Down the TBR Hole #29

Welcome folks to the twenty-ninth 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:

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. Blankets by Craig Thompson

Why is it there? This was a product of needing to find a graphic novel over 500 pages for the Tome Topple readathon. It’s the one people always reference when they put together TBRs for it, and it’s meant to be very touching in its own right. The problem is, I rarely read graphic novels, let alone tomes of graphic novels, because I don’t buy them and my library doesn’t stock them. So it seems I’m unlikely to ever acquire this and therefore unlikely to ever actually read it, as much as I might have an inclination some day…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Why is it there? This first came onto my radar through a Booktube video about LGBTQ reads. It stayed on my radar because the main character Emi is a set designer – I love anything that is a sort of ‘behind the scenes’ of a creative industry, such as the film industry. I’ve heard great things about this but I’ve never seen it ‘out in the wild’ so to speak so it may take a little bit of tracking down for me to get my hands on a copy. I’m more than willing to do that though, obviously.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

3. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Why is it there? It’s described by some as a medieval murder mystery set in an abbey in Italy so of course I added this to my TBR at some point. It’s been rated quite highly by a few people I follow on Goodreads which always stands a book in good stead. Apart from that, I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know anything of Umberto Eco’s writing style (though I’m sure the quality of the translation from Italian will play more of a part in my eventual enjoyment or disappointment) nor do I know anyone ‘in real life’ who has read his works so I think I’m going into this pretty much blind, and I’m ok with not knowing what to expect for once.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

4. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Why is it there? It seems like everyone and their mother has read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie… I am not one of those people… yet. I do fully intend to read this book, I’m not sure when, but I know it’s something I’ll probably enjoy when I’m in the mood to sit down and read something that’s not fantasy.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

5. The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

Why is it there? For all this is hailed as a masterpiece, I know it’s going to go over my head. Has that always intimidated me and made me even less likely to pick this up anytime soon? Honestly? Yeah. I’d be more than happy to be proved wrong in the future… just it won’t be anytime soon unfortunately.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

6. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Why is it there? Although I frequently read the second F of SFF, I don’t very frequently reach for sci-fi, despite my love of pretty, pretty space. It’s largely because I find it quite intimidating of a genre, but a lot of people I follow that do read SFF recommend this trilogy as a great example of the genre. This is described as an action-packed space opera but people do say it can be a bit challenging to get into – that’s the only thing that’s put me off majorly so far, so I just need to suck it up and read this when I can dedicate my attention solely to it, maybe on a holiday or something.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

7. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Why is it there? I gave in to the hype (read: critical acclaim) and had to concede that the first book, The Name of the Wind, was actually really good. It’s old school fantasy so it’s a bit… plodding and drawn out and, having mostly read YA fantasy as of late, I wasn’t used to the writing style and it took a few false starts before I managed to finish it, thanks to the fantastic audiobook. I have since bought the book in paperback and on audiobook, so I do intend to finish it one of these days… it just might be a while before I do get to it, and by that point I may need to re-read the first book for a refresher!
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

8. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Why is it there? I used to say Never Let Me Go was one of my favourite books, it’s probably one of the more respectable ‘favourite books’ I could have, but I think other things have crept in and stole that title over the years. Even so, I enjoyed Ishiguro’s writing style. But, having then read The Remains of the Day, it became clear to me that, actually, his writing style seems to change from book to book and I just don’t know how I’ll feel about whatever it is in The Buried Giant. I picked this book up cheap in a charity shop based on name recognition alone, and I’m told it has fantasy elements so I would probably like it, but I’ve seen mostly ‘meh’ reviews from a lot of readers whose opinions I trust so… well, this is awkward.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Ditch

9. Open Secrets: The Literature of Uncounted Experience by Anne-Lise François

Why is it there? I have no idea how this ended up on my TBR shelf… another example of a RonLit recommendation that I aspirationally added when I was still at university and immersed in similar secondary reading, perhaps? Either way, even just reading the blurb of this one made me feel stupid so… I probably won’t be rushing to pick this one up anytime soon.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

10. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Why is it there? Ask anyone and they will tell you that Shirley Jackson is the queen of horror. There’s the problem in and of itself – I don’t really read, or watch, horror. It’s just not something I enjoy. So why the hell has this book made it onto my TBR at some point? To be honest, I haven’t the faintest idea.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

This round:
Kept – 5
Ditched – 5

Kept – 147
Ditched – 143

That’s all folks for the twenty-ninth round of my Down the TBR Hole project. I’m struggling more and more nowadays to ditch books, but maybe that means I’m starting to get to down to the books I actually do want to read without the extraneous titles? We can live in hope, anyhow, because I still have a hell of a lot of books on my TBR so let’s hope I never fall out of love with reading as my TBR currently stands at 682 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 #29”

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