Down the TBR Hole #18


Welcome folks to the eighteenth round of Down the TBR Hole! As I mentioned in my last round of DtTH (nope, that 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 the previous posts via the tag 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:

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. Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier

Why is it there? Truth be told, I don’t know much about this novel at all. I hear it’s semi-biographical and the only novel from this author as he died in World War I. Originally written in French, I believe it’s a bildungsroman and is something about the romantic ideal and it’s on Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century. This is all I know. I’m still not sure if I actually want to read it though.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Why is it there? Confession time: I disliked The Great Gatsby intensely and just DID NOT understand the hype (or indeed the critical appreciation) surrounding it. However, I did enjoy Fitzgerald’s writing style even if the plot wasn’t my cup of tea so, instinctively, I want to try some of his other novels. Starting with his debut seems like a good idea, even if I have heard mixed things about it and it seems horrendously autobiographical. Even so, I’m willing to give it a go…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

3. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Why is it there? As I mentioned above, I do want to give Fitzgerald another shot, so I also put The Beautiful and the Damned on my TBR. How much I enjoy This Side of Paradise will probably dictate whether or not this novel stays on my TBR in the long term but, for now, I guess it can stay alongside.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Why is it there? Are you getting tired of me talking about Fitzgerald novels yet? Well, you’re in luck, this one is a short story/novella/collection of short stories depending which edition you get. I’m vaguely aware of the plot of this one thanks to the film adaptation (which I haven’t actually seen but, you know, it’s ~around~) so I think the eponymous guy ages in reverse? That’s all I’ve got, I’ll probably get to it someday.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Why is it there? Here’s the thing, guys. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to like Ernest Hemingway’s prose style. I have absolutely nothing to base this opinion on at all, I just have this gut instinct that I won’t, and my gut is usually right. Like 70% of the time. But I am also wrong 30% of the time. So which case is this going to be – right or wrong? I just don’t know. I feel like I’ll prefer his non-fiction to his fiction, so I’m going to start there which means, for this book, bye bye.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

6. The Stranger by Albert Camus

Why is it there? Like most English literature undergrads, I came across Camus in a module on critical theory. I read an excerpt, didn’t understand it, and promptly added his most famous work, The Stranger, to my TBR because I figured I’d eventually come back to it when I had time to properly read it and take it in. I never did come back to it and by this point I don’t think I ever will – worse still, I don’t think I want to.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Why is it there? I haven’t read any John Wyndham but I’ve heard many great things about him from Jeansbookishthoughts over on Booktube so her love for him likely inspired this getting put on my TBR. I don’t know what to expect from this novel, all I know is it’s post-apocalyptic and I think most people in the world are blinded suddenly and then triffids start killing people? That’s all I know, and I’m fine with only knowing that until I get around to reading it.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

8. The Deep Blue Sea by Terrence Rattigan

Why is it there? I’ve seen the film (because Hiddleston is in it, yes I’m that easily led) and quite enjoyed it but I’d always wanted to go back and read the play itself. I still haven’t. But I’m pretty sure I still want to.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

9. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

Why is it there? I think that this book follows a group of college students in their final year and then the year after they graduate and I should be about that. I’ve gleaned that one of the characters is interested in the “marriage plot” of novels, e.g. Austen?? I should be about that. But… I kind of hated The Virgin Suicides, like I really did, so I’m not sure I’ll get on with Eugenides’ other works, in fact, I don’t even really want to give him any more of my time. Yep, I hated The Virgin Suicides that much.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

10. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Why is it there? There was a period when I just bought all the David Mitchell I could find, I feel like a lot of people have that phase? Just me? Oh, ok. Since then I have actually read Ghostwritten and I’ve tried to read Cloud Atlas twice, and I enjoyed both (what I’d read of them anyway) so it seemed obvious to buy The Bone Clocks when it was released. I still haven’t read it. I probably will though…
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

This round:
Kept – 6
Ditched – 4

Kept – 95
Ditched – 85

That’s all folks for the eighteenth round of my Down the TBR Hole project. As you can see, my keep to ditch ratio is starting to get slimmer, and I’m struggling more to ditch books. Is that because I’ve now weaned my TBR down enough? I really do hope that is the case! Even so, right now, my TBR currently stands at 644 books which isn’t too bad since there are new releases that obviously keep getting added to my list/number of books to read.

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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One response to “Down the TBR Hole #18”

  1. Dear Emma. Take fifteen minutes to read Hemingway’s short story “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” Then you’ll know. :)


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