Down the TBR Hole #35

Welcome folks to the thirty-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:

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. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault

Why is it there? Back when I was taking a critical theory course at university, Michel Foucault’s work always seemed accessible, more so than other theorists at least (hello Derrida, I’m talking about you), so I added the full-length text to my TBR of something I’d only studied extracts from during the course. Fast forward several years and it’s still sitting on my TBR, unread, so I think it’s safe to say that it won’t be getting read anytime soon.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

Why is it there? Neil Gaiman’s novels are some of my all-time favourites but I am yet to really fall in love with his short stories. This is one of the few short stories collections of his that I have on my TBR and I do hope to get to it sometime soon because, like I said, he’s one of my favourite authors and I feel kind of bad I haven’t read any of his shorter works.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

3. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Why is it there? I love Chris Riddell’s illustration style, especially when he collaborates with Neil Gaiman. (Odd and the Frost Giants is adorable and beautifully drawn!) I really need to get to this one as I have a hunch I’ll really enjoy the story too.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

4. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Why is it there? I don’t really know much about this historical fiction novel, and I’d kind of like to keep it that way because I feel like it’s one of those books that’s infinitely better when you go into it without knowing the finer details of the plot. I associate this book with Stephanie from Adventures of a Bibliophile so I’m always meaning to pick it up because I trust her taste in books.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

5. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Why is it there? Back when Atonement was a Thing, a couple of Ian McEwan’s books found their way onto my TBR. Then I read Saturday, DNFed it, and decided maybe I wasn’t too fond of McEwan’s style. I don’t know whether that’s a hasty conclusion to jump to or not, but I really don’t feel super inspired to pick this one up. Have I made a mistake? Any Ian McEwan readers out there?
Do I own it? No

6. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Why is it there? I honestly have no idea how this made its way onto my TBR shelf. Looking at the book’s page on Goodreads it’s possible that I saw it mentioned in a couple of Booktubers’ videos and added it to my TBR – I’m that easily swayed. However, I know next to nothing about this novel, or its author, and I’m not really super gripped by the synopsis now that I’ve taken a look at it.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. Happily Ever After by Harriet Evans

Why is it there? At first I was very confused as to how this book had ended up on my TBR, it’s so random, I’ve never heard of the author, I don’t read a lot of books in this genre (or follow book bloggers who do), so it seemed a mystery. That is, until I remembered Carrie Hope Fletcher making an absolutely throwaway reference in one of her videos where she mentioned she was currently reading a book about a publisher who worked at Bluebird Books. Of course, being me, I couldn’t not do a bit of sleuthing to find out what the book was called and then it looks like I was semi-interested in it because I added it to my TBR. Even though it’s a bit random I think I will actually read it someday and if I don’t keep it on my TBR list, I’m likely to forget the author/title so this one gets to stay.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

8. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Why is it there? Back in the day (and by ‘the day’ I mean like a few years ago), Booktube adored this book, and Jandy Nelson’s other The Sky is Everywhere. I never got on the hype train then and I don’t see me doing so anytime soon now that this book is a good five years old and I’m not naturally a huge reader of YA contemporary anyway.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

9. Clariel by Garth Nix

Why is it there? The Old Kingdom trilogy was absolutely my jam when I was younger. Alongside Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, and A Series of Unfortunate Events these were the fantasy books that I inhaled as a teen and to which I now owe my interest in fantasy as a genre. Sabriel, in particular, was a book that I adored so when Garth Nix continued to write more books set in the Old Kingdom, I was thrilled. I just haven’t got to them yet. But I will!
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

10. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Why is it there? If I’m honest, I probably saw this in passing and added it to my TBR because I like the Sherlock Holmes stories and Anthony Horowitz wrote the Alex Rider series which I loved when I was much younger. I don’t think I’ve actually read any of Horowitz’s non-Alex Rider books though so I don’t know how much I rate him as an author, or how my tastes might have changed now that I’m older. For all those reasons, I’m not super keen to get to this so I might as well ditch this one from my TBR for now.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

This round:
Kept – 5
Ditched – 5

Kept – 171
Ditched – 179

That’s all folks for the thirty-fifth 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 704 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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2 responses to “Down the TBR Hole #35”

  1. I would probably say no to the McEwan. I loved his early work right up to and including using Atonement but Saturday was a watershed. Awful book. And nothing he’s written since has interested me….


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