Down the TBR Hole #13

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’s that time again, lets see if I can shrink this TBR list down. The list is currently at 472.

1. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

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Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new step-sister enters Molly’s quiet life – loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

 

 

 

My aim is to one day read all of Elizabeth Gaskell’s books so this will stay on the list.

KEEP

 

2. The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Bronte

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In 1846 a small book entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell appeared on the British literary scene. The three pseudonymous poets, the Bronte sisters, went on to unprecedented success with such novels as Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, and Jane Eyre, all published in the following year. As children, these English sisters had begun writing poems and stories about an imaginary country named Gondal, yet they never sought to publish any of their work until Charlotte’s discovery of Emily’s more mature poems in the autumn of 1845, Charlotte later recalled: “I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily’s handwriting… I looked it over, and something more than surprise seized me – a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear they had also a peculiar musicwild, melancholy, and elevating.” The renowned Hatfield edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Bronte includes the poetry that captivated Charlotte Bronte a century and a half ago, a body of work that continues to resonate today. This incomparable volume includes Emily’s verse from Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell as well as 200 works collected from various manuscript sources after her death in 1848. Some were edited and preserved by Charlotte and Arthur Bell Nichols; still others were discovered years later by Bronte scholars. Originally released in 1923, Hatfield’s collection was the result of a remarkable attempt over twenty years to isolate Emily’s poems from her sisters’ and to achieve chronological order. Accompanied by an interpretive preface on “The Gondal Story” byMiss Fannie E. Ratchford, author of The Brontes Web of Childhood, this edition is the definitive collection of Emily Bronte’s poetical works. In 1846 a small book entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell appeared on the British literary scene. The three pseudonymous poets, the Bronte sisters, went on to unprecedented success with such novels as Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, and Jane Eyre, all published in the following year. As children, these English sisters had begun writing poems and stories about an imaginary country named Gondal, yet they never sought to publish any of their work until Charlotte’s discovery of Emily’s more mature poems in the autumn of 1845, Charlotte later recalled: “I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily’s handwriting… I looked it over, and something more than surprise seized me – a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear they had also a peculiar musicwild, melancholy, and elevating.” The renowned Hatfield edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Bronte includes the poetry that captivated Charlotte Bronte a century and a half ago, a body of work that continues to resonate today. This incomparable volume includes Emily’s verse from Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell as well as 200 works collected from various manuscript sources after her death in 1848. Some were edited and preserved by Charlotte and Arthur Bell Nichols; still others were discovered years later by Bronte scholars. Originally released in 1923, Hatfield’s collection was the result of a remarkable attempt over twenty years to isolate Emily’s poems from her sisters’ and to achieve chronological order. Accompanied by an interpretive preface on “The Gondal Story” byMiss Fannie E. Ratchford, author of The Brontes Web of Childhood, this edition is the definitive collection of Emily Bronte’s poetical works.

This is a tricky one because although I love the novels of the Bronte sisters I really have not got on well with their poetry, especially Emilys’. I’m not sure why but I struggle with her poems and do not enjoy them, so for now I think I will take this off the list.

GO

 

3. Life of St Columba by Adomnan of Iona 

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Founding father of the famous monastery on the island of Iona, a site of pilgrimage ever since his death in 597, St Columba was born into one of the ruling families in Ireland at a time of immense expansion for the Irish Church. This account of his life, written by Adomnán – the ninth abbot of Iona, and a distant relative of St Columba – describes his travels from Ireland to Scotland and his mission in the cause of Celtic Christianity there. Written 100 years after St Columba’s death, it draws on written and oral traditions to depict a wise abbot among his monks, who like Christ was capable of turning water into wine, controlling sea-storms and raising the dead. An engaging account of one of the central figures in the ‘Age of Saints’, this is a major work of early Irish and Scottish history.

I love Iona and the history and I have actually read certain parts of this book but not all of the book. I will keep this on the list as I would like to read it all.

KEEP

 

4. The Idiot by Fydor Dostoevsky

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Returning to Russia from a sanitarium in Switzerland, the Christ-like epileptic Prince Myshkin finds himself enmeshed in a tangle of love, torn between two women—the notorious kept woman Nastasya and the pure Aglaia—both involved, in turn, with the corrupt, money-hungry Ganya. In the end, Myshkin’s honesty, goodness, and integrity are shown to be unequal to the moral emptiness of those around him. In her revision of the Garnett translation, Anna Brailovsky has corrected inaccuracies wrought by Garnett’s drastic anglicization of the novel, restoring as much as possible the syntactical structure of the original story.

 

 

I love Russian literature so this just has to stay.

KEEP

 

5. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

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What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can – will she?

I’m not sure why I added this book because I do not remember anything about it but after reading the blurb I will take it off the list. I really do not like books that have characters with endless lives, or books that repeat one period of time over and over again until the loop is broken.

GO

Just 5 books today but 2 books off the list and down to 470. If you have read any of these books and would like to drop me a comment please do.

Happy Reading

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