Pre-Orders – Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018

Well, due to Amazon’s pushy nature and possibly psychic ability to guess what I would like to read, I’ve decided to do a “Look What’s Coming” and tell you some of the books I’m SERIOUSLY considering putting on pre-order this year! 🙂

City of Ghosts (Victoria Schwab) Release Date: August 28, 2018

cityofghostsDescription from GoodreadsCassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one. When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself. 

Why I Want to Read It: Sounds pretty cool, right? I love supernatural stories and this one seems really interesting. It actually sounds similar to a book I read a couple years ago, Past Midnight, and I really enjoyed that one, so it will be interesting to compare the two.

Grim Lovelies (Megan Shepherd) Release Date: October 2, 2018

grimloveliesDescription from GoodreadsAnouk’s human form is tied to her mistress’ dark magic after being enchanted by an animal. She’s never stepped outside of Mada Vittoria’s Parisian townhouse, but when her mistress is murdered, Anouk and her fellow beasties only have three days before the spell fades and they turn back into animals forever. In a desperate attempt to save themselves, they venture into the outside world and discover a well-kept secret.

Why I Want to Read It: I love stories that incorporate fairy tales (or at least fairy tale creatures), so this one sounds really neat. It also has 4.5 stars on Goodreads from people who got to read the ARC, which is an INSANELY good rating. Definitely giving this book a try!

My Plain Jane – The Lady Janies #2 (Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton) Release Date: June 26, 2018

myplainjaneDescription from GoodreadsYou may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!) …or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights

Why I Want to Read It: I know, not my kind of book, right? But I forced myself to read My Lady Jane last year and it was pretty good. Yes, there was romance, but there was also a lot of humor and daring-do. And with the plethora of bibliophiles who seem almost offended that I haven’t read Jane Eyre, I figure I’ll give this one a go too.

Muse of Nightmares – Strange the Dreamer #2 (Laini Taylor)

museofnightmaresDescription from Goodreads: In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep. Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice–save the woman he loves, or everyone else?–while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Why I Want to Read It: AAAHHHHH!!!! CAN’T WAIT!!!! The previous book, Strange the Dreamer, was one of the few books that I completely fell in love with last year (or ever). In fact, I loved it so much that I talked my Mom into gifting me a signed first edition from the UK for my birthday! 😀 Not many books make me squee, but seeing this one FINALLY showing a release date totally did!!!


How about you? What books are you looking forward to this year?

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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

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

T5W – Because Less Known Doesn’t Mean Less Good

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Hidden Gems in Your Favorite Genre

Now, I don’t know that I have a favorite genre per se, so I’m going to tweak this a bit and do Hidden Gems in SOME of My Favorite Genres (one book for each genre).

Cozy Mystery

Cozy Mysteries are my favorite bookish guilty pleasure. I’m not sure why I like them so much, especially considering the main characters usually really annoy me. 😉 But I do. I love them SO MUCH! They are what I reach for when I’ve had a really stressful day and just don’t want to think anymore.

CWM_750x600-300x184My current favorite Cozy Mystery series is the Creative Woman Mysteries series published by Annie’s. The series follows Shannon, who inherits her grandmother’s estate and craft business. The first mystery she solves involves part of her inheritance, but she ends up playing the amateur detective for all sorts of mysteries throughout the series. Though she ends up falling into a few of the habits that really annoy me with Cozies (TELL THE COPS WHEN YOU FIND EVIDENCE), she’s actually a pretty likable character who is usually just trying help her friends out of trouble.

Non-Fiction

I honestly used to never read non-fiction books. I’m not sure why, maybe it came from having enough of reality and wanting my reading time to be an escape. But the last couple of years, I’ve been giving them another go.

furiouslyhappy.jpgMy current favorite Non-Fiction book is Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I LOVE Jenny Lawson. She has a way of talking about mental issues that allows you to laugh at yourself and helps you feel better instead of just more miserable. Reading her books is like chatting with a good friend…a good friend with an insane sense of humor. This book and her previous one, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, have found their way onto my ‘favorites’ stand right next to my bed, so they are in easy reach when I’m feeling really blue.

Sci-Fi

I think Science Fiction may have been my first ‘favorite genre’. (I blame you, SeaQuest DSV! 🙂 ) I love a good sci-fi, regardless of whether it’s space-y, steampunk, monster-filled, or even dystopian. As long as the story is good, I’m all for it.

27213244My current favorite Sci-Fi novel is The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. The world building alone in this novel is amazing. She manages to pack as much detail and nuance as an entire series of Star Trek into just one novel. I also loved the characters. They all seemed very real and like people I would probably get along with in real life. It honestly felt a bit like Firefly, but with a fresh cast…and less crime. 😉

Fantasy

Fantasies are only second to Sci-Fi’s in timing, because I may have fallen in love with the genre later, but I love it just as much!

magemotherseriesMy current favorite (which could also be considered a YA favorite) is the Magemother series by Austin J. Bailey. This is a nice little series; easy to read, but exciting and fun. I can’t really describe it without giving all the plot points away, so I’ll just say that I practically binged the first book and the novella and am really looking forward to the second & third books. Thankfully, I bought the omnibus of the whole series, so I don’t have to wait very long. 🙂

Books About Books

I can’t help it, I love books so much that I also love books ABOUT books. These types of books can span multiple genres (romances, science fiction, fantasy, non-fiction…), so I’ve turned them into their OWN genre instead. 😉

28517611My current favorite Book About Books is Kingston Raine and the Grim Reaper by Jackson Lear. This is one of the few books that I’ve downloaded from one of those Facebook ads that actually worked out for me. 😉 This books is HILARIOUS and anyone who loves books will love it. The references alone are awesome, but the wit of the writing is amazing. Who knew I could like the Grim Reaper so much?


How about you? What are your favorite hidden gems?

Library Haul: “This is my haul! Whaaaa?”

Another day, another library haul. During flu season, you ask? Why yes, even bibliophiles can live on the edge. 😉

gold-star-2-1 (1).jpg And gold stars to you if you get the reference in my title. gold-star-2-1 (1).jpg

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Book in Her Life (Annie Spence)

dearfahrenheit451Description from GoodreadsLibrarians spend their lives weeding–not weeds but books! Books that have reached the end of their shelf life, both literally and figuratively. They remove the books that patrons no longer check out. And they put back the books they treasure. Annie Spence, who has a decade of experience as a Midwestern librarian, does this not only at her Michigan library but also at home, for her neighbors, at cocktail parties—everywhere. In Dear Fahrenheit 451, she addresses those books directly. We read her love letters to The Goldfinch and Matilda, as well as her snarky break-ups with Fifty Shades of Grey and Dear John. Her notes to The Virgin Suicides and The Time Traveler’s Wife feel like classics, sure to strike a powerful chord with readers. Through the lens of the books in her life, Annie comments on everything from women’s psychology to gay culture to health to poverty to childhood aspirations. Hilarious, compassionate, and wise, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is the consummate book-lover’s birthday present, stocking stuffer, holiday gift, and all-purpose humor book.

Why I Chose It: I can’t help it, I’m so in love with books that I even like reading books about books. ::shrugs:: This one looked cute and, thankfully, has been fairly spoiler free so far. 🙂

The Lost Conspiracy (Francis Hardinge)

ThelostConspiracyDescription from GoodreadsOn an island of sandy beaches, dense jungles, and slumbering volcanoes, colonists seek to apply archaic laws to a new land, bounty hunters stalk the living for the ashes of their funerary pyres, and a smiling tribe is despised by all as traitorous murderers. It is here, in the midst of ancient tensions and new calamity, that two sisters are caught in a deadly web of deceits.

Arilou is proclaimed a beautiful prophetess, one of the island’s precious oracles: a Lost. Hathin, her junior, is her nearly invisible attendant. But neither Arilou nor Hathin is exactly what she seems, and they live a lie that is carefully constructed and jealously guarded.

When the sisters are unknowingly drawn into a sinister, island-wide conspiracy, quiet, unobtrusive Hathin must journey beyond all she has ever known of her world, and of herself, in a desperate attempt to save them both. As the stakes mount and falsehoods unravel, she discovers that the only thing more dangerous than the secret she hides is the truth she must uncover.

Why I Chose It: I LOVE Francis Hardinge. Every book of hers that I’ve picked up, I ended up binging in one or two sittings. I’m kind of out of YA books for her, though, so now I’m delving into the Children’s section.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr Holmes (Loren D. Estleman)

DrJekyllAndMrHolmesDescription from GoodreadsAccompanied by Dr. Watson, master sleuth Sherlock Holmes has already encountered the evil young hedonist Edward Hyde, and knew he was strangely conected with Henry Jekyll, the wealthy, respectable London doctor.

It was not until the Queen herself requested it, however, that Holmes was officially on the case of the savage murder of Sir Danvers Carew—the blackest mystery of his career! Although Robert Louis Stevenson published his tale of Jekyll and Hyde as fiction, the hideous facts were true, insofar as Stevenson knew them.

Here, then, is the entire firsthand account of that devilish crime as recorded by Dr. Watson, with an explanation of why Holmes’s personal involvement had to be kept secret—until now…

Why I Chose It: Dude, it’s called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes …why on Earth would I NOT choose it?!? 😉

City of Beasts (Isabel Allende)

CityofBeastsDescription from Goodreads: Fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold is about to join his fearless grandmother on the trip of a lifetime. An International Geographic expedition is headed to the dangerous, remote wilds of South America, on a mission to document the legendary Yeti of the Amazon known as the Beast.

But there are many secrets hidden in the unexplored wilderness, as Alex and his new friend Nadia soon discover. Drawing on the strength of their spirit guides, both young people are led on a thrilling and unforgettable journey to the ultimate discovery…

Why I Chose It: One of the blogs I frequent discussed Isabel Allende the other day and, having never heard of her, I thought I’d look her up. Most of her books didn’t look anywhere close to up my alley, but this one seemed interesting.

The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster)

PhantomTollboothDescription from GoodreadsFor Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams…

Why I Chose It: I’m doing the PopSugar Reading Challenge this year and I needed a “Children’s Classic” that I hadn’t already read or seen the movie of. This one fit the bill.


So what are you all reading?

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