"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, March 8, 2021

TTT: Spring Cleaning my TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday:
Time to make decisions about the longest books on my TBR list and do a little spring cleaning.

I just checked. I have 231 books on my TBR list. These ten books (below) have been on the list the longest. Time to decide about what to do with them--- to read or not to read. 

Let's see. 

The Orphan Master's Son (2013); A Visit From the Goon Squad (2011); and Interpreters of Maladies (2000) are the first three books on my list and all are Pulitzer Prize winners (winning date in parenthesis.) I have a personal challenge to read past Pulitzer Prize winners, so these three books stay on the list.

The fourth book, Without You There Is No Us, is a book I purchased after meeting the author. I am still curious about the topic and since I own a copy of the book, it will stay on the list.

The fifth book is a toss up. Love and Other Demons is by the master of Magical Realism, Gabriel Marquez Garcia. His book One Hundred Years of Solitude was one of the most difficult but most satisfying books I've ever read. The reviews on this one are generally very good and the premise sounds different and so captivating. I need to conduct some more research before I remove or keep it on the list

The Atomic Weight of Love. Hmm. I can't even remember why I placed this one on my TBR pile. One reviewer on Goodreads said that the audiobook recording of this was so good it held her hostage while she listened. If my library has the audiobook version for check-out I will keep it on the list, if not, off it goes

The Notorious RBG. I saw a wonderful documentary film about Ruth Bader Ginsburg before she died last year. I am wondering if this is when I placed this book on my list. I still love her and want to read about her. It stays.

The fourth and eighth book on my list are about the same topic: North Korea. I remember why I put A Thousand Miles to Freedom on the list---my hubby and daughter listened to it as they drove east toward New York and my daughter's grad school. They both liked it a lot and told me all about it. Since I don't need to read both but I am committed to reading the one I own, this one will be removed from the list.

I'm guessing I placed the ninth book, Ways of Going Home, on the list because it is set in South America and I read so few books set on that continent. That is not a good enough reason to keep a book on the list. Off it goes

A Slip of the Keyboard is nonfiction by a favorite fiction author, Terry Pratchett. He died in 2015 and I'm positive I was still in mourning when I placed it on my list in 2016. Reviews on Goodreads are all positive but I'm wondering if I'd do better just consuming more of his fiction? I need to do more research including finding out if a copy is available from the public library.

So let's see if this was a valuable exercise. Out of ten books I decided to remove or clean up two or 20% of them. That seems like time well spent. If I were to have the same success rate at culling down my whole TBR, I'd end up removing 42 titles. Now that would be an accomplishment. Imagine removing more books from your TBR in one year than the number you add?



  1. I don't have a TBR list. I would get compulsive if I did. This seems like a good "housecleaning" and for logical reasons.

  2. Good luck. I spend time a few months back cleaning off all those kindle freebies I know I will never read. It feels good to make that decision and 'free up space'.

  3. I like how you did this- breaking these down. It's fun to do that sometims, go back and reexamine do I really want to keep this one on the ole TBR? I oughta do that...

  4. I read the Terry Pratchett one sometime before he died and it was good, but as with most collection's of essays some were better than others.

  5. That number sounded reasonable, and then I did a little math, and 20% of my TBR is 655 books ;)

  6. Good for you for deciding to check your public library! They're such a great resource.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  7. I hope you like The Orphan Master's Son.

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-books-about-fresh-starts/

  8. I love how you carefully analyzed your impulses to keep or toss. And I agree with your decisions.

  9. I've been meaning to read "Without You, There is No Us" for awhile now, North Korea is such fascinating and frightening place, I'm always curious to hear from people who lived there.

    Hopefully you enjoy the ones you ended up keeping! Happy reading!

    1. I think I'd better move Without You, There is No Us up on my list.

  10. The orphan master's son has been on my TBR for at least 3 years, I completely understand you! Happy reading! My TTT https://readwithstefani.com/spring-book-unhaul/

  11. That's about how it goes for me when I try to clear some titles from my TBR list! ;D

  12. So glad to see Without You There Is No US stayed on your list! I read it when it was originally released and loved it. Absolutely fascinating.

  13. I have books on my TBR Goodreads list from sooooo long ago. I think I added many when I was a high school librarian and they were the "it" reads at the time. This looks like a great exercise to cull the list.

  14. I love the idea of clearing out some of the books that have been on my TBR for so long that I don't even remember why they're on there.

  15. Hmmm...I haven't heard of these books, but they sound interesting! Great list!

    Here’s my TTT!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  16. Interpreters of Maladies was fantastic. I hope you enjoy.

  17. I love how you approached this topic! Definitely a great exercise to do every once in a while.

  18. So glad you decided to keep The Orphan Master's Son on your list - it is AMAZING! Just blew me away. Horrifying at times, moving, but also very funny - the scenes with the North Koreans visiting Texas were hilarious! That one book, which I grabbed at the library that year as soon as the Pulitzers were announced, convinced me to try to read more PP winners.

    Hope you enjoy that and your others!


    Book By Book

  19. I try and consider which books have been on my shelf the longest when I reorganize. Sometimes I keep them and other times I decide if I haven't read them by now, they're probably not that interesting (to me as a reader). Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland on this week!


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