Down the TBR Hole #33

Welcome folks to the thirty-third 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. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Why is it there? After reading The Handmaid’s Tale I did that thing we all did of thinking I’d read the rest of Margaret Atwood’s books. It never came to fruition though, and I’m not sure if it ever will because I never prioritise it. What do you think – what’s the Margaret Atwood you’d recommend? In the meantime…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. All That Is Solid Melts into Air by Darragh McKeon

Why is it there? This is a book that I have no clue how it ended up on my TBR, aside from the fact that the cover is quite pretty? I think it’s focused on life around the Chernobyl disaster which, honestly, isn’t really something I read or watch things about??
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

3. Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit

Why is it there? I hear this essay collection is a bit of a mixed bag, but it’s something that I still want to get to eventually. I just haven’t really been reading non-fiction lately so I’ve not picked it up yet… but I’m sure I eventually will!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

4. The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Why is it there? When you’re a literature student you go through phases of thinking you’re going to read every classic ever. My classics reading is heavily skewed towards British classics so I always thought I should try others, including Dostoyevsky. I haven’t got around to it yet though and I’m not sure my first outing with him is likely to be through this short story. Happy to be proved wrong if you think I’m about to make a mistake…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Why is it there? This is highly praised as the first sci-fi book written by a black woman, so obviously it’s important I probably should have read it by now. When it comes to SFF, I tend to fall more heavily on the F side than the SF side, so that’s my excuse as to why I haven’t picked it up yet.
Do I own it? No

6. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Why is it there? I haven’t read any Nick Hornby. His novels are a snapshot of a very specific time in BritLit I think. I’ve seen a couple of film adaptations of his works (About A Boy and High Fidelity, as it happens) but why I thought I’d ever get around to reading his stuff I don’t know.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Why is it there? I read War of the Worlds for required reading at school and I quite liked it, actually. I thought Wells had an easy style to get into, so I always intended to try some of his other works, including this one. However, I think I’m much more likely to try The Island of Dr Moreau or The Time Machine first before this one so I think I can ditch this for now and use those other books as placeholders on my TBR for H.G. Wells’ books.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

8. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Why is it there? It’s long been a theme of these posts that I point out that my reading of classics tends to be heavily skewed towards British classics. I’ve read very few American classics… in fact, I’m struggling to think of a single one. Henry James is an interesting one because he’s American-born but became a British citizen shortly before his death so it’s like… am I being extra neglectful to his works? I think The Turn of the Screw is his more famous work and I think that one is where I’m more likely to start than this one… am I wrong, let me know if you’ve read his novels!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

9. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

Why is it there? All I know about this Dickens is that it features a chatty raven called Grip and that’s allegedly where Edgar Allan Poe got the idea for his poem. This one is Charles Dickens’ first historical novel and is about the Gordon Riots. A Tale of Two Cities, another one of his historical novels, is one of my favourite classics (though I suspect that’s more to do with the historical context than the plot or Dickens’ style) so I should theoretically get along with his other historical stuff, shouldn’t I? The blurb promises murder, treachery, forbidden love, and mobs, so I’m kind of there for this???
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

10. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Why is it there? Any time i think about seriously devoting time to try to get my novel ideas out of my head and onto paper, I remind myself that I should probably read more writing craft books, including this one. It comes highly recommended by so many people and the fact I’ve never read even a single book of Stephen King’s fiction doesn’t really put me off reading this one. Weird.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

This round:
Kept – 4
Ditched – 6

Kept – 159
Ditched – 171

That’s all folks for the thirty-third 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 fantastic sounding new books still keep being published (the perpetual struggle, let’s be real) so it’s still at 679 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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