Tackling the TBR #30

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 on my list. Perhaps as my list (hopefully) shrinks, you will find a few books to add to your own!reviews-from-the-stacks-headers

The last time I did this type of post was September 6, 2021. At the end of that post, my TBR list contained 806 books. Today it has 820. I have gone through 330 books.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise#331. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Synopsis: Five years. That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, crisscrossing the nation. It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished – the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box – she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it. Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys….

Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after”.

Comments: This doesn’t actually sound enjoyable to read to me. Emotional, sure, and possibly interesting, but not fun, and just not like what I want to read.

Decision: Remove

Field Notes on Love#332.  Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Synopsis: Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo’s spare ticket offer online, she’s convinced it’s the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons. When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he’ll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they’ve created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?

Comments: Not even Hallmark could pull this off.

Decision: Remove

The Sewing Sisters' Society (A Second Chance Romance Collection)#333.  The Sewing Sisters’ Society by Ruth Logan Herne

Synopsis: Hattie McGillicuddy might not look like your typical matchmaker, but Hattie makes things happen in the little town of Second Chance, South Dakota. With the arrival of the railroad and official statehood, Hattie’s determined to bring brides west, and not just any brides. Brides who need the wide open prairie as much as the prairie – and the prairie men – need them! Three pioneer stories of unlikely love are woven around a little town full of homespun characters that take us back to another place and another time but with the same faith, hope and love we cherish today.

Comments: Another example of a book that I probably would have enjoyed at one point, but not today.

Decision: Remove

The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence#334.  The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

Synopsis: In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the nations leading expert on violent behavior, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger – before it’s too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including… how to act when approached by a stranger… when you should fear someone close to you… what to do if you are being stalked… how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls… the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person… and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life. 

Comments: Probably a worthwhile topic, but this sounds overly sensationalized. I added it to my list a few years ago at a coworker’s recommendation, but I don’t think they will be insulted if I don’t get around to it.

Decision: Remove

Anomaly (Anomaly, #1)#335.  Anomaly (Anomaly #1) by Krista McGee

Synopsis: Thalli has fifteen minutes and twenty-three seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Thalli is different than others in The State. She feels things. She asks questions. And in the State, this is not tolerated. The Ten scientists who survived the nuclear war that destroyed the world above believe that emotion was at the core of what went wrong—and they have genetically removed it from the citizens they have since created. Thalli has kept her malformation secret from those who have monitored her for most of her life, but when she receives an ancient piece of music to record as her community’s assigned musician, she can no longer keep her emotions secreted away.

Seen as a threat to the harmony of her Pod, Thalli is taken to the Scientists for immediate annihilation. But before that can happen, Berk—her former Pod mate who is being groomed as a Scientist—steps in and persuades the Scientists to keep Thalli alive as a test subject. The more time she spends in the Scientist’s Pod, the clearer it becomes that things are not as simple as she was programmed to believe. She hears stories of a Designer—stories that fill her mind with more questions: Who can she trust? What is this emotion called love? And what if she isn’t just an anomaly, but part of a greater design?

Comments: This sounds truly fascinating. It doesn’t look like my library system has it, but I’ll keep this around for ‘someday.’

Decision: Keep

A Thousand Perfect Notes#336.  A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

Synopsis: Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

Comments: Well that sounds miserable.

Decision: Remove

The Drum That Beats Within Us#337.  The Drum that Beats Within Us by Mike Bond

Synopsis: First published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti in City Lights Books, Mike Bond is an award-winning poet, critically acclaimed novelist, ecologist, and war and human rights journalist. Based on his own experiences in many dangerous and war-torn regions of the world and in its last wild places, his poems and novels portray the innate hunger of the human heart for good, the intense joys of love, the terror and fury of battle, the sinister conspiracies of dictators, and corporations and politicians, and the beauty of the vanishing natural world. 

Comments: I was drawn in by the cover and nature themes, but after reading a few reviews today, I’ll pass.

Decision: Remove

Finding Joy#338.  Finding Joy by Rebekah Morris

Synopsis: Where does joy come from? That is the question Paige Martin faces when life’s challenges threaten to overwhelm her. Her husband is out of work, a longed-for baby has been lost through a miscarriage, and now they are moving far away from all that is familiar. Struggling to cope with these frightening changes, Paige slowly walks through the Lord’s lessons on finding joy.

Comments: Why are there so many sad-sounding books in today’s batch?

Decision: Remove

Snowball and the Missing Apple#339.  Snowball and the Missing Apple by Amie Woleslagle

Synopsis: Snowball loves apples. When his apple goes missing, he knows that he must find who took it. A charming children’s book with funny pictures, an engaging message, and animals, perfect for early readers or to read aloud to your 2-5 year old.

Comments: This picture book sounds fun and adorable!

 Decision: Keep

Love, Lucy#340.  Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Synopsis: While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse have to be, does it?

In this stunning novel, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season. 

Comments: I’m admittedly wary of this romance, but it still sounds fun enough to keep around.

Decision: Keep


Ending number of books on TBR list: 813

Just a side note that I may be a bit more sporadic with posting over the next few weeks! I have multiple projects for school taking up most of my non-work time and a six-week project with the Staff Association launching today, so every hour is going to have to be accounted for, and I’m just not sure how much that is going to impact blogging this semester. So if I miss a post here and there between now and December, that is most likely why.

If you keep one, have you gone through your TBR list recently? About how many books long is it?

Until the next chapter,


5 thoughts on “Tackling the TBR #30

Add yours

      1. It really can! And to be honest, the other two books in the trilogy were a miss for me (seemed almost unnecessary to the story), but Anomaly was brilliant and emotionally hard-hitting.


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