Down the TBR Hole #1

Down The TBR Hole is a meme created by lost in a story that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.

As of right now, my TBR (on Goodreads) is 582, going strong. Wow. I…can’t even fathom getting through all that. Which is why I’ve decided to participate in this meme. It’s spring, it’s time for a little “spring cleaning” of my TBR. Hopefully this will help!

The rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
Gif of Kimmy Schmidt breaking a wooden plank from "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Me, about to tackle this list! Source.

This Dark Endeavor – Kenneth Oppal

Book cover of "This Dark Endeavor"

I love Frankenstein and I also happen to love Kenneth Oppal, so when I saw that he’d written a prequel to Frankenstein, I instantly put it on my TBR. Years ago. I still haven’t even cracked it open. I feel this is a grave error on my part (pun intended), but I hope to rectify it soon. I have seen reviews that say it’s slow-paced, which doesn’t thrill me, but I think I’m still game to read it.

Verdict: KEEP

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things – Paula Byrne

Book cover of "the Real Jane Austen"

I don’t know where I came across this book – probably in a book review magazine, but I most likely put it on my TBR because I am a huge Austen fan and I thought, “Wow, a new, interesting take on her life – I must read it!” And then proceeded to not read it. For years. I don’t think I’ll be picking this one up, even though I am such a huge Austen fan. Maybe when I’m older and retired and want to read biographies more? (I’m not saying that’s what old, retired people do, but I feel like I might be that kind of person…)

Verdict: GO

What a Way to Go: The Guillotine, the Pendulum, The Thousand Cuts, The Spanish Donkey, and 66 Other Ways of Putting Someone to Death – Geoffrey Abbott

Book cover of "What a Way to Go" by Geoffrey Abbott

Um. I don’t know why I was into this book enough to put it on my TBR. I guess, at the time, I was thinking that this type of history book sounded interesting (in a morbid way, let’s be honest). But having read the description now, apparently my current self does not find this as appealing as I apparently once did. I mean, I wouldn’t not read it, but I don’t think I want to any time soon. So I think it’s got to go.

Verdict: GO

In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

Book Cover of "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote

Well, this is a classic, so I’m sure I felt that it was a book I needed to read. One of those “1,000 books you must read before you die,” type book. But right now, knowing a bit more about Capote and about this case, I’m not sure I really want to, or care enough to go there. It certainly sounds like a worth-while read, but, in the words of Marie Kondo, “Does it spark joy?” and reading the description…I don’t think it does for me.

Verdict: GO

The Once and Future King – T. H. White

Book cover of "The Once and Future King" by T. H. White

Sigh. I don’t think I’m as into Arthurian legend as I used to be, because looking at this book, at is 600+ pages, I just feel tired and daunted. Do I want to put in that much time to read this seminal work? I guess the answer is no. My sister read it and really enjoyed it, but I think I’m just going to stick with “The Sword in the Stone” and call it a day.

Verdict: GO

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

Book cover of "We Need to Talk About Kevin," by Lionel Shriver

I actually started reading this book (listening to the audiobook, actually), a while back, but I had to stop because it was making my already heightened anxiety worse. The book is about a mom’s reflections and coming to face, a couple years after the event, the mass-murder her son committed at his school. It’s actually a very well-written book, and I was really into it, except the dark nature of it was just really getting to me. So I stopped, and ever since then I haven’t been in the right place to pick it back up. I don’t want to let it go, just yet, however.

Verdict: KEEP

The Princess and the Hound – Mette Ivie Harrison

Book cover of "The Princess and the Hound" by Mette Ivie Harrison

I had completely forgotten the premise of this book. But looking at it again, I know why I put it on my TBR. A princess and a prince in an arranged marriage, there’s magic, it’s a fantasy novel. I’m all about it. I was planning on reading this book this year, actually, since it works with one of the reading challenges I’m working on. So I think I won’t say good-bye to it, for now.

Verdict: KEEP

Handling the Undead – John Ajvide Lindqvist

Book cover of "Handling the Undead" by John Ajvide Lindqvist

I actually remember when I came across this book. I was working as a shelver at my local library and this was one of the books I had to shelve. I had actually already read one of Lindqvist’s books already, Let the Right One In, which is about vampires. This one is about the undead. I think I just wanted to read more of Lindqvist’s work. I even purchased this book, planning on reading it right away. Obviously, I didn’t get around to it, so on the shelf it sits. But I think I’d still like to give it a go.

Verdict: KEEP

Unholy Night – Seth Grahame-Smith

Do you remember Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? Well, this is the same author. He loves doing interesting takes on established stories. I think this is the only book of his that I’ve come across that isn’t a re-working of an established classic. But it is an interesting take on a traditional story, the biblical birth of Jesus. I think I put it on my TBR anticipating that I would find it as enjoyable as Grahame-Smith’s other works. Going back and reading the description again, I think I can safely pass on this one and not feel like I’m missing out on a new favorite.

Verdict: GO

Perfume: The Story of a Murder – Patrick Suskind

My obsession with Ben Whishaw knows no bounds, for as soon as I saw that he was in the movie version of this book, I immediately put the book on my TBR. I haven’t even come close to reading it in the years since, but I’m still really intrigued by its premise. It’s also a classic, and I do love a good murder story. I do hope to get around to reading this book soon, so I’m not going to give up on it just yet.

Verdict: KEEP


Kept: 5

Discarded: 5

Well, I feel like I really revitalized my TBR! I’m excited at the prospect of paring back reads that I have just grown out of wanting to read. I’m pretty happy with the fact that I gave up half of my 10 books I revisited. Slowly, I will be chipping away at this long list. Who knows, perhaps I’ll only diminish it by a tiny bit, but at least I’ll know that it’s only got books I really think are worth my time.

Gif of Darryl, Kevin, and Oscar from "The Office" dancing.
Me, after doing some TBR cleaning; Source.


Let me know what you think of my decisions – am I passing up on a great book? Is there a book I’m keeping that is so not worth my time? Let’s chat in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #1

    1. I agree! I know there are many books on my TBR that I’m just never going to get to, despite initially wanting to read them. It’s best to just focus on the ones I have the strongest desire to read, rather than continue working through ones I only thought I might want to read by their description.

      Liked by 1 person

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