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
It is time for another clear out of the TBR list, I am slowly seeing an improvement with my TBR list, fingers crossed I can keep it up.
To read my previous posts please click on the links below:
1. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
A portrait of the residents of an English country town in the mid nineteenth century, Cranford relates the adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters striving to live with dignity in reduced circumstances. Through a series of vignettes, Elizabeth Gaskell portrays a community governed by old-fashioned habits and dominated by friendships between women. Her wry account of rural life is undercut, however, by tragedy in its depiction of such troubling events as Matty’s bankruptcy, the violent death of Captain Brown or the unwitting cruelty of Peter Jenkyns. Written with acute observation, Cranford is by turns affectionate, moving and darkly satirical.
Another Elizabeth Gaskell that I will keep on the list because I do own most of her books and it seems a waste not to read them.
2. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
In Ruth Elizabeth Gaskell set out to portray, not ‘the Condition of England’ already famously addressed in Mary Barton, but the nature and sensibility of a fallen woman. Her orphaned heroine Ruth, apprenticed to a dressmaker, is seduced and then abandoned by wealthy young Henry Bellingham. Shamed in the eyes of society by her illegitimate son, and yet rejecting the opportunity to marry her seducer, Ruth finds a path that affirms we are not bound to repeat our mistakes. When Ruth, Elizabeth Gaskell’s second novel, appeared in 1853 its first reviewers were less scandalized than moved and intrigued. In considering a ‘fallen woman’, Gaskell explores the worlds of nineteenth-century experience concerned with women and family, sexuality, love and religion. She declared of her critics: ‘It has made them talk and think a little on a subject which is so painful it requires all one’s bravery not to hide one’s head like an ostrich.’.
Another Gaskell I will keep on the list and hopefully read one day.
3. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
Dombey and Son, Charles Dickens’s story of a powerful man whose callous neglect of his family triggers his professional and personal downfall, showcases the author’s gift for vivid characterization and unfailingly realistic description. As Jonathan Lethem contends in his Introduction, Dickens’s “genius . . . is at one with the genius of the form of the novel itself: Dickens willed into existence the most capacious and elastic and versatile kind of novel that could be, one big enough for his vast sentimental yearnings and for every impulse and fear and hesitation in him that countervailed those yearnings too. Never parsimonious and frequently contradictory, he always gives us everything he can, everything he’s planned to give, and then more.” This Modern Library Paperback Classic was set from the 1867 “Charles Dickens” edition.
Another Dickens, need I say more?
4. Romola by George Eliot
One of George Eliot’s most ambitious and imaginative novels, Romola is set in Renaissance Florence during the turbulent years following the expulsion of the powerful Medici family during which the zealous religious reformer Savonarola rose to control the city. At its heart is Romola, the devoted daughter of a blind scholar, married to the clever but ultimately treacherous Tito whose duplicity in both love and politics threatens to destroy everything she values, and she must break away to find her own path in life. Described by Eliot as ‘written with my best blood’, the story of Romola’s intellectual and spiritual awakening is a compelling portrayal of a Utopian heroine, played out against a turbulent historical backdrop.
The more I go through this list the more classics I realise I have not read and want to read.
5. Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
Ivanhoe (1819) was the first of Scott’s novels to adopt a purely English subject and was also his first attempt to combine history and romance, which later influenced Victorian medievalism. Set at the time of the Norman Conquest, Ivanhoe returns from the Crusades to claim his inheritance and the love of Rowena and becomes involved in the struggle between Richard Coeur de Lion and his Norman brother John. The gripping narrative is structured by a series of conflicts: Saxon versus Norman, Christian versus Jew, men versus women, played out against Scott’s unflinching moral realism.
I must admit I have never read a book by Scott so I think I will keep this on the list and try and read it ASAP.
That is my maximum for today as it has taken a lot longer than imagined because I have noticed Goodreads has jumbled up my TBR list and so I’m getting doubles, this has meant I’ve had to make a list before I started todays post to make sure I did not repeat certain books. Has anybody else found this problem?
Anyway, no books discarded today so the list stays the same.