Down the TBR Hole #22

Welcome folks to the twenty-second 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:

  • 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. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Why is it there? Back when I was trying to find more graphic novels to read, I stumbled across this one. The stark colours of red, white, and black on the cover immediately made me buy it, but the fact it’s a bit spooky has put me off reading it ever since. Even so, I think this may very well be one I get to this Halloween, or during a readathon near Halloween at least.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

2. The Archivist by Martha Cooley

Why is it there? This one seems a little random as it (shock horror) seems to be a recommendation from someone “offline”. A peer from university recommended it generally on Goodreads once, and I suppose that was reason enough for me to add it to my shelf then. However, since then, I’ve seen neither reviews, nor sight of this in the flesh… so I think I might be sadly saying goodbye to it, for now.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

3. Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund

Why is it there? This is about a secret society at an Ivy League university… why wouldn’t I have added this to my TBR? I have a feeling this is going to be overly dramatic and ridiculous but I’m kind of into that? If it doesn’t end up being like The Life and Death Brigade a la Gilmore Girls, I’ll be sorely disappointed.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

4. Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Why is it there? Once again, this story is set at an Ivy League… but this time it’s Princeton, and the main character is an admissions officer for aforementioned college. I know literally nothing more about this book, but I was clearly on an American college spree for some unknown reason… even so, will I actually ever properly seek this one out? Honestly? Probably not.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Why is it there? This book did the rounds on Booktube a couple of years ago and received all the praise from a few people whose opinions I trust. So, when I saw it on Kindle for cheap, I bought it. Since then? I haven’t even remembered that I own it, even if the cover design admittedly IS stunning. However, going back onto Goodreads to remind myself of people’s ratings and reviews, I don’t think I rightfully can ditch what is allegedly a lyrical and beautifully written story…
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

6. Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Why is it there? I go through phases of feeling like a bad bookworm because I haven’t read more Russian classic authors, namely Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. So then I end up adding their entire bibliography onto my TBR shelves. This book is a prime example of that tendency, but I know less than nothing about this book, and I haven’t even managed to read Crime and Punishment yet which has been on my TBR for much longer.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Why is it there? As I mentioned regarding Throguh the Woods, Horrorstor is another example of a graphic novel I blindly added to my TBR when I was desperately searching for graphic novels I’d enjoy. This seemed a fun concept, and quirky because it’s presented as an IKEA catalogue (and I do love a good IKEA trip)… but I’ve since lost interest in that gimmick.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

8. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Why is it there? It’s pretty well known that this is the inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984, and I hear quite a lot is very heavily inspired, and that it’s easy to see that when you’ve read both novels. Here’s the thing, I haven’t ever even managed to get through 1984, I’ve DNFed it at two separate times in my life (I say DNFed, but I just kind of… tailed off and stopped reading), so it’s safe to say that I won’t be getting to this one anytime soon either.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

9. The Magician by W. Somerset Maugham

Why is it there? I know literally nothing about this book – something about a magician I’m guessing? I’m told it’s set in like fin-de-siecle Paris but that’s it. That’s all I’ve got. And that is fine enough to be added to my TBR but is it enough for it to stay on my TBR now I’m being really quite strict? Nope.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

10. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Why is it there? Here’s the thing: I want to read Hemingway, I do. But more so just to say I’ve read Hemingway than out of any real interest in much of his work. The exception is A Moveable Feast, I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about this, and I’m sure I’m going to find it highly amusing. The only Hemingway I’ve read thus far is the short story ‘Snows of Kilimanjaro’, since it was recommended to me on a previous DtTH post when I mentioned not being sure if I’d enjoy Hemingway. My instincts were right – I didn’t like it, at all, I couldn’t really see the merit in it, so I highly doubt I’m going to like the rest of Hemingway’s fiction. His non-fiction though? I’m willing to give it a go.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep


This round:
Kept – 4
Ditched – 6

Overall:
Kept – 115
Ditched – 105

That’s all folks for the twenty-second round of my Down the TBR Hole project. I’m struggling more and more nowadays to ditch books but my TBR currently stands at 638 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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