Down the TBR Hole #34

Welcome folks to the thirty-fourth 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. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

Why is it there? I added this to my TBR when Obama was still in office because I liked Obama (obviously) but I could hold anything about US politics at a distance, since I’m from the UK. Even so, I knew I wanted to learn more about his life. And yet I didn’t get around to reading this. Especially in the last few years I think reading anything about America has become a bit of a downer, given the current administration, so I haven’t feel the urge to pick this up. Even so, I’m sure I eventually will be in the mood to read this… maybe I’ll try to pick up an audio version if that’s an option?
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

2. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Why is it there? This sort of memoir did the rounds on Booktube a few years ago – books about death, and how we react to it as a culture and the industry that’s built up around it. I am morbidly fascinated by these aspects of society, not the death itself but about how we as people deal with it, and how that differs from culture to culture. So that’s how books like this end up on my TBR despite the fact I’m really not a big non-fiction reader at all. My local library has a copy of this though so I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually and it would probably be for the best for me to keep this book on my TBR so I don’t forget its name!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

3. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Why is it there? See above, basically the same story with this book!
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

4. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” by Judith Butler

Why is it there? I think when everyone takes a critical theory course, they end up encountering Judith Butler and her theories on gender and identity in some way before too long. We always read critical theory as part of an anthology filled with lots of different paradigms but were encouraged to go away and read the full texts of them. Guess who never did? It’s me! I nonetheless clearly felt bad, and that’s how this book made its way onto my TBR, but let’s be real here, if I didn’t read it at the time when perusing critical theory was an everyday occurrence of studying for my degree, I’m highly unlikely to read it now when I’m years out of university and mostly read fantasy for fun.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler

Why is it there? See above
Do I own it? No
Verdict?
Ditch

6. A Meal In Winter by Hubert Mingarelli

Why is it there? I genuinely don’t know where this book came from. Like I’ve looked on Goodreads, checked out which of my friends on there have read it, and I still don’t know quite how it made onto my TBR. So… I think we can safely say what’s going to happen now…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. Antigone by Sophocles (Little Black Classics)

Why is it there? A while back Penguin published their Little Black Classics line, 80 mini books priced at 80p each that contained poetry or essays or excerpts from larger works. I fell for this repackaging tactic hook line and sinker and would have steadily bought up every number in the series if it wasn’t for other people stopping me. Instead, I bought only a few of these mini books and they still sit on my physical and online TBR shelf to this day, unread. Considering their diminutive size, it seems unfair to say I’ll never get around to them. Based on my penchant for readathons (many of which often include a challenge to read short books under X amount of pages), I’ll get around to this at some point, of that I’m certain.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

8. Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti (Little Black Classics)

Why is it there? See above
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

9. The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Little Black Classics)

Why is it there? See above
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

10. Circles of Hell by Dante Alighieri (Little Black Classics)

Why is it there? See above
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep


This round:
Kept – 7
Ditched – 3

Overall:
Kept – 166
Ditched – 174

That’s all folks for the thirty-fourth round of my Down the TBR Hole project. Although I’ve become a bit more realistic with what books I’m likely to read, I’m still continuously adding new books to my TBR which means I don’t often see that much of a difference in the overall number of books on my Goodreads TBR shelf. However, one thing is for sure; if I weren’t doing Down the TBR Hole at the same time, that number would be much bigger than the 691 books it currently sits at.

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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