Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.
How it works:
- Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added
- Take the first 5 or 10 books.
- Read the synopses of the books.
- Decide: keep it or should it go
So it is time for another Down the TBR Hole, but I must be honest I have added a few more books to the list this week. The list is now at 474.
1. The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle
1942: Boldly advancing through Asia, the Japanese need a train route from Burma going north. In a prison camp, British POWs are forced into labor. The bridge they build will become a symbol of service and survival to one prisoner, Colonel Nicholson, a proud perfectionist. Pitted against the warden, Colonel Saito, Nicholson will nevertheless, out of a distorted sense of duty, aid his enemy. While on the outside, as the Allies race to destroy the bridge, Nicholson must decide which will be the first casualty: his patriotism or his pride.
I’m not entirely sure I still want to read this book as my reading tastes have changed quite a bit since 2014 when I added the book. So sadly I think this book is coming off the list.
2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.
This definitely stays as I studied Sylvia Plath’s poems for my GCSE English and loved them so I really want to read this book and thankfully own a copy.
3. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
I’ve never been entirely sure what to make of this book and whether I really want to read it or not, so because I’m still undecided I have decided to remove it from the list for now.
4. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
Twelve-year-old Katy is constantly making and quickly breaking resolutions about how she will change her ways and treat others, especially her five younger brothers and sisters, with more respect and compassion. When Katy meets her Cousin Helen, an invalid, Katy is awed by her kindness, prettiness, and generosity. Katy is determined to become more like Helen, a resolution that lasts only a few hours. Soon, however, Katy gets a chance to become more like cousin Helen than she ever wished as she finds herself confined to her bedroom for four years as a result of an accident. Much of the story is focused on the change Katy undergoes during her illness. Helen visits again to advise Katy to learn from her experience and to try to become the center of the house by making her room and herself more attractive to others. One way Katy decides to take Helen’s advice is through assuming the responsibility of running the house, a job that consists of giving the servants instructions and ringing her bell to summon her sisters when she has a task for them. As soon as Katy has learned the lesson about how to care for others, she recovers and regains the ability to walk.
This is another that will stay on the list as I have been meaning to read it since I was little and have owned the book for many years.
5. The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf
Woolf’s first novel is a haunting book, full of light and shadow. It takes Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose and their niece, Rachel, on a sea voyage from London to a resort on the South American coast.
Sadly I just cannot get on with Virginia Woolf so this book is definitely not staying on the list. Her books just drive me a little bit crazy.
6. Middlemarch by George Eliot
Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832, Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life: art, religion, science, politics, self, society, human relationships. Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature: Dorothea Brooke, the heroine, idealistic but naive; Rosamond Vincy, beautiful and egoistic: Edward Casaubon, the dry-as-dust scholar: Tertius Lydgate, the brilliant but morally-flawed physician: the passionate artist Will Ladislaw: and Fred Vincey and Mary Garth, childhood sweethearts whose charming courtship is one of the many humorous elements in the novel’s rich comic vein.
To be honest I could have sworn I had read this book but apparently I have not. Possibly I tried to read it when I was little and gave up. So I will give it one more chance and keep it on the list.
7. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?
Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.
An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.
I have always liked the idea of reading the Wicked books and finding out the history before the Wizard of Oz, so this definitely stays.
8. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
Dickens’s first historical novel is a thrilling tale of murder, treachery, and forbidden love with rioting mob scenes to make any reader’s hair stand on end
Barnaby Rudge is a young innocent simpleton who is devoted to his talkative raven, Grip. When he gets caught up in the mayhem of the Gordon riots and a mysterious unsolved murder, his life is put in jeopardy. This is a powerful historical tale of forbidden love, abduction, and the dangerous power of the mob.
It is Dickens! Hence it stays.
9. Felix Holt: The Radical by George Eliot
When the young nobleman Harold Transome returns to England from the colonies with a self-made fortune, he scandalizes the town of Treby Magna with his decision to stand for Parliament as a Radical. But after the idealistic Felix Holt also returns to the town, the difference between Harold’s opportunistic values and Holt’s profound beliefs becomes apparent. Forthright, brusque and driven by a firm desire to educate the working-class, Felix is at first viewed with suspicion by many, including the elegant but vain Esther Lyon, the daughter of the local clergyman. As she discovers, however, his blunt words conceal both passion and deep integrity. Soon the romantic and over-refined Esther finds herself overwhelmed by a heart-wrenching decision: whether to choose the wealthy Transome as a husband, or the impoverished but honest Felix Holt.
I think I will take this one off the list for now and see what I think of the other George Eliot books first.
10. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.
I’ve always wanted to read this book so this will stay on the list.
That’s another week done and 4 books off the list! The list is now down to 470.
I would love to hear your opinions on these books and also please drop me a link to your blog if you are also doing the Down the TBR Hole.
Bye for now.