Down the TBR Hole #12

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

 

Hello everyone!

It is that time again where I try and clear up my TBR list on Goodreads. I will see how it goes because Goodreads has gone a bit crazy on me recently marking certain books as read instead of to read and also messing up the order on TBR list. Has anybody else had this problem recently?

To visit my previous posts please click on the links below.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 |

 

1. Ninety- Three by Victor Hugo

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Ninety-three, the last of Victor Hugo’s novels, is regarded by many including such diverse critics as Robert Louis Stevenson and André Maurois as his greatest work.

1793, Year Two of the Republic, saw the establishment of the National Convention, the execution of Louis XVI, the Terror, and the monarchist revolt in the Vendée, brutally suppressed by the Republic. Hugo’s epic follows three protagonists through this tumultuous year: the noble royalist de Lantenac; Gauvain, who embodies a benevolent and romantic vision of the Republic; and Cimourdain, whose principles are altogether more robespierrean.The conflict of values culminates in a dramatic climax on the scaffold.

This will definitely stay on the list as I aim to read all of Victor Hugo’s books.

KEEP.

 

2. Patriot Games by Tom Clancy

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It is fall. Years before the defection of a Soviet submarine will send him hurtling into confrontation with the Soviets, historian, ex-Marine and CIA analyst Jack Ryan is vacationing in London with his wife and young daughter, when a terrorist attack takes place before his eyes. Instinctively, he dives forward to break it up, and is shot. It is not until he wakes up in the hospital that he learns whose lives he has saved — the Prince and Princess of Wales and their new young son — and which enemies he has made — the Ulster Liberation Army, an ultra-left-wing splinter of the IRA.

By his impulsive act, he has gained both the gratitude of a nation and then enmity of hits most dangerous men — men who do not sit on their hate. And in the weeks and months to come, it is Jack Ryan, and his family, who will become the targets of that hate.

I have owned this book for years because I love the film adaptation. I must admit I tried to read the book but gave up in the end but this was when I was at University and trying to write quite a few essays. I will give the book one more try.

KEEP

 

3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Anonymous

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A sensational story of murder and pie-making, Sweeney Todd is a classic of British horror writing, widely adapted in print and on stage, most famously by Stephen Sondheim, whose unlikely “musical thriller” won eight Tony awards. This edition offers the original story with all its atmospheric Victorian trimmings. The story of Todd’s murderous partnership with pie-maker Margery Lovett–at once inconceivably unpalatable and undeniably compelling–has subsequently set the table for a seemingly endless series of successful dramatic adaptations, popular songs and ballads, novellas, radio plays, graphic novels, ballets, films, and musicals. Both gleeful and ghoulish, the original tale of Sweeney Todd, first published under the title The String of Pearls, combines the story of Todd’s grisly method of robbing and dispatching his victims–by way of Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies–with a romantic sub-plot involving deception, disguise, and detective work, set against the backdrop of London’s dark and unsavory streets. Editor Robert Mack ‘fleshes’ out the story with a fascinating introduction touching on the origins of the tale, the growth of the legend, and a history of its many retellings. Mack also includes explanatory notes that point out interesting aspects, plus a full chronology of the many versions of Sweeney Todd.
Since Sweeney Todd first entered the public imagination in the mid-nineteenth-century, his exploits have chilled and fascinated audiences around the world. This new edition allows modern readers to savor the ghastly original in all its gruesome glory.

To be honest horror is not really my cup of tea and I’m not sure I would have the stomach to read this. I think I added it because I had watched the film but I think now I will remove it from the list as I can’t see myself reading it.

GO

 

4. Labyrinth (Languedoc #1) by Kate Mosse

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In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth. Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading armies gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take a tremendous sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.

 

I am ashamed to say I have owned this book since it came out and I also own most of the series but I have not read any of them. This I intend to change, so the book will definitely stay on the list.

KEEP

 

5. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr Murdstone; his brilliant, but ultimately unworthy school-friend James Steerforth; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble, yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora Spenlow; and the magnificently impecunious Wilkins Micawber, one of literature’s great comic creations. In David Copperfield – the novel he described as his ‘favourite child’ – Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of the most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure. This edition uses the text of the first volume publication of 1850, and includes updated suggestions for further reading, original illustrations by ‘Phiz’, a revised chronology and expanded notes. In his new introduction, Jeremy Tambling discusses the novel’s autobiographical elements, and its central themes of memory and identity.

It is a Dickens novel it stays!

KEEP

 

6. The Maps of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

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Best-selling Tolkien expert Brian Sibley (The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide) presents a slipcased collection of four full-color, large-format maps of Tolkien’s imaginary realm illustrated by John Howe, a conceptual designer for the blockbuster films directed by Peter Jackson. The set includes a hardcover book describing in detail the importance and evolution of geography within Tolkien’s epic fiction and four color maps presented with minimal folds, including two (Beleriand and Númenor) never before published in this country.

 

I do love all things Tolkien but I prefer the books by Tolkien so I doubt I will read this. I might do one day but for now it can come off the list.

GO

 

7. The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

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Jo, Bessie and Fanny move to the country and find an Enchanted Wood right on their doorstep. In the magic Faraway Tree live the magical characters that soon become their new friends – Moon-Face, Silky the fairy, and Saucepan Man. Together they visit the strange lands (the Roundabout Land, the Land of Ice and Snow, Toyland and the Land of Take What You Want) atop the tree and have the most exciting adventures – and narrow escapes.

 

 

 

 

Oh the memories! I remember being at primary school sat on the carpet and the headmistress reading this book to us all. This definitely stays on the list because I would love to read it and relive some memories.

KEEP

 

8. The Vicomte De Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas

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The Vicomte de Bragelonne opens an epic adventure which continues with Louise de La Valliere and reaches its climax in The Man in the Iron Mask. This new edition of the classic translation presents a key episode in the Musketeers saga, fully annotated and with an introduction by a leading Dumas scholar.

 

 

 

 

 

I love Dumas and I have read The Three Musketeers so many times my copy fell apart. This will definitely stay on the list as I would love to read all the books in the series.

KEEP

 

9. Queen Margot by Alexandre Dumas

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Released to coincide with the new Miramac film starring Isabelle Adjani, this is the classic novel unavailable for over 25 years. Massacres, conspiracies, clandestine trysts, secret alliances, daring escapes, sumptuous feasts, and duels of wit propel the action in this delightful story of French royalty during the 16th century. 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Dumas, need I say more?

KEEP

 

10. Louise De La Valliere by Alexandre Dumas

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It is early summer, 1661, and the royal court of France is in turmoil. Can it be true that the King is in love with the Duchess d’Orleans? Or has his eye been caught by the sweet and gentle Louise de la Valliere? No one is more anxious to know the answer than Raoul, son of Athos, who loves Louise more than life itself. Behind the scenes, dark intrigues are afoot. Louis XIV is intent on making himself absolute master of France. Imminent crisis shakes the now ageing Musketeers and d’Artagnan out of their complacent retirement, but is the cause just?

 

KEEP

 

So that is another 10 books sorted and I have only got rid of 2! The list is now down to 471, I will get there eventually. 

If you have read any of these books please drop me a comment of what your thoughts are.

Happy Reading.

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Down the TBR Hole #11

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

 

Hello everyone!

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 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

 

1. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

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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.

KEEP

 

2. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell

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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.

KEEP

 

3. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

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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?

KEEP

 

4. Romola by George Eliot

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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

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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.

KEEP

 

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.

Happy Reading.

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Down the TBR Hole #10

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

 

Hello again!

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

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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.

GO

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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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.

KEEP

3. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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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.

GO

4. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge

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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.

KEEP

5. The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

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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.

GO

6. Middlemarch by George Eliot

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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.

KEEP

7. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

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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.

KEEP

8. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

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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.

KEEP

9. Felix Holt: The Radical by George Eliot

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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.

GO

10. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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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.

KEEP

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.

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Down the TBR Hole #9

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

 

Hello everyone, I’m back again with the ongoing challenge of reducing me TBR pile. The list is currently at 474, lets see if this week we can get it smaller.

If you would like to check out my previous Down the TBR Hole posts please click on the following links.

#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6| #7 | #8 |

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
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Fitz is a royal bastard, cast out into the world with only his magical link with animals for solace and companionship.
But when Fitz is adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and learn a new life: weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly. Meanwhile, raiders ravage the coasts, leaving the people Forged and soulless. As Fitz grows towards manhood, he will have to face his first terrifying mission, a task that poses as much a risk to himself as it does to his target: Fitz is a threat to the throne… but he may also be the key to the future of the kingdom.

I must admit I have never read anything by Robin Hobb but have always liked the look of her books. However, as I have mentioned in previous posts I’m really off reading series at the moment so I think I will remove this book from the list as it is a beginning of a series.

GO

Belgarath the Sorcerer
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Bestselling authors David and Leigh Eddings welcome readers back to the time before The Belgariad and The Malloreon series. Join them as they chronicle that fateful conflict between two mortally opposed Destinies, in a monumental war of men and kings and Gods.

When the world was young and Gods still walked among their mortal children, a headstrong orphan boy set out to explore the world. Thus began the extraordinary adventures that would mold that youthful vagabond into a man, and the man into the finely honed instrument of Prophecy known to all the world as Belgarath the Sorcerer.
Then came the dark day when the Dark God Torak split the world asunder, and the God Aldur and his disciples began their monumental labor to set Destiny aright. Foremost among their number was Belgarath. His ceaseless devotion was foredoomed to cost him that which he held most dear–even as his loyal service would extend through echoing centuries of loss, of struggle, and of ultimate triumph.

I think this is another book to come off the list, I do really enjoy David Eddings books but the sheer volume in the series is rather scary for me and I just do not have the energy at the moment.

GO

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
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The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

This definitely stays on the list and I am very ashamed to say I have never read it before. I own a lovely copy of this I bought from a favourite bookshop in Scotland that I always visit when I go and stay with my sister.

KEEP

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
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A novel that chronicles the lives of two women who could not be more different: Becky Sharp, an orphan whose only resources are her vast ambitions, her native wit, and her loose morals; and her schoolmate Amelia Sedley, a typically naive Victorian heroine, the pampered daughter of a wealthy family.

This is a total mystery to me as I could swear I have read this book but I can’t find it anywhere in my reading journals and I have kept a reading journal since I was ten years old, so it would be in there if I had read it. Due to this I will keep it in the TBR pile and hope to read it soon.

KEEP

The Trumpet-Major by Thomas Hardy
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Hardy distrusted the application of nineteenth-century empiricism to history because he felt it marginalized important human elements. In The Trumpet-Major, the tale of a woman courted by three competing suitors during the Napoleonic wars, he explores the subversive effects of ordinary human desire and conflicting loyalties on systematized versions of history. This edition restores Hardy’s original punctuation and removes the bowdlerisms forced upon the text on its initial publication.

This definitely stays as it is my beloved Thomas Hardy and I want to read all of his novels eventually.

KEEP

This week I have only done 5 books because the new WordPress set up with blocks is exhausting to me, I obviously don’t like change, so will see if I can change it back to classic editor. I have managed to get the TBR pile down to 472 but must improve this, over the summer I plan on reading some off there as well, so fingers crossed.

Please drop me a comment if you are also doing the Down the TBR Hole Book Tag as I would love to visit your blog. Also if you have read any of the above books please feel free to let me know your thoughts.

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend!

Down the TBR Hole #8

Hello, I hope everyone has had a good weekend. I myself haven’t got quite as much reading as I would of liked but I did get to see Detective Pikachu in the cinema!

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

The TBR pile is currently at 477, as I noticed a few books on it that I had actually read so I have since sorted them onto the correct shelves on Goodreads.

 

So here goes…

1. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope

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Trollope’s 1875 tale of a great financier’s fraudulent machinations in the railway business, and his daughter’s ill-use at the hands of a grasping lover is a classic in the literature of money and a ripping good read as well.

 

I will keep this on the list as I keep meaning to read some books by Anthony Trollope and I do own quite a few of his books. Must get back into reading my classics!

 

KEEP

 

 

2. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

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When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother’s seamstress, and in the affairs of Amy’s father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in Marshalsea prison. As Arthur soon discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect the lives of many, from the kindly Mr Panks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, and the tipsily garrulous Flora Finching, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier, and the bureaucratic Barnacles in the Circumlocution Office. A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, Little Dorrit is one of the supreme works of Dickens’s maturity.

 

I love all works by Dickens and I am slowly working through all of his novels, so this definitely stays on the list.

KEEP

 

3. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë

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Following the tremendous popular success of Jane Eyre, which earned her lifelong notoriety as a moral revolutionary, Charlotte Brontë vowed to write a sweeping social chronicle that focused on “something real and unromantic as Monday morning.” Set in the industrializing England of the Napoleonic wars and Luddite revolts of 1811-12, Shirley (1849) is the story of two contrasting heroines. One is the shy Caroline Helstone, who is trapped in the oppressive atmosphere of a Yorkshire rectory and whose bare life symbolizes the plight of single women in the nineteenth century. The other is the vivacious Shirley Keeldar, who inherits a local estate and whose wealth liberates her from convention.

A work that combines social commentary with the more private preoccupations of Jane Eyre, Shirley demonstrates the full range of Brontë’s literary talent. “Shirley is a revolutionary novel,” wrote Brontë biographer Lyndall Gordon. “Shirley follows Jane Eyre as a new exemplar but so much a forerunner of the feminist of the later twentieth century that it is hard to believe in her actual existence in 1811-12. She is a theoretic possibility: what a woman might be if she combined independence and means of her own with intellect. Charlotte Brontë imagined a new form of power, equal to that of men, in a confident young woman [whose] extraordinary freedom has accustomed her to think for herself….Shirley [is] Brontë’s most feminist novel.”

This definitely stays on the list and I have moved it to the top of my TBR pile, hoping to read it in the next few weeks.

KEEP

 

4. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy

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In this classically simple tale of the disastrous impact of outside life on a secluded community in Dorset, now in a new edition, Hardy narrates the rivalry for the hand of Grace Melbury between a simple and loyal woodlander and an exotic and sophisticated outsider. Betrayal, adultery, disillusion, and moral compromise are all worked out in a setting evoked as both beautiful and treacherous. The Woodlanders, with its thematic portrayal of the role of social class, gender, and evolutionary survival, as well as its insights into the capacities and limitations of language, exhibits Hardy’s acute awareness of his era’s most troubling dilemmas.

 

 

Another author I adore! This is another book to keep on the list, at the moment I am really enjoying Hardy’s poetry and have read several of his novels in the past, so it has to stay. The list is not shrinking much this week!

KEEP

 

5. Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot

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When Scenes of Clerical Life, George Eliot’s first novel, was published anonymously in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine in 1857, it was immediately recognized, in the words of Saturday Review, as ‘the production of a peculiar and remarkable writer’. The first readers, including Dickens and Thackeray, were struck by its humorous irony, the truthfulness of its presentation of the lives of ordinary men and women, and its compassionate acceptance of human weakness.

The three stories that make up the Scenes, ‘The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton’, ‘Mr Gilfil’s Love Story’, and ‘Janet’s Repentance’, foreshadow George Eliot’s major work, and their success gave her the confidence to become one of the greatest English novelists.

Well this is another keep, I have been reading a lot about Eliot recently and have decided to have a go at reading her books again, as when I first tried I struggled because I think I was too young at the time.

KEEP

 

6. James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

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James Herriot’s Treasury for Children collects all of the beloved veterinarian’s delightful tales for young readers. From the springtime frolic of Oscar, Cat-About-Town to the yuletide warmth of The Christmas Day Kitten, these stories-radiantly illustrated by Peter Barrett and Ruth Brown-are perennial favorites, and this new complete edition will make a wonderful gift for all readers, great and small.

I have read a lot of James Herriot’s books in the past as he is a firm favourite with my dad and niece and we frequently lend each other books. I find a lot of the stories are copied into different books so you tend to read the same story in more than one book, so I think I will remove this one from the list.

GO

 

7. The Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad’s

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Karen Wynn Fonstad’s THE ATLAS OF MIDDLE-EARTH is an essential volume that will enchant all Tolkien fans. Here is the definitive guide to the geography of Middle-earth, from its founding in the Elder Days through the Third Age, including the journeys of Bilbo, Frodo, and the Fellowship of the Ring. Authentic and updated — nearly one third of the maps are new, and the text is fully revised — the atlas illuminates the enchanted world created in THE SILMARILLION, THE HOBBIT, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
Hundreds of two-color maps and diagrams survey the journeys of the principal characters day by day — including all the battles and key locations of the First, Second, and Third Ages. Plans and descriptions of castles, buildings, and distinctive landforms are given, along with thematic maps describing the climate, vegetation, languages, and population distribution of Middle-earth throughout its history. An extensive appendix and an index help readers correlate the maps with Tolkien’s novels.

I cannot honestly remember why I added this book, yes I love all things Tolkien but I don’t think the blurb altogether appeals to me. So I am afraid it is bye-bye.

GO

 

8. Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes

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One of the classics of English children’s literature, and one of the earliest books written specifically for boys, this novel’s steady popularity has given it an influence well beyond the upper middle-class world that it describes. It tells a story central to an understanding of Victorian life, but its freshness helps to distinguish it from the narrow schoolboy adventures that it later inspired. The book includes an introduction and notes by Andrew Sanders.

This is another book I am ashamed to say that I have never read. I do have several copies and I should really get rid of the extras and get round to reading it!

KEEP

 

9. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

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Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother’s tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that’s true enough, but there’s something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse.

From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father’s castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.

Mark Lawrence’s debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.

Hmm… this is a series and to be honest at the moment I just cannot stick with series in books or TV to be honest. This just doesn’t appeal to me either and I usually like the sound of Mark Lawrence’s books. Sadly a discard.

GO

 

10. Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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This book contains all the investigations and adventures of the world’s most popular detective. Follow the illustrious career of this quintessential British hero from his university days to his final case. His efforts to uncover the truth take him all over the world and into conflict with all manner of devious criminals.

This stays as I have read several of Sherlock Holmes’ short stories and I love them. Plus when I was at university my best friend and myself were Holmes and Watson!

KEEP

 

YES! I managed to go through ten books! I have also managed to get my list down to 474, a small improvement. One thing I am learning from this so far is that I am missing my classics and want to start reading them again. Hopefully I will start this soon, maybe when I go on holiday.

I would love to hear if anybody has read these books and their opinions. Also please drop me your link if you are also doing this challenge.

Happy Reading!

Lady Book Dragon

 

 

Down the TBR Hole #7

Time for another installment of Down the TBR Hole!

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

The list is now at 482, lets see if we can shrink it a little bit more.

 

  1. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell

31171Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857) is a pioneering biography of one great Victorian woman novelist by another. Gaskell was a friend of Bronte’s and, having been invited to write the official life, determined to both tell the truth and honor her friend. This edition collates all three previous editions, as well as the manuscript, offering fuller information about the process of writing and a more detailed explanation of the text than any previous edition.

 

 

I was sure I had read this book but it appears no where on any of my old reading journals or Goodreads so obviously I have not read it. I do own it so I might have just read bits of it dipping in when I’m in the mood. This will stay on the list because I would like to read it all at some point.

KEEP

 

2. What Katy Did by Susan Collidge

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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 definitely stays on the list! I love the blurb and want to dig out my copy and read it straight away. A book I have long forgotten and this needs to be corrected.

KEEP

 

3. Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore

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A romantic adventure story set in south-west England in the 1600s. John Ridd swears revenge upon the evil Carver Doone who murdered his father. But who is the beautiful young girl he meets in Doone Valley?

 

This is a real mystery as I have already read it! I have many copies of this book, one a very treasured copy that my mom gave me, which she won at school when she was little. My parents took me on holiday to Lorna Doone country and I read the book whilst on holiday. I really do not understand why it is on this list. Anyway it leaves the list and goes on the Read list instead, but I think I will read it again in the future.

GO 

 

4. Homeland by R. A. Salvatore

 

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Drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, first introduced in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, quickly became one of the fantasy genre’s standout characters. But Homeland first reveals the startling tale of how this one lone drow walked out of the shadowy depths of the Underdark, leaving behind a society of evil and a family who want him dead. It is here that the story of this amazing dark elf truly began.

To be honest I do not remember adding this book or why. It is also a series and I’m really struggling committing to series at the moment. So I am afraid it is bye-bye for this book.

GO

 

 

5. The Railway Man by Eric Lomax

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During the second world war Eric Lomax was forced to work on the notorious Burma-Siam Railway and was tortured by the Japanese for making a crude radio.

Left emotionally scarred and unable to form normal relationships Lomax suffered for years until, with the help of his wife Patti and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, he came to terms with what had happened and, fifty years after the terrible events, was able to meet one of his tormentors.

 

 

This has been on the list for a while and to be honest after seeing the film I am not sure I can cope with the book. I found the film very sad and disturbing and I do not think I want to relive it in the book.

GO.

Fantastic 3 down this time. I was planning on trying to do 10 books today but we are having major issues with our wi-fi and I have lost the will to live trying to use Goodreads and the fact that everything I was writing was failing to save on WordPress. Thankfully my phones hotspot came to the rescue to finish the job.

Anyway, 3 down is a massive improvement and the total has gone down to 479! Next week I definitely plan on doing 10 books, otherwise I will be here for years if I keep just doing 5 books.

Happy Reading!

Lady Book Dragon.

Down the TBR Hole #6

Happy Easter weekend everyone! I hope you are all having a nice relaxing and book filled long weekend.

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

The list is now at 484, lets see if we can shrink it a little bit more.

1. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

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In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more.

His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them—for reasons Richard can’t imagine and Kahlan dare not say.

In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword—to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.

This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

This book has been on my list since 2014 and to be honest I really do not think I will read it. Terry Goodkind books tend to put me off to be honest because they seem to always be on the long side.

GO

2. Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell

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A very powerfully moving novel of a young woman caught between the attractions of two very different men, Sylvia’s Lovers is set in the 1790s in an English seaside town. England is at war with France, and press-gangs wreak havoc by seizing young men for service. One of their victims is a whaling harpooner named Charley Kinraid, whose charm and vivacity have captured the heart of Sylvia Robson. But Sylvia’s devoted cousin, Philip Hepburn, hopes to marry her himself and, in order to win her, deliberately withholds crucial information—with devastating consequences.
The introduction discusses the novel’s historical and geographical authenticity, as well as its innovative treatment of gender and human relationships

I think over time I have put all of Gaskell’s books on my TBR. I do plan on reading them all so I will keep this one on the list, I also really like the blurb.

KEEP

3. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

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Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family. As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires is painfully played out as she finds herself torn between her relationships with three very different men: her proud and stubborn brother, a close friend who is also the son of her family’s worst enemy, and a charismatic but dangerous suitor. With its poignant portrayal of sibling relationships, The Mill on the Floss is considered George Eliot’s most autobiographical novel; it is also one of her most powerful and moving.

This has been sat on my bookshelf for ages! I really should read it, for now it will stay on the list.

KEEP

4. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

264When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy Aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. She then finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond, who, beneath his veneer of charm and cultivation, is cruelty itself. A story of intense poignancy, Isabel’s tale of love and betrayal still resonates with modern audiences.

 

 

 

 

I’m not a fan of Henry James to be honest and have struggled in the past to get into his books. Therefore this book will be coming off the list.

GO

5. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

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In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town.

 

 

 

I have read a lot of Hardy’s books and I think he is brilliant so this definitely stays on the list.

KEEP

Well a few more have left the list and it is now down to 482. Slowly but surely the list is getting smaller.

Lady Book Dragon.