Down the TBR Hole #6

One of the newer memes that I found and fell in love with is Down the TBR Hole by Lost in a Love Story. I found this meme featured on Bursting with Books and had never seen anything like it, but I loved the concept. Essentially you go through your Goodreads TBR shelf and take another look at the books that have been hanging out there for a while. You then determine whether you want to keep the book on your TBR or remove it.

As I was starting to put together my version of this project meme, I started to find other similar ones, like Perspective of a Writer‘s Keep it or Skip it. As I liked the name, I decided to keep mine to the premise created in Down the TBR Hole:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

As I have over 3000 books on my TBR shelf right now, I anticipate this project will take me well into 2018 to complete!

Here are this week’s selections:

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman

Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach
Nonfiction; Travel; Memoir
Added December 19, 2011

“In many ways, I was an independent woman,” writes Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Alice Steinbach. “For years I’d made my own choices, paid my own bills, shoveled my own snow.” But somehow she had become dependent in quite another way. “I had fallen into the habit of defining myself in terms of who I was to other people and what they expected of me.” But who was she away from the people and things that defined her? In this exquisite book, Steinbach searches for the answer to this question in some of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world: Paris, where she finds a soul mate; Oxford, where she takes a course on the English village; and Milan, where she befriends a young woman about to be married.

Verdict: Remove

A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure

A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena DeBlasi
Nonfiction; Travel; Memoir
Added December 19, 2011

They had met and married on perilously short acquaintance, she an American chef and food writer, he a Venetian banker. Now they were taking another audacious leap, unstitching their ties with exquisite Venice to live in a roughly renovated stable in Tuscany.

Once again, it was love at first sight. Love for the timeless countryside and the ancient village of San Casciano dei Bagni, for the local vintage and the magnificent cooking, for the Tuscan sky and the friendly church bells. Love especially for old Barlozzo, the village mago, who escorts the newcomers to Tuscany’s seasonal festivals; gives them roasted country bread drizzled with just-pressed olive oil; invites them to gather chestnuts, harvest grapes, hunt truffles; and teaches them to caress the simple pleasures of each precious day. It’s Barlozzo who guides them across the minefields of village history and into the warm and fiercely beating heart of love itself.

Verdict: Remove

The Wishing Year: An Experiment in Desire

The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandler
Nonfiction; Spirituality; Memoir
Added December 19, 2011

One New Year’s Day, Noelle Oxenhandler took stock of her life and found that she was alone after a long marriage, seemingly doomed to perpetual house rental and separated from the spiritual community that once had sustained her. With little left to lose, she launched a year’s experiment in desire, forcing herself to take the plunge and try the path of Putting It Out There. It wasn’t easy. A skeptic at heart, and a practicing Buddhist as well, Oxenhandler had grown up with a strong aversion to mixing spiritual and earthly matters. Still, she suspended her doubts and went for it all: a new love, a healed soul, and the 2RBD/1.5 BA of her dreams. Thus began her initiation into the art of wishing brazenly.

Verdict: Remove {though I almost want to keep it for that cover}

On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town

On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis
Nonfiction; Food; Memoir
Added December 19, 2011

Susan Loomis arrived in Paris twenty years ago with little more than a student loan and the contents of a suitcase to sustain her. But what
began then as an apprenticeship at La Varenne École de Cuisine evolved into a lifelong immersion in French cuisine and culture, culminating in permanent residency in 1994. On Rue Tatin chronicles her journey to an ancient little street in Louviers, one of Normandy’s most picturesque towns.

With lyrical prose and wry candor, Loomis recalls the miraculous restoration that she and her husband performed on the dilapidated convent they chose for their new residence. As its ochre and azure floor tiles emerged, challenges outside the dwelling mounted. From squatters to a surly priest next door, along with a close-knit community wary of outsiders, Loomis tackled the social challenges head-on, through persistent dialogue–and baking.

Verdict: Remove

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Nonfiction; Biography
Added December 19, 2011

Based on the extraordinary final lecture by Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch, given after he discovered he had pancreatic cancer, this moving book goes beyond the now-famous lecture to inspire readers to live each day with purpose and joy. Photos of Randy and his family and friends are included.

Verdict: Keep

This week I removed 4/5 from my TBR, bringing my new total to 20/30. I think that’s good progress so far!

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Monday Update, Stacking the Shelves, Sunday Post

My Week in Review 2017 #30

This is my week in review, where I update you on my life~ reading, blogging and general. I will also be linking up with some amazing blogs.

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Life Happenings:

So the week before last was pretty rough. I was finishing up my Week in Review post at midnight Saturday night, and still needed to finish my TTT and July Challenge Update posts as well. I rushed through posting my review and so didn’t mention really anything that had happened {and forgot to include some links that I edited to add}, so I’ll look back at some of that as well this week.

So I started out this week needing a mental health day. I don’t take them often, but once in a while I need to take some time to just be. I’ve been experiencing a lot of tension lately, and a lot of fatigue; both of which have been exacerbated by the extreme heat that has been messing with my sleep. On Monday we had extra coverage at the store, so I took one of my flex days and spent some quality time with myself. I saw The Big Sick (and cried so much), took myself out to lunch, took a walk along the river and spent some time just watching the water, enjoyed some frozen yogurt, and then took a trip to the bookstore. It all combined to help me feel centered again, which is exactly what I was looking for.

The river runs right behind my work, so after Monday’s mental health day, I made the decision to get to work a little early, walk out to the foot bridge, and spend some time near the water at least 3 times each week. I am a water sign and have always been drawn to water. I think spending some time at the river each week should help me maintain my balance while my life is in such a state of suspended transition {I know that part sounds weird, but that’s a pretty accurate assessment of my current situation}.

In other news, I started a very small blog on Live Journal to chronicle my goals for what I want to achieve by my 50th birthday… which seems so incredibly close, but is actually 4 years away. I am not planning to do a whole lot with this secondary blog, it’s mostly for myself, but if anyone wants to check it out here’s the link.

As I mentioned above, the weather has been pretty hot lately, generally high 90s, though we’re expecting triple digits again mid-week. My parents’ house doesn’t have air conditioning, so keeping cool is a challenging task. I stocked up on ice cream, because I figured a cool treat should help, right?

Last Week on the Blog:

My Week in Review 2017 #29
Down the TBR Hole #5
Top Ten Tuesday~ I Want to Get to Know You Better
July Challenge Update
Cat Thursday #30
Thirsty Thursdays & Hungry Hearts~ Stars of Fortune
Thursday Quotables~ Sunset in Central Park
The Friday 56~ Bay of Sighs
Book Beginnings~ Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Book Blogger Hop #4

This Week on the Blog:

Down the TBR Hole #6
Top Ten Tuesday~ In Quotes
On Why I Don’t Read Reviews
Cat Thursday #31
Thirsty Thursdays & Hungry Hearts~ Tempting Fate
Thursday Quotables~ Silence is Goldfish
The Friday 56~ Isla and the Happily Ever After
Book Beginnings~ The School of Essential Ingredients
Book Blogger Hop #5


It’s Monday! What Are you Reading from The Book Date takes a look at the books we have been reading over the past week and what we’re planning to read next.

Currently Reading:

Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

Life and Other Near Death Experiences

Recently Completed:

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)

The Paper Magician

Up Next on TBR:

Someone Like Her (K2 Team, #2)

Someone Like Her

I will also be linking this post to Stacking the Shelves with Tynga’s Reviews & Reading Reality, a link up to share the new books we’ve added to our shelves over the past week.

New to the Shelves:

Kindle Unlimited {audio}:

Secretly Hers (Sterling Canyon, #2)  The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)

Secretly Hers//The Glass Magician

Purchased {physical}

The Upside of Unrequited  The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume II  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl  The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration  52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance, and Joy

The Upside of Unrequited//The Complete Sherlock Holmes Vol II//Me and Earl and the Dying Girl//The 52 Lists Project//52 Lists for Happiness

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

The Friday 56

The Friday 56~ Bay of Sighs

It’s time for another edition of The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda’s Voice.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Link up.

This week I chose to feature Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts.

Bay of Sighs (The Guardians Trilogy, #2)

“She tipped her head towards his shoulder, knowing since he thought her brave, she could be braver still.”

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop #4

I am linking up with Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer for the Book Blogger Hop. And what is the Book Blogger Hop? Well according to the meme’s page:

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

This week’s question:

Do you read tie-in novels to movies or television series? If so, which ones? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

As I don’t watch television, the answer is definitely no when it comes to tv series. As for movies, I frequently read books that movies are based on, but I don’t go out of my way to read the book before seeing the movie. And I haven’t come across any books that have stemmed from movies that I’ve read yet, but I’m always open for a good book, however it comes about.


Book Beginnings

Book Beginnings~ Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

I’ve added some additional memes to my repertoire and am linking up with Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader.

This meme is a fairly simple concept, we share the first line or so from a current read. This week I’m featuring Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

The P-38 WWII Nazi handgun looks comical lying on the breakfast table next to a bowl of oatmeal. It’s like some weird steampunk utensil anachronism. But if you look very closely just above the handle you can see the tiny stamped swastika and the eagle perched on top, which is real as hell.

 This sounds serious…

Thursday Quotables

Thursday Quotables~ Sunset in Central Park


Because I love sharing quotes from books, the more random the better, I decided to join Bookshelf Fantasies for Thursday Quotables to highlight some great quotes from the books I’m reading.

This week I’m featuring quotes from Sarah Morgan’s Sunset in Central Park.

Sunset in Central Park (From Manhattan with Love, #2)


Peace and calm enveloped her. The prospect of an evening reading a book she’d been looking forward to for months lifted her mood.


Through the turmoil of her childhood, their beautiful garden had offered peace and sanctuary.


He was right. She needed to stop analyzing, and she needed to stop using her mother’s butterfly approach to a relationships as an example of normal.


People took that risk, time and time again. They jumped, even knowing that they could fall. She felt like a child shivering on the edge of a swimming pool, watching everyone else in the water, afraid to jump in herself in case she drowned.


Her emotions tumbled over themselves, so many different ones she could no longer untangle them. Fear, trepidation and excitement were there and, underneath, a deep, primal thrill that came  from the knowledge that this man loved her.

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts~ Stars of Fortune

Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts - (un)Conventional Bookviews

I’m participating in Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts, hosted by Lexxie over at {un}Conventional Book Views again this week.

What is Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts? Well here’s a description from Lexxie’s site:

The idea of this feature is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read. Each week there is a link-up for the current post so that it’s easy to find other participants as well.

This week I am featuring Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts. This scene features four of the six guardians. They have recently met and are gearing up for what’s to come. {pg. 62-63}

Stars of Fortune (The Guardians Trilogy, #1)

“I’ll be more relaxed with food and wine.”
Sasha hunted up a corkscrew while Riley poked through an enormous refrigerator. “Big pantry over there– you could live in it. And a vegetable garden outside we’re to harvest from. We’ll work out some sort of divvying for the yard work. And the chickens. The coop’s out behind the garden.”
Riley sliced from a big round brown bread. “That’s a commercial stove,” she added , “which means I’m not going near it.
Though she couldn’t wait to try it out, Sasha decided to keep that to herself before Riley decided she was full captain of the kitchen again.
“The men wanted beer. Is there beer?”
Riley jerked a thumb at the refrigerator, and switched from slicing bread to slicing tomatoes.


July Challenge Update

New Release Challenge


Full House Reading Challenge

Full House Reading Challenge 2017

Nonfiction: Daring Greatly
On TBR for more than 2 years: Going Home
More than 500 pgs:
Page Turner:
Middle Grade: Legend of the Guardians
Published in 2017: Rejected Writers Take the Stage
Published pre-2000: Mary Poppins
UK or European Author: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Backlist: City of Ashes
From a List: When Breath Becomes Air
Award Winner: Bone Gap
Book about books: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
Size word in title:
2 word title: Game Changer
Debut book: Bitter is the New Black
Food on the cover: The Sweet Life in Paris
Cozy mystery:
From Childhood: Stuart Little
Diverse read: I am Malala
Australian or NZ Author: Tempting Autumn
US or Canadian Author: Faultlines
Not You:
Attractive cover: Across the Universe
Borrowed: 10% Happier

Backlist Challenge


Goodreads Challenge


New to Me Challenge {Authors}

34/15 Complete!

Read All the Books Challenge {Nora Roberts}


Read the Books You Buy

3/109 2.8% {Goal 21-40%}

Blogger Shame Review Challenge


Charity Reading Challenge

January- Eugene Mission: 11 books $55
February- St. Jude’s: 16 books $80
March- ASPCA: 17 books $85
April- The Hunger Project: 10 books $50
May- USO: 19 Books $95
June- Breast Cancer Research Foundation 11 Books $55

July- Proliteracy Worldwide

  1. Catching Jordan
    2. The Second Chance Cafe
    3. From Rocket Boys to October Sky
    4. Minerva
    5. Accidentally Hers
    6. Buzz Books 2017 Young Adult Spring/Summer

August- American Diabetes Association

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

A- Angels & Demons
B- The Battle of the Labyrinth
C- City of Ashes
D- Daring Greatly
E- Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
F- Finding Myself in Britain
G- Game Changer
H- How to Say Goodbye
I- I am Malala
K- Kisses on a Paper Airplane
L- Legend of the Guardians
M- Me Before You
N- Night Diver
O- The Ocean at the End of the Lane
P- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Q- Queen of Babble
R- Ready Player One
S- The Sea of Monsters
T- Tempting Autumn
U- Under the Wide and Starry Sky
W- When Breath Becomes Air

GWB 2017 Book Bingo



More than 100 years old
Takes place in Spring
About a different culture: I am Malala
Over 500 pages
Pink cover
Takes place in Fall: Tempting Autumn
Takes place in Winter: The Titan’s Curse
Becoming a movie in 2017
Published in 2017: The Little French Bistro
Based on a fairytale
Popular Author’s debut: Bitter is the New Black
Last book in a series: The Last Olympian
Takes place in Summer
Read in High School
Author I Have Met
Most Recent TBR Addition: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Translated to English
About mental illness: The Good Luck of Right Now
From Library: Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Graphic novel
Brought me joy
Debut Novel

eBook Reading Challenge


Audio Book Reading Challenge

56/25 Complete!

2017 Net Galley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge


Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017


2017 Literary Escapes Challenge

California~ Game Changer
Colorado~ Accidentally Hers
Florida~ How to Say Goodbye
Illinois~ Bone Gap
Maine~ Liar’s Key
Maryland~ Every Day
Massachusetts~ The Thing About Jellyfish
Mississippi~ The Haters
New Jersey~ Every Exquisite Thing
New York~ The Sea of Monsters
North Carolina~ Crazy for Her
Ohio~ Ready Player One
Oregon~ The Rejected Writers Book Club
Pennsylvania~ The Good Luck of Right Now
Tennessee~ Catching Jordan
Texas~ Faultlines
Washington~ Come Away With Me
West Virginia~ From Rocket Boys to October Sky
Wisconsin~ Kisses on a Paper Airplane*

2017 Audiobook Challenge

56/30 Complete!

2017 Library Love Challenge

43/24 Complete!

Reading Assignment

Jan~ Sea of Monsters
Feb~ City of Ashes
March~ The Eternity Code
April~ Come Away With Me
May~ Show No Mercy


Bookish Resolutions

Complete 10 Reading Challenges~ 4/10
Complete 2 Read-a-thons~ 1/2
Complete 5 series~ 1/5
Read 1 Nonfiction book per month~ J F M A M J J

Post 1 Review per week~ FAILED
Clean up Bloglovin’ Feed~ Completed!
Comment on 1 Blog per day FAILED

Write every day FAILED
Outline & Plot Novel~ not started
Complete First Draft~ not started

Move closer to work~ in progress
Try 1 new thing every week FAILED
Join a club~ not started
Take a class~ not started

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday~ I Want to Get to Know You Better

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. As TTT is currently on hiatus, I am posting a selection of freebie topics in July and early August. This week I am featuring secondary characters that I want more of. These are characters that I either loved and just want to see again, or characters that intrigued me and I want to find out their stories.

The Problem with Forever

The Problem with Forever

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

The Hunger Games

Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Mr. Lemoncello's Library #1)

Dr. Zinchenko
Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson will grayson

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)

Artemis Fowl

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)

Fifty Shades

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Minerva McGonagal
Harry Potter

Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2)

Beautiful Bastard

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon