Sunday, June 9, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR - Down the TBR Hole

This challenge was originally started by Lost in a Story, but I saw it on Lisa Loves Literature's blog and thought it was a good and fun idea. Here's how it works:

1. Go to your Goodreads "To Read" shelf
2. Order by Date Added, ascending
3. Take the first 5 books
4. Read the synopses of the books
5. Decide: keep it, or should it go?

This should be interesting! Here we go....

1. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Synopsis: David Sedaris' move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including the title essay, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section. His family is another inspiration. You Can't Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six-inch fingernails.

Flo's Thoughts: At some point I actually got to meet David Sedaris and he signed this book for me! (That's actually a fun story, but it's one for another time!) I could definitely see myself finding the audiobook for this and listening to it at some point. Especially if David himself reads the audiobook? (I'll have to look into this.)

Verdict: Keep.

2. Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger

Synopsis. Brooke loved reading the dishy celebrity gossip rag Last Night. That is, until her marriage became a weekly headline... For five years, she’s worked two jobs to support her husband’s dream of making it in the music world. Finally, after countless gigs at Manhattan dive bars and toiling as an A&R intern, the soulful, enigmatic Julian Alter gets signed by Sony, where he logs long hours in the recording studio with no promise of success. But when he is invited to perform on a national late-night talk show, he is catapulted to stardom—literally overnight. At first the newfound fame is fun—who wouldn’t want to stay at the Chateau Marmont or love being treated like rock royalty? But as Brooke’s sweet husband becomes increasingly absent and tabloid rumors swirl, Brooke begins to question the truth about their marriage and is forced to finally come to terms with what she thinks she wants—and what she actually needs.

Flo's Thoughts: I know why I added this -- I read and really enjoyed Lauren's other books: Devil Wears Prada, Chasing Harry WinstonEveryone Worth Knowing. But since I added this book, Lauren has come out with a new one, When Life Gives You Luluemons, and I feel that I'm more likely to pick that one up first before I come back to this one. So this is a maybe, but I don't know how likely it is.

Verdict: Remove.

3. A Girl's Best Friend and Calm, Cool, and Adjusted by Kristin Billerbeck

Note: I'm counting these 2 books are one since they're related.

A Girl's Best Friend Synopsis: From the outside, Morgan Malliard has it all: diamonds at her disposal, a willowy figure, a doting daddy, and all the elegance that money can buy. But money can't buy happiness—or an identity to call her own—and Morgan is realizing her perfect life has no purpose other than spectacular grooming (which isn't really a purpose at all . . . unless you're a chimpanzee). Then a falling-out with her father drop-kicks Morgan into the real world, and she is suddenly forced to get an actual job, wear affordable shoes, and cope with public transportation—not to mention deal with that mysterious hottie who may or may not be stalking her! It's time for a spa getaway with her best gals, Lilly and Poppy—because there's just something about lying under a pile of sweet-smelling papaya plaster that can help a girl figure things out. Like the fact that life isn't about living up to a perfect ideal, and that with God's grace, the beauty of it may just be in the flaws after all.

Calm, Cool & Adjusted SynopsisSilicon Valley chiropractor Poppy Clayton is as calm, cool, and adjusted as they come . . . or is she? Known for her bad fashion sense, a love for all things natural, and the inability to get a second date, Poppy is beginning to wonder if she might be misaligned herself. Poppy's route to self discovery will be an unnatural one involving a plastic surgeon (of all people!), a condemned house in Santa Cruz, and a wedding date from the dark side. It's enough to send a girl and her gal pals running for their favorite spa!

Flo's Thoughts: These are the second and third books in a trilogy. This author was really speaking to me at the time in my life when I read them! Kristin's book Ashley Stockingdale series was one of my favorites. The thing is, I feel like I'd need to go back and re-read book #1 to really get into this trilogy. And while I don't think I'd 100% rule it out, I feel like I'm more likely to go back and re-read the Ashley Stockingdale books than I am to re-start this series.

Verdict: Remove.

4. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Synopsis: Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store. This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends. 

Flo's Thoughts: I'm hit and miss with Sarah Dessen books, but I have heard lots of good things about this one. I own a copy and feel that it is one of hers that I am likely to pick up when I'm in the mood for a good YA contemporary -- and since that's my favorite genre, the mood for it hits more often than not.

Verdict: Keep.

5. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

Synopsis: The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard. Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.

Flo's Thoughts: Hmm. I honestly don't know. But after reading all the reviews just now, I think I am more likely to pick up another book I just got, A School for My Village

Verdict: Remove.

Final verdict: That was fun and insightful! I should do this again. Maybe it will help me pare down my TBR list to something slightly more doable...

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