TBR HoleTime to go down the TBR Hole again. It’s only a couple of weeks ago that I did the first sweep at reducing my TBR using the strategy devised by Lia at Lost in a Story.

Since then, I’ve read 2 books, neither of which were on my TBR list when I started this, and my total of 533 that were left on it after the pruning has returned to 535.  Is this a completely hopeless endeavour?  A Sisyphean task?  An Augean stable of books?

A reminder – I’m examining my TBR and pruning it according to Lia’s Down the TBR Hole principles:

  • 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 ignoring anything listed at around 100 or lower; I’m keeping those.

Down the TBR Hole; attempt the second…

Starting point… 535 books

Above World by Jenn Reese

above worldThirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is in doubt. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people.

The underwater world sounds interesting, but I’m sure one of the titles I discarded last month has a very similar blurb. This has a very pretty cover, and It’s MG-YA Dystopia.

Verdict: dithering but keep – for now

Small as Mustard Seed by Shelli Johnson

As a child in 1960′s rural Ohio, Ann Marie Adler finds herself caught between her father, Frank, a veteran who survived the war in Korea but with devastating post-traumatic stress, and her mother, Adele, who is blindsided by the mental illness that accompanied him home. In a series of escalating dangerous episodes, Frank confuses reality with soul-searing memories, believing he’s still a soldier fighting for his life in battle-torn Korea.

I know I put this on because it had a huge ‘must read’ rating in 2012. But I don’t fancy it.  I just think sometime the bookclub will want to read it.

Verdict: Keep for another few years.

The Angels are Here (Paradox #1) Patti Roberts

the angels are hereTwo mysterious strangers arrive just in time to help a little girl, Grace Connors, as she struggles to cope with the death of her father. But are the intentions of these strangers as innocent as they seem, or is there something else on their agenda? […]  A story that will indeed leave you asking… Who, When, Where? WHAT!
My name is Juliette. Nine hundred years ago, I died. Today, I am alive… This is my story.

This had received excellent reviews from people I like, and Patti Roberts was one of the first indie authors I followed on the web. The last line of the blurb still has me hooked, so…

Verdict: Keep – and raise up my list!

Pongwiffy: A Witch of Dirty Habits by Kaye Urmansky

Pongwiffy has it all…a hovel of her own, a sometime-friend named Sharkadder, and an odor only a witch could love. Everything is almost perfect — until a gaggle of Goblins move in next door. Heavens above, they’re enough to wake the dead. It’s time to move. But where? And where will she find a much-needed assistant? Sharkadder persuades Pongwiffy to advertise…but the only assistant who answers is a hamster.

I think of Pongwiffy as one of those books that was recommended at that fateful Children’s authors conference.  By now I don’t feel I ought to need to read those, maybe they are a bit, well, old.  Then I read this blurb and think – how could I not read this??

Verdict: Keep – and read it!

My Swordhand is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick

swordhand is singingWhen Tomas and his son, Peter, settle in Chust as woodcutters, Tomas digs a channel of fast-flowing waters around their hut, so they have their own little island kingdom. Peter doesn’t understand why his father has done this, nor why his father carries a long, battered box, whose mysterious contents he is forbidden to know.

Another recommended book, and I’ve read other Marcus Sedgwick books and enjoyed them.  Interesting; nearly all the books I’ve reviewed so far rank in the 200s on my TBR.  I think that’s why they are mostly staying – I’ve kept them high on the list on previous reviews.

Verdict: Keep

The Cinnabar Box by Illil Arbel

A tiny Cinnabar box contains the key to the water supply of an entire planet. The ecology of the planet depends on a great river that periodically overflows, much like the Nile in Egypt. Only the key’s rightful owner can restore the water supply, which has been hidden for centuries.The task needs a trained army-but for the moment, it is in the hands of 13-year-old Donna, who has just learned a shocking secret about herself, and two unusual flying animals. (lots more…)

I like the start of the blurb, and I like its end, and it has a five-star review from someone I follow.  I thought this was a more recent addition to the list, but no.

Verdict: Keep

Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge

Penelope Tredwell is the feisty 13-year-old orphan heiress of the bestselling magazine, ‘The Penny Dreadful’. Her masterly tales of the macabre are gripping Victorian Britain, even if no one knows she’s the author.

I have a horrible feeling that I’ve got this on my Kindle, which is why it’s still ranking in the 200s, but I really don’t fancy it now.

Verdict: Reject

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

Yes, I know, it’s a must read.  It’s probably a set book.  But, hey, I’ve seen the film and I know the story and there are another 500 books on my TBR.

Verdict: Reject

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, age 42 and three-quarters by Barbara Silkstone

Miami real estate broker and terminal anglophile, Alice Harte, falls for the wrong White Rabbit. Nigel Channing is an international conman with a gift for crafting Byronesque emails. He sweeps Alice off her feet and down a rabbit hole laden with mugs, thugs, and be-headers. Will Alice be able to keep her head when all about her are losing theirs? Are the cards stacked against her or will she find true love? Is there a Joker in the deck?

Um.  Why did I have this on my TBR?

Verdict: Reject

Dungda de Islan’ by C L R Dougherty

Dungda de Islan’ is the story of our voyage to the Caribbean, as well as our experiences during our first year in the islands. It’s a tale of how we fell in love with this part of the world, to the extent that, after 7 years, we’re still here and have no immediate plans to leave. Dungda de Islan’ has elements of a travelogue, a sea story, and the evolution of our relationship with each other, the boat, and the wonderful people of the island nations of the Caribbean. The title is patois, and it translates roughly to Down in the Islands.

This is a book by one of my earliest Twitter RT-ers.  I like to support my supporters, and I used to love sailing. I thought I had it on my Kindle…but neither it nor Twelve Minutes to Midnight is there.  But I’m not giving it the same treatment as that one.

Verdict: Keep


So there we have it: Part 2 of Down the TBR Hole and I’ve removed another 3 books from the ten reviewed.  Well, at least I’m consistent.

I’m now at 532.  One less than last month.  Is this worth it, I ask myself?  Or does the ranking in the 200s mean that actually, yes, I’d already decided to read these – sometime?

And now I’ve added one more….back to 533 again.

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Down the TBR Hole | reducing the list – part 2
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