Book Tags, TBRs

Organizing my TBR VIII

I was inspired by Charlotte’s posts to try this. If you don’t follow Charlotte, I highly recommend you do! She shares a lot of queer lit and is half of the team over at Reads Rainbow (which you should ALSO follow).

I’ve tried several TBR memes before, but I like the idea of ranking books with a numerical system! This first post is just going to be playing around a bit. Charlotte rates books based on how motivated she is to read it (1-5) multiplied by how interested she is in the premise (1-5).

I plan to start by using a similar system: priority (1-5) + interest in blurb (1-5) + average friend rating on GR (1-5) / 3. I’ll check out the final result and make my decision from there. I’m not going to make any hard rules, but my guess is a score of 3+ is good enough to stay. Very high ratings will get put on my tbr asap shelf. If none of my friends have rated the book, then I’ll use the Goodreads rating instead.


  • The New Jim Crow
    • Priority, 5. Interest, 5. Friends’ Ratings, 4.75.
    • Score: 4.92, TBR ASAP.
  • The Gallery of Unfinished Girls
    • Priority, 2. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, 4.5.
    • Score: 3.17, keep.
  • The Nowhere Girls
    • Priority, 3. Interest, 4. Friends’ Ratings, 4.58.
    • Score: 3.86, keep.
  • The Shining
    • Priority, 5. Interest, 4. Friends’ Ratings, 4.12.
    • Score: 4.37, keep.
    • This is already on my TBR ASAP shelf & will probably be read within the next month or so.
  • Words in Deep Blue
    • Priority, 2. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, 4.27.
    • Score: 3.09, keep.

TBR at Start of Series: 1282
TBR Today: 1433 (lolll help me)
TBR Now: 1429


I removed a mere four books today, which is a sad 20%. I did also add two more books to my TBR ASAP annnd had a third already there, which means I should read them in the next year or so. I’m really excited that I’ve started doing this, since it’s clear there are so many books I’m no longer interested in that are bogging down my TBR. Let me know if any of you decide to try Charlotte’s reorganizing as well, I’d like to see how it works for others. 🙂

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Mini-Review Compilation #18

Dead Astronauts

I don’t know if this book and I were ever going to get along. I’m a huge Jeff VanderMeer fan, but didn’t initially realize this was set in the Borne universe. Borne wasn’t bad, but I just didn’t end up loving it. From what I read, the connections seem pretty loose — same universe, different characters. There is just so MUCH going on here that at 27% in I had no idea what I was reading. The prose was gorgeous, but I struggled to follow the plot. This book is going to make you work, and I cautiously recommend it to those who are up for the challenge.

Rating: DNF

In the House in the Dark of the Woods

I honestly have no idea what this book was trying to accomplish. It starts off as a lighthearted fairytale of sorts and turns into…? It alternated between dry and confusing, sometimes both. There was one point where I thought I genuinely liked it and thought it had a great ending — until I realized I had only hit the 75% mark and had to muddle through to the true ending. This had the potential to say so much about abuse and trauma, which I thought was its purpose for a while, but it ended up being a bit of a meandering mess that I genuinely regret spending my time on.

Rating: ⭐⭐

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

I can definitely appreciate the points this book hit, but it just didn’t vibe with me very well! It’s a relatively quick read and I certainly recommend picking it up if you’re interested in it, though. As a YA book, it touches on a lot of important issues from abortion to drug addiction to teen pregnancy. One of my issues was that I felt like it was trying to touch on too many things and thus lacked a bit in focus. I’d also look up trigger warnings for this beforehand, as there are a lot of potentially upsetting topics at hand. My final criticism is that it read more like a MG book than a YA book as far as voice goes. I kept surprising myself when Gabi would say something about graduating from high school or applying to college because I honestly kept thinking she was 13.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


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Bookworm Blogging, Monthly Wrap-Ups

November 2019 Wrap-Up

Books Read:

  • Half Way Home by Hugh Howey. 3 stars, review.
  • Full Throttle by Joe Hill. 5 stars, review.
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman. 5 stars, review.
  • There There by Tommy Orange. 3 stars, review.
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. 5 stars, review.
  • In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt. 2 stars, review.
  • Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero. 3 stars, review.
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. 5 stars, reread, review.

Books read: 8 books
Average rating: 3.88 stars

Other Media:

  • Movies:
  • TV Shows:
    • Creepshow [2019], Season 1 Ep 6.
    • NOS4A2, Season 1 Ep 1.
    • The Great British Baking Show, Season 2 Ep 5 – Season 3 Ep 4.
    • Mary Portas: Secret Shopper, Season 1 Ep 1.
    • Barry, Season 2. (I can’t stop rewatching this show.)
    • Rick & Morty, Season 4 Ep 1.
  • Video Games:
    • Stardew Valley. I’ve been absolutely hooked on this!

Notable Posts by Others:

My Month in Photos:

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Book Tags, TBRs

Organizing my TBR VII

I was inspired by Charlotte’s posts to try this. If you don’t follow Charlotte, I highly recommend you do! She shares a lot of queer lit and is half of the team over at Reads Rainbow (which you should ALSO follow).

I’ve tried several TBR memes before, but I like the idea of ranking books with a numerical system! This first post is just going to be playing around a bit. Charlotte rates books based on how motivated she is to read it (1-5) multiplied by how interested she is in the premise (1-5).

I plan to start by using a similar system: priority (1-5) + interest in blurb (1-5) + average friend rating on GR (1-5) / 3. I’ll check out the final result and make my decision from there. I’m not going to make any hard rules, but my guess is a score of 3+ is good enough to stay. Very high ratings will get put on my tbr asap shelf. If none of my friends have rated the book, then I’ll exclude the friends’ ratings and only divide by 2.


  • Otherwise
    • Priority, 1. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, n/a.
    • Score: 2, remove.
  • Ariel
    • Priority, 2. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, 3.17.
    • Score: 2.72, remove.
    • I don’t know if I realized this was poetry. I may come back to it after I read more of Plath’s work.
  • Unholy Ghost
    • Priority, 3. Interest, 5. Friends’ Ratings, n/a.
    • Score: 4, keep.
  • ‘Salem’s Lot
    • Priority, 3. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, 3.56
    • Score: 3.19, keep.
  • Deep Salt Water
    • Priority, 2. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, n/a.
    • Score: 2.5, remove.
  • Shrill
    • Priority, 5. Interest, 5. Friends’ Ratings, 4.18.
    • Score: 4.71, TBR ASAP.
    • I have a copy of this, which automatically makes the priority a 5!
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
    • Priority, 2. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, 4.25.
    • Score: 3.08, keep.
  • The Girl Next Door
    • Priority, 2. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, 4.38.
    • Score: 3.13, keep.
  • I’ll Give You the Sun
    • Priority, 1. Interest, 2. Friends’ Ratings, 4.29.
    • Score: 2.43, remove.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses
    • Priority, 3. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, 3.75.
    • Score: 3.25, keep.

TBR at Start of Series: 1282 (lolll help me)
TBR Today: 1429
TBR Now: 1418


I removed eleven books today! That’s 55% of the books I looked at. I also added one to my TBR ASAP shelf, which means I should read it in the next year or so (I also own it, so). I’m really excited that I’ve started doing this, since it’s clear there are so many books I’m no longer interested in that are bogging down my TBR. Let me know if any of you decide to try Charlotte’s reorganizing as well, I’d like to see how it works for others. 🙂

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Discussions, Readathons

Nonfiction November Week 5: New to My TBR

Week 5: (Nov. 25 to 30) – New to My TBR (Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction): It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!

It’s time for Nonfiction November! For the final week I’m sharing new additions to my TBR. I apologize because for most of these, I don’t have someone specific to link back to but I will where I can!


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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Trail of Lightning [review]

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse
Published by Saga Press on June 26, 2018
my rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads avg:
4.00 (as of 2019-11-18)
Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author Website

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel to the rez to unravel clues from ancient legends, trade favors with tricksters, and battle dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the disappearances, she will have to confront her past—if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.


I’m familiar with Rebecca Roanhorse because she was a panelist at the sci-fi/fantasy convention I went to last year. While there, I heard a lot of praise for Trail of Lightning and added it to my TBR (along with 100 more books). After seeing some great reviews and seeing that the Dragons and Tea Book Club had chosen it for their November read, I checked it out from the library and absolutely blew through it.

The world-building here is just fantastic. This is a near(?) future version of the US, where the oceans have risen and the world is in minor chaos. Maggie Hoskie lives in what was formerly a Navajo reservation and is now one of the only places safe from the Big Water. In this new world, the gods and monsters of old have arisen again, and Maggie has made a career out of hunting them. Along with gods and monsters, we have a great deal of magic floating around. It’s all based on Navajo legend, which is really cool. Some of the characters have “clan magic” and I loved seeing all the varieties that existed.

I had conflicted feelings about Maggie as a character, honestly. I found her quite irritating at times, but a lot of her flaws came from her struggles with PTSD and were kind of realistic in that way — and it’s great seeing her work through her trauma in order to get to a place where she can start healing. She was a fun character to follow, but I also just wanted to shake her and help her make better decisions. The romance was also quite obvious from the start, but I thought it was really well-done regardless and enjoyed seeing her and Kai interact.

The plot itself was somewhat intriguing but felt secondary to the characters. I got a little lost in it towards the end and felt some of the twists required a bit too much suspension of disbelief, but I was still absolutely glued to the pages. This is one of those books where the flaws are far outweighed by the things I loved.

I was confused when I went to shelve this as “adult” and saw that it had been shelved mostly as “young adult.” I couldn’t recall an age being mentioned, but definitely got adult vibes, although I was waffling on whether this could be considered “new adult.” I happened to come across an interview with Roanhorse where she admits she intentionally left Maggie’s age vague but that she’s “more like 20” and is definitely not a teen. So I guess just a heads up that the author would not classify her book as YA and respectfully asks that others not do so.

Anyway, I really loved this book and am excited to pick up the sequel! I have minimal experience with urban fantasy, but after this I’m thinking I may have to explore the genre a bit more.


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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

There There [review]

There There by Tommy Orange
Published by Knopf on June 5, 2018
my rating: ★★★
Goodreads avg:
3.99 (as of 2019-11-16)
Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author Website

We all came to the powwow for different reasons. The messy, dangling threads of our lives got pulled into a braid–tied to the back of everything we’d been doing all along to get us here. There will be death and playing dead, there will be screams and unbearable silences, forever-silences, and a kind of time-travel, at the moment the gunshots start, when we look around and see ourselves as we are, in our regalia, and something in our blood will recoil then boil hot enough to burn through time and place and memory. We’ll go back to where we came from, when we were people running from bullets at the end of that old world. The tragedy of it all will be unspeakable, that we’ve been fighting for decades to be recognized as a present-tense people, modern and relevant, only to die in the grass wearing feathers.


Tommy Orange springs forth with a marvelous debut novel that falls just a bit short of its potential. There’s a lot here that works, but also some that doesn’t. It’s weakness to me was the breadth of characters. Perhaps this is a personal shortcoming of mine: I struggle with books that host a large cast of characters. I feel it’s difficult to balance so many personalities while also keeping them all memorable and fully-formed. While Orange succeeds at the latter, I found the constant switches in perspective complicated and was always a step behind in remembering each character’s earlier chapter.

There were some bits I really loved: the nonfiction interludes were fascinating and eye-opening to me as someone who really knows minimal information about the history of Native Americans. It made me want to go out and grab some full-length nonfiction books in order to supplement my knowledge — which I plan to do now. It also brought me awareness of urban American Indians, which I had known little to nothing about previously. The way the characters’ lives overlapped, whether a little or a lot, was interesting to see as well. Sometimes it was played more subtly than others, and I think with fewer characters to follow it would have had a much larger impact on me.

And don’t make the mistake of calling us resilient. To not have been destroyed, to not have given up, to have survived, is no badge of honor. Would you call an attempted murder victim resilient?

The way Orange directed the tone of the story was also interesting. I started off having truly no idea where things would be going. The tension picks up so slowly that once you realize it’s there, you have to wonder when it started. By the end of the book I was bracing myself for an impact that I knew would come — I just didn’t know when, or how it would resolve. I do have mixed feelings on the ending, which I felt was somewhat abrupt, but I’m not sure I have an alternate to propose.

TL;DR: While this book was highly commendable in many ways, the number of POVs just didn’t work for me.


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Book Tags, TBRs

Organizing my TBR VI

I was inspired by Charlotte’s posts to try this. If you don’t follow Charlotte, I highly recommend you do! She shares a lot of queer lit and is half of the team over at Reads Rainbow (which you should ALSO follow).

I’ve tried several TBR memes before, but I like the idea of ranking books with a numerical system! This first post is just going to be playing around a bit. Charlotte rates books based on how motivated she is to read it (1-5) multiplied by how interested she is in the premise (1-5).

I plan to start by using a similar system: priority (1-5) + interest in blurb (1-5) + average friend rating on GR (1-5) / 3. I’ll check out the final result and make my decision from there. I’m not going to make any hard rules, but my guess is a score of 3+ is good enough to stay. Very high ratings will get put on my tbr asap shelf. If none of my friends have rated the book, then I’ll exclude the friends’ ratings and only divide by 2.


  • Queens of Geek
    • Priority, 2. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, 3.88.
    • Score: 2.96, remove.
    • I think this would’ve worked for me at one point, but I’m not sure I’ll end up getting to it anymore.
  • The Stranger in the Woods
    • Priority, 4. Interest, 5. Friends’ Ratings, 3.6.
    • Score: 4.2, keep.
  • Eliza and Her Monsters
    • Priority, 2. Interest, 2. Friends’ Ratings, 4.23.
    • Score: 2.74, remove.
  • The Polygamist’s Daughter
    • Priority, 3. Interest, 4. Friends’ Ratings, 2.33.
    • Score: 3.11, keep (by the skin of its teeth).
  • Wenjack
    • Priority, 2. Interest, 3. Friends’ Ratings, n/a.
    • Score: 2.5, remove.

TBR at Start of Series: 1282 (lolll help me)
TBR Today: 1416
TBR Now: 1408


I doubled the amount of books I looked at, since I felt like this was going a bit slow. It worked, because I removed eight books today! That’s 40% of the books I looked at. I’m really excited that I’ve started doing this, since it’s clear there are so many books I’m no longer interested in that are bogging down my TBR. Let me know if any of you decide to try Charlotte’s reorganizing as well, I’d like to see how it works for others. 🙂

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Discussions, Readathons

Nonfiction November Week 4: Favorites

Week 4: (Nov. 18 to 22) –Nonfiction Favorites (Leann @ Shelf Aware): We’ve talked about how you pick nonfiction books in previous years, but this week I’m excited to talk about what makes a book you’ve read one of your favorites. Is the topic pretty much all that matters? Are there particular ways a story can be told or particular writing styles that you love? Do you look for a light, humorous approach or do you prefer a more serious tone? Let us know what qualities make you add a nonfiction book to your list of favorites.

It’s time for Nonfiction November! This week I’m sharing some of my favorite nonfiction books.


I feel like I haven’t stopped talking about American Predator since I read it but it is so unbelievably enthralling! I really cannot recommend it enough.

Similarly, I’ve brought up Evicted a lot this month. This is such an insightful book that really opened my eyes to aspects of poverty I hadn’t been educated on before.

I spent most of my childhood idolizing Monty Roberts. In his memoir, The Man Who Listens to Horses, Monty details his life and how he’s learned to communicate with horses using their own language. I think I’ve read this probably 4 or 5 times over the years and believe I even have an autographed copy!

Mara Wilson’s memoir Where Am I Now? is interesting, entertaining, and accessible. It was a quick and enjoyable read and I highly recommend it!

Ask Me About My Uterus was really the first time I had heard much about endometriosis. I read an ARC of it almost two years ago and was earlier this year diagnosed with endometriosis. I’ve been meaning to reread this book — part memoir, part educational — through the lens of what I’ve experienced since my first time through. Even if you don’t suffer from endo, I think this is a quite important, and engaging, read.

I read NurtureShock for a Psych class in college. I was impressed by the different points it made. Each chapter reads like an essay on a different topic, and the format really works.

Whipping Girl is written by a trans woman, and discusses the discrimination that trans women tend to face. This book was the first thing that helped me really get what people meant by “transmisogyny” and I found it really eye-opening in a lot of ways.

A Cat Named Darwin made me cry my damn eyes out, but I loved it.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was fascinating, terrifying, and ultimately heartbreaking. I don’t think you need me to hype it up any more for you.

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a lot about Lessons from a Child, but I read it for my Teaching Writing class in college and found myself heavily impacted by it. I think it’s an interesting read even if you don’t intend on teaching one day.

While Sex at Dawn had its criticisms, I found it quite interesting and felt validated by it as a polyamorous woman.

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