Down the TBR Hole #4

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.

So far, since my last post in these series, I have only added a couple more books to my TBR. I’m doing well with staying on course and I hope to continue to bring my TBR down to a manageable level.

The adventure continues!

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?

Picking up from where I left off:

Under the Beetle’s Cellar – Mary Willis Walker

Book cover of "Under the Beetle's Cellar" by Mary Willis Walker

I put this on my TBR because my mom read it and absolutely loved it. She’s super into crime-fiction and I felt super pumped about reading it because she made it sound so good! Also, it won a fair amount of awards, including the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel in 1996. It’s about a bus full of children that gets hijacked and essentially kidnapped by this fundamentalist cult. I didn’t realize that it was part of a series (but honestly, most detective fiction seems to be), but it is. It’s part of the Molly Cates series, if you’ve heard of it. I still have a piqued interest for this book, so I’m not ready to say goodbye to it yet!

Verdict: KEEP

The Crystal Cave – Mary Stewart

Book cover of "The Crystal Cave" by Mary Stewart

Oh boy, another Arthurian legend book. I must have been on a kick or something to have put so many of these on my TBR so near each other. But, to be honest, I do love me so magic and Merlin has always interested me. But looking at it now, I find myself less interested in yet another adventure story of a young boy who is especially gifted above all others. I have found that I’m more into books that are breaking this mold and introducing some female heroes into this kind of narrative. For me, I’m gonna pass on this one.

Verdict: GO

The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley

Book cover of "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Aaaand another Arthurian legend book. But unlike the others, this book is setting out to inject female perspectives into this otherwise male-dominated story! You know, I could get behind this. I can understand why I put this on my list because I was probably excited at the prospect of this alternative take to this legend. Having said that, I’ve also become aware of the abuse allegations brought against the author of this book series (by her own daughter) and a part of me just can’t reconcile reading it when I know that information. So I’ll be needing to find my feminist Arthurian legend elsewhere.

Verdict: GO

Black Dogs – Ian McEwan

Book cover of "Black Dogs" by Ian McEwan

I might have been on a McEwan kick when I put this book on my TBR. I had probably recently read is Atonement book and felt the need to seek out his other works. Reading the description now, I don’t know why I was really ever interested outside of knowing the author. It’s basically a book about the breaking up of a marriage set to the backdrop of the 1980s, and, as always, there’s some huge moment/twist that’s there for shock value (I’ve come to expect this with McEwan books). I’m not particularly interested in uncovering the shocking moment or about reading the dissolution of these characters’ marriage.

Verdict: GO

Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey

Book cover of "Oscar and Lucinda" by Peter Carey

I’m pretty sure I put this book on my list because I knew a movie version of it existed (with the amazing Cate Blanchett) and wanted to read the book before seeing it. Otherwise, I’m not too interested in the story…a love story about two seemingly dissimilar characters, set in mid-nineteenth century Australia. I know Peter Carey is a critically acclaimed author and this book won the Booker Prize, which is pretty huge. But I can’t seem to feel much excitement for reading it and, at this point, years later, if I haven’t felt the drive to read it yet, I probably never will.

Verdict: GO

Lost – Hans-Ulrich Trichel

Book cover of "Lost" by Hans-Ulrich Thrichel

I honestly don’t know why this is on my TBR. I don’t remember a time where I was ever into reading books about or set after WWII and this book in particular is about a boy who is lost and his family is trying to find him. I guess that was interesting to me at the time, but it’s not a subject that I generally gravitate towards. I am mostly baffled by what my original motivations were to put this on my list in the first place. I definitely don’t have an interest now, but I also don’t remember a time when I would have been, so I guess this one’s just got to go.

Verdict: GO

All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren

Book cover of "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren

Warren’s classic has an enduring quality and it’s one of those books that I feel I have to read, because it has so much prestige. I’m usually not one to pick out a political book, but sometimes I feel moved to do so. Especially in this climate, I feel this book has an even greater pull than before, and yet I don’t know if I feel up to the task of taking it on. It could be quite boring for me, but I won’t know until I read it. I think, for now, I’m tabling this one. I could change my mind in the future, but for now, I don’t think it warrants a place on my list. Feel free to change my mind about it in the comments!

Verdict: GO

In a Glass Darkly – J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Book cover of "In a Glass Darkly" by Sheridan Le Fanu

The funny thing about this book is that I put it on my list a long, long time ago, forgot about it, and I have since then read Carmilla, one of the stories contained within it without realizing it had any connection to this book. I guess I just didn’t remember the writer’s name, though apparently he’s a master of the ghost story. I am still intrigued by this book and it’s premise: a collection of ghost/fantabulous stories all under the guise of “cases” seen by a “metaphysical” doctor. I like a good ghost story every now and then (preferable the older more Gothic take on the ghost story, as these are), so I think I’ll still give this one a go. Maybe I’ll read it around Halloween, this year – who knows!

Verdict: KEEP

No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy

Book cover of "No Country for Old Men" by Cormac McCarthy

Ok, I definitely put this on my TBR because of the movie, the really famous movie, made of it with Javier Bardem and all that Oscar buzz. This book is an apparent literary masterpiece of crime-novel fiction. I do think it sounds interesting, but only to a certain point. Again, it’s just a bunch of dudes killing each other/outsmarting each other (or so it seems), so I’m not that interested, just a little piqued by it. I still haven’t seen the movie and I’m not sure that I feel the direct need to. Also, I’ve read a book by McCarthy before (The Road) and it was a struggle to get through. McCarthy is decidedly brilliant, the breadth of language he can bring to bear on a novel is immense, but it’s also a bit exhausting to get through. I don’t think I’m up to the task, unless someone I know is ready to convince me otherwise.

Verdict: GO

Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

Book cover of "Vanity Fair" by William Makepeace Thackeray

So this book is a classic, and it definitely falls under the category of Books I Feel I Need To Read. I have a feeling its one of those books that I’ll probably read once, really enjoy portions of, and feel good about myself for having read. I don’t know, without reading a portion of it, whether or not it’ll be one of those books where the writing really wows me or if I’ll enjoy the story itself. I’ll have to find out for myself. It’s long. Reeeally long. But I’m not quite ready to give up on it yet. We’ll see.

Verdict: KEEP


Kept: 3

Discarded: 7

I broke my pattern! I discarded more this time, and only keeping three feels wrong/right at the same time. I am glad to be whittling down my TBR into something manageable and doable. At the same time, I hope I’m not passing up on some really great reads. But I want to be good to myself and read things that really strike my fancy. So far, I feel like I’ve been doing a good job of keeping to that.


So, what do you think? Any books I cut that you wouldn’t? Any books that I’m keeping that aren’t worth my time? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you. See you next week for another meme post.

3 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #4

  1. The only book I recognize on this list is Vanity fair ahah, I’m planning on reading that one at some point in my life 😉


    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, I think the majority of these books I found through a “Books to Read Before You Die” compilation. That’s my belief, because I certainly don’t remember coming across them on my own, because I’d never heard of them, either! And I completely forgot about them on my list to begin with! I hope to read Vanity Fair soon! It’s definitely one of the ones I feel most excited to read from this batch! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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