Down the TBR Hole #8

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.

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:

Complete Poems & Selected Letters – John Keats

Book cover of "Complete Poems and Letters" by John Keats

Do you remember that movie Bright Star that starred Ben Whishaw? I know I do, it’s one of my favorite movies and tells of the love that grows between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. I’ve always enjoyed Keats’ poems, but I really fell in love with his love letters to Fanny. I bought a collection of such letters and I also put this book on my TBR. I have not since read it, but I would like to. But I don’t think it needs to be on my TBR. Poetry is one of those things where I like to pick up a poetry book every once in a while, because poems often give me goosebumps. I would like to read more Keats, but I’ll let this book go for now.

Verdict: GO

Once a Witch – Carolyn MacCullough

Book cover of "Once a Witch" by Carolyn MacCullough

I don’t remember coming across this book. But it’s got witches in it, so I’m sure that’s why I put it on my TBR. However, the fact that this book is a YA for some reason makes it less appealing to me. I don’t know why. Tamsin, the main character, actually doesn’t have powers like she’s expected to (though I suppose through the course of this book, she ends up with some). There’s supposedly romance and time travel, which normally are mean a big, excited YES! from me, but, for some reason, not this time. I looked at a few reviews and I know most people like this book, but for some reason, I don’t feel too excited about it. I don’t know why.

Verdict: GO

The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans – Wumen Huikai, translated by Koun Yamada

Book cover of "The Gateless Gate" by Wumen Huikai

Um. I don’t really remember why I put this book on my TBR, honestly. Not even a little bit. Maybe I was reading something that talked about Buddhism in it or something like that. But honestly, I don’t know and I’m not particularly sure why I thought I needed to put this on my list at all. I am not looking to practice Buddhism, really, though I have definitely looked into meditation. Perhaps I was more interested in the story-aspect of this book, the Koans themselves. I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

Verdict: GO

Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

Book cover of "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell

They made a movie of this book, so I put it on my TBR, in preparation to read it before seeing said movie. Surprise, surprise: I haven’t read the book and I still haven’t seen the movie. And you know what? I’m okay with that. I’ve heard a lot of things about both this book and the movie, but a book that time hops from person to person and is a collective of stories isn’t always my thing. Sure, this book could be interesting, but it’s not calling to me. I think it’s time to let it go.

Verdict: GO

Boom! – Mark Haddon

Book cover of "Boom!" by Mark Haddon

Have you heard of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time? If you have, then you’ll recognize the author. He wrote this juvenile fiction book a while ago and I’ve had it on my list for a long time. I was (still am) super drawn to the cover, and to the fact that it’s about space (or aliens, or both!) is enough to tickle my fancy. It’s not a terribly long book, either, so I’m mad that I haven’t read it yet. But I full plan to, though. I’m not going to quit it. I just want to see how Haddon’s writing fairs in a children’s book.

Verdict: KEEP

On Beauty – Zadie Smith

Book cover of "On Beauty" by Zadie Smith

I have another one of Smith’s books on my TBR. Or had. I removed it. I hear a lot about Smith, and I know she’s a prolific writer, which is why I end up putting her books on my TBR. But at the same time, none of the books she’s written sound like books I want to read or appeal to me. Most of them seem to be slice-of-life, but about adults or a group of people, and that can be hit and miss for me. In this case, while a Rembrandt scholar sounds like an interesting character, I’m not sure the book as a whole sounds interesting to me. I don’t know if I’ll ever pick it up. So, I guess this is another good-bye.

Verdict: GO

A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley

Book cover of "A Thousand Acres" by Jane Smiley

A modern-day retelling of King Lear you say? Sign me up! This book re-imagines King Lear and fam as a farm family in Iowa. I know I put this book on my list, not because it won a Pulitzer, but because it’s a Shakespeare re-telling. I love that kind of stuff! But looking on it now, I’m not so sure I want to delve into a farmstead version of King Lear. As much as I’m interested in how the story will be interpreted, I’m not sure I want to spend 300+ pages in a farm setting. If anyone has read this and wants to convince me to read it, please let me know in the comments. I’m a bit on the fence about this one.

Verdict: GO

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm – Philip Pullman

Book cover of "Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm" by Philip Pullman

It’s no secret, I’m a big Pullman fan. His Dark Materials series is one of my favorite series of all time. When I came across this book, I knew I had to read it, because come on! Philip Pullmen writing his own version of classic Grimm tales? Sign me up! I definitely want to get to this book…maybe in October, just in time for Halloween? Most Grimm tales are a bit dark, and Pullman certainly doesn’t shy away from dark things. So I think it would be quite fitting to read during that time. I definitely want to crack this one open!

Verdict: KEEP

The Girl with Glass Feet – Ali Shaw

Book cover of "The Girl with Glass Feet" by Ali Shaw

This book is one of those magical-realism fantasy stories. I’m very curious about this mysterious island and why this girl is suddenly turning into glass. I’m guessing it’s going to be one of those soft, quite books that seem quite dream-like. I like stories like that and I hope that I like this one, because it still sounds interesting enough for me to want to keep it on my list. And it’s not too long, either, so I think that adds to the appeal. I know at least one of my friends absolutely loved this book, so I’m hoping, on her recommendation, that I will, too!

Verdict: KEEP

The Life of Objects – Susanna Moore

Book cover of "The Life of Objects" by Susanna Moore

I’m wracking my brain as to why I put this book on my TBR. I don’t like to read WWII stories, or really any historical fiction that takes place in the 1940s. It’s just not my thing. This book sounds like it would be quite interesting, if it were, though. A woman basically joins this family and spends years with them until Nazi Germany forces them into hiding. It’s probably full of heart-rending family and morality struggles, and I’m just not here for it. It’s probably quite a beautiful story, so if any of you readers are into this time period, you should probably check it out (if you haven’t already).

Verdict: GO


Kept: 3

Discarded: 7

Looks like I’m back to dropping the majority of the 10 I’ve looked at today. That’s okay. It’s a bit like spring cleaning. I’m clearing stuff out of my TBR that I just don’t have any intention of reading. It feels pretty good to drop these books (although I feel like it shouldn’t?), it’s almost like a form of self-care! I’m de-stressing by showing myself that I don’t have this mega-list that I HAVE TO READ, I, in fact, have books on here that are just left-overs from a different version of me who had every intention of reading them, but now it’s time to let go. It’s very cathartic and I highly recommend it, if you aren’t already giving your TBR this treatment.


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.

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