Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

Fixer Upper February


People go on blind dates with each other, so why not do the same thing with books?  Yes, I am aware this sounds like the beginning of a terrible query.  Stick with me, I eventually have a point.

I have over 1300 books on my TBR-list (!!!) I told a friend that and he said, “Good god, how is that possible?”

Well, it is. (I said, somewhat defensively)

Although some are more of books I think I *should* read like “the 100 best classics.”  Yeah, War and Peace, I’m looking at you.

Which means certain books are at the very bottom of the pile.  And there are some titles I look at and go, “What is this?  Did I add this?”  Because it’s been so long that the description I added to remind me what the book was about doesn’t make sense anymore.  Also, I should use something better than “sounds awesome.”

So I’ve got this giant Excel sheet of titles and I’ve been playing favorites or only letting certain books come to the party, based on whatever random reading theme I’m in the middle of.

But what if I used a number generator to choose four books to read in February?

Dun, dun, dun

Then I’d get this list*:

Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein

Harris and Me – Gary Paulsen

Waiting For You – Susane Colasanti

Sorta Like a Rock Star – Matthew Quick

This is the one I’m most excited about.  Look at the bright, pretty cover!

And now that I’ve seen the description on Goodreads, I remember adding it and can’t wait to read:

Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom’s boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber’s optimism–and her way of life, can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope? With an oddball cast of characters, and a heartwarming, inspiring story, this novel unveils a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope.

Has anyone read any of these?  Thoughts?

PLUS, YA Book Club!!!

*These are actually the first four numbers I got.  If it had brought up War and Peace, I was going to cheat and pick another number.


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

11 thoughts on “Fixer Upper February

  1. Yup, War and Peace. I’ll get to it eventually, won’t I?

    Good luck with Gertrude Stein. Even your list for February intimidates! Seriously, thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed your post.

  2. My TBR has become like my Netflix queue, in which a lot of acclaimed films that I really do want to watch someday get consistently pushed to the bottom. Someday I’ll read you, Ulysses! I swear.

  3. I haven’t read any of the books mentioned, however, I also adore the cover for Sorta Like a Rock Star. And that blurb is appealing as well. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I love this idea of randomizing it! The blurb for Sorta Like A Rock Star sounds awesome! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. And it’s funny, they reissued a few of Stein’s books and reviewed then in the Times last weekend and I thought, I really need to read me some Gertrude Stein. I think you’ve inspired me to check that one out. Now I just need more time in the day to accomplish all the reading!

  5. What a smart way to choose your next reads! My TBR list is super-long, too, and I tend to just read the items that I put on the list most recently. So yeah, WAR AND PEACE is constantly at the bottom, along with ANNA KARENINA and THE BROTHERS KARAMOZOV, lol. My husband loves Russian lit, so you’d think that would force me to read those ones first but it has definitely not.

    And I have read WAITING FOR YOU, which I thought was pretty OK at the time. I really enjoyed Susan Colasanti until I read a few of her books and they sort of have the same voice and a similarly formulaic romance. If you read one, it’s pretty good, but the more of her stuff you read the more evident her particular hang-ups become.

    SORT OF LIKE A ROCK STAR has actually been on my bookshelf a while, but I keep bumping it down the list for some reason. Let me know if it’s any good and if I should move it up to the top 😉

  6. I can’t believe you have that many books on your TBR. I do like the idea of using a generator to decide what to read. I should give this a go next time I’m undecided.

  7. 1300 books, wow! And I thought my TBR list was long. Good luck! It sounds like those 4 are a good start.

  8. 1300! That would take… so many 50/50 challenges. I love the random book idea, I’m gonna try that with my TBR too. Yours came up with a pretty good list too.

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