Friday Reads: The Bibliophile Sweater Tag

Jamie at Books & Waffles tagged me in the Bibliophile Sweater Tag, so here’s my go at this post! I’ve tried to live up to her example of neat pictures, but none of mine include waffles so I guess deduct points for that.



1.) Give the person who tagged you a never-ending supply of cookies (or just thank them—either works).
2.) Answer all the questions and use the blog graphic for this tag somewhere in your post.
3.) Pass along the tag to at least five other people to wear a sweater.

Fuzzy sweater
(a book that is the epitome of comfort)

Hmmm. It’s surprisingly hard to take a good picture of a lit candle.

This is not the best book in the world. But it’s one of my go-to comfort reads. It has a bookworm main character who gets a job of reading (!!!) and then discovers she has magical powers. And she gets to ride horses and live on the California coast. It’s rather a fluff read, but reading it feels like wrapping myself up in blankets in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot tea.

Striped sweater
(book which you devoured every line of)

This was MY FAVORITE BOOK OF 2017! I only have this one picture because I read a library copy and so I can’t take any new pictures of it until I buy myself a copy. I have already bought this book twice though (Christmas gifts) so I’m not quite ready to buy it a third time yet. Not yet. But soon.

Ugly Christmas sweater
(book with a weird cover)


Okay, this isn’t “ugly” per say, but it’s weird. I really enjoyed the book, but I have no idea why this was chosen as the cover.

Cashmere sweater
(most expensive book you’ve bought)


I am completely guessing here. But that version of The Hobbit looks like the most expensive book that is on my bookshelf (and wasn’t a gift) so I’m going with that.

(favorite classic book)


I could have picked any number of books for this one, though it all might depend on what you consider a classic. Alice, however, is one I enjoy reading and also enjoy the whole fandom that has built up around the various re-tellings of the story, which is why I picked this one.

(book that you bought on impulse)

LOL, what, like ALL of my TBR pile? Or at least most of it? Actually, that sounds fun.


That’s not quite all of my physical TBR books, but it is the ones that I bought purely on impulse. I think I need to get reading…

Turtleneck sweater
(book from your childhood)

(Okay, yes, that’s a waffle picture. After I wrote the intro to this post, I started craving waffles, so I bought a new Belgian waffle maker all because of this blog post.)

There are so many I could have picked here! But since Mr. Wyrm and I were discussing A Wrinkle in Time the other day, this one made the most sense.

Homemade knitted sweater
(book that is Indie-published)

I haven’t read the published book yet (this is one I did critiques on) but I think the story and stuffed Doc are adorable.

V-neck sweater
(book that did not meet your expectations)

I’m so, so sorry to the many people who recommended Ready Player One to me. I liked it, but not as much as everyone seemed to think I would. I gave it a solid three star rating, but the hype indicated that it would be a five star read. Maybe I would have liked it better if the hype were less, but there’s no way to tell now.

Argyle sweater
(book with a unique format)

Okay, I guess the format of this book is essentially normal (not “standard” but not “unique” either). The writing of the book was NOT normal, however. The two co-authors wrote this book by sending each other letters (as they describe at the end of the book) and only turned it into a real novel after they’d defeated the bad guys. So while the book reads relatively normal, it was crafted in a very unique way, and I think that counts.

Polka dot sweater
(a book with well-rounded characters)

I *think* this book had well-rounded characters. I’ve only read it once, so I haven’t studied the characters completely. I do know I was fascinated by the main character’s hypergraphia, though (it’s “a behavioral condition characterized by the intense desire to write or draw”), and I remember thinking that I liked the characters. I’m going to have to do a re-read of this book to be sure (yeah, right, it’s really because I loved the book) but for now I’m going to say these characters fit this topic.


I am not sure if any of you have done this tag yet, so if you have please disregard. Also, if you don’t want to do the tag, I’m not going to send the tag police after you. But if you want to do the tag (whether or not I’ve tagged you) please play along and let me know so I can see what your book choices are!

The Questions

Fuzzy sweater (a book that is the epitome of comfort)
Striped sweater (book which you devoured every line of)
Ugly Christmas sweater (book with a weird cover)
Cashmere sweater (most expensive book you’ve bought)
Hoodie (favorite classic book)
Cardigan (book that you bought on impulse)
Turtleneck sweater (book from your childhood)
Homemade knitted sweater (book that is Indie-published)
V-neck sweater (book that did not meet your expectations)
Argyle sweater (book with a unique format)
Polka dot sweater (a book with well-rounded characters)

Thanks, Jamie! That was a fun tag. AND I got waffles.  🙂


Friday Reads: Goodreads Books I Don’t Remember (Part 3)

I think it’s time to take another detailed look at my Goodreads “Read” Shelf and see what other books are there that I don’t remember. I’m taking my GR “read” shelf, sorting it with the oldest books first, and then seeing which ones I don’t remember. (For the record, I may remember having read the books in question, but do I remember anything about them? That’s an entirely different matter.)

The Original Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks

Long ago, wars of ancient Evil ruined the world and forced mankind to compete with many other races – gnomes, trolls, dwarfs, and elves. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles until giant, forbidding Allanon, with strange Druidic powers, reveals a supposedly-dead Warlock Lord plots to destroy the world.

I know I read them. I know I enjoyed them. More than that, I can’t tell you.

Re-read? — No, I don’t think so. Many, MANY of the books I read in that era haven’t aged well, so I’d rather remember liking these books and leave it at that.

~*~     ~*~     ~*~

Jinx High by Mercedes Lackey

Fay Harper looks like any other teenage girl–any other Queen Bee, that is. She’s blond, and beautiful, and very, very popular–the kind of popular that attracts boys like honey. Fay and her gang take a lot of risks, but so far they’ve managed to get away with everything. It’s as if they are magically protected.
Summoned to Tulsa by an old friend whose son has fallen in with Fay’s crowd, Diana Tregarde, practicing witch and successful romance novelist, quickly finds herself in hot water. The new girl at school, Monica Carlin, has come under sorcerous attack, but Diana cannot identify, or stop, the power-wielder. To make matters worse, there is an ancient being sleeping under Tulsa, a being who might be woken by the magic battles taking place in the city. What will happen then, even Diana cannot predict.

I remember the other two books in the Diana Tregarde series pretty well, and I know I read all three of them, so it’s a little surprising to me that I don’t remember book 3. Was it bad? Was it too similar to the other two? Did I read it too fast to remember the details?

Re-read? — Yes. If it turns out that I don’t remember it because I didn’t like it, I can always DNF it.

~*~     ~*~     ~*~

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones’ Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you’ll find yourself shouting, “Bridget Jones is me!”

I read this, and I saw the movie (I know I did both) but I don’t remember either of them. Re-reading the blurb now, it’s just not something I care about. I’m sure they were both amusing, but meh. Bridget Jones is not me.

Re-read? — No.

It was a mixed bag this time! I find it interesting to see what books I’ve read in the past which hold no interest for me now.

Friday Reads: the #NotAll Books Tag

I found a new (to me) book tag! Yay, these are fun. Recently, Ally posted her answers to the #NotAll Book Tag, and I was highly amused. I was considering doing the tag, and then I saw who Ally tagged.

She tagged everyone who hasn’t done this tag yet, so that means me! Yay! It was created by the Orangutan Librarian, who I am now going to start following because they have a great sense of humor, good taste in books, and a Prachett reference. I mean, really. How could I not?

Yeah, I have a confession to make. This one took me the longest to answer because I rarely pay attention to the original art vs. new art. Yes, I have some books where I like one version over the others, but I rarely pay attention to which one came first. So this took a lot of research. In any case, I recently bought modernized e-copies of the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, so I looked up the cover for those and found that I like both the 2001 and the 2003 covers better than the original 1983 one. They just look cleaner and less… well, less dated.

Stardust. Hands down. I love a lot of Neil Gaiman books, but not this one. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad for the book because it inspired the movie. But there is no way the mediocre book that is Stardust can compare with the awesome, lovely, funny movie that is Stardust.

I don’t have a cute catchy name for it, but I love having talking cats in mostly regular settings. They can be magical cats, or just cats who can talk. It doesn’t matter. I (usually) love them. (The books still have to be well-written, though. The talking cat isn’t a pass for bad writing.)

I know there have been several, but the one that comes to mind first (because it’s the most recent one I read) is Ned and Verity from To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. They didn’t become a couple right away, but it was instalove for both of them (as you find out immediately for Ned and later for Verity since the book is written from Ned’s POV).

Ugh. Do I hafta?  I’m having a hard time thinking of any that don’t make me cringe. I guess… the only thing that comes to mind right now is both Og and Halliday being in love with Kira in Ready Player One. Does that count? I think it counts. Or at least it would if any of those three were the main character of RPO.

I want to come up with a more unique answer than Mr. & Mrs. Weasley. I really, really, REALLY want to.

I cannot come up with a more unique answer that I like as much as the Weasleys.

There are so many choices here… I could pick Lady Macbeth, or Moriarty (or Irene Adler), or Severus Snape, or Dracula… but no. I’m going to go with Captain Hook. (And now I want to re-read Peter Pan.)

Jan from The Birth of the Firebringer by Meredith Ann Pierce. (Side note: have any of you read or even heard of this book? I have yet to talk to anyone about it who has.) Unicorns are the main characters of this book, and I loved it when I first read it. (And then it took me ages to find it again — it was a library book the first time, and was out of print for a while.) I haven’t re-read it in some time, but I own it now and it’s one I intend to go back to.

For me, the most recent example of this is The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill. It won awards, it was raved about by people I follow, and it was absolutely worth the praise it received.

(Genre here is Paranormal Fantasy — I don’t know that this is currently my favorite genre, because I don’t know if I currently have a favorite genre. This was my favorite genre for a long time, though.)

One book that seemed beloved by the Paranormal Fantasy community but I could not stand was Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn. I tried to like it, I really did. But nope. Kitty was not for me.

(Genre here is Thriller/Suspense)

I read very few thrillers, and most of the ones I do could also be classified as something else. (For example, in my mind Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is a thriller as well as a mystery, but it’s officially classed as a mystery so we’ll leave it at that.) However, one thriller that I did read and enjoy was City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong. I enjoyed the second book in the series too, and have the third on my TBR.

That was a lot of fun! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you enjoyed it enough to give it a go yourself, let me know so I can have fun seeing your answers!

Friday Reads: Goodreads TBR Declutter #3

Here’s another go at my Goodreads TBR list! I first saw about it from Zuky @ BookBum, who credits Lia @ Lost in a Story for the original idea. 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 Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits by Les Standiford

As uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself, this is the story of how one writer and one book revived the signal holiday of the Western world.

Just before Christmas in 1843, a debt-ridden and dispirited Charles Dickens wrote a small book he hoped would keep his creditors at bay. His publisher turned it down, so Dickens used what little money he had to put out A Christmas Carol himself. He worried it might be the end of his career as a novelist.

The book immediately caused a sensation. And it breathed new life into a holiday that had fallen into disfavor, undermined by lingering Puritanism and the cold modernity of the Industrial Revolution. It was a harsh and dreary age, in desperate need of spiritual renewal, ready to embrace a book that ended with blessings for one and all.

This still sounds interesting, and I’m curious to know more about the story that is so much a part of our modern Christmas celebrations.

Verdict: KEEP

2: Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet

Tashi lives in a tiny village at the foot of the mountains, below the tea plantations where her mother works. When her mother falls ill, Tashi goes alone to the plantation, hoping to earn money for the doctor. But she is far too small to harvest the tender shoots, and her clumsy efforts anger the cruel Overseer. She is desolate, until — chack-chack-chack! — something extraordinary happens. Inspired by a centuries-old legend of tea-picking monkeys, here is a richly told tale full of vivid characters: the heartless Overseer, the enigmatic Royal Tea Taster, and — far away — an empress with a penchant for tea.

Still sounds interesting, and the reviews say the illustrations are lovely. I think I need to read this one soon and see if I want to gift it to my sister’s kids.

Verdict: KEEP

3: Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede

This witty and charming collection of ten short fantasies includes a story, set in the Enchanted Forest, about Queen Cimorene’s Frying Pan of Doom; a zany yarn about a magical blue chipmunk with a passion for chestnuts; and an eerie tale of a caliph who turns his vizier’s daughter into a wolf.

Patricia C. Wrede short stories? Yes please!

Verdict: KEEP

4: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina–a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

I want to *have read* this one, but I don’t want to do the actual reading. I guess that means it comes off the TBR list.

Verdict: REMOVE

5: Foundation by Isaac Asimov

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future — to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire — both scientists and scholars — and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.

But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun — or fight them and be destroyed.

I really want to read more classic sci-fi, and I already know that I like Asimov.

Verdict: KEEP

6: Jim Henson: the Biography by Brian Jay Jones

For the first time ever-a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth-century’s most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson.

He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters born of his fertile imagination: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were only part of his remarkable story.

Jim Henson’s Muppets were a huge inspiration for me in my youth. I also feel more interest in his life and what was behind the characters we all know and love now, that I’m older — especially since I was able to tour the Henson Studios in SoCal.

Verdict: KEEP

7: Welcome to Bordertown edited by Holly Black & Ellen Kushner

Bordertown: a city on the border between our human world and the elfin realm. Runaway teens come from both sides of the border to find adventure, to find themselves. Elves play in rock bands and race down the street on spell-powered motorbikes. Human kids recreate themselves in the squats and clubs and artists’ studios of Soho. Terri Windling’s original Bordertown series was the forerunner of today’s urban fantasy, introducing authors that included Charles de Lint, Will Shetterly, Emma Bull, and Ellen Kushner. In this volume of all-new work (including a 15-page graphic story), the original writers are now joined by the generation that grew up dreaming of Bordertown, including acclaimed authors Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Catherynne M. Valente, and many more. They all meet here on the streets of Bordertown in more than twenty new interconnected songs, poems, and stories.

There are so many authors here whose work I enjoy, and/or want to know more of. I think I need to bump this one up on the TBR list and get to it sooner rather than later.

Verdict: KEEP

8: Magic Color Flair by John Canemaker

Beloved Disney designer Mary Blair has charmed generations with her vibrant, whimsical creations, from stunning art direction for Cinderella and Peter Pan to the wowing and wonderful “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland. Magic Color Flair celebrates this Disney icon, tracing the evolution of her mesmerizing style and showcasing her work in gorgeous, full-color imagery.

Created for the Walt Disney Family Museum’s 2014 Mary Blair exhibit, Magic Color Flair is an authoritative collection of Blair’s life’s work—including the precocious paintings she made as a student at the renowned Chouinard Art Institute; the enchanting concept drawings she created for numerous Disney films; her lovely illustrated Golden Books, which are still treasured today; and the rarely seen but delightful advertisements, clothing designs, and large-scale installations that she devised later in life.

A book about Mary Blair! Yes please! We saw the exhibit of her works at the Walt Disney Family Museum some while ago, and I loved it. I don’t remember if we bought the book then or not, but now I need to check so I can buy it now if we didn’t then. This is a no-brainer for me as a fan of her work.

Verdict: KEEP

9: Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man by the Walt Disney Company

Walt Disney once said of Marc Davis, “Marc can do story, he can do character, he can animate, he can design shows for me. All I have to do is tell him what I want and it’s there! He’s my Renaissance man.” As such, Davis touched nearly every aspect of The Walt Disney Company during his tenure. He began as an animator, whose supporting work on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi inspired Walt to promote him to full animator.

In the ensuing years, Davis breathed life into a bevy of iconic Disney characters, including Cinderella, Alice (in Wonderland), Tinker Bell, Maleficent, and Cruella De Vil. Then, in 1962, Walt Disney transferred the versatile Davis to the Imagineering department to help plan and design attractions for Disneyland and the 1964 65 New York World’s Fair. While at Imagineering, Davis conceived of designs for such classic attractions as Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion.

This one was written by multiple authors, but it’s about a man whose art was so important to so much of the Disney work I love. As with the Mary Blair book, I want to read this one for sure.

Verdict: KEEP

10: Valor’s Trial (Confederation #4) by Tanya Huff

Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr is a Confederation Marines marine. She’s survived more deadly encounters and kept more of her officers and enlistees alive than anyone in the Corps. Unexpectedly pulled from battle, Torin finds herself in an underground POW camp that shouldn’t exist, where her fellow marine prisoners seem to have lost all will to escape. Now, Torin must fight her way not only out of the prison but also past the growing compulsion to sit down and give up not realizing that her escape could mean the end of the war.

I have been procrastinating reading this book for ages because it reminded me of the way the StarDoc series went. Space series with a kick-ass heroine that got weird and I ended up not liking. I didn’t stop early enough with StarDoc, but I am stopping now with the Confederation series. It might not go the same way for me, but I’m not willing to risk it.

Verdict: REMOVE


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?

Friday Reads: Amazon’s “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” Tag

Ally did the Amazon’s “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” tag the other day. She didn’t tag anyone, but it looked interesting (and matches up nicely with my Bucket List Book challenge) so I decided to play along!


  1. Include the link to Amazon’s List
  2. Tag the creator of the meme (Perfectly Tolerable)
  3. Tag and thank the person that tagged you
  4. Copy the list below and indicate which ones you have read
  5. Tally up your total

Title Author Read?
1984 George Orwell TBR
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking TBR
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Dave Eggers
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Ishmael Beah
The Bad Beginning Lemony Snicket
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle Yes
Selected Stories, 1968-1994 Alice Munro
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll Yes
All the President’s Men Bob Woodward TBR
Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir Frank McCourt
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Judy Blume TBR
Bel Canto Ann Patchett TBR
Beloved Toni Morrison
Born to Run Christopher McDougall
Breath, Eyes, Memory Edwidge Danticat
Catch-22 Joseph Heller Yes
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl Yes
Charlotte’s Web E. B White Yes
Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese
Daring Greatly Brené Brown
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
Dune Frank Herbert TBR
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury Yes
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn TBR
Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brow
Great Expectations Charles Dickens Yes
Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond Ph.D. DNF
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling Yes
In Cold Blood Truman Capote
Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison TBR
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware
Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain
Life After Life Kate Atkinson
Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder Yes
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov TBR
Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez TBR
Love Medicine Louise Erdrich
Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris TBR
Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie TBR
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Michael Lewis
Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
On the Road Jack Kerouac TBR
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Marjane Satrapi
Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen TBR
Silent Spring Rachel Carson
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut TBR
Team of Rivals Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Michael Chabon TBR
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X
The Book Thief Markus Zusak TBR
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger Yes
The Color of Water James McBride
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
The Devil in the White City Erik Larson TBR
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank TBR
The Fault in Our Stars John Green
The Giver Lois Lowry TBR
The Golden Compass Philip Pullman Yes
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald Yes
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood TBR
The House at Pooh Corner A. Milne Yes
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins Yes
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot
The Liars’ Club Mary Karr
The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan Yes
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Yes
The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Lawrence Wright
The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien Yes
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat Oliver Sacks
The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan
The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster Yes
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver TBR
The Power Broker Robert A. Caro
The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe TBR
The Road Cormac McCarthy
The Secret History Donna Tartt
The Shining Stephen King
The Stranger Albert Camus TBR
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway Yes
The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien Yes
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle Yes
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami
The World According to Garp John Irving
The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Yes
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand
Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Susann
Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein Yes
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak Yes

YES: 24
TBR: 24
DNF: 1

Not too bad! That’s a quarter of the list read or DNF’d. And hopefully by the end of this year I’ll have significantly more of them read instead of TBR.

Friday Reads: Me In Book Characters Tag

Ally not-tagged everyone to do the “Me in Book Characters” tag a while back. She said she wasn’t tagging anyone because this tag had been going around long enough that a lot of people had done it already, but since I haven’t done it yet, I decided to play along!

Side note: this was harder than I thought it would be. For one thing, I decided early on that I wasn’t going to go with the easy bookworm ones (Hermione for one, or Belle from novelizations of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for another). I didn’t think that eliminating the easy characters would make this actually hard, though! I expected it to be more of a challenge, but still easy enough to do. Ah well, live and learn!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the creators of the tag (Thank you Ash & Lo @ Windowsill Books!)
  2. Thank whoever tagged you! (Thank you Ally!)
  3. List 5 book characters who you are most like and explain why.
  4. Tag your friends!

1. Elspeth from the Mage Winds trilogy by Mercedes Lackey
This is one is more historical for me. At the time when I first read these books (college? late high school? in there somewhere anyway) I was going through a lot of the same growth that Elspeth did. Without the magic or the talking horse, sadly, but the spoiled-kid-growing-into-young-woman thing was the same. (For the record, it was the good version of spoiled.)

2. Sloan from the Indexing series by Seanan McGuire
This is another historical one. I used to be a lot more snarky and sarcastic than I am now. I still have a sarcastic streak, and I was never as mean-spirited as Sloan (she can’t help it), but I used to hold people at a distance with my attitude because I was unsure how to let them get close. I’ve grown out of it. I hope we’ll get another book showing more of Sloan’s growth… book 2 seemed to indicate there was more story to tell, but I’m not sure if it will actually happen.

3. Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
There are many reasons to aspire to be like Mrs. Weasley, but the one I’m referencing here is her knitting. Every Christmas she knits sweaters for her family. While I have only knit one sweater for a family member, I do try to knit gifts for my family members at least every other year.

4. Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
At the time of this writing I haven’t finished this book, so I don’t know if there are reasons later in the book why I would shy away from this comparison. I do know that Scout loves to read, and can’t remember anyone teaching her to read. That is me. I don’t remember learning to read, but my parents tell me I was reading by preschool. Scout, similarly, starts school already knowing how to read. (Unlike Scout, however, I never got into trouble for knowing how to read ahead of my classmates. I got skipped ahead a grade, but never into trouble.)

5. Susan Pevensie in the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
I have always, always felt a connection to Susan Pevensie. When I read the books for the first time, she was the one I wanted to be. She was the one I felt I looked the most like and acted the most like; essentially she seemed to be me in book form. I cannot tell you what a betrayal it was to be told in the final book that Susan was no longer a friend of Narnia. I was devastated by that. Now, though, it seems to be one more way that I am like Susan. It seems to me that Lewis used Susan to show the folly of people leaving the church, and I have done that, too. I am not any less spiritual than I was, but I am no longer a friend of the church.

All said and done, I might be like a lot of book characters, but me in book form? Would still be Susan Pevensie. And I’m proud of that.

I’m not tagging anyone either, but if you feel like playing along let me know!

Also, since today starts the lunar new year, Happy New Year!

Chinese New Year 2018.jpg

May the year bring your health and prosperity.

Goodreads TBR Declutter #1

I’ve seen several book bloggers tackling their TBR lists and getting rid of the books that they no longer want to read. I first saw about it from Zuky @ BookBum, who credits Lia @ Lost in a Story for the original idea. 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?

I’m planning to do 10 every time I do it (which will be on a regular basis but not weekly). This is because most of these books *should* be ones I want to keep on there, since I did an informal culling of the list about a year ago now as part of my 101 in 1001 challenge.

That said, my first TBR book on my GR list is from August 2008. That’s nearly 10 years ago. I think it’s time to cull the list even more than I have already.

For a fun look at where I’m starting, I have 393 books currently on my Goodreads TBR list. (I haven’t listed all the books I want to read on here yet, either. I have a short list of other books elsewhere which haven’t been added.)

With the instructions and intro out of the way, let’s get started!

1: Way of the Wolf (Vampire Earth #1) by E.E. Knight

Louisiana, 2065, 43rd year of the Kurian Order. Possessed of an unnatural hunger, bloodthirsty Reapers rule the planet, sucking out human blood and souls. Starting in revenge for the loss of his parents, on to fellow soldiers, Lieutenant David Valentine intends to fight back in this western-style frontier.

A couple friends have read and liked this, but I haven’t heard anything about it. I don’t see reviews by any friends on GR, either. I’m not hurting for good books on my TBR, and this one has been there for the longest (aka 10 years). If I haven’t gotten to it yet, I don’t think I’m going to.

Verdict: REMOVE

2: Heat Stroke (Weather Warden #2) by Rachel Caine

Mistaken for a murderer, Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin is hunted down and killed by her colleagues. Reborn as a Djinn, she senses something sinister entering earth’s atmosphere-something that makes tomorrow’s forecast look deadly.

LOTS of my friends have read this one and rated it highly on GR. I remember really liking the first book in the series. I think this one is going to stay, even though it’s been on my TBR for nearly 10 full years, too.

Verdict: KEEP

3: Mall, Mayhem, and Magic by Holly Lisle

What do a spellbook that works, larcenous elves, a wild-eyed monster and a two-centuries-old virgin on the run have in common? Jim Franklin, bookseller in the mall, wishes he knew. He’d better figure it out fast–because in five days the world of physics and the world of magic will collide, and mayhem is too kind a word for what will happen.

This sounds like a corny ’90’s fantasy novel (and I’ll face it, it probably is). But it still sounds super amusing.

Verdict: KEEP

4: The Devil and Dan Cooley (Devil’s Point #2) by Holly Lisle & Walter Spence

Holly Lisle scored a hit with Sympathy for the Devil, in which Satan’s minions made a home for themselves in North Carolina. Now the story continues with radio disk jockey Dan Cooley.

I really, REALLY liked Sympathy for the Devil, which is why this sequel is on here in the first place. I’m going to try to read this one soon in the hopes that Lisle managed to make lightening strike twice with this premise.

Verdict: KEEP

5: Hell on High (Devil’s Point #3) by Holly Lisle & Ted Nolan

In Devil’s Point Amusement Park, customers flock to the site of such unusual attractions as the Extinct Species Petting Zoo, the waterpark and its real mermaids, and Desire Point, which requires a special fee for admittance.

I’m going to reserve judgment on this one until I’ve read the second in the series. (This is the third.) If I like book 2, then book 3 can stay on my TBR. If not, I’ll revisit it again at that time. For now, though, since I’m keeping book 2, I’ll keep book 3.

Verdict: KEEP

6: Killashandra (Crystal Singer #2) by Anne McCaffrey

At first Killashandra Ree’s ambitions to become a Crystal Singer, get rich, and forget her past, were going just as she had hoped. But after she grew wealthy, a devastating storm turned her claim to useless rock. In short order she was broke, she had crystal sickness so bad she thought she was going to die, and the only way she could be true to the man she loved was to leave him.

I know I enjoy McCaffrey’s books, but the synopsis on this one isn’t grabbing me. I may eventually re-read Crystal Singer, so this one may go back on the TBR list at some point. For now, though… it’s gone.

Verdict: REMOVE

7: Blood Pact (Vicki Nelson #4) by Tanya Huff

It began with the call no daughter ever wants to get, the call that told private investigator Vicki Nelson her mother had died. Mrs. Nelson’s coworker at the Queen’s University Life Science Department told Vicki that the cause of death was a heart attack, and that they’d be waiting for her to arrive in Kingston to make the funeral arrangements. But what started as an all too normal personal tragedy soon became the most terrifying case of Vicki’s career. For when Marjory Nelson’s body mysteriously disappeared from the funeral home, Vicki, her sometime lover and fellow investigator, vampire Henry Fitzroy, and her former homicide squad partner, Detective-Sergeant Mike Celluci, realized that there was something unnatural about her mother’s demise. Vicki swore she’d find the culprit, and see that her mother was properly laid to rest. But what she hadn’t counted on was that someone at Queen’s University seemed determined to keep Mrs. Nelson on the job — alive or dead!

I really enjoy Huff’s writing, and I thought this series got better as it went on. I’m certainly willing to try book 4 and see if I still like the series.

Verdict: KEEP

8: Blood Debt (Vicki Nelson #5) by Tanya Huff

Henry Fitzroy, vampire, writer, and bastard son of Henry VIII, had survived for centuries by obeying the vampire’s code. He did not slaughter needlessly, did not draw attention to himself, and never invaded another vampire’s territory. But now Henry was about to do the unthinkable. He was going to break the code. — It began when Henry woke to the twilight — and the discovery that a ghost had invaded his inner sanctum. This was the start of a dangerous nightly game. Henry was allowed to ask one question of his mysterious visitor. If the answer was no, someone — innocent and unsuspecting — would die. It soon became clear that what this wraith — and the others who eventually joined it — wanted was revenge on those responsible for killing them.

Henry could not find the source of these murders on his own, nor could he ignore his unwanted guests. He had only one choice — to call private investigator Vicki Nelson and ask for help. Henry only hoped that he and Vicki would both survive the experience.

As with the Holly Lisle book above, I’m going to tentatively keep this one on the TBR list. I’ll revisit it after reading book 4 in the series, and see at that point if I want to continue. I still like the sound of the synopsis, at any rate.

Verdict: KEEP

9: Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley

All the creatures of the forest and field and riverbank knew the infant was special. She was the princess, spirited away from the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But the curse was cast: Rosie was fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a poisoned sleep-a slumber from which no one would be able to rouse her.

I love fairy tale re-tellings, so this one is no-brainer. I’ve even bumped it to my Top-TBR list so that I’ll hopefully get to it soon.

Verdict: KEEP

10: Midnight Never Come (Onyx Court #1) by Marie Brennan

England flourishes under the hand of its Virgin Queen: Elizabeth, Gloriana, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs.

But a great light casts a great shadow.

In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politics have become inextricably entwined, in secret alliances and ruthless betrayals whose existence is suspected only by a few.

Two courtiers, both struggling for royal favor, are about to uncover the secrets that lie behind these two thrones. When the faerie lady Lune is sent to monitor and manipulate Elizabeth’s spymaster, Walsingham, her path crosses that of Michael Deven, a mortal gentleman and agent of Walsingham’s. His discovery of the “hidden player” in English politics will test Lune’s loyalty and Deven’s courage alike. Will she betray her Queen for the sake of a world that is not hers? And can he survive in the alien and Machiavellian world of the fae? For only together will they be able to find the source of Invidiana’s power—find it, and break it…

A breathtaking novel of intrigue and betrayal set in Elizabethan England; Midnight Never Come seamlessly weaves together history and the fantastic to dazzling effect.

It’s still a fun premise, but it’s not helped by this synopsis. This synopsis is too long, and I was bored by the end of it. Based on that, and the fact that I added this to my TBR in 2008, I’m going to assume I won’t even get around to reading it.

Verdict: REMOVE



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?