Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thinning the herd

I must admit, that I feel rather nervous about this post. With a reading list as long as mine though, I really do look forward to my yearly culling of the list. There's just not enough time in the world to read everything that I'd like to! Or sometimes, I'll hear something vaguely good about a new book... and then when the reviews start rolling in, it's obvious that it won't be something that appeals to me after all. Of course, sometimes a bad review will make me want to read a book even more. I'm perverse like that. My normal attitude could be summed up thusly:

So, as you can imagine, this is a very hard task for me! Last year, I posted about all the books I was striking from my to-be-read list... and unfortunately, the awards committee that I had applied to took note that several of the books I was ready to give up on, were in fact, required reading for them that year. Needless to say, I did not win a coveted award committee spot that year. :(

All I can say in my defense is: I promise you, I am an avid reader! I really am. I have some wonderful reviews I'm looking forward to posting in the next few weeks. Please don't shut me out of all your reindeer games, committee heads. I am notoriously easy to convince to add a book right back on the list. I feel bad enough giving up on some of these beauties as it is!

Okay, here's the list. Brace yourselves. It's a doozy.

Dark Companion
Why am I eliminating this book? It seems right up my alley. I don't know. Maybe it's a little too scary for me.
Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die, #1)
This book might be too scary for me. Look at that cover! Yikes. Lace curtains have never looked so scary.
Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1)
Might be too scary.
Started this book, but could not finish. I thought there would be more magical mermaids straight off. Instead, it just seemed too sad. I bet readers who loved The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron would love it. I'm sorry, Kathi Appelt! I still love you, I promise!
Pure (Pure, #1)
I started reading this, but could not finish. The main character has been in a terrible accident and has a doll that has been fused to her hand. So, she has a doll for a hand. A. Doll. For. A. Hand.
That grossed me out so much, and I just couldn't get over it. Did not finish.

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood
Everyone was just so excited when this first came out, because it's so historic and momentous. I thought I would love it (and I've even loved some quotes from this book) but I just couldn't finish it. In all fairness, I loved Winnie-the-Pooh as a kid, but if I was only reading it for the first time as an adult, it probably wouldn't have grabbed me.
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June
Started reading this and couldn't get into it. I love Robin Benway! I'm sorry, I thought it would be more magical, sooner.
Small Persons with Wings
Started reading this one, and couldn't get into it.
Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids, #1)
I added a whole bunch of mermaid books to my tbr list about a year and a half ago, but a lot of them, I didn't get to.
Plain Kate
Started reading this and couldn't get into it.
Selkie Girl
One from the mermaid list that I'm culling.
A Curse Dark As Gold
Maybe I should read this after all? I don't know. It's been on my list a long time, it seems like, and I've never gotten around to it.
Shadowcry (Wintercraft, #1)
I bet readers of Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon would love this. I'm not in the mood for Gothic lately.
Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1)
Everytime I start reading this, I remember what a jerk Orson Scott Card is in real life, and I can't go on. Does anybody else have that problem?
The Siren
Goodbye, mermaid book.
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Just couldn't get into it.
Notes from the Blender
This book has come so highly recommended! But I'm not sure if I'll ever get to it.
Nevermore (Nevermore, #1)
It's based on Poe, right? I don't think I can get into it.
Give Up the Ghost
Too scary?
The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)
Too scary.
The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1)
I am in love with the cover, but I started reading it, and it is way too scary for me!
Low Red Moon
I don't know if I'll ever get around to this one.
Bewitching Season (Leland Sisters, #1)
Giving up on this one.
The Girl with the Mermaid Hair
I thought this was a mermaid book, but I was wrong.
Brain Jack
No thanks.
Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2)
I liked the first book, Jessica's Rules for Dating on the Dark Side. But I don't think I'll get around to this one.
The Year the Swallows Came Early
I meant to read this because it's short, and takes place in California, but I never got around to it.
Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1)
I was on an Alex Flinn reading jag for a while, but I don't think I'll read this one after all.
The Patron Saint of Butterflies
I can't remember why I added this book.
The Martian Child: A Novel About a Single Father Adopting a Son
I thought this was a memoir. How did I miss the word "novel" in the subtitle? I was excited to read this book by David Gerrold (of Star Trek Trouble with Tribbles fame) but now that I see it's fiction, I think I'll give it a pass.
I added this to my list on someone's recommendation that I read more fiction with guy appeal, but I never got around to it.
The Other Side of the Island
Can't remember why I added this one.
Mr. Darcy's Diary (Jane Austen Heroes, #1)
I was on a Jane Austen spin-off kick for a while. But I've read some iffy reviews of this one, so I guess I'll skip it.
Paper Towns
John Green! I love his internet videos sooooo much, but I can't say I've ever enjoyed his books. I know! Dangerous words... I'm anticipating a frenzied mob of Greenites ready to knock down my door and demand that I recant this blasphemy, even as I type this. I have picked up and started to read this book so many times. I just can't finish it. I'm sorry, John Green fans. I just can't.
The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball
Can't remember why I added this.
My Life in Pink & Green
I like the cover. I added this book so long ago. I just don't think I'll get to it.
The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1)
I loved The Other Boleyn Girl, and part of me wants to read ALL the Philippa Gregory, but I think I'm actually going to give myself permission not to.
Claim to Fame
Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of my longtime favorite authors. But her last couple of novels, I couldn't get into and this was one of them.
Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories
Everyone was so excited when this book came out, including me. But then I remembered that I don't actually like anthologies very much. I'm sorry. Bullying is still wrong!
Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars, #1)
Can't remember why I added this one.
Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line
I added this book because I loved Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. But I don't think I'll get to it.
Fly by Night
I think I'll skip this one.
Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, #1)
Started this, but couldn't get into it.
The Thirteen Treasures (Thirteen Treasures, #1)
Skipping it.
Hearts at Stake (The Drake Chronicles, #1)
I'm kind of tired of vampires.
Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith
Started this one, but couldn't get into it. Pity.
Vampire Rising (Alex Van Helsing, #1)
Tired of vampires.
Turtle in Paradise
Jennifer L. Holm, of Babymouse fame, I love you so much! But I just couldn't get into this book, I'm sorry.
The Everafter
Might be too scary.
Five Flavors of Dumb
I've heard great things about this book, but I just couldn't get into it.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
I thought I would love that this book was set in Texas, but I didn't.
The Clockwork Three
I thought this book would be more steampunkish.
The Red Queen's Daughter
Now that I've read The Other Boleyn Girl, I feel like I don't need to read this one. Is that weird?
The Average American Male
In my quest for "guy books" I added this one, but I think I'll skip it after all.
Gothic Lolita
Been meaning to read this one FOREVER, but I don't think it's going to happen.
Mercy (Mercy, #1)
Can't remember why I added this one.
I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
Potentially too scary.
Rot & Ruin
Way too scary.
Gamer Girl
Started reading this, but couldn't get into it. I used to be way more into video games, but don't play much anymore.
Girl Wonder
I guess I'll skip this one.
Mermaid Park
Goodbye, mermaids.
Started reading this one, but the main character didn't appeal to me.
The Wager
Too gross.
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)
I loved the first book in this series, and meant to read them all, but never got around to it.
A Monster Calls
Too scary.
The Forbidden Sea
Can't remember why I added this one.
The Map of Time
Deleting this one.
Siren's Storm (Siren's Storm, #1)
Thinning the mermaid herd.
Bamboo People
Can't get into it.
Vintage Veronica
I did not like the main character. Could not finish.
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
I thought I should read this one, because it takes place in the south and I loved Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run by Michael Hemphill and Sam Riddleburger, but I've had it on my list for so long, I think I'll delete it.
Burn Bright (Night Creatures, #1)
Might be too scary.
Silver Phoenix (Kingdom of Xia, #1)
On the list for a long time, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I guess this one can go.
Past Midnight (Past Midnight, #1)
I liked One Hundred Candles (the sequel) and I thought I'd go back to read the first one, but I never got around to it.
Siren (Siren, #1)
Hasta la vista, mermaid.
The Fool's Girl
I thought I would love this, because I'm a huge Shakespeare fan, but I started it and couldn't get into it.
Ninth Ward
I meant to read this one, but never got around to it. I feel so bad about it! I love New Orleans. But I just can't read this book.
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
I loved Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict (the sequel) and thought I'd go back and read this one, but it's been a while, so I think it's time to eliminate this one from the list instead.
Reign or Shine (Demon Princess, #1)
This just felt too upbeat and silly for me. I couldn't get into it.
The Casual Vacancy
Is it possible that this book is the opposite of Harry Potter in every way? I almost wish J.K. Rowling had released this under a new pen name. You know what it reminded me of, a bit? That movie, American Beauty, where the main character dies right away, and it is all sad and horrible and sordid and you have to find out who and how and why it happened. I was hoping for some good indictments of welfare naysayers, but I didn't get that far and I couldn't finish it.
Dead Rules
Too scary.
Song Of The Sparrow
I meant to read more adult novels. But I started this one and couldn't get into it.
Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem
I think I put this on my list because it was highly recommended. But, I've read a lot of nonfiction on the Salem Witch trials, so I think I'll just take their word for it.
As I Wake
Too scary looking.
Immortal (Immortal, #1)
I love boarding school stories, but I'm not in the mood for Gothic right now.
Intertwined (Intertwined, #1)
This should totally be up my alley! But I started it and couldn't get into it. I figure readers who liked Paranormalcy by Kiersten White or White Cat by Holly Black will like it.
Darkborn (Darkborn Trilogy, #1)
Could be too gothic.
Tantalize (Tantalize, #1)
Started reading this one, and I thought I would love it, but I might be all vampire'd out right now. I bet readers who liked Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel would like it.
How To Say Goodbye In Robot
Started it, but couldn't finish.
She Smells the Dead (Spirit Guide, #1)
Too scary.
Started this one, but there's a kind of breathless amazement for Hollywood that I couldn't get into. (Note: I lived in Los Angeles for 15 years.)
Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do
Another, "If you Liked Nickel and Dimed..." recommendation.
Toads and Diamonds
Normally, I love fairy tale retellings, but I couldn't get into this one.
Heard very mixed reviews on this one. I've heard that it's for kids, but not for kids. Ultimately, the folks who told me they loooooved it, were also the same kind of people who usually have very different taste in books than me, so I'm guessing I might not like it.
Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets
Another, "If you Liked Nickel and Dimed..." recommendation.
I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of this one. So, I think I'll give up on it.
Numbers (Numbers, #1)
I started reading this one, and it felt too scary.
The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)
Can't remember why I added this one.
I've been meaning to read more adult fiction, and I LOVE the cover for this one, but it's been on my list for such a long time, I think it's time to give up.
Behemoth (Leviathan, #2)
I read Leviathan, and I liked it okay, but I didn't LOVE it the way some readers did. I do love Scott Westerfeld sooooo much. This just isn't my favorite series of his.
I love Joss Whedon so much, but graphic novels are actually really difficult for me to read because it takes so long to look at the pictures, instead of just breezing through the text. I think I'm going to take this one off the list.
The Mockingbirds (The Mockingbirds, #1)
I started this one, and I thought I would love it, but I couldn't get into it. It's a long book, too!
Flora Segunda (Flora Trilogy, #1)
This has been on my list for a while. I don't think I'm going to get around to it.
Fatal Alliance (Star Wars: The Old Republic, #1)
I really like Star Wars, but I don't read very many of the Star Wars novels. I can't imagine why I put this on my to-be-read list. Actually... now that I think of it... I might have put it on accidentally, while I was demo'ing e-books and social networking tools for a class I was teaching.
I thought I would love this one, and it's pretty short too, but I couldn't finish it.
Too depressing. Couldn't finish it.


  1. First of all, please don't tell me "There's just not enough time in the world to read everything that I'd like to!" I'm safe in my delusion, and I want to stay that way.

    I don't really have any problem with the books on your list. There are some I've really enjoyed, but I wouldn't consider any of them "must reads." Pathfinder is very worthwhile, but it's long, and unless you are a huge Card fan, you can probably skip it. But, if you were to pick ONE off that list, that's what I would pick for you to read.

    Some will probably be unhappy with Paper Towns and tell you to read it, but, while I think its a great book, I'll let you pass on that one.

  2. I know it! I know it, on Paper Towns. I've picked it up and tried to read it so many times over the years. Same with An Abundance of Katherines. I just couldn't finish it.

  3. WHOA! That is quite the list of books no longer on your TBR! How many are left? You obviously had one heck of a list to start with. I really enjoyed The Body Finder, and as someone who HATES scary books and does not do well with them at all, I can tell you it's not too bad. It's suspenseful, but not outright scary. Suspense I can deal with:)

    1. I HAD about 700 books on my list. Things are feeling much more manageable now.

  4. That's a lot of books, but I understand the need. I constantly remove things from mine. Ultraviolet is definitely worth reading, though, as is I Hunt Killers, but some you're really better off without.
    Anyway, enjoy those that are left.

    1. I was supposed to read I Hunt Killers for my bookclub. But, I ended up missing that meeting anyway, due to a scheduling conflict.

  5. Well, I'm proud of you for culling your TBR, that's something I really need to do myself. I've read a few you are axing: Breadcrumbs was just ok. Pure was good but weird good. Numbers is the only one I'd say you may give a second look too, it wasn't scary. I felt it was REALLY good.

    1. I have second thoughts about Breadcrumbs and Numbers. But, I know I don't need to pick up Pure, again. lol.

  6. If I'd vote for one to keep, it would be The Year the Swallows Came Early. It's worth a chance.

  7. I agree. Life is too short and there are too many good books to waste your time on books that don't speak to you. Nice to meet you through the Mother Reader comment challenge.

    1. Thanks! I do still have a rather dizzying number of books to read on my TBR. Let's not even talk about the bookshelf near my bed of books that I haven't read yet!

  8. This is a cool post because digital clutter is something we don't often think about, but I think it fills our brains and stresses us out as much as physical clutter. It's easier, even to book hoarders, to maybe imagine clearing some shelf space, but mental shelf space is prime realty, too. I cut my TBR list down to about a hundred books, but I'm probably due for another culling.

    1. Great point! I'm addicted to all of those home make-over shows. This is a little like a make-over for my brain!

  9. How fun! I loved Brain Jack but am not a John Green fan, either. Adored Elsewhere, as did all three of my own personal children! I don't read everything either, but like you, hope to have some passing knowledge of ALMOST everything. You are doing great! Can't say there is anything here that you absolutely have to read, although the Bad Girls Don't Die series is really popular in my school. Scary, though!



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