Down The TBR Hole #1

Ok, so I’m still working on some books and I have to wait to post a review that I’ll be combining with another into two mini reviews, so while I was waiting…I was thinking of posting something other than a review! (πŸ™€πŸ™€πŸ™€ WHAT??) 

I am planning on bringing back another feature I used to do when I first started blogging (you’ll just have to wait and see but I have been gathering info for awhile now), but in the interim, I have been adding books to my TBR and NOT REMOVING as many as I should…

I currently have 880 books on my Goodreads TBR. And this is how I feel every time I see it:


Can’t get far enough away. I’m ashamed, I’m overwhelmed, I’m perplexed. How did it get that BIG???

See? Even Harry is perplexed! 

Don’t worry, Harry, I am too. I am too. 

So…we are going to do this thing called “Down the TBR Hole,” and this is how it works:

(First I must give credit to Lia @ Lost In A Story, who created the meme!)

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order on Ascending Date Added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous – or if you have a pile that has its own zip code like mine) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or let it go?

  • Flower Net (Red Princess #1) – Lisa See


The first body was found in ice: the U.S. ambassador’s son, entombed in a frozen lake outside Beijing’s Forbidden City. Thousands of miles away, in the heat-baked hold of a Chinese smuggling ship, another corpse is uncovered, this one a red Prince, a scion of China’s political elite. Suspecting the deaths are linked, the American and Chinese governments pair ambitious attorney David Stark and brilliant detective Liu Hulan to uncover a killer and a conspiracy.

From the teeming streets of Beijing to Los Angeles and back, David and Liu are caught in a perilous net of politics, organized crime, family loyalties, and their own passion. As, one by one, those close to the investigation are killed, David and Hulan face a firestorm of evil, while the killer they seek is as close as the secrets they keep from each other.

Ok…so I went through a Lisa See and Amy Tan phase. Still love their books! But this is more like a mystery/thriller, and I’m just not into those. I love the historical fiction stories like Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and The Joy Luck Club.

So…yeah, you’ll see a lot of the same author in clumps btw. 

THE VERDICT: GO

(Ah, that felt good! Yes! One down!)

  • On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family – Lisa See


Out of the stories heard in her childhood in Los Angeles’s Chinatown and years of research, See has constructed this sweeping chronicle of her Chinese-American family, a work that takes in stories of racism and romance, entrepreneurial genius and domestic heartache, secret marriages and sibling rivalries, in a powerful history of two cultures meeting in a new world. 82 photos.

Now, this sounded interesting, but I’m not really into memoirs. Amy Tan wrote one called The Opposite of Fate and I have no desire to read that, either. So I’m saying goodbye to this one, too.

VERDICT: GO

This is fun! I’m going the right direction! πŸ˜‚πŸ™Œ

  • The Interior (Red Princess #2) – Lisa See
  • Dragon Bones (Red Princess #3) – Lisa See


There are three books in this series: if I just got rid of book one, why would I keep the other two? 

VERDICT: GO

Yes yes yes! This is going well!

  • Rules for Virgins – Amy Tan


In her startlingly sensual new story, β€œRules for Virgins”—this 43-page jewel of a tale is the first fiction she has published in six yearsβ€”beloved bestselling author Amy Tan (β€œThe Joy Luck Club,” β€œThe Bonesetter’s Daughter”) takes us deep into the illicit world of 1912 Shanghai, where beautiful courtesans mercilessly compete for the patronage of wealthy gentlemen. For the women, the contest is deadly serious, a perilous game of economic survival that, if played well, can set them up for life as mistresses of the rich and prominent. There is no room for error, however: erotic power is hard to achieve and harder to maintain, especially in the loftiest social circles. 

Enter veteran seducer, Magic Gourd, formerly one of Shanghai’s β€œTop Ten Beauties” and now the advisor and attendant of Violet, an aspiring but inexperienced courtesan. Violet may have the youth and the allure, but Magic Gourd has the cunning and the knowledge without which the younger woman is sure to fail. These ancient tricks of the trade aren’t written down, though; to pass them on to her student, Magic Gourd must reach back into her own professional past, bringing her lessons alive with stories and anecdotes from a career spent charming and manipulating men who should have known better but rarely did.

The world of sexual intrigue that Tan reveals in “Rules for Virgins” actually existed once, and she spares no detail in recreating it. But this story is more than intriguing (and sometimes shocking) historical literary fiction. Besides inviting us inside a life that few writers but Tan could conjure up, the intimate confessions of Magic Gourd add up to a kind of military manual for the War of the Sexes’ female combatants. The wisdom conveyed is ancient, specific, and timeless, exposing the workings of vanity and folly, calculation and desire that define the mysterious human heart.
I would keep this on the list because it sounds awesome, but Amy Tan actually made this story into a full-length novel called The Valley of Amazement and I got it for Christmas a couple years ago. I plan to read that when I need a break from YA. 

But that means this one can go!

VERDICT: GO

  • The Outcasts – Kathleen Kent 


A taut, thrilling adventure story about buried treasure, a manhunt, and a woman determined to make a new life for herself in the old west.

It’s the 19th century on the Gulf Coast, a time of opportunity and lawlessness. After escaping the Texas brothel where she’d been a virtual prisoner, Lucinda Carter heads for Middle Bayou to meet her lover, who has a plan to make them both rich, chasing rumors of a pirate’s buried treasure. 

Meanwhile Nate Cannon, a young Texas policeman with a pure heart and a strong sense of justice, is on the hunt for a ruthless killer named McGill who has claimed the lives of men, women, and even children across the frontier. Who–if anyone–will survive when their paths finally cross? 

As Lucinda and Nate’s stories converge, guns are drawn, debts are paid, and Kathleen Kent delivers an unforgettable portrait of a woman who will stop at nothing to make a new life for herself.

I love Kathleen Kent. She wrote The Heretic’s Daughter and its prequel, The Traitor’s Wife. They are about women accused of witchcraft in Salem, and I loved them. I thought she would be an auto-buy author, and I tried to read this…but I’m just not into Westerns. Love Kent but don’t have a desire to read this at all. 

VERDICT: GO

  • Red Azalea – Anchee Min


Red Azalea is Anchee Min’s celebrated memoir of growing up in the last years of Mao’s China. As a child, she was asked to publicly humiliate a teacher; at seventeen, she was sent to work at a labor collective. Forbidden to speak, dress, read, write, or love as she pleased, she found a lifeline in a secret love affair with another woman. Miraculously selected for the film version of one of Madame Mao’s political operas, Min’s life changed overnight. Then Chairman Mao suddenly died, taking with him an entire world. A revelatory and disturbing portrait of China, Anchee Min’s memoir is exceptional for its candor, its poignancy, its courage, and for its prose. 

This sounds interesting because it’s set during the Cultural Revolution, but I have no desire to read a memoir. I’m going to hand to axe this one, too! 

VERDICT: GO

  • Year of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks


An unforgettable tale of a brave young woman during the plague in 17th century England from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March and The Secret Chord coming from Viking in October 2015 

When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna’s eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a “year of wonders.”
Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing “an inspiring heroine” (The Wall Street Journal), Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read.
This one is a little tougher. It sounds really good…and I might even own it…somewhere…but I just don’t see myself reading it ever! And it seems like if I haven’t read it after all this time, I’m probably never going to read it!

VERDICT: GO

Eight down, two more to go through! 

  • The Painted Veil – M. Somerset Maugham


Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful, but love-starved Kitty Fane.

When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.

The Painted Veil is a beautifully written affirmation of the human capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.
Excellent movie. Do I want to read the book? Nope. 

VERDICT: GO

LAST ONE FOR TODAY…

  • Imperial Woman – Pearl S. Buck


Imperial Woman is the fictionalized biography of the last Empress in China, Ci-xi, who began as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor and on his death became the de facto head of the Qing Dynasty until her death in 1908.Buck recreates the life of one of the most intriguing rulers during a time of intense turbulence.Tzu Hsi was born into one of the lowly ranks of the Imperial dynasty. According to custom, she moved to the Forbidden City at the age of seventeen to become one of hundreds of concubines. But her singular beauty and powers of manipulation quickly moved her into the position of Second Consort.Tzu Hsi was feared and hated by many in the court, but adored by the people. The Empress’s rise to power (even during her husband’s life) parallels the story of China’s transition from the ancient to the modern way.

I loved The Good Earth. But it’s a heavy read. I own a couple of Buck books I haven’t rrad yet, but this isn’t one of them. If I get on a Buck kick again, I can always add it again. Besides, Buck had written a TON of books.

VERDICT: GO GO GO, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE! 

I’m so proud of myself! The first 10 and I got rid of them all! As it goes on, it will get harder, I’m sure. But for now, time to CELEBRATE πŸŽ‰!



I’m so going to do this more often…maybe once a week! It’s time-consuming, but it feels so nice to cut the dead weight. I just want to keep going, lol!

I hope if you have a TBR that could populate a small city that you do this, too! It is oh-so-very good!

Thanks, blogger bunnies 🐰! I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled programming (Book Reviews) shortly, and I’ll have a special feature I’ll be dusting off, as I mentioned earlier…and did someone say “GIVEAWAY?”

Oh, yes…it’s time for one of those, too! 😈 Mwhoohaha!

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110 thoughts on “Down The TBR Hole #1

  1. Wow over 800 books on your TBR list, that is so many, maybe more than you’d be able to read in a lifetime right?! Especially considering there are new books released all the time as well! I guess this tag was meant for you and if you’re not interested in these books anymore better to remove them from your TBR list. I have some I should maybe remove from mine as well! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it was so freeing! I was like, where did these come from?? I remember the titles but not the descriptions…and then I read them and I am like, wait, I don’t want to read this!
      I can’t believe my TBR is so long…I may have to cut some out separately from the meme bc otherwise it’s going to take FOREVER! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To be honest that’s probably a lot of my to-read list. I was looking through a really old one of mine the other day and I just wasn’t interested in any books on it. It wiped off at least 100 from my TBR.
        If you get through ten at a time you’ll end up with like 80 posts from this tag! That’ll take a long time if you post one a week! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Exactly! I can’t do that!! (For some reason I couldn’t do the math even though it was incredibly simple!! πŸ˜‚)
      I’m going to have to trim on my own, especially since it will always be ongoing with new stuff added!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I could be wrong on the number, pulling out maths like that off the top of my head isn’t always my strong point and I get the numbers mixed around in my head a lot! πŸ˜€
        TBR lists are always ongoing aren’t they? Part of the joy of having them I think. πŸ™‚ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

    3. No you’re spot on on the math: 10 books a time and 800 books would be 80 posts at least! No thank you!!
      πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
      Yes, I love finding cool books and adding them to the TBR!! It’s kind of fun!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is! I am so glad I tried it…you might have noticed I’m not really a “meme” kind of person, but this was too good! I would root for people who got some off their TBRs and was really jealous of their lightened load.
      It makes me want to do it every day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Christy Luis

    Good JOB! So impressed at your Spring Cleaning! I could stand do the same…but I probably won’t 😈

    And I have to admit…these all sounded so amazing, I added 9 of them to my TBR πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha!! Really?? That’s why they were on there in the first place! But since I’m specializing in YA more, there is no need to have a bunch of adult books that I won’t read right away on there.
      Anything I really want to read I will add to it as I buy books!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Christy Luis

        Agreed–owning a book makes it more likely that I’ll read it, eventually, too. And you obv know who these authors are, so you won’t have trouble finding them again if you want to read them. No need to keep them on the tbr! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Exactly and you totally get it! The TBR is more meant for like, books you’re afraid you’re gonna forget! That and the ones you want to own (bc then Goodreads emails you with the giveaways for that book).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Christy Luis

        Yes, I love that giveaway feature πŸ˜„ πŸ˜„ And I like knowing letting an author know that people are excited for their new release, of course, but after the release date…totally agreed, it’s better to have a manageable list *nods sagely*

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!! I need to do this like every day for the next 6 months to make a dent, lmao!! I may have to clean some off in-between the memes, you know? 870 is better than 880…but it’s still an INSANE amount of books. I even stopped really using GR and use my Amazon bc there are so many on there!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have 800+ books on my TBR too and that’s always my reaction whenever I see it. It’s like, how did it get so out of hand!? I used to have nearly 1,000 on it though until one weekend I spent a day removing over 100. I need to start taking part in this meme though since it’ll force me to clean it out more often. Definitely feels good to get some of them off or there lol. Great post, Stephanie!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it felt so liberating! I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to remove any! (I kind of want to trim it down some more without help of the meme).
      Good for you getting so much removed!!
      I’m all for reading your meme if you do it! I love watching ppl cut down their TBRs bc I know how crazy mine is!! Go for it!! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was afraid I wouldn’t want to either but when I went through my TBR there were so many that I knew I would never read. And I’d say go for it on taking off more even without the meme. It’s actually a lot of fun even though it’s time consuming. 😊
        And I just might have to! Maybe next week as I’m lacking in post ideas and such this month.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m avoiding the damn thing now! Lol
        It’s like a beast that sucks my soul…I don’t want to battle it again, though it was exhilarating to get rid of all that dead weight.
        I’d love to see what’s lurking on your TBR….πŸ€”

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I just deleted a couple books that I do not know why they are on my GR to reads shelf πŸ˜„ And I also liked Lisa See. I have read 3 of her books and they are pretty interesting, but I wish tey weren’t so “bad”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My TBR is the population of a town. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ
      Oh, the shame…the SHAME!! πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

      Like

    1. Thanks! It’s a Beast πŸ‘Ή, isn’t it??
      Evil lil bastard! The monster has been tamed a bit…but to really make a dent, I’m going to have to eliminate some in between posts…or else it’ll take me years! Bc I’m sure I’ll still need to add to it! Argh! 😫

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It feels like a weight off your shoulders when the books are removed. I didn’t think I would get all 10 removed before I read the synopses, but once I did, I was like, “These just don’t interest me right now.”
      I think the TBR should be for books you hope to read in the near future!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh wow this is a great idea and something I really need to join in on haha! I go through my crazy TBR list on Goodreads every once in a while but it’s a losing battle. I’m gonna try and do this weekly (or at least monthly) and maybe it’ll finally stop looking quite like a giant mountain looming over me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s helpful…though I think I’m going to have to go through separately as well…there’s just too many – I would have to post 10 every day just to get the list to go down, plus I’m adding more all the time!
      So I might do it next week starting from a diff place instead of just continuing on from where I stopped. That way I get more done in the meantime!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a GREAT idea Stephanie! I used to stay on top of my GR TBR but eventually I let go of the reigns & I believe my # is very close to yours now lol smh. I def have to set some time aside to just get rid of what I no longer wish to read. Also, no sense in adding every single book in a series when I haven’t even read book 1 to know If I want to continue right? lol Whelp, I wish you luck in whittling down that TBR πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Appreciate all the luck I can get!
      Seriously, I used to do that too…I would add all the books in a series: like I’m not going to want to continue it if I read the first one and like it? I’m going to forget there’s more books in the series somehow? It makes no sense.
      Yup…I’m going to whittle it down until it’s just books I really think I’ll read! Darn it! πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It kind of surprised me too! I expected I would end up keeping at least half of what I was going through…but after reading the synopses, I was like, “How did these end up on my TBR? Did I actually expect to read these??”
      πŸ˜‚πŸ™Œ

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great job so far! The Painted Veil is a GREAT film. I keep telling myself I’ll read the book (it’s on my TBR), but idk if I ever will. I have 809 books on my Goodreads TBR, and I swear I must be the only one, but it doesn’t bother me at all! 417 of them I have filed under “to-read-sequels,” so those are ones I can’t even touch until I’ve read the other books. So really, I only have 400ish books to choose from at any given time. And even that doesn’t bother me. I’m never going to catch up on my TBR no matter how small sooooo no worries! Oh, and I love the Pokemon gif. (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 870 books though…it makes it hard for me to find the good stuff. I didn’t mind at first, but then it was like, “why is it so long? Are they all books I want to read?” I realized after doing this that many aren’t books I really want to read: my tastes have changed a lot.
      So I don’t even mind if it’s a big TBR as long as it contains books that I know are books I would read right this minute if presented to me. (You want to know what’s also funny? I didn’t think the number was that high until others told me how big their TBRs were).
      I think if I can get it down to 2-300 I’ll be happy. But that’s just me…you rock that TBR!! Be proud!! 😘
      And I love PokΓ©mon!! If only I could “catch em all…” πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! I don’t feel so alone now!
      It’s really fun, but in between these I’m going to have to do some culling of my own, bc as a friend pointed out, I would have to do like, 80 posts just to get it done. And that’s if I don’t keep adding to it! Lol
      So I’m going to work on it in my free time too and just do some live every week to keep me on my toes…I can’t slack off if it’s weekly! πŸ˜‰

      Like

  7. Pingback: Down the TBR Hole #1 | pooled ink

  8. I am ashamed to admit that my TBR list was so long, unorganized and ridiculous that I just restarted a Goodreads account under a different name. The shame!! I wish I had read this post earlier. Next time!

    Like

    1. lol I know the shame!! I’m completely familiar with shame and we go for longs walks on the beach holding hands.
      I don’t blame you for starting over. The task is daunting. I still have so much more to go, but the meme does make it a little more bearable now! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ahah wow, 800 is A LOT of books but well…there are worses TBR for sure out there πŸ˜‰ It feels good to take a look back at the books we added a while ago, remember why we wanted to read them and see if that has changed though πŸ™‚ Lovely post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It was a surprise to see how much my tastes have changed…and how I used to always add the sequels to books I hadn’t read: why do that? It just takes up space! πŸ˜‚πŸ€·β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚
      Anyway, it’s good to know mine isn’t the highest out there and I’ll have to Hunger Games my books in between this meme bc there’s just too many and not enough months in the year to get this task done solely this way! 🀣

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been seeing this meme around and I desperately need to clean up my Goodreads TBR! I think I am only sitting on 235… but still. I’m sure I would be surprised how many books I could remove. Great job removing 10 books! Small steps my friend lol

    Looking forward to see which feature you are bringing back πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yours is probably so nice and makes sense compared to mine! I can’t see you having a disorganized TBR: you seem so together!
      I feel like I’m taking a weedwhacker to it!! πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
      Oh…I totally need to do that feature again: I have so much material for it. It’s nothing deep…just some observations that I find interesting. In the book world. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜œ

      Like

  11. Yay! Glad you decided to take part in this meme! Isn’t it so freeing to let some of those go? Also, you go girl! Great job in getting rid of ten books right off the bat πŸ™‚ You know exactly what type of books do and do not interest you, so that’s always fantastic. I love Amy Tan, so I think I might actually be adding The Valley of Amazement to my TBR. Maybe lol. Great job! Keep it going ;D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes: I have it on my TBR still bc I will still read a historical novel by her, just not right now. Same with Lisa See: I think I added The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane to my TBR recently. But when it comes to mysteries or memoirs, they’re just not my cup o tea and back then I was adding everything by the same authors.
      You should see my VC Andrews section: I have read a ton of them. I want to read them all at some point!! But I got burned out, lol.
      Glad we are in this together!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah I’m not much a fan of memoirs either. But I sometimes have the bad habit of putting books on my TBR as long as it’s by the same author, no matter the genre lol.
        I don’t think I’ve read a book by VC Andrews! But I know she has a ton of books haha
        Yup! Gotta clean up our TBRs πŸ˜€

        Like

    2. Yeah, VC Andrews got to be so formulaic…the first book about the family, then the second as they’re older, the third about the children, and the fourth a prequel. It got old after awhile, lol. I own a lot of them…I like the older ones the best but they are out of print! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ
      I love this meme and I have to do it again soon!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow, that’s the worst when you can see the same structure being repeated throughout an author’s series.
        It’s a great meme! Can’t wait to see what you keep and eliminate next time πŸ˜€

        Like

  12. This is such a genius idea! I totally want to join in, as I believe my TBR is at around 680 and creeping much too close to 700. Not quite as bad as yours, but certainly not a light load! What day of the week do you think you’ll typically do these, or should I just pick one?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I haven’t been too diligent with it since the last time I did this was Wed, but I’m thinking I should do it on Saturdays…it’s a good day and most Sat memes aren’t ones I’ll do. Then again, I don’t do many memes!! πŸ˜‚
      I think as long as you pick a day a week it should be perfect. Maybe I’ll keep it on Wed? Maybe I’ll do it any day of the week as long as I do it? As long as I get in the habit of doing it, then that’s half the battle right there, lol!!
      Can’t wait to see what you have to get rid of or keep! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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