Book Chats

Book Chats | Down the TBR Hole #1

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Since I realised my TBR had surpassed 150 books the other day – after only starting it a couple of months ago – I decided I’d try a little Down the TBR Hole post. Down the TBR Hole is a meme created by Lia at Lost In A Story in order to cleanse your TBR of books you will never actually read so that you can focus on the ones you will. The rules are simple:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

So here goes!

Sadie by Courtney Summers

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A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

This was one of the first books I saw floating around the online book community when I first joined it and I’ve been dying to read it ever since. It sounds right up my street with a gripping storyline, tense atmosphere and interesting format. Therefore, I will keep this one on the list.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

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It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.

My parents bought me this book for my birthday when it first came out as it was when I first really began talking about my dream of becoming an author and they wanted to show me what a debut novel can look like and tell me they believed I could do the same. This book still sits on my bookshelf with beautiful inscriptions inside and, therefore, will be kept forever and remain on my TBR until I read it.

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

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On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years.

Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts—A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 70s, to the crack wars in 80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 90s. Brilliantly inventive and stunningly ambitious, this novel is a revealing modern epic that will secure Marlon James’ place among the great literary talents of his generation.

This book intrigued me for a number of reasons but particularly the fact that its subject matter revolves around Bob Marley (an artist that I grew up listening to) and that it won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. I already own this book and I don’t like throwing out books without reading them so this one will also stay.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

I have yet to read a V.E. Schwab book and I know that this series is the favourite of many of her fans. It has also been awarded the place of favourite series ever for many bookworms with similar tastes to my own. Once again, I must keep this book on my TBR.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven—but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

I have been wanting to read this book for a long time – every since it came out. I love literature that explores issues of race and I have heard great things about the way in which Whitehead does this. Sorry, but this one will have to stay too.

Well…that could be deemed a bit of a fail. I must have been on a roll when it comes to adding good books when I first began my Goodreads TBR. However, I know there are many on there that I could easily get rid of and we will get round to them in time. What did you think of my choices? Do you agree or disagree with any of them? Let me know in the comments below!

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