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T10T: Spring 2019 TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally put together by The Broke and the Bookish and has been taken over by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is your Spring 2019 TBR! I’m excited that spring is fast approaching. My TBR would be mostly Women’s Prize books, so I’ll forego sharing those here and will instead share the ARCs I will be reading!

Waves

I saw Destiny’s review for this and just had to request it from NetGalley! I’ve been waiting to get closer to the release date to read and review it.

The Lovely and the Lost

I honestly don’t know why, specifically, I requested this but it looks interesting!

Your Tarot Court

Destiny recommended this to me because she knows I’m interested in tarot and this sounds super relevant to my interests in general!

Red White & Royal Blue

This has been so talked about and looks SO cute and I’m so excited to read it!

When You Find My Body

On a completely different note, this looks super sad and I can’t wait to read it and cry.


What do you have queued up for this spring??

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T10T: Hidden Gems

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally put together by The Broke and the Bookish and has been taken over by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books I loved with fewer than 2000 Goodreads ratings. I love boosting lesser-known books, so I sorted my “favorites shelf” by ratings (ascending) and here they are!

A Cat Named Darwin

I read this quite a long time ago, but I remember adoring it. I know I sobbed at the end. And it’s about a cat. So, I definitely need to reread it.

The Last Animal

This is a book of short stories that I just adored. I picked it up pretty much just for the cover, but it was so worth it. This is another book I’m hoping to reread soon.

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014

I love this so much that I’ve read this twice already. This is a collection of written pieces put together by students. It includes short stories, poetry, non-fiction, even a transcript for a Welcome to Night Vale episode. I found a lot of these pieces super hard-hitting, and I just love the cover. I’ve been meaning to pick up more of these collections, actually!

Don’t Shoot

I read this in my Deviance, Norms, and Social Control class during college and found it quite fascinating. It’s a non-fiction book about a man who engineered an arguably more effective way of combating gun violence in the US. Again, I gotta reread this to see what I think of it today.

The Book of Cthulhu II

I’ve brought this book up several times now, but I still find it worth promoting! I got the ebook in a kindle deal and just adored it. I’ve said forever that I was gonna pick up the first book in the collection — and am going to request it from the library right now. I found almost all of the stories incredibly compelling. If you’re looking for some good horror short stories, please pick this up.


What are some of your favorite hidden gems??

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T10T: Books I May Have DNFed too Quickly

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally put together by The Broke and the Bookish and has been taken over by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is favorite couples in books, but I wasn’t feeling that SO I chose an older theme that I hadn’t done yet! I am a chronic DNFer and although that has made reading much more enjoyable for me, I’ve probably also missed out on reading some books I may have ended up enjoying. Here are a few:

Wildcard (Warcross #2)

This was a bummer because I really loved Warcross, but I just felt like I couldn’t connect to the characters in this one. I also completely lost interest in the plot. I did give it about 200 pages, but I’m wondering if it would be worth another shot someday.

Devils Unto Dust

I made it about 60 pages into this one, which only ends up being 11%. I was really struggling to get through it, but know Destiny ended up liking it a lot and we have similar tastes. So I may give it a try again someday!

Freshwater

I am very much in the minority on this and I DNFed after only one sitting (it is a short book, so I made it 13% in). I really think that if I was able to try again with few distractions around me while in a more focused mindset, I would enjoy it more. This is definitely the book I’ve thought about coming back to the most.

The Chalk Man

I’m not sure why I didn’t end up feeling invested in this one, but now that I’ve been taking in more crime fiction I feel like I might enjoy it more.

Sleeping Beauties

I made it about halfway through, but this tome is ~700 pages so I still had a very long way to go. I do love Stephen King and the premise was very interesting, but I was having trouble with the execution. It was a library book that I needed to return, but I have considered giving it another shot since I invested so much time in it.


Have you gone back to any books you’ve DNFed?

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T10T: New to my TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally put together by The Broke and the Bookish and has been taken over by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books recently added to my TBR.

A Field Guide for Science Writers

I added this because I’m thinking about getting into science writing and apparently this is an extremely helpful book.

More Than Two

I will read pretty much any nonfiction books about polyamory.

I Should Be Writing

This is supposed to be a really nice compilation of writing advice.

The Wise and the Wicked

I added this right after finishing The Mystery of Hollow Places because I need to read more Rebecca Podos ASAP.

Something Like Gravity

I saw this pop up on my Goodreads feed recently and it looks sad but good!


How many of these are on your TBR?

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T10T: Books I Meant to Read in 2018

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally put together by The Broke and the Bookish and has been taken over by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books I meant to read in 2018. Honestly, most of the books on my physical TBR fall under this category, which is why I’m prioritizing it in 2019!

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

I bought this over the summer while I was visiting Rachel and still have not read it because I’m slightly terrified to, BUT I’m hoping to sometime this winter.

Heart-Shaped Box

I got this as a gift a while ago, but it’s been sitting in a pile of other books waiting to be read. Hopefully I’ll be getting to it sometime soon!

The Long Way to a Small, Angry PlanetTI

I won this in a giveaway last year and have been meaning to read it ever since!

Mortal Trash: Poems

This was a gift from a friend that they sent me SO LONG ago and yet it is still sitting here on my TBR.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1

This was also given to me ages ago. I’m excited to read it but just haven’t gotten around to it for whatever reason.


How many of these are on your TBR?

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T10T: 2019 Anticipated Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday was originally put together by The Broke and the Bookish and has been taken over by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is anticipated reads for the first half of 2019. It’s pretty self-explanatory, so let’s get to it!

The Dreamers

In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned. 

Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what? 

Written in gorgeous prose, The Dreamers is a breathtaking novel that startles and provokes, about the possibilities contained within a human life—in our waking days and, perhaps even more, in our dreams.

Our Year of Maybe

Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.

But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.

Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one blurry, heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.

Inheritance

The acclaimed and beloved author of Hourglass now gives us a new memoir about identity, paternity, and family secrets—a real-time exploration of the staggering discovery she recently made about her father, and her struggle to piece together the hidden story of her own life.

What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us?

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history—the life she had lived—crumbled beneath her.

Inheritance is a book about secrets—secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in—a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

Timely and unforgettable, Dani Shapiro’s memoir is a gripping, gut-wrenching exploration of genealogy, paternity, and love.

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective. 

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life? 

The Cerulean

Sera has always felt as if she didn’t belong among her people, the Cerulean. She is curious about everything and can’t stop questioning her three mothers, her best friend, Leela, and even the High Priestess. Sera has longed for the day when the tether that connects her City Above the Sky to the earthly world below finally severs and sends the Cerulean to a new planet.

But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she doesn’t know what to feel. To save her City, Sera must throw herself from its edge and end her own life. But something goes wrong and she survives the fall, landing in a place called Kaolin. She has heard tales about the humans there, and soon learns that the dangers her mothers warned her of are real. If Sera has any hope to return to her City, she’ll have to find the magic within herself to survive. 

The City in the Middle of the Night

Set on a planet that has fully definitive, never-changing zones of day and night, with ensuing extreme climates of endless, frigid darkness and blinding, relentless light, humankind has somehow continued apace — though the perils outside the built cities are rife with danger as much as the streets below.

But in a world where time means only what the ruling government proclaims, and the levels of light available are artificially imposed to great consequence, lost souls and disappeared bodies are shadow-bound and savage, and as common as grains of sand. And one such pariah, sacrificed to the night, but borne up by time and a mysterious bond with an enigmatic beast, will rise to take on the entire planet–before it can crumble beneath the weight of human existence.

I’m Telling the Truth, But I’m Lying

A deeply personal collection of essays exploring Nigerian-American author Bassey Ikpi’s experiences navigating Bipolar II and anxiety throughout the course of her life.

Bassey Ikpi was born in Nigeria in 1976. Four years later, she and her mother joined her father in Stillwater, Oklahoma —a move that would be anxiety ridden for any child, but especially for Bassey. Her early years in America would come to be defined by tension: an assimilation further complicated by bipolar II and anxiety that would go undiagnosed for decades.

By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO’s Russell SimmonsDef Poetry Jam, channeling her experiences into art. But something wasn’t right—beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey’s mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar II.

Determined to learn from her experiences—and share them with others—Bassey became a mental health advocate and has spent the fourteen years since her diagnosis examining the ways mental health is inextricably intertwined with every facet of ourselves and our lives. Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are—and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.

We Set the Dark on Fire

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

The Lady from the Black Lagoon

The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick—one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters.

As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.

As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O’Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick’s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney’s first female animators. And at last, O’Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature’s success, and where she went.

A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since.

Daisy Jones & the Six

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice. 

Do You Dream of Terra-Two?

The publisher’s editorial director, Anne Perry, pre-empted world English language rights for Do you dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh as part of a two-book deal from Judith Murray of Greene & Heaton and will publish the title in spring 2019.

The novel begins a century ago with scientists who believed that a habitable planet existed in a nearby solar system. In the modern day, 10 astronauts depart a “dying Earth” to find it. An S&S spokesperson said: “It will take the team 23 years to reach Terra-Two, years spent in close quarters with no one to rely on but each other and no rescue possible, should something go wrong. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet meets The 100 in this unforgettable debut by a brilliant new voice.”

The Waking Forest

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

If, Then

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny’s own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.

The Trial of Lizzie Borden

The Trial of Lizzie Borden tells the true story of one of the most sensational murder trials in American history. When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 1892, the arrest of the couple’s younger daughter Lizzie turned the case into international news and her trial into a spectacle unparalleled in American history. Reporters flocked to the scene. Well-known columnists took up conspicuous seats in the courtroom. The defendant was relentlessly scrutinized for signs of guilt or innocence. Everyone—rich and poor, suffragists and social conservatives, legal scholars and laypeople—had an opinion about Lizzie Borden’s guilt or innocence. Was she a cold-blooded murderess or an unjustly persecuted lady? Did she or didn’t she?

The popular fascination with the Borden murders and its central enigmatic character has endured for more than one hundred years. Immortalized in rhyme, told and retold in every conceivable genre, the murders have secured a place in the American pantheon of mythic horror, but one typically wrenched from its historical moment. In contrast, Cara Robertson explores the stories Lizzie Borden’s culture wanted and expected to hear and how those stories influenced the debate inside and outside of the courtroom. Based on transcripts of the Borden legal proceedings, contemporary newspaper accounts, unpublished local accounts, and recently unearthed letters from Lizzie herself, The Trial of Lizzie Borden offers a window onto America in the Gilded Age, showcasing its most deeply held convictions and its most troubling social anxieties.

Internment

Rebellions are built on hope.

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.

With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today. 

The Weight of the Stars

Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends. 

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system. 

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . . 

The Meaning of Birds

Before, Jessica has always struggled with anger issues, but come sophomore year that all changes when Vivi crashes into her life. As their relationship blossoms, Vivi not only helps Jess deal with her pain, she also encourages her to embrace her talent as an artist. And for the first time, it feels like the future is filled with possibilities. After In the midst of senior year, Jess’s perfect world is erased when Vivi suddenly passes away. Reeling from the devastating loss, Jess pushes everyone away, and throws out her plans to go to art school. Because art is Vivi and Vivi is gone forever.

Desperate for an escape, Jess gets consumed in her work-study program, letting all of her dreams die. Until she makes an unexpected new friend who shows her a new way to channel her anger, passion, and creativity. Although Jess may never draw again, if she can find a way to heal and room in her heart, she just might be able to forge a new path for herself without Vivi.

These Witches Don’t Burn

Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans. 

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.


How many of these are on your TBR? And what’s your most anticipated read for the first half of 2019?

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TBR Lows & Highs #7

Okay, so I’d been doing Down the TBR Hole for quite some time and really loved it. BUT, it started to feel a bit like a chore, which is why I’d cut down on it. Luckily, Destiny decided to create a new similar-but-different feature that’s loads of fun called TBR Lows and Highs!

She recently tweaked it a little bit, and I LOVE the tweak because I’ve been struggling to remove more and more stuff! Here is the new additional rule: I’d like y’all to pick ONE book from the “lows” that you think I should prioritize and I’ll add the top pick to my TBR ASAP shelf. So comment with your vote! 🙂

Rules:

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

The Lows:

Bad Feminist
Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

Are You My Mother?
A graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.

Kissing the Witch
Thirteen tales are unspun from the deeply familiar, and woven anew into a collection of fairy tales that wind back through time. Acclaimed Irish author Emma Donoghue reveals heroines young and old in unexpected alliances–sometimes treacherous, sometimes erotic, but always courageous. Told with luminous voices that shimmer with sensuality and truth, these age-old characters shed their antiquated cloaks to travel a seductive new landscape, radiantly transformed. Cinderella forsakes the handsome prince and runs off with the fairy godmother; Beauty discovers the Beast behind the mask is not so very different from the face she sees in the mirror; Snow White is awakened from slumber by the bittersweet fruit of an unnamed desire. Acclaimed writer Emma Donoghue spins new tales out of old in a magical web of thirteen interconnected stories about power and transformation and choosing one’s own path in the world. In these fairy tales, women young and old tell their own stories of love and hate, honor and revenge, passion and deception. Using the intricate patterns and oral rhythms of traditional fairy tales, Emma Donoghue wraps age-old characters in a dazzling new skin.

Kraken
Kraken is the traditional name for gigantic sea monsters, and this book introduces one of the most charismatic, enigmatic, and curious inhabitants of the sea: the squid. The pages take the reader on a wild narrative ride through the world of squid science and adventure, along the way addressing some riddles about what intelligence is, and what monsters lie in the deep. In addition to squid, both giant and otherwise, Kraken examines other equally enthralling cephalopods, including the octopus and the cuttlefish, and explores their otherworldly abilities, such as camouflage and bioluminescence. Accessible and entertaining, Kraken is also the first substantial volume on the subject in more than a decade and a must for fans of popular science.

Octopus
The visually arresting and often misunderstood octopus has long captured popular imagination. With an alien appearance and an uncanny intellect, this exceptional sea creature has inspired fear in famous lore and legends – from the giant octopus attack in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to Ursula the sea witch in The Little Mermaid. Yet its true nature is more wondrous still. After decades of research, the authors reveal a sensitive, curious, and playful animal with remarkable intelligence, an ability to defend itself with camouflage and jet propulsion, an intricate nervous system, and advanced problem-solving abilities.

In this beautifully photographed book, three leading marine biologists bring readers face to face with these amazingly complex animals that have fascinated scientists for decades. From the molluscan ancestry of today’s octopus to its ingenious anatomy, amazing mating and predatory behaviors, and other-worldly relatives, the authors take readers through the astounding life cycle, uncovering the details of distinctive octopus personalities. With personal narratives, underwater research, stunning closeup photography, and thoughtful guidance for keeping octopuses in captivity, Octopus is the first comprehensive natural history of this smart denizen of the sea.

The Highs:

Kiss the Girls
This one was already on my TBR but I entered a giveaway this morning, which added it AGAIN.

Dolores Claiborne
I’ll probably end up adding all Stephen King I’ve yet to read to my TBR, but this specific add was inspired by Callum’s review.

Pulp and Gentleman Jack
These both came off of this November 2017 Releases post (all queer books!).

The Good Daughter
Potentially found this via Melanie??

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(Covers courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Tags, Bookworm Blogging

TBR Lows & Highs #6

Okay, so I’d been doing Down the TBR Hole for quite some time and really loved it. BUT, it started to feel a bit like a chore, which is why I’d cut down on it. Luckily, Destiny decided to create a new similar-but-different feature that’s loads of fun called TBR Lows and Highs!

Rules:

  • Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
  • Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
  • Find 5-10 (or more, if you feel ambitious!) titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”)
  • Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation of why you removed it
  • Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
  • List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)

To Remove:

Pornography: Men Possessing Women
I actually wrote a thesis-type paper during my senior year of college assessing pornography’s impact. It was interesting because I had gone into it with a more positive-steering-neutral view of porn, but after my research the paper itself was extremely anti-porn. With that background, I think y’all can understand why I’d find books about pornography interesting, but my one friend who has read this rated it meh, the description doesn’t give you much, and I think I can find something better to read instead.

When Houses Burn
I don’t remember how I added this, but I can be picky about thrillers and the blurb for this just doesn’t… thrill me.

Missoula
Don’t get me wrong, I know Jon Krakauer is supposed to be great, but I have a pretty good idea of how the criminal justice system fails victims/survivors and I’d rather read something written by a woman on the topic.

Just Listen
I just… don’t think this sounds like my thing.

The Girl from the Well
The blurb doesn’t grab me and it has poor reviews from friends. Byeee.

Newly Added:

The Book Collector and Rebecca
Both of these were autumn book recommendations by Rachel and both sounded like great reads!

Once and Forever
This one was featured in a weekly newsletter sent out by a local bookstore. Between the cover and the description, I thought it seemed like something I’d enjoy.

What Made Maddy Run
Someone on my GR timeline added this and I thought it sounded interesting.

A Pattern Language
Gretchen Rubin recommended this on the BookRiot podcast Recommendations recently!

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(Covers courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Tags, Bookworm Blogging

TBR Lows & Highs #5

Okay, so I’d been doing Down the TBR Hole for quite some time and really loved it. BUT, it started to feel a bit like a chore, which is why I’d cut down on it. Luckily, Destiny decided to create a new similar-but-different feature that’s loads of fun called TBR Lows and Highs!

Rules:

  • Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
  • Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
  • Find 5-10 (or more, if you feel ambitious!) titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”)
  • Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation of why you removed it
  • Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
  • List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)

To Remove:

One More Thing
I can see why this interested me at one point (I love The Office), but it just… doesn’t anymore.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Everyone seems to love this and it sounds like an important book so I feel guilty removing it, but it just doesn’t seem like something that interests me.

Prozac Nation
Feel meh re-reading the blurb.

The Paths We Choose
Okay, how about I read the first book before I read the sequel.

Heroine Worship
Same as above: first book first, second book second!

Newly Added:

Dead Girls
I saw that Mallory O’Meara was reading this and thought it sounded suuuper interesting.

The Man in the Picture and The Small Hand
I finished my first Susan Hill read recently and had to add something else of hers to my TBR.

There Is No Good Card for This
I saw a friend of mine was reading this and, having a lot of friends who have gone through trauma recently, felt like it would be a good thing to pick up.

Courtroom 302
I started the new season of Serial (the podcast) today, and apparently this book was the inspiration!

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(Covers courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Tags, Bookworm Blogging

TBR Lows & Highs #4

Okay, so I’d been doing Down the TBR Hole for quite some time and really loved it. BUT, it started to feel a bit like a chore, which is why I’d cut down on it. Luckily, Destiny decided to create a new similar-but-different feature that’s loads of fun called TBR Lows and Highs!

Rules:

  • Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
  • Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
  • Find 5-10 (or more, if you feel ambitious!) titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”)
  • Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation of why you removed it
  • Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
  • List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)

To Remove:

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
I do like nonfiction, but I found it difficult to focus just reading the summary. I need nonfiction that I can actually pay attention to.

Opium Eater: The New Confessions
I don’t think I realized this was a memoir when I added it. I’m more interested in a broader look at drugs and addiction right now.

Carrier: Untangling the Danger in My DNA
Again, I’d prefer a broader read focused on DNA and genetic testing, and I actually have one that fits the bill a couple books up on my TBR already.

The Bone Season
I’m just… really not drawn to this one.

Every Last Lie
Well, I was already thinking about removing it after the blurb and then came across an unhidden question with a spoiler ruining a “twist” in it, soooo. Bye.

Newly Added:

Kin
As a reminder to myself: I REALLY need to start making notes on Goodreads when I add books to my TBR so I don’t have to puzzle over where they came from. Anyway, Destiny included this one in her last T10T and the cover just grabbed me!

In Her Skin
Truly a mystery, but I think I saw this on my Goodreads feed? The premise was kind of interesting, but the fact that it takes place in Boston got me.

Flat: Reclaiming My Body from Breast Cancer
I read Rae’s review of this one and thought it sounded like something I really wanted to read!

Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling
This was definitely one that just showed up on my Goodreads feed, but I liked the His Dark Materials series a lot, and want to read more books about writing.

Penpal
Although Bad Man didn’t end up being one of my new favorites, Dathan Auerbach does have great writing skills and I’d like to try his other book as well.

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(Covers courtesy of Goodreads.)