Down the TBR Hole #8

Hi all! We’re back with week 8 of Bookmark Your Thoughts‘s Goodreads de-clutter challenge, Down the TBR Hole!

The Rules:

  1. Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  4. Read the synopses of the books.
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
  6. Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week

Book 1: Someday, Someday, Maybe

The Blurb: Someday, Someday, Maybe is a story about hopes and dreams, being young in a city, and wanting something deeply, madly, desperately. It’s about finding love, finding yourself, and perhaps most difficult of all in New York City, finding an acting job.

The Verdict: Oof…dismiss. I added this because I love Lauren Graham, but I think I’ve just aged out of my interest in this.

Book 2: A Certain Age

The Blurb: Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York.

The Verdict: Keep. Still interested!

Book 3: As You Like It

The Blurb: Readers and audiences have long greeted As You Like It with delight. Its characters are brilliant conversationalists, including the princesses Rosalind and Celia and their Fool, Touchstone. Soon after Rosalind and Orlando meet and fall in love, the princesses and Touchstone go into exile in the Forest of Arden, where they find new conversational partners. Duke Frederick, younger brother to Duke Senior, has overthrown his brother and forced him to live homeless in the forest with his courtiers, including the cynical Jaques. Orlando, whose older brother Oliver plotted his death, has fled there, too.

The Verdict: Always keep Shakespeare.

Book 4: We Are Pirates

The Blurb: We Are Pirates is a novel about our desperate searches for happiness and freedom, about our wild journeys beyond the boundaries of our ordinary lives. Also, it’s about a teenage girl who pulls together a ragtag crew to commit mayhem in the San Francisco Bay, while her hapless father tries to get her home.

The Verdict: Dismiss. I’d forgotten about this and I didn’t really miss it.

Book 5: How to Be A Grown-Up

The Blurb: In How to be a Grown-Up, Buchanan dispenses all the emotional and practical advice you need to negotiate a difficult decade. Covering everything from how to become more successful and confident at work, how to feel pride in yourself without needing validation from others, how to turn rivals into mentors, and how to *really* enjoy spending time on your own, this is a warm, kind, funny voice in the dark saying “Honestly don’t worry, you’re doing your best and you’re amazing!” 

The Verdict: Dismiss. Not reading too much self-help.

Book 6: The Year of Magical Thinking

The Blurb: ‘An act of consummate literary bravery, a writer known for her clarity allowing us to watch her mind as it becomes clouded with grief.’ From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

The Verdict: Dismiss. I just don’t think I’ll reach for it.

Book 7: The Atlas of Forgotten Places

The Blurb: After a long career as an aid worker, Sabine Hardt has retreated to her native Germany for a quieter life. But when her American niece Lily disappears while volunteering in Uganda, Sabine must return to places and memories she once thought buried in order to find her. In Uganda, Rose Akulu—haunted by a troubled past with the Lord’s Resistance Army—becomes distressed when her lover Ocen vanishes without a trace. Side by side, Sabine and Rose must unravel the tangled threads that tie Lily and Ocen’s lives together—ultimately discovering that the truth of their loved ones’ disappearance is inescapably entwined to the secrets the two women carry.

The Verdict: Keep.

Book 8: Billy Budd and Other Stories

The Blurb: Stung by the critical reception and lack of commercial success of his previous two works, Moby-Dick and Pierre, Herman Melville became obsessed with the difficulties of communicating his vision to readers. His sense of isolation lies at the heart of these later works. “Billy Budd, Sailor,” a classic confrontation between good and evil, is the story of an innocent young man unable to defend himself against a wrongful accusation. The other selections here–“Bartleby,” “The Encantadas,” “Benito Cereno,” and “The Piazza”–also illuminate, in varying guises, the way fictions are created and shared with a wider society.

The Verdict: DIS. MISS. Reading Moby Dick was the most frustrating and irritating experience, so I think I’ve had all the Melville I need for one lifetime, thank you.

Book 9: The Secret Garden

The Blurb: The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he’s away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle’s vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven’t heard, spiking Mary’s curiosity.

The Verdict: Keep!! A classic that I can’t believe I still haven’t read! Bonus points for the Secret Garden musical having absolutely stunning music.

Book 10: Gli Amori Difficili

The Blurb: Se queste sono, per la più parte, storie di come una coppia non s’incontra, nel loro non incontrarsi l’autore sembra far consistere non solo una ragione di disperazione ma pure un elemento fondamentale – se non addirittura l’esistenza stessa – del rapporto amoroso.

These are, for the most part, stories of how a couple doesn’t meet, and in their not meeting the author seems to VERB not only a reason for despair, but also a fundamental element– if not the existence itself– of a loving relationship.

The Verdict: Conservare. Keep!

This week’s tally: 5 stay, 5 go

Removed so far: 37

Five more next week!

Xx.

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