Goodreads TBR Declutter #17

I’m up to page 7 of 34 of my Goodreads TBR! … Yikes. Still a LOT of books to review. Still, I’m being reminded of some that I really wanted to read when I added them, so I think this is a good thing.

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: Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

The historians can’t seem to settle whether to call this one “The Third Space War” (or the fourth), or whether “The First Interstellar War” fits it better. We just call it “The Bug War.” Everything up to then and still later were “incidents,” “patrols,” or “police actions.” However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an “incident” as you are if you buy it in a declared war…

I know that the movie was just *based on* this book, so there are definite changes made. However, I really enjoyed the movie and I’m still interested in reading the original to see where the movie came from.

Verdict: KEEP

2: Venom (Elemental Assassin #3) by Jennifer Estep

It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most.

I don’t know why I haven’t read this one yet. I enjoyed the first two books, and own the third, and yet I just haven’t gotten around to it.

Verdict: KEEP

3: Gone With the Witch (Witchcraft Mystery #6) by Heather Blake

Darcy and her dog Missy are determined to put their best foot forward at the Enchanted Village’s annual Pawsitively Enchanted pet contest. She’s happy to lend a hand when the show’s organizer hires Darcy to keep an eye on things among growing suspicions that someone is sabotaging the event. But Darcy’s quest for justice is thrown off the scent when her lead suspect is found dead at the competition.

I really enjoy this series, but haven’t been in the mood for a cozy mystery lately. I think I binged on them too much for a while there, and just haven’t gone back yet. I’ll pick this one up when I think I’m ready for more cozies, though, since I’ve enjoyed all the rest of this series so far.

Verdict: KEEP

4: Redwall (Redwall #1) by Brian Jacques

Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice, is threatened by Cluny the Scourge savage bilge rat warlord and his battle-hardened horde. But the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends combine their courage and strength.

All of my friends who have read this book seem to have loved it. I’m just not sure I’m ever going to read it, since I haven’t yet been bothered to pick it up. I can always re-add it if I change my mind again.

Verdict: REMOVE

5: Song in the Silence (Tale of Lanen Kaelar #1) by Elizabeth Kerner

Lanen Kaelar has spent her life being told just how wrongheaded and foolish she is by her entire family. When Lanen’s father dies, she chooses to leave her abusive relatives and search out the great dragons she has always dreamed of, though she knows what she seeks may not be real.

But those who hold true power know that prophecies have been told of Lanen Kaelar since before her birth. They fear the destiny she may fulfill, the mysteries she may unravel–and the strange and terrifying love she may find on the legendary Dragon Isle.

This just sounds rather twee now. (Definition in the link for those unfamiliar with the term.) I just… no. Dragons or not, I don’t think I can read this one.

Verdict: REMOVE

6: Dragon Rider (Dragon Rider #1) by Cornelia Funke

With lonely Ben aboard, brave dragon Firedrake seeks mythical place where silver dragons can live in peace. Over moonlit lands and sparkling seas, they meet fantastic creatures, summon up surprising courage – and cross a ruthless villain with an ancient grudge determined to end their quest. Only a secret destiny can save the dragons and bring them the true meaning of home.

On the other hand, this sounds like a very readable dragon book.

Verdict: KEEP

7: The Little Country by Charles de Lint

When folk musician Janey Little finds a mysterious manuscript in an old trunk in her grandfather’s cottage, she is swept into a dangerous realm both strange and familiar. But true magic lurks within the pages of The Little Country, drawing genuine danger from across the oceans into Janey’s life, impelling her–armed only with her music–toward a terrifying confrontation.

I’ve recently discovered that I love de Lint’s style of writing. I want more.

Verdict: KEEP

8: The Famous Flower of Serving Men (Haunted Ballad #2) by Deborah Grabien

[W]hen Ringan is working alone late one afternoon, he is surprised to hear someone singing, singing a song so drenched with sadness he shudders at the sound.. The voice begins to be heard often during the day, and not only by Ringan. Who is the singer, what is the song that seems to have soaked into the old building’s walls? Penny begins to dig into the history books and learns that there was much violence at the site centuries ago, violence that has left frightening remnants in the present. It is clear that before Penny can use her heritage they must find what terrible thing happened to the woman whose story the song seems to be telling, and what they can do to lay her ghost to final rest.

This is one that my grandma described to me and made sound interesting. (Side note, I’ve lately discovered that my grandmother is perhaps the best read person I know. It seems she’s read a little bit of everything.) I think I want to pick this up soon so I can discuss it with her.

Verdict: KEEP

9: Of Saints and Shadows (Shadow Saga #1) by Christopher Golden

A secret sect of the Catholic Church, armed with an ancient book of the undead called The Gospel of Shadows, has been slowly destroying vampires for centuries. Now the book has been stolen, and the sect races to retrieve it before their purpose is discovered: a final purge of all vampires. As the line between saints and shadows grows ominously faint, private eye Peter Octavian is drawn into the search. And he’ll do anything to find the book … for Peter Octavian is also a vampire.

I am a sucker for books about secret religious orders that hunt bad guys. Want.

Verdict: KEEP

10: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it’s unwise to walk. But there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind.

Until they found her…

The synopsis sounds interesting, if incredibly vague. I skimmed a few of the reviews — the positive reviews mind you — and those changed my mind. This does not sound like what I want in a book.

Verdict: REMOVE


First, I have to admit to shortening a lot of the blurbs this week. I just wasn’t feeling up to copy-pasting multiple several paragraph synopses. Second, starting now I am going to be more conscientious about including the series a book is from. I’ve often been ignoring it, but it has been helpful when I’ve remembered to include it. Third, removing 3 books this time is not bad at all, especially when I’m confident in my decisions.

Random thought: to date I’ve removed 24% of the books I’ve reviewed. And I was curious, so I want back and checked: of the books I kept on the TBR since I started this in February 2018, I have now read 3 of them.

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?


6 thoughts on “Goodreads TBR Declutter #17

    1. That’s the impression I’ve gotten from the reviews I read, but it’s good to hear from someone who read it outside of the target age range.

  1. Have you read any Heinlein? I read Starship Troopers and many others, but probably none since I was 20. Wondering how it stands up. Of course, I still talk about the first few pages of his The Door into Summer with people, but I remember nothing about the story itself…

    1. I have read some Heinlein… I refuse to re-read Stranger in a Strange Land because I’d rather remember it fondly than realize it has not aged well. (I don’t know for sure that it’s outdated, but I’m guessing it is.) I DNF’d The Moon is a Harsh Mistress recently because I couldn’t take it seriously with how poorly it has aged.

      I’m hoping that Starship Troopers will be a little better due to the setting (and me already expecting it to be rather sexist because of that). However, I suspect that any future Heinlein TBR books will be dependent on what I think of Starship Troopers.

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