Down the TBR Hole #32

Welcome folks to the thirty-second 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. What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund

Why is it there? The entire concept of the book intrigues me: Medelsund is a book jacket designer and the book considers how we visualise images whilst reading books such as Anna Karenina or Moby Dick. How people visualise characters and scenes differently to other readers and perhaps how the author even intended it is kinda odd but I think it would be interesting to read a book about it?
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

2. The Accidental by Ali Smith

Why is it there? I’ve never read Ali Smith. I don’t know where to start when trying Ali Smith’s writing but I picked up this novel at a charity shop so it made its way onto my shelves and so onto my Goodreads TBR. Is this a good place to start this her books? Enlighten me if you’ve read her!
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

3. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Why is it there? I actually know next to nothing about this book, it’s a historical… fantasy, I think? I’m not sure but I actually don’t know how it got onto my TBR in the first place so this is an easy one.. Convince me I’m wrong?
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

4. Blackout by Connie Willis

Why is it there? I think this has something to do with time travel and WWII and that’s about all I know/remember. As far as I can see, no one I know on Goodreads has read it, and the reviews on there aren’t too great either so yikes…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

Why is it there? A while back you couldn’t move on Booktube or the book blogging world for reviews of this, a historical fiction set in WWII about a Lithuanian family. Aaand that’s pretty much all I know about it. I’m told it’s harrowing… which is what will probably make me constantly put off reading this. (I know, I’m a terrible person for wanting to ditch this.)
Do I own it? No
Verdict? 
Ditch

6. Jane Austen’s Textual Lives: From Aeschylus to Bollywood by Kathryn Sutherland

Why is it there? This is another one of those books that I probably added to my Goodreads TBR when I optimistically still thought I’d be reading critical analysis and academic essay collections even after leaving university. That delusion has quickly shattered and I no longer have such a huge yearning to get to this anytime soon.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Why is it there? I don’t know how I came to know about this book, much less feel compelled to add it to my TBR, so I presume I was taken in by the gorgeous cover. Sounds like a reasonable explanation. However, I haven’t seen any particularly glowing reviews for it and although it’s allegedly “an unforgettable story of marriage, fidelity, sex, morality, and most especially self” I’m just not gripped by the prospect of that? I’m clearly quite picky when it comes to literary fiction…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

8. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Why is it there? Will I ever get around to trying out a Michel Faber book? I don’t even know if I’m likely to enjoy them. However, when I’ve looked into this particular book I’m told it’s light on the sci-fi detail and actually focuses on themes about marriage, religion and humanity and I’m just… that doesn’t really grab me?
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

9. Prudence by Gail Carriger

Why is it there? I put this book on my TBR shelf when I first read Soulless, the first book in Gail Carriger’s adult series. I’ve actually never read further than that first book so it seems a bit optimistic of me to put the first book in a different series on my TBR too!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

10. The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

Why is it there? This book first came across my radar because of the incredibly colourful cover and the name – I loved Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World when I read it as part of a university course and I presume this book is somewhat based on/inspired by that? It’s basically because of that that this survives the chop this time, even though I very rarely ever prioritise literary fiction, oops.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep


This round:
Kept – 3
Ditched – 7

Overall:
Kept – 155
Ditched – 165

That’s all folks for the thirty-second round of my Down the TBR Hole project. I’ve become a lot more cutthroat nowadays with getting rid of books from this Goodreads TBR shelf, but it’s still at 670 books so I foresee many more rounds in the future.

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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