TBR Declutter! – Down the TBR Hole #31

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It’s been one of those weeks where most of the books I’ve added I’ve completely forgotten exist and/or have no idea how they’ve come to be on my TBR.

Side note: I’ve decided to stop making the graphics for inside the posts because they put me off making these. It’s a lot of effort to create the each time, so I’m going old school and just plonking the book covers in on their own.

Credit, as always, goes to the wonderful Lia @ Lost in a Story for this decluttering idea! I’m 300+ books deep into my TBR now… find out how many books I’ve removed, so far, below!

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?

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Beast in View by Margaret Millar

Synopsis: At thirty, Helen Clarvoe is alone: her only visitors are the staff at the hotel where she lives, and her only phone calls come from a stranger.

Until that stranger, with a quiet, compelling voice, lures the aloof and financially secure Miss Clarvoe into a world of extortion, pornography, vengeance, madness and murder.

But who is the hunter and who is the victim…?

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I usually hate books that move onto sex and madness like this one seems to, but at only 176 pages, this could be a great quick read for me if I’m feeling a reading slump is at bay. I find shorter books help me keep reading when I don’t feel like reading.

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Vertigo by Pierre Boileau

Synopsis: “Do you think it’s possible to live again, Monsieur? … I mean … is it possible to die and then … live again in someone else?”

You’re no longer in the police, but when an old friend asks you to look after his wife as a favour, how can you refuse? She’s been behaving strangely, mysteriously – but she’s dazzling. And so Flavières begins to scour the streets of Paris in search of an answer – in search of a woman who belongs to no one, not even to herself. Soon intrigue is replaced by obsession, and dreams by nightmares, as the boundaries between the living and the dead begin to blur.

This is the story of a desperate man. A man who ended up compromising his own morality beyond all measure, while the Second World War raged outside his front door. A man tormented by his search for the truth, and ultimately destroyed by a dark, terrible secret.

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I haven’t seen Hitchcock’s film version of this but I know my mum absolutely loves it. I’d love to read this book, it sounds intriguing and strange! Also, I love this Pushkin Vertigo Crime collection, the covers are fab!

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Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

Synopsis: In such a small community as the Falkland Islands, a missing child is unheard of. In such a dangerous landscape it can only be a terrible tragedy, surely…

When another child goes missing, and then a third, it’s no longer possible to believe that their deaths were accidental, and the villagers must admit that there is a murderer among them. Even Catrin Quinn, a damaged woman living a reclusive life after the accidental deaths of her own two sons a few years ago, gets involved in the searches and the speculation.

And suddenly, in this wild and beautiful place that generations have called home, no one feels safe and the hysteria begins to rise.

But three islanders—Catrin, her childhood best friend, Rachel, and her ex-lover Callum—are hiding terrible secrets. And they have two things in common: all three of them are grieving, and none of them trust anyone, not even themselves.

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This has got good reviews from a lot of people but I’m not blown away by the synopsis and I have so many books to read, why keep this one?

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The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things by J T LeRoy

Synopsis: This book of interconnected stories depicts the chaotic life of a young boy on the run with his teenage mother. When Sarah reclaims Jeremiah from his foster parents, he finds himself catapulted into her world of motels and truck stops, exposed to the abusive, exploitative men she encounters. As he learns to survive in this harrowing environment, Jeremiah also learns to love his mother, even as she descends into drug-fueled madness.

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I did really want to read this at one point, but then I read another LeRoy novel and it was so bleak I don’t really want to go through another book like that.

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One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

Synopsis: An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home.

So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life? How will she survive? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past?

No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?

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I’m not really sure I’m interested in this one. It’s got OK reviews but I don’t really care the plot.

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The Elephant Tree by RD Ronald

Synopsis: Mark Fallon is an overworked detective investigating a spate of attacks at a string of high profile city centre nightclubs. Scott is a dejected 24 year old struggling to make ends meet working for his brother and supplementing his income with a small-scale drug dealing operation. Angela is an attractive 23 year old, raised by her father, a career criminal and small time drug dealer who supplies Scott with cannabis. This is a chilling tale spanning a few months in the lives of Scott and Angela, where realizations about the present combine with shocking revelations from the past leading to an apocalyptic climax where they no longer know whom they can trust.

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I’m not even sure how I came about this one. I’m not hugely interested in it, so this is another remove!

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Synopsis: Eden was its name. “An alternative school for happy children,” said the brochure. “A load of hippies running wild in the woods,” said the locals. After a suicide it closed its doors and the children scattered.

Thirty years later, it’s a care home; its grounds neglected and overgrown, its only neighbour Gloria Harkness, who acts as tenant-caretaker in a rundown farmhouse to be close to her son. Nicky lives in the home, lighting up Gloria’s life and breaking her heart every day.

Nicky and a ragbag of animals aren’t enough to keep loneliness at bay, and when Gloria’s childhood friend and secret sweetheart, Stephen “Stig” Tarrant, turns up at her door one night, all she can see is the boy she knew. She lets him in.

Stig’s being stalked by an Eden girl, he says. She has goaded him into meeting her at the site of the suicide. Except that suddenly, after all these years, the dead are beginning to speak and suicide is not what they say.

When the children of Eden were sent out into the world they took a secret with them. And someone is making sure they take it to the grave.

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Honestly. the synopsis of this one is messing with my head, it feels all over the place, I can’t really get my head around it. Pass.

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Synopsis: Welcome to iDEATH — a place where the sun shines a different colour every day and where people travel to the length of their dreams along paths lined with pines and stones. Rejecting the violence and hate of the old gang at the Forgotten Works, they lead gentle lives in watermelon sugar. Brautigan expresses the mood of a new generation.

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This one sounds weird as hell and it being described as “beautiful” and “sad”. Not the kinda thing I want to read!

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Synopsis: A series of four novels about the exploits of psychologist and serial killer Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter. 

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I’m jamming all these books into one because I want to read them all and don’t want to have to do each one separately.

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Synopsis: Chuck Dutton built Music City Salvage with patience and expertise, stripping historic properties and reselling their bones. Inventory is running low, so he’s thrilled when Augusta Withrow appears in his office offering salvage rights to her entire property. This could be a gold mine, so he assigns his daughter Dahlia to personally oversee the project.

The crew finds a handful of surprises right away. Firstly, the place is in unexpectedly good shape. And then there’s the cemetery, about thirty fallen and overgrown graves dating to the early 1900s, Augusta insists that the cemetery is just a fake, a Halloween prank, so the city gives the go-ahead, the bulldozer revs up, and it turns up human remains. Augusta says she doesn’t know whose body it is or how many others might be present and refuses to answer any more questions. Then she stops answering the phone.

But Dahlia’s concerns about the corpse and Augusta’s disappearance are overshadowed when she begins to realize that she and her crew are not alone, and they’re not welcome at the Withrow estate. They have no idea how much danger they’re in, but they’re starting to get an idea. On the crew’s third night in the house, a storm shuts down the only road to the property. The power goes out. Cell signals are iffy. There’s nowhere to go and no one Dahlia can call for help, even if anyone would believe that she and her crew are being stalked by a murderous phantom. Something at the Withrow mansion is angry and lost, and this is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever. And it seems to be seeking permanent company.

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I love a spooky ghosty story! This sounds fun and I love the cover!

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So I removed 6 this week! I’m very happy with that result!!

Books analysed // 313
Books removed // 130

How many of these books do you know and want to read? Do you disagree with any of my verdicts? Let me know!

7 thoughts on “TBR Declutter! – Down the TBR Hole #31

  1. The last line of the ONE STEP TOO FAR synopsis would make me remove it immediately. “No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?” Yuck. Sounds childish, and like the author isn’t going to play fair with the mystery angle.

    I liked the movie VERTIGO, but didn’t know there was a book, too. Enjoy!

    Like

      1. Me too! Sometimes I’ll read a book with a cliche synopsis anyway, but usually a synopsis like that makes me prejudiced against it so it has to really win me over for me to like it.

        Liked by 1 person

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