Down the TBR Hole #10

Down the TBR Hole was originally created by Lost in a Story! It’s supposed to help make your TBR list a little more manageable and allow you to get rid of books that you don’t have interest in anymore.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

The Royal Physician’s Visit by Per Olov Enquist

275570The Royal Physician’s Visit magnificently recasts the dramatic era of Danish history when Johann Friedrich Struensee — court physician to mad young King Christian — stepped through an aperture in history and became the holder of absolute power in Denmark. His is a gripping tale of power, sex, love, and the life of the mind, and it is superbly rendered here by Sweden’s most acclaimed writer.

A charismatic German doctor and brilliant intellectual, Struensee used his influence to introduce hundreds of reforms in Denmark in the 1760s and had a tender and erotic affair with Queen Caroline Mathilde, who was unsatisfied by her unstable, childlike husband. And yet, his ambitions ultimately led to tragedy. This novel, perfect for book clubs, is a compelling look into the intrigues of an Enlightenment court and the life of a singular man.

The Uninvited by Liz Jensen

15793659A seven-year-old girl puts a nail gun to her grandmother’s neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious? As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry.

Hesketh has never been good at relationships: Asperger’s Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioral patterns and an outsider’s fascination with group dynamics. Nothing obvious connects Hesketh’s Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behavior of his beloved stepson, Freddy. But when Hesketh’s Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career, and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father.

Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, The Uninvited is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo.

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

13056159Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.

For Cora, the city holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the core of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in this strange and bustling place she embarks on a mission of her own. And while what she finds isn’t what she anticipated, she is liberated in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of Cora’s relationship with Louise, her eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive.

Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s,’30s, and beyond—from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers,  and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women—Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.

Snowball’s Chance by John Reed

13152644Written in 14 days shortly after the September 11th attacks, Snowball’s Chance is an outrageous and unauthorized companion to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, in which exiled pig Snowball returns to the farm, takes charge, and implements a new world order of untrammeled capitalism. Orwell’s “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” has morphed into the new rallying cry: “All animals are born equal—what they become is their own affair.”

A brilliant political satire and literary parody, John Reed’s Snowball’s Chance caused an uproar on publication in 2002, denounced by Christopher Hitchens, and barely dodging a lawsuit from the Orwell estate. Now, a decade later, with America in wars on many fronts, readers can judge anew the visionary truth of Reed’s satirical masterpiece.

There but for the by Ali Smith

10187224At a dinner party in the posh London suburb of Greenwich, Miles Garth suddenly leaves the table midway through the meal, locks himself in an upstairs room, and refuses to leave. An eclectic group of neighbors and friends slowly gathers around the house, and Miles’s story is told from the points of view of four of them: Anna, a woman in her forties; Mark, a man in his sixties; May, a woman in her eighties; and a ten-year-old named Brooke. The thing is, none of these people knows Miles more than slightly. How much is it possible for us to know about a stranger? And what are the consequences of even the most casual, fleeting moments we share every day with one another?

Brilliantly audacious, disarmingly playful, and full of Smith’s trademark wit and puns, There but for the is a deft exploration of the human need for separation—from our pasts and from one another—and the redemptive possibilities for connection. It is a tour de force by one of our finest writers.

The Royal Physician’s Visit by Per Olov Enquist

Ok, I have seen the movie version of this and Mads Mikkelsen plays the doctor, so just based on that fact alone…I will be reading this book! Sometimes reading the book after seeing the movie can be fun because I picture the actors doing what the characters are doing in the book and what happens in the book is usually quite different than the movie. And who doesn’t want to picture Mads Mikkelsen in their head?!

Verdict: Keep

The Uninvited by Liz Jensen

Has this been made into a movie? This feels like something people would make a horror movie out of. As for the book, this sounds like something I would definitely read and like. Creepy murder children and connected crimes is exactly the type of thing I would like. The only thing that is making me iffy is the 3.4 star rating on Goodreads. I wouldn’t normally pay attention to the rating but when I’ve ignored it before, the results have been not good. One of the worst books I read last year was because I didn’t listen to other readers. Additionally, at the moment, I’m not in the mood for a horror/thriller read. So, i think, for now, I’m going to remove this one.

Verdict: Delete ×

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

This is one of those books that I probably would have loved when I first put it on my TBR in *cough* 2013 *cough* but now, 6 years later, it’s really not my thing. I do like historical fiction, but just based on the synopsis, it doesn’t mention anything that sparks my interest. Maybe one day, I’ll read this synopsis again and think I’m crazy for passing it up, but for now, onto the next.

Verdict: Delete ×

Snowball’s Chance by John Reed

Meh. Not really sure why I put this on my TBR to begin with. I liked Animal Farm but I think I’ll stick with Orwell.

Verdict: Delete ×

There but for the by Ali Smith

This is another one of those books that I’m sure I would have found wildly interesting when I first added it to my TBR, but now, it just sounds a bit pretentious and not something I would enjoy at all. I love different POVs in one book but the scenario doesn’t intrigue me enough to want to actually buy and read this one

Verdict: Delete ×

What do you think? Did I delete a favorite book of yours? I’m always up to be persuaded to put a book back on my TBR. Let me know in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #10

  1. I liked the blurb of the uninvited and like you, a low Goodreads rating doesn’t necessarily put me off, but I only have so much reading time and I do often favour a book that comes with positive reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

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