Want To Read Cleanup #4

This is my monthly dive into my Want To Read List on Goodreads where I look at 10 random books on that list and decide which books stay and which ones go. Out of the ones that are left I will add the book that has been on that list the longest to my TBR for October. Let’s see what’s at play today!

  • Alif the Unseen by G Willow Wilson: This book sounds super interesting, it is about an Arab-Indian hacker who makes sure that his clients are shielded from being surveilled. Computer surveillance and hacking is very interesting and relevant. I will be keeping this one for sure.
  • Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed: This is a young adult contemporary romance featuring an Indian-American Muslim girl. I’d love to give this book a try since I’m always looking for romance books that don’t feature white characters. I’ll keep it for now.
  • Tres Vidas Chinas by Dai Sijie: I read Sijie’s other book “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress” which was such a nice book. Sijie writes in French so this particular book is not translated to English but is available in Spanish. I’m super interested in reading this book and I hope that someday my French skills will be good enough to read the originals!
  • Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman: It’s Neil Gaiman! Not even a question that I’ll keep this book. I just read Smoke and Mirrors, another of his short story collections, and it was great so I feel good about this.
  • Company Town by Madeline Ashby: This is a science fiction novel about the last organic-based person left in her community, since everyone else has bio-engineered enhancements. There’s not much else about the plot that is interesting to me at the moment so I think I will remove this one.
  • Tracks by Louise Erdrich: I absolutely love Erdrich’s writing. This book is about a North Dakota tribe fighting for their land. It features a couple of character from her other books so I’m really looking forward to reading this one.
  • The Inhabited Woman by Gioconda Belli: Belli is a Nicaraguan author so I’d be looking to read the original book in Spanish. This book is about the resistance of an indigenous woman who seeks her own path. I’m definitely keeping it!
  • Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee: This is the sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, set many years after the first book. We still follow Scout and I’m super interested to see where Lee takes these characters. I’ll be keeping it but I do want to wait for the paperback to come out.
  • The Hospital Ship by Martin Bax: No idea why I added this book! Even the synopsis is a bit confusing… it’s about a ship that’s picking up a bunch of random people? It says it’s science fiction but it sounds super philosophical. I’ll pass on this and remove it from my list.
  • Seven Days in June by Tia Williams: I just added this book this year! It’s a contemporary romance between two writers who fell in love fourteen years ago and find each other again and might be able to fall in love again. I need to read this book!

And that’s the 10 books! Out of 10 I removed 2 that I’m no longer interested in reading (the fewest I’ve removed so far!) Now, which of the 8 remaining is the one that has been on this list the longest? Alif The Unseen! So that will go into my October TBR.

I will be done with Todos Los Cuentos this month and maybe even Emma! Next I’ve got All The Light I Cannot See, which I’ll hopefully start this month as well.

So, any books you were surprised about? Any that you think I should have removed but didn’t? Let me know!

~Paulina~ written in casual cursive on a purple background.

Want To Read List Cleanup #3

The background is of bookshelves filled with books that look mostly older. The title is in light, bright blue letters as "Want to read list cleanup". There is an image of a woman in purple clothes sweeping the floor and a spray bottle under the title.

This is my monthly dive into my Want To Read List on Goodreads where I look at 10 random books on that list and decide which books stay and which ones go. Out of the ones that are left I will add the book that has been on that list the longest to my TBR for September. Let’s see what’s at play today!

  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: I definitely want to read this book, a letter to future feminists that promises to be inspiring. Adichie gives advice to a friend on how to raise her daughter as a feminist. It is a necessary book for all of the future generations. This one stays on the list.
  • Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel: I honestly don’t know why this book is on my list. It is apparently a funny book about some kind of spies in Cincinnati that somehow end up in North Korea? Not interested at all so I’ll be removing it.
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen: I also don’t remember why I added this book! This book follows Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose life is basically going downhill. She’s gone to a small town to start her life over and find some new purpose. It reminds me of a Hallmark/Lifetime movie, which I don’t normally love since they are so predictable. I will also be removing this book.
  • Girl at War by Sara Nović: This is a novel set in Croatia in 1991, right when civil war is breaking out. We follow Ana as she is forced to flee her home country to go to the United States. This is a perspective I don’t know much about and would love to read so I’ll definitely be keeping it.
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: This is one book I’ve seen everywhere since it came out, set in France and Germany in the middle of World War II. I’ve seen that it is told from three different points of view and that it is beautifully written. I’m definitely still interested so I’ll be keeping it on the list.
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi: This is a memoir that I’ve had for a while and actually started once but didn’t get too far. The reason was that I haven’t read some of the works that are talked about in this memoir. There were some clear parts that I was missing because I haven’t read or am not familiar with the books mentioned. I will keep it with the caveat that I will need to read some other books (or at least familiarize myself with them before I attempt it again).
  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge: A middle grade book that I added long ago and I don’t remember why. I am not interested in this one so I’ll be removing it.
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray: This is the first installment of a series that is set in the 1920s in New York City. This also delves into the fantasy realm so there’s magic and hidden worlds. I’m interested in checking out this series so I’ll keep this book.
  • The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man by Michael Tennesen: The subject of evolution is very interesting to me. As a scientist I’ve learned about how humans have evolved and the various mechanisms. Looking at reviews it seems like this book focuses mostly on how humans have evolved in the past and not at what might happen next. I think I can find some more recent book that explores what our future looks like, especially since this book was published back in 2015. Therefore, I’ll be removing it.
  • Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll: I just added this book! This story includes characters who are neurodivergent involved in a plot surrounding a technology that recreates humans as AI. I’m definitely keeping it!

And that’s the 10 books! Out of 10 I removed 4 books that I’m no longer interested in reading. Now, which of the 6 remaining is the one that has been on this list the longest? Well, that would be All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which will be going into my September TBR.

Now, I am perfectly aware that I am not yet done with both Todos Los Cuentos and Emma, but that’s okay! I’m in no great hurry to finish them right away, I just want them in my TBR so I can pick them up as soon as it fits my mood. I’m enjoying Todos Los Cuentos, reading one or two stories each day, thinking about them for a couple of days and then going back to dive into the next story. I just started Emma and I think that once I get into it I’ll likely not want to stop.

Were you surprised by any of the books that showed up? That I either kept or removed? Let me know in the comments!

~Paulina~ written in casual cursive on a purple background.

Want To Read List Cleanup #2

The background is of bookshelves filled with books that look mostly older. The title is in light, bright blue letters as "Want to read list cleanup". There is an image of a woman in purple clothes sweeping the floor and a spray bottle under the title.

This is the second installment of my Want To Read List Cleanup, which I started last month. I’m still working through Todos Los Cuentos by Gabriel García Márquez, which was the book chosen from the last time I did this. As a recap, I will take 10 random books from my Goodreads Want To Read List, which currently has 1193 books listed (how is is bigger than last time?! XD). I will go through them and either remove them or keep them on the list. The point here is to remove books that I’m no longer interested in reading and keep the ones that I still want to read. Out of the ones I do keep I will take the oldest book and add it to next month’s reading plans. Let’s do it!

The list of 10 books up for cleanup
  • The World is Moving Around Me: A Memoir of the Haiti Earthquake by Dany Laferrière: I added this book back in 2016, which is when I started adding more non-fiction books to my list. This particular one still interests me because the effects of that earthquake in Haiti are still being felt more than a decade later. There are many moments in history that change a whole community or country completely and this is one of them. I’d like to learn more about it so I’ll keep this one.
  • The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan: I already know I’ll be keeping this book on the list! Amy Tan is one of my favorite authors. Her books are beautifully written and I find a lot of comfort in them. This book is about Ruth and her mother LuLing and how LuLing starts telling her life story to Ruth via a series of writings. A multi-generational story set in both China and the United States. I’m definitely looking forward to reading this one.
  • Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen: I don’t remember this book at all! I can see why I added it though, it is a very strange novel about a man who is convinced that his wife has been swapped with someone else who looks just like her. It’s supposed to be a love story but also a dark comedy. While the premise does seem interesting I’m not convinced to keep it so I will be removing it from the list.
  • March: Book One by John Lewis: Wow, I’ve had this one on my list since 2015! I definitely want to read this since it tells the story of John Lewis’ life and role in the Civil Rights movement. Also, it’s a graphic novel so it’s a very accessible way for anyone to learn about such an important man! This one comes in three parts and I definitely want to read them all.
  • Revival, Vol. 1: You’re Among Friends by Tim Seeley: Would you look at that? Another graphic novel! Revival is one I definitely added during my horror-filled years. In this graphic novel series (yep there are 8 volumes) the living and the dead “live” together and of course, murder still happens. Officer Dana Cypress is the one in charge of figuring out who committed a murder in this “rural noir” graphic novel. I am thinking that this would be something I’d look for during the fall/Halloween but I’m not urgently rushing to get it. I’ll keep it on the list so I don’t forget about it!
  • The Enigma of the Return by Dany Laferrière: Two books by Laferrière in the same randomly grabbed list! It’s a sign that I need to read one of his books! Laferrière is a Haitian author and I can’t quite remember how I found out about him but I’m glad I did! This particular book is about Dany, who fled Haiti when he was 23 years old, and is now (33 years later) faced with a return to Haiti after his father’s death. I am unsure if this is fully an autobiography or not but I’m very much interested in reading so it shall remain in the list.
  • The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku: I can imagine why I added this book to my list, I do enjoy science books so I am always looking for good scientific writers. Being someone who has a career in a scientific field can be a double edged sword since I know that some fields of science move so fast that some works might not be as current as others. That being said, this particular one is written by Dr Kaku, a theoretical physicist who is highly respected and I’m very interested in reading one of his books so I think I will keep it for that reason alone.
  • Rant by Chuck Palahniuk : Oh Chuck Palahniuk. I have read quite a few of his books (somehow haven’t read Fight Club though hahaha) and they are either big hits or big misses. It’s truly hard to tell until I read them! I definitely will keep this one if only because I do want to finish reading all his books. This particular one is about a man named Rant Casey who is a serial killer and the story is about all his friends gathering after he dies to tell the story of his life.
  • Emma by Jane Austen: I must confess…. I’ve never read any Jane Austen books. I know… I know… It’s not that I don’t want to! XD Something else just crosses my path and I just don’t get to them. This book has been on my list for a loooong time (since 2011 yikes). Of course I’ll keep it, I do want to read Jane Austen and when I finally do read one of her books I’ll look back and think “why did it take me this long?” right? I don’t know what Emma is about and I think I’ll keep it that way, looking forward to reading it.
  • Building Stories by Chris Ware: So I know I added this book because it is a sort of interactive graphic novel (another one!) This actually is multiple separate pages that come inside a box or something? I fear now that it is too gimmicky, I haven’t had too much luck with these sort of unconventional books that try to do more with things like reading in any order or having the pages be loose… yeah not sure anymore about this one so I will be removing it from my list.

Aaaand that is it! Overall I removed 2/10 books which is… surprising! I thought there would be more that I would not be interested in reading like last time but I guess not! So let’s see what the oldest book of the ones that are left will go into my TBR for next month…. Emma by Jane Austen! I guess that will be my first Austen book and I’m actually quite excited about it.

That’s it for this month’s Want To Read Clean Up! Have you read any of the books mentioned? Would you have kept any of the ones I took off my list? Let me know!

Want To Read List Cleanup

I have books on my bookshelves that I haven’t read yet but I acquired a long time ago and still need to read. An even bigger list is housed in my Goodreads account though, currently I have 1161 books listed there that I’ve marked “Want To Read” and they go all the way back to 2010! It is fair to say that in the past 11 years my reading interests have probably changed so it is very likely that I will not be actually wanting to read all of those books anymore. In this post I will take ten random books from my Want To Read list from Goodreads and decide if I want to keep them or if I need to remove any of them. I will also be adding one of those (from whatever is left, if anything) to my list of books to read next. Also, I’ve taken inspiration from Tanja’s Bookish Memory check as inspiration for this post. I hope to do this once a month since it’ll be a fun way to get to some of those older books in my list.

Here’s the list of the 10 books I will either keep or remove! Any guesses as to which will go vs not?

The 10 books that I will either remove from my Want To Read list or keep, one of them I’ll read next!
  • The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich: I added this book in 2018 so not TOO long ago… This book is the eighth installment in Erdrich’s multi-generational stories about the long-lasting effects of colonialism on Ojibwe peoples and communities. I’ve so far read Tales of Burning Love (fifth installment) so it’s not necessary to read them in order I don’t think. I love Erdrich’s writing, she does an amazing job capturing emotions and just immersing you into the story. You really feel like you know the characters. This particular novel is centered around  a rare moose skin and cedar drum created by an Ojibwe artisan, we follow the history of this instrument and all the lives it has touched throughout its existence. So that’s an easy keep. NOTE: It was just announced today that she won the Pulitzer prize for her book The Night Watchman!
  • The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini: This book was added in 2015 and I didn’t remember anything about why I would have added right away. So looking at the synopsis this book is about a man who doesn’t seem to have much going for him in his small town in the Midwest. All of a sudden he realizes that he has the ability to grow limbs back (wonder how he realizes that…) and he goes on a hero’s journey to save a woman form her abusive husband. Back in 2015 I was very into horror and gore films so I can see why I would have added this book. Looking at it now I am not as interested in reading this so it will be removed.
  • In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood: I know why I added this right away, Margaret Atwood. I love her writing and I probably didn’t even look at the synopsis before adding this book to my list. Looking at the synopsis now I am still very much interested! So this book is nonfiction and it is an exploration of the science fiction genre, it includes various essays on the subject as well as her reviews on various works of science fiction by authors like Ursula LeGuin, Aldous Huxley, Kazuo Ishiguro, etc. This is one of those books I like to read from time to time that aren’t exactly a story but an analysis of something that will help me understand more about why things are the way they are. Very nerdy, I’ll be keeping this one.
  • People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry: Well, I just added this book the other day! I’ve been venturing more into the romance/contemporary genre in the past couple of years (like one or two books a year hahaha) and this one seemed like fun! Basically two best friends have taken a vacation every year no matter what, but at one point they had a falling out and haven’t seen each other since. One of them wants to try and have another vacation with them to see if they can repair the friendship (and maybe something more can blossom?) So yeah, I’ll definitely keep it!
  • Plague of the Dead by Z.A. Recht: Ha! This is from my zombie obsession days! Back in 2012 I was watching all things zombie but hadn’t ventured into zombie books. This is a book about a virus that spreads and turns people in to zombies, a military strategist pairs up with a journalist to try to combat the plague and well, that’s it! If books were food this would be junk food, not a great nourishing read but maybe fun? The thing that has made me decide to remove it though is that it is part of a 5 book series soooo no time for that! If it ever comes across and I have Nothing else to read I might pick it up. For now I shall remove it.
  • A Person of Interest by Susan Choi: I don’t remember why I would have added this book honestly. It is a mystery thriller which is a genre I don’t really read at all. The book is about Professor Lee, a mathematician, who is all of a sudden in the FBI’s suspect list as a suspected bomber. It seems like the only reason for the suspicion is that Prof Lee is seemingly not affected by the attack. I’m sure that the book might be more complicated than that with twists and turns buuuut I’m not very interested in the genre right now so I’ll remove it.
  • The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan: Ah well… umm yes, the Percy Jackson series! I wanted to read these at some point but then I saw the movies and then I wasn’t interested anymore? In fact, my sister just got the first book of the series because she wants to read them but I’m still not super interested. This is actually the third installment in the series so I’ll be removing all the books from the series except for the first one. That way I can grab the book from my sister whenever and read that one and decide then if I want to continue.
  • She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton: A children’s book! I really do like reading children’s books from time to time and this one just looks wonderful. It features a diverse group of American women who have made a difference in their respective fields. It talks about Harriet Tubman, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, and Sonia Sotomayor, among many others! I would still like to read and have this book so I will keep it.
  • The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr: I added this book the same year it came out, a nonfiction book about Silicon Valley, the world of automation mixed with science, philosophy, and ethics. While it is very much still a big topic today and one that I’m still interested in, I wonder if this book will be outdated (seeing how fast technology moves nowadays). I’m inclined to remove it and if I still want to read a book on the topic I’m sure there will be more current books on the subject that I can find.
  • Collected Stories by Gabriel García Márquez: Gabriel García Márquez is a Colombian author and I really want to read his most famous novels “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera” first. This particular book is a collection of 26 of his short stories and it would be awesome to have this in my library at some point but even though it’s not a high priority for me right now, I’ll keep it in the list.

Out of the 10 books I will be keeping 5/10! As I mentioned I will be adding one of these books to my immediate list of books to read and I will simply pick the oldest book which is…. ha! Collected Stories by Márquez! The one I said wasn’t a high priority is now a high priority! I will be looking for the Spanish edition next so I’ll likely be reading it in July!

What a fun twist at the end there XD

Anyways, this was a great thing to do with my Goodreads Want To Read list because I was getting a bit worried that it’s too big and quite unrealistic, especially since I keep adding books almost every day! If there are any books that I’ve removed but you feel strongly that I should have kept, let me know! And vice versa 😀

How many books do you have in your Goodreads Want To Read (or general Want To Read list)? I certainly didn’t think I had that many but I’m also not surprised that that many would be removed the first time around.

Happy Friday and I hope you have a happy weekend full of wonderful reading!