Connie Willis.  While Claire says that there were some weaknesses to quibble about, overall Crosstalk is “gloriously fun.  Fast-paced and full of delightful banter, it is a wonderful romantic comedy wrapped in a sci-fi plot.  The best of all possible combinations.”

Advertising emails added another six books to the list, so I’m tragically up 13 this week!

Off the General TBR:

terms-conditionsThree books were actually read and reviewed this week.  To Refine Like Silver by Jeanna Ellsworth will appear on December’s minireviews.  I also reviewed Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy and The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, both of which were surprisingly engaging.

I had one DNF this week – Greygallows by Barbara Michaels.  Several chapters in and the story was just so dull, with the main character/narrator just meandering about acting amazingly ignorant and shallow.  I just didn’t care what happened to her.

Two books got knocked off the list – Libriomancer is apparently the first book in a series, so it moved over a tab.  The Young Lady from Paris by Joan Aiken just didn’t actually sound interesting to me (I added all of Aiken’s books to the list a while back), so it was removed entirely.

So – six off!

Total for the General TBR:  856 (up seven!)

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Added to the Personal TBR:

Those free Kindle books are still haunting me, and another seven were added this week!  Most of them are actually novellas and should be fast reads that do genuinely give me an idea as to whether or not I ever want to read something else by that author, but still!

Off the Personal TBR:

I did read one book from the Personal list this week, but I haven’t reviewed it yet, so it doesn’t count.  Next week!

Total for the Personal TBR:  574 (up seven!)

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Added to the Series TBR:

unmade_coverBecause I enjoyed the Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan so much, I added her other series to the list, Demon’s Lexicon.  I’m not 100% certain about this series since I’m not really into demon books (since I believe demons are actually real and evil so reading them as sympathetic or fantasy characters isn’t really comfortable), but Brennan’s writing is so funny and engaging that I’m willing to at least give them a try.

The Magic Ex Libris series by Jim Hines got shifted over from the General TBR, and I also added a fluffy romance series from one of the advertising emails, so a total of three up.

Off the Series TBR:

Hey, hey, I actually finished one!  The Lynburn Legacy is off the list, even if I did just technically switch if for Brennan’s other series…

Total for the Series TBR:  143 (up two!)

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Added to the Mystery Series TBR:

Four added this week.  Two were from advertising emails (both cozies).  I added Phillip Margolin’s other mystery series since I enjoyed the Amanda Jaffe books so much, and also added Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion books, thanks to reading about them in Slightly Foxed.  

Off the Mystery Series TBR:

Well, here’s an awkward story – even though I finished a mystery series this week… it wasn’t actually on any of my lists so…

Total for the Mystery Series TBR:  69 (up four!)

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Added to the Nonfiction TBR:

20010651060This list usually remains pretty steady, but thanks to my first issue of Slightly Foxed, which I reviewed this week, a lot of books were added to this list – five, actually!

Off the Nonfiction TBR:

No progress here, I fear, as usual.

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  58 (up five!)

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Grant Totals for the Week:  Very bad this week – 32 added and only 7 off, so up 25 overall this week!!!

The Tottering TBR // Episode V

Greetings, friends!  Another week, another million books added to the TBR!  :-D

Added to the General TBR:

Tragically, six new titles this week…

  • Advertising emails added one book this week, Radiance by Catherine Valente.  GoodReads says it’s “a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood—and solar system—very different from our own.”  Well, who can pass that up?!
  • 25488299-_uy1297_ss1297_I follow Maggie Stiefvater on Tumblr, and she sometimes posts random book recommendations.  This week, I read her post reviewing The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd.  Secret confession: I’ve always wished that winged horses were a real thing, so.  Stiefvater also says this book is like a combination of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Secret Garden.  Another irresistible recommendation!
  • This week, it’s Fictionophile who wins the prize for the double-whammy addition:
  • Of course, Cleopatra Loves Books didn’t let me off this week – she added The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley, which Cleo says includes a plot with two interwoven stories, something that I do greatly enjoyed when it is done well.
  • Finally, Escaping Reality recommended Lily, the Brave by Katherine Hodges.  Unfortunately, my computer isn’t letting me load the review page for some reason, but it sounds like a really intriguing YA book, with a protagonist reluctant to embrace her superhero skills.

Off the General TBR:

Not such a strong week on this side of the coin.  I reviewed (and hated) Love’s Haven by Catherine Palmer, and flipped one book from this tab over to the Personal tab because I ended up getting a free Kindle copy of it.  So, only two off!

Total for the General TBR:  849 (up four)

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Added to the Personal TBR:

51zuc3jc3slI have a problem, a serious problem – free Kindle books.  Also Kindle books for less than a dollar.  They are suuuuper hard to resist!  And this week – I basically didn’t!  I’m not going to bother listing them all out – suffice to say that I added a dozen Kindle books to the Personal list this week.  Someone please help me!!!!

Off the Personal TBR:

I did at least make a smidge of progress here – I finished Albert G. Miller’s Fury series (review will be posted with December’s minireviews), so I do get to at least make one checkmark on the list!

Total for the Personal TBR:  567 (!!!!) (up ELEVEN!)

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Added to the Series TBR:

Two added this week:

  • Stephanie had a minireview of For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne, one of the books in the Wedding Belles series.  They sound like happy chick lit to me, so I put them on the list.
  • I also added another chick lit series, Prince Edward Island Dreams, after reading a review for the first book, The Red Door Innon an advertising email.

Off the Series TBR:

I just finished the Lynburn Legacy last night (so many FEELINGS) but haven’t reviewed it yet, so no progress here.

Total for the Series TBR:  141 (up two!)

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Added to the Mystery Series TBR:

5936450One addition this week, again thanks to Cleopatra Loves Books.  Her review of The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards inspired me to add the series of which that book is the first – the Lake District Mysteries.

Off the Mystery Series TBR:

While I did review the next book in the Amanda Jaffe series, FugitiveI still have to finish and review the last book before I can check this series off the list.  I’m about a third of the way through Violent Crimes, and so far it is super exciting!

Total for the Mystery Series TBR:  65 (up one!)

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Added to the Nonfiction TBR:

Three additions here (!):

  • The Literary Sisters recommended The Living Mountaina memoir by Nan Shepherd.  I actually really enjoy nature writing, so this book about the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland, sounded quite interesting.
  • FictionFan wrote quite the rave about Welcome to the Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott.  She said that –

This is a great book, managing to be both hugely informative and entertaining – undoubtedly the best and most comprehensive of its kind that I’ve come across. It seems to me it is indeed suitable for a beginner so long as s/he has an enquiring mind and either the ability to understand the maths or the willingness to skim over those bits that are maths-heavy.

She also said that it has lots of pictures and graphs and diagrams, all things that I love, so it really sounds quite exciting!

  • I also stumbled across a book on Amazon about Theodore Roosevelt – Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment, and the Immortal Charge up San Juan Hill by Mark Lee Gardner.  While there were a lot of things about Roosevelt’s politics that I don’t agree with, no one can deny that he had a very full life, and I thoroughly enjoy reading about his adventures.

Off the Nonfiction TBR:

416hfdftmll-_sx331_bo1204203200_Despite the fact that I did actually finish a nonfiction book (!!!!), it was, unfortunately, not actually on the official list, so although Sunsets by Deborah Howard was an informative and thoughtful read, it doesn’t really help with my TBR numbers.

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  53 (up three)

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Grand Totals for the Week:  So embarrassing.  TWENTY-FOUR added and only three off, so up twenty-one on the overall TBR for the week!!!!!!!

 

The Tottering TBR // Episode IV

I haven’t run the numbers yet, but I have a feeling that I about broke even on books added and removed this week…  mainly because I’m super behind on reading other people’s reviews!!!

Added to the General TBR:

23600228Well, it looks like I actually added eight books!

  • Three books are thanks to random book advertisement emails
    • I’ve mentioned before that I really enjoy books about people who own and operate hotels or B&Bs because I’ve always secretly wanted to do so myself.  Cranberry Bluff by Deborah Garner sounds like it may fit the bill.
    • Suspicion by Alexandra Monir is billed (on GoodReads) as “A modern-day twist on the classic thriller, Rebecca, with a dash of the supernatural, a powerful romance, and a deadly family mystery.”  May be worth a whirl!
    • Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells showed up on several emails this week at a bargain price (that was higher than 99¢ so I didn’t bite haha) and is supposed to be a sci-fi thriller about some scientists who go to explore an empty spaceship – and find out that it isn’t empty after all.
  • After finding In a Dark, Dark Wood interesting, even if it wasn’t 100% my cup of tea, I added Ruth Ware’s other book, The Woman in Cabin Ten, to the TBR.  I’ve read reviews of this book on a few blogs and the consensus seems to be that it wasn’t as strong as her first outing, but I’m still interested to read it.
  • This week, it was Heart Full of Books that gave me the double-dose of TBR additions!
    • Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly sounds like a lot of fun, and who doesn’t want to read a lively YA lighthearted mystery that takes place in the same town where Nancy Drew grew up??  Maddie says, “When you read this book, you can definitely expect a lot of trouble, mischief and hilarity as the situation gets progressively harder to get out of.”
    • Bee reviewed both books in a duology by C.J. Daughtery and Carina Rosenfeld, The Secret Fire and The Secret City.  I haven’t read a lot of urban fantasy, and these sounded like a lot of fun.  And there are a lot of times where I feel like two books are the perfect length for a story.
  • Another pair of blogging sisters, Bibliobeth and Chrissi Reads, discussed The Readers of Broken Wheel by Katarina Bivald.  They recommended this “book about books” although I am a little leery of reading a story where the potential romance is between Sara(h) and Tom!
  • Finally, Carol’s review over at Reading, Writing and Riesling encouraged me to pick up Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta.  She says, “This is an incredibly well written contemporary mystery/thriller with such well-developed characters you feel like you know them! Redemption, forgiveness, hope…its all here. I can’t praise this read highly enough. Add this to your book buying list now!”  …Or at least to my mythical TBR, right??

Off the General TBR:

  • Another week of two DNFs!
    • Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor was just too… something.  I couldn’t get into it.  I think it’s partially because I really don’t enjoy reading books about people who are being abused.  I realize that it’s a real and horrible thing, but I don’t want to read it in my fiction, because I read fiction for enjoyment.  Plus, I’m not completely convinced that reading about horrible situations in fiction really helps people learn about those situations – sometimes I think it just begins to desensitize them and normalize behavior instead.  Anyway, I just didn’t like either of the voices in this story, and wasn’t interested in them as people after a few chapters in.  It’s a shame, because reading about Japanese-Americans shortly after World War II sounds really interesting – but I just wasn’t feeling like I was really going to get a lot of historical background.
    • I’ve read multiple reviews of The Wind is Not a River by Brian Payton (also published as All This Will Be Lost), but it just wasn’t the book for me.  It goes back to that enjoying happy books thing – and while I was interested in John Easley’s part of the story (stranded on a Japanese-occupied Alaskan island during WWII, trying to avoid detection), his wife’s story was really boring me and felt disjointed and strange.  I also genuinely hate present-tense narratives, like a lot, so unless I love the story, I’m not wading through such a stupid, stilted way to tell a story.  I have no compunctions about skipping to the end of books that I’m meh about and seeing if it’s actually worth reading to me – and this one wasn’t.  I’m not wading through hundreds of first-person narration listening to people suffer so I can get to a depressing ending.  So while I’m sure this book is lyrical and lovely and deep, it wasn’t for me.
  • Two more books were removed without being read.
    • After rereading they synopsis for Sanctuary by Ted Dekker, I just wasn’t feeling it.
    • A while back, I added a bunch of random Beauty & the Beast retellings.  But when I was flipping through Roses and Thorns by Chris Anne Wolfe, I realized that it just wasn’t my style.
  • Finally, two more books were removed because I actually read and reviewed them!
    • 9781501112317_custom-b94a64187bf3180e71db57fd0feedeb786ff5a89-s300-c85I finished Two Men on the Bummelthe sequel to Two Men in a Boat, but because they go together, they only count as one book on the list.  Both of them were highly enjoyable, and I still can’t believe I’ve gone my whole life without reading them before.
    • I also read, as mentioned above, In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, which I devoured in one evening.  Even though I personally didn’t like the main character, and wasn’t totally on board with the ending, it was still a gripping read.

Total for the General TBR:  845 (up two)

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Added to the Personal TBR:

  • Thirty Days to Thirty by Courtney Psak was another Kindle freebie that sounds like a fun and lighthearted chicklit read.

Off the Personal TBR:

Still nothing here, as I’m reading a trilogy.  I’m halfway through book three, though, so this one should be off the list next week!

Total for the Personal TBR:  556 (up one!)

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Added to the Series TBR:

  • I really enjoyed the Menagerie books by Tui Sutherland and Kari Sutherland, so I added Tui’s other series, also aimed at middle-schoolers, Wings of Fire…  about dragons!!!

untold-coverOff the Series TBR:

  • Speaking of the Menagerie series…  I realized that I never actually took of this tab, so even though I’m still in the middle of the Lynburn Legacy (I reviewed Book #2 this week!), I still got to drop a number!

Total for the Series TBR:  139 (even!)

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Added to the Mystery Series TBR:

Nothing!!!  Score!

Off the Mystery Series TBR:

…also nothing!  But I’m through 4/6 books in the Amanda Jaffe series (I haven’t reviewed book four yet), and the one I reviewed this week, Proof Positivewas probably my favorite in the series so far.

Total for the Mystery Series TBR:  64 (even!)

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Added to the Nonfiction TBR:

Actually, nothing here either.  Go me.

Off the Nonfiction TBR:

Um.  Well.  Nothing here either.

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  50 (even again!)

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Grand Totals for the Week:  Ten added, seven removed, so overall three up on the overall TBR!

The Tottering TBR // Episode III

Well, after a brilliant week last week of slamming books of the list left and right, this week ended up being one of those where I found myself adding several to make up for it…

Added to the General TBR:

Well, I’m just going to tell it to you straight:  I added six books this week!

While You Were Mine and A School for Unusual Girls both came as GoodReads recommendations.  The first is a story about a young woman who has raised an abandoned baby during World War II, only to have the baby’s father come to claim her after the war.  The second is about a “finishing” school just after the Napoleonic Wars that is actually teaching its students how to become spies.

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Fun fact: when I was looking up images for this cover, some of them show her with still water and the oars up, while others have rippled water and oars down… seems mysterious…

Apparently I need to just stop reading Cleopatra’s blog, because she adds to the TBR very consistently!  This week she intrigued me with not one, but two titles!  The first is Another Day Gone by Eliza Graham.  Cleo says:

I really enjoy books about consequences that occur far later than the initial act, decision or mistake but to pull this type of story off, you need great characters, ones whose behaviour and actions are recognisable as realistic, given the circumstances, at any point in the story. Eliza Graham has this absolutely nailed. I was transfixed and reached that stage of reading where I wanted to know the ending but simultaneously wanted to stay with the characters, for just a little bit longer.

Of course, she also warned that not everyone gets a happy ending, so maybe this isn’t the book for me!

The second title from Cleo is In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings, a psychological thriller that Cleo says has not only an engaging story, but engaging characters as well.

Of course, Cleo alone is not to blame.  A review of Life of Pi (by Yann Martel) over at Rose Reads Novels reminded me that I have vague memories of enjoying that book when I read it many years ago, and would like to give it another go.

Finally, From First Page to Last reviewed The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan.  Janet says, “Don’t expect a mad dash of a story for this is a gently told tale. Sometimes that is just what is needed, gentle escapism. A lovely story, perfect to curl up with on a long winter evening.”  So even though I probably won’t get to this book until January of 2037, I will at least be ready at that point for a nice comforting story.

Off the General TBR:

This was an unusual week for me – two books that I did not finish.

I started Boneman’s Daughters by Ted Dekker – I’ve read a few of his thrillers before and they were decent, but this one just wasn’t capturing me.  I think it was because so often, if we spend time with the “bad guy,” the author feels a need to emphasize the bad guy’s craziness by giving him strange obsessions that I, as the reader, have to listen about at length.  In this case, the bad guy had this bizarre thing about beautiful skin, and spent lots of time using specific lotions for specific regions of his body, and after about maybe the third or fourth time listening to a few paragraphs of this guy contemplating lotion, I was over it.  And there just wasn’t anything else going for me in this book, so I let it go.

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Do you have books that you really want to like and just don’t??

Room for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer started out alright – set in the midwest during the Depression, the main character is married to a storekeeper who is home for a month, and then spends the next month traveling about purchasing supplies for the store.  Except it turns out that what he’s actually doing is visiting his other wife and children just a few towns over.  In the first chapter, the main character finds out about this when the sheriff of that town shows up, tells her that the man and wife #2 (whom the sheriff thinks is the only wife, of course) have died and left their children to their “aunt.”  While it felt like this could have been a good story, it was just too slow and too much of listening to various characters whine.  Plus, wife #1’s son is just such a brat and is so mean to the new kids that I just couldn’t take it any more.  The final nail in the coffin was a personal annoyance with third-person narratives that still title various sections with a character’s name to let me know whose thoughts we will be hearing.  I’m not stupid, so I think I can figure out whose thoughts we’re reading when it is in the third person and you mention their name in the first sentence.  I mean, sheesh.

I removed Infandous by Elana K. Arnold after reading a few reviews.  I have zero scruples about knowing spoilers, and the spoilers for this book definitely made me realize that I did not want to read it.

Dragon Mystics is actually part of a series, so it got shifted over, and I’ve gone back and forth about reading Eligiblea modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice, but every review I read really just makes me more convinced that I’ll actually hate it, so it’s back off the TBR again.

Ironically, no books were removed because I actually read and reviewed them, despite the bit where this is a book blog and that’s what I do… whoops.

All in all, five off the list.

Total for the General TBR:  843 (up one!)

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Added to the Personal TBR:

These are books I have purchased, either in physical or ebook form, and that I haven’t read since I started blogging my reviews.  It’s been on of those awkward weeks where I keep coming across free Kindle books that sound like fun…

  • download

    Doesn’t it look terrifying??

    At the Villa Rose by A.E.W. Mason (because I keep wanting to try some older mystery writers)

  • More Than Pancakes by Christine Depetrillo (because I enjoy fluff sometimes and have always wanted to run a hotel of some kind)
  • Maids of Misfortune by Louisa M. Locke (because even though most mysteries with a female protagonist set in the late 1800’s are terrible, every once in a while I come across one that’s brilliant)
  • A Victorian Christmas Cottage by Catherine Palmer & others (because of that whole fluff thing)
  • The Perfect Stranger by Wendy Corsi Staub (because I got this for free for filling out a survey and it sounds deliciously creepy)

So…  five added!

Removed from the Personal TBR:

Sadly, none.  My personal book that I read this week was the first in a trilogy (and will appear in the next batch of minireviews), so it won’t officially be off the list until I read book 3!

Total for the Personal TBR:  555 (up four… although it should be five… so apparently I can’t count somewhere…  not unusual)

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Added to the Series TBR:

Like I said, one book from the General TBR is now on the Series list.  Other than that, I also added the Guardians Trilogy by Nora Roberts.  I’ve found her books to be hit or miss in the past, and these sound a little crazy but still intriguing.

Removed from the Series TBR:

Still working my way through the Lynburn Legacy books (I read two of the short stories this week), so no progress here.

Total for the Series TBR:  139 (up two)

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Added to the Mystery Series TBR:

I know that I’ve read some reviews about the Will Trent series by Karen Slaughter before, but Stephanie’s review of the most recent addition to that series, The Kept Woman, made me realize that I had somehow neglected to actually add the series to the list!

Removed from the Mystery Series TBR:

Still working on the Amanda Jaffe books.  This week I reviewed the second book, Ties That Bindand my next review should actually be the third in the series, Proof Positive, which was fantastic.

Total for the Mystery Series TBR:  64 (up one)

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Added to the Nonfiction TBR:

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Plus, I just like the word “kraken.”

Despite the fact that I have been reading exactly zero nonfiction titles lately, I still find myself intrigued by various nonfiction books, especially ones that choose something kind of random and tell all about it.  Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid by Wendy Williams sounds exactly like the kind of book I would enjoy.  It was brought to my attention by The Literary Sisters, who did a series this week on Really Underrated Books.

Removed from the Nonfiction TBR:

Nothing, but I am determined (ha!) to make progress here by next week!

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  50 (up one)

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Grand Totals for the Week:  Fourteen added and five removed, so net gain of nine this week on the overall TBR!

The Tottering TBR // Episode II

Last week I started what will hopefully be a weekly post about the status of my ridiculous TBR…

Added to the General TBR:

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Bonus: the cover is adorable.

Believe it or not, I only added one title to the list – The Museum of You by Carys Bray, which Cleopatra reviewed this week.  She said –

I was worried that this book may be too saccharine for my tastes, but evidently not, this isn’t one of those that obviously makes a play for your emotions but creeps up over you until you can’t help but want the best for each and every one of the people that grace the pages, even those whose stories can’t be changed. It is a very rare book indeed that makes me shed real tears – this book was one of them!

Off the General TBR:

Books that I’ve read don’t get “officially” removed until I review them.  This week, I published a review for Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall.  However, I also wrote a minireview that will be published at the end of the month – Wait for What Will Come by Barbara Michaels.  So – two books off the TBR!

In addition, I also frequently find myself removing books if I reread the synopsis and think they look lame.  This week, I chucked three books without even opening them!

Frequently, I realize that I have books on the General TBR when they ought to be somewhere else – usually on one of the lists for series.  This week, the General TBR lost four books that actually just got shifted to another locale.

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I kind of hated this book… but love the cover, so there’s that!

Finally, I have no compunctions when it comes to DNFing a book.  I try to give them fifty pages, and if I have felt nothing by that point, I usually just let it go.  Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag and The Heart’s Treasure by Catherine Palmer both are back in the library-return bin.  I simply could not stand the writing style of Dress Shop – the present tense was driving me batty, and I didn’t like any of the characters well enough to struggle through a writing style that was making me shudder with every page.  The Heart’s Treasure centers on a couple who have been estranged for a decade, and that’s a trope that I rarely enjoy – even when they get a happy ending, the fact that they wasted so many years just because they couldn’t use their words really depresses me.

So, all in all, this was actually a great week for TBR reduction:  a grand total of ELEVEN books off!

Total for the General TBR:  842 (down ten!)

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Added to My Personal TBR:

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(JJ Feilds is still adorable, btw)

These are books I have purchased, either in physical or ebook form, and that I haven’t read since I started blogging my reviews.  This week, I have zero books that fall into that category!  I did purchase both Austenland (which I actually reviewed by comparing it with its movie counterpart), and I am also collecting the Codex Alera series because I enjoyed them so much – but they don’t count!

Off the Personal TBR:

I had one minireview this week that won’t be published until the end of the month, but because I wrote it – it counts!  You can anticipate an intense review of The Ghost Rock Mystery by Mary C. Jane – an old Scholastic Book Club book from the 1950’s.

Total for the Personal TBR:  551 (down one)

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Added to the Series TBR:  

Two of the books that were removed from the General TBR got kicked over the Series TBR because they have more than one sequel.  Someday, I might get around to reading the Pretty Crooked series by Elisa Ludwig and the Uncertain Choice series by Jody Hedlund.

Off the Series TBR:

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I’m a little embarrassed about how emotionally vested I became in these characters.

I finally read and reviewed the final book in the Codex Alera series, First Lord’s Fury.  Even though there are only six books in this series, they average in that 500 page range, so they make for some hefty reading.  However, I totally loved this series and was super sad to end my time in Alera.  These are really fabulous books with engaging characters and a great over-arching story.  Butcher definitely does an amazing job crafting a tale wherein his characters are faced with some difficult choices.  I loved watching everyone grow and evolve.  This series is highly recommended.

Total for the Series TBR:  137 (up one)

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Added to the Mystery TBR:

One of the other books removed from the General TBR was Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge.  Apparently, this is the first book in the Helen Grace series, so it will now have to languish on this tab of the TBR…

Removed from the Mystery TBR:

Nothing this week – I’m still working through the Amanda Jaffe series.

Total for the Mystery TBR:  63 (up one)

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Added to the Nonfiction TBR:

This is the tab that I add to and never take away, because I’m quite terrible at reading nonfiction.  This week, my final book that I moved from the General TBR was a memoir by Cary Elwes, who played Westley in The Princess Bride.  His book, As You Wish, is his behind-the-scenes view of the making of that absolute classic of a movie.

Removed from the Nonfiction TBR:

Nothing.  And, if I’m honest, I’ve only read maybe ten pages of nonfiction this week.  I’m hopeless!

Total for the Nonfiction TBR:  49 (up one)

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Grand Totals for the Week:  Five added and thirteen removed, so net loss of eight books from the overall TBR!