down the tbr hole #14

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 beginning of the year 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.


Barbed-Wire Surgeon by Alfred Weinstein

It may be that these stories are actually published in abundance and I'm just not introduced to them, but I've always felt that stories about Japanese POW camps during WWII aren't that common? What I am certain of is that I'm not as familiar with the stories of those who survived them as I would like to be, so this one is a definite KEEP.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

I've been burned by too many thrillers recently. It may be a harsh reaction, but I'm going to start clearing my TBR of any titles that don't have at least a 4-star rating on Goodreads. That won't guarantee I'll love a title, but I need to PASS on those with average reviews if I want to avoid burnout.

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

I sat here for several minutes trying to come up with a little summary beyond *shrug*. The fact that I still can't tells me I need to PASS.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

I know I have We Have Always Lived in the Castle somewhere on my TBR (and if it hasn't already been on the chopping block then spoiler: I plan to keep it!). Shirley Jackson just sounds like the sort of author I'd really enjoy so I'm happy to KEEP a second title of hers for now. (Also @GregsBooks, this reminds me of your pulp cover feature in the Sunday Post!)

The Children's Home by Charles Lambert

The sub-three-star rating almost had me ditch this before I read the summary. And there really are a lot of reviews frustrated with how the book ended. But! The synopsis sounds SO tempting. Maybe in a few months (or, let's be honest, years) you'll all be wagging your fingers at me for ignoring the signs, but darn it I want to KEEP this title and see if it works for me!

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

It breaks my heart, but I know I have to PASS on this. I recently DNF'd Nesbø's re-telling of Macbeth for the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in large part because I just could not stand his writing style. I'm not going to pretend this will be magically different in any significant way. (I still want to see the so-bad-it's-bad movie adaptation though!)

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I know, I know. This book and the series it spawned is a massive hit in the YA community. I should probably give it a chance, right? Except...this has been sitting on my TBR for nearly 3 years now, ever since it first came out. Overstock copies are stacked right at the door where I enter my favorite used bookstore. It's right there, all the time! And I've never bothered to try it. I need to just admit this is one trend that doesn't call my name and PASS.

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Another thriller, another sub-four-star rating. I need to stick with my new least through the end of a single TBR post! PASS.

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Ugh, the movie was so good! I adored the themes of home and belonging, all tied up in a coming-of-age story. I'm hopeful I'll love the book even more so this is an easy KEEP.

The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed by John Vaillant

The premise might sound kooky, even for a non-fiction book: an activist chops down an ancient spruce tree in British Columbia. I've read another book by this author though, about the hunt for a man-eating tiger in Siberia, and loved how he told a story. I'll take a leap of faith and KEEP this other title of his around.

This week I've kept 5/10 books on my to-read list, which is pretty good progress! There are a couple of titles I like to purchase and read soon rather than letting them languish on my TBR much longer. I'm also happy to have a pickier standard for new thrillers, at least temporarily, and admit to myself that I don't have to read every single popular book or series. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some books to buy!

What did you think of my choices this week? Are you horrified I got rid of ACOTAR? Be sure to share your thoughts down below, and let me know if you're inspired to tackle your own TBR list!

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