Wow. This is a bit ridiculous. But I’m going to try.
Basically this challenge is to throw out books from your shelf, based on prompts written (I think) by BooksAndLala on Youtube. I first saw the challenge on a video posted by Portable Magic (also on youtube), and then I found a blog version on Merline Reads to see how it could be done in bloggo land.
Let’s get to it!
A Book I Rated Low
Rhapsody: Child of Blood, by Elizabeth Haydon. I’m not quite sure what part of the blurb for this story made me actually purchase this book (although I think I got it from a library used book sale for like 50 cents) but I definitely did not feel satisfied at the end. I’m assuming I was interested in all of the music references in both the title (Rhapsody) and the series title (Symphony of Ages), and intrigued that the main character was a singer who goes on an epic quest. I’ve wanted to write a story about a musician for ages and so I thought this might be a good place to see it done well.
Honestly, I don’t really remember anything in the book actually involving music at all. They climb through the roots of a tree (not the branches) for what felt like a hundred pages, there is some kind of prophecy, an assassin kills a bunch of people and maybe becomes king of something (it’s been a while since I read this one).
Anyway, whatever I was hoping it would do, it just didn’t. I’m seeing now that there is NINE books in this series so perhaps I should have used it for the series prompt later on but nah. Just a low rated book.
A Book I Changed My Mind About
Zombies: Encounters with the Hungry Dead, edited by John Skipp. I think I’m just not as big into zombies as I used to be. There are several great stories in this collection, and the book does a great job delving into the history of zombies in literature (I loved and posted about Dead Men Working in the Cane Fields by W.B. Seabrook, supposedly the first zombie story ever published). That being said, I’ve owned this book for several years and never finished. I’ll always have a special place for zombies in my heart, but perhaps it is time to finally let that trend die?
A Series I Won’t Be Completing
The Ascension Cycle by David Mealing. I don’t know if a two-book cycle really counts as a series, but I will not be finishing this one. The first book, Soul of the World, was pitched as a ‘must read’ for fans of Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn specifically which is my fav), and the blurb seemed pretty good, so I was very excited to read this.
But upon finishing it I was actually a bit mad. (In my subjective opinion), it was nowhere near Mistborn. I can see how it might have similar elements: a seemingly complicated magic system; a young woman protagonist who’s independent, living on the street, and struggling for survival like Vin; an intricate world with intrigue and epic/world altering stakes.
But somehow there was some quality missing from this book that BSands seems to have struck every time. It felt to me, perhaps ironically, that for a book about the soul of the world, this book seemed to lack any soul at all. As I think about it, perhaps it would be worth it for my own writing to read this again and do an analysis as to how it fell short, but that seems like a lot of work, and I already have a big enough TBR, without rereading a book I didn’t enjoy. We’ll see.
A Book I DNF’d (Did Not Finish)
World War Z. I just couldn’t get through this one. I think I’m literally at the 50% mark but I just can’t. It got soooo depressing. It’s been sitting on my shelf for like five years at this point, and I’ve not once ever thought “Oh I should give that one another try.” Nope. Sorry zombie book, you will not be getting a second life.
A Book I Have Multiple Copies Of
Dune Messiah. Why? I don’t know. I think this was one that that I found in my parent’s basement during a move and snagged it thinking I didn’t already have a copy. Then I got home and . . . well I did. One of the editions (the one I snagged) is like super old and kind of falling apart, but has awesome cover art so I’m not sure which one I’ll end up keeping (the newer one is just green haha)
A Book I’ll Never Actually Get To
The Man Who Sold the Moon by Robert Heinlein. I’ve talked a little bit about Heinlein before in my Jurassic Park Book Tag post. Essentially, I didn’t find The Puppet Masters all that great even though I really enjoyed Starship Troopers. I know he’s a classic, and so that is probably what made me reach for The Man Who Sold the Moon when I saw it in my local little free library (love those little book houses haha), but I’ve hardly had any motivation to read it. I think it might just be time to take it back to the little library and hopefully someone else will find some use for it
A Book I Bought Because Of The Hype
Provenance by Ann Leckie. I . . . absolutely . . . LOVED Leckie’s Ancillary Justice (and the rest of the Imperial Radch trilogy) so when her next release, Provenance, was ready to hit the shelves, the world was buzzing and I was more or less frothing at the mouth to read this book. It is a good book. A fun mystery, set in a sci-fi universe, but it just could not compare with her previous work. I will probably read Ancillary Justice ten more times, but unfortunately I’ve never reached for this one on the shelf. Probably best to give it up.
A Book I Bought Because Of The Cover
Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. I’m not entirely sure I’ll actually get rid of this one, and I’m not sure that I actually bought it because of the cover. Full disclosure, I think this one was just the book that had the prettiest cover that I thought I MIGHT actually be able to get rid of. I haven’t read a book by him in years, and I’ve talked about my Palahniuk burnout on the blog before. Everything I said then still pretty much holds true. Maybe I’ll get back into the groove someday.
A Book I Don’t Know Anything About
Lifelode by Jo Walton. I think this was given to me in one of those book bags you sometimes get when you register for a conference. I’m honestly not sure how I came by it, but Jo Walton is seemingly a giant in SFF, so I thought I might as well keep it . . . I’ll read it someday.
I still haven’t. Probably should give it up.
A Book I Didn’t Buy
The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron. I keep thinking I’m going to go on a big Merlin kick where I just consume every piece of media I can find that is even remotely related to this mythic wizard of yore. This one is another little free library find, and I was pretty excited to read it when I first found it. However, I was right in the middle of some other books I wanted to post about, and so I put it on the shelf where it has gathered dust for quite a while. Perhaps I’m never actually going to go on this Merlin kick after all. Perhaps I should give this one up too.
Please Let it STOPPP!!!
Ok that was a little dramatic but wow, I can’t believe I actually found ten books on my shelf that I’d be willing to get rid of. Usually I can hardly gather up the will to return a library book let alone voluntarily give up TEN books but here we are. The list is made.
I’m hopeful that some of these I return to their respective little free libraries (and maybe find something else that looks interesting!) or perhaps trade them for some credit at a used book store or something. I have at least one friend who likes Jo Walton so maybe they will appreciate a random book by them appearing for them one day out of the ether. Maybe not . . . anything can happen.
Anyway, now that I’m done feeling proud of myself, let me know your thoughts. Are there any on this list I should give another shot? Any you would like? Leave it in the comments!
See you next time!
The only one on this list I have read is Provenance. I enjoyed it and it will probably be the next one of hers that I acquire, but the tone is definitely lighter than the Ancillary series; much closer to comedy of manners than space opera.
Agreed. That seems to be a theme in her work (and a lot of sci-fi these days). Small things that seem innocuous to outsiders having extreme cultural and societal meaning attached to them. Manners matter. Kind of an interesting trope.
I liked the Lost Years of Merlin when I was younger but I reread it last year or in 2019 and was majorly bored by the story. I was stunned by that change.
It’s a risk rereading old books. I’m like super afraid to read any of the books I read as a kid (Animorphs, Eragon etc) cause I’m worried this will happen. But there’s also a chance it will pay off and you’ll notice a bunch of hidden value you didn’t notice as a kid. I don’t know . . . It’s a tough choice.
Also thanks for stopping by! I took a look at your site too and Wow! you were busy in July. #goals haha. Thanks again.
Thanks! And no prob! 🙂
Also, you’re right about rereading — it’s risky, but I enjoy doing it. I always discover something new that I didn’t realize before.