TBR List Declutter Week 14

It’s the second week of the new post format, and so far I like it. I hope it’s readable for all of you who enjoy reading this type of list because it’s really quite a bit easier for me to set up.

Now on to the next ten titles!

Wondering what this is all about? Check out the Introductory Post.

Titles 131-140:


Title: Lord of Misrule

Author: Gordon, Jaimy

Date Added: 04/06/11

Verdict: Go. I think I added this because it won the National Book Award, but I’m not sure I have any interest at all in horseracing, and the plot over top of that background doesn’t grab me.

Project List: n/a


Title: Parrot and Olivier in America

Author: Carey, Peter

Date Added: 04/06/11

Verdict: Keep. Not only am I going to keep this one on the list, I’ve also added Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America to my Cavalcade of Classics (okay, so it’s already on that list, but now it’s on Goodreads, too). I like reading companion books for my classics, and while this isn’t necessarily a companion book, the two are related, and that’s good enough for me. And I really like the idea of reading two books about the United States written by non-United Statesians (French and Australian).

Project List: Cavalcade of Classics


Title: Solar

Author: McEwan, Ian

Date Added: 04/06/11

Verdict: Go. The reviews make this sound too Updike-ian for me, and I didn’t like the two other McEwan books I read well enough to read this just because of its author.

Project List: n/a


Title: I Hotel

Author: Yamashita, Karen Tei

Date Added: 04/06/11

Verdict: Keep. The format (ten linked novellas) and the subject (civil rights in San Francisco’s Chinatown) sold it for me.

Project List: none


Title: Stumbling on Happiness

Author: Gilbert, Daniel Todd

Date Added: 05/03/11

Verdict: Go. The premise seems interesting, but after reading the reviews, I don’t think it’s for me. Seems like the main reason people say one should read it is the author’s style, and I don’t usually self-conscious wittiness. And the Malcolm Gladwell blurb on the cover doesn’t make me more inclined to pick this one up (I’m not a Malcolm Gladwell fan).


Title: Forged: Writing in the Name of God

Author: Ehrman, Bart D.

Date Added: 06/21/11

Verdict: Keep. When I first considered this book this time around (the first time I think I added it because my cousin liked it, and I don’t think I thought deeply about my reasons for adding it to my TBR), I decided to pass on it because it seemed like a “duh”—of course the books of the Greek Bible/New Testament weren’t all written by the people to whom they’re attributed; isn’t that common knowledge?—and because I don’t like the cover. But after reading some of the reviews, this really seems like a book that I would enjoy. I have an enduring interest in religion and the type of investigation and analysis this book is said to do. So, on the list it stays.

Project List: none


Title: A People’s History of the United States

Author: Zinn, Howard

Date Added: 07/02/11

Verdict: Go. But it won’t help decrease my TBR total because I’m replacing it with James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me. Reviews suggest that both have a liberal bias, but it sounds like Loewen’s book has more footnotes and might give me more space to come to my own conclusions about the evidence presented.


Title: Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Author: Ellis, Joseph J.

Date Added: 07/02/11

Verdict: Keep. I was almost put off by some reviewers’ complaints about Ellis’s unnecessarily opaque and multi-syllabic writing style, but others say this calms down as the book progresses and the content ultimately makes the effort worthwhile.

Project List: none


Title: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Author: Philbrick, Nathaniel

Date Added: 07/02/11

Verdict: Keep. Living so close to Plymouth/Plimoth and being surrounded by people who trace their roots to those who arrived on the Mayflower, I should probably know more about the history of the settlers. Or “should” isn’t the right word. I feel a desire to learn more about these early settlers, and this book sounds like an informative and enjoyable way to do this.

Project List: none


Title: Adams-Jefferson Letters

Author: Cappon, Lester J.

Date Added: 07/02/11

Verdict: Keep. I worry I might be overdoing it a little with the Early American History stuff (will I really read all of these books?), but I do think this one goes well with Founding Brothers and gives me some primary sources I can perhaps share with my children as they read about this period in history.

Project List: none, but I think I ought to start one about U.S. History.

Four more books off of my TBR, putting us at 39 out of 140 removed from the list (5.2% of the original 750). If I can control my penchant for adding to my TBR, I might actually make some progress on whittling down this list!

Are there any of these that I kept that you would have jettisoned? Or any that I jettisoned that you recommend I keep?

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