When I first started blogging, I saw a tag titled “Down the TBR Hole.” This was a great concept that helped me to start clearing out my TBR on Goodreads because it was a little bit out of control. I did the tag about five times, but then it fell by the wayside. Last week while scrolling through my email, I received an email from WordPress about a new post by bookschiefmanaged titled “TBR Tackle Thursday” and I thought what a great idea. Lets bring back tackling this endless TBR pile to clear it up before the New Year begins.
For those of you who haven’t done this before but need to get rid of some books from your ever-growing TBR list, here’s what to do:
- Go to that list of yours wherever it’s at.
- Go to the OLDEST stuff listed.
- Pick a chunk (5,10,15, 25, however many you want to go through) of books.
- Read the synopsis, and decide if you’re going to keep it on that list or if it’s one of those books that sounded good at the time.
- Post your list and your verdicts!
Here are the links to my previous Down the TBR Hole posts:
Instead of starting at the beginning again, I am going to start where I ended with Down the TBR Hole #5. Once I’ve circled through the first time, chances are I will start with the original books added to my TBR list. I also used to have this someday maybe bookshelf – but in this go round, I am not adding books to this shelf. We’re sticking with To Be Read, Educational Reads or getting rid of it.
Currently, I have 250 books on my TBR list.
Bone Machine by Martyn Waites
Synopsis: The body is discovered in an abandoned burial ground: a young woman, blond, ritualistically mutilated, apparently. Her eyes and mouth have been crudely sewn shut.
The police come up with a suspect quick enough: the victim’s boyfriend, Michael Nell, who has a notoriously uncontrollable temper as well as an incriminating record of violence against women. His lawyer, however, is not convinced that Nell is a killer.
All Joe Donovan has to do is prove the truth of Michael Nell’s alibi. The job proves not to be routine, as Donovan’s inquiries lead him and his crack team of operatives deep into Newcastle’s murky underworld of child-trafficking and prostitution. When the second body shows up, the former investigative journalist knows he’s up against more than local gangsters.
Still bearing the scars of his own crushing history since the disappearance of his six-year-old son three years before, Donovan now finds himself enmeshed in the dark biography of an elusive, deranged serial killer whom he can profile but cannot identify. The killer meanwhile obliges the authorities with maddeningly cryptic clues to his twisted, deadly intents, but all the while time for the next young, unsuspecting victim is fast running out.
Verdict: Keep it because I own it.
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen
Synopsis: Ebola, SARS, Hendra, AIDS, and countless other deadly viruses all have one thing in common: the bugs that transmit these diseases all originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. In this gripping account, David Quammen takes the reader along on this astonishing quest to learn how, where from, and why these diseases emerge and asks the terrifying question: What might the next big one be?
Verdict: Educational Reads.
The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
Synopsis: Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.
Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too.
As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?
Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart
Synopsis: I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn’s house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.
Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.
While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.
Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back From War by Finbarr O’Reilly
Synopsis: War tears people apart, but it can also bring them together. Through the unpredictability of war and its aftermath, a decorated Marine sergeant and a world-trotting war photographer became friends, their bond forged as they patrolled together through the dusty alleyways of Helmand province and camped side by side in the desert. It deepened after Sergeant T. J. Brennan was injured during a Taliban ambush, and both returned home. Brennan began to suffer from the effects of his injury and from the fallout of his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. But war correspondents experience similar rates of posttraumatic stress as combat veterans. The causes can be different, but guilt plays a prominent role in both. For Brennan, it s the things he s done, or didn t do, that haunt him. Finbarr O Reilly s conscience is nagged by the task of photographing people at their most vulnerable while being able to do little to help, and his survival guilt as colleagues die on the job. Their friendship offered them both a shot at redemption.
As we enter the fifteenth year of continuous war, it is increasingly urgent not just to document the experiences of the battlefield but also to probe the reverberations that last long after combatants and civilians have returned home, and to understand the many faces trauma takes. Shooting Ghosts looks at the horrors of war directly, but then turns to a journey that draws on our growing understanding of what recovery takes. Their story, told in alternating first-person narratives, is about the things they saw and did, the ways they have been affected, and how they have navigated the psychological aftershocks of war and wrestled with reforming their own identities and moral centers. While war never really ends for those who’ve lived through it, this book charts the ways two survivors have found to calm the ghosts and reclaim a measure of peace.
Pandemic by A.G. Riddle
Synopsis: A hundred miles north of Alaska, an American Coast Guard vessel discovers a sunken submarine at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. It has no national identification and doesn’t match the records of any known vessel. Deep within, researchers find evidence of a scientific experiment that will alter our very understanding of the human race.
In Atlanta, Dr. Peyton Shaw is awakened by the phone call she has dreaded for years. As the CDC’s leading epidemiologist, she’s among the first responders to outbreaks around the world. It’s a lonely and dangerous job, but it’s her life—and she’s good at it. This time, she may have met her match.
In Kenya, an Ebola-like pathogen has infected two Americans. One lies at death’s door. With the clock ticking, Peyton assembles her team and joins personnel from the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the WHO. What they find in the remote village is beyond their worst fears. As she traces the origin of the pathogen, Peyton begins to believe that there is more to this outbreak—that it may be merely the opening act in a conspiracy with far reaching consequences.
In Berlin, Desmond Hughes awakens in a hotel room with no memory of how he got there or who he is. On the floor, he finds a dead security guard from an international pharmaceutical company. His only clue leads him to Peyton Shaw—a woman who seems to know him, but refuses to tell him how. With the police searching the city for him, Desmond desperately tries to piece together what happened to him. To his shock and horror, he learns that he may be involved in causing the outbreak—and could hold the only key to stopping it.
As the pathogen spreads around the world, Peyton and Desmond race to unravel the conspiracy behind the pandemic—and uncover secrets some want to keep buried.
Verdict: Keep it.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Synopsis: THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.
The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.
Verdict: Keep it because I own it.
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Synopsis: With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before.
But that past has caught up with her.
Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424 — one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system.
From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance.
Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.
Verdict: Keep it because I own it.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Synopsis: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Verdict: Keep it because I own it.
The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver
Synopsis: It was a “million-dollar bullet,” a sniper shot delivered from over a mile away. Its victim was no ordinary mark: he was a United States citizen, targeted by the United States government, and assassinated in the Bahamas. The nation’s most renowned investigator and forensics expert, Lincoln Rhyme, is drafted to investigate. While his partner, Amelia Sachs, traces the victim’s steps in Manhattan, Rhyme leaves the city to pursue the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discovers that not all is what it seems. When a deadly, knife-wielding assassin begins systematically eliminating all evidence–including the witnesses–Lincoln’s investigation turns into a chilling battle of wits against a cold-blooded killer.
Verdict: Keep it because I own it.
Out of the books I looked at today:
- Keeping: 6
- Educational Reads: 1
- Deleted: 3
- Removed Duplicates: 3 (whoops)
Now I am down to 242 books on my TBR list.
Did I get delete any books that you’ve read before and loved? Did I keep any that you’ve read and didn’t like?