Goodreads TBR Declutter #12

Here’s another go at my Goodreads TBR list! The original idea is from Lia @ Lost in a Story. Here’s how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order by ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if youre 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?

1: Sacred Ground (Jennifer Talldeer, #1) by Mercedes Lackey

Jennifer Talldeer is Osage and Cherokee, granddaughter of a powerful Medicine Man. She walks a difficult path: contrary to tribal custom, she is learning a warrior’s magics. A freelance private investigator, Jennifer spends hours tracking down stolen Indian artifacts.

The construction of a new shopping mall uncovers fragments of human bone, revealing possible desecration of an ancient burial ground. the sabotage of construction equipment implicated Native American activists–particularly Jennifer’s old flame, who is more attractive, and more dangerous, than ever. Worst of all, the grave of Jennifer’s legendary medicine Man ancestor has been destroyed, his tools of power scattered, and a great evil freed to walk the land.

Jennifer must stand against the darkness. If she wavers even for an instant, she will be annihilated, and the world will fall into oblivion.

This one sounds good — but I’m not sure anymore if I trust the author with racial issues. I used to, but I haven’t re-read any of her earlier work recently enough to remember if I had reason for that trust or if I just wasn’t looking at the issues. Lackey’s more recent work, though, has not been the quality that I remember, so I’m doubting her earlier work now, too. I do think I’ll try this one, but cautiously.

Verdict: KEEP (for now)

2: Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

The Dark Kingdom is preparing itself for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy–the arrival of a new Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But this new ruler is young, and very susceptible to influence and corruption; whoever controls her controls the Darkness. And now, three sworn enemies begin a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, and the destiny of an entire world is at stake.

I don’t mind dark fantasy (in some cases I love it) but reading the reviews for this one makes me think that it’s not my kind of dark fantasy.

Verdict: REMOVE

3: Jumper by Steven Gould

Davy lives alone with his father. But the truth is, it isn’t much of a home. When things get so bad that Davy decides to run away, his big question is, Where? And how will he live?

The magical answer: anywhere Davy wants!

Davy discovers he has the power to “jump” from one place to another. Not just a few feet. But hundreds, even thousands of miles! And as Davy explores his new power he learns that the world is literally his for the taking. But there are consequences too, as Davy will learn.

Meh. Maybe it’s the juvenile way the synopsis is written, but this doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

Verdict: REMOVE

4: The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan

“We should expect this young woman to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician.”

This year, like every other, the magicians of Imardin gather to purge the city of undesirables. Cloaked in the protection of their sorcery, they move with no fear of the vagrants and miscreants who despise them and their work-—until one enraged girl, barely more than a child, hurls a stone at the hated invaders…and effortlessly penetrates their magical shield.

This just doesn’t sound as interesting as it did when I added it. It can go.

Verdict: REMOVE

5: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

I’m not sure about this one. But I own the series (the whole trilogy was a hand-me-down from a family member) so I’ll keep it on the TBR for now. If I sell or give away the books, that will be my cue to remove it from the TBR.

Verdict: KEEP

6: Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.

The premise of this one sounds fun, but I’ve read spoilers and trigger warnings and just can’t do it now. It sounds way too icky in execution.

Verdict: REMOVE

7: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

I just really don’t care anymore. I enjoy the original books, and the movies, and I might enjoy seeing this as a play if I went to it. But I just don’t care about reading it anymore.

Verdict: REMOVE

8: Magic Kingdom For Sale / Sold by Terry Brooks

Landover was a genuine magic kingdom, complete with fairy folk and wizardry, just as the advertisement had promised. But after he purchased it for a million dollars, Ben Holiday discovered that there were a few details the ad had failed to mention. Such as the fact that the kingdom was falling into ruin. The barons refused to recognize a king and taxes hadn’t been collected for years. The dragon, Strabo, was laying waste to the countryside, while the evil witch, Nightshade, was plotting to destroy no less than everything. And if that weren’t enough for a prospective king to deal with, Ben soon learned that the Iron Mark, terrible lord of the demons, challenged all pretenders to the throne of Landover to a duel to the death – a duel no mere mortal could hope to win. But Ben Holiday had one human trait that even magic couldn’t overcome. Ben Holiday was stubborn.

I think I might have read this one before, but I’m not sure. I do want to read (or re-read) it, just to see.

Verdict: KEEP

9: Miss Peregrine’s House for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive.

I have no idea if I will like this one, but I do want to read it.

Verdict: KEEP

10: Have Space-Suit Will Travel by Robert Heinlein

Kip from midwest Centerville USA works the summer before college as a pharmacy soda jerk, and wins an authentic stripped-down spacesuit in a soap contest. He answers a distress radio call from Peewee, scrawny rag doll-clutching genius aged 11. With the comforting cop Mother Thing, three-eyed tripod Wormfaces kidnap them to the Moon and Pluto.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever enjoy Heinlein again the way I did when I was younger, but I want to at least try this one. It won the Hugo Award, and — weird confusing synopsis aside — does seem to be an interesting concept.

Verdict: KEEP


WOW. I removed half of the list this week. That’s unheard of for me. Still, if I’m being honest with myself, I’ll never end up reading the books that I removed. So at least I made the right choice for these books.

What about your TBR? Are any of these books on your shelves, either as to-read or have-read books? Are there any I removed which you think I should reconsider?

Note: I did include a couple out of order in my TBR, since I decided to remove them now instead of waiting until they come up on the list. I also wanted to discuss them, however, which is why I didn’t just remove them from my TBR without saying anything.


16 thoughts on “Goodreads TBR Declutter #12

  1. I read the Magicians’ guild last year, mainly because I receieved it as a present. It wasn’t bad, but really nothing special. I actually didn’t like HP and the cursed child at All, so good call on taking that one off 😁 maybe it would work as a play, but the book just had too many issues.

  2. Too bad about Jumper, as it’s not nearly as juvenile as I was afraid it would be. However, if the synopsis no longer appeals, it just isn’t worth it, now is it? I found it to be a good coming of age story. Thankfully, the wretched movie hadn’t ruined it for me 🙂

    That being said, I’m always glad to see people cut down their tbr. Those suckers just need constant trimming or ultra-strict control I salute you!

    1. Thanks! I’ve decided that the books I prune from my TBR may be ones I eventually read, but if so it will be because they interest me again, and not because I feel guilty that I’ve had them on a to-read list for years. 🙂

  3. I love have spacesuit and it is on me list to reread one day to see how it stands up. I also loved Jumper. The first mate had me read it and we both lament the lack of jumping ability to this day. As for Anne Bishop, I read that daughter’s trilogy books one and two and got very tired of how sexually driven the plot was. I wanted Witches and magic and got penis rings and romance angst. And I just went and reread the plot for the first book. Me brain had thrown out how much child abuse and child rape there is. So aye, missing nothing there. I was also not that impressed by Canavan’s works. I know I read many of them but the plots are gone. So forgettable to me at least. Fun post. I love these.
    x The Captain

    1. Thanks! I love seeing how many of my blog friends have opinions on the books I have on (or am taking off of) my TBR. And someday I may end up reading some of the ones I remove, but I want it to be because they interest me again and not a guilt-trip. 🙂 Yeah, I’ve noticed there’s lots of cases where reading about abuse didn’t used to bother me, but it does now. I like seeing how my own tastes have changed, too.

      1. I do get sad when I read an old favourite and then end up seeing the flaws and end up getting rid of the book altogether. But I am more impressed by how little that happens. Most of the time I find new things to think about or focus on other elements. People change every day so I am not surprised that me reading tastes would change too. I mean seriously, I would like to continue to improve as I get older.
        x The Captain

  4. I would have removed the same ones you did, except that they never made it onto my list anyway. (Plenty of others have, though…)

    I understand your trepidation about Lackey when it comes to race. I think she has tended to over-simplify when she builds a character or a fantasy race or ethnic group based on a real-world one, particularly recently. She hasn’t always done so; the Hawkbrothers/Tayledras and the Shin’a’in seem to draw on several different influences, and they are more fully realized than, say, the Native-inspired peoples in the second and third Owl Mage books. Actually, I think she has become sloppier as a writer generally, which is a pity. I still read her books, but they don’t have the spark they used to have.

    1. I haven’t read the books about the Hawkbrothers recently enough to remember if I thought they were handled well. Same for Diana Tregarde’s first book, Burning Water. Hopefully I’m worrying about nothing. But I agree, I think she’s become sloppier in general, but since I haven’t read her older work recently it’s the newer, sloppier work which is front of mind. This saddens me, since she used to be one of my absolute favorite authors.

      1. Same here. It’s disappointing. I still read the new ones, but not as eagerly. In fact, I still haven’t read the latest Mags book (actually more about his and Amily’s kids), and when I did pick it up and peek into it, it didn’t pull me in.

        1. Oh, that’s really a shame. I gave up on the Valdemar books after the first Owl Mage one, but I’d still been enjoying the Elemental Masters series up until one of the recent Holmes ones. Ah well. Tastes change, and authors are allowed to change writing style and topic.

  5. This is an interesting idea! I probably should do something like this to get rid of unnecessary books. I occasionally just go through my Goodreads shelf and look through them to remove whatever no longer appeals to me. But it takes a while.

    I wasn’t a fan of The Cursed Child. It seems so different than the rest of the books and also comes across as pointless. It might work as a play but reading it wasn’t that great. I also heard not-so-good stuff about Damsel and removed it from my TBR a while ago.

    I like Miss Peregrine’s but not enough to read an entire new trilogy that he’s writing…

    1. I like reviewing the books periodically, since my tastes do change. This is one way I can go through my TBR a little at a time and so it’s not as overwhelming as doing it all at once would be.

      I’m not sure about even reading more than one book in the Miss Peregrine’s series. But I am still curious enough to try the first book.

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