Down the TBR Hole #23


Welcome folks to the twenty-third 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. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

Why is it there? I’ve seen the film and absolutely adored it, so naturally I wanted to read the book for myself. I don’t really know much about how this reads as a story, but I’m sure it will be enormously sad, based on how I felt about the film, and I just need to wait to be in the right mood for reading that sort of thing…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

2. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens

Why is it there? Since I haven’t read nearly as many Dickens novels as I feel I ought to have, as a Literature graduate, I added all the Charles Dickens books to my TBR list many moons ago… and then did precisely nothing about it. As it stands, I’ve only read 5 of his novels and there’s like 15/16 – this is one of the many I haven’t yet read, but it sounds absolutely bonkers so I’m here for it, when I finally decide that reading a 500-page book is a good idea.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

3. Jackaby by William Ritter

Why is it there? I remember vaguely seeing this book pop up in some Booktubers’ hauled videos and then I saw Stephanie from Adventures of a Bibliophile review the series very positively, and that helped to move this book onto my actual TBR. It’s often described as a late 19th-century historical fiction/paranormal mystery that’s reminiscent of Doctor Who meets Sherlock, so I’m definitely up for trying that out sometime (hopefully) soon.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

4. Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell

Why is it there? As reviewed by the incomparable Baz Pierce on YouTube, this is basically Orwell talking about everything he hates in society because the main character, Gordon, is basically Orwell hating on everything about capitalism. It sounds A++ but considering I still haven’t actually successfully completed even 1984 or Animal Farm, perhaps I should leave the slightly more obscure Orwell until after then.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Why is it there? A while back, Maureen Johnson was A Thing on the Internet, largely (for me) because of her connection to the likes of Vlogbrother John Green. That’s how I first heard about her really, and I’m sure this book must have burrowed into the back of my mind then. Fast-forward a few years and I actually bought the first two books in this trilogy on a whim because it’s to do with an English boarding school and a serial killer that imitates Jack the Ripper. I’m sure eventually I’ll be in the mood for this, so for now…
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

6. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Why is it there? I’m going to be honest, I know little to nothing about this particular Sarah Waters book. All I know is that countless people have told me to try Sarah Waters’ fiction because I may very well very much enjoy her books. I’ve yet to listen to them and pick up a story but I have a sort of feeling that when I do, I won’t start with this one…
Do I own it?
Verdict? Ditch

7. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Why is it there? I can honestly say I have no idea how this came onto my TBR. And that’s literally all I can say about book. I don’t know what it’s about and I think if I have books on my TBR like that, I should probably just get rid of them without researching further into them. I have plenty enough books I do know the plots of to get through for one lifetime, let alone books I don’t know the first thing about any more…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

8. Under the Skin by Michel Faber

Why is it there? I know that I probably added this book to my TBR sometime back when quite a few of my friends on Goodreads started rating this 4 and 5 stars. But I don’t really know much else about it, apart from the fact it’s meant to be disturbing… and, as with the previous book, if I don’t know the first thing about it, I need to get rid of it from my TBR shelf on Goodreads.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

9. The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp

Why is it there? I’m afraid I’ll have to say it again about another book – I’m not sure how this book ended up on my TBR shelf and a quick peruse of my friends’ ratings on Goodreads doesn’t shed any more light on the mystery. So, we know what happens…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

10. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Why is it there? I’m told this book is good and… yep that’s about all I’ve got. I’ve seen it reviewed here and there in the online book community but I haven’t heard such incredible reviews of it that it makes me want to rush out to read it. And I can’t see that ever changing really, despite the fact I own a really nice edition of it…
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Ditch

This round:
Kept – 4
Ditched – 6

Kept – 119
Ditched – 111

That’s all folks for the twenty-third round of my Down the TBR Hole project. I’m struggling more and more nowadays to ditch books but my TBR currently stands at 628 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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2 responses to “Down the TBR Hole #23”

  1. I LOVE Sarah Waters, but agree that it’s probably not a good idea to start with The Paying Guests. I read and loved Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and am really looking forward to reading more of her work, including Bel Canto. I don’t remember too much about The Name of the Star besides that it was a fun, autumnal read. I don’t think I’ll ever pick up Under the Skin either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been told a lot of good things about Sarah Waters and I even had one of her books but I never read it. She seems like an author I will like at some point, just not right now.
    I also have The Old Curiosity Shop on my TBR and I’ve been meaning to read some more Dickens novels for a few years now and never got around to it. I’ve read a few of his novels but not as many as I would like considering how famous he is in the ‘Classics” world.

    Liked by 1 person

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