How To Make A TBR Jar

Spring is almost here! Or is here based on the weather in your area (it’s definitely nice out where we are). Which means it’s the perfect reading weather! Because all weather is the perfect reading weather. And you probably have a lot of books left over from all that awesome holiday money. And you probably still need supervision going to the bookstore because you can never have too many books. But now that TBR pile is growing. And you can’t decide what to read next off of it. It’s time to revive the TBR Jar.

Step 1: Get a jar

Any size will do! For this tutorial, I’m using a small 4oz jar.

Step 2: Decorate It!

Or don’t It’s up to you. I’ve seen some really pretty ones with lace and mod podge, but I went simple with some washi tape.

I used a stencil to right “To Be Read” on the jar and then again on the washi tape. To make sure the washi tape stays on the glass, its best to cover it in a layer of mod podge (may I suggest EXTREME GLITTER GLITTER or GLOW IN THE DARK).

Step 3: Add the titles.

Go to the papercraft section of any store and you’re bound to find some card stock. I went to AC MOORE (before the mass closing) and purchased a small stack of business card sized card stock. Pretty colors, already cut to size, and easily foldable.

Step 4: Drop them in the jar!

Place them in the jar and make sure to give it a good shake! To add to it you can add extra fun rewards for you pull out. I added:

  • Buy a new book
  • Buy a bookish tee-shirt
  • Rearrange your shelves
  • Listen to an audio book

TBR jars are also a great way to tackle your favorite challenges because you can use them to add bookish goals instead of titles. Just have fun!

How To Prioritize Your TBR

As Book Nerds, we have a problem. That problem is our ever growing, never shrinking TBR pile that now needs its own house with its own mortgage. To help, we’re going to use/alter/reference the KonMari method.

Relax! We aren’t going to make you keep a max or minimum amount of books. We know you can’t be contained.

Step 1: Tidy All at Once

Instead of moving over days and giving yourself time and excuses not to attack the dreaded TBR pile, give yourself one day. You aren’t going out. You aren’t watching Netflix. You aren’t going to the bookstore.

Let’s repeat for emphasis.

YOU. ARE. NOT. GOING. TO. THE. BOOK. STORE.

You are going through your TBR pile and finally determining which books will be read, and which books you know in your heart, will never be touched.

Step 2: Visualize the Destination

Think in concrete terms. Do you want to read more Sci-Fi? Fantasy? Contemporary? Thrillers? Figure out what you’re going to tend toward or whether you want to challenge yourself with a new genre and tell yourself to focus on those titles.

Step 3: Does it Spark Joy?

Well, does it? Did a friend recommend that title to you? Did you buy it at a con? Did you get it at a table where you met your favorite author?

Or did you stop by a booth, grab a book you knew you wouldn’t read, and then just chucked it on the pile?

Step 4: Tidy by Category.

Marie Kondo says to tidy by category, not location. As a Book Nerd myself, I’m positive that you have books all over the house. Track down one genre at a time and look through them. Are you going to read those? Or would they be better off being donated to a classroom library?

Step 5: Tidy in Order

The KonMari method has a checklist and so should you. No one knows your tastes better than you do so list out your top five genres and move through your books in that order. Don’t be afraid to separate them into sub-genres. Space sagas and futuristic dystopias are both sci-fi, but they aren’t the same.


After you’re done combing through the books you might read, take a look back at the ones you have read. If you find that you don’t need to keep those, consider donating them to any number of charities who give books to lower income schools and families.

March TBR

My TBR has two sections really: things to review and things I can read in my own time. I feel like both of them are like hydras anymore. Read one book and two more appear. The growth for my review pile is crazy because I have to wait for approval. Will I get it? Will it be a day before I need to post a review? Will I actually have time with other approvals? All amazing questions.

And I think it goes without saying, I’m probably not going to read all of these in March, but this is what my TBR looks like as of today.

For Review

34728667Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author(s): Tomi Adeyemi
Pub Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Buy Links: Amazon . B&N

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

brujaborn.jpgTitle: Bruja Born
Author(s): Zoraida Cordova
Pub Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: SourceBooks Fire
Buy Links: Amazon . B&N

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…

myplainjaneTitle: My Plain Jane
Author(s): Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Pub Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Harper Teen
Buy Links: Amazon . B&N

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

Free Reading

 

conspiracyofstars.jpgTitle: Conspiracy of Stars
Author(s): Olivia A Cole
Pub Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Buy Links: Amazon . B&N

Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The secrets of the jungle’s exotic plants and animals are protected fiercely in the labs by the Council of N’Terra, so when the rules suddenly change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be overjoyed.

But something isn’t right. The newly elected leader of the Council has some extremist views about the way he believes N’Terra should be run, and he’s influencing others to follow him. When Octavia witnesses one of the Faloii—the indigenous people of Faloiv—attacked in front of her in the dark of night, she knows the Council is hiding something. They are living in separate worlds on a shared planet, and their fragile peace may soon turn into an all-out war.

With the help of Rondo, a quiet boy in class with a skill for hacking, and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set on a collision course to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family.

gemina.jpgTitle: Gemina
Author(s): Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Pub Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Alfred A Knopf Books for young Readers
Buy Links: Amazon . B&N

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

February TBR

Jessica's TBR (1).png

A few titles are back on my TBR after the holidays and with the semester starting. I’m trying to read more middle grade this semester since I feel like I haven’t touched a lot of it. And I have three ARCs on the list. If anyone has any good, recent, sci-fi bookrecs, please leave them in the comments!

Episode #25: ShadowWeaver

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http://bookedallnight.podbean.com/e/episode-25-shadowweaver/

Listen to this episode and other episodes of the podcast on Podbean.

This week we’re talking about Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly. We advise you to actually NOT listen to this podcast and go buy a copy NOW.

DO IT NOW!

Okay, fine, listen to the podcast.


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Episode #24: Booked All 2018

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http://bookedallnight.podbean.com/e/episode-24-booked-all-2018/

Listen to this episode and other episodes of the podcast on Podbean.

LATE UPDATE: Sorry for the late update! Maggie and Jess were away at school and experienced a hectic couple of days.

It’s officially 2018! That means you need more books to read, right? Right. Duh. Well good news, night owls! Jess and Maggie have plenty of bookrecs for you.

 


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September TBR

Monthly TBR

Going to be a slow September apparently. I’m super excited that I was approved for the second Mice of the Round Table by Julie Leung. I’ve had This Darkness Mine for a little bit now and I really need to get it off my review list since it comes out this October. The Stolen Child is an old one but my teacher recommended it to me. Here’s all the back copy:

Mice of the Round Table: Voyage to Avalon

voyagetoavalonAuthor: Julie Leung
Pub Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins

A mysterious curse sparks a dangerous quest in book two of the epic middle grade series ALA Booklist called “a charming blend of Arthurian legend and Brian Jacques’s Redwall series.”

Young mouse Calib Christopher has nearly completed his training to become a squire to the Knights of Camelot when news of a deadly plague reaches the castle. Soon all of Camelot is showing signs of the illness, animals and humans alike. Desperate to find a cure, Calib and his friend Cecily set off on a voyage to find the healing land of Avalon. But even as their journey takes them over land and sea, back at home, Calib’s human friend Galahad discovers that the true enemy may have already found a way inside the castle walls.…

This Darkness Mine

9780062561596_305afAuthor: Mindy MicGinnis
Pub Date: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen books

Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure that her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.

But suddenly there’s a fork in the road, in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it, and she relishes the smell of him—smoke, beer, and trouble—all the things she’s avoided to get where she is. Even worse, every time he’s near Sasha, her heart stops, literally. Why does he know her so well—too well—and she doesn’t know him at all?

Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending another’s: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac. As Sasha loses her much-cherished control, her life—and heart—become more entangled with Isaac. Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.

Edgar Award–winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a dark and gripping psychological thriller about a girl at war with herself, and what it really means to be good or bad.

Stolen Child

1152031Author: Keith Donohue

Inspired by the W.B. Yeats poem that tempts a child from home to the waters and the wild, The Stolen Child is a modern fairy tale narrated by the child Henry Day and his double.

On a summer night, Henry Day runs away from home and hides in a hollow tree. There he is taken by the changelings—an unaging tribe of wild children who live in darkness and in secret. They spirit him away, name him Aniday, and make him one of their own. Stuck forever as a child, Aniday grows in spirit, struggling to remember the life and family he left behind. He also seeks to understand and fit in this shadow land, as modern life encroaches upon both myth and nature.

In his place, the changelings leave a double, a boy who steals Henry’s life in the world. This new Henry Day must adjust to a modern culture while hiding his true identity from the Day family. But he can’t hide his extraordinary talent for the piano (a skill the true Henry never displayed), and his dazzling performances prompt his father to suspect that the son he has raised is an imposter. As he ages the new Henry Day becomes haunted by vague but persistent memories of life in another time and place, of a German piano teacher and his prodigy. Of a time when he, too, had been a stolen child. Both Henry and Aniday obsessively search for who they once were before they changed places in the world.

The Stolen Child is a classic tale of leaving childhood and the search for identity. With just the right mix of fantasy and realism, Keith Donohue has created a bedtime story for adults and a literary fable of remarkable depth and strange delights.

 

ARCstravaganza

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I’ve been pretty good about not going on requesting sprees. And to shake it up, I’ve been requesting a lot more middle grade. A lot of the YA coming out just doesn’t feel like something I’d like to request and I’ve learned from my past hubris not to request books I knowingly will not like. I did that a lot when I first started reviewing and, honestly, I hate writing up reviews for bad books. I’d much rather tell you about books that I loved than books I don’t think you should bother reading.

August TBR

My TBR is a little short this month but I’m okay with it. Two of these books are ARCs (Shadow Weaver and Shimmer and Burn) and the other two are, obviously, already out. I’ve decided to blend my shelves to get to these things more sporadically because my ARCs are getting in the way of my purchases.