TBR List Declutter, Issue 17

Going through this list, I started wondering if there’s a month in which I’m most likely to add titles or if they’re fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. So, I crunched some numbers (instead of, you know, reading the books on my list) and here’s what I came up with:

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 3.04.10 PM

This chart represents the average number of titles I’ve added each month from when I joined Goodreads in September 2007 until 31 August 2017. It’s not totally accurate since it doesn’t include titles I’ve already scrapped via this most recent TBR declutter nor does it include the many titles I scrapped during various declutter-fests over the past ten years, but it gives a decent idea of when I’ve added books.

Based on this chart, it looks like March is the clear winner, with November and December essentially tying for second place.

Now that I’ve got the chart, what is the significance of these data? What am I doing in March (and November and December) that makes me add so many books to my TBR? Just like with the number of licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.

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

Titles 161-170:

Title: To the End of the Land
Author: Grossman, David
Date Added: 11/08/11

Verdict: Go. I don’t know why I added this one, but it’s not a surprise to it on the list. It sounds interesting, and I’m intrigued by what people say about the ending, that it’s not happy but fitting. I like unhappy endings, if they’re done well. But people also write—even those who love the novel—that it’s a slog at some points. I can’t really cope with a slog. And I’m not really enthusiastic about another novel written by a man that takes place largely inside a woman’s head.

Project List: n/a

Title: Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children
Author: Napthali, Sarah
Date Added: 11/08/11

Verdict: Go. It sounds like a great book and one with which I probably would have really resonated had I picked it up closer to the time I put it on the list when I had a 2yo and a 6yo, but now with an 8yo and a 12yo, I’m not sure I need this one anymore. If she writes one about Buddhism for Mothers of Teens, I might read that one.

Project List: n/a

Title: The Mill on the Floss
Author: Eliot, George
Date Added: 11/08/11

Verdict: Keep. This is one that I supposedly read during college. It’s amazing how one can take—and pass—an exam on a book and remember practically nothing about it. Now that I’ve read and loved Middlemarch, I want to give this one another try and actually pay attention this time.

Project List: Cavalcade of Classics

Title: The Heretic’s Daughter
Author: Kent, Kathleen
Date Added: 11/08/11

Verdict: Keep. I’ve been reading a fair amount of nonfiction about the British colonies in North America, and it might be interesting to read some historical fiction about the period, too.

Project List: none.

Title: The Tempest
Author: Mayer, Marianna
Date Added: 11/12/11

Verdict: Keep, B list. My kids are already familiar with The Tempest, but this might still be a fun read. If I don’t get to it before they leave for college, though, I won’t cry.

Project List: none.

Title: I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage
Author: Kirkby, Mary-Ann
Date Added: 11/19/11

Verdict: Keep, B-list. I’m on the fence about this one. When my family moved to Ohio when I was ten, I developed a fascination for the Amish that grew into an interest in cloistered religious communities in general. I read articles and books, wrote reports, sought glimpses of the buggies with their DayGlo orange triangles on the back. My interest has waned over the years, but I’d never heard of the Hutterites until I heard about this book, so maybe I’ll take a look at this one.

Project List: none.

Title: The Mote in God’s Eye
Author: Niven, Larry
Date Added: 11/20/11

Verdict: Keep. I think my dad had a copy on his shelf of sci-fi when I was growing up, but for some reason I read the Heinlein and the Asimov but left this one alone. I enjoy science fiction from time to time, and this won a Hugo, so it seems like a good one to keep on my list.

Project List: none.

Title: The Enchanted Wood (The Faraway Tree, #1)
Author: Blyton, Enid
Date Added: 11/22/11

Verdict: Keep. How could I remove from the list a book with such trippy cover art and tremendous controversy about how the language in it has been modernized to change names that might be misconstrued in today’s English and to take out instances of violence that presumably children of today would find more shocking than previous generations. If I can get my hands on an original edition, I will, but even if I can’t this one might be fun.

Project List: none.

Title: The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation
Author: Nhất Hạnh, Thích
Date Added: 11/22/11

Verdict: Go. I like Thich Nhat Hanh, but I’ve done a fair amount of reading on Buddhism and none of the reviews make it seem as though this book contains anything particularly striking that would make it an enlightening (so to speak) read for someone already knowledgable about the basics of Buddhism. If I ever teach a class on Buddhism I might read this to see if it would be a good introductory text, but until then, I’ll not make it a priority.

Project List: n/a

Title: Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1)
Author: MacLachlan, Patricia
Date Added: 11/25/11

Verdict: Go. This is one I feel like I ought to read and/or read to my kids, but they’ve expressed no interest at all (and they’re usually up for any book I suggest reading to them), and I don’t feel excited enough to read it on my own.

Project List: n/a

Four more off the list for a total of 53 out of 170 (7% of the original 750).

Did any of your favorites end up on my chopping block? Or are any of your “can’t stand it” reads still on my list? I love strong feelings about books, so please share in the comments, if you’re so inclined (and if you have strong feelings about any of these books).

4 Replies to “TBR List Declutter, Issue 17”

  1. I love that you have a graph for this! I’m not on goodreads so I don’t have this particular problem but I have a very detailed excel-sheet for my reading and totally look forward to writing a graph-heavy end of the year summary of my reading…


    1. I have an Excel sheet, too, at least for my TBRs. I’ve got kind of a thing for collecting and graphing data that might have only marginal significance. Like when I graph my children’s Halloween candy haul every year. It might not mean anything, but it sure satisfies something in me to put everything together. I’ll have to check out your year-end post in a couple of months!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes my best writing motivation is seeing the cumulative graph I have over number of words written/day rise… Really liked the candy charts!

        Liked by 1 person

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