TBR List Declutter: Week 3

Mundane detail that I’m going to pretend is vitally interesting: I’m putting these lists together when I have chunks of time available and then scheduling them to post weekly because I never know when something’s going to come up and eat away at my writing time. I’ve found myself with some blogging time this week, so while it’s technically still Week 1 while I’m writing this, I’m actually working on Week 3. It’s like traveling into the future!

Wondering what this is all about? Check out the introductory post.

At any rate, here are the next ten titles I’m looking at from my deceptive, multi-shelf Goodreads TBR list. All ten of these titles are from that “book of books” I mentioned last week:

5872#21: Regeneration by Pat Barker

Date added: 12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? Probably because it’s about WWI but approaches the subject from a different direction than All Quiet on the Western Front.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep, for now.

Project list: none.

96024#22: All Souls’ Rising by Madison Smartt Bell

Date added: 12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? Maybe because it’s about Haiti, a place about which I haven’t read much, and because it was a National Book Award finalist. And perhaps also because I thought Madison Smartt Bell was a woman’s name.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep.

Project list: none.

227751#23: Affliction by Russell Banks

Date added:12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? Beyond the fact that it was in the book of books, I have no idea.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep, mostly because it’s set in New England and isn’t about upper middle class literary types.

Project list: none.

724015#24: Young Adolf by Beryl Bainbridge

Date added:12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? I’m betting it’s here because it’s an historical novel about Adolf Hitler before he was Adolf Hitler.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Go. I want to read Beryl Bainbridge, but I’d rather start with something else, probably According to Queeney.

Project list: N/A

19610#25: Chilly Scenes of Winter by Ann Beattie

Date added:12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? I have no idea.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Go. The reviews of people who love it describe it as New York-y and Seventies, neither of which appeals to me, especially the New York-y part. I’m weary of books set in NYC. Seriously, people: there are other cities in the world, and even in the United States.

Project list: N/A

13699805#26: Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado

Date added:12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? I like the title, and it’s set in Brazil.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep! The synopsis looks interesting and the reviews are intriguing.

Project list: Cavalcade of Classics, maybe?

37781#27: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Date added:12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? Because everyone reads this, and I figure I probably ought to, also.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep, although not with an exclamation point. It’s one of those books I’m not sure about based on the reviews, but which I think I should read to be a better, more well-rounded person.

Project list: Cavalcade of Classics.

18830#28: London Fields by Martin Amis

Date added:12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? I might have put it on here because I recognized the last name, but I might also have put it here because it’s a murder mystery that’s apparently howlingly funny, which is an interesting combination.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. (See “funny murder mystery.”)

Project list: none.

11208#29: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

Date added:12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? I bet it’s because it’s about a family that’s emigrated from the Dominican Republic. I’m not sure I’ve read anything remotely about the Dominican Republic.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep, even though it’s set in New York City.

Project list: none.

6288#30: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Date added:12/31/2009

Why is it on my TBR? Everyone’s read it, everyone loves it, it won a Pulitzer, and I might want to watch the movie someday and I’d like to have read the book first.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep.

Project list: none.


Two more off the list, and a firmer grasp of why the other eight are still there. To date, I’ve removed 5/30 titles and reduced my TBR by nearly 0.7%. Making progress! (If I ignore the titles I’ve added to my TBR during this time. This process is a little like bailing water without fixing the leak, or cleaning the house while the kids are awake)

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