Down The TBR Hole: Week One

One of my favorite things to do is peruse bookish lists and add to my TBR. On Goodreads, I have well over 900 titles marked as to-read. Each time I compare that to the number of actual titles read (567), I have a panic attack.

I’ve been wanting to cull my TBR for a while now, but hadn’t the motivation until I came across “Down the TBR Hole,” originally created by Lia at Lost In A Story.

How to participate:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order by ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or let it go?

Each week, I will post ten books and their synopses (from Goodreads), then decide what I’m keeping or axing. Should only take about, oh, 90 weeks. Longer if I keep adding. At any rate, I hope you’ll gain something from this. Either new books to add to your TBR or motivation to do this yourself. For me, I hope I’ll learn to be more discerning. I once thought I’d read every book that crossed my path, but now I realize the foolishness in such a pursuit (unless I am one day bitten by a vampire–here’s hoping!)

If you’ve read something on this list that I decide to let go, but you really liked, let me know and I just may keep it. You may not be easing my stress, but you will be recommending me a great book and that’s all I can ask for. Also, if there is one that I’m keeping that you really just loathed with all your being, do tell. No point wasting time on sucky books.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Curse of the Spider King – Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper

The Seven succeeding Elven Lords of Allyra were dead, lost in the Siege of Berinfell as babes. At least that’s what everyone thought until tremors from a distant world known as Earth, revealed strange signs that Elven blood lived among its peoples. With a glimmer of hope in their hearts, sentinels are sent to see if the signs are true. But theirs is not a lone errand. The ruling warlord of Allyra, the Spider King, has sent his own scouts to hunt down the Seven and finish the job they failed to complete many ages ago.

Now 13-year-olds on the brink of the Age of Reckoning when their Elven gifts will be manifest, discover the unthinkable truth that their adoptive families are not their only kin. With mysterious Sentinels revealing breathtaking secrets of the past, and dark strangers haunting their every move, will the young Elf Lords find the way back to the home of their birth? Worlds and races collide as the forces of good and evil battle. Will anyone escape the Curse of the Spider King?

AX – Sounds interesting, but I haven’t been into MG lately since it is far too tame.

The Travelers – D.J. MacHale

Every territory of Halla has a Traveler. They lived for years–some even for decades–before learning of their true destiny. What was life like for Bobby Pendragon’s fellow Travelers before they joined him in the fight to save every time and place that has ever existed? What led up to their becoming the guardians of Halla? The answers are here!

In this first of three thrilling Pendragon prequels, read about Vo Spader’s death-defying adventures in the underwater world of Cloral, Gunny Van Dyke’s race to find a murderer in 1930’s Manhattan on First Earth, and the tough challenges Kasha faced on Eelong well before Bobby Pendragon arrived . . . 

KEEP – Pendragon is one of my favorite series ever. Maybe when I reread all ten books, I will finally get to this. Sigh. I’ve just added more to my list…

Runelight – Joanne Harris 

The squabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back! And there’s a feisty new heroine on the scene: Maggie, a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart – literally, in World’s End, the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised. Now the Order is destroyed, Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind… and is breaching the everyday world.

A chilling prophecy from the Oracle. A conflict between two girls. And with just twelve days to stave off the Apocalypse, carnage is about to be unleashed . .

KEEP – I read the first book years and years ago. I think I liked it. Honestly, I’m going to read anything with Loki in it.



Gladiator: Fight for Freedom – Simon Scarrow 

Rome, 61 BC

RECRUITED as a gladiator, young Marcus Cornelius Primus faces a new life of brutal training, governed by strict rules, as he learns the skills of an elite warrior.

But Marcus cannot simply forget his past. His father lies murdered by soldiers and his mother has been kidnapped and forced into slavery. Marcus is determined to find his father’s old commander, Pompeius the Great, to seek justice for his family and set his mother free.

Yet, unbeknown to him, Marcus is hiding a life-threatening secret. And if the Romans discover it, there will be no escape . . .

AX – I love anything set in ancient Rome, but I’m not entirely sold on the synopsis (or the cover).

The Vampire Lestat – Anne Rice 

Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now Lestat is a rockstar in the demonic, shimmering 1980s. He rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his terrifying exsitence. His story, the second volume in Anne Rice’s best-selling Vampire Chronicles, is mesmerizing, passionate, and thrilling.

KEEP – I liked Interview with a Vampire. Also, I own it, so I better read it.





Snow White and the Seven Samurai – Tom Holt

Once upon a time (or last Thursday, as it’s known in this matrix) everything was fine: Humpty Dumpty sat on his wall, Jack and Jill went about their lawful business, the Big Bad Wolf did what big bad wolves do, and the wicked queen plotted murder most foul.But the humans hacked, cried havoc, shut down the wicked queen’s system (mirrors 3.1) and corrupted her database – and suddenly everything was not fine at all. But at least we know that they’ll all live happily ever after. Don’t we?Computers and fairy tales collide to hilarious effect in the latest sparkling cocktail of mayhem, wit and wonder from the master of comic fantasy.

KEEP – Sounds quirky.


The Dragon’s Path – Daniel Abraham

All paths lead to war…

Marcus’ hero days are behind him. He knows too well that even the smallest war still means somebody’s death. When his men are impressed into a doomed army, staying out of a battle he wants no part of requires some unorthodox steps.

Cithrin is an orphan, ward of a banking house. Her job is to smuggle a nation’s wealth across a war zone, hiding the gold from both sides. She knows the secret life of commerce like a second language, but the strategies of trade will not defend her from swords.

Geder, sole scion of a noble house, has more interest in philosophy than in swordplay. A poor excuse for a soldier, he is a pawn in these games. No one can predict what he will become.

Falling pebbles can start a landslide. A spat between the Free Cities and the Severed Throne is spiraling out of control. A new player rises from the depths of history, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon’s Path-the path to war.

KEEP – Epic fantasy is my weakness.

Dark Light of Day – Jill Archer

Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, and the world from slipping back into chaos.

Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, the daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret: She was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of, and some would consider her an abomination. 

Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or to attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.

AX – I love stories with demons, but if I don’t want to immediately go out and purchase the book, then it probably doesn’t belong on my list.

The Map of Time – Felix J. Palma 

This rollicking page-turner with a cast of real and imagined literary characters and cunning intertwined plots stars a skeptical H.G. Wells as a time-traveling investigator.

Characters real and imaginary come vividly to life in this whimsical triple play of intertwined plots, in which a skeptical H. G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence.

What happens if we change history?

AX – Steampunk, time travel, Dracula? Like, why am I taking this off the list? I normally don’t look at people’s reviews since I like to form my own opinion, but this one didn’t get the best ratings. It’s been on my list since 2012 and I still haven’t read it. Perhaps there’s a reason.

Sorceress – Celia Rees 

It came to Agnes unbidden: a vision of Mary Newbury, a young woman driven from her Puritan settlement, accused of being a witch. It is an image of a life about to change radically, as Mary defies all accepted norms — embracing independence, love, and loyalty to a Native American community that accepts her as one of their own. The two women’s lives are separated by almost four hundred years, but they are linked by more than blood. For, like Mary, Agnes has special powers — powers that Mary seeks to ensure that the rest of her story is told. 

KEEP – I read the first book, holy balls, like years ago. I don’t remember much, which means I’ll have to reread it in order to read this.



Woo! Got rid of 4/10 books. Only 919 more to go!