Down the TBR Hole #21

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. Shakespeare Saved My Life – Laura Bates

Book cover of "Shakespeare Saved My Life" by Dr. Laura Bates

I don’t remember where I came across this book, but I’ve always had an interest in Shakespeare, so I thought I’d check it out eventually. That being said, I wanted to read a few reviews from those who had read it when re-assessing if I still want to read this book. I think it’s a toss up. Some really, really love the book, others feel that it’s too dry, or that Bates is a bit whiny, or the text feels disorganized. I think I’d be more interested if the story was written by an inmate who went through Bates’ program, and what they took away from it. If you’ve read this book and can recommend it, let me know in the comments. I might change my mind.

Verdict: GO

2. Behind Every Great Man: Women in the Shadows of History’s Alpha Males – Marlene Wagman-Geller

Book cover of "Behind Every Great Man" by Marlene Wagman-Geller

I might have come across this book at work. I’m always interested in books that shine a light on woman’s history, since woman’s history is so often forgotten history. I must not have read too much into it, though, because going through readers’ reviews, it’s clear this book is more of a coffee-table book than a really, researched non-fiction book. Each woman’s chapter is only 5 or 6 pages, and apparently the writing is very sensationalist. I wish it were a more thorough, deep-delve into woman’s history, rather than quick looks.

Verdict: GO

3. Data and Goliath – Bruce Schneier

Book cover of "Data and Goliath" by Bruce Schneier

I’m pretty sure I added this book while I was taking a course on data and libraries for my Master’s degree. It was such a fascinating class so I wanted to read more in this area. This book has such a high rating! I’m really tempted to check it out now, just because it seems like this book has so much mind-boggling information that will, most likely, horrify me! But I want to know. It will fuel all my dystopian nightmares.

Verdict: KEEP

4. Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish – John Hargrove

Book cover of "Beneath the Surface" by John Hargrove

I have seen Blackfish and it was so incredible and heartbreaking. It was one of the most gut-wrenching documentaries I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it. So when I came across this book, I was interested in reading it because I’m drawn to this topic. Whales are such amazing creatures and they deserve respect and proper treatment like any other animal. It is a travesty what SeaWorld has done in the name of profit and entertainment.

Verdict: KEEP

5. The Goose Girl – Shannon Hale

Book cover of "The Goose Girl" by Shannon Hale

I love fairy tales or fairy tale retellings. This fantasy story, by the amazing Shannon Hale, sounds so good! It’s a retelling of of the classic Grimm’s fairy tale of the same name.

I really enjoyed the Grimm tale, and I’m curious to see what Hale makes of it. She’s a bestselling author, so I have a lot of confidence. I just need to set aside some time to read it!

Verdict: KEEP

6. Listening for Lions – Gloria Whelan

Book cover of "Listening for Lions" by Gloria Whelan

I don’t know why I put this book on my TBR. It doesn’t sound like something I would usually be drawn to – a girl living with her missionary parents in Africa, who, upon being orphaned, is somehow brought into a life of crime by her scheming neighbors. I mean, it could be interesting…but I don’t feel particularly drawn to the book by this summary. It did win a National Book Award. I haven’t yet read anything by Gloria Whelan , so if you have, or even if you’ve read this book, and feel strongly enough to recommend it, I might change my mind. I’m only taking it off my TBR now because I don’t feel strongly enough about it to keep it on her among other books I definitely want to read.

Verdict: GO

7. The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots: An Accidental Tragedy – Roderick Graham

Book cover of "The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots," by Roderick Graham

I can’t confirm this, but I’m pretty sure I put this on my TBR around the time that I either heard about or started watching the TV show Reign. I found the show to be entirely too liberal about clothing (I watch period dramas for a reason!), too inventive with the actual history of the lives of the people being portrayed, and also it had way too many tropes I dislike in shows like that, namely the love-triangle aspect. I probably picked this book because I’d get to learn actual facts about Mary’s life, and boy does her life sound so crazy! I would like to read this book eventually.

Verdict: KEEP

8. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

Book cover of "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov

It’s so funny that I came across this book for this post, since I only just mentioned that I want to read this book in my earlier post about road trip books! I do want to read it. I mean, it’s a classic for one, plus I want to see what all the fuss is about so to speak. I know the general gist of this story, the pedophilia and all that. But I’ve never read anything by Nabokov and I hear his writing is excellent. It’s an interesting subject to take on as a writer and I’m curious why he wanted to write this kind of book. Hopefully I’ll have more ideas about why once I read it.

Verdict: KEEP

9. The Testing – Joelle Charbonneau

Book cover of "The Testing" by Joelle Charbonneau

I probably saw this book at my own library and I thought it sounded pretty neat. I mean, I like dystopians, no I have not burned out on them yet! It’s been compared to The Hunger Games, because of course. I mean, a competition with high stakes, a smart female main character, potential budding romance. I think I’m pretty sold on it. It has decent ratings, plus it’s a completed series, so if I like it, I could keep reading right on through. Bonus!

Verdict: KEEP

10. Frog – Mo Yan

Book cover of "Frog" by Mo Yan

So this book is apparently about a woman who strictly adheres to China’s one-child policy and gives abortions to the women in her village, even those who are as far as eight months pregnant! I don’t know where I came across this book or why I put it on my TBR, but it sounds like a strange thing for me to decide to want to read. It’s a translated book, which can be interesting. I also know the author won the Nobel Peace Prize for literature, which is interesting! But this book just doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.

Verdict: GO


Kept: 6

Discarded: 4


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 #21

    1. Always a good idea, if you’re on the fence. Who knows, maybe after reading a few chapters, it’ll strike your fancy? Any of these books I remove from my TBR, I still might eventually read. Just don’t know.


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