TBR Declutter! – Down the TBR Hole #4

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Thanks, as always, to Lia @ Lost in a Story for the inspiration and creating the Down the TBR Hole weekly / bi-weekly post idea.

In case you want to get rid of some of your hefty tbr list, here is what you do:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if youre feeling adventurous) 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?

Aaaand, picking up where I left off…

The books:

1050383
The Sleeping Doll
by Jeffrey Deaver

Synopsis: When Special Agent Kathryn Dance — a brilliant interrogator and kinesics expert with the California Bureau of Investigation — is sent to question the convicted killer Daniel “Son of Manson” Pell as a suspect in a newly unearthed crime, she feels both trepidation and electrifying intrigue. Pell is serving a life sentence for the brutal murders of the wealthy Croyton family in Carmel years earlier — a crime mirroring those perpetrated by Charles Manson in the 1960s. But Pell and his cult members were sloppy: Not only were they apprehended, they even left behind a survivor — the youngest of the Croyton daughters, who, because she was in bed hidden by her toys that terrible night, was dubbed the Sleeping Doll.

But the girl never spoke about that night, nor did the crime’s mastermind. Indeed, Pell has long been both reticent and unrepentant about the crime. And so with the murderer transported from the Capitola superprison to an interrogation room in the Monterey County Courthouse, Dance sees an opportunity to pry a confession from him for the recent murder — and to learn more about the depraved mind of this career criminal who considers himself a master of control, a dark Svengali, forcing people to do what they otherwise would never conceive of doing. In an electrifying psychological jousting match, Dance calls up all her skills as an interrogator and kinesics — body language — expert to get to the truth behind Daniel Pell.

But when Dance’s plan goes terribly wrong and Pell escapes, leaving behind a trail of dead and injured, she finds herself in charge of her first-ever manhunt. But far from simply fleeing, Pell turns on his pursuers –and other innocents — for reasons Dance and her colleagues can’t discern. As the idyllic Monterey Peninsula is paralyzed by the elusive killer, Dance turns to the past to find the truth about what Daniel Pell is really up to. She tracks down the now teenage Sleeping Doll to learn what really happened that night, and she arranges a reunion of three women who were in his cult at the time of the killings. The lies of the past and the evasions of the present boil up under the relentless probing of Kathryn Dance, but will the truth about Daniel Pell emerge in time to stop him from killing again?

Well I was kind of interested in finding a new detective series to read and the connection to the Manson Murders is cool but I’m just not getting the right vibe off of this.

Verdict: REMOVE

6218281
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie 
by Alan Bradley

Synopsis: It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

I’m very stuck on this one! I want to read it and I also don’t, because it’s labeled YA, and that just puts me off everything… it sounds really interesting though!

Verdict: KEEP

8727968
Horns 
by Joe Hill

Synposis: Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.

I’m eager to read all of Hill’s work!

Verdict: KEEP

10305298
To Speak for the Dead
by Paul Levine

Synopsis: A doctor in love with his patient’s wife…
A fatal mistake during surgery…
Accident?  Malpractice?  Or murder?

Defending a surgeon in a malpractice case, Jake Lassiter begins to suspect that his client is innocent of negligence…but guilty of murder. Add a sexy widow, a deadly drug, and a grave robbery to the stew, and you have the recipe for Miami’s trial of the century.

Eh. Nothing about the synopsis of this is grabbing me.

Verdict: REMOVE

20170404
Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Twenty years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

I read half of this and then lost the book on one of the thousands of bookshelves dotted around my home. By the time I found it again, I had started other books! I really enjoyed what I read of it so I’m definitely going to read it again soon.

Verdict: KEEP

18525793
I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy

Synopsis: Picasso Lane is twelve years old when her father, Oliver, is murdered at their summer beach house. Her mother, Diana, is the primary suspect—until the police discover his second wife, and then his third. The women say they have never met—but Picasso knows otherwise.

Picasso remembers the morning beautiful Jewels showed up at their house, carrying the same purse as her mother, and a family portrait featuring her father with two strange boys. Picasso remembers lifting the phone, listening to late night calls with Bert, a woman heavily pregnant with Oliver’s fourth child. As the police circle and a detective named Kyle Kennedy becomes a regular fixture in their home, Picasso tries to make sense of her father’s death, the depth of his deceit, and the secrets that bind these three women.

It sounds interesting but not as interesting as thousands of other books I’m waiting to read.

Verdict: REMOVE

22238188
The Doll Collection 
by Various

Synopsis: The Doll Collection is exactly what it sounds like: a treasured toy box of all-original dark stories about dolls of all types, including everything from puppets and poppets to mannequins and baby dolls.
Featuring everything from life-sized clockwork dolls to all-too-human Betsy Wetsy-type baby dolls, these stories play into the true creepiness of the doll trope, but avoid the clichés that often show up in stories of this type.

I’ve read a collection of Datlow’s before and I wasn’t thrilled. I also don’t really get on with collections of short stories either.

Verdict: REMOVE

27270657
The Creeper Man / And the Trees Crept In
by Dawn Kurtagich

Synopsis: When Silla and her little sister, Nori, escape London and their abusive father, Aunt Cath’s country house feels like a safe haven. Leaving the smog and fear behind, the girls have the love and freedom they never had in their violent home. But slowly, ever so slowly, things begin to unravel.

Aunt Cath locks herself in the attic and spends day and night pacing; every day the surrounding forest inches slowly towards the house; a mysterious boy appears from the enclosing wood offering friendship, and Nori claims that a man watches them from the dark forest. A man with no eyes who creeps ever closer.

Another book with two names! Stop. It’s confusing! Anyway, YA ALERT.

Verdict: REMOVE

27793667
Try Not to Breathe
by Holly Seddon

Synopsis: Amy Stevenson was the biggest news story of 1995. Only fifteen years old, Amy disappeared walking home from school one day and was found in a coma three days later. Her attacker was never identified and her angelic face was plastered across every paper and nightly news segment.

Fifteen years later, Amy lies in the hospital, surrounded by 90’s Britpop posters, forgotten by the world until reporter Alex Dale stumbles across her while researching a routine story on vegetative patients.

Remembering Amy’s story like it was yesterday, she feels compelled to solve the long-cold case.

The only problem is, Alex is just as lost as Amy—her alcoholism has cost her everything including her marriage and her professional reputation.

In the hopes that finding Amy’s attacker will be her own salvation as well, Alex embarks on a dangerous investigation, suspecting someone close to Amy.

Damaged and alcoholic reporter is so cliche. I’m not feeling this anymore.

Verdict: REMOVE


Woohoo! My best declutter post to date! Getting rid of 6 novels from my tbr feels like a lot, but it isn’t, and anyway, it’s good to cleanse your shelf so you know the things on it are worth reading!

Have you guys read any of these and think it was a bad decision to keep or remove it? Let me know!

6 thoughts on “TBR Declutter! – Down the TBR Hole #4

  1. Damaged and alcoholic reporter is so cliche. hahahaha RIGHT?

    So, it’s not that I want you to remove another, but I saw the Horns movie and it was so weird and fun, maybe you don’t even need to read the book 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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