TBR Shelf Cleanup #21

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Time for another round up of books from my TBR to go through! Each week I’ll be going over a selection from my physical unread books and deciding what to keep and what to purge. There will be a third option–undecided–which I might ask for your input on why you think I should keep or purge that title from my list. You can also check out my full TBR pile here.

Unicorn Variations by Roger Zelazny

unicorn_variations_coverUnicorn Variations is a collection of stories and essays by author Roger Zelazny, published in 1983. The title story, “Unicorn Variation”, was written as a result of Zelazny having been asked to contribute to two different upcoming anthologies — one collecting stories set in bars, and one collecting stories about unicorns. When Zelazny mentioned these requests to his close friend George R. R. Martin, the other told Zelazny of a third upcoming anthology — one which would collect stories about chess — and jokingly suggested that Zelazny write a story about playing chess against a unicorn in a bar, so that he could sell the story three times. Zelazny did just that and then went on to win a Hugo Award for the story.

On the one hand I hate to get rid of any short fiction collection and this has some award winning stuff in it. I’ve also been meaning to read more Zelazny. On the other hand I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to this, realistically. UNDECIDED

Price and Prometheus by John Kessel

pride_and_prometheus_coverPride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion of two popular classics.

Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature, Victor Frankenstein travels to England where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet, the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice. As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find a female body from which to create the monster’s mate?

Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is keeping from her.

Pride and Prometheus fuses the gothic horror of Mary Shelley with the Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.

This is one of my more ‘recent’ acquisitions, recent being the last couple of years. I picked this up at WFC about a year and a half ago and I think it might be a signed copy as well. I love retellings and reworkings and of course P&P is a favorite. I’ve heard good things about this one and I can’t wait to see how these two stories are reworked into a new tale. KEEP

This Cruel Design by Emily Suvuda

this_cruel_design_coverThe nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.

Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.

When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.

But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind.

This is the sequel to This Mortal Coil–a book I liked but didn’t love. That being said it had some really interesting things going for it and I do want to continue the series, eventually. There are a ton of series where I didn’t whole-heartedly love book 1 but ended up loving the series so I’m willing to give this one a shot, eventually. KEEP

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

the_devil_in_the_white_cityTwo men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before.

This sounds really interesting. I think this is a book I forgot I had on my shelves. It may have been one of my husband’s picks, I can’t remember. I’m not sure if I feel so strongly about this one as to hold onto it though, but I guess I can be convinced otherwise… PURGE

Dream Paris by Tony Ballantyne

dream_parisAnna Sinfield marched into the parks, when Angel Tower burned and Dream London fell. She marched to free the city, to end the madness, to find her mother and father. The day was won,. but her parents–and thousands like them–are still missing, lost to the Dream World.

And now she has a chance to get them back. A man with gemlike eyes has walked into her life, wearing a bespoke suit and bearing a terrible scroll. Mr Twelvetrees claims to know where the missing Londoners are; but to find them, Anna has to give up a life she’s started to rebuild and go into the Dream World itself. Into another Paris, where history has been repeating itself for two hundred years.

Vive La Révolution!

This is a book 2 of a series that I never started and I admit that I mostly picked it up because I fell in love with the cover. Covers are one of my downfalls when it comes to buying books. This one still looks pretty interesting but I think I’m okay with letting it go. PURGE

That’s all for now! This brings my total count to:

Keep Purge Undecided
163 41 32

Hey, look at that, two more purges this week! What do you think about my choices here? Anything you’d do differently? Leave a note in the comments, I’d love to chat!

12 thoughts on “TBR Shelf Cleanup #21

  1. Mischenko says:

    I’d probably go ahead and read This Cruel Design considering you read the first book and liked it. There are just too many books out there! It’s so hard to choose which to let go. 😉

  2. Bob says:

    I’ve been meaning to read THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY for years now but have never quite found the time. I’d probably purge myself.

  3. @lynnsbooks says:

    Strangely I love both covers for the books you’re purging – but glad you’re keeping Pride and Prometheus – I don’t really know why that is because I haven’t read it – perhaps I’d like to know your thoughts on it.
    Lynn 😀

    • waytoofantasy says:

      Yeah, I love those covers too, especially the 2nd one. Looking at it again I’m almost tempted to keep it hahaha.
      I’m hoping Pride and Prometheus will be right up my alley. 🙂

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