Down the TBR Hole #9

Welcome folks to the ninth round of Down the TBR Hole. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my eighthmy 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. Blood and Sand by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez

Why is it there? I have no memory of this place this book… I suspect I stumbled across the author and then proceeded to add his bibliography as another of his novels, The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, was ditched during my last round
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Why is it there? Having now seen the musical on Broadway (and planning to see it in the West End later this year), I feel like I owe it to the musical to read the source material. I hear it’s nothing short of ridiculous and dramatic and I am definitely here for that.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

3. The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith

Why is it there? My lovely friend Sarah bought me this for my birthday last year, under the recommendation of her dad I believe, and I just love it when people buy me books as a surprise. I’m rather ashamed that I haven’t got to this one yet but seeing as how I know precisely nothing about it, I’m sure it will be novel and I look forward to finally getting to it, hopefully sooner rather than later!
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

4. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Why is it there? I have never seen My Fair Lady but I accidentally know a song or two from it thanks to Strictly Come Dancing so I’ve admittedly always been a little curious about the play its based on – Pygmalion. I know the basic premise but aside from that I know nothing about George Bernard Shaw’s plays, only that I probably should have came across him sooner than now considering I got a degree in English literature without even glancing past his oeuvre.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

5. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

Why is it there? At some point, Rupert Penry-Jones was in a TV adaptation of this novel, and that is probably the only reason this book ever even crossed my radar. It’s not particularly my genre and I don’t think anyone I know offline or online has ever read it and raved about it so it’s not too traumatic to think about parting ways, to be honest…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

6. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Why is it there? I now understand how the likes of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez ended up on my TBR shelf at this point – I was clearly going through a phase of realising just how awfully Anglo-centric my entire Goodreads shelves are, and wanted to do something about it. I was likely also still actively studying Spanish at this point during school/university, so I was definitely recommended Isabel Allende. I know that this novel is important and expansive and one of the most famous Latin American classics of the 20th century… but I just don’t see me picking it up, without that external pressure to do so. (I know, I’m a terrible reader.)
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. Zorro by Isabel Allende

Why is it there? Right after remembering that I should try some Latin American classics, I definitely stumbled across this one in Allende’s bibliography and was shocked that she’d written a novel about Zorro. My only other exposure to Zorro are the films starring Antonio Banderas so you can probably understand why this is slightly amusing to me. Even so, I doubt I’ll ever actually seriously read any stories about the masked man, I’ll stick to the ridiculous films, thanks.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

8. The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot

Why is it there? I managed to get through an English degree without really coming into close contact with T.S. Eliot which feels like a miracle, except I focused on early modern literature so it’s not so surprising when you know that about me. Needless to say, I know next to nothing about this, possibly his most famous work alongside Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, but I do know that there’s all sorts of juicy intertextual references back to Shakespeare so I should enjoy it on some level if I really spend time with it and make the proper effort to appreciate its skill. But I feel as though, on the whole, I probably just won’t “get it”… let’s see, shall we?
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

9. Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Why is it there? I have a somewhat tumultuous relationship with Virginia Woolf – I’d love to love her work, but I’ve only read Jacob’s Room and I hated everything about it, from the characters, to the plot, to the narrative style. So I’m not sure I’ll enjoy any of Virginia Woolf’s work since, generally speaking, I don’t “get” modernism as a thing. But I should probably give it a chance. But will I give it a chance with this novel anytime soon? Honestly? Probably not.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

10. The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier

Why is it there? Rebecca is one of my all-time favourite books, a fact I constantly mention but it’s still true. I’ve since picked up some more of du Maurier’s work and thoroughly enjoy the reading experience, but I’ve never read any of her short stories so I definitely want to get to this one soon – probably as soon as I manage to find a copy of this in the older VMC editions I’m collecting.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

Results

This round:
Kept – 5
Ditched – 5

Overall:
Kept – 49
Ditched – 41

That, my friends, was the ninth round of my Down the TBR Hole project. But 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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5 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #9

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