Down the TBR Hole #3

So I got this idea from my friend Sarah’s blog, who tries to do this once a week. I have over 2,000 books on my TBR, so I think parsing this down every so often would be really great. I’m going to attempt to do this at least once a week, however, instead of doing the last 10 books added, I’m going to randomly select 10 books.

Here are the rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on 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 should it go?

The only thing I do differently is I randomly select a page number, and a book number, and decide if those should be kept or if they should go. Here we go!

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity – Judith Butler

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Since its publication in 1990, Gender Trouble has become one of the key works of contemporary feminist theory, and an essential work for anyone interested in the study of gender, queer theory, or the politics of sexuality in culture. This is the text where Judith Butler began to advance the ideas that would go on to take life as “performativity theory,” as well as some of the first articulations of the possibility for subversive gender practices, and she writes in her preface to the 10th anniversary edition released in 1999 that one point of Gender Trouble was “not to prescribe a new gendered way of life […] but to open up the field of possibility for gender […]” Widely taught, and widely debated, Gender Trouble continues to offer a powerful critique of heteronormativity and of the function of gender in the modern world.

I’m trying to read more feminist theory so that I can grow as a feminist, and just learn more. For that, I’ll keep.

Zoey’s Broken Heart – Katherine Applegate

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Zoey’s broken heart. What can anyone say to make it feel better? Because the disaster that killed Lara, destroyed Zoey’s home and injured her parents, has left Zoey devastated. And she’s still so far from Lucas…

I’ve been wanting to reread this teen soap opera series for awhile now, I think it’s going to replace the Babysitters Club reread. This one is a keep.

Son – Lois Lowry

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They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

“The Giver” is such a great book. I need to finish this series, so keep.

Sisterhood, Interrupted – Deborah Siegel

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Contrary to clichés about the end of feminism, Deborah Siegel argues that younger women are reliving the battles of its past, and reinventing it–with a vengeance. From feminist blogging to the popularity of the WNBA, girl culture is on the rise. A lively and compelling look back at the framing of one of the most contentious social movements of our time, Sisterhood, Interrupted exposes the key issues still at stake, outlining how a twenty-first century feminist can reconcile the personal with the political and combat long-standing inequalities that continue today. 

I was thinking I’d ditch this book (I have a lot of feminist theory books in my to read) but after seeing the reviews from fellow 90’s babies, I think I need to keep.

253 – Geoff Ryman

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Tremendously popular on the Internet, 253 is one of the year’s most imaginative, unclassifiable books. 
What it is: 
A London tube train, with all seats occupied, carries 252 passengers. The driver makes 253. Each one has a secret history, thoughts about themselves and the world. And each one’s story takes one page (comprised of exactly 253 words) in this novel.
Meet Estelle, who has fallen madly in love with Saddam Hussein; James, who anesthetizes sick gorillas for a living; and Who? a character who doesn’t know where, or what, on earth he is.
Perhaps you’ll see a bit of yourself in some or all of them.
This seven-and-a-half minute ride between Embankment and Elephant & Castle is highly original. And enjoyable. And unpredictable.
And full of marvels.

This looks fantastic, and the reviews seem to agree. I’ll keep.

Summer of Supernovas – Darcy Woods

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Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one zodiac-obsessed teen as she struggles to find the guy of her cosmic dreams.

As the daughter of an expert astrologer, Wilamena Carlisle knows that truth lies within the stars. So when she discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love. But Wil must decide whether to trust her heart or her chart when she falls for a sensitive guitar player whose zodiac sign points to cosmic disaster.

If Wil’s fate is truly written in the stars, then this summer is about to go supernova . . .

I LOVE SPACE. I LOVE ASTROLOGY!!! And the blurbs on this book make this a must read. In fact it’ll probably happen soon. So keep.

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed – A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings – Michelle Knight

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Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world. 

Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.

In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.

Maybe someday this will be a book I dive into, but I’ve found I prefer to watch documentaries about these topics rather than read about them. So I’m going to ditch.

Finding Faith in Difficult Times – Iyanla Vanzant

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Iyanla Vanzant knows hard times, and how to work through them using the power of faith. Before writing five New York Times bestsellers, she had a troubled childhood followed by teen pregnancy, two abusive marriages, and welfare. How did she manage to turn her life around? Finding Faith in Difficult Times shares Vanzant’s most cherished collection of the insights, prayers, and meditations she developed to work through those years of personal struggles. Here, you will learn how to cultivate faith and determination, build inner strength, and find lasting peace in even the most challenging moments of life. 

I can’t find this book anywhere. Not even at my library. I love Iyanla’s TV show, but I think I’m going to ditch this since I can’t find a way to read it.

The Avengers Volume 4 – Brian Michael Bendis

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AVX TIE-IN! Comics legend Walter Simonson is back, taking on the Avengers as they face down the unbelievable, unstoppable might of…the X-Men!? Captain America has declared war on Marvel’s mutants in the face of the Phoenix’s arrival on Earth, but one Avenger must betray the team to fulfill their destiny with the unstoppable cosmic force! And it’s not who you think! Plus: the Red Hulk’s last stand!? And can Hawkeye and Spider-Woman’s budding romance survive the end of the world? COLLECTING: Avengers 25-30

While I love the Avengers and especially Spider Woman (uhh Hawkeye Spider-Woman romance sounds GREAT), the reviews on this are not good. I’m going to ditch.

Not Just Jane – Shelley De Wees

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Jane Austen and the Brontës endure as British literature’s leading ladies (and for good reason)—but were these reclusive parsons’ daughters really the only writing women of their day? A feminist history of literary Britain, this witty, fascinating nonfiction debut explores the extraordinary lives and work of seven long-forgotten authoresses, and asks: Why did their considerable fame and influence, and a vibrant culture of female creativity, fade away? And what are we missing because of it?

You’ve likely read at least one Jane Austen novel (or at least seen a film one). Chances are you’ve also read Jane Eyre; if you were an exceptionally moody teenager, you might have even read Wuthering Heights. English majors might add George Eliot or Virginia Woolf to this list…but then the trail ends. Were there truly so few women writing anything of note during late 18th and 19th century Britain?

In Not Just Jane, Shelley DeWees weaves history, biography, and critical analysis into a rip-roaring narrative of the nation’s fabulous, yet mostly forgotten, female literary heritage. As the country, and women’s roles within it, evolved, so did the publishing industry, driving legions of ladies to pick up their pens and hit the parchment. Focusing on the creative contributions and personal stories of seven astonishing women, among them pioneers of detective fiction and the modern fantasy novel, DeWees assembles a riveting, intimate, and ruthlessly unromanticized portrait of female life—and the literary landscape—during this era. In doing so, she comes closer to understanding how a society could forget so many of these women, who all enjoyed success, critical acclaim, and a fair amount of notoriety during their time, and realizes why, now more than ever, it’s vital that we remember.

Rediscover Charlotte Turner Smith, Helen Maria Williams, Mary Robinson, Catherine Crowe, Sara Coleridge, Dinah Mulock Craik, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon.

I am all for female authors, and the ratings on this are great. I’m going to keep.

In summary:

I kept 70% of the books presented in this round:

  • “Gender Trouble” by Judith Butler
  • “Zoey’s Broken Heart” by Katherine Applegate
  • “Son” by Lois Lowry
  • “Sisterhood, Interrupted” by Deborah Siegel
  • “253” by Geoff Ryman
  • “Summer of Supernovas” by Darcy Woods
  • “Not Just Jane” by Shelley De Wees

I ditched 30% of the books presented in this round:

  • “Finding Me” by Michelle Knight
  • “Finding Faith in Difficult Times” by Iyanla Vanzant
  • “The Avengers: Volume 4” by Brian Michael Bendis

(this post does contain affiliate links that help me keep the site going. please consider purchasing using these links if you’re interested in this book! thanks so much xo r)

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3 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #3

  1. well that’s a fine thing. by reading your list of potential discards I end up with yet ANOTHER book on my TBR (253–how have I not heard of this???)

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