Down the TBR Hole is a meme created by Lia on her blog Lost in a Story. The idea is to clear up your ever-expanding TBR list by following this procedure: on your Goodreads profile, arrange your To-Read books by date added in ascending order, and then go through the list 5 to 10 books at a time, deciding which book you should keep and which you should discard. Repeat the process until you reach the end of the list.
This is supposed to be a weekly meme, but I’m taking a more relaxed approach. You can read my first post here, and below are the next 5 books on my TBR list.
1/ NO LOGO, by Naomi Klein
My postgraduate reading referenced this book regularly, but I never got the chance to read it during my course. After I graduated, I thought I had better study it in my own time, as a foundation text that might prove useful to my future PhD. But just like there was no real motivation behind said PhD, just an obligation I gave myself, there was no real interest in reading No Logo. Today, it sits on my list like the vestiges of an ill-founded ambition (or, on a bad day, the traces of an aborted dream). I’m never going to read it.
2/ THE LORD OF THE RINGS (trilogy), by JRR Tolkien
Strictly speaking, this trilogy doesn’t belong on my TBR list, since I’ve read the first two books. I just didn’t want to have to consider the three tomes separately. Look, I think we can all agree Tolkien has a way with words. If he decides to create a masterpiece that will forever humble you, he can. But if he decides to drown you in scenic descriptions while conveying exhaustion and despair, he can do that as well. The Fellowship of the Ring is so perfect it feels like it was produced via divine intervention. The Two Towers, on the other hand, left me so irreparably bored and numb I thought I’d never feel human emotions again. Another description of a desolate landscape and I’d have gone into a catatonic state. I simply couldn’t go on, despite other readers’ assurances that The Return of the King was much better, probably the best of the three. I thought maybe I just needed a little break before finishing the story, but the motivation never came. And now so much time has passed that I would need to re-read to first two books to understand the third. Nooo. Life is too short.
Also: fuck you, Tom Bombadil. What the fuck is the point of you and why the fuck should I care? Fuck you.
3/ AMERICAN GODS, by Neil Gaiman
I added this book to my list in an effort to read all of Gaiman’s work, as I explained in my previous post. Its size somewhat scared me, but the premise sounded interesting. Now that I’ve watched the first series of the TV adaptation however, I realise that it’s not what I had imagined. It’s still good, but it’s not the clash of titans I had expected. Too many humans involved. I don’t think I’m interested anymore.
4/THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE X-FILES, edited by Dean A. Kowalski
Another book that I’ve partially read, and that only remained on my TBR because I can’t cope with leaving something unfinished. I might get to it one day, but I would need to be in the right headspace – X-Files obsession, or a sudden urge for TV Studies texts. I’m miles away from both at the moment, so the book is better off on another list.
Verdict: going (to my “abandoned” list).
5/CODING FREEDOM: THE ETHICS AND AESTHETICS OF HACKING, by Gabriella Coleman
Back in 2012, I went through a phase of curiosity about hacker culture. Not so much the hacking itself, but the motivation and thought process behind it. This book deals with just that, so it made sense to add it to my list. In the end however, I chose to read Coleman’s second book (Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous) instead. It was informative enough to quench my interest, and arrogant-sounding enough to put me off her writing.
Wow, no survivors this time. This feels good.
You can find me on Goodread here.