TBR Declutter! – Down the TBR Hole #8


Credit, as always, goes to the wonderful Lia @ Lost in a Story for this decluttering idea!

The aim is to declutter your tbr shelf. To do this:

  • 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?

Same thing as with my Friday Finds posts, I’m going back to just doing bold text for my comments!

The Lottery and other stories 
by Shirley Jackson

Synopsis: The Lottery, one of the most terrifying stories written in this century, created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker. “Power and haunting,” and “nights of unrest” were typical reader responses. This collection, the only one to appear during Shirley Jackson’s lifetime, unites “The Lottery:” with twenty-four equally unusual stories.

I mentioned in last weeks declutter that I wanted to get into more of Jackson’s work, so I will be keeping this one! I recently read another collection of her short stories (Dark Tales) and I quite enjoyed it, so I hope I’ll like these ones too!

Verdict: KEEP


The Elementals 
by Michael McDowell

Synopsis: On a split of land cut off by the Gulf, three Victorian summer houses stand against the encroaching sand. Two of the houses at Beldame are still used. The third house, filling with sand, is empty…except for the vicious horror which is shaping nightmares from the nothingness that hangs in the dank, fetid air.

The McCrays and Savages, two fine Mobile families allied by marriage, have been coming to Beldame for years. This summer, with a terrible funeral behind them and a messy divorce coming up, even Luker McCray and little India down from New York are looking forward to being alone at Beldame. But they won’t be alone. For something there, something they don’t like to think about, is thinking about them…and about all the ways to make them die.

Look at that cover! It’s vintage book cover porn, agh 😍 This sounds like a good horror! I’m really into all the old school horror stuff at the moment! (Unfortunately, you can’t get it in this cover unless you wanna pay £20 for the used version!)

Verdict: KEEP


Night Film 
by Marisha Pessl

Synopsis: Everybody has a Cordova story. Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn’t been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an enigma. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. To Ashley he was a father.

On a damp October night the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to hit a severely cursed dynasty.

For McGrath, another death connected to the legendary director seems more than a coincidence. Driven by revenge, curiosity and a need for the truth, he finds himself pulled into a hypnotic, disorientating world, where almost everyone seems afraid.

The last time McGrath got close to exposing Cordova, he lost his marriage and his career. This time he could lose his grip on reality.

This book gets a serious amount of great reviews, but also a lot of really bad reviews. Hmm. It sounds interesting enough to keep, for now.

Verdict: KEEP


The Incarnations 
by Susan Barker

Synopsis: Who are you? You must be wondering. I am your soulmate, your old friend, and I have come back to this city of sixteen million in search of you.

So begins the first letter that falls into Wang’s lap as he flips down the visor in his taxi. The letters that follow are filled with the stories of Wang’s previous lives—from escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, to being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, to living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars, and being a teenager on the Red Guard during the cultural revolution—bound to his mysterious “soulmate,” spanning one thousand years of betrayal and intrigue.

As the letters continue to appear seemingly out of thin air, Wang becomes convinced that someone is watching him—someone who claims to have known him for over one thousand years. And with each letter, Wang feels the watcher growing closer and closer…

This sounds good but not good enough to make me want to read it over the other hundreds of books I have to read, so I’m going to remove this one!

Verdict: REMOVE

Kiss Me First 
by Lottie Moggach

Synopsis: When Leila discovers the website Red Pill, she feels she has finally found people who understand her. A sheltered young woman raised by her mother, Leila has often struggled to connect with the girls at school; but on Red Pill, a chat forum for ethical debate, Leila comes into her own, impressing the website’s founder, a brilliant and elusive man named Adrian. Leila is thrilled when Adrian asks to meet her, and is flattered when he invites her to be part of “Project Tess.”

Tess is a woman Leila might never have met in real life. She is beautiful, urbane, witty, and damaged. As they email, chat, and Skype, Leila becomes enveloped in the world of Tess, learning every single thing she can about this other woman–because soon, Leila will have to become her.

While this sounds like it could be alright, the reviews on this aren’t great and my aim is to declutter, soooo….

Verdict: REMOVE


Who was Changed and Who was Dead 
by Barbara Comyns

Synopsis: At the beginning of June the river floods, ducks swim through the drawing-room windows and Ebin Willoweed rows his daughters round the submerged garden. The grandmother dresses in magenta for her seventy-first-birthday whist drive and looks forward to the first prize of pate de foie gras. Later Ives the gardener leads a morose procession up river, dragging her to a funeral in a black-draped punt. the miller goes mad and drowns himself and a cottage is set alight. Villagers keep dying and at the house on the river plates are thrown across the luncheon table and a tortoise through a window. The newspaper asks “What will be smitten by this fatal madness next?”
This sounds super strange, which means it sounds totally right for me!

Verdict: KEEP


The Vet’s Daughter 
by Barbara Comyns

Synopsis: The vet lives with his bedridden wife and shy daughter Alice in a sinister London suburb. He works constantly, captive to a strange private fury, and treats his family with brutality and contempt. After his wife’s death, the vet takes up with a crass, needling woman who tries to refashion Alice in her own image. And yet as Alice retreats ever deeper into a dream world, she discovers an extraordinary secret power of her own.

Same author as the book before but this doesn’t sound as interesting to me, though I’m digging the cover art, very weird.


Verdict: REMOVE


Bellweather Rhapsody 
by Kate Racculia

Synopsis: Fifteen years ago, a murder-suicide in room 712 rocked the grand old Bellweather Hotel and the young bridesmaid who witnessed it, Minnie Graves. Now hundreds of high school musicians have gathered at the Bellweather for the annual Statewide festival; Minnie has returned to face her demons; and a blizzard is threatening to trap them all inside. When a young prodigy disappears from infamous room 712, the search for her entwines an eccentric cast of conductors and caretakers, teenagers on the verge and adults haunted by memories.

This says it’s like a mix between The Shining, Agatha Christie and Glee… what the heck, that sounds amazing!!

Verdict: KEEP


Harvest Home 
by Thoman Tryon

Synopsis: It was almost as if time had not touched the village of Cornwall Coombe. The quiet, peaceful place was straight out of a bygone era, with well-cared-for Colonial houses, a white-steepled church fronting a broad Common. Ned and Beth Constantine chanced upon the hamlet and immediately fell in love with it. This was exactly the haven they dream of. Or so they thought.

For Ned and his family, Cornwall Coombe was to become a place of ultimate horror.

Tryon is said to be an excellent author of horror and I love me some horror! I like books set up in creepy villages, so this sounds perfect for me.


Verdict: KEEP


Shutter Island 
by Dennis Lehane

Synopsis: The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new -partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades–with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.

Ummmm, did you see the movie?  Yeah, well it was fantastic so I’m definitely wanting to read this book. I actually want to read a load of Lehane’s work!

Verdict: KEEP

I’ve done better than I have the past couple of weeks with removing stuff! 3 out of 10 isn’t so bad!

Have you read any of these books and think they’re worth keep in on my TBR, or even the opposite and think something I’ve removed is worth keeping? Let me know!

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