Getting Personal #122: My Take on “Down The TBR Hole”


Image Credit: papertrail rambles

As I mentioned in my May Goals post, my TBR has just spiraled out of control! I was searching for a way to cut it down, or at least rein it in a bit.

Enter Destiny, from Howling Libraries.

She does this awesome series of posts called “Down the TBR Hole,” which I’ve been eagerly reading, and studying, for a while. She uses her Goodreads account to cut down her list.

Since I don’t use Goodreads as religiously, here’s my plan.

I’m going to take my wild list and reorder it, similar to Destiny’s standing TBR, where books are ordered alphabetically. Let’s see what happens.

Here’s the link to my most recent TBR recap, which was published on April 10th:

My original TBR, as of April 2018, had approximately 186 books.


First, I decided to tackle the “Remove” list.

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR:

  1. The Language of Silence, Tiffany Truitt
  2. Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase
  3. Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  4. The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
  5. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
  6. New Boy, Julian Houston
  7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
  8. Hollow City, Ransom Riggs
  9. Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs
  10. Tales of the Peculiar, Ransom Riggs
  11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling
  12. Quidditch Through the Ages, J.K. Rowling
  13. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, Emma Straub
  14. Modern Lovers, Emma Straub
  15. In the Unlikely Event, Judy Blume
  16. You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott
  17. Dare Me, Megan Abbott
  18. The Fever: A Novel, Megan Abbott
  19. Give Me Your Hand, Megan Abbott
  20. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  21. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand
  22. Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
  23. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
  24. Loving Day, Mat Johnson
  25. The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, Gretchen Bakke
  26. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J.D. Vance
  27. A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression, Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe
  28. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney
  29. Bright, Precious Days, Jay McInerney
  30. Underground Airlines, Ben Winters
  31. A Good Month for Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad, Del Quentin Wilber
  32. Teardrops of the Innocent: The White Diamond Story (True Colors – Volume 1), Allie Marie
  33. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
  34. Caraval, Stephanie Garber
  35. Jefferson’s Sons: A Founding Father’s Secret Children, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  36. Autumn Street, Lois Lowry
  37. The Giver, Lois Lowry
  38. Gathering Blue, Lois Lowry
  39. Messenger, Lois Lowry
  40. Son, Lois Lowry
  41. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  42. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  43. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  44. Emma, Jane Austen
  45. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  46. Persuasion, Jane Austen
  47. The List, Patricia Forde
  48. Hello Me, It’s You, Anonymous; edited by Hannah Todd
  49. Use The Force: A Jedi’s Guide to the Law of Attraction, Joshua P. Warren
  50. Digital Fortress: A Thriller, Dan Brown
  51. Deception Point, Dan Brown
  52. Inferno, Dan Brown
  53. Origin: A Novel, Dan Brown
  54. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  55. Camino Island, John Grisham
  56. The Rooster Bar, John Grisham
  57. Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self, Manoush Zomorodi
  58. Lost Laysen, Margaret Mitchell
  59. Before Scarlett: Girlhood Writings of Margaret Mitchell, Margaret Mitchell; edited by Jane Eskridge
  60. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane
  61. Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane
  62. Uglies, Scott Westerfeld
  63. Pretties, Scott Westerfeld
  64. Specials, Scott Westerfeld
  65. Extras, Scott Westerfeld
  66. Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, Robert Kolker
  67. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
  68. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
  69. In the Lake of the Woods, Tim O’Brien
  70. July, July, Tim O’Brien
  71. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Jenny Han
  72. P.S. I Still Love You, Jenny Han
  73. Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Jenny Han
  74. Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
  75. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn
  76. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  77. Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
  78. The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
  79. Half Broke Horses, Jeanette Walls
  80. The Silver Star, Jeanette Walls
  81. Because You Exist (Light in the Dark Series) (Volume 1), Tiffany Truitt
  82. The Goldfish Boy, Lisa Thompson
  83. Postcards from the Edge, Carrie Fisher
  84. Shockaholic, Carrie Fisher
  85. Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher
  86. The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher
  87. In A Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware
  88. We Can Be Mended, Veronica Roth
  89. Carve The Mark, Veronica Roth
  90. Sing, Vivi Greene
  91. West End Quartet, Ariadne Apostolou
  92. Defining Sexism in the U.S. (Sexism in the United States) (Volume 1), Elizabeth Hall Magill
  93. Sexism and U.S. History (Sexism in the United States) (Volume 2), Elizabeth Hall Magill
  94. What Yo Mama Said, Elizabeth Hall Magill
  95. Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy, Seymour Reit
  96. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, David Foster Wallace
  97. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli
  98. The Upside of Unrequited, Becky Albertalli
  99. Mary Jane’s Ghost: The Legacy of a Murder in Small Town America, Ted Gregory
  100. The Dark Lake, Sarah Bailey
  101. The Innocence Treatment, Ari Goelman
  102. Haunting the Deep, Ariana Mather
  103. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford
  104. Jesus’ Son: Stories, Denis Johnson
  105. Tree of Smoke, Denis Johnson
  106. The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories, Denis Johnson
  107. The Secret, Bryon Priess
  108. Warcross, Marie Lu
  109. Nothing But Sky, Amy Trueblood
  110. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Mackenzi Lee
  111. The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert
  112. Husband in Hiding (The Unde(a)feted Detective Series), Karina Bartow
  113. With Malice, Eileen Cook
  114. The Year They Burned The Books, Nancy Garden
  115. Last Night, Kerry Wilkinson
  116. Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser
  117. The Life of Jesus, Ernest Renan
  118. A Doll’s House, Heinrik Ibsen
  119. Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson
  120. The Old Wives’ Tale, Arnold Bennett
  121. The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
  122. The Red and the Black, Stendahl
  123. Victory, Joseph Conrad
  124. The Revolt of the Angels, Anatole France
  125. Sanctuary, William Faulkner
  126. Swann’s Way, Marcel Proust
  127. Within a Budding Grove, Marcel Proust
  128. The Guermantes Way, Marcel Proust
  129. South Wind, Norman Douglas
  130. The Garden Party, Katherine Mansfield
  131. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
  132. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  133. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  134. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  135. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
  136. The Dinner, Herman Koch
  137. The Time-Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
  138. Green, Sam Graham-Felsen

Whew! That’s so much better! I feel so much lighter.

At least 50 of these books have been on my TBR since I started my TBR recap posts in January 2017. Yeesh.

Removal Rate: 138/186 = 74%

Keep & Re-Classify – Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Bader, Bonnie, and Connie Porter, The Underground Railroad (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  2. Bader, Bonnie, A Girl Named Helen: The True Story of Helen Keller (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  3. Banks, Patrice, Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide
  4. Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker, The War I Finally Won
  5. Calonita, Jen, The Real Z (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 1)
  6. Calonita, Jen, Z On Location (American Girl: Z Yang, Book 2)
  7. Carlson Berne, Emma, The Titanic (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  8. Casanova, Mary, Menace at Mammoth Cave: A Kit Mystery
  9. Choi, Mary H.K., Emergency Contact
  10. Crowley, Cath, Words in Deep Blue
  11. Desmond, Matthew, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
  12. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
  13. Falligant, Erin, The Legend of the Shark Goddess: A Nanea Mystery
  14. Garrison, Margaret, Prez: A Story of Love
  15. Gaskell, Elizabeth, North and South
  16. Gilbert. Kelly Loy, Picture Us in the Light
  17. Green, John, Turtles All the Way Down
  18. Haddix, Margaret Peterson, Among The Hidden (Shadow Children #1)
  19. Hite, Sid, My Name is America: The Journal of Rufus Rowe, Witness to the Battle of Fredericksburg
  20. King, Stephen, 11/22/63
  21. Lehr, Dick, Trell
  22. Lyons, Kelly Starling, A Girl Named Misty: The True Story of Misty Copeland (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  23. McNamara, Michelle, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
  24. Miranda, Megan, All The Missing Girls
  25. McKinney, Ruth Ann, Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert
  26. Murphy, Jim, My Name is America: The Journal of James Edmond Pease, A Civil War Union Soldier, Virginia, 1863
  27. Myers, Walter Dean, My Name is America: The Journal of Joshua Loper, A Black Cowboy
  28. Nijkamp, Marieke, Before I Let Go
  29. Paley, Rebecca, The Boston Tea Party (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  30. Paley, Rebecca, A Girl Named Hillary: The True Story of Hillary Clinton (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  31. Patrick, Denis Lewis, A Girl Named Rosa: The True Story of Rosa Parks (American Girl: A Girl Named)
  32. Prose, Francine, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.)
  33. Ritter, Krysten, Bonfire
  34. Rowling, J.K., The Casual Vacancy
  35. Shetterly, Margot Lee, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
  36. Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  37. Swanson, Jennifer, Pearl Harbor (American Girl: Real Stories from My Time)
  38. Teagan, Erin, Luciana
  39. Teagan, Erin, Luciana: Braving the Deep
  40. Teagan, Erin, Luciana: Out of This World
  41. Toobin, Jeffrey, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst
  42. Toobin, Jeffrey, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson
  43. Tripp, Valerie, Read All About It: A Kit Classic Volume 1
  44. Tripp, Valerie, Turning Things Around: A Kit Classic Volume 2
  45. Tripp, Valerie, Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit
  46. Yee, Lisa, Lea Dives In
  47. Yee, Lisa, Lea Leads the Way
  48. Yee, Lisa, and Kellen Hertz, Lea and Camila

This is so much better! I don’t feel like I’m drowning in books anymore!

Plus, with a more manageable list, I don’t feel so overwhelmed now. With so many books on the list for a long time, it was getting overwhelming to just a pick a new book after finishing one.

I love reading – I don’t want a long list to detract me from doing something that I normally love.

Keep Rate: 48/186 = 26%

Thanks for the inspiration, Destiny!

My original TBR posts, which I publish every quarter, will likely follow this format going forward.

I’m excited to tackle more reading!

Do you have a TBR?

Have you gone through your list and done a Keep and/or Remove exercise?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

10 thoughts on “Getting Personal #122: My Take on “Down The TBR Hole”

  1. Whoa. That was a ruthless clean out. Lol.
    Talk about spring cleaning 😉

  2. Wow, you removed sooo many! Amazing work! 🙂

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