Down The TBR Hole #2

It’s a meme kinda day for me, I’m reading a couple of books simultaneously to try and play catch up, we’ll see if it works or if I break down in tears lol.

Down The TBR Hole, a meme originally hosted by Lia @ Lost In A Story where you clean up your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it and get a better handle on what all you got! (If someone can slide me the current host, I’ll gladly update this post)

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change! – Lia @ Lost In A Story

What do you do?

  • 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. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m doing 10-15 today!

GoodReads: 

In this dark, thrilling fairy tale, it is the wolf who saves the girl. Fell, the dark-furred twin brother of Larka, the heroine of The Sight, must face life without his sister or the rest of his loving pack. He’s a lone wolf now, a “kerl,” an outcast from his kind who shares his sister’s fatal gift for seeing the future and the thoughts of others. This gift leads him to befriend a young girl, also an outcast from her people. They have a shared destiny: to free the land from a tyrannical ruler who would enslave man and animal alike.

I loved The Sight and I own this one, so, it stays.

 

GoodReads:
Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel. 

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Another that I own and loved the first one, so this one stays as well!

 

GoodReads:
The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling trilogy.

Lisbeth Salander – the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels – lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge – against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

~from the jacket

Another that stays, but, I’m labelling this as maybe. If I start to lose interest in the second one then I might just donate these and say I tried!

 

GoodReads:
Complete text of Legacy and Spellbound in a single volume.

Holly Cathers is not the same person she was almost a year and a half ago. After discovering her connection to an ancient legacy of witches, Holly has accepted her destiny as a descendant of the House of Cahors. She is determined to end an intergenerational feud that has plagued her family for centuries.

Holly will have to overcome unworldly obstacles as she battles to protect her loved ones — including Jer, a member of the rival House of Deveraux and her one true love. A war of magical proportions is being waged, and Holly is at the center of it all.

Lives will be lost, and sacrifices will have to be made…

Okay…Another that I already own, already read the first, are you seeing the pattern here? It stays. Man. I suck at this.

 

GoodReads:
WHAT IS LOST…
WILL BE FOUND

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling – a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths…all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, DC., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object – artfully encoded with five symbols – is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation…one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon – a prominent Mason and philanthropist – is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations – all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown’s novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown’s fans have been waiting for…his most thrilling novel yet.

So I’ve read the first two but I’m not really in a hurry to read this, for now, I’m going to say it goes, if I get around to reading it, fine, if not, not bothered lol.

 

GoodReads: 
Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno. 

Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this sumptuously entertaining thriller.

Goes. Same reason as #3 in the Langdon series!

Final Score:

3/6 Stay, 2/6 Go, 1/6 Maybe

At least it was better than my first round lol. Anyone else whittling away their TBR?

Top 5 Authors I’d Like to Meet

Another Top 5 Pick post from me but this time it is the top 5 authors I’d like to meet -living or dead-.

I figured we could all use a reprieve from my onslaught of reviews lol, so here we go!

5. Agatha Christie

Shocking. I know. But I couldn’t help myself, if I had a chance I would have loved to have met her and go to tea with her. Also, I mean, look at her, she’s obviously a dog lover so she’s alright in my books on that alone. I’m a huge fan of her but I wouldn’t want to grill her on her genius, I just want to be her friend, true story haha.

 

4. Charles Dickens

Now hear me out, they won’t be all dead people, but I have some major respect for Charles Dickens. He is the reason we have child labor laws (at least in the UK and stemming onto other English speaking countries). This man saw the importance of having a childhood, of not stifling a child in a factory and well, I’m pretty glad he did. I also have such a soft spot for his writing.

 

3. Elizabeth Lim

I am so excited about Spin the Dawn, the blurb sounds great and I did win a copy of her Disney, Mulan novel, Reflections. This is an author I do want to pick their thoughts and ask her how she came up with such cool concepts. But it’s also more than that, she has a doctorate in music composition and did some composing for video games, HOW COOL IS THAT?! Anyway I’m super excited for her books and feel like her and I could trade music talk and have a fun time.

 

2. Margot Lee Shetterly

I know I’ve only reviewed one nonfiction book in the past couple of months but I really do love it and Hidden Figures is a book I never get tired of talking about. So I figure Margot Leet Shetterly needs to be on my list, I would die to hear what else she came across in her research for this book, what would she add if she got the chance and what direction she’d like to go in for another book. This woman is also hella smart and talented, she’s not just a writer she’s done investment banking and media startups as well, talk about a woman who knows a bit of everything!

1. Tamora Pierce

Ah, I have to say there’s no way I couldn’t put her on my list. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by her (which is most of her books) and Numair was probably my first book crush, so, I mean I had to include her. Honestly though her books made such an impact on my reading habits and even what I like to read, I may not have branched outside of mystery without her!

There are like a billion other authors I’d love to meet but this is a top 5 so that’s all you get.

Which authors would you like to meet and why? Comment below!

 

Toodles!

 

 

Learning to Let Go

AHAHAHA YOU SUCKERS ARE STUCK WITH ME FOR THREE DAYS OF HOSTING.

What’s my first prompt?

We’ve had some great posts that have already happened and are still headed our way about what to do with surplus books that you don’t want anymore.

[Thank you to Sam & Clo for putting this event together!]

My post is talking about how to get to that step of realizing that the book on your shelf may just not be one you want to keep. In other words, learning to let the book go that you may actually not want. [This is not about forcing you to give up books, but rather taking a step back and reassessing if you actually want it]

So I’m going to give you all my reasons why I may get rid of a book.

1. How long has it sat on my shelf?

Now! Hold up, there are books I have on my shelf that go unread for years, and you know what? I really have every intention of reading them, but there are some, same situation, that even though I started with the same intentions, I’ve really just lost interest. Think of it as a physical clearing of your tbr list!

2. Was it an unwanted gift?

I love getting books, honestly, I do but there are some times when people don’t really know what I like to read and buy me books I really never wanted to read. Sometimes those books sound super interesting and I end up reading them, other times they stay on the shelf because I feel too guilty to part with them. This was a gift someone bought for me! Buuuut let’s be real, I’ll probably not some of those and there’s no use taking up shelf space for the books not yet bought!

3. IF I’ve read it, will I read it again?

This is not a question for everyone, but it can be for me, if it’s not the sort of book I typically read or if it’s one that’s basically at any library near me, I don’t feel so bad for letting it go. There are some mystery books that as much as I love them, I just have no intention of rereading and to me that means it’s okay with letting someone else enjoy them. [Again, no shame in hoarding all your books!]

4. Is it worth the effort to lug them around every move?

Okay, this one is very specific to me and a few others who move a lot. My last move cost like 3K to move my stuff over, and uh, more than half those boxes were books and I left most of my furniture behind in order to bring them. And I’d do it all over again, but I do know this is not a permanent situation so I’ll be back to freakin lugging these things around again, and that means when the time comes, I can’t afford to keep every single book if I have no intention of reading it again or in the first place. I haven’t really regretted getting rid of the books I have, so I suppose that says something!

5. Did I enjoy reading the book?

Sometimes it’s enough to keep a book around if you have fond memories of reading it. But what if it’s one you just hated? Usually, this is a no brainer but sometimes we put a book back on the shelf after finishing, just glad to have it done with and then boom there it stays until we finally realize it’s there again and wonder ‘why is it here? I didn’t like that.’ I say we, but I’m just assuming someone else out there goes through this too lol.

Anyway, I could list more but they really all follow the same vein as the others.

Sometimes some books aren’t worth keeping if it means that you can make space for more!

So, what are your ways of deciding whether you’re going to keep a book or not?

Do you now have a stack of books ready to go after reading this and don’t know what to do with them? I have the perfect post from Michelle, who had great prompts before me, with ideas on what to do with the books you’re getting rid of, here.

Toodles!

 

 

February Wrap-Up

Ugh, February is only a few days shorter than the other months but it feels like it just sped by in two weeks, amiright?

So I’ll put what books I read, include the links to their Goodreads if you’re interested, that way that saves this post from being HUGE. Anything with () Means I don’t have a blog review/it isn’t up yet, but the rest do and you’re welcome to click on my reviews page to go scope them out!

I’ll also talk about my February book haul and my March aspirations, I’m finishing a book tonight so I’ll reserve the review for that until March 1!

What Did I Read This Month:

Stalking Jack the Ripper


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Boneseeker: Here Walk the Dead


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Hashtag Authentic


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Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire


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Eden Chip


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The Spitfire Girls


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The Hound of Death


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In Search of a Witch’s Soul


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Bloom: A Monster Love Novella


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Dead Man’s Blues


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The Parlor Girl’s Guide (To Hell, apparently)


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Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain


(Review to come in mid to late March)
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Infinite Dark Volume 1


(No Review, thriller comic, good, but not much to it)
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Seraphin


(Very whimsical children’s story/Children’s Picture Book, apparently someone else thought this had some Pedophile message…I didn’t really get that, but like they were just friends?? And also they never say that anyone is a kid?? Idk, maybe I’m misreading! It was just a man and his friend who built his house and a musical instrument and had tea together by the fire…..so…maybe I’m missing subtext, idk again. )
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Star Collector Volume 1


(Western Manga, love manga but this one was missing some depth to the characters)
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Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage


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Storm Front


(Review to come tomorrow!)
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February Book Haul

 

Favorite Read this Month?

A tie between La Belle Sauvage and Serving the Servant!

Also, The Priory of the Orange Tree showed up as I was belatedly writing this!

Highlights:

-I did my first Bookstagram Challenge! Posting my final picture after this! [#Februarylibrary19]
– I’ve hit nearly 150 followers on my blog!
– This is my 50th Post
– I’ve signed up for my first Blogtour(s) (Coming to you April-May)
– I found out I’ll be receiving my first physical review copy all thanks to Kal @ Reader Voracious spreading the word about an amazing book, Anna Undreaming!
– I got my first blog tag(s)! THANK YOU GUYS!
– I’ve started my spreadsheets and a new notebook to keep things tidier this week (you’ll notice Kal’s blog is linked right to those amazing spreadsheets as she is spreadsheet Queen)
– This month was a nice easy ride compared to next month!

Versatile Blogger Award

  • If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award, congrats!
  • Thank the person who gave you the award and include a link to their blog.
  • Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and nominate those for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • Finally, list 7 things about yourself.

 

FIRST OFF

Thank you, Samfor the tag!! ❤ If you don’t follow her, go do so, she’s amazing and awesome and so are her posts.


  1. I play 8 instruments. [Well, you don’t play your voice but is technically an instrument, damn it] My main instrument was voice with violin and piano as my minor instruments.
  2. I am not quite nearly bilingual but almost there. My Pops speaks Spanish, our family is Tejano on his side, we were there [in Texas] before the fake cowboys 😉 and my Mother speaks Italian. I can read and write Spanish better than I speak it and like most lazy children of ethnically diverse families, I understand what my parents say to me in Spanish, I just answer in English. This also drove my Spanish grammar professor insane. I don’t know how he didn’t harpoon me. Oh, that’s right, I have a minor in Spanish. Ironically enough I can pronounce everything under the sun in Italian but I don’t always know what I’m saying buahaha. So my Italian skills are not nearly as good as my Spanish ones.
  3. I was a substitute teacher. I mostly filled in for history classes (another minor of mine, oh yes I had two minors on my degree and two minor instruments) I hated it at first but in the end, was quite sad to leave my students. I speak teenager (I.E.: We had movie Fridays and they knew the drill, ‘snitches get stitches just not from me’)
  4. I am half Italian, half Tejano/Mexican and I am pale as the moon with dark auburn hair. (Which used to be just red) So you know, I got some weird looks at family reunions from the distant cousins I never met, a lot of ‘Enrique, who is this?’ ‘Uh…that’s my daughter, you know, the third one in the line up’
  5. I have spent the majority of my young adult life as a single mom. I only have had a partner in raising my daughter since meeting my husband (and this is still a new process to us, the whole family unit of mom, dad, and spawn)[For those curious, got married super early, he was a douche canoe who doesn’t try to contact so, eh]
  6. I have sung on stage with Gil McKinney, Sam and Dean’s handsome gramps on Supernatural. AND. He complimented me on my harmonies, there’s a video floating around on Tumblr of it lmfao.
  7. I like to cook. But I fuckin hate baking. I will walk 4 miles for a cupcake before I whip some up. I don’t know why you all would want to know this, but now you do.

I honestly am not sure I could list 15 blogs that haven’t been tagged, so I’m just going to tag people I’m not sure have done it and we’ll see how many I get. [If you’ve done it already or don’t want to, ignore this! If you want to and you’re not tagged, let me know and I’ll tag you!]

 

Charity Shop Finds!

I know this seems like it just happened last week, and that’s because it did!

But this time we were down our own high street and decided to mosey along in to see if they had anything new as we hadn’t been in a month.

And holy cow we struck gold!

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So these were originally .50P each but the shop does a deal, 2 for .99P

The Tom Sawyer edition is from 1958/1959 and was a school prize to someone back in the day, the award plate was still in it! We had just recently bought Far From the Maddening Crowd but couldn’t decide if this cover was nicer so we picked it up to compare, we’re keeping both lol.

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Carrie Fisher!

I have never read a book by Carrie Fisher and I picked this one up as my husband spotted it, I can’t wait to get to it! [You know, eventually]

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Again, 2 for 99P!!

Every time we go down the High Street we all like to wander around Waterstones, and while walking around I had paused to look at the copy of Ulysses, it was 10 quid and we just didn’t want to spend that on it, at least not at the moment so we passed it by. Then, we went to the charity shop next to it, and lo and behold, this was 50P on its own but since we bought so many we scored it for 49.5P lol. The book next to it is called Wellington: The Years of the Sword.

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I’ve been eying this Mandela biography for a while now, we saw it at a charity shop last week and I had spied it at the library but I’m holding off on more nonfiction from the library until I return my Romanovs survey. So! This was meant to be!

 

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Look at these covers!

I own Maze Runner and I found it enjoyable and though I have the others on my Kindle I couldn’t help myself. I would have bought Maze Runner again if they had it and it matched and donated my other copy, but, they didn’t. These things are basically brand new and they have such nice covers! The copy I bought was out my library store back in Texas and is lovely but just has some notes scribbled in, and some highlights, I don’t mind though, it’s fun to read what they thought lol. Okay getting off track, anyway look at these pretty books!!! LOOK AT THEM ALL!

 

In the end, we got 9 books for £4.46, four on the 2 for .99P deal and one ‘full’ price at .50P

There we have it! The post is late today because honestly I was super busy and mini-me had a birthday party. I’m off to watch more of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

[I’ll have a review tomorrow]

 

 

 

My Top 5 YA Dystopia Picks!

Here we go, guys! My top 5 YA Dystopia picks!

My Classic 5 Dystopia picks can be found here.

5. Across the Universe

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Beth Revis’s Across the Universe trilogy has such a neat plot, I mean yes a lot of Dystopian novels have the same elements [that’s why I love them] but I loved that this one’s setting was on a freakin ship! Best of both worlds; more sci-fi and all Dystopia! My only issues were with the style of writing, sometimes it was just a bit too awkward how she wrote the dialogue and the feelings were a little too well controlled at times for our lovely protagonist. I would say this has the lowest rating on my top 5 only because of this, otherwise, I really do enjoy it!

4. Matched

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Condie’s Matched trilogy is not only on my top 5 but it’s one of the few series that I love to reread. This is the one that Eden Chip reminded me of a bit [no spoilers though] where science/statistics is used to give you the most compatible partner, but what if there was a glitch and you knew? What if there was someone else who could have been it? I really loved how she set it up and it was so chillingly good, had a bit of an echo of The Giver in it as well to me. The turmoil the characters go through is always one that tugs on my heartstrings a lot and is one of the reasons I reread it. It’s got your typical love triangle trope but I think it does a great job of the nuances of feelings people go through in said love triangle. I could go on forever about this, but I’ll refrain and move on.

3.  The Uglies

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I have loved The Uglies trilogy since it came out, and yes there is a fourth book in the series but it’s not connected to the characters…at all…and even the issues in it don’t really connect…so…I don’t connect it to the first three. Think about it! A world where beauty is valued over everything [sound a little familiar? Lol] and once you finally hit 16 you’re no longer an ‘ugly’ someone who has kept their natural appearances, you get to become a ‘pretty’ you’re made into a beautiful person…..so what happens if you don’t go through with it? Is there anyone else left aside from the pretties and uglies?

2. The Giver

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I loved this book and not to mention it was my first dystopian novel and I didn’t realize it! I read this in elementary when it was still new! Now, I’ve not said The Giver series as I’ve said with the others because frankly, I haven’t read the others yet, this was shown as a standalone novel for so long I didn’t even realize it was a series! So! I have to get to that but, I still think it works great as a standalone. A world with suppressed emotions and colors, where people are picked to give birth, others picked to raise those children, everything neat and tidy, and then the role of the Giver is given to a young boy who seeks answers and finds out more than he bargained for. LOVE IT.

1. The Hunger Games

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And finally, The Hunger Games trilogy. Another one I love to reread. I think Suzanne Collins does such a freakin precise representation of how corrupt power can be the most deadly tool of all. Yes we all know that, but look at it, it happens today, people pull strings, they show you news to distract you from other news, they use stories to cover up the darkness they don’t always want us to see. Not to mention I love Katniss, the love triangle in this is fun for me. Katniss doesn’t care about love triangles, she cares about food. Tell me I’m wrong. Not to mention she doesn’t do her actions with the intent to start a rebellion, it happens and she takes on the mantle, and not always because she wants to. Ugh. Another one I could gush over all day.

Okay, there you have it, my top 5 YA dystopian novels/series! I’m currently over halfway through Dead Man’s Blues so hopefully, I’ll be reviewing that soon! But I do have a lot going on this week, two more rehearsals, a concert, and then another concert next Sunday too, so, I’ll try to keep up every day!

Toodles, guys!