Down the TBR Hole #14

Welcome folks to the fourteenth round of Down the TBR Hole! As I mentioned in my last round of DtTH (shall I coin that? the acronym isn’t particularly attractive, is it?), this little project has been a great way of weening down my TBR over the past year so I’ve decided to keep it up and make it a semi-regular feature in order to spring clean my TBR aka be realistic about what books I aspire to read and what books I actually will read.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my thirteenthmy twelfthmy 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. We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Why is it there? Not entirely sure how this made it onto my TBR but I suspect it was because it was an Orange Prize for Fiction winner back in 2005 and I’m a little ashamed at how few award-winning books I’ve read. But now I think that if I ever want to experience this story, I’ll probably end up just watching the film (blasphemous as that might sound) because Tilda Swinton is ace. 
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Why is it there? Literally no clue why this is still on here, or how it even made it onto here in the first place. It’s quite possible it was added when I was feeling enterprising and seriously thought I might read all the Man Booker Prize books. Yeah, no, that was a stupid idea since some of them really don’t interest me, including this one. Sorry/not sorry.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

3. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Why is it there? I like the time period of history this depicts but I hate straight-up historical books. I wasn’t a big history fan in school but I love the stories of historical figures, so I figured I’d probably be onboard with this sort of thing. I really fancied watching the TV adaptation too but managed to resist ‘until I’d read the book’, or so I’d told myself. Fast forward a few years and here we are and I still haven’t read it. It’s quite relieving to realise that I still want to though.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

4. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Why is it there? I’m sorry, people can tell me until the cows come home about how good this book is, it’s written by Jeffrey Eugenides and after my tumultuous experience with The Virgin Suicides (I hated everything about it, but most of all the writing style) I will not be picking up anything else he’s written in a hurry.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick

Why is it there? I’m genuinely unsure as to how this ever made it onto my TBR. After investigating on Goodreads, I can’t even say it’s because someone I follow on there loves it. After reading its synopsis, I was all-in to actually going about acquiring his until I saw the very first line of someone’s review when they said it is written in present tense. Towards the end of 2017 I read two books in quick succession that were written in present tense for precisely no reason – it added nothing to the story and was just a gimmick, but one that didn’t achieve anything. Because of this, I’m now super careful about reading books written in the present tense because it’s not really my thing, so this will have to go.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

6. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Why is it there? I can’t be sure but this was possibly added to my TBR when I was made to read Beckett at university. We didn’t get along, I just don’t get it, and I don’t really care to try anymore with it, so I likely will never make the effort to read (or even see) this, possibly his most famous dramatic work. 
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Why is it there? I’m pretty sure this will have made its way onto my TBR when someone casually alluded to Kafka during a university seminar and made me feel uncultured as shit because I’d never read any of his stuff. I still haven’t. Will I? I’m not sure, but, for now, this one will slip through by the skin of its teeth, I think.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

8. Crush by Richard Siken

Why is it there? This poetry collection definitely did the rounds of the Internet and definitely Tumblr a while back, and it was added to my TBR solely because of that. I’m quite picky about my poetry, though, so I think that’s why I’ve put off acquiring and reading this but one of these days I will take the leap, I’m sure of it.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

9. Aurorarama by Jean-Christophe Valtat

Why is it there? As this is shelved as ‘steampunk’ on Goodreads, I can safely assume this crossed my radar when I was searching through lists of steampunk novels on there. I don’t know anyone who has read it, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone even haul it, let alone review it, so this one is a bit of an unknown quantity. But just check out that cover, huh? (Yes, I am shallow enough to let a book pass this round just because its cover is pretty.)
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

10. After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell

Why is it there? I’ve seen a fair few of Maggie O’Farrell’s books around in general everyday life, and I’m yet to express an actual interest in one of them enough to physically even pick one up so that doesn’t exactly bode well. This is her debut novel, I believe, and even though I read the synopsis just now to be able to have something constructive to say in this paragraph, I’m just not feeling it and that’s all there is to it – sometimes it really is as simple as that.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

Results

This round:
Kept – 4
Ditched – 6

Overall:
Kept – 73
Ditched – 67

That, my friends, was the fourteenth 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 #14

    • Emma 01/02/2018 / 10:55

      Haha, thanks – sometimes you’ve got to be brutal and finally admit to yourself that you’re just not ever going to make a book a priority! It helps that a lot of these I don’t yet own, because I can be quite precious if I have to ditch a physical book!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ffion 29/01/2018 / 19:43

    This is such a fun idea! I’ve only had Goodreads and my blog for about 8 months, but already I’m noticing the TBR starting to grow out of control :P

    Like

    • Emma 01/02/2018 / 10:56

      I agree! Some of these books have been on my TBR for years without be ever even thinking about them after I first added them. Your TBR definitely grows exponentially as soon as you’re part of the online book community!

      Like

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