Down the TBR Hole #12

Welcome folks to the twelfth round of Down the TBR Hole. I know, I know, it’s crazy to think I’ve reached the twelfth round of this little project but I think it has produced some great results and, as we’re getting to the end of the year and I’m thinking about spring cleaning my TBR ready for the New Year, I anticipate doing a lot of ditching of books in the remaining weeks of 2017! For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my eleventhmy tenthmy ninthmy 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. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Why is it there? Pretty much everyone I’ve ever seen review this novel has commented on how impactful and life-changing it is – but there’s one problem, I have a sort of knee-jerk hatred for the word ‘impactful’ since I think it’s come to be a pretty redundant word due to how often it is used nowadays. I digress but basically… people say this is really good but can’t tell me why. That infuriates me so it turned me off the book without it really being the book’s fault. I’m also not a huge fan of child narrators so… there’s that too. Will I ever actually read a JSF book? Honestly? Probably not, eek!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. Fragile Things: Short Fictions & Wonders by Neil Gaiman

Why is it there? I adore Neil Gaiman’s novels but I’ve never read any of his short stories, let alone his short story collections. I went through a phase of just adding all of Neil Gaiman’s writing onto my TBR list and this collection is no exception.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

3. It’s Not Me, It’s You by Jon Richardson

Why is it there? As a comedian, Jon Richardson is brilliant, he’s just so funny and I relate to quite a lot of his comedy routines (in particular the whole ‘you can have a putter and a leaver living together but you can’t have two leavers or they will die of dysentery’) so I’m sure his book will be filled with just as much petty moaning as his routines – perfect!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

 

 

4. NW by Zadie Smith

Why is it there? Everyone raves about Zadie Smith’s writing but I am still yet to read a single thing from her. I think my main problem is that I mainly read fantasy nowadays so anything that doesn’t have a slightly mythical or mystical tone to it doesn’t immediately leap out at me as a ‘must read’. I’m sure Zadie Smith is an incredibly talented storyteller, and everyone tells me she is, but the blurb of this book just doesn’t do anything for me. Sorry!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones

Why is it there? At some point (probably during the newspaper review on Sky News) I became aware of Owen Jones, an incredibly left-leaning writer whose opinions I mostly agreed on. Then I realised that he had written a book on chavs and I’d randomly bought it in a Kindle sale. To this day the book sits unread on my Kindle – that is not a reflection on the book, or its author, but just on how I never actively pick up non-fiction, it just happens on a whim. Hopefully I’ll get to this one during one such whimsical moment.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

6. Tree Surgery for Beginners by Patrick Gale

Why is it there? Much like my relationship with Zadie Smith, I hear so many good things about Patrick Gale. I once read quite a large portion of one of his best known novels, Notes from an Exhibition, before I had to put it down in favour of required reading for university. I never went back to it, but apparently I did add more of Patrick Gale’s books to my TBR, including this one. However, maybe I should just concentrate on actually finishing the first of his books I tried to read before pursuing any others…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. Gentleman’s Relish by Patrick Gale

Why is it there? See above!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

8. Super-Cannes by J.G. Ballard

Why is it there? A while back I had to read J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise at university, and it was a fascinating book – I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say it was ‘enjoyable’, I’d potentially slowly back away from anyone who really enjoyed it! After that, I added a few more of Ballard’s books to my TBR in the certainty that I’d get round to them ‘someday’. Then I had to read Crash for a different university course and, after that experience, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to pick up another Ballard novel ever again. I stand by that decision until further notice…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

9. Millennium People by J.G. Ballard

Why is it there? See above!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

10. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Why is it there? Once upon a time, I was assigned Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone for a university course (don’t all of my stories start in a similar fashion?) and I enjoyed it so much that I had a little look at what other Wilkie Collins I might want to try next. I added The Woman in White to my TBR in a fit of optimism and then realised it was your typical 600-page long mid-century Victorian classic and I never quite managed to get around to it which is a shame because so many people whose opinions I trust say this is a brilliant book. Maybe I’ll still get to it… someday…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

Results

This round:
Kept – 4
Ditched – 6

Overall:
Kept – 63
Ditched – 57

That, my friends, was the twelfth 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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4 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #12

    • Emma 17/12/2017 / 21:59

      Thanks! I love Gaiman’s writing but I’ve never managed to read any of his short stories yet so I’m really looking forward to it!

      Liked by 1 person

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