Sweeping the Shelves #5

Hey all! Here is the 5th installment of my little experiment, Sweeping the Shelves, where I try to force myself to share my book hoard by donating books I probably won’t read.

The Boundless (Kenneth Oppel)

theboundlessDescription from GoodreadsThe Boundless train is on its maiden voyage across the country. When first-class passenger Will Everett gets the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past. To survive, Will joins a travelling circus, helped by ringmaster leader Mr. Dorian, and Maren, a girl his age and an expert escape artist.

Final Verdict: Well, this one sounds kind of fun, but my library has a copy that I could borrow, so… — DONATE

A Faithful Soldier Writes Home (Elizabeth Plume Fuss)

faithfulsoldierDescription from GoodreadsAn old heavy suitcase that belonged to the widow of a World War II soldier had been moved from place to place over many years. The contents remained unknown other than an explanation to her daughter that it contained “your Daddy’s letters.” After her death the suitcase revealed a family treasure and a legacy. The letters tell the story of a soldier’s experience in Europe with the 83rd Division, known as The Thunderbolt, and portray a beautiful tale of love and devotion. They describe the heroic actions that earned a Bronze Star for Valor and a Purple Heart. They illustrate the limitations of communication in the 1940s and describe the contrasts of going from a clean home to fox holes and destroyed buildings; from clean sheets on a soft, warm bed to dirty blankets on a cold floor. The old suitcase also contained letters from and about the widow’s young brother who was killed when his B-24 Liberator was downed over Belgium the night before the D-Day invasion. This book shares these letters and also accompanying pictures and documents in appendices such as General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s D-Day speech, Bronze Star Medal citations and an award-winning essay What I Am Fighting For. These letters tell a love story and chronicle the day-to-day life of a WWII soldier who was faithful to his country, his faith and his beloved wife. Enjoy and be inspired.

Final Verdict: I bought this one directly from the author herself at a book fair, so I feel compelled to keep it…but I honestly don’t think I’ll read it. I wonder if my sister might like it? Hmm… — KEEP (To Gift)

The Novice – Summoner #1 (Taran Maharu)

noviceDescription from GoodreadsWhen blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help. As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands.

Final Verdict: You know, I’ve had this one in the TBR pile by my bed for a couple years now, so I would have expected to be excited by it. But re-reading the description, I’m not really interested anymore. — DONATE

Spellbinder (Helen Stinger)

spellbinderDescription from GoodreadsBelladonna Johnson just wants to be normal. Okay, she can talk to ghosts, but everyone has their problems. And since her parents are dead—but “living” in their house—this is a pretty convenient problem to have. Then one day, the stars go out. Just for a second. And the ghosts start to disappear . . .
Soon Belladonna and her friend Steve find themselves on a dangerous quest to the deserted, decaying Other World, where the spirits usually dwell. They need to find out where Belladonna’s parents and all the other ghosts have gone—before it’s too late.

Final Verdict: I’ll be honest, I bought this one originally just because of the title (gotta love nostalgia for old, obscure tv shows, lol!) But I did start it already, so I should probably try to finish it before donating. — KEEP (For Now)

A World Without Heroes – Beyonders #1 (Brandon Mull)

beyonders1Description from Goodreads: Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable–until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he’s ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcomed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail. In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor, and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.

Final Verdict: Eh, I think I’ll keep this one for now. The story sounds interesting and the library’s copy has been out for AGES. — KEEP


Today’s Count: Keep = 3, Donate = 2

Overall Count: Keep = 15, Donate = 10

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Quick Note

Hi all! Just a quick head’s up!

Since this blog has turned mostly into discussions about books, I’ve tweaked the name just a tad to reflect that. I will still have random musing posts once in a while, but the vast majority of the content will remain about books: Book Reviews, Book Suggestions, Book Tags…what can I say, I just really like books. 😉

Thanks for sticking with me!
~Jess 😀

Pokemon Go Book Tag

So, I’ll be honest. I wasn’t tagged to do this. I just stumbled upon it on Accio Reviews and thought it looked fun, so I stole it. 😉
The first book that actually impacted me was “Fatso Jean The Ice Cream Queen” by Maryann MacDonald. Being a chunky gal myself, it was nice to have someone to identify with and inspiring to see her pull herself up and out of victimhood. — But the books that really started my LOVE of reading were the “Hardy Boys” books by Franklin W. Dixon. My Mom’s friend gifted one to me when I was 12 and I haven’t looked back since.
Ah, Sherlock, how I love thee. I have loved the Sherlock Holmes character since I was young. In fact, I’ve never come across an incarnation I DIDN’T love; even the movie with the dinosaurs and the cartoon where Dr. Watson is a cyborg. I just love this character so much!
Well, I definitely put off reading “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins for a LONG time. I ended up only reading it because the movie was coming out and I knew I’d cave and go see it with my friends and I LOATHE spoilers!

I’m going to go with a genre here. I love cozy mysteries. I don’t know why. I can’t stand the fact that the main characters all fall in love with the first man they come across or the fact that they do such STUPID things to solve the mysteries…but I can’t stop reading them! They are my guilty pleasure. 😉

“The Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan. There are so many of them! I will eventually start them, though, because they sound interesting and everyone I know who is into reading is astonished that I haven’t tried them yet (apparently they are ‘right up my alley’ ::shrugs::).

Well, I’ve had quite a few books keep me up all night because I couldn’t put them down, but because they were scary? Hmm…I’m going to go with “The Screaming Staircase” by Jonathan Stroud. For a ‘kids book’, it definitely got my adrenaline up. Ooo, that reminds me, I need to buy the next book in that series…

I don’t really have one of these. I’m not fond of romance, so I don’t really have favorite couples very often. I DID enjoy “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell, though, and thought Simon and Baz made sense as a couple. 🙂

“The Martian” by Andy Weir was an amazingly fast read for me. I read it straight in 6 hours. REALLY GOOD. I also really liked the “Wayward Pines” trilogy by Blake Crouch. Quick-paced and scary, but fun. 🙂

Oh, Harry Potter, I can’t seem to get enough of you.

“The Rest of Us Just Live Here” by Patrick Ness was REALLY good. Like reading a John Green novel set in the Buffy Universe that focuses on the background characters. I highly recommend that one.

I seem to be inundated by “Caraval” by Stephanie Garber lately…but it looks like a VERY interesting book!

I’ll be honest, I’m in the middle of collecting the Illustrated Harry Potter books even though I don’t REALLY need them, because I already own the entire set in hardback and a few of them in paperback…but…SO PRETTY!

I’m lame; I don’t really follow debut authors. I just pick out stories that sound interesting, usually without any knowledge of author-dom at all.

Aaannnddd, going completely against what I literally just typed…Neil Gaiman is a pretty sure bet for me. 😉

I’m going to steal AccioReviews’ idea here….JK!!! PLEASE GIVE US A MARAUDERS SERIES!!! We PINE for it!!! 😦

Well, that WAS fun! Feel free to steal this idea or start tagging your friends. 🙂

Book Review – Gone Girl

Book: Gone Girl – Author: Gillian Flynn

Genre: Mystery

Description from Amazon:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 

My Review:

I absolutely hated this book. Not a popular opinion, I know. But I am one of those annoying readers who has to like at least one of the characters in a book in order to like the book. No, they don’t have to be a great person; in fact, some of my favorite characters are villains. But they have to have some sort of reason for me to be interested in them: wit, charm, an interesting back story…SOMETHING. Everyone in this book is just plain despicable, with the possible exception of the sister, who is only in the book for a short time.

The only reason I finished the book was because of the mystery (no spoilers, promise) and how well it was written. The author did a great job of pulling you into the mystery of the story, so even when I couldn’t stand the actual characters any longer, I still couldn’t stop myself from reading it. So, kudos to the author on an interesting plot, but geez those characters are horrendous.

Similar Books:

Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins (I liked this one better 😉 )

Book Review – You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)

Book: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) – Author: Felicia Day

Genre: Memoir, Geek

Description from Goodreads:

From online entertainment mogul, actress, and “queen of the geeks” Felicia Day, a funny, quirky, and inspiring memoir about her unusual upbringing, her rise to Internet-stardom, and embracing her individuality to find success in Hollywood.

Hilarious and inspirational, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is proof that everyone should embrace what makes them different and be brave enough to share it with the world, because anything is possible now—even for a digital misfit.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. My most favorite memoirs are ones where it feels like you are just chatting with an old friend, and this one definitely fits that bill.

Felicia is a wonderful mixture of timid and bold, personable and eccentric, impassioned and calming. She describes herself at her weakest moments with such raw emotion and grace that you can’t help but root for her like you would your best friend and be proud of her when she pulls herself back up.

I would highly recommend this to any of her fans, those in creative fields (especially acting or writing), or anyone else who just wants a good read about an interesting person.

Similar Books:

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson