Down the TBR Hole #38

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?

So this week has been super busy for me and I didn’t get this posted as early as I would have liked, but it’s here now and I hope you all are having an awesome Sunday!

Picking up from where I left off:

A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea – Masaji Ishikawa

I have a deep fascination with North Korea and peoples’ experiences of it. This book is by a half-Japanese, half-Korean man whose family moves to North Korea with the promise of a better life, work and education, and higher social status, but instead find themselves living in the lowest caste of a brutal regime. This book is a translated work and I’m looking forward to reading more about this country from a somewhat direct account (through translation) of someone who lived there.

Verdict: KEEP

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI – David Grann

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time. Not only is it about a piece of history that I had no knowledge of, it also sounds really fascinating. Unknown to me, in the 1920s, the richest people in the US were Osage Native Americans, after having discovered oil under their property. But then they started getting killed off and no one could solve the murders without themselves getting killed. The FBI takes up the case, but it gets complicated by corruption. I’m really hoping to read this book this year, since it has captured my attention so much.

Verdict: KEEP

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

A co-worker recommended this book to me and I’m ashamed to say I still haven’t read it and it’s been a while. I mean, it sounds like a really interesting book about a woman who struggles with social skills. The book tackles mental health, something I’m always interested in reading about, and I know this book has been given lots of marketing – I see it everywhere! It’s only a matter of time before I read it, so here’s hoping I get to it this year!

Verdict: KEEP

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures – Anne Fadiman

This book tells is about a Hmong child who develops epilepsy and the problems she faces with her medical treatment do to misunderstanding between her parents and her doctors. I don’t know much about the Hmong people, but I know this book was a big deal when it came out and I’ve always meant to read it. This kind of story is what I look for in nonfiction books. I don’t really know what to expect, but I hope I enjoy reading it.

Verdict: KEEP

When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales of Neurosurgery – Frank T. Vertosick Jr.

This is a nonfiction book about neurosurgeon and his experiences. It has a really great rating and it sounds really fascinating! As I’ve said before, I enjoy reading medical history and the brain is definitely an interesting organ to read about. I’m interested to see what insights Vertosick has to show me in his book. I don’t know when I’ll pick this book up, but I’m thinking I’ll go ahead and take it off my TBR for now with plans to maybe put it back on later.

Verdict: GO

The Shark – Mary Burton

This is a mystery-thriller that focuses on two people, the girl who, as a teenage runaway was kidnapped, drugged, and left unconscious on the streets, and her old flame, an FBI agent who is looking to take down a serial killer that got away. This book has a really high rating. I don’t remember how I came across it, but it definitely sounds like something I’d be drawn to. It’s part of a series, but it looks to be only three books. I’m definitely still interested and I hope I’ll get to it soon!

Verdict: KEEP

Rebel Seoul – Axie Oh

A futuristic South Korea, where the government is trying to turn people into weapons. It’s a dystopian about a boy who fully believes in his oppressive machine, paired with a girl who’s being trained to be a super-soldier – a pilot of a “god machine,” (a giant robot!), and yes, they end up falling in love and our main character begins to become disillusioned with the regime. It’s a familiar story, but I’m looking forward to seeing it play out. I love that it’s a dystopian set in Seoul! I hope to read this book this year, actually.

Verdict: KEEP

Devils & Thieves – Jennifer Rush

So, I remember this book coming into my library and it seemed cool at the time. It’s urban fantasy, which isn’t my favorite, but I’ve read a few urban fantasy books that I like. In this case, there are people who have magic, called “kindled” and the main character believes she is, but she isn’t able to produce magic without “falling apart.” She’s also been snubbed by the leader of a motorcycle gang, so there’s that…I’m not sure if it’s appealing to me anymore, but if anyone’s read it and can recommend it, I’d reconsider.

Verdict: GO

As Lie is to Grin – Simeon Marsalis

I’m not really sure what this book is about…From the summery, it seems like a mix of things, included some fantastical elements. Essentially it seems to be about a college student who’s having trouble fitting into the mostly white population of the school and he’s recently broken up with his girlfriend. Mostly, this book seems to be about how the main character, David, is discovering all these inequalities within the many systems he has to use. I think this could be a very interesting book, but I’m not super excited about reading it and so I think I’ll let it pass for now.

Verdict: GO

Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor

This book centers around a mystery – a girl goes missing. It seems to chronicle the aftermath of it, 13 years, and what happens to the people who live in the community where the missing girl is from. I’m not sure where I came across this book or what drew me to it, aside from the mystery. I think that the mystery aspect of it could be quite interesting, but I’m not excited about the coverage of 13 years…I don’t like stories that are mostly about the passage of time. I find them to be really tedious. So I’ll let this one go.

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.

2 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #38

    1. I’ll definitely be checking it out! Thank you for sharing your experience. It definitely does matter when I decide what books to read to know how others think of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

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