Tackling the TBR #7

Being at home all day, every day, has given me extra time to read through the books that I already own. I’ve made a good dent in my 2020 Read or Donate shelf, and I feel really good about how much I am reading and doing in general! I thought that this would also have a strong impact on my to-read list…but according to Goodreads, it really isn’t so far! Apparently I’m still adding more books to my list than I am actually reading. So, it’s time for another check-in with my to-read list to try and whittle it down a bit.

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Explanation: It has become apparent that my TBR (to be read) list has gotten nearly out of hand. Therefore, I have decided to do a post featuring ten books from it approximately every other week. As I go through the list, I will evaluate each book and decide whether or not it still belongs. Who knows, perhaps as my list (hopefully) shrinks, you will find a few books to add to your own!filligree page divider

The last time I did this type of post was February 26. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 685 books. Today it has 695. I have gone through 60 books.


211902561. Secrets of the Cicada Summer by Andrea Beaty

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Lily has a passion for Nancy Drew stories and a secret she is keeping from those she loves. When summer brings lying, stealing, sneaky Tinny Bridges to town, Lily must be on her guard with this perceptive newcomer, or risk having her secret revealed. But Tinny won’t leave Lily alone. She takes candy from the general store and blames Lily. She tries to steal Lily’s friends and even her father’s affection. Then Tinny goes missing, and only watchful, mystery-loving Lily has any idea what happened to her. But for Lily, finding Tinny means confronting her hidden past.

Funny, poignant, and peopled with memorable characters, this first novel announces a writer of great warmth and talent.

Comments: I don’t remember adding this book. The mystery sounds intriguing, but I don’t like how the characters are portrayed. If I were doing another push to read more middle grade books (as I did last year), then I would keep this for that reason alone. As I’m not doing anything like that at the moment, I’m going to let it go.

Decision: Remove


1154446662. Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Synopsis: The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can’t? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan’s gripping and original dystopian teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope.

Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected . . . or trapped? Or controlled? Alina’s a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn’s a Premium who’s never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who’s never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything.

Comments: I’m sure this is a wonderful addition to the YA dystopian canon, but I’ve read enough of this kind of book for now.

Decision: Remove


745603463. Extraordinary (Impossible #2) by Nancy Werlin

Synopsis: Phoebe is drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new girl at school. Soon the two become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory’s magnetic older brother, Ryland, arrives. Ryland has an immediate hold on Phoebe — but it turns into something dangerous, as she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself. Soon Phoebe discovers the shocking, fantastical truth about Ryland and Mallory, and about an age-old debt she’s meant to pay. Will she be strong enough to save herself from the curse?

Comments: I was so disappointed by Impossible. It was a strange book with characters I couldn’t understand and a plot that just…never accomplished what I thought it set out to do. I did, however, want to know what happened after the end of the book, which left several loose ends, so I added the next book in the series to my to-read list. Now that I’ve read the description and thought about it more, I don’t think I even want to try the second book. The characters from the first book aren’t even mentioned in the description, so I probably wouldn’t get answers to my questions anyways.

Decision: Remove


24341119. sy475 64. Eden Undone by Anna Lindsay

Synopsis: How do you get from paradise to murder in a single generation?

If Genesis were literal… then… what would have happened if Eve had said no? That simple question leads to a magnificent parable of sin and grace, loss and joy, hope and redemption.

When Eve rejects the serpent’s temptation, all of creation breathes a sigh of relief, until another is asked the same question. Their answer will tear Paradise apart. How will the fallen relate to the unfallen, and how will God treat those who have spurned His perfect will?

A tale accessible to all, from young to old: whimsical and thought-provoking, funny and tragic, gentle and powerful.

Comments: I really don’t remember ever seeing this book before, but I am glad it is on my list! It can be dangerous to go down the “what if” road, especially with the Bible. I would like to read this and compare it to Milton’s work. This one can stay for now.

Decision: Keep


27233193. sy475 65. Shelter (After the Flare #1) by Sarah Jaune

Synopsis: Mia Harper was not prepared for a solar flare to knock out the world’s electricity. No one was, although Mia and her fifteen-month-old sister had a slight advantage: their father, a hardcore doomsday prepper, left them a safe haven to help them survive their new reality.

Andrew Greene is Mia’s childhood friend. On track to graduate college at nineteen years old, his sharp mind gives him an edge against the competition.

How will the trio survive the harsh winters of Pennsylvania? How will they survive attacks from hungry wildlife? What will they do when faced with perhaps their greatest danger: the other survivors?

Can they live in this new world? Or will their Shelter turn into their tomb?

Comments: You’re taking a 15 MONTH old into a dystopian landscape without its parents? That is undoubtedly a recipe for disaster and pain. Ultimately, while the description does catch my attention, I’m just not into this kind of fiction anymore. Plus, The 5th Wave burned me toward any sort of secret-bunker-hideout twist.

Decision: Remove


2688132566. Postmark from the Past by Vickie Phelps

Synopsis: In November 1989, Emily Patterson is enjoying a quiet life in West Texas. She lives in the same house she grew up in, has a great job and good friends. But emptiness nips at her heart. Then a red envelope appears in her mailbox. It’s a letter from Mark who declares his love for her, and promises to come to her if he makes it home alive. But who is Mark? She flips the envelope over, but there is no return address and it is postmarked 1968. Over the next few days more letters mysteriously appear in her mailbox and odd things start happening. Is someone playing a cruel joke? Her friends say it is the season for miracles. As Emily seeks to solve the mystery, can she risk her heart to find a miracle in the Postmark from the Past?

Comments: Again, I don’t remember adding this book, but I love the idea of it! This sounds like a Hallmark mystery in the making, and that is the kind of mystery I am ready for!

Decision: Keep


7617167. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Synopsis: Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We is a powerfully inventive vision that has influenced writers from George Orwell to Ayn Rand. In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, ruled over by the all-powerful ‘Benefactor’, the citizens of the totalitarian society of OneState live out lives devoid of passion and creativity – until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: he has an individual soul. Set in the twenty-sixth century AD, We is the classic dystopian novel and was the forerunner of works such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. It was suppressed for many years in Russia and remains a resounding cry for individual freedom, yet is also a powerful, exciting and vivid work of science fiction. Clarence Brown’s brilliant translation is based on the corrected text of the novel, first published in Russia in 1988 after more than sixty years’ suppression.

Comments: The fact that this is a classic and originally published in the 1920s is the only thing keeping it on my to-read list. It could be interesting, especially given when it was published. I’m not entirely convinced, but I’ll keep it here for now.

Decision: Keep


1726225268. Fallout by Todd Strasser

Synopsis: In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will—and won’t—remain when the door is opened again. Internationally best-selling author Todd Strasser has written his most impressive and personal novel to date, ruthlessly yet sensitively exploring the terrifying what-ifs of one of the most explosive moments in human history.

Comments: What is with all of the post-apocalyptic books in this section? Based on the description, there could be some interesting comparisons to Moses in this one, but I still don’t think that’s enough to hold my attention.

Decision: Remove


347369. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis: There was a time when the world was sweeter….when the women in Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats…. Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he’d been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he’d fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town’s Baptist minister….Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart-and the joy and pain of living.

Comments: I watched the movie several years ago, and I enjoyed it for the most part, so of course I added the book. Unfortunately, since I know the ending of this one, I don’t think I would actually enjoy reading it. I think it is safe to pass here.

Decision: Remove


2500942170. Love’s Labors by Brent Newsom

Synopsis: In a debut remarkable for its formal control and emotional range, Brent Newsom tunes narrative and lyric impulses to an idiom rooted in his native Louisiana. Love’s Labors plumbs themes of family, work, and sex, from a perspective both tempered and troubled by the language and traditions of Christian faith.

Comments: This collection is by one of my undergrad English professors. Eventually I’ll have to get around to reading it.

Decision: Keep

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Ending number of books on TBR list: 689

Are you keeping track of the books you read in this season? I hope this is a time of virtual exploration and armchair adventures like no other, Readers.

Until the next chapter,



3 thoughts on “Tackling the TBR #7

Add yours

  1. I’d not heard of any of these books, and agreed with the ones you kept and removed. I have been brave enough to list all my tbrs in one place- I have likely books recorded in various notebooks, when we eventually move and I join a new library I shall save them all onto a library list. Meantime I shall read books I have in my bookcase. Good idea to evaluate the books you have noted. I am surprised I had never heard of We- I shall investigate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Breathe sounds like something, I would definitely read. Adding it to my TBR. Great post!
    Btw I too blog @ The Confessions Of A Music And Book Addict and would appreciate some support!
    Stay healthy
    -Prutha xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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