Category: Cleaning TBR

Cleaning my TBR again!

I first came across this idea from Kristin over at Kristin Kraves Books who got the idea from Lia over at Lost in a Story and I have decided to join in since my mountain of a TBR list is so large. I’m not sure how often I will do it, but I will post as I continue to making my TBR not as large.

How does this work?:

  •  Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I currently have 783 on my TBR and I thought it was time to do some more cleaning! Here we go….

When a ventilator prevented her from speaking during her final hours, Jennifer started writing. After her death, her husband turns to those pages to tell her story of courage and faith.

James had just walked through the door after a day’s work when Jennifer told him the news that changed everything: it was cancer. In the following two years they would lose their sense of normalcy and their dreams for the future. But along the way, they would gain something even greater than their loss.

Told through the eyes of a grieving husband is this true story of a young woman’s fight for her life. Jennifer’s final words, penned by hand when a ventilator prevented her from speaking, provide a powerful backdrop to this journey of faith and hope.

A memoir that also offers a practical pathway for those struggling with loss, The Last Seven Pages is a testimony of a God who is present in our darkest moments, and who turned a devastating illness into a life-changing promise.

Verdict: Keep  This one sounds powerful. I will most likely cry when I go to read this, but it sounds like one to read.


The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal, happy family. Curtis is a physics teacher at a local high school. His wife, Kathleen, restores furniture for upscale boutiques. Daniel is away at college on a prestigious music scholarship, and twelve-year-old Olivia is a happy-go-lucky kid whose biggest concern is passing her next math test.

And then comes the middle-of-the-night phone call that changes everything. Daniel has been killed in what the police are calling a freak accident, and the remaining Kaufmans are left to flounder in their grief. The anguish of Daniel’s death is isolating, and it’s not long before this once perfect family find themselves falling apart. As time passes and the wound refuses to heal, Curtis becomes obsessed with the idea of revenge, a growing mania that leads him to pack up his life and his anxious teenage daughter and set out on a collision course to right a wrong.

An emotionally charged novel, The Fragile World is a journey through America’s heartland and a family’s brightest and darkest moments, exploring the devastating pain of losing a child and the beauty of finding healing in unexpected ways.

Verdict: Keep It sounds too good  to not keep!

Set in present-day Afghanistan, this is the story of two teenagers, one Pashtun and one Hazara, who must fight against their culture, their tradition, their families, and the Taliban to stay together. Told in three rotating perspectives—the two teens and another boy in the village who turns them in to the local Taliban—this novel depicts both the violent realities of living in Afghanistan, as well as the beauty of the land and the cultures there. And it shows that love can bloom in even the darkest of places.

This is an absolute must read not just for teens but for anyone who has lived during the time of America’s War in Afghanistan.

Verdict: Bye Bye  It’s not that I wanted to get rid of this one, I just don’t know when I would get to reading it.

Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.

But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day — her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they’ll be.

When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom  Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is  pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?

Verdict: Bye Bye I *think* my husband told me about this one several years ago. There is a second book after it, so not knowing when I would get to it and that it is a series I have to take it off the list.

 Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Verdict: Bye Bye  I have heard this is a very good one, but I don’t think I would get to it anytime soon. I would most likely see the movie long before I would be able to read it.

The Cobra Event is a petrifying, fictional account of a very real threat: biological terrorism.

Seventeen-year-old Kate Moran wakes one morning to the beginnings of a head cold but shrugs it off and goes to school anyway. By her midmorning art class, Kate’s runny nose gives way to violent seizures and a hideous scene of self-cannibalization. She dies soon after. When a homeless man meets a similarly gruesome — and mystifying — fate, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta sends pathologist Alice Austen to investigate. What she uncovers is the work of a killer, a man who calls himself Archimedes and is intent on spreading his deadly Cobra virus throughout New York City. A silent crisis erupts, with Austen and a secret FBI forensic team rushing to expose the terrorist.

Even more frightening than Preston’s story about the fictitious Cobra virus, however, is the truth that lies beneath it. As the author writes in his introduction, “The nonfiction roots of this book run deep…. My sources include eyewitnesses who have seen a variety of biological-weapons installations in different countries, and people who have developed and tested strategic bioweapons.” In fact, the only reason The Cobra Event was not written as nonfiction is that none of Preston’s sources would go on record.

Woven throughout the novel are sections of straight nonfiction reporting that reveal the terrifying truth about the development of biological weapons and the clandestine operations of Russia and Iraq. Three years of research and more than 100 interviewswithhigh-level sources in the FBI, the U.S. military, and the scientific community went into The Cobra Event. The result is sure to shock you.

Verdict: Keep  OMG, YES I am keeping this one! This is right up my alley on things I want to read!

How far would you go to have a family?
What would you hide for someone you love?

Confused and desperate, Zoe McAllister boards a ferry to Rottnest Island in the middle of winter holding a tiny baby close to her chest, terrified that her husband will find her or that her sister will call the police.

Years later, a teenage girl, Louise, is found on the island, unconscious and alone. Flown out for urgent medical treatment, when she recovers she returns home and overhears her parents discussing her past and the choices that they’ve made. Their secrets, slowly revealed, will shatter more than one family and, for Louise, nothing will ever be the same again.

Let Her Go is a gripping, emotionally charged story of family, secrets and the complications of love. Part thriller, part mystery, it will stay with you long after you close the pages wondering … What would you have done?

Verdict:  Bye Bye  I don’t remember adding this one to the list. It sounds good, but I am choosing to remove it.

A compelling, emotional debut from a brilliant Australian author that brings to life a new mother’s worst fears.

Tony is worried. His wife, Anna, isn’t coping with their newborn. Anna had wanted a child so badly and, when Jack was born, they were both so happy. They’d come home from the hospital a family. Was it really only six weeks ago?

But Anna hasn’t been herself since. One moment she’s crying, the next she seems almost too positive. It must be normal with a baby, Tony thought; she’s just adjusting. He had been busy at work. It would sort itself out. But now Anna and Jack are missing. And Tony realises that something is really wrong…

What happens to this family will break your heart and leave you breathless.

Verdict: Bye Bye  This is the second in a row from this author. I must have come across her (most likely on Facebook) to add two of her books in a row. Though it sounds good, I will also take this one off the list.

Darcy Anderson’s husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his routine business trips when the unsuspecting Darcy looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a hidden box under a worktable and in it she discovers a trove of horrific evidence that her husband is two men—one, the benign father of her children, the other, a raging rapist and murderer. It’s a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends “A Good Marriage.”

This story was originally published in Stephen King’s acclaimed collection, Full Dark, No Stars.

Verdict: Bye Bye  It’s a short one, and I have it on my phone.  Since I added it to my TBR, I have seen the movie and did not like it. That makes me want to cut this one off my list. Stephen King can be hit or miss and I will choose to miss this one for now.

How far would you go to save someone you love?

Two years ago, Desi Priest made a horrific mistake and destroyed her family.

Now, she is coming home to make amends: to her daughter Maya, who’s nurturing her own dangerous plan; to her brother Jackson, who blames himself; and to her close friend Pete, who has spent years shielding her from a devastating truth.

But as Desi returns to her beloved house by the ocean, there is a stranger waiting for her. Someone who needs her help. Someone whose arrival will reveal a chain of secrets hidden for over twenty years.

And one by one the family will be forced to confront the possibility that they have somehow got things terribly, tragically wrong …

Set across five continents, Shallow Breath is a compelling novel of dashed dreams and second chances. But most of all it is a story about love, and what it really means to be free.

Verdict: Bye Bye  Just another one to take off the list. There are so many thrillers out there, and I don’t remember adding it to my list.

This was a productive cleaning!  I kept three  and took off seven from my list.  Now it is down to 776.  What did you think of my choices? Should I have kept some or removed more?  Have you read any from my list?  If you want, join this endeavor to make our TBR’s smaller!

How big is YOUR Goodreads TBR?

Happy Saturday!!


Cleaning my TBR!

TBR lists… Also known as “To Be Read“…  This is an issue that we book lovers all deal with.  We find out about a new book that we want to read and we add it to our never ending list.  My Goodreads TBR is currently at 787!  Granted, some of this comes from entering giveaways that Goodreads has and some of those contests I entered years ago and most likely don’t even remember that the book is on my list. You enter the giveaway and Goodreads adds it to your TBR.  Having it on your TBR can be good as whenever there is a future giveaway for that book  then Goodreads send you an email. Then I think “YAY! Maybe I’ll win this time!” Now, if I actually did win a copy who knows when I will find the time to read it.  All I can say is this: “My name is Jessica and I am a Bookaholic. And I am proud of it!”

I first came across this idea of ‘cleaning your TBR’ from Kristin over at Kristin Kraves Books who got the idea from Lia over at Lost in a Story. Since my TBR list is so large, I decided to join in on this ‘cleaning’ of my TBR. I’m not sure how often I will do it, but I will post as I work to decrease my TBR.

How does this work?:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

With that said, I’m going in, wish me luck!:

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it. He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’ debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

Verdict: Bye Bye. This one sounds good, but it is part of a trilogy, and with my lack of time and a huge TBR I will have to pass on this one.

May 1st 2014 the Earth is scorched by a stray asteroid, wiping out almost all life. Almost, but not quite. Three thousand souls aboard a cruise ship visiting the north pole are spared by a freak of nature.

The ship’s First Officer, Jake Noah, was looking forward to getting back to dry land once and for all. But then the world ended, and now he finds himself reluctantly in charge of the last handful of survivors of the human race.

The limited resources on board mean that just staying alive will be a struggle. With the threat of mutiny ever present, can Jake rise to the challenge and lead his crew and their passengers on a quest for safety, or will he take the easy option and leave anarchy and chaos to prevail?

Verdict: Keep. This is also part of a series, and as much as I wanted to say ‘bye bye’ I can’t. I love apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic books, and this one sounds right up my alley!

God was going to save her marriage, Allison was sure of it.But neither her husband nor her marriage had been saved.

What had become of His promise?

Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.

The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she’d misunderstood.

Now living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.

As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord? For a woman accustomed to being someone else’s savior, that will be even harder than it sounds.

Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption, A Promise Kept is Robin Lee Hatcher’s emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who answers prayers—in His own time and His own ways.

Verdict: Keep. Sometimes you just need a book like this to read!  I need to read more Christian Fiction and the reviews seem to be very good on this one.

After Julie’s grandmother passes away, she is forced to move across town to the not-so-fancy end of Beverly Hills and start over at a new school. The only silver lining to the perpetual dark cloud that seems to be following her? Clark—a die-hard fan of Buffy and all things Joss Whedon, who is just as awkward and damaged as she is. Her kindred spirit.

When the two try to contact Julie’s grandmother with a Ouija board, they make contact with a different spirit altogether. The real kind. And this ghost will do whatever it takes to come back to the world of the living.

Francesca Lia Block’s latest young adult novel is a haunting work about family, loss, love, and redemption.

Verdict: Bye Bye. I have no memory why I added this and it just is not appealing to me now.

Fifty-five years after the end of World War II, the Holocaust continues to cast a dark shadow. For the past two decades, the Fortunoff Video Archive at Yale University has sought to preserve the human side of this inhuman era by videotaping testimonies from those who lived through the Nazi regime, a project that has led to an acclaimed documentary film and this extraordinary book.

The Wall Street Journal called the documentary “eloquent and unsparing,” and Daily Variety said it was “a staggeringly powerful record.” The Washington Times said that Witness “gives new meaning to the term documentary. [It is] as pure a document as I have ever seen on television.”

In Witness: Voices from the Holocaust, Joshua M. Greene and Shiva Kumar weave a single and compelling narrative from the first-person accounts of twenty-seven witnesses, including camp survivors, American military personnel, a member of the Hitler Youth, a Jesuit priest, and resistance fighters. The vivid and detailed memories of these witnesses testify to the continuing impact of this human catastrophe, and their impassioned words lend immediacy to events that resonate to this day.

Verdict: Bye Bye  There are so many books about the holocaust, I think I will give a pass at this one.

I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag is a warm, wise, and wholly original memoir of survival, renewal, and transformation, by one of New York City’s most successful and respected special events coordinators.

With her top-level events company, Save the Date, Jennifer Gilbert has worked with Fortune 500 companies, broadcast media giants, international nonprofit organizations, and celebrities from Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates and beyond. Yet few of her clients or colleagues have known, until now, that Jennifer not only a self-made success: she’s also a survivor. After a random, near-fatal attack left her body in critical condition on a crowded city street, and left her with emotional wounds that would take years to heal, Jennifer embarked upon a journey to reclaim her life.

This is her story, in her own words: I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag, an intimate, poignant, inspiring memoir of perseverance, rediscovery, and hope.

Verdict: Bye Bye.  There are so many memoirs out there and the reviews on Goodreads seem to be that you either love it or hate it, so I am taking a pass on this one.

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Verdict: Keep. I plan to read this tome of a novel at some point and also watch the series. I have seen the first episode of the show.

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

Verdict: Bye Bye. I’ve heard this is another where you either love it or hate it and with it also being a larger novel I’m taking a pass on it.

 A gripping survival story, by a best-selling author, of a strong girl rebuilding her life in a post-apocalyptic society where a contaminated drink makes victims act like zombies; just right for fans of James Dashner, Carrie Ryan, and The Walking Dead.

After the Contamination – an epidemic caused by the diet drink ThinPro that turned ordinary citizens into shambling creatures unable to control their violent impulses – the government rounded up the “Connies” to protect the remaining population. But now, two years later, the government’s started sending the rehabilitated back home, complete with shock collars that will either stop the Connies from committing violent acts or kill them before they do any further harm.

Since her parents were taken in the roundup, Velvet Ellis has struggled to care for her 10-year-old sister and maintain a sense of normalcy, despite brutal government rations and curfews. She goes to the “Kennels” every day searching for her parents, and when she finds her mother, she’s eager to bring her home.

Sacrificing everything – her boyfriend, her home, and her job – Velvet will do anything to protect her mother. Velvet has to get the collar off her mother before the military comes to take her away. Even if it means risking all of their lives.

Verdict:  Bye Bye.  Even with it being post- apocalyptic and about ‘zombies’or Connies as they are called in this novel, that is why I am taking a pass on this one.  It just is not appealing to me now.

I ran into this kid who reminded me of me. A kid with the potential to do something with his life, if only his life wasn’t dragging him down. A kid afraid of shadows, that went to school with black eyes. A kid who was a fierce protector of the innocent, of the young, of the weak. He was just a kid dealt a bad hand. I didn’t know if I could save him or if he was too far gone to help, but I knew he deserved a chance to have a life outside the abuse he had endured. This isn’t my story though, this is Kasey’s. I just hope his ending is as happily ever after as mine was.

Verdict: Keep.  I am a Shandy Kurth fan and therefore it stays on my TBR! This one is still not published and I look forward to the day it is! The cover might not even be the same once published!


***In summary I kept four and removed six off my TBR. What did you think of my choices? Should I have kept some or removed more?  Have you read any from my list? This was fun to do, so I will keep going at this and posting when I can.  If you want, join this endeavor to make our TBR’s smaller!

How big is YOUR Goodreads TBR?

Happy Saturday!!