Sweeping the Shelves #8

Hey all! Well, I’m doing a good job so far in keeping this going. Let’s see if I can continue it until we’ve finished my entire TBR list!

For those of you who are new, Sweeping the Shelves is a weekly post in which I pick 5 of the books that I own but haven’t read and try to decide what to keep and what to donate.

Slathbog’s Gold – Adventurer’s Wanted #1 (M.L. Forman)

slathbogDescription from Goodreads: The sign is small, tucked into the corner of Mr. Clutter’s bookshop window: “Adventurers Wanted. Apply Within.” No one but fifteen-year-old Alex Taylor even seems to notice it is there. And for Alex, who has wished for a change in his life, it is an irresistible invitation. Upon entering Mr. Clutter’s shop, Alex is swept away on an incredible adventure to a faraway land filled with heroic warriors, mysterious elves, and hard-working dwarves. Alex becomes the eighth man in a band of adventurers seeking the lair of Slathbog the Red – and evil dragon with a legendary treasure. Along the way, Alex and his new friends must battle dangerous trolls and bandits, face undead wraiths, and seek the wisdom of the Oracle in her White Tower. Alex’s adventure takes him to distant and exotic lands where he learns about courage, integrity, honor, and, most importantly, friendship.

Final Verdict: Well, this one sounds fun! I like a good “get lost in an adventure” story and, at this reading level, you don’t usually have to worry about anything being really complicated or romance-driven. — KEEP

Case Histories: A Novel – Jackson Brodie #1 (Kate Atkinson)

casehistoriesDescription from Goodreads: Case one: A little girl goes missing in the night. 

Case two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac’s apparently random attack. 

Case three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making – with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband – until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.

Thirty years after the first incident, as private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge…

Final Verdict: I dunno, this one doesn’t really give much in the way of a description. And the very first review on Goodreads is from someone who loves the author from previous works, but only gave this one 2 stars. Add to that the fact that I don’t even remember buying this one… — DONATE

Hooked on Murder – Crochet Mystery #1 (Betty Hechtman)

hookedonmurderDescription from GoodreadsMolly Pink is about to discover the joys of crochet. It’s a relaxing escape from her hectic life as a bookstore event manager . . . and from the stress of being Tarzana, California’s latest murder suspect.

For Molly, the weekly crochet group at Shedd & Royal Books and More was just another event to manage. Then she stumbled across the body of group leader Ellen Sheridan. Her complicated past with Ellen has made her a prime suspect, and after being cuffed and questioned, she could use a little diversion. Never mind that she doesn’t know how to crochet. Granny squares don’t look that hard to make.

But while Molly’s fending off a detective with a grudge and navigating crochet group politics, the real killer is at large. And it’s up to Molly to catch the culprit–before she winds up in a tight knot.

Final Verdict: “A tight knot” ::snorts:: Sigh, I’m such a dork. 😉 You guys know my penchant for cozies. I can’t help but love them. AND this one is about crochet, which is one of my hobbies! — KEEP

Four Friends (Robyn Carr)

fourfriendsDescription from GoodreadsGerri can’t decide what’s more devastating: learning her rock-solid marriage has big cracks, or the anger she feels as she tries to repair the damage. Always the anchor for friends and her three angst-ridden teenagers, it’s time to look carefully at herself. The journey for Gerri and her family is more than revealing—it’s transforming.

Andy doesn’t have a great track record with men, and she’s come to believe that for her a lasting love is out of reach. When she finds herself attracted to her down-to-earth, ordinary contractor—a man without any of the qualities that usually appeal to her—she questions everything she thought she wanted in life.

Sonja’s lifelong pursuit of balance is shattered when her husband declares he’s through with her New Age nonsense and walks out. There’s no herbal tonic or cleansing ritual that can restore her serenity—or her sanity. 

Miraculously, it’s BJ, the reserved newcomer to Mill Valley, who steps into their circle and changes everything. The woman with dark secrets opens up to her neighbors, and together they get each other back on track, stronger as individuals and unfaltering as friends.

Final Verdict: Well, this one doesn’t sound like something I’d read AT ALL, does it? And yet…I do really like friendship stories. There really aren’t enough of them in the world (why does everything have to revolve around sex?). I’m gonna extend my boundaries and give this one a try. — KEEP

The Station Master: A Scheduled Death – Grace Marsden #3 (Luisa Beuhler)

stationmasterDescription from Goodreads: The eighth annual Depot Days celebration is drawing large crowds to the quaint old station. The buzz of an auction and the thrill of the win. Eager spectators crane their necks as the last antique trunk gives up its secret…Trouble Death has knocked at Grace Marsden’s door before, but the stakes skyrocket when circumstances cast her husband as the number one suspect in a hit and run. Once again fate sets Grace on a collision course with a determined murderer. Suspicion raises ugly memories and peoples defenses when they realize their close-knit town harbors a killer. Who knows the secret? And who punched a one-way ticket to the end of the line for Grace?

Final Verdict: I…I don’t remember this one at all. You’d think with a cover like that…huh. Oh well, since I’ve already saved one cozy in this round and it’s the 3rd in the series AND doesn’t have very good reviews (she cries all the time? ick), I’m going to pass on this one. — DONATE


Today’s Count: Keep = 3, Donate = 2

Overall Count: Keep = 25, Donate = 15

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Sweeping the Shelves #7

Howdy folks! Welcome to the seventh installment of Sweeping the Shelves, the weekly challenge where I try to convince myself that I DON’T NEED ALL THESE BOOKS! 🙂

The Bridge at Ardendale (JW Kent)

bridgeatardendaleDescription from GoodreadsSo, what does a legendary mercenary do when he retires? “He finds him an out of the way place… where they grow good barley and hops. Sets his-self up brewing ale, and mayhap finds a soft, curvy lass or two to keep his bones warm at night….” But when Fergus walked into the Upper Arden Valley he found far more than he had bargained for.

Final Verdict: I’ll be honest, this is one that, based purely on it’s description, I probably would have donated. But it was written by a co-worker, so I have to at least try it. 😉 — KEEP

The Forgotten Garden (Kate Morton)

forgottengardenDescription from GoodreadsCassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace—the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century—Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.

Final Verdict: Well, what bibliophile can resist a description like that? — KEEP

Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)

neverwhereDescription from GoodreadsUnder the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.

Final Verdict: I really, really want to read this, I just keep not getting around to it. Ooo, wait…I think…::checks phone::…YES! Mom got me the radio drama version of this for Christmas!!! Bye bye, paperback! — DONATE

People of the Book (Geraldine Brooks)

peopleofthebookDescription from Goodreads: In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation. 

In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city’s rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition-era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna’s investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love. 

Final Verdict: Ok, I take back what I said for The Forgotten Garden…what kind of bibliophile can resist a description like THAT? — DEFINITELY KEEP

The Wreckers (Iain Lawrence)

thewreckersDescription from GoodreadsThere was once a village bred by evil. On the barren coast of Cornwall, England, lived a community who prayed for shipwrecks, a community who lured storm-tossed ships to crash upon the sharp rocks of their shore. They fed and clothed themselves with the loot salvaged from the wreckage; dead sailors’ tools and trinkets became decorations for their homes. Most never questioned their murderous way of life. Then, upon that pirates’ shore crashed the ship The Isle of Skye. And the youngest of its crew members, 14-year-old John Spencer, survived the wreck. But would he escape the wreckers? This is his harrowing tale.

Final Verdict: Well, I snagged this one from a library sale to give to my niece and nephew, so I guess that counts as donating it. But I’m gonna read it first! 😉 — DONATE


Today’s Count: Keep = 3, Donate = 2

Overall Count: Keep = 22, Donate = 13

Sweeping the Shelves #6

Welcome on, welcome all, to the sixth installment of my Sweeping the Shelves challenge. The goal? To share my abundance of TBR books with the world instead of hoarding them “just in case I want to read them”.

The Accomplice (Elizabeth Ironside)

theaccompliceDescription from Goodreads: Jean Loftus has lived at Asshe House for more than 40 years. Its tidy contours, the soft colors of the garden, speak to an orderly, gracious life, a supremely English life. But when workmen unearth a skeleton from that garden, the skeletons from Jean’s past begin rising, similarly, to the surface. And the life they speak to – a childhood in Revolutionary Russia, chaotic years as a refugee between the two world wars – was neither orderly nor English. Zita Daunsey, Jean’s neighbor in this cozy Sussex town, would like to help Jean protect her secrets. But this task is made more difficult with the sudden arrival of a mysterious, aggressively inquisitive Russian student. Whose body has been moldering in the garden? What aging sins is Jean so anxious to conceal? And in trying to help the past stay buried, at what point does Zita become an accomplice to it?

Final Verdict: I…I don’t remember this book. At all. Not buying it, not even scanning it into my Libib app for this challenge. It looks REALLY interesting though! I shouldn’t have read the description, now I’m intrigued… — KEEP

Big Stone Gap (Ariana Trigiani)

bigstonegapDescription from GoodreadsNestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the tiny town of Big Stone Gap is home to some of the most charming eccentrics in the state. Ave Maria Mulligan is the town’s self-proclaimed spinster, a thirty-five year old pharmacist with a “mountain girl’s body and a flat behind.” She lives an amiable life with good friends and lots of hobbies until the fateful day in 1978 when she suddenly discovers that she’s not who she always thought she was. Before she can blink, Ave’s fielding marriage proposals, fighting off greedy family members, organizing a celebration for visiting celebrities, and planning the trip of a lifetime-a trip that could change her view of the world and her own place in it forever. 

Final Verdict: Eh, I dunno. This one has pretty good reviews, but I don’t know if it’s really up my alley. Maybe I’ll just watch the movie. (Blasphemy, I know. 😉 ) — DONATE

Flesh and Bone – Body Farm #2 (Jefferson Bass)

fleshandboneDescription from GoodreadsAnthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton founded Tennessee’s world-famous Body Farm—a small piece of land where corpses are left to decay in order to gain important forensic information. Now, in the wake of a shocking crime in nearby Chattanooga, he’s called upon by Jess Carter—the rising star of the state’s medical examiners—to help her unravel a murderous puzzle. But after re-creating the death scene at the Body Farm, Brockton discovers his career, reputation, and life are in dire jeopardy when a second, unexplained corpse appears in the grisly setting.

Accused of a horrific crime—transformed overnight from a respected professor to a hated and feared pariah—Bill Brockton will need every ounce of his formidable forensic skills to escape the ingeniously woven net that’s tightening around him . . . and to prove the seemingly impossible: his own innocence.

Final Verdict: I normally try not to keep books that aren’t the first of the series, but I really like the premise of this one. And it looks like my library has the first novel, so I can try it out and see if I like it. — KEEP (FOR NOW)

One Mountain Away (Emilie Richards)

onemountainawayDescription from GoodreadsWith nothing but brains, ambition and sheer nerve, Charlotte Hale built a career as a tough, savvy real-estate developer. Her reputation is rock solid…but her life is empty. One terrifying day, Charlotte realizes that her friends are as grasping and insincere as she is. Far worse, she’s alienated her family so completely that she’s never held or spoken to her only granddaughter. 

Charlotte vows to make amends, not simply with her considerable wealth, but by offering a hand instead of a handout. Putting in hours and energy instead of putting in an appearance. Opening her home and heart instead of her wallet. With each wrenching, exhilarating, joyful decision, she finds her path to friendship, love and forgiveness—even as she learns what it truly means to build a legacy.

Final Verdict: Aw, this one sounds sweet! And it has amazingly good reviews! I think I’ll keep it. 🙂 — KEEP

The World to Come (Dara Horn)

worldtocomeDescription from Goodreads: A million-dollar Chagall is stolen from a museum during a singles’ cocktail hour. The unlikely thief, former child prodigy Benjamin Ziskind, is convinced that the painting once hung in his parents’ living room. This work of art opens a door through which we discover his family’s startling history–from an orphanage in Soviet Russia where Chagall taught to suburban New Jersey and the jungles of Vietnam.

Final Verdict: Hm. This one seems to be a “love it or hate it” kind of book, according to the Goodreads reviews. But it sounds kind of interesting and my library doesn’t have a copy, so I might keep it for now and give it a try. — KEEP


Today’s Count: Keep = 4, Donate = 1 (oops, lol)

Overall Count: Keep = 19, Donate = 11

Sweeping the Shelves #4

Hello all! Welcome to the fourth installment of Sweeping the Shelves; the weekly blog where I try to convince myself that I REALLY don’t need all these books!!! Let’s see if I do better than last week. 😉

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Seth Grahame-Smith)

abrahamlincolnvampirehunterDescription from Goodreads: Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother’s bedside. She’s been stricken with something the old-timers call “Milk Sickness.” Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother’s fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, “henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose…” Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

Final Verdict: I loved the Vampire Hunter movie so much that I immediately went out and bought the book. Then I let it languish on my shelf for YEARS. I just need to be honest with myself; I’m never going to read this one. — DONATE

Fatal Error – Repairman Jack #14 (F. Paul Wilson)

fatalerrorDescription from Goodreads: Munir Habib’s life has become a nightmare. His tormentor has warned Munir not to report the kidnapping of his family, or else they will pay a terrible price. A friend realizes something is terribly wrong and tells Munir he doesn’t have to go to the cops. There’s a guy who fixes situations like this-Repairman Jack. Jack is backed into helping Munir despite his ongoing involvement in the cosmic shadow war between the Ally and the Otherness. Or perhaps because of it. He’s chafing at being forced into the defensive role of protecting the Lady, the physical embodiment of the consciousness of the planet Earth.

Meanwhile, the Septimus Order and the Kickers are seemingly working in concert on a plot to extinguish the Lady and open the way for the Otherness to take over our reality. To top it all off, Dawn Pickering finally goes into labor and delivers a baby she only glimpses as it’s whisked away, and is terrified by what she sees. Later she’s told the baby died, but she doesn’t believe it. Neither does Weezy. Neither does Jack. All these interlocking plots mean doom for humanity. But Jack never gives up or gives in.

Final Verdict: What? How on EARTH did I end up with the FOURTEENTH book in this series? There’s no point in keeping this one, since I’d have no idea what was going on if I tried to read it. Out it goes! — DONATE

Night of the Soul Stealer – The Last Apprentice #3 (Joseph Delaney)

lastapprentice3Description from Goodreads: Thomas Ward is the apprentice for the local Spook, who captures witches and drives away ghosts. As the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, the Spook receives an unexpected visitor. Tom doesn’t know who the stranger is or what he wants, but the Spook suddenly decides it’s time to travel to his winter house, Anglezarke. Tom has heard it will be a bleak, forbidding place, and that menacing creatures are starting to stir somewhere on the moors nearby.

Can anything prepare Tom for what he finds there? What if the rumors about the evil beast called the Golgoth are true? And how much danger will Tom be in if the secrets the Spook has been trying to hide from the world are revealed?

Final Verdict: This one, on the other hand, is actually the next book in a series I’ve read. The series was pretty decent, but I’ve honestly just lost interest in it. I think I’ll donate all 3 of them. — DONATE (x3)

The Yard (Alex Grecian)

theyardDescription from Goodreads: Victorian London is a cesspool of crime, and Scotland Yard has only twelve detectives—known as “The Murder Squad”—to investigate countless murders every month. Created after the Metropolitan Police’s spectacular failure to capture Jack the Ripper, The Murder Squad suffers rampant public contempt. They have failed their citizens. But no one can anticipate the brutal murder of one of their own . . . one of the twelve . . .When Walter Day, the squad’s newest hire, is assigned the case of the murdered detective, he finds a strange ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley. Together they track the killer, who clearly is not finished with The Murder Squad . . . but why?

Final Verdict: I’ve had this one on my TBR list for 4 years now, but I’m determined to not give up on it! — KEEP

Year of the Hangman (Gary Blackwood)

yearofthehangmanDescription from Goodreads: In 1776, the rebellion of the American colonies against British rule was crushed.  Now, in 1777-the year of the hangman-George Washington is awaiting execution, Benjamin Franklin’s banned rebel newspaper, Liberty Tree, has gone underground, and young ne’er-do-well Creighton Brown, a fifteen-year-old Brit, has just arrived in the colonies.  Having been shipped off against his will, with nothing but a distance for English authorities, Creighton befriends Franklin, and lands a job with his print shop.  But the English general expects the spoiled yet loyal Creighton to spy on Franklin.  As battles unfold and falsehoods are exposed, Creighton must decide where his loyalties lie…a choice that could determine the fate of a nation.

Final Verdict: Hmm…tough one. I like alternate histories, but I HATE political books. The concept sounds interesting, which is probably why I picked it up in the first place, though I probably wouldn’t have paid full price in the store for it (I got it with a bag of books from a library for only $3). The reviews are mixed too. In keeping with the spirit of this challenge to donate anything I’m not ecstatic to read…I guess I’ll pass. — DONATE


Today’s Count: Keep = 1, Donate = 4
(Plus donating the other 2 of the Last Apprentice series! I did awesome this time!!!)

Overall Count: Keep = 12, Donate = 8

Sweeping the Shelves #3

Welcome to the third installment of Sweeping The Shelves; the weekly blog post where I try to convince myself to donate some of my ENORMOUS to-be-read collection.

Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before (Tony Horwitz)

bluelatitudesDescription from Goodreads: Two centuries after James Cook’s epic voyages of discovery, Tony Horwitz takes readers on a wild ride across hemispheres and centuries to recapture the Captain’s adventures and explore his embattled legacy in today’s Pacific. Horwitz, a Pulitzer Prize-winner and author of Confederates in the Attic, works as a sailor aboard a replica of Cook’s ship, meets island kings and beauty queens, and carouses the South Seas with a hilarious and disgraceful travel companion, an Aussie named Roger. He also creates a brilliant portrait of Cook: an impoverished farmboy who became the greatest navigator in British history and forever changed the lands he touched. Poignant, probing, antic, and exhilarating, Blue Latitudes brings to life a man who helped create the global village we inhabit today.

Final Verdict: I dunno. This seems like it would be a fun one for when I’m on a non-fiction kick. I think I’ll keep it. — KEEP

The Ear, The Eye, And the Arm (Nancy Farmer)

theeartheeyeandthearmDescription from Goodreads: General Matsika’s children steal out of the house on a forbidden adventure–and disappear. In Zimbabwe, in the year 2194, the children’s parents call in Africa’s most unusual detectives–the Ear, the Eye and the Arm–who have powers far beyond those of other human beings. The children must avoid the evils of the past, the technology of the future, and a motley assortment of criminals in order to return home safely. 

Final Verdict: Oh, but this one sounds fun and has some pretty good reviews. And it’s a kid’s novel, so it wouldn’t take long to read it. I think I’ll go ahead and keep it for now and then donate it after I’ve read it. — KEEP (FOR NOW)

The Extinction Gambit – The Extraordinaires #1 (Michael Pryor)

theextraordinairesDescription from GoodreadsAll Kingsley wants is to begin his career as an escapologist and conjurer . . . but it seems that it’s not only his fiendishly difficult-to-control wolfishness that could put a spanner in the works. 

There’s also the Immortals, a triumvirate of thousand-year-old magicians who want to rule the world through mind control – and destroying Kingsley is integral to their plans. And if they don’t kill him, then there are the last surviving Neanderthals, who want to exterminate all homo sapiens. 

Luckily Kingsley can enlist the help of Evadne, a beautiful albino heroine with an agenda of her own, and the famous author Rudyard Kipling – who is both fascinated and terrified that Kingsley could be the real life inspiration for the wolf child Mowgli, the hero of The Jungle Book. 

Surviving to tell this tale will require braving the challenges of the Demimonde – the dangerous and exhilarating underground world of magic, conspiracies and the most outlandish of those on the fringes of our society.

Final Verdict: I’m actually like halfway through this one. It IS interesting, I just was having trouble keeping myself involved in it and then I did a Library Haul, so I kind of forgot about it. I guess I’ll try to finish it off this year and then decide. — KEEP

Napoleon’s Pyramids – Ethan Gage #1 (William Dietrich)

napoleonspyramidsDescription from GoodreadsThe first book in Dietrich’s fabulously fun New York Times bestselling series, Napoleon’s Pyramids follows the irrepressible Gage—a brother in spirit to George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman—as he travels with Napoleon’s expedition across the burning Egyptian desert in an attempt to solve a 6,000 year old riddle with the help of a mysterious medallion. 

Final Verdict: Wow, that’s a really bad description. From the reviews, this one sound like a good, old fashioned adventure book. I’m torn; I’d like to read it, but I KNOW I won’t get to it any time soon. Let’s just check….Yes! My library has it! In the bin it goes. — DONATE

The School for Good and Evil – The School for Good and Evil #1 (Soman Chainani)

theschoolforgoodandevilDescription from Goodreads: The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

Final Verdict: I actually just bought this one in December because I was sick of waiting for the person (who’d had it out for MONTHS) to return it to the library. So I’m keeping it until I read it. 😉 — KEEP


Today’s Count: Keep = 4, Donate = 1  (I didn’t do very well this time, did I?)

Overall Count: Keep = 11, Donate = 4

Sweeping The Shelves #2

For those of you who don’t know, Sweeping the Shelves is my “weekly” challenge try to clean up my shelves. I pick 5 random books that I own but haven’t read, post about them here, and then decide whether to keep or donate them.

Here’s the picks for this week!

Behemoth – Leviathan #2 (Scott Westerfield)

behemothDescription from GoodreadsThe behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan’s peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory. 

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what’s ahead.

Final Verdict: Well, apparently I liked the first book in this series enough to give it a full 5 stars on Goodreads. I don’t remember ANYTHING that happened in it now, but…I guess that just means I’ll have to re-read it before getting to this one. 😉 – KEEP

Black House – The Talisman #2 (Stephen King & Peter Straub)

blackhouseDescription from GoodreadsTwenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer travelled to a parallel universe called The Territories to save his mother and her Territories “twinner” from a premature and agonizing death that would have brought cataclysm to the other world. Now Jack is a retired Los Angeles homicide detective living in the nearly nonexistent hamlet of Tamarack, WI. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories and was compelled to leave the police force when an odd, happenstance event threatened to awaken those memories.

When a series of gruesome murders occur in western Wisconsin that are reminiscent of those committed several decades earlier by a real-life madman named Albert Fish, the killer is dubbed “The Fisherman” and Jack’s buddy, the local chief of police, begs Jack to help his inexperienced force find him. But is this merely the work of a disturbed individual, or has a mysterious and malignant force been unleashed in this quiet town? What causes Jack’s inexplicable waking dreams, if that is what they are, of robins’ eggs and red feathers? It’s almost as if someone is trying to tell him something. As that message becomes increasingly impossible to ignore, Jack is drawn back to the Territories and to his own hidden past, where he may find the soul-strength to enter a terrifying house at the end of a deserted track of forest, there to encounter the obscene and ferocious evils sheltered within it.

Final Verdict: I really liked The Talisman. It was 2 BILLION pages long, but it was really good. This one is also really long and I probably won’t get to reading it any time soon, but IT’S STEPHEN KING. – KEEP

The Crossroads – Haunted Mystery #1 (Chris Grabenstein)

TheCrossroadsDescription from GoodreadsZack, his dad, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father’s hometown, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took 40 innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since. During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn’t over . . . and Zack is directly in his sights.

Final Verdict: This one looks interesting, has really good reviews, and, considering how easy to read The Island of Dr. Libris was, shouldn’t take me very long to read. I think I’ll keep it for now and donate it after I’ve read it. – KEEP 

The Enemy – The Enemy #1 (Charlie Higson)

theenemyDescription from Goodreads: When the sickness came, every parent, police officer, politician – every adult fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under fourteen remain, and they’re fighting to survive.

Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown-ups lie in wait. But can they make it there – alive?

Final Verdict: I dunno. I can barely handle the gore in zombie books/movies at the best of times, and having it happen to kids? Hm. I must have bought this while I was still on my high from the Wayward Pines series (which is great, btw, you should check it out), but I’m just not feeling it now. – DONATE

The Whisperers – Charlie Parker #9 (John Connolly)

TheWhisperersDescription from GoodreadsIn his latest dark and chilling Charlie Parker thriller, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly takes us to the border between Maine and Canada. It is there, in the vast and porous Great North Woods, that a dangerous smuggling operation is taking place, run by a group of disenchanted former soldiers, newly returned from Iraq. Illicit goods–drugs, cash, weapons, even people–are changing hands. And something else has changed hands. Something ancient and powerful and evil.

The authorities suspect something is amiss, but what they can’t know is that it is infinitely stranger and more terrifying than anyone can imagine. Anyone, that is, except private detective Charlie Parker, who has his own intimate knowledge of the darkness in men’s hearts. As the smugglers begin to die one after another in apparent suicides, Parker is called in to stop the bloodletting. The soldiers’ actions and the objects they have smuggled have attracted the attention of the reclusive Herod, a man with a taste for the strange. And where Herod goes, so too does the shadowy figure that he calls the Captain. To defeat them, Parker must form an uneasy alliance with a man he fears more than any other, the killer known as the Collector. . .

Final Verdict: Reading some of the other reviews, I think this one might be a little too grim for me. And adding in the fact that it’s #9 in a series I haven’t even heard of…yeah, I think this one is for the donation pile. – DONATE


Today’s Count: Keep = 3, Donate = 2

Overall Count: Keep = 7, Donate = 3

Sweeping The Shelves #1

Hello all and welcome to the first installment of Sweeping The Shelves!

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve decided to clean up my shelves a bit this year by picking 5 random books that I own but haven’t read, posting about them here, and then deciding whether to keep or donate them.

Let’s get started…

Death Wishing (Laura Ellen Scott)

deathwishingDescription from Goodreads: What if your most fervent wish could come true, and all you had to do was…die first. Recovering from a bitter divorce, middle-aged Victor Swaim wants nothing more than to live a carefree, drunken existence in New Orleans, making capes and corsets, and lusting for Pebbles, the girl who lives across the street.

But, after a series of deathbed wishes come true—including the curing of cancer, the elimination of cats, the return of Elvis (1967 vintage), the clouds turning orange, mothers growing third eyes and cups of coffee becoming bottomless—the hysteria that grows around “Death Wishing” forces Victor into action. Along with his entrepreneurial son Val and his libertine friend Martine, Victor must battle the apocalyptics who have seduced Pebbles away from her true vocation of singing the blues (very badly) while at the same time confronting his mortal identity: just what would he wish for the world without him in it?

Final Verdict: I NEED to read this one. I picked it up at a book event directly from the author herself and it sounds REALLY interesting. – KEEP

Escape From Wolfhaven Castle – The Impossible Quest #1 (Kate Forsyth)

escapefromwolfhavencastleDescription from Goodreads: Wolfhaven Castle has been attacked, and only four escape capture… Tom, trained to scrub pots, not fight; Elanor, the lord’s daughter; Sebastian, a knight in training; and Quinn, the witch’s apprentice.

Somehow, if they are to save their people, these unlikely heroes must find four magical beasts from legend and awaken the sleeping warriors of the past. But first, they have to make it out of the castle alive… 

Final Verdict: I literally JUST bought this one about a month ago and it’s pretty short, so I’m going to keep it and then donate it after I’ve read it. – KEEP

The King’s Gambit – SPQR #1 (John Maddox Roberts)

spqr1Description from Goodreads: In this Edgar Award nominated mystery, John Maddox Roberts takes readers back to a Rome filled with violence and evil. Vicious gangs ruled the streets of Crassus and Pompey, routinely preying on plebeian and patrician alike. So the garroting of a lowly ex-slave and the disembowelment of a foreign merchant in the dangerous Subura district seemed of little consequence to the Roman hierarchy. But Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger, high-born commander of the local vigiles, was determined to investigate. Despite official apathy, brazen bribes and sinister threats, Decius uncovers a world of corruption at the highest levels of his government that threatens to destroy him and the government he serves. Set in 70 B.C.

Final Verdict: Debating this one. I really like historical mystery novels, but this one sounds a bit gory. Since it has decent reviews, I might give it a go for a few chapters and see what it’s like. – KEEP (FOR NOW)

Murder Walks the Plank – Death on Demand Mysteries #15 (Carolyn Hart)

murderwalkstheplankDescription from GoodreadsIt’s “Corpse ahoy!” when death takes a pleasure cruise — as we set sail once more with that incomparable, crime-solving duo, the Darlings. Annie Darling, popular proprietress of the Death on Demand bookstore, has done it again! Her murder-mystery cruise in the waters off her not-always-idyllic isle of Broward’s Rock is sure to be a roaring success, with every participant dressing up as a favorite fictional sleuth. And sure enough, everything goes swimmingly — until one of the revelers plunges overboard. And despite hubby Max Darling’s courageous rescue attempt, faux murder turns all too quickly into real-life death. Over the next few days, the body count rises and Annie strongly suspects that all the victims were murdered most foully and that they are all connected in some unknown way. The trick now will be to prove it, with the able assistance of investigator-spouse Max, best friend and best customer Henny Brawley, local bestselling superstar Emma Lloyd, and even (surprise!) Annie’s normally ditsy mother-in-law, Laurel. But what the intrepid crime solvers do not realize is that the killer they seek is more ingeniously efficient than most — and the puzzle they wish to solve is, in reality, a time bomb packed with an explosive mix of arson, assault, kidnapping, robbery . . . and homicide, of course. One false step and Annie and her canny cohorts will be blown off Broward’s Rock for good . . . and they’ll sink like stones into the cold, briny deep.

Final Verdict: Wait, this is Book #15? See, this is what happens when you binge buy at rummage sales, lol! My library apparently has most of this series, so even though it sounds fun, I think I’m going to go ahead and donate this book to the mission. That way I can start at the actual beginning. 😉 – DONATE

What Angels Fear – A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery #1 (C.S. Harris)

whatangelsfearDescription from GoodreadsIt’s 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III’s England. Then a beautiful young woman is found raped and savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol discovered at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.

Now a fugitive running for his life, Sebastian calls upon his skill as an agent during the war to catch the killer and prove his own innocence. In the process, he accumulates a band of unlikely allies, including the enigmatic beauty Kat Boleyn, who broke Sebastian’s heart years ago. In Sebastian’s world of intrigue and espionage, nothing is as it seems, yet the truth may hold the key to the future of the British monarchy, as well as to Sebastian’s own salvation….

Final Verdict: This one was actually recommended to me, so I should give it a try. Fingers crossed. – KEEP


Today’s Count: Keep = 4, Donate = 1

Overall Count: Keep = 4, Donate = 1