down the tbr hole #1

As my Goodreads to-read shelf creeps closer to 500 books, I've been eyeing it with a growing feeling of apprehension. It would take forever to get through so many...and that's not counting all of the new books I hear about along the way. Thankfully I discovered Lost In A Story's series (by way of Boston Book Reader) at the end of last month and it sounds like a great way to trim down my TBR.

The guidelines, per Lost In A Story, are simple:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
I'll be going through 10 books every week, meaning it should take me almost the whole year to reach the end! If you'd like to do this yourself, be sure to visit Lost In A Story's original post and let her (and me!) know you'll be joining in the fun.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

I added this with aspirations of reading the source material for critically acclaimed and classic movies, but I'm just not that interested in the story. When you just don't care about the characters or plot, it doesn't matter how great the execution is.


Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

There are many books or authors who receive near universal praise, yet for one reason or another I can never get enthusiastic about. Márquez is one of those writers who I feel like I should love and then I never pick one of his novels off the store shelf. Maybe one day I'll change my mind, but for now I won't let it hang around out of guilt.


Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

I struggled with Slaughterhouse-Five in high school despite loving dystopian fiction. Bradbury and Burgess were more to my liking, but more than once I've had Cat's Cradle recommended to me as a gentler introduction to Vonnegut's work. I really want to find something of his I enjoy, so this one can hang around.


Deliverance by James Dickey

Another novel, like Cuckoo's Nest, that I wanted to read and compare to the film. Since I felt so lukewarm about the screen adaptation, and honestly haven't even thought of the book since adding it over 5 years ago, I think it's safe to let go.


We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

I don't have any idea how or when I first heard of We, but the synopsis has me intrigued. A precursor and inspiration for Orwell's 1984? Sign me up!


The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

A classic that I once felt obligated to read and enjoy. I've previously read The Time Machine and War of the Worlds, which were fine, but not stories I've given much thought to since.


The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Yet another classic, this time one that I've actually attempted to read several times. With all those failures I've concluded that the unabridged edition may be insurmountable for me right now, but I'm going to leave this as encouragement to seek out an abridged edition instead.


Metamorphoses by Ovid

This must be a hold-over from Latin or Political Science classes. I loved those assigned readings at the time, but I don't think I'm likely to try out the expanded curriculum in my spare time right now.


Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

There's definitely a running theme to the first 50-100 books on my TBR, which all got added in the early days of my Goodreads account. This is another book I feel like I should read, even if I'm not particularly interested. Away it goes!


Amadeus by Peter Shaffer

All this time I thought Amadeus was a novel, not a play? Since I've seen (and loved) the film many times, I don't see much point in reading what's surely a very similar script.


Only 3/10 books survived my first cut. It already feels good to be trimming down my to-read (and, by extension, my to-buy!) list. Now that I'm out of college, I'm more confident about what I have and haven't read. Over the coming weeks I'll probably be deleting a lot of books that, at some point, I was told I "needed" to read in order to be well-rounded/well-educated/well-read. That pressure just doesn't exist to the degree that it did in my teens and early twenties; while I may not be interested in some classics, I've read plenty of other excellent books instead!

Be sure to share your thoughts down below, and let me know if you're inspired to tackle your own TBR list!


  1. Cat's Cradle is definitely one of the best books I've ever read, I'm glad you kept it :) meanwhile Love in the Time of Cholera xD yes. Glad you ditched it (I'm not a fan of the South American style of writing somehow. Half page long sentences and all the flowery language... and all that promiscuity. I didn't love that book so much, regrettably.) We is also definitely worth the keep! And I'm also planning to read The Count of Monte Christo sometime :)

    1. I'm so glad to have found someone who recommends We! It sounds amazing but why I ever added it to begin with will remain a mystery. And I may go ahead and grab Cat's Cradle next time I'm at the bookstore. There's an inviting gap on my shelves next to Slaughterhouse-Five...