Decluttering My Goodreads TBR!

Decluttering My Goodreads TBR

I’ve noticed lately, as I’ve sunk deeper into the world of book blogging, that most people carefully curate their Goodreads TBR.

Not Me. I use the ‘Want to Read’ button with reckless abandon. If I scroll by a book that even remotely catches my attention, I add it to my TBR. When I’m bored I swipe through the books that Goodreads recommends and add several each time without fail. The best part? I always think to myself, “If I run out of things to read, I’ll have a list of books I’m interested in!”

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While I don’t plan on purging my TBR entirely, Beat the Backlist has made me realize that my reading tastes have changed a lot. I’ve been using Goodreads since I was about 13 or 14 so there are probably a lot of books I could knock off the list!

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Alright, it’s about an hour later and my TBR is officially decluttered!

 

As you can see, I went from just over 700 books on my TBR to just over 430!

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I started adding books to my TBR in 2011, so it was actually really interesting to comb through them. There were stretches where I added nothing but vampire and werewolf based books (the Twilight years) and, without fail, every April/May there was an influx of summery teens-on-the-beach books! I also found at least 3 books that I had already read still on my TBR.

I honestly could have gotten rid of a few more, but I couldn’t be bothered to read descriptions and make sure that I actually wanted to get rid of them.

Is your Goodreads TBR organized, or do you use it like a Pinterest board like I do?

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Review: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

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Title: The Last Olympian
Author:
 Rick Riordan
Publication Date: May 5, 2009
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars


All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.


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I made it. I got to the end of the Percy Jackson series.

I always get a tiny bit nervous when I pick up the last book in a series because sometimes they go off the rails (*ahem* Breaking Dawn), but this books wrapped up the series so well. All of the major and minor plot points were wrapped up, all of the characters from the previous four books were accounted for, and there was action galore.

This book went by the fastest out of the five, probably because there was a lot more action and a lot less ‘we need to figure out what’s going on here because we don’t actually know yet.’ Between the pacing and knowing that I was getting closer and closer to the final resolution I couldn’t put this book down. But….

There were two things I didn’t like. I didn’t particularly care for the minor cliffhanger at the end. It wasn’t the worst and it definitely served it’s purpose – I’m now a lot more interested in reading the next Riordan series than I was – but my type A heart loves for book series to end in a neat and tidy fashion. The other thing was the characters ages. I’ve been griping about this from the beginning. As Percy’s leading the 40 odd campers in battle against actual Titans and ridiculous monsters, it’s reallllllly hard to believe he’s 15. Like before, even though I knew the prophecy was supposed to come true on his 16th birthday, I had one of those OMG moments at the end of the book when Percy talks about starting his sophomore year of high school.

I’m really looking forward to reading some of the other series Riordan’s come out with. I have it on good authority that the Egyptian series is ahhhhhmazing.

5 Stars

 

The Book Courtship Book Tag!

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This tag was created by Hi I Love Books.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I thought it would be fun to do a cutesy, romance-y all around Valentine’s Day approved book tag. This one won out because it’s less about romance books and more about the 9 stages of a courtship, so it’s super easy for readers of all genres to participate.

Phase 1: Initial Attraction
A book you bought because of the cover

Gunslinger Girl 

 

Believe it or not, I’ve never bought a book solely based on the cover. I mean, I’ve wanted to, but who’s got the money for that? The Cover of Gunslinger Girl did catch my attention though and after reading the description I bought it!

 

 

 


PHASE 2: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
A Book You Got Because of its summary

  Children of Blood and Bone 

 

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi isn’t something I would naturally gravitate towards, but when I read the summery I was hooked. It didn’t hurt that I’d seen it called a sophisticated Avatar the Last Airbender filled with African folklore. Hopefully I’ll have time to read it soon and see if that’s true!

 

 

 


Phase 3: Sweet Talk
A Book with great writing

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Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein has indescribably good writing. I can’t put into words how much I love this book (although I’ll try to later this year when I reread it). Every word Wein writes is gold.

 

 

 

 


PHASE 4: FIRST DATE
THE FIRST BOOK OF A SERIES THAT MADE YOU
WANT TO READ THE REST

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The Next Always by Nora Roberts is the first book of the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy. I borrowed these books at the insistence of a friend, fully expecting to give them back unread a month later. Turns out, I absolutely loveddd this book. I read the next two back to back and then bought them all!

 

 

 


PHASE 5: LATE NIGHT PHONE CALLS
A BOOK THAT KEPT YOU UP ALL NIGHT

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Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern is told entirely through emails, letters, IMs, texts, etc. which made it soooo hard for me to put down. It was super engaging and creative, and I remember staying up half the night to finish this because I needed to know how everything wrapped up.

 

 


PHASE 6: ALWAYS ON MY MIND
A BOOK YOU COULD NOT STOP THINKING ABOUT

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This is my obligatory Harry Potter answer. When I finished Deathly Hallows I couldn’t get it off my mind and I wanted more!

 

 

 

 


PHASE 7: GETTING PHYSICAL
A BOOK THAT FEELS AMAZING

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I have what I call the ‘big floppy’ paperback box set of the Song of Ice and Fire series and I absolutely love the way the book feels. If it’s a book over 600 pages, the big floppy edition is the only way to go.

 

 

 


PHASE 8: MEETING THE PARENTS
A BOOK YOU WOULD RECOMMEND TO
YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

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This is a tricky question to answer because I recommend books to my family and friends all the time. I actually just sent an entire email’s worth of book recommendations to a friend last night, but the latest book I’ve actually put in someone’s hands in Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys.

 

 


PHASE 9: THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE
A BOOK OR SERIES YOU KNOW YOU WILL RE-READ
MANY TIMES IN THE FUTURE

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I haven’t even read all of the books in this series yet, but something about Beautiful Disaster calls me back over and over. I’ve already reread it once and I’m honestly ready to pick it back up for a third time. 

 

 




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What book are you currently in love with?

 

The ABC Book Challenge – V

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Read:

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Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is, at its core, a coming of age story. But the person coming of age is the newly crowned Queen Victoria, who must adjust to the throne and the pressures that come along with it while navigating around confounding family and pressure to marry. My only complaint about this book was that there wasn’t as much time spent on Victoria and Albert’s relationship as I would have liked.

The Vintner’s Daughter by Kristen Harnisch is an amazing historical fiction that moves from France, to New York, to California just before the turn of the century. Wine making is one of the central points of the story and, even though I don’t enjoy wine, I found this story incredibly unique and fascinating.

Voyage of the Heart by Soraya Lane is about four young women who married soldiers during WWII and now found themselves traveling to America to be with them. It’s an interesting take on a situation that a lot of women found themselves in.


To be read:

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Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead / Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman / Vintage by Susan Gloss

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples in Books!

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about our favorite couples! I decided to only pick one couple per book series which made it super challenging.

KAZ AND INEJ FROM SIX OF CROWS


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MATTHEW AND DIANA FROM THE ALL SOULS TRILOGY


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TRAVIS AND ABBY FROM BEAUTIFUL DISASTER


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HOPE AND RYDER FROM THE INN 
BOONSBORO TRILOGY


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KHAL DROGO AND DAENERYS 
TARGARYEN FROM A GAME OF THRONES


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WILL AND RONNIE FROM
THE LAST SONG


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SOPHIA AND LUKE FROM
THE LONGEST RIDE


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BEAU AND ARI FROM 
THE SLOW BURN SERIES


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ALOSA AND RIDEN FROM 
DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING


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MARTY AND CLARK FROM 
THE LOVE COMES SOFTLY SERIES

Do we have any favorite couples in common?

Review: Thy Son Liveth by Grace Duffie Boylan

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Title:
 Thy Son Liveth
Author:
 Grace D. Boylan
Publication Date: 1918
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 3 Stars


Grace Duffie Boylan’s first edition of Thy Son Liveth was written anonymously for fear that she would be ridiculed by her peers. This book is very different from her other works. It is non-fiction…about her son who had just been killed in Flanders fighting in World War I. Furthermore, it is an exact transcription of their conversations via Morse code on a telegraph machine…after he died.

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A few days ago I went to see the documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” in theaters. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s WWI footage that’s essentially been remastered, colorized, and dubbed so that the 100 year old film appears and sounds much as it would today. When I came out of the theater I was dying to pick up a book about WWI, so I rummaged through everything I owned and realized pickings were slim. I had about 3 non-fiction books and 2 historical fictions to pick from. This was the smallest, so I grabbed it first.

I didn’t quite know what I was getting into with Thy Son Liveth. I thought it was fiction, a collection of letters that an author had penned and tacked together to offer some hope or comfort to the grieving mothers, wives, and children of WWI and beyond, but in fact, it claims to be an entirely true account of communication from the afterlife. Given the nature of this book and the polarizing subject matter, this’ll probably read less a review and more a discussion. Boylan was widowed and raised her son largely by herself. He was fascinated with wireless communication and became an aficionado, eventually piecing together an antenna and other necessary equipment and fixing it to the roof. So he could practice his craft, he urged his mom to learn Morse code. She did, and would often receive and send messages with him. Before long, WWI began and Bob (the son) was shipped to France where he was promptly gunned down and killed by the Germans – although, according to his communications, he wasn’t dead in the traditional way of thinking. 

I only want to start this whole propaganda of comfort on the one sure thing: there is no death.

Immediately after being killed, and a month before the notice that he’s “dead” comes through the mail, Bob sends his mother a message via Morse code. Within a few messages, they realize that with some concentration Bob can talk to his mother directly through her mind and she begins using automatic writing to take down his messages. He describes the afterlife to her as best he can, but his main focus is in stressing the fact he’s as alive as ever, just on a different plane of existence. He wants his mother to spread the word to her friends and encourage them to try to communicate with their dead sons because tears and grief trouble them in the plane they’re at. Plus, it’s unnecessary since lines of communication could be opened if everyone suspended their disbelief. 

We look as we did in the flesh. It seems almost as though we had only slipped out of our skins, as the snakes do.

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Beginning of the Year UNHAUL & DNF! | Beat the Backlist

 

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There’s going to be a LOT of unhauling going on around here this year.

Beat the Backlist has only been on for a month now, but I’ve already collected a handful of books that I’m ready to part with. As I’ve focused on only picking up books from my shelf, I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of books that I bought – and even loved – as a teenager that just aren’t my taste anymore. There are also a lot of books that I bought super cheap to try out and now that I’m getting around to them…. well, I’m glad they weren’t expensive.

Here are the books I’ve pulled off my shelf for good so far:

 

I read The Cellar years ago and remembered liking it but not loving it, so I tried picking up The Cabin and couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters. I DNF’ed it and then went ahead and pulled all three books I own from that series.

I really, really wanted to like After because I’m in the mood for a good fanfiction-y romance story, but I just couldn’t handle it. I read the first few pages and it didn’t catch my interest, so I started flipping to random pages and didn’t find anything that made me want to keep going. Another DNF!

Red Riding Hood is one of the books I’ve had on my shelf the longest. I actually didn’t even know I had it anymore. I don’t really have any desire to read it, plussssss I broke one of my cardinal rules and read the Goodreads reviews before picking it up and boy oh boy, they weren’t good.

What books have you gotten rid of lately?

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