Saturday, March 14, 2020

Cleaning Up My TBR Pile #42








I saw this on an amazing blog called Lisa Loves Literature and I immediately fell in love with the idea. It originally comes from a blog called Lost in a Story. It's all about cleaning up our generally overflowing TBR pile, and I for one need some real help with that.

Anyway, it works like this:

  • 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?

As of the last clean up I had 1,855. As of now, I have 1,863. I seem to be going up after each cleaning which is so not the point of this.

Alone was the note Cade knew best. It was the root of all her chords.

Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan.
   Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws—her first friends—on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.

Thoughts: This sounds very confusing.

Decision: Toss

A riveting, revelatory, and moving account of the author’s struggles with anxiety, and of the history of efforts by scientists, philosophers, and writers to understand the condition

As recently as thirty-five years ago, anxiety did not exist as a diagnostic category. Today, it is the most common form of officially classified mental illness. Scott Stossel gracefully guides us across the terrain of an affliction that is pervasive yet too often misunderstood.

Drawing on his own long-standing battle with anxiety, Stossel presents an astonishing history, at once intimate and authoritative, of the efforts to understand the condition from medical, cultural, philosophical, and experiential perspectives. He ranges from the earliest medical reports of Galen and Hippocrates, through later observations by Robert Burton and Søren Kierkegaard, to the investigations by great nineteenth-century scientists, such as Charles Darwin, William James, and Sigmund Freud, as they began to explore its sources and causes, to the latest research by neuroscientists and geneticists. Stossel reports on famous individuals who struggled with anxiety, as well as on the afflicted generations of his own family. His portrait of anxiety reveals not only the emotion’s myriad manifestations and the anguish anxiety produces but also the countless psychotherapies, medications, and other (often outlandish) treatments that have been developed to counteract it. Stossel vividly depicts anxiety’s human toll—its crippling impact, its devastating power to paralyze—while at the same time exploring how those who suffer from it find ways to manage and control it.

My Age of Anxiety is learned and empathetic, humorous and inspirational, offering the reader great insight into the biological, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to the affliction.

Thoughts: I read a sample of this one and while I found it interesting I can't see myself digging into right away. It's at the library if I ever get interested but as of right now I'm okay.

Decision: Toss

One night they can't forget...

Tess McMann lives her life according to the secrets she's sworn to keep: the father who won't acknowledge her, the sister who doesn't know she exists, and the mother who's content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. When she meets the distractingly cute Dylan Kingsley at a prestigious summer program and falls in love, Tess allows herself to imagine a life beyond these secrets. But when summer ends, so does their relationship -- Dylan heads off to Canton College while Tess enrolls at the state university.

One love they can't ignore...

Two years later, a scholarship brings Tess to Canton and back into Dylan's life. Their attraction is as strong as ever, but Dylan has a girlfriend…who also happens to be Tess's legitimate half-sister. Tess refuses to follow in her mother's footsteps, which leaves her only one choice: break the rules she’s always followed, or allow Dylan to slip away for a second time.

...And only one chance to get things right.

Thoughts: The description has me only slightly intrigued.

Decision: Toss

Music is the only form of communication Connor Owens controls. No matter how badly he wishes to fit in, friendly banter and casual conversations have never been his thing. College is yet another social universe he has no clue how to navigate—until he meets Jared, a football player with chestnut eyes and a cocky grin that holds the power to shatter his self-imposed prison.

Jared's attention opens Connor up to a new realm of emotional and physical intimacy. But as Connor's self-confidence grows, so does his fear that everything will fall apart. Because in this socially stratified world, how long can a relationship between an introverted violinist and a closeted football player really last?

Thoughts: This seems like a super cute read and while I love M/M stories I wasn't 100% in love with the feel of the story when I read a sample.

Decision: Toss

In a glittering underwater world, where danger lurks behind beauty and power...

For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harbored a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young king named Marko.

Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people have secrets too, dangerous secrets...

Thoughts: This one feels like I've read it before.

Decision: Toss

If only we'd known how many secrets the sea held...

All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving...

Thoughts: This one seems interesting and it's on KindleUnlimited.

Decision: Keep

First young love gets sidetracked by dreams that take them on two different journeys, but an unknown bond brings them back together again.

Devi Porter, an up-and-coming tattoo artist in Dallas, is trying to live her life as best as possible, but never able to forget the love she had with Seth.

Seth, a bassist for the popular band My Misery Muse, is struggling with his fellow band members with the lifestyle that he now lives.

The band decides to go home to Dallas to work on their latest album as well as to work out their problems out from under the glare of the media. Seth and Devi meet up again and both realize they have a lot to work out between themselves as well.

As they get reacquainted, life and obstacles are thrown at them at every turn. Are they able to overcome them to become the family neither really had?

Thoughts: I don't do books with musicians in them.

Decision: Toss

My name is Elise Duchamp. I’m twenty-three years old and I’m known as the town whore.

No, not the kind who exchanges sexual favors for money. The other kind. The kind who gives it all away for free, whenever and however she likes. I am that girl. The one everyone whispers about and the one none of the girls seem to like because all of their boyfriends either want to sleep with me or already have. Promiscuity is my thing—the kind that slowly, violently turns my insides black, but gives me something I need.

All things considered, I’m not completely reckless. I’m safe, and contrary to popular opinion, I do have a heart. I live in a world of careless choices, and with those choices come careless people. I cannot judge them, because I am one of them. I too bow down to the altar of the self-serving. I am not a good friend. I am not and never could be anyone’s girlfriend. I’m convinced any goodness in me shriveled up and died long ago.

But I am a replacement. That is something I know how to be, and this is a story of the lengths I’d go to in order to keep it that way.

Thoughts: This is definitely not the book for me.

Decision: Toss

To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control. When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father's capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin. Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult. When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart's twisted world, Zara's path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara's hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father's evil nature, or they will take him out. But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels' command and where the prince's heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she's truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.

Thoughts: This seems like it would be super interesting to read but it is sadly no longer available for buying.

Decision: Toss

Annalisia is a seer, a princess with a courageous spirit—and a soft spot for Legends.

Jovanni is a Legend, a commoner with no patience for pampered royals.

Principessa Annalisia is stunned and conscience-stricken when an unknown enemy mistakenly abducts her maidservant. Determined to find the girl, Annalisia disguises herself as plain Anna and slips away from the palace. She tracks down Jovanni, her maidservant's daring older brother, and they soon begin to search together. As they uncover clues, Anna also discovers a kindred spirit in Jovanni. But would he be so free with her if he knew who she really was? Doubtful. Even so, she reveals her secret gift of visions to him, and in so doing disobeys the orders of her beloved grandmother, the queen.

With Jovanni, Anna can almost imagine she’s like any other seventeen-year-old girl, free to pursue the longings of her heart. When she learns that he also has a secret—he's a sentinel, an ancient shapeshifter who can take the form of a falcon—it seems as if they were destined to be together, as in the legends of il Sentiro. Though Anna is tempted to wish otherwise, she can’t forget that she’s a princess and it's her duty to marry another. Meanwhile, their hunt leads Anna ever closer to danger, for she herself is being hunted.

A princess and a commoner.

They never should have fallen in love...but they did.

AIRE is a lush, romantic fantasy, inspired by ancient Italy and Turkey.

Thoughts: This seems really interesting. I hope they didn't give everything away in the description though.

Decision: Keep

ALL THE PRETTY POSES

He never wanted to be a hero...until she needed him to be.

Strength...

It took Kennedy Moore years to put her life back together after Reese Spencer shattered it. But she did. Now, years later, strong and independent, she is in pursuit of a single dream--to dance with the Altman American Dance Theater. Unfortunately, Kennedy is learning that a girl from nowhere with no money and no contacts might never be able to reach her goal.

That is, until Reese reappears, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Kennedy just can't refuse. In exchange for working on his yacht for a few short weeks, he'll get her an audition with the famous dance troupe. All Kennedy has to do is keep her head down, work hard and resist Reese. That sounds easy enough, right?

Weakness...

Reese doesn't want to make it easy for Kennedy. Seeing her again has started a fire in his blood--an unwelcome one. It took him years to forget about her before, so this time he has a plan. It's simple: Get Kennedy on his yacht, seduce her, get her out of his system, move on with his life. That sounds easy enough, right?

But the one thing Reese didn't plan for was Kennedy herself--a girl so strong yet so broken, she makes him want to rescue her, to take care of her. To save her. Even if he has to save her from himself.

Thoughts: No longer available

Decision: Toss


Owen's story

Over. That about sums up everything in my life. Suspended from my college football team and forced to cut back my hours at The District bar because of my crappy grades, I can’t keep turning to my sister, Fable, and her pro-football playing husband, Drew, to bail me out. I just can’t seem to find my own way. Weed and sex are irresistible temptations—and it’s messed up that I secretly hand over money to our junkie mom. A tutor is the last thing I want right now—until I get a look at her.

Chelsea is not my type at all. She’s smart and totally shy. I’m pretty sure she’s even a virgin. But when she gives me the once over with those piercing blue eyes, I’m really over. But in a different way. I won’t deny her ass is killer, but it’s her brain and the way she seems to crave love—like no one’s ever given her any—that make me want her more than any girl I’ve ever met. But what would someone as seemingly together as her ever see in a screwed up guy like me?

Thoughts: I started this book a while back and just couldn't get into it. I think I only wanted to read more about Fable and Drew.

Decision: Toss

Callie
What’s a girl to do when she meets a man who claims the heart that she’s already given to someone else? My boyfriend is everything I’ve ever wanted, he’s perfect, but when I met Joe ... I can’t even describe the intensity of my attraction to him. I’d never experienced anything like it before. Since then, it’s become something so much deeper and I’m finding it impossible to ignore what I feel for him. I know I’m already with the man I should be with, yet I want Joe. I can’t seem to get my head and my heart to agree on this. I’m not about to cheat and I won’t just drop the man I love. But what do I do about Joe?

Joe
Tattoos, bikes, and women–that’s been my life for the last two years and it suited me just fine. Until the day I swerved to avoid a raggedy old VW bug heading my way, hit the sidewalk, and ended up sprawled on my back. I came around to a pounding headache and the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever seen. Don’t know if it was the effect she had on me, or the accident, but I somehow managed to let her go without exchanging information, more importantly–numbers. Maybe it would’ve been better if things had stayed that way. Maybe then I wouldn’t be caught up in this dilemma. I should do what most guys would do and pursue her, regardless of her being in a relationship. Trust me, it’s tempting. The problem is, I’ve been on the receiving end of a situation similar to this, so I know the hurt I could cause and I don’t think I can do that. But I want Callie. I want her bad.

When Callie and Joe met, neither were prepared for the sequence of events that would follow, or the impact of the choices they would go on to make.

Thoughts: Eh, this seems like a love triangle or something that will lead to cheating.

Decision: Toss

The heart wants what the heart wants—a concept that free-spirited author T.M. Dabney, never understands until she lays eyes on her new cover model, Eli.

Eli Gregor, a struggling musician and mechanic, thinks he knows the true meaning of heartbreak—that is until he accepts a business venture with the alluring Taylor Dabney. With her help, he pieces his life back together when his dreams dangle within reach and once again everything falls apart. And his success comes with a price he doesn’t want to pay.

Caught between better judgment and desire, they find themselves at a crossroads—should they make the best decision for their careers or give in to their undeniable connection?

Thoughts: No longer available

Decision: Toss

Handsome billionaire, Brandon Hastings was Katie Raymond's first love. They had a whirlwind romance that captivated her heart and took her on a sexual journey she never wanted to end. Their future together looked bright until Brandon found out that Katie was keeping a huge secret from him. Once he realized the truth, he broke her heart and she never saw him again.

Seven years later, Katie has finally moved on and accepts the position of her dreams at Marathon Corporation as an executive manager. The only problem is, Brandon Hastings bought the business a month after she started working there.

Now Katie has to fly to San Francisco to attend a company-wide orientation and she is scared that Brandon is going to fire her on sight. Little does she know that Brandon has lot more planned for her and this time he's the one keeping a secret.

Thoughts: This is part of a novella series and I think I'm okay without adding another series on my shelf.

Decision: Toss

Sugar Kisses—nothing tastes sweeter than revenge…

Roxy Capwell couldn’t be more miserable. She just had her heart stomped on by her cheating boyfriend, and the last thing she’s looking for is love. She hates men.

Cole Brighton couldn’t be happier. He’s a player of the highest order, there’s not a girl at Whitney Briggs University that he can’t tag and bag. He loves the ladies.

Roxy’s dream is to own and operate her own bakery one day, but with no oven in her dorm, and a lucrative baking competition on the horizon, she agrees to move in with her best friend’s brother, the obnoxious, womanizing, Cole Brighton.

Between the heavenly scent of baked goods, and Roxy’s perfect body strutting around the apartment, Cole can’t think straight. So when Roxy’s ex starts sniffing around again, Cole volunteers to play the part of her new boy-toy and things get heated both in and out of the kitchen.

Roxy discovers she might not hate every man on the planet, and Cole discovers nothing tastes better than Roxy and her late-night SUGAR KISSES.

Roxy is a ball of stress and anger.
Cole is all ego and sex.
Their attraction is unstoppable.
And when their bodies collide—it's combustible.

Thoughts: I have so many Addison Moore books left unread I need to read those first before I add more books to my pile.

Decision: Toss

Allie Collins wants nothing more than to forget the past and move beyond the recent death of her beloved cousin. If only it were that simple.

Upon returning for her senior year of high school, rumors quickly spread about the tragic summer accident that left the school’s star athlete grieving in the shadows. Now, the last thing Allie wants is the limelight. But the relentless pressure for normalcy from her friends and family leaves her with no choice but to surrender. Rejoining her basketball team and spending time with popular boys might seem like the perfect senior year, yet Allie struggles to embrace this identity that once came so naturally.

With the help of a special teacher, she learns that some things cut so deep, the scar lasts forever. Sometimes you can't go back to the way things were, but must find the way to become who you are meant to be.

Still, tragedy is no stranger to Allie.

As the gossip swirls, influencing Allie’s every decision, the events that unfold will draw readers into a well of emotion in Rumor’s, a Lingering Echoes Novella.

Thoughts: I read book one but it was so long ago I'd have to re-read that one first to decide if I was interested.

Decision: Toss

Briar Thompson had it all. The right clothes, the right friends, the right car. Being popular was all that mattered. Her parents were rich and treated like royalty throughout the community. She thought her senior year of high school was going perfectly, until the night her drink was spiked at a party by one of her so-called friends.

That was the night she met Chase McCree.

Chase wanted to go back to Montana. To the ranch and the wild, wide blue sky that went on forever. He wanted nothing to do with flashy cars or spoiled rich kids. But he found himself head over boots for the quirky cheerleader who turned her back on her social status. She befriended him when no one else would.

Shunned and hurt by the people who were once her friends, Briar flees with Chase to his family ranch in Montana. There she discovers another world, and apart of herself she never knew.

The cowboy wasn’t like anyone she’d ever met. The cheerleader wasn’t like anyone he’d ever met. Apart their lives didn’t seem to make sense, but together, they were chasing forever.

Thoughts: This is another one I feel like I've read before.

Decision: Toss

Nearly forty, Claire Abby had thought life would be a whole lot smoother by now. Single parenting her college-bound daughter is trying, her journalism career is fading, her sister’s a handful, her dad is worse, and her mom has been gone so long it’s hard to remember what it was like when she was here.

So it’s both a lucky break and a jaw-dropping distraction when Claire lands an interview with British rock star Christopher Penman. Claire spent her teenage years fantasizing he was her boyfriend. In person, Chris is everything Claire feared—off-the-charts sexy, ridiculously charming, and utterly nerve-wracking. He's not about to discuss the rumors he’s dodged for a decade. She must earn his trust and unearth the truth, but she never banked on the heartbreaking secret behind it.

His blockbuster story is her first priority when she returns home, a nearly impossible task when Christopher starts calling. And flirting. There's no denying his wit or his buttery British accent, and once she agrees to see him, it's beyond anything her teenage brain ever imagined. But when Christopher's painful past repeats itself, can Claire smooth out her life and save the man she could never forget?

Thoughts: No musicians!

Decision: Toss

I haven't touched a human in three years. That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it's not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet.

I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.

They get satisfaction, I get a distraction. Their secret desires are nothing compared to why I hide... my lust for blood, my love of death.

Taking their money is easy. Keeping all these secrets... one is bound to escape.

What if you hid yourself away because all you could think of was killing? And what if one girl's life was depending on you venturing into society?

Thoughts: I'm okay without this one.

Decision: Toss

Olivia Kaspen is a sharp-tongued manipulator used to always getting what she wants. With just one exception-Caleb Drake, the one she foolishly let slip away. After a chance encounter brings Caleb back into her life, Olivia finds herself wanting a second chance with her first love and asking herself how far she is willing to go to get him back. Her only problem is a redhead named Leah, Caleb's new love. Olivia must fight for what was once hers, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.

Thoughts: Another one I feel like I've read before.

Decision: Toss

When Harlow Manning's rocker father goes on tour, he sends her to Rosemary Beach, Florida, to live with her half-sister, Nan. The problem: Nan despises her. Harlow has to keep her head down if she wants to get through the next nine months, which seems easy enough. Until gorgeous Grant Carter walks out of Nan's room in nothing but his boxer briefs.

Grant made a huge mistake getting involved with a girl with venom in her veins. He'd known about Nan's reputation, but still he couldn't resist her. Nothing makes him regret the fling more than meeting Harlow, who sends his pulse racing. Yet Harlow wants nothing to do with a guy who could fall for her wicked half-sister even if there are no strings between Grant and Nan. Grant is desperate to redeem himself in Harlow's eyes, but did he ruin his chances before he even met her? 

Thoughts: I have a couple Abbi Glines books on my shelf already that are unread so I want to read those before I have more books on here.

Decision: Toss

Overall: Out of 22 books I kept 2 and tossed 20. Not too bad. I now have 1,843 books on my shelf!

Thoughts on how I did this week?
Did I toss one you think I should have kept or keep one you thought I should have tossed?

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