Down the TBR Hole #17

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:

1) The Wars of the Roses – Alison Weir

Book cover of "The Wars of the Roses" by Alison Weir

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of this time period in English history. These next few books on my list are definitely a string of books that display my trip down the historical rabbit hole, so to speak.

I have read only one book by Weir so far, and it was good. Maybe not as good as I would have liked, but I’m still interested in reading this one, just to see what she manages to put together.

Verdict: KEEP

2) The Rise of the Tudors – Chris Skidmore

Book cover of "The Rise of the Tudors" by Chris Skidmore

Yes, another Tudor history book. I don’t know why this particular family is so interesting to me. Perhaps it’s because I find the time period in general to be interesting?

But, since this book is mostly focuses on the usurpation of the throne by Henry Tudor and his defeat of Richard the III, I don’t know if I’m as interested, per say. I’m more interested in the Plantagenets and then Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. I’ve never been a big fan of Richard III and I don’t have much interest in him except his potential role in the disappearance of the the princes in the Tower.

Verdict: GO

3) The Woodvilles – Susan Higgenbotham

Book cover of "The Woodvilles" by Susan Higgenbotham

Ah, the Woodvilles. I am so, so interested in their meteoric rise to power. I love, love, love Elizabeth Woodville, a widow of an only moderately well-off family who manages to snag the interest and heart of the eventual new king of England, Edward the IV.

I find this family to be so interesting and it’s particularly interesting to see how quickly they fall, especially once Edward dies so young. Not only does Elizabeth produce several male heirs to the throne, but she seeks sanctuary and manages to keep herself and her other children safe in the take-over of the Tudors. Love it! I want to know more.

Verdict: KEEP

4) In Bed with the Tudors – Amy Licence

Book cover of "In Bed with the Tudors" by Amy Licence

So, yeah. A more specific view of Tudor history, namely their sex lives. Well, I do find all aspects of this history to be interesting. And when it comes to royalty, sex is generally a big deal. And it gets so complicated, so fast.

The downside is that when checking the reviews, I’ve noted that many people state that this book mostly focuses on the difficulties of being a women during the Tudor period, and it focuses on being pregnant and the difficulties of childbirth. This could be interesting, but the rating for this book is lower than I would like and I’m worried it won’t meet my non-fiction standards…

Verdict: GO

5) Elizabeth Woodville – David Baldwin

Book cover of "Elizabeth Woodville" by David Baldwin

And here she is – a truly fascinating historical lady! As I said earlier, I find Elizabeth Woodville to be so interesting. She became such a prominent figure in English history – a Queen! – after being a widow and not of royal birth.

I have read Philipa Gregory’s book about her, The White Queen, and I highly recommend it. I thought it was excellent. And now, I’m interested in reading some non-fiction on her, as well. I hope this book will meet my non-fiction expectations.

Verdict: KEEP

6) The Perfect Prince – Ann Wroe

Book cover of "The Perfect Prince" by Ann Wroe

I know I put this book on my TBR because it deals with Perkin Warbeck, who claimed he was the youngest of the two princes in the Tower, one of Edward the IV’s sons, who survived and wants to reclaim the throne of England. And since I am deeply interested in Edward IV and his family, I thought I’d check this book out.

I’m still vaguely interested, but I’ve seen some of the reviews and the book has a pretty average rating, so I’m worried about how well the information is conveyed. It might be a bit on the dry side, which is what I’m most worried about. I might come back to it at some point, but for now…I think I’ll let it go.

Verdict: GO

7) House of Purple Cedar – Tim Tingle

Book cover of "House of Purple Cedar" by Tim Tingle

I have read one of Tingle’s books before, How I Became a Ghost, which I reviewed on this blog. I really enjoyed it and I found it to be very enlightening about Choctaw culture. I’m excited about this book, because it’s from a girl’s perspective, and it sounds like an adventurous tale, with a bit of magical realism and bittersweetness mixed in.

I try to read a diverse set of books, and I’m always on the lookout for stories from native voices. So far, Tingle has proven to be a strong presence in the youth literature world and I hope to enjoy this one as much as How I Became a Ghost.

Verdict: KEEP

8) Republic, Lost – Lawrence Lessig

Book cover of "Republic, Lost" by Lawrence Lessig

As important and well-written as this book sounds, I feel like I only put it on my TBR because it sounded like something very important that I should read, to gain better insight on how this country functions. But looking at it now, I’m sure that I will find a lot of it to be very dull and also for a lot of it to go over my head. I was never very good at economics. I don’t think there’s too much I’ll enjoy if I end up reading this book and that makes me sure that if I keep it on my TBR, I’ll probably never end up picking it up, so I might as well let it go.

Verdict: GO

9) Sisters of Treason – Elizabeth Fremantle

Book cover of "Sisters of Treason" by Elizabeth Fremantle

I guess this is another example of me putting a book on my TBR that I didn’t realize was not a standalone, and also not the first book in a series. However, with this one, since it’s historical fiction, I’m sure it’s not really necessary to read the books in order.

This particular book focuses on the two surviving sisters of Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for nine days before being executed by Mary, the eldest daughter of Henry VIII, in her take-back of the throne. It sounds like an interesting look at how to survive a Tudor court when you have royal blood that could make you seem like a threat to the crown. But I think my interest in this book must have waned since I first came across it.

Verdict: GO

10) The Poisoner’s Handbook – Deborah Blum

Book cover of "The Poisoner's Handbook" by Deborah Blum

My nonfiction tastes often lead me toward the forensic areas, it seems. This particular book focuses on the slew of poisonings happening in Jazz-Age New York and the two forensic scientists who became trailblazers in the area of chemical detective work.

I mean, this sounds so, so interesting! I love reading murder mysteries, but I also love watching documentaries and reading books about detective work, as well. This book sounds like it could be really fascinating and teach me some really interesting tidbits about the history of forensic science.

Verdict: KEEP


Kept: 5

Discarded: 5

This particular group of books was very non-fiction heavy! And mostly English history-centric! Between these, it seems it was a toss-up for me and I came out even on the give and take. But I think that there’s always a possibility that I’ll look back at some of these books and change my mind.


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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