Goodreads TBR Declutter #25

9 pages of Goodreads TBR down! Only… 30 more to go. Assuming I don’t add any new books to the TBR. Um… I guess I want to read a lot of books. I guess it’s a good thing that I actually do read a lot of books. (I’m already well over my Goodreads goal of 75 books for the year. Yay!) However, I need to keep whittling down the TBR list to make sure that it only contains books I actually want to read.

So here’s another go at my Goodreads TBR! 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: Being Human: Life Lessons from the Frontiers of Science (Great Courses) by Robert M. Sapolsky

Understanding our humanity-the very essence of who we are and how we live our lives-is one of the deepest mysteries and biggest challenges in modern science. Why do we have bad moods? Why are we capable of having such strange and vivid dreams? How can metaphors and symbols in our language hold such a powerful sway on our thoughts and actions?

As we learn more about the mechanisms of human behavior through evolutionary biology, neuroscience, anthropology, psychology, sociology, and other related fields, we’re discovering just how intriguing the human species is. And while scientists are continually uncovering deep similarities between our behavior and that of other animals, they’re also finding a wealth of insights into everything that makes us unique from any other species on Earth.

I enjoy many of the Great Courses lecture series that I’ve listened to, so I’m going to leave this one on the TBR for when I am ready for it.

Verdict: KEEP

2: Legend Has It (Pax Arcana #5) by Elliott James

For John Charming, living the dream just became a nightmare.

Someone, somewhere, is reading a magic book that is reading them right back. Real life is becoming a fairytale: high school students are turning, quite literally, into zombies, subway workers into dwarves, drug addicts into vampires.

John Charming and his motley band of monster hunters are racing to find the villain of this story, following the yellow brick road through a not so wonderful wonderland. And if they can’t find Reader Zero before the book is closed, there won’t be a happily ever after again.

I enjoyed this series a lot at the beginning, but book 4 hit a wrong note with me. While this concept sounds good, I’m just not interested in reading any more in this world.

Verdict: REMOVE

3: Undeath and Taxes (Fred, the Vampire Accountant #2) by Drew Hayes

After discovering just how filled with magic, intrigue, and adventure the parahuman world of being an Undead American can be, Fredrick Frankford Fletcher did exactly what was expected–he became a certified parahuman accountant. Myths and legends, as it turns out, are not so great at taking appropriate deductions and keeping their receipts, and Fred is more than happy to return to a life others view as woefully dull, expanding his accounting business to cater to various monsters and their respective financial needs.

Said monsters are, unfortunately, still spectacular at pulling Fred into trouble, [and] Fred once again finds he is going to have to deal with enchanted weaponry, government agents, possessed houses, and one enigmatic dragon’s interest.

The first book was enjoyable, but also meh. I love Hayes work in general, but I have determined I just have no interest in continuing this series while there are so many other books out there that interest me more.

Verdict: REMOVE

4: Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones

The Dog Star, Sirius, is tried for murder by his heavenly peers and found guilty. His sentence: to be reborn on Earth as a dog until such time as he carries out the seemingly impossible mission imposed on him.

In his Earth guise, Sirius, renamed Leo, truly lives a dog’s life. Although he is the pet of a girl who loves him, both child and dog are mistreated by the family with whom they live. But the worldly obstacles Leo faces are minor when compared with his chilling encounters with the Dark Powers that are set against him. His quest seems hopeless until at last Sol, Moon, and Earth itself come to his aid.

I want to read more of Jones’ work, and this one sounds impossibly cute. It stays.

Verdict: KEEP

5: Carbonel: the Kind of the Cats (Carbonel #1) by Barbara Sleigh

Rosemary’s plan to clean houses during her summer break and surprise her mother with the money hits a snag when an old lady at the market talks her into buying a second-rate broom and a cat she can’t even afford to keep. But appearances can be deceiving. Some old ladies are witches, some brooms can fly, and some ordinary-looking cats are Princes of the Royal Blood. Rosemary’s cat (“You may call me Carbonel. That is my name.”) soon enlists her help in an adventure to free him from a hideous spell and return him to his rightful throne. But along the way Rosemary and her friend John must do some clever sleuthing, work a little magic of their own, and—not least— put up with the demands of a very haughty cat.

A cute-sounding cat book to balance out the last TBR entry’s cute-sounding dog book. It stays too.

Verdict: KEEP

6: American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic by Joseph J. Ellis

An ironic examination of the founding years of the United States of America. Historian Ellis guides readers thru the decisive issues of the nation’s founding, and illuminates the emerging philosophies, shifting alliances, and personal and political foibles of now iconic leaders. He explains how the idea of a strong federal government, championed by Washington, was eventually embraced by the American people, the majority of whom had to be won over. He details the emergence of the two-party system–then a political novelty–which today stands as the founders’ most enduring legacy. But Ellis is equally incisive about their failures, making clear how their inability to abolish slavery and to reach a just settlement with the Native Americans has played an equally important role in shaping our national character. Ellis strips the mythic veneer of the revolutionary generation to reveal men possessed of both brilliance and blindness.

It might be a long time until I get to this one. However, I want to read more history non-fiction, and this one came highly recommended, so it stays. Even if it takes me years to get to it.

Verdict: KEEP

7: The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One (Women are Some Kind of Magic #2) by Amanda Lovelace

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.

I enjoyed some of the poems in the first book in this series, but these volumes don’t strike me as TBR material right now. It feels like something I’m going to need to pick up on a whim, which means they don’t need to be on the TBR.

Verdict: REMOVE

8: The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One (Women are Some Kind of Magic #3) by Amanda Lovelace

The mermaid is known for her siren song, luring bedroom-eyed sailors to their demise. However, beneath these misguided myths are tales of escapism and healing, which Lovelace weaves throughout this empowering collection of poetry, taking you on a journey from the sea to the stars. They tried to silence her once and for all, but the mermaid’s voice returns in this one.

See my previous entry. I’m not saying I won’t read them, just that if / when I do it won’t be a planned thing.

Verdict: REMOVE

9: Bless Her Dead Little Heart (Southern Ladies Mystery #1) by Miranda James

With the Mississippi sun beating down, An’gel and Dickce are taking a break to cool off and pet sit their friend Charlie Harris’s cat, Diesel, when their former sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, shows up at their door unexpectedly, with her ne’er-do-well adult children not far behind.

Rosabelle’s selfish offspring are desperate to discover what’s in her will, and it soon becomes clear that one of them would kill to get their hands on the inheritance. Suddenly caught up in a deadly tangle of duplicitous suspects and deep-fried motives, it will take all of the sisters’ Southern charm to catch a decidedly ill-mannered killer…

Yeah… no. I think I’m done with Miranda James’ books, both new series and the Cat in the Stacks series. The book(s?) I read were cute, but nothing that stuck with me.

Verdict: REMOVE

10: Viridis (Viridis #1) by Calista Taylor

In steampunk Victorian London, Lady Phoebe Hughes develops an herbal elixir, Viridis, unlike any other. London’s elite flock to her club to experience the euphoria and heightened senses the drink brings. Imagine an orgasm brought on by a single kiss. But when Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her club, Phoebe is shocked to find that not only was he working for the Special Services to infiltrate the Cause, a movement fighting for the city’s poor, he was also in possession of her secret formulation for Viridis.

Adding to her difficulties is the unexpected return of Mr. Seth Elliott, a brilliant tinkerer who stole her heart and imagination, only to abandon her when she needed him most. Unable to ignore all that is between them, Phoebe finds herself falling for Seth once again, only to have a powerful rival for her affections wrongly accuse Seth of attempted murder. As Phoebe struggles with a way to free her love, revolution, conspiracy and murder threaten to ruin it all.

I do love steampunk, but the synopsis + reviews make this one sound way too bodice-ripper for my current reading preferences. I own the e-book (not sure when or how I acquired it) but won’t be reading it.

Verdict: REMOVE


I took a machete to the TBR list this week! Over half the list gone! But the best part is I don’t think I’ll be regretting or second-guessing these decisions. They feel like the right choices to make this time around.

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?


8 thoughts on “Goodreads TBR Declutter #25

  1. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One is a fucking SERIES?! Wow! And I haven’t even read the first one yet although I keep hearing its REALLLYY good, is it?
    But I TOTALLY agree that these so-called snippets of poetry are a leisure read and…well…not even a proper “READ” to be considered in tbr!! 🤣🤣🤣

    Well, these Goodreads declutters ARE SOO DIFFICULT TO DO AREN’T THEY!? 😡😡🤣🤣🤣 I hope you get your tbr in control soon!! ❤️❤️

    1. Well, it’s a series in that they’re by the same poet with similar themes. I don’t really know how well modern poetry can be considered to be a series though. I did enjoy the first one, but some of the poems spoke to me more than others. It’s all up to your current state of mind when you read it, I think.

      LOL thanks, though I don’t think my TBR will ever be in control. I want to read too many books!

  2. I have Dogsbody on my shelf to reread – I originally read it so long ago I remember nothing about it, other than that I liked it. I SHOULD reread it and then pass it on to my nieces.

  3. Sorry I’m late to the party!! (I was at the hospital all week.) ❤️ Cutting from my TBR is so hard but you are so right that if you aren’t interested anymore then cut it, cut it! I really need to read a Diana Wynn Jones book! I hear so much about them and there are some I want to read but I haven’t done it yet.

    1. (I hope everything is okay! But no worries, hospital trips are more important than blog reading.)

      I hope you enjoy whatever Diana Wynne Jones book you read! Howl’s Moving Castle seems to be a popular place to start, but there are certainly other books out there too.

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