Down the TBR Hole #8

Welcome folks to the eighth round of Down the TBR Hole. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my seventhmy sixthmy fifthmy fourthmy thirdmy second or my first round post or check out Lia at Lost in a Story who is the creator of this wonderful meme/project.

I’m trying to make this a regular feature of my blogging schedule because it’s good to regularly reevaluate if/why you want to read a book – that way you don’t come back to your TBR years later and have no clue why a title piqued your interest in the first place. I’ve also added a summary of results bit at the bottom of each round so I can track how many books I’ve kept and ditched from my TBR shelf in each round and overall.

Just a reminder of how this works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Outside of doing these posts semi-regularly I have also been culling my TBR list at random points when I’m bored – all of this is good in terms of getting my TBR to a reasonable amount of books but it also means that these posts are getting harder for me to do as I’m beginning to really agonise over whether to ditch or keep books on there. Not that any of this is a bad thing! Let’s get going on the 10 books under scrutiny today…

1. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

Why is it there? I’m a slight completionist, and I am still slightly ashamed that I have an MA with Distinction in Early modern literature but I still haven’t read all of Shakespeare’s plays. This is one of the number that I haven’t read, though I’m aware of the story behind it, and I love the modern adaptation of it via 10 Things I Hate About You – an excellent film and, if you say otherwise, I will fight you on it.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Why is it there? See above comment. Interestingly, I have no idea what happens in A Midsummer Night’s Dream – this play is one of the few of Shakespeare’s that I haven’t seen some kind of adaptation of, and I know nothing about its plot. I’m really intrigued to finally get to this (hopefully soon) so this has to stay on my TBR.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Why is it there? I likely saw this on a ‘best books of all-time’ list or was inspired by Rory Gilmore’s rather impressive book collection which must include this book. A few months back a bunch of Booktubers did a readalong of this and I was interested in it, but I never even bought a copy so I could join in. Looking back, I think that was a sign that I don’t want to get to this quite enough for it to stay on my TBR list. A readalong is likely the only way I’ll be motivated enough to read a book that’s so huge so maybe if I see one sometime soon, I’ll have a change of heart but, until then, I think this one can go. I might end up watching the film though.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

4. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Why is it there? During university I felt ashamed that I hadn’t read this book because, for some reason, a lot of my peers had (I think it might be on a GCSE or A Level syllabus??) and they used it as an example during my Introduction to Criticism class. Having not read it, I was completely lost, but I did think about changing that and added it to my TBR. Nowadays, very few people make me feel ashamed of not having read something… so I’m just going to go ahead and admit to myself that I’m likely to never get to this. If I do happen to randomly pick it up then great, if I don’t, no sweat.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. King Lear by William Shakespeare

Why is it there? This is just getting repetitive but this is a Shakespeare play I haven’t read so I need to correct that, stat. At least I know what this one is about, and I’d like to read it since I enjoyed what I saw of it via the National Theatre broadcast of Sam Mendes’ King Lear with Simon Russell Beale as the titular character.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

6. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Why is it there? Again, another Shakespeare play I haven’t read. At least… apparently I haven’t read it, even though I thought I had, but Goodreads says no so I must trust a website over my own memory on this one.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Why is it there? Breakfast at Tiffany’s is just one of those cultural touchstones that I vaguely know about but I have never read the book or seen the film. I don’t know anything about it, aside from the most basic of references made in other media, and I’d like to keep it that way until I do manage to pick up the book or watch the film. As for which will come first? Only time will tell but, for now, this can stay.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

8. The Italian by Ann Radcliffe

Why is it there? Back in second year of university I took a Romanticism course which had a Gothic literature section, and we read excerpts from The Castle of Otranto and The Mysteries of Udolpho, but I never pursued them any further, aside from adding them, (and this book, to my TBR.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

9. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

Why is it there? This book makes it onto a hell of a lot of ‘best books of all-time’ lists so it must be good. The problem is that that just isn’t quite enough of a reason for me to want to read it outright. I read the synopsis again for the purposes of this post and it still doesn’t grip me at all so…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

10. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez

Why is it there? I cannot remember why on earth this made it onto my TBR, even after reading the synopsis I’m really not sure why I wanted to read this so this is a pretty easy decision to make…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch


This round:
Kept – 5
Ditched – 5

Kept – 44
Ditched – 36

Aaand that was the eighth round of my Down the TBR Hole project – have I made a terrible mistake in ditching some of these titles? Or have I kept some that really aren’t worth my time? Let me know in the comments below!

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15 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #8

  1. Jillian 02/10/2017 / 19:35

    My heart just broke a little that you ditched Gone with the Wind. The movie is good, but (it must be said) the book is SO MUCH BETTER. :)


    • Emma 09/10/2017 / 10:51

      Haha, sorry! :P It could very well end up back on my list if I have a sudden desire to read it or (in all likelihood) see a readalong happening of it online!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jillian 10/10/2017 / 14:07

        I closed my blog a few months ago to focus on school & writing. You make me want to come back just to host a readalong of Gone with the Wind. ;-)


        • Emma 11/10/2017 / 11:05

          Aww no haha, not to be a bad influence but… I’m sure there would be other people in the bookish community who’d be interested too. :)


  2. Stephanie 30/09/2017 / 06:10

    Lear and Shrew are two of my favorite Shakespeare plays! (And 10 Things I Hate About You is amazing.) Hope you enjoy them!

    P.S. You are not missing anything by not reading The Turn of the Screw. I had to read it in grad school and didn’t like it at all.


    • Emma 02/10/2017 / 14:07

      I feel as though I know their stories having seen adaptations of them both, but I’ve amazingly never actually got to reading the full play-text – funny how that happens. Speaking of, how is your Shakespeare reading project going?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stephanie 02/10/2017 / 17:25

        It’s going okay. I’m not as motivated as I would have hoped, but I haven’t skipped a month yet. I made it through Richard II last month (good, but not as good as Richard III), and just ordered a copy of Titus Andronicus for October.

        There were so many plays I was familiar with before I actually read them. I think that happens a lot. Have you read If We Were Villains, yet? (If not, you definitely should read Lear first.)


  3. MetalPhantasmReads 29/09/2017 / 23:40

    I remember reading “Turn of the Screw” in high school and really liking it. But it does feel good to clean out your TBR and take a breather :)


    • Emma 02/10/2017 / 14:07

      Sometimes it’s just a case of finally admitting whether or not I have any interest in the books on there any more – I’ve added plenty of books to it over the years but my interest in them waxes and wanes, and it’s good to finally take stock. :)

      Liked by 1 person

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