Down the TBR Hole #3

 

 

 

 

Down The TBR Hole is a meme that was created by Lost in a Story. The aim of this meme is to go through your TBR list and remove those books which you know you’re never going to read. 

THE RULES:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 or 10 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 should it go?

 

I have already removed 14 books from my TBR list through this meme. Let’s see what I can do this week!

 

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One

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The Women in the Castle – Jessica Shattuck

Date Added: March 2018

Synopsis: Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding. 

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

Thoughts: Well, as I’m sure you guys know by now, I cannot resist historical fiction – especially if it set during World War II. It is my kryptonite. You would think that I would get sick of it at some point, but I don’t. Therefore, this is quite an easy decision.

Verdict: Keep

 

Two

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We Were the Lucky Ones – Georgia Hunter

Date Added: March 2018

Synopsis: It is the spring of 1939 and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.

As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death, either by working grueling hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by an unwavering will to survive and by the fear that they may never see one another again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to persevere.

Thoughts: Surprise, surprise, it’s another historical fiction novel set during World War II.  If this is going to be the case for every book on my TBR that I consider this week then I’m in trouble.

Verdict: Keep

 

Three 

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Three Things About Elsie – Joanna Cannon

Date Added: March 2018

Synopsis: There are three things you should know about Elsie.
The first thing is that she’s my best friend.
The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better.
And the third thing… might take a little bit more explaining.

84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?

Thoughts: I am definitely intrigued based on this synopsis. Based on first impressions, I’m wondering if it will be similar to a book I read about a woman living in an elderly home a few years… although I can’t actually remember the name of that book now. Either way, Three Things About Elsie sounds gripping.

Verdict: Keep

 

Four

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Sourdough – Robin Sloan

Date Added: March 2018

Synopsis: Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.
Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive.  Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer’s market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show.
When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?

Thoughts: Does anyone else love books about food? I love to read about characters that are bakers and chefs, or books where food is a central theme. They always put me in the mood to cook some extravagant feast. That being said, Sourdough doesn’t quite sound like the book for me. Its the part about robotics that isn’t really doing it for me.

Verdict: Go

 

Five

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The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir – Jennifer Ryan

Date Added: March 2018

Synopsis: Kent, 1940. In the idyllic village of Chilbury change is afoot. Hearts are breaking as sons and husbands leave to fight, and when the Vicar decides to close the choir until the men return, all seems lost.

But coming together in song is just what the women of Chilbury need in these dark hours, and they are ready to sing. With a little fighting spirit and the arrival of a new musical resident, the charismatic Miss Primrose Trent, the choir is reborn.

Some see the choir as a chance to forget their troubles, others the chance to shine. Though for one villager, the choir is the perfect cover to destroy Chilbury’s new-found harmony.

Thoughts: The amount of historical fiction books on my list this week is actually pretty funny. I mean, I don’t know why I’m surprised. I bet you can guess what the verdict will be…

Verdict: Keep

 

Six

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The Life to Come – Michelle De Kretser

Date Added: March 2018

Summary: Set in Australia, France, and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is about the stories we tell and don’t tell ourselves as individuals, as societies, and as nations. Driven by a vivid cast of characters, it explores necessary emigration, the art of fiction, and ethnic and class conflict.

Thoughts: I know we shouldn’t judge books by their cover, but I really do not like the cover of this book. I’m not intrigued by the synopsis either.

Verdict: Go

 

Seven

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The Music Shop – Rachel Joyce

Date Added: March 2018

Synopsis: 1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk – as long as it’s vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need. Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann.

Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems. And Frank has old wounds that threaten to re-open and a past he will never leave behind…

Thoughts: The Music Shop sounds exactly like the type of book that I will love.

Verdict: Keep

 

Eight

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Under A Pole Star – Stef Penney

Date Added: March 2018

Synopsis: Flora Mackie was twelve when she first crossed the Arctic Circle on her father’s whaling ship. Now she is returning to the frozen seas as the head of her own exploration expedition. Jakob de Beyn was raised in Manhattan, but his yearning for new horizons leads him to the Arctic as part of a rival expedition. When he and Flora meet, all thoughts of science and exploration give way before a sudden, all-consuming love.

The affair survives the growing tensions between the two groups, but then, after one more glorious summer on the Greenland coast, Jakob joins his leader on an extended trip into the interior, with devastating results.

Thoughts: I’m really not sure why I added this book to my TBR shelf in the first place. If only I could go back in time and ask myself what I was thinking in March 2018. It sounds a bit too cold and dreary for my taste (or perhaps I’m just projecting based on the weather outside…)

Verdict: Go

 

Nine

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The Ghost Notebooks – Ben Dolnick

Date Added: March 2018

Synopsis: When Nick Beron and Hannah Rampe decide to move from New York City to the tiny upstate town of Hibernia, they’re in desperate need of a change: their careers have flatlined, the city is exhausting, and they’ve reached a relationship stalemate. So Hannah accepts a job as live-in director of the Wright Historic House, a museum dedicated to an obscure nineteenth-century philosopher whose life was marred by tragedy.

At first, life in this old, creaky house feels cozy. Nick and Hannah explore the deserted museum at night, wandering the twisting halls and sneakily trying out the former owners’ original master bed. But as summer turns to fall, Hannah begins to have trouble sleeping; reluctantly, she tells Nick she’s hearing whispers in the night. Then one morning, Nick wakes up to find Hannah gone. In his frantic search for her, Nick will discover the hidden legacy of Wright House: a man driven wild with grief, and a spirit aching for home.

Thoughts: This book sounds fantastic. Seriously. Why have I not read it yet??

Verdict: Keep

 

Ten

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The Secret Lives of Colour – Kassia St Clair

Date Added: March 2018

Synopsis: The Secret Lives of Colour tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.

Thoughts: I’m sure this book is great, but it just sounds a bit too complex for me.

Verdict: Go

 

Results

Keep: 6

Remove: 4

Remaining: 148

 

 

 

 

 

All synopses are from Goodreads.

 

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