TBR List Declutter: Week 9

With these ten, I had apparently finished with the book of books. The New York Times had a “Top 20 Writers Under 40” thing a few years ago, and based on my tags, I seem to have started gathering TBRs from that list.

Just today I added a handful more books to my TBR because I’m incorrigible. I’m not counting the ones I add right now because hopefully by the time I get to the end of the list, I will have read a few titles and it will all even out. Of course, lately I’ve been reading titles that aren’t on my Goodreads TBR, so that doesn’t bring my TBR numbers down.

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

Titles 81-90:

#81: Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution by Kenneth R Miller

Date added: 03/09/2010

Why is it on my TBR? In college, we had Common Learning, a required course for all first-year students. In autumn of 1994, the Common Learning class was about Darwin, and I learned that a lot of what I thought I knew about Darwin was false. I went on to minor in religion, and have always been confused as to why there’s such insistence in some quarters that religion and evolution can’t go together. A friend of mine from college reviewed this one favorably, and I suspect that’s why it’s on here.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. It might help me understand why some people can’t (or don’t want to) reconcile theism and science.

Project list: none.

#82: The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith

Date added: 03/24/2010

Why is it on my TBR? I’m pretty sure my friend Amanda recommended it to me.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. Seems like a quick, fun read, perhaps good for on an airplane.

Project list: none

#83:College Without High School: A Teenager’s Guide to Skipping High School and Going to College by Blake Boles

Date added: 05/03/2010

Why is it on my TBR? I added this at the end of my first year homeschooling my daughter. Apparently even then I was getting the “what about high school?” questions.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. I’ll probably skim this one. I’m not a huge fan of unschooling, but we are moving to a more child-directed model as my daughter gets older. While I have no doubt that my daughter will cover all topics covered in high school—and then some—before college application time, this might give us a few ideas about how to keep track of her studies in a way that she can submit to colleges in lieu of a high school transcript.

Project list: none.

#84: Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

Date added: 06/07/2010

Why is it on my TBR? It’s supposed to start out describing a life quite a bit like my own, but then there’s a twist that changes everything and about which readers shouldn’t know too much going in or it will dampen the punch.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. I am too intrigued to remove this one from the list.

Project list: none.

#85: Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund

Date added: 06/07/2010

Why is it on my TBR? I’m not sure. Maybe because of the Moby-Dick tie-in?

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Go. I’m put off by reviewers mentioning the presence of big names in history, especially those who were contemporaries and/or friends of Melville, which seems a little precious to me.

Project list: n/a

#86: In the Heart of the Canyon by Elisabeth Hyde

Date added: 06/07/2010

Why is it on my TBR? I suspect I heard about this through NPR or The New York Times.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. It sounds interesting. Kind of like Life of Pi, but in the Grand Canyon and with more people.

Project list: none.

#87:The Big Bang Symphony: A Novel of Antarctica by Lucy Jane Bledsoe

Date added: 06/07/2010

Why is it on my TBR? I am almost certain I heard about this one on NPR.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. I’ve never read a book set in Antarctica.

Project list: none

#88: Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende

Date added: 06/07/2010

Why is it on my TBR? Not sure on this one.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. I like Allende. I only wish my Spanish were good enough that I could read the original, untranslated version. But I can barely crawl my way through Ramona the Brave in Spanish, and I already know that story.

Project list: none.

#89: Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenberger

Date added: 06/10/2010

Why is it on my TBR? NY Times Top 20 Under 40.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Go. Neither the synopsis nor the reviews intrigue me.

Project list: n/a

#90: Natasha and Other Stories by David Bezmozgis,

Date added: 06/10/2010

Why is it on my TBR? NY Times Top 20 Under 40

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep (B list).

Project list: none.


Two more titles off the list for a total of 21 out of 90 titles crossed off (2.8% of the original TBR).

I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t just select all and delete. Works for my email.

Are there any of these that I kept that you would have jettisoned? (Or any that I jettisoned that you recommend I keep, even though that wouldn’t help whittle my TBR list down?)

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