Down the TBR Hole #20


Welcome folks to the twentieth 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. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Why is it there? Like a lot of book lovers, I went through a stage of reading The Eyre Affair by the same author which is an extremely playful alternate history book where detective Thursday Next flits into the story of Jane Eyre in pursuit of a criminal. It’s every bit as wacky and meta as it sounds. Fast forward to when I added Shades of Grey onto my TBR list purely because I saw its cover in the library and wanted to remember it. Nowadays, its synopsis is interesting enough but I’m no longer dying to read it so…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill

Why is it there? I know people who had to read this as assigned reading in school but I haven’t read any Susan Hill… and I’m not entirely sure she’s ever really going to be one of my priority ‘must read’ authors. I hear its sad and emotional and involves children and bullying and neglect and I’m just… I’m not sure I ever want to willingly put myself through this.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

3. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Why is it there? I’m pretty sure this did the rounds on Booktube a good few years ago, when only the first two books of the trilogy were published and folks were highly anticipating the third and final part of the series. I added it to my TBR around that time when I saw it on (I think) Lainey’s channel (gingerreadslainey for those not familiar), but I’m still yet to read it. My library has the audiobook version though so I may very well give it a go in that format…
 Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

4. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

Why is it there? Quite a few people whose opinions I trust on Booktube recommended this book. I’m still a little hesitant to try it because it sounds a bit out of my comfort zone. From what I can gather, it’s a bit magical realism and enchanting but also kind of gritty and brutal too. It feels like the sort of book I need to be very much in the right head-space for… unfortunately that time hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m sure it will in the future.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

5. Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys

Why is it there? Honestly? I’m not entirely sure. It’s highly likely that I added it after I realised Jean Rhys had wrote more than just Wide Sargasso Sea, which I haven’t read either incidentally. Aside from that, I don’t know anything about this book or this author and… I’m not all that invested in either. Oops. Sorry! (Feel free to correct me and tell me how wrong I am in the comments!)
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

6. Moranthology by Caitlin Moran

Why is it there? Aaaages ago, I read Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman and enjoyed it. It was bold and blunt and didn’t exactly censor itself. It was also hilarious. Therefore it seemed obvious at that point that I’d add some of Caitlin Moran’s other books onto my TBR, including this one which is a collection of her columns. I’ve read similar collections from comedians/writers before (I especially love Charlie Brooker’s) and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the bitesize chunks of hilarity so I’m sure to enjoy this one, even if it may be a tad out-of-date by the time I get round to reading this since it was published in 2012.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

7. Heap House by Edward Carey

Why is it there? Way back when, I watched Sanne of Booksandquills’ ‘how to get into publishing‘ videos, one of which talked about her experience of applying for a job at Hot Key Books. Part of the application for that job involved planning a marketing campaign around this book, Heap House, and I thought it sounded so cool and very much my jam that I added it to my TBR. And I haven’t even thought about it since. Oops!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

8. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Why is it there? The Secret History remains of one of my absolute faves and I’ve re-read it a few times since that first read. I’ve also added Tartt’s other novel, The Goldfinch, to my TBR since then. I’ve also purchased it. I’m yet to read it… largely because it’s so humongous and I’m also really worried about it being not as good as The Secret History, or else not quite living up to my very high expectations. Still, I do really want to get to this eventually.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

9. The Diviners by Libba Bray

Why is it there? As seems to be a very common thread in these Down the TBR Hole posts, I saw this one doing the rounds on Booktubes a few years back and I added it to my TBR list then. As far as I remember it’s set in 1920s New York City with gruesome murders and some kind of paranormal spookiness going on – that seems like an intriguing enough synopsis to earn it a place on the list. I hear the audiobooks are very good though, and they have them at my local library, so I may very well choose to experience it in that format when I do get around to this series.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

10. Cress by Marissa Meyer

Why is it there? I’m like a broken record… this did the rounds on Booktube a few years back and I enjoyed Cinder and Scarlet back when I read them, but I never did move onto the third book, Cress. Since then the series has been completed and I’ve heard lots of people say it was very enjoyable. However, thinking about it, as much as the cyberpunk-esque retelling of Cinderella in the form of Cinder was fun and all… I don’t actually feel all that invested in any of the characters anymore. That might change if I re-read the first two books but… aaah this is difficult to admit but I think it may be time to say bye-bye (at least for the foreseeable future).
Do I own it? Yes (on ebook)
Verdict? Ditch

This round:
Kept – 5
Ditched – 5

Kept – 105
Ditched – 95

That’s all folks for the twentieth round of my Down the TBR Hole project. I’m struggling more and more nowadays to ditch books but my TBR currently stands at 636 books. Although that still seems an insurmountable number, it’s not too bad considering how many books were on there before I started doing this project and slowly whittling that number down. I think my future just must hold a lot of reading for me to hope to get to all of these books!

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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10 responses to “Down the TBR Hole #20”

  1. You are doing great with going through your TBR! I read the Goldfinch and I really liked it once I got invested in it, the audiobook is also done very well. I passed my copy around to a few people so they could read it as well and I never let others read my copies of books. The Diviners by Libba Bray is one I keep wanting to read, I am not sure what is stoping me though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I think I’m getting better at being cut-throat, though it’s becoming trickier because there’s now less books to cut, haha. Hmm interesting, I might look into the audiobook of The Goldfinch then and see how I like the narration because it would be good to have the option to switch up the format if I get reader’s fatigue from reading the chunky paperback. :)

      I have only heard amazing things about the audiobook in particular of The Diviners – I think the only reason I hesitate is because I think it’s paranormal/supernatural-y and I get freaked out really easily!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Goldfinch is brilliant. Yes, it’s a big book but it doesn’t read as big – amazing that she can write a 700 page page-turner but that’s what it is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is SO reassuring to hear. I FLEW through The Secret History (and it’s one of my favourite books) so I’m really hoping that it’s Donna Tartt’s writing in general that I find immersive and The Goldfinch ends up being a similarly enjoyable reading experience!


    • I just saw someone reading it on the train this morning and it reminded me all over again that I want to get to it asap! Maybe this summer…

      Liked by 1 person

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