Down the TBR Hole – #2

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When I did the first iteration of this challenge I got rid of 2 out of ten books on my TBR.

Currently, my TBR on Goodreads has 3,851 books on it. Which, distressingly, is even more than I had on my TBR at the end of part one of this challenge.

In case you didn’t see the last post, the idea behind it is to reduce the number of books on your TBR list.

As far as I can tell, this challenge was created by the writer at the literary blog, Lost in a Story, but it appears that the domain is no longer valid.

Here are the rules:

  • 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?

Let’s get right to it.



Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

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Verdict: Keep

Jane Eyre is a classic that I’ve always wanted to read. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, so it’s definitely staying on my TBR.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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Verdict: Keep

The Alchemist is a much-loved novel in the book community, and I’ve heard from more than one person that this book changed their life.


Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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Verdict: Keep

This list clearly contains a lot of classics. Wuthering Heights is another keep.


The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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Verdict: Keep

I remember attempting to read The Catcher in the Rye in high school and not loving it, but my tastes have changed in the last decade, and I want to give it another shot. I’ve heard very mixed reviews of this book.


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Verdict: Keep

I promise that these Down the TBR posts will eventually get more interesting once we get out of the classics. My mother loved this book, so obviously, this is a hard keep.


Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Verdict: Keep

Technically, I read both of these books before, in my tenth grade English class, and I loved them. However, tenth grade was sixteen years ago, so I’ve forgotten so much about them.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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Verdict: Keep

Once again, another classic. Keep, keep, keep.


Emma and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Verdict: Keep

I swear, eventually I’m going to get to books that I don’t want to keep on my TBR. I’m going to bypass the ten I would normally go through and just keep going until I remove something from my TBR.

I just finished Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (review coming soon) and thought it was brilliant. I can’t wait to read some of her other novels.


The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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Verdict: Keep

The Metamorphosis sounds truly bizarre, as it’s about a man who wakes up transformed into a giant insect.


Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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Verdict: Keep

Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions is one of my favorite books, and I can’t wait to read Vonnegut’s classic novel, Slaughter-House Five.


Marvel 1602 #1 by Neil Gaiman

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Verdict: Toss it

This technically doesn’t even count as removing a book from my TBR as it’s a duplicate. This entry is only the first issue of the series, and I have the complete graphic novel as another book on my TBR.


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

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Verdict: Keep

I bought a hardcover edition of this book from my local thrift store, and I’ve been wanting to read more contemporaries, so this one stays.


An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

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Verdict: Keep

I’ll admit that when I purchased a copy of this book that it was a cover buy. It’s hard to tell in the photo above, but the gold and blue of the cover are incredibly vibrant. After reading the synopsis, however, I’m excited to read it.


The Curious of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

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Verdict: Keep

I have had a copy of this book on my bookshelf for years. I no longer even remember where I got it. This is a YA mystery novel that was originally published in 2003, and I’ve heard great things about it.


A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin

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Verdict: Keep

While I would love to wait and read the Game of Thrones series after George R. R. Martin has finished writing the series, I imagine that’s many, many years in the future. I love high, complicated fantasy novels, so I need to stop putting this off and eventually read it.


Red Queen (Red Queen, #1) by Victoria Aveyard

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Verdict: Keep

I’m intrigued by this YA fantasy novel, particularly because people are separated by their red or silver blood. It’s also a book that is rated very well, so I can’t wait to read it. I’ll probably read this book before most of the others on this list.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Verdict: Toss it

I know this is a much-beloved book, but I have zero interest in ever actually reading this series.


Kraken by China Miéville

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Verdict: Keep

I’d forgotten why I had this book on my TBR until I read the first paragraph of the synopsis:

With this outrageous new novel, China Miéville has written one of the strangest, funniest, and flat-out scariest books you will read this—or any other—year. The London that comes to life in Kraken is a weird metropolis awash in secret currents of myth and magic, where criminals, police, cultists, and wizards are locked in a war to bring about—or prevent—the End of All Things.

I’m so excited about this synopsis that I went ahead and requested it from my library.


Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

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Verdict: Keep

I’ve had a copy of Water for Elephants on my Kindle for years. I love stories with a circus setting, so it’s a keeper.


Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Verdict: Keep

I’m shocked that I never read this book in high school or college (where I was majoring in political science with a minor in history). It’s been on my shelf for years, so I need to finally suck it up and just read it.


So, overall, I got rid of two out of 23 books, so not great, but it’s a start.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?




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Down the TBR Hole (Again) – #1

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This challenge is something that I did a couple of times when I first started this blog. The idea behind it is to reduce the number of books on your TBR list.

As far as I can tell, this challenge was created by the writer at the literary blog, Lost in a Story, but it appears that the domain is no longer valid.

Here are the rules:

  • 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?

I’m going to aim to do this challenge once a week because as of this writing, my TBR list has 3,768 titles on it. 

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Yes, I know that’s a ridiculous and impossible number of books that I hope to read. I have a tendency to add books to my TBR if they are even mildly interesting to me although, logically, I know I’ll never actually read most of them.

Here’s the first post in many more to come.



To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Verdict: Keep

I still can’t believe I haven’t read this classic novel. I’m a bit ashamed of myself, so this is definitely one that will stay on this list until I actually get around to reading it.


The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

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Verdict: Keep

After reading the synopsis of this one, it’s definitely something that I’m interested in. It follows a single woman throughout her entire life and her “inability to understand her place in her own life.”


The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri S. Tepper

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Verdict: Keep

According to the synopsis on Goodreads, this novel “is set in a post-holocaust feminist dystopia that offers only two political alternatives: a repressive polygamist sect that is slowly self-destructing through inbreeding and the matriarchal dictatorship called Women’s Country.” I’m sold.


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

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Verdict: Keep

This is another classic that I’m eager to read, so it’s an obvious keep.


Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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Verdict: Keep

I tried to read this very short novel years ago, but I remember setting it down as it wasn’t holding my attention. I want to give it another chance, so it’s another keep.


So far, I’m not doing great on this whole “cleaning up my TBR” thing.

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Anyway…


A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

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Verdict: Toss It

I’m only mildly interested in A Spark of Light, so I’m not going to keep it on my TBR. I’ve heard very mixed things about it anyway, so I don’t feel like I’m really missing out on much.


Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami

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Verdict: Keep

This magical realism novel sounds bizarre, which usually means I’ll love it.


Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

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Verdict: Toss It

Years ago, I read Barbara Kingsolver’s non-fiction book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and loved it. I’ve always been curious about a homesteading lifestyle, and that book showed me what it might be like. This fictional novel, however, doesn’t spark any interest in it. I have a feeling I added it to my TBR just because I recognized her name.


The Witch Elm by Tana French

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Verdict: Keep

The main reason I’m deciding to leave this novel on my TBR is that I keep hearing amazing things about Tana French, and out of her novels this one seems the one I’m most likely to enjoy.


The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle #6) by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Verdict: Keep

Even though this is the sixth book in Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle series, from everything I know this series does not need to be read in order, so I’m keeping this one on my TBR. The main character, Shevek, “will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe.” I adored Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darknessso I’m eager to read more of her work.



Two out of ten books removed from my TBR is less than I was hoping for, but I feel like the books I’m keeping on this list are books that I’m going to love.


Have you read any of these books? If so, let me know what you thought of them in the comments below!




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Down the TBR Hole #2; or, How to Fail at Reducing Your TBR List

My TBR list is seriously out of control. Every time I see or hear of a new book that sounds even remotely interesting to me, I immediately add it to my Want To Read list on Goodreads. It can be intimidating when it comes time to choose a new book because the list is so long that at some point I give up and just choose a book at random.

When I read Lost in a Story’s Down the TBR Hole #1 post, I loved the idea and wanted to do it for myself to try to narrow down my TBR list. Here are the rules:

  • 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?

Here’s part two of narrowing down my TBR list (Read Part One). Since my TBR list on Goodreads is currently sitting at 1486, I’m going to do ten books today and try to reduce it a bit.

Also, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads!


Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Amazon | Goodreads

I tried to read this book once all the way back in high school and ended up not finishing it, but I know plenty about the story just due to how prevalent it is in our culture. I’m planning on giving it another try next month.

Verdict: Keep

 

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Amazon | Goodreads

This is a book that came out recently, on October 2nd. I’ve seen it all over Bookstagram and various book blogs. It’s definitely staying on my TBR list. It takes place in a women’s reproductive clinic after a gunman enters it and takes everyone inside hostage. The story is about everyone inside, from the patients, doctors, and the gunman himself. I love books that examine people’s intentions, and this sounds right up my alley.

Verdict: Keep

 

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Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami

Amazon | Goodreads

The Goodreads synopsis doesn’t say much about the story at all, so I headed over to Amazon for a description. It sounds very surrealist, which I love, so this was an easy decision.

Verdict: Keep

 

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Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

Amazon | Goodreads

I read Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Mineral several years ago, and loved everything about it. I’ve never read any of her fiction, however, so I feel as though her newest novel is going to be a good place to start.

Verdict: Keep

 

Nine Perfect Strangers - Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Amazon | Goodreads

So, this book isn’t even out yet, as it’s being released on November 6th. It is set at a remote health resort and follows the story of Frances Welty, who was once a best-selling romantic novelist. I vaguely remember adding this to my TBR list after seeing in on another blog, but after reading the synopsis it honestly doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy.

Verdict: Remove

 

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The Witch Elm by Tana French

Amazon | Goodreads

This was the fastest decision I made on this list – it’s definitely something I’m keeping on my TBR. In this novel, a man is attacked by two burglars in his home and is left for dead. He moves to his family’s ancestral home to recover and to take care of his dying uncle. While there, he finds a skull in the trunk of a tree in the garden, and he’s forced to reexamine his past.

Verdict: Keep

 

The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin

The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin

Amazon | Goodreads

I love most of the short stories I’ve read by Ursula K. Le Guin, but I’ve never actually read any of her novels. This one sounds awesome: “Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe.

Verdict: Keep

 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Amazon | Goodreads

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I cannot believe that I never read this book. I feel like this is a vital tale that all book-lovers need to read, so it’s definitely staying.

Verdict: Keep

 

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Amazon | Goodreads

This is yet another classic I have not read, so, like Pride and Prejudice, it stays.

Verdict: Keep

 

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Amazon | Goodreads

A fantastical adventure story about opportunity, wisdom, and following our dreams? Another very easy decision.

Verdict: Keep

 

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Amazon | Goodreads

I apologize, but I must repeat myself once again: I never read this book in school, and I want to catch up on this classic.

Verdict: Keep


Okay, so I ended up removing only one book from my Goodreads TBR, which really isn’t helping my feelings of being overwhelmed by the massive list. However, I love having so many good books that I can look forward to reading!

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts about them?