TBR HoleDown the TBR Hole is something that started last November, when Lia at Lost in a Story started filtering her TBR list.  I keep seeing other bloggers joining in – the latest one to spur me into it was J Lenni Dorner.  Thanks, J!

You know the feeling; your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You add more than you read. You scroll through your list, and have no idea what half the books are about or why you added them.

Lisa set this up as something to do weekly.  I’m going to start now, and aim to do it once a month.  I’ll skip anything listed in my top 100, since I do keep the list well sorted.

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m going to start right now, although I did think it was a good thing to do on a rainy holiday weekend.

Down the TBR Hole I go!

TBR pile starting tally – 536.

Exodus by Julie Bertagna

Mara’s island home is drowning as the ice caps melt and Earth loses its land to the ocean. But one night, in the ruined virtual world of the Weave, Mara meets the mysterious Fox, a fiery-eyed boy who tells her of sky cities that rise from the sea. YA-dystopia

It looks okay, but not compelling.  Double-checked I didn’t have it on my kindle… nope.

Verdict: It’s going.

The Dhammapada by (several translators)

The Dhammapada (Pāli; Prakrit: धम्मपद Dhammapada; Sanskrit: धर्मपद Dharmapada) is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. Non-fiction

I know why I put it on, and why it’s staying.  One for my Non-fiction Adventure Challenge, even if I never do get round to it.

Verdict: Keep

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Owen’s spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system rouse his fellow men from their political quietism. historical fiction

This belongs in the category of classics I think I ought to read.

Verdict: I’m never going to read it. Go.

The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliott

Set during the French Revolution, this novel about a teen aristocrat who must question the justice of her own wealth while facing the cataclysmic divisions of her society will captivate readers as secrets come out, sympathies shift, and every choice can change or end a life. YA-historical

The reviews aren’t enthusiastic, and neither am I now.

Verdict: gone.

The Alchemist (The Immortal Secrets of Nicholas Flamel #1) by Michael Scott

Read the first book in the New York Times bestselling The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, perfect for fans of The Maze Runner and Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

He holds the secret that can end the world. YA-Fantasy/Magic

Despite the over-blown blurb, this still appeals.  It it has really good reviews from people I ‘know’.

Verdict: Keep

Meditations on Middle-Earth Edited by Karen Haber

When J.R.R. Tolkien created the extraordinary world of Middle-earth and populated it with fantastic, archetypal denizens, reinventing the heroic quest, the world hardly noticed. Sales of The Lord of the Rings languished for the better part of two decades, until the Ballantine editions were published here in America. By late 1950s, however, the books were selling well and beginning to change the face of fantasy. . . . forever. Essay/anthology/writing

This is a series of essays by people on how they related to Middle-Earth.  Reviews are mixed.  I’m not sure… are there any writers I know in this lot? Hmmm. Ursula Le Guin, Poul Anderson, George R R Martin, Terry Pratchett.

Verdict: I seriously doubt whether I’ll ever get around to this, but I’ll keep it just in case.

Words & Pictures: Writers, Artists and a Peculiarly British Tradition by Jenny Uglow

Following the success of Jenny Uglow’s ‘Hogarth’ and her life of Thomas Bewick, this beautifully illustrated little book uncovers some intriguing connections between British writers and artists. Non-fiction

I like Jenny Uglow, and her Little History of British Gardening is getting near the top of the pile.

Verdict: Keep

Cultural Babbage by Francis Spufford

With contributions from writers on both sides of the science/humanities divide, this is a collection of quirky and offbeat essays on technology, culture and forgotten or imaginary histories. Taking as its starting point Charles Babbage’s ‘Difference Engine’, a machine imagined but never built, the book explores a range of subjects where the imagination and science and technology meet. Non-fiction

Verdict: Keep. No question!

Winterling by Sarah Prineas

“We live here, my girl, because it is close to the Way, and echoes of its magic are felt in our world. The Way is a path leading to another place, where the people are governed by different rules. Magic runs through them and their land.” MG-Fantasy

This seems to be a love it or hate it kind of book.  I think I should read it.  I’m surprised nobody has nominated it in the GMGR group, as far as I know.

Verdict: Keep

Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet

The Cabinet of Earths, Anne Nesbet’s debut novel for tweens, blends fantasy, science, and horror into an irresistible story in the vein of the classic His Dark Materials series. MG/YA-Fantasy

This continues to look interesting, even though I have history of not liking things compared favourably with HDM.  The reviews from ‘friends’ help.

Verdict: Keep

So at the end of my first trip Down the TBR Hole, I removed just three, with one I dithered about.  Well, if I got rid of 30% of the next 400, that would lose 120. It’s a start.

TBR tally now: 533.  See what happens in my TBR Hole next month!









Down the TBR Hole: reducing my reading list – part 1

8 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole: reducing my reading list – part 1

  • 21 August, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Sounds a perfect spot for those who enjoy their sci/fantasy,
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • 22 August, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      It’s one approach, Steve! And it seems to work.

  • 22 August, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Hi Jemima – I’ve noted the Uglow books … they would suit me – cheers Hilary

      • 22 August, 2017 at 4:04 pm

        Thanks – when I get reading I will get them and read … but at least she’s in my brain – for all that entails!! Cheers H

  • 23 August, 2017 at 4:32 am

    It’s an interesting approach. I might try it. I know there are a lot of books on there I’ll never read.

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