TBR List Declutter: Week 10

Today I hit the century mark! The first of seven. When I’m done, I will celebrate the TBR Declutter’s sesquisepticentennial, if I continue to use anniversary names to count my books. If I just use Latin numbers, today’s post ends with centum, and I’ll (eventually) be counting up to septingenti quinquaginta. And that concludes our lesson on Latin numbers for today.

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

Titles 91-100 (nonaginta unus (XCI) – centum (C)):

#91: Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcón

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). I’m on the fence about this one. The subject matter doesn’t interest me, but I’m intrigued by reviewers’ descriptions of the storytelling style.

Project list: none.

#92: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Date added: 06/10/2010

Why is it on my TBR? I think a friend (or maybe my sister?) recommended it to me.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Go. With its cutesy character names and the fact that it’s the first in a series (I really don’t want any more series right now) and the reviews that suggest that the execution won’t live up to the promise, I’m finding myself uninterested.

Project list: n/a

#93:Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham

Date added: 06/30/2010

Why is it on my TBR? Based on the timing, I think I added it after my friend Lauren gave it a favorable review

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. The reviews are remarkably positive, which isn’t always a great indicator, but the shelves of the reviewers who like this lead me to believe I might also like it. Could be a good addition to my revamped classics list.

Project list: Cavalcade of Classics

#94: Post Office by Charles Bukowski

Date added: 07/04/2010

Why is it on my TBR? Umm, I have no idea. It sounds like it’s about an unlikeable fellow who stays hungover except when he’s drunk and takes advantage of every situation for his own momentary comfort. Maybe I was in a dark mood in July of 2010.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Go. I appreciate unlikeable protagonists when the book is funny or otherwise enlightening, but based on reviews, this doesn’t seem like that kind of book.

Project list: n/a

#95: Grange House by Sarah Blake

Date added: 07/10/2010

Why is it on my TBR? I added this shortly after I finished Blake’s The Postmistress.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Go. I assume that I liked The Postmistress enough that I wanted to read more Sarah Blake, but since I have absolutely no memory of The Postmistress at all even after reading the synopsis and my review, it must not have had staying power. With the negative reviews Grange House gets, I don’t really want to put in the time for this one.

Project list: n/a

#96: The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor

Date added: 07/11/2010

Why is it on my TBR? I read some short fiction by Flannery O’Connor in college, and I expect I wanted to check out some more.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. I still want to read more O’Connor, and this seems like as good a place to start as any.

Project list: Cavalcade of Classics

#97: Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor

Date added: 07/11/2010

Why is it on my TBR? No idea, but it looks interesting.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. Described by reviewers as character-driven and bleak, this sounds like it’s the opposite of the plot-driven YA I’ve been reading lately.

Project list: none

#98: Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality by Jonathan Weiner

Date added: 07/14/2010

Why is it on my TBR? Heard about it on the radio, I think.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep, B-list. I have mixed feelings about pop science, but as this seems to be more about the “why” of immortality research than the “how,” I think it might be interesting to me. I mean, I understand that people study immortality because they want to live forever, but why do they want to live forever? Is it just because they’re afraid to die, or is there something else they hope to do in their lives? And if they’ve dedicated their lives to finding the secret to immortality and succeed, what will they do then? Oh, and a reviewer who shares my name thought it was pretty good.

Project list: none.

#99: Staying Tuned by Daniel Schorr

Date added: 07/23/2010

Why is it on my TBR? Heard about it on the radio (naturally), and I loved hearing Daniel Schorr. I can still call up his voice in my memory

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Keep. At this point in history, I feel a need to look back on the twentieth century to see what brought us here and, maybe, get clues as to how we can get out (short of nuclear annihilation).

Project list: none

#100: Right of Thirst by Frank Huyler

Date added: 08/03/2010

Why is it on my TBR? Because my friend Lauren liked it, I think.

Do I own it? No.

Verdict: Go. If I got the impression this might offer me insight into refugee crises in Islamic countries, it would stay on here, but based on the reviews, I’m not convinced that’s the case. This conclusion might be influenced by my bias against doctors (Huyler is a doctor). Although I try to stamp down this bias (and all of my biases), it remains, probably in part because I think it keeps me on guard and protected against the hubris of many of those who choose this profession. I don’t dislike doctors, and I’ve met some really great doctors who also happened to be really great people, but, fair or not, doctors (like investment bankers) start out in the red on my trust balance sheet. After all of this, though, I think this digression mostly serves to show how conflicted I am about this title and perhaps how I’m grasping at straws for reasons to take books off of the TBR, not that I even need to have a reason since it’s my list. Select all, delete. (If only I had the courage.)

Project list: n/a


Four more titles off the list (!) for a total of 25 out of 100 titles crossed off (3.3% of the original TBR, 25% of the ones I’ve looked at so far).

I just got done reading all four (main) books of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and that left me in a bad mood, which I think led me to be extra ruthless in tossing titles. I’d better go do Week 11’s post while I’m still in a ruthless mood.

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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