Reading

Goodreads TBR Declutter #21

At this point in my Goodreads TBR list I ran into a couple of magazines. I do still want to read at least one of the stories in each of those magazines, so I’m not removing them from the TBR. However, they are also not as easy to discuss in these posts, so I’m not going to include them here.

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: The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

In an astonishing feat of narrative invention, our most ambitious novelist imagines an alternate version of American history. In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected President. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.

For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh’s election is the first in a series of ruptures that threatens to destroy his small, safe corner of America – and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.

Not interested any longer. Sorry.

Verdict: REMOVE


2: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

One ill-fated evening at the Reform Club, Phileas Fogg rashly bets his companions £20,000 that he can travel around the entire globe in just eighty days – and he is determined not to lose. Breaking the well-established routine of his daily life, the reserved Englishman immediately sets off for Dover, accompanied by his hot-blooded French manservant Passepartout. Traveling by train, steamship, sailing boat, sledge and even elephant, they must overcome storms, kidnappings, natural disasters, Sioux attacks and the dogged Inspector Fix of Scotland Yard – who believes that Fogg has robbed the Bank of England – to win the extraordinary wager. Around the World in Eighty Days gripped audiences on its publication and remains hugely popular, combining exploration, adventure and a thrilling race against time.

I still want to read this one. I enjoyed Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, so hopefully this one will be similar and I’ll like it too. I think I’ll look for an audiobook of it.

Verdict: KEEP


3: The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

Five Union prisoners escape from the siege of Richmond in a balloon, are blown off course and crash on an uncharted island. They must learn to rebuild a society for themselves while awaiting rescue.

It seems The Mysterious Island is a sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which I couldn’t stand.

Verdict: REMOVE


4: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

In Bryson’s biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.

This seems like a good book to read. I’ve never tried Bryson’s work before, though, so hopefully I like it.

Verdict: KEEP


5: Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace (Jennifer Scales #1) by Mary Janice Davidson

She knew that growing up would mean changing. But Jennifer wasn’t prepared for the blue scales or the claws, since no one had told her that she came from a bloodline of weredragons. Her greatest challenge? Protecting herself from her family’s ancient enemies and preparing herself for fierce battles. And that’s a lot to expect of a girl just coming into her own.

Weredragons. I am frankly shocked that I haven’t read this one yet.

Verdict: KEEP


6: Witchling (Sisters of the Moon #1) by Yasmine Galenorn

We’re the D’Artigo Sisters: Half-human, half-Faerie, we’re savvy–and sexy–operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But our mixed-blood heritage short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she’s stressed. Menolly’s a vampire who’s still trying to get the hang of being undead. And me? I’m Camille–a wicked-good witch. Except my magic is as unpredictable as the weather, which my enemies are about to find out the hard way…

Still sounds amusing. It can stay.

Verdict: KEEP


7: The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac #1) by Vicki Pettersson

When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert. By rights, she should be dead.

Now a photographer by day, she prowls a different Las Vegas after sunset—a grim, secret Sin City where Light battles Shadow—seeking answers to whom or what she really is . . . and revenge for the horrors she was forced to endure.

But the nightmare is just beginning—for the demons are hunting Joanna, and the powerful shadows want her for their own.

This sounds like it is probably a good book. But it also sounds too angsty for me at the moment. I’m going to take it off the list, with the understanding that this is my list and I can add it back on at any time should I choose to do so.

Verdict: REMOVE


8: Karma Girl (Bigtime #1) by Jennifer Estep

Bigtime, New York, is not big enough for both Carmen Cole and the superheroes and ubervillains who stalk its streets. An intrepid reporter, Carmen’s dedicated her life to unmasking the spandexwearers, all because her fiancé turned out to be a superhero, and a cheating one at that-sleeping with none other than his nubile nemesis.

Exposing the true identities of the nation’s caped crusaders and their archenemies has catapulted Carmen from her sleepy southern hometown to the front pages of the country’s biggest newspaper, The Exposé. Hobnobbing with millionaires and famished fashionistas is all in a day’s work for a woman on the trail of the Fearless Five and Terrible Triad. But when Carmen gets the scoop of her career, her life comes crashing down around her. And even Bigtime’s sexiest superhero, Striker, may not be able to save her.

I like Estep’s other work, and I love superhero novels. It stays.

Verdict: KEEP


9: Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Foucault’s Pendulum is divided into ten segments represented by the ten Sefiroth. The novel is full of esoteric references to the Kabbalah. The title of the book refers to an actual pendulum designed by the French physicist Léon Foucault to demonstrate the rotation of the earth, which has symbolic significance within the novel.

Bored with their work, and after reading too many manuscripts about occult conspiracy theories, three vanity publisher employees (Belbo, Diotallevi and Casaubon) invent their own conspiracy for fun. They call this satirical intellectual game “The Plan,” a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled—a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real.

This stays for now, because it still sounds incredibly interesting. However, I may revisit that choice after I read Eco’s The Name of the Rose.

Verdict: KEEP


10: The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime #1) by Jasper Fforde

It’s Easter in Reading—a bad time for eggs—and no one can remember the last sunny day. Ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III, minor baronet, ex-convict, and former millionaire philanthropist, is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. All the evidence points to his ex-wife, who has conveniently shot herself.

But Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his assistant Mary Mary remain unconvinced, a sentiment not shared with their superiors at the Reading Police Department, who are still smarting over their failure to convict the Three Pigs of murdering Mr. Wolff. Before long Jack and Mary find themselves grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, bullion smuggling, problems with beanstalks, titans seeking asylum, and the cut and thrust world of international chiropody.

And on top of all that, the JellyMan is coming to town . . .

I have hopes that this one will be a lot of fun. It certainly sounds like an amusing fairytale retelling…

Verdict: KEEP



BOOKS ANALYZED // 210
BOOKS REMOVED // 51

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?

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26 thoughts on “Goodreads TBR Declutter #21

    1. Awesome, thanks! My grandma likes his stuff too, which is where I first heard of him.

      (Also, you’re right. This had hit my spam folder! Eek! Thanks for mentioning it on your blog.)

        1. Fingers crossed! I’ll keep checking in the meantime, though.

          (Replies to approved comments, however, appear to be okay. This one didn’t get sent to spam.)

  1. Weredragons and half fae sisters! i can see why you kept so many because you have a ton of classics and great genre books you want to read. Actually I really loving decluttering my to read shelf! It’s the best feeling to be able to look at a list and see a manageable amount of books. (Because then I can add more hahaha!)

    1. Thanks, I love decluttering my shelf, too! I don’t mind having a lot of books on the TBR, but I want them to all be books I actually want to read, LOL!

      I really need to get to the weredragons and half-fae sisters soon. They both sound really fun.

    1. I read a lot of stuff… though I do tend to get in ruts. There was a while where everything was a cozy mystery read, and sometimes I go on non-fiction binges. I’ve been trying to read outside my comfort zone this year, though, picking up more classics than normal for example.

      1. I try to read a few classics every year too. I don’t end up liking them but I feel like it’s good to know the foundations if that makes any sense.

        1. Exactly! It’s one of the reasons why I think people should still read at least some classics even if they haven’t aged well or aren’t as enjoyable. They might not be what they were in their day, but they are still important. (And every now and then I find a gem which I do actually enjoy.)

          1. Yes me too! Pride and Prejudice is a favorite for example. My comment was supposed to say “most of them” not a blanket statement that I don’t like any of them lol.

            I also read Frankenstein this year and mostly enjoyed that. I’d like to tackle Three Musketeers this year but it’s SO LONG.

          2. Yes! I read Pride & Prejudice for the first time this year and really enjoyed it also! I think I read your comment the way you intended it and not the way you worded it, because I assumed you meant “most” of them. LOL

            Frankenstein and Dracula are both classics that I enjoy, though I know a lot of people don’t enjoy Dracula. I think my biggest problem with most classics is that even when they aren’t long, they seem SO LONG because of the difference in writing style. Oh well. Three Musketeers is on my “someday” list, but I’m going to have to psych myself up to the length, too.

          3. Haha! I’ll have to check out Dracula. If I’m remember correctly it’s very different from how we think of the Dracula/vampire myth today right?

          4. Well, Dracula is where most of our vampire myth stuff came from, but the myth has evolved since then. There’s much more focus on the religion aspect in Dracula than most modern vampire stories.

            I think the part most people have trouble with though is that the story is mostly told in the classic style — slower pace, more intellectual instead of action, etc. Only the very beginning is written the way we would expect one of the foundations of modern horror to read. (I like the opening part of Dracula the best, but I do enjoy the slow burn of the rest of the novel too.)

          5. That sounds cool! I’ll have to check it out. I think a lot of people’s dislike might have to do with what they expect not lining up with reality, so it’s always good to get the inside scoop so to speak.

  2. I need to do another ruthless purge of my TBR. It’s way out hand.

    I listened to Around the World in 80 Days, read by Jim Dale. I enjoyed it, in part because Dale’s narration made it more fun than I might otherwise have found it. (I loved Jules Verne as a child, though I had never read this one.)

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