Down the TBR Hole #25

Welcome folks to the twenty-fifth round of Down the TBR Hole! 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. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Why is it there? The concept of this was too good to pass on: it tells of a young, aspiring author who gets a book deal for her YA novel, moves to New York, and ends up in the world of publishing and maybe falling in love along the way? Meanwhile, in alternate chapters, her YA novel is told to the reader too. And I presume there’s some kind of connection and parallel to be drawn etc. etc. and it all sounds so very meta. I haven’t read anything Scott Westerfeld before and I’m sure this would be a good way for me to get into trying his writing out as I love books about books.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

2. The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell

Why is it there? I absolutely adore Jen Campbell’s Booktube so it’s no surprise that when she said she was writing a book about bookshops, I jumped at adding this to my TBR list. I still haven’t read it, mostly because I have to be really in the mood for anything non-fiction, but this definitely feels like a book I will pick up and put down when the moment strikes and I’ll love hearing about some of her favourite bookshops.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

3. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Why is it there? A while back, this first book in a series was always either cheap or free on Kindle, so it kept popping up on my Amazon lists when I scrolled through the ebooks on offer. I briefly looked into it and, from the blurb, was told it was about paper magic. That seemed like a damn good enough reason for a book-obsessed girl to add it to her (at the time) not very large TBR. However, since then, I’ve read books with out-of-the-box magic systems and enjoyed them so, as harsh as this sounds, I feel like this book looks like a case of a great concept but perhaps (maybe possibly) with not good enough writing to pull it off. That sounds way harsh but yeah I think that’s what has put me off picking this one up for all this time… eek!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

4. Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos

Why is it there? Aaaages ago, I watched a Booktube channel ran by Nicola/Robotnic and she raved about how good this book was. Given that my own TBR was lacking in authors that weren’t English or American, I added this book to my TBR list. It sounded wacky and I loved it. However, I just don’t think I’m going to ever be in the right mindset to read such an out-there story which promises that “anything goes in this madcap Mexican satire about politics, big families, and what it means to be middle class.”
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Why is it there? All I know about this book is that it’s a standalone YA dystopian which is actually pretty rare. I’m mostly over dystopian unless it does something interesting and subverts the expectations of the genre, so I tend to steer clear nowadays of adding stuff like this to my TBR. However, the fact it is a standalone intrigues me, as do the very positive reviews it has received from Booktubers whose opinions I trust. This one may make the cut.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

6. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Why is it there? I think pretty much everyone has heard of this story and I’ve heard it praised for its feminism although the mileage seems to vary on the writing style its told in. All I know is the synopsis claims it is “Chopin’s daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the confines of her domestic situation” and that seems like something shocking for the time it was published so I feel like this is one of those books that I have to read.
Do I own it? No?
Verdict? Keep

7. The Circle by Dave Eggers

Why is it there? I bought this book a long time ago on impulse in a charity book shop simply because I’d heard of it. This seems to be a book that divides opinion as just as many people on my friends list hate it as like it, and I’m very curious to find where I stand on it. Once again, this is one of those rare dystopians that you will find on my TBR list and I’d quite like to watch the film too (even though I hear that’s mostly terrible, I like Emma Watson so feel obliged) so I guess I had better read the book first.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

8. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindi McGinnis

Why is it there? I know that this book is a dystopian (seriously, for all I say I don’t really read these, why do I have so many on my TBR in the first place?) and it’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where water is scarce so the main character defends her pond. That’s it, that’s all I got. People say this is an incredible survival story but I think I might have missed the boat on this one. Had I read it when everyone else was I’m sure I might have been swept up in it but now I’m not sure that I am actually all that interested in it. Oops?
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Ditch

9. The Brown Reader: 50 Writers Remember College Hill edited by Judy Sternlight

Why is it there? I must admit, I’ve always been a little bit fascinated with any stories set at Ivy League schools or the Oxbridge sort here in the UK. Because of this, when a Booktuber I follow who studied at Brown mentioned this book, I thought it was something I’d enjoy. I then proceeded to never think about this book again until I’ve just seen it on my TBR list. However, it sounds like a fantastic idea for a non-fiction collection of writings from Brown alumni (they do, after all, have one hell of a list of writers who studied there) and I’m sure that a lot of the positive reviews are from Brown alumni themselves who find this a bit of a nostalgia kick. Although I don’t fit into that gang (although I’m pretty sure that, had I been American-born, I probably would have applied to Brown for college), I’m still curious about the college.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

10. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

Why is it there? I feel like I managed to go through school and university without reading J.M. Coetzee and that’s a little bit of a novelty nowadays. I know literally nothing about his writing style or about this book, aside from the synopsis and the knowledge that it won the Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize. It seems to be one of those stories that’s full of very questionable characters, morality, and Big Questions, undoubtedly ideal for a discussion group or university course. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to reading this earlier, even if I’m sure I’m basically only keeping this around because I feel like I “have to” read it.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep


This round:
Kept – 7
Ditched – 3

Overall:
Kept – 131
Ditched – 119

That’s all folks for the twenty-fifth round of my Down the TBR Hole project. I’m struggling more and more nowadays to ditch books, as you can probably tell by this round, but my TBR currently stands at 637 books. It still may seem like an insurmountable number but it’s not too shabby when I think back to how many books were on my TBR shelf before I started doing this 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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2 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #25

  1. Daniella - dontbendthespine 01/12/2018 / 13:22

    This sounds like such a fun tag to do, and I enjoyed reading your answers :) My TBR is out of control so perhaps I need to start some culling…

    Daniella x

    Like

    • Emma 10/12/2018 / 13:55

      I’d absolutely recommend it – it’s a fun way to look at your TBR shelf and work out what you’re actually likely to read any time soon. It’s really helped me to focus on what I do want to read vs what I think I might read at some point hopefully if Mars aligns with Jupiter etc. ;)

      Like

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