the Little Red Reviewer

TBR Topple!

Posted on: May 19, 2013

Thanks to Dark Cargo for starting the TBR Topple campaign.  This is where you look at your teetering stack of books you’ve been meaning to read, and instead of buying more books (for therapeutic reasons, of course), you take a handful of books from your TBR pile, read the first chapter or two just to get a taste, and see which ones taste good enough to keep reading.  And the ones that don’t do it for ya? Get ’em outta the TBR and regret nothing!

Other great folks involved in TBR Topple include Lynn’s Book Blog  and Over the Effing Rainbow. Maybe we can all help each other out.



Here’s what I got:

Some of the books mentioned below I’ve already cracked open to see what tasty morsels abide within, others I, umm…. haven’t. But I will!  I hope!



From the library:

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, recommended by My Bookish Ways, it’s magical realism/urban fantasy. Kinda Charles deLint-esque?

Mastering Communication at Work – yes, this is something I’m reading for work.  You know how must business books are drier than dust and make you want to die of boredom? This one isn’t. It’s readable, interesting, has a bunch of exercises to do. I’ve read the first 2 chapters and flipped through the rest. I wish I’d read this 10 years ago.  A bit heavy to read all in one go, but I may need to buy a copy of this.

Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner – a shared world anthology, ummm… thing? I haven’t even had a chance to crack it open yet. I wonder how many times I can renew it from the library?

and an ARC for review:

Clockwork Phoenix 4, edited by Mike Allen – I’ve read three or four of the short stories in here, been very impressed so far.  The book doesn’t come out for a few weeks yet, so I’ve got a bit of wiggle room!


there’s these too:


Kushiel’s Dart by Jaqueline Carey – this seems like one of those books you can’t put down once you’ve picked up?  I’m not sure how many book there are in the series, but finding book 1 was not easy!

Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks – this is the first Culture book, but it gets mixed reviews. I did get through about 20 pages of it, got frustrated, picked up Banks’ The State of the Art, and did much better. this may go back on the shelf for now.

When the People Fell, by Cordwainer Smith – ya’ll know I love me some Cordwainer Smith, and three cheers to Baen Books for publishing this ginormous short story collection! This is the book for my local scifi book club that meets next week. I’ve read like 3 of the stories in here so far, all very, very good. Smith rights a damn good love story (betcha didn’t think I was gonna say that, did you?). This strikes me as more a “pick up every few months and read one or two entries”, than “blast through in a few days and read every page” type book.

Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson – got this out of the library like 6 years ago, LOVED it! Now I finally own a copy and read at a leisurely pace. Also, it’s a paperback, so it doesn’t weigh nine hundred pounds. unlike the hardback from the library!

Caliban’s War, by James S. A. Corey –  I loved the first one, not sure why I’ve waited so long to read the second. It looks like a really big time commitment.  And it’s autographed. I’m afraid I’ll damage it.

Survival, by Julie Czerneda – been hearing great things about this series. It has lots of science. A friend said “read it just for the aliens”. I do love me some aliens that aren’t just humanoids painted blue!

So that’s the plan.  dabble in these and see how I do, right?


and then my TBR Topple got sabotaged:

– I picked up Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks planning to just read 20 or 30 pages.  that was 2 days ago. Now I’m half way through it, and am planning to stay up way past my bedtime to finish it. This is seriously fan-fucking-tastically good.

– This beauty showed up in the mail:


The photo doesn’t do it justice. This anthology looks like a wedding gown with gold trim and a bouquet with streamers the color of an aurora.

– also, this showed up through Interlibrary Loan:


I won’t even show you the awesomely cool shit I bought at John King Books last week. And did I mention I discovered Paperback Swap?

TBR topple? I am TOAST.

13 Responses to "TBR Topple!"

Heehee! I did end up with about half a dozen new books this week, so my own TBR Topple nearly didn’t happen … At this point, however, I think it may still be in trouble… 😀


if I can get through the library books and Clockwork Phoenix I’ll be proud of myself.


Several of those books are on my TBR list too – Neal Stephenson (loved his Cryptonomicon), Julie Czienerda, Ian Banks. I’ve read War for the Oaks (felt so-so about it), love Jacqueline Carey (there are 3 trilogies set in the Terre D’Ange world).


I finished War for the Oaks the other night (couldn’t put it down!!) and am posting a review tomorrow. I can see how it wouldn’t work for everyone, but man, it hit all the right buttons for me.

tough choice which to grab first, the Czerneda or the Carey. . .


The problem I’ve been having with my TBR is that I get started on something and get a notification there is a book at the library for me. So I drop everything to read that but before I finish it another library book appears, and so on. I put holds on books over a period of time but they seem to arrived in clumps. I just returned one I didn’t even open so I could free up the bookjam.


same happens to me. I’ll put library books on hold a few days apart, and then they all show up all the at the same time. the library is trying to thwart me!

and then I’ll get talking with some blogger friends on twitter, who recommend some books, so I put them on hold. . .


I love this idea! I have way too many books on my TBR list and must topple!


grab a few books, read the first chapter of each, see which one grabs you back! and the rest? meh, set ’em aside and don’t worry about it.


My “topple” would be huge!


so long as it doesn’t land on you!


Oh, no… Most of my books are collectible condition… would not do to have them toppling on me 🙂


I might have to join in on this thing, provided my pile doesn’t suffocate me!


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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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