Down The TBR Hole #2!


Down the TBR Hole was originally created by Lost in a Story and this is how it works:

  • 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?
Down we go.

It’s Friday-Eve ya’ll – we are so close! So, as mentioned in my reading resolutions post, one of my goals this year is to whittle down my TBR list. While that’s ultimately a liiiiittle bit futile because I’m adding to it at the same time, I’m trying to remove books that I added just because I get trigger happy. I want to make my TBR a list of books that I find more exciting, instead of a lot of things I just gloss over for something newer and more highly reviewed. *Also, quick shout out to my main bae – that setting in emails that reminds you that you said the word “attach” but didn’t attach anything. LUV U.* Off we go then!

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria 


So last year I was weirdly into super heavy books, especially ones about grief and loss. I myself was grieving a profound loss, and one of my dearest friends lost her mother in a very fast, emotional and tragic way. I felt very connected to grief, and mourning. There was something cathartic about letting myself grieve not my own loss, but a fictional one that I could cope with and then move on. I was then totally unable to read anything about loss as the transplant surgery approached because I let my fears and anxiety honestly get the better of me. I added Love Letters to the Dead during a time of grief and sadness. While I am still interested in reading it, I’m also in a new and happier phase of my life – trying to fill it with light and joy. So I might loop back around to this one, but for now I think I’ll let it go. VERDICT: Leave.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed


I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THIS BOOK! This feeds right into the way I’m trying to start and spend my year! If you haven’t / aren’t reading Slate’s Dear Prudence advice column, I highly suggest you do! It’s something my friends and I all love and while I don’t agree with the advice given all the time, I still find it super interesting. One thing I’ve learned, that is a pillar of my belief system is that unsolicited advice is the fastest way to make someone feel judged. When I am talking to someone about a problem, issue or upset that I’ve had and they pop off with their advice after I’ve been thinking about it forever it feels cursory and judgmental. Since consciously making the effort to wait until you are asked for your opinion or advice, I’ve found that not only is it better received, but the person asking feels listened to and wont feel judged. I can’t tell you if that’s why I love advice columns so much – people with problems, seeking out the wisdom and opinion of others, broadening ones perspective of different ways to approach the same problem but either way I love them! VERDICT: KEEP (also request from library ASAP).

Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green


In the vein of, you know, being nauseatingly *positive* I also want to make sure I’m truly reading things I want to read, instead of reading things I feel like I have to. Also, because apparently I repeat myself non-stop, I really burned myself out on mysteries and thrillers last year. So this year, I really want to keep it to ones I’m really excited to read instead of reading the dime-a-dozen thrillers out there that always seem to leave a little to be desired. Twist of Faith does sound interesting, but a) the reviews aren’t amazing and b) it seems like it’ll be heavy on the police procedural and that’s generally my least favorite aspect of a thriller. VERDICT: BYE FELICIA! 

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff


So I’ve never been a huge fan of historical fiction. However, this past year I’ve found quite a few books of this genre that totally blew me away. While I’d not say that I’m now a die hard fan in any capacity, and I’m still pretty picky about which ones I choose, I do have a new deep respect for them. Telling stories, and honoring times past – if that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is. The Orphan’s Tale has all the makings of a great book – extraordinary women, a WWII setting (which is an endlessly riveting, but also devastating time period), and a traveling circus to boot! Not only that, but it’s got some pretty stellar reviews from some of my favorite readers over on GR. VERDICT: KEEP.

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose by Joe Biden


NBD, NBD, DO NOT MIND ME. I’m just quietly pre-sobbing over here. So this one has been pretty high on my TBR for some time but I keep shying away from it because I’m afraid of the inevitable heartbreak it will leave me with. Such a raw, personal and devastating memoir is sure to be not only moving but poignant and full of lessons as well. I’m a big crier, even more so these days – whether it’s happy tears, sad tears, frustrated tears or all of the above, I cry all the time. If I drive by a wedding, see that someone had a baby or got a new puppy I’m pretty much teary eyed. I mean it’s such a happy, joyful moment for that person – how can you NOT be moved by that. Even if it isn’t MY happy moment, even if I don’t personally want children (at least right meow – but I always want puppies), the fact that such joy is out there really moves me. The same can be said for sadness and grief, it’s a different type of crying but I’m still crying. So, even just reading the synopsis of this book brings tears to my eyes. I know I have to prepare myself to be moved to tears nearly the whole time – by grief and sadness, but also from how deeply inspiring Joe Biden’s life and story is. VERDICT: OBVI KEEP (and also read sooner rather than later). 

Ya’ll probs think I’m joking, but I really do dance all the freakin’ time. These moves *speak to me*

Well, there you have it folks! Another installment of Down The TBR Hole and my TBR list is all the better for it! It’s kind of cathartic to go through books I added a long time ago. Reflect on where I was, why I added them and if I still feel like I need them in my life. One of the things Adriene (of Yoga With Adriene) says all the time: take what you need, leave what you don’t, and this is something I’m really trying to incorporate into not just my yoga practice, but my entire life as well. It’s interesting at the very least, and it frees up some more space to add books I see this year (yes, that kind of defeats the purpose but sue me – I love books).

Have you read any of these titles? What did you think about them and my choice to keep or leave them? Is your TBR a list you want to whittle down or are you an all-out ADD IT TO THE PILE kind of lister? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!

16 thoughts on “Down The TBR Hole #2!”

  1. Wow, that’s a lot of powerful books, I don’t know if I could choose. As I know I have The Orphan’s Tale in my wish list. It’s been there like, forever! And now? I want to put a couple of these titles on my list. Dang!


  2. Love this post and this meme! I am constantly trying to whittle down and revise my TBR pile, so I feel your pain. It’s like a cloud hanging over my reading life to have a book hanging on there that I just haven’t picked up yet (for one reason or another). I’ve read Tiny Beautiful Things, mostly on an airplane if I remember correctly. It’s a good one if you’re looking to read something that’s broken into small, manageable bites (rather than a longform book). I didn’t love all of it, but it was enjoyable. Fell into the “Read, but don’t keep” pile!


  3. I’m trying to make a huge dent in my TBR this year. I did okay last year but there are just so many good books always coming out!


  4. I am obviously a Add to the list always girl.. but I like what you are doing with yours.. All the books you have listed are new to me though…. most are genres I rarely read. But I am with you on whittling it down.. All the best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love letters to the dead is one I got rid off last year as well. It somehow didn’t have the same appeal to me anymore haha. You did great with this TBR edition! I haven’t done a Down the tbr hole in a while but I’m planning on posting one again next week. There’s so much for me to go through. At this rate, I’ll have enough books on the tbr to write a weekly tbr for the next 3 years or so, lol.


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