Down the TBR Hole #15

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

 

Time for another sort through the TBR list as I have added a few books recently so I should get rid of some as well.

 

1. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

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It was first serialised in the Merry’s Museum magazine between July and August in 1869 and consisted of only six chapters. For the finished product, however, Alcott continued the story from the chapter “Six Years Afterwards” and so it ended up with nineteen chapters in all. The book revolves around Polly Milton, the old-fashioned girl who titles the story. Polly visits her wealthy friend Fanny Shaw in the city and is overwhelmed by the fashionable and urban life they live–but also left out because of her “countrified” manners and outdated clothes.

 

 

I love Little Women, Jo’s Boys and Little Wives and I would love to read more of Alcott’s work so this stays on the list.

KEEP

 

2. Can you Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

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Alice Vavasor cannot decide whether to marry her ambitious but violent cousin George or the upright and gentlemanly John Grey – and finds herself accepting and rejecting each of them in turn.

Increasingly confused about her own feelings and unable to forgive herself for such vacillation, her situation is contrasted with that of her friend Lady Glencora – forced to marry the rising politician Plantagenet Palliser in order to prevent the worthless Burgo Fitzgerald from wasting her vast fortune.

In asking his readers to pardon Alice for her transgression of the Victorian moral code, Trollope created a telling and wide-ranging account of the social world of his day.

To be honest I have a lot of Trollope on my TBR list so I think I will remove this one incase my TBR list becomes mainly books by Trollope as he did write a lot of books.

GO

 

3. Jonny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett

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Sell the cemetery?

Over their dead bodies . . .

Not many people can see the dead (not many would want to). Twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell can. And he’s got bad news for them: the council want to sell the cemetery as a building site. But the dead have learnt a thing or two from Johnny. They’re not going to take it lying down . . . especially since it’s Halloween tomorrow.

Besides, they’re beginning to find that life is a lot more fun than it was when they were . . . well . . . alive. Particularly if they break a few rules . . .

 

 

Well it is a Terry Pratchett book so it stays put and that is final.

KEEP

 

4. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

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Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy’s first major literary success, and it edited with an introduction and notes by Rosemarie Morgan and Shannon Russell in Penguin Classics.

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in the fictional county of Wessex, Hardy’s novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.

I own several copies of this book because I just cannot resist pretty book covers so I really should read it.

KEEP

 

5. Lady Susan/ The Watsons/ Sanditon by Jane Austen

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Together, these three works – one novel unpublished in her lifetime and two unfinished fragments – reveal Jane Austen’s development as a great artist.

Lady Susan, with its wicked, beautiful, intelligent and energetic heroine, is a sparkling melodrama which takes its tone from the outspoken and robust eighteen century. Written later, and probably abandoned after her father’s death, The Watsons is a tantalizing and highly delightful story whose vitality and optimism centre on the marital prospects of the Watson sisters in a small provincial town. Sanditon, Jane Austen’s last fiction, is set in a seaside town and its themes concern the new speculative consumer society and foreshadow the great social upheavals of the Industrial Revolution.

This is the only book I have not read by Austen so it will stay on the list as well.

KEEP

 

Just five books today and only one off the list but that does mean the TBR is one book shorter. I know, I know I must try harder. Next time I will do ten books I promise.

Happy Reading.

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Down the TBR Hole #14

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 hope everyone is enjoying the glorious weather we have been having. This was meant to be yesterdays post, so apologies for the delay.

The total is at 471!

 

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

I own the complete set of these books and have been planning on reading them for a very long time. Maybe I should get a move on and at least read the first one in the series.

KEEP

 

2. The Scarlett Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

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Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down.

 

 

 

 

I have fond memories of watching ‘The Scarlett Pimpernel’ on TV when I was little, I think Richard E. Grant played the famous Pimpernel. This will definitely stay on the list as I would really like to read it.

KEEP

 

3. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck

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Ethan Allen Hawley, the protagonist of Steinbeck’s last novel, works as a clerk in a grocery store that his family once owned. With Ethan no longer a member of Long Island’s aristocratic class, his wife is restless, and his teenage children are hungry for the tantalizing material comforts he cannot provide. Then one day, in a moment of moral crisis, Ethan decides to take a holiday from his own scrupulous standards.

Set in Steinbeck’s contemporary 1960 America, the novel explores the tenuous line between private and public honesty that today ranks it alongside his most acclaimed works of penetrating insight into the American condition. This edition features an introduction and notes by Steinbeck scholar Susan Shillinglaw.

I’ve only read two of Steinbeck’s book and although I loved ‘Of Mice and Men’ I hated ‘The Pearl’, so I am rather hesitant on trying another book by Steinbeck. I think for now I will remove it from the list.

GO

 

4. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

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The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.

 

 

I really need to read some Daphne du Maurier! I own so many of her books and ashamedly I have not read one. I know, this needs to change.

KEEP

 

5. 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.

 

 

 

As per usual all Dickens has to stay on the list.

KEEP

Just 5 books today and only 1 leaving the list. I must admit doing this challenge is making me realise just how many books I want to read.

If there are any books on the list today that you have read and want to drop me a comment about, please do.

Happy Reading!

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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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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!