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DOWNTHETBRHOLEI’ve been thinking of de-cluttering my tbr after seeing Zuky@BookBum‘s posts for the last few weeks. It’s from an idea by  Lia @ Lost in a Story and as my tbr over on Goodreads is now toppling over at 967 books it’s definitely time to get serious!

Anyway, it works like this:

  • 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 books:

9191039Everyone hates the perfect family.
So you’ll love the Battles.
Meet Mo Battle, about to turn 50 and mum to two helpless, hormonal teenagers. There’s 17-year-old daughter Dora who blames Mo for, like, EVERYTHING and Peter who believes he’s quite simply as darling and marvellous as his hero Oscar Wilde. Somewhere, keeping quiet, is Dad . . . who’s just, well… Dad.
However, Mo is having a crisis. She’s about to do something unusually wild and selfish, which will leave the entire family teetering on the edge of a precipice. Will the family fall? Or will they, when it really matters, be there for each other?

 

I love Dawn French as a comedian but I really didn’t enjoy her memoir Dear Fatty. Verdict: Remove

 

6968267Jo Brand is one of Britain’s funniest and best-loved comedians. With a sharp eye for the absurd and in her own unique voice she tells her story for the first time. What possessed her to become a professional comedian in the cut-throat world of stand-up comedy after ten years as a psychiatric nurse? How did she deal with late night drunken audiences? Raised in middle class comfort, she left home in her teens to live with someone entirely inappropriate. Her parents were aghast at her behaviour and attempted to rein in her excesses, finally giving up when she demonstrated that she was not headed for the life of a nun. From her early years growing up in a small south coast town with two brothers who toughened her up, to emerging on stage as ‘The Sea Monster’, Jo Brand tells it like it is with wit, candour and a wonderful sense that life can be ridiculous but that there is always a funny side.

I still like the look of this and if the library has the audiobook I’d like to listen to it.

Verdict: Keep

 

51nkb3PV4lL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_When Alan Davies was growing up he seemed to drive his family mad. ‘What are we going to do with you?’ they would ask – as if he might know the answer. Perhaps it was because he came of age in the 1980s. That decade of big hair, greed, camp music, mass unemployment, social unrest and truly shameful trousers was confusing for teenagers. There was a lot to believe in – so much to stand for, or stand against – and Alan decided to join anything with the word ‘anti’ in it. He was looking for heroes to guide him (relatively) unscathed into adulthood. From his chronic kleptomania to the moving search for his mother’s grave years after she died; from his obsession with joining (going so far as to become a member of Chickens Lib) to his first forays into making people laugh (not always intentionally); “Teenage Revolution” is a touching and funny return to the formative years that make us all.

I used to love The Alan Davies Show on BBC Radio 4 which is probably why I put this on my tbr. I not really interested in finding out about him now so this is going.

Verdict: Remove

 

7855149At the turn from our bedroom into the hallway, there is an old full-length mirror in a wooden frame … This reflected version of myself, shaking, rumpled, pinched and slightly stooped, would be alarming were it not for the self-satisfied expression pasted across my face. I would ask the obvious question, “What are you smiling about?” but I already know the answer: “It just gets better from here.”‘

Struck with Parkinson’s – a debilitating, degenerative disease – at the height of his fame, Michael J. Fox has taken what some might consider cause for depression and turned it into a beacon of hope for millions.

In Always Looking Up, Michael’s Sunday Times bestselling memoir, he writes with warmth, humour and incredible honesty about the journey he has undertaken since he came to terms with his condition.

I really enjoyed Lucky Man, and I would still like to listen to this, the follow up . Verdict: Keep

 

885250Funny, acutely observed, frighteningly honest and drawing on her own and hundreds of other mum’s real experiences, Stephanie Calman serves up the perfect antidote to all those books that tell you that your children must be perfect, and to all those Stepford mums and kids out there who look as if they just might be: perfectly groomed, perfectly behaved and perfectly brilliant. The reality, as we all know, encompasses sleepless nights, no sex for years, baby sick on your best cashmere cardy, the terrible twos and then, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the sitting room, terrible teenagers whose only means of communication is the slamming door or the grunt.

 

Me and my husband loved Stephanie Calman’s column in the Saturday Telegraph, which is where this book comes from. I’m not bothered about reading this now though as my son is now a teenager and my parenting experiences have changed.

Verdict: Remove

 

10459716In “Confessions of a Bad Mother,” Stephanie described how she brought up her children ‘wrong’. Now she unlocks her singular inability (but one which secretly we all share) to grow up: forty-five last birthday but she doesn’t feel any older, but of course she does – as in deafer, stiffer, and less able to read the dosage instructions on a bottle of Calpol. But the supposedly normal challenges of human existence feel frequently as though they are beyond her. Life is constantly confusing, frustrating and, at times, overwhelming. At forty-five – but only on paper – she’s still a child in a suit, bluffing her way with one eye looking over her shoulder, expecting any minute to be found out and taken back to the nursery. Of course, that isn’t such a bad place to be. Sometimes she even wants to go back there, but is cruelly aware that she no longer fits the chairs. Also featuring Things to Cook in Stilettos When You’re Drunk, Why I am a Time Lord, A Hundred Ways to Wreck an Evening, Ten Things They Don’t Tell You in Biology and The Grown-Ups’ phrase book, Stephanie Calman’s candid, touching and hysterically funny new book gives hope to bad mothers and failed grown-ups everywhere: read it and know that you are not alone.

Reading this synopsis right now I’m not bothered about this anymore.

Verdict: Remove

 

6456879

 

This final book in Jennifer Worth’s memories of her time as a midwife in London’s East end brings her story full circle. As always there are heartbreaking stories such as the family devastated by tuberculosis and a ship’s woman who ‘serviced’ the entire crew, as well as plenty of humour and warmth such as the tale of two women who shared the same husband! Other stories cover backstreet abortions, the changing life of the docklands, infanticide, as well as the lives of the inhabitants of Nonnatus House.

 

 

I loved the first two books in the trilogy so I definitely what to read this last one.

Verdict: Keep

 

8892431When he was in his late fifties, Michael Caine believed his glamorous, rags-to-riches Hollywood career had come to an end. The scripts being sent his way were worse and worse. When one script really disappointed, he called the producer to complain about the part. The producer said, “No, no, we don’t want you for the lover, we want you for the father.” Salvation came in the unlikely form of his old friend Jack Nicholson, who convinced him to give acting one more shot. What followed was not only an incredible personal transformation but also one of the most radical comebacks in film history. Learning to accept his new role both on camera and in his own life, Caine went on to win his second Oscar, be knighted by the queen, and deliver some of his best performances to date. Now he shares the spectacular story of his life, from his humble upbringing in London’s poverty-stricken Elephant and Castle, his military service, touching marriage and family life, and lively adventures with friends, to legendary meetings with fellow stars, forays as a restaurateur, and hilarious off-screen encounters from his glittering five-decade career. Caine brings his gift for storytelling and his insider’s view to a tale that is funny, warm, and deeply honest.

I’ve heard and seen Michael Caine in numerous wonderful interviews so I think I’ll give this a miss as I probably know his story well enough.

Verdict: Remove

 

18867623Through her wildly popular television shows, her five bestselling cookbooks, her line of kitchenware, and her frequent media appearances, Nigella Lawson has emerged as one of the food world’s most seductive personalities. How to Eat is the book that started it all–Nigella’s signature, all-purposed cookbook, brimming with easygoing mealtime strategies and 350 mouthwatering recipes, from a truly sublime Tarragon French Roast Chicken to a totally decadent Chocolate Raspberry Pudding Cake. Here is Nigella’s total (and totally irresistible) approach to food–the book that lays bare her secrets for finding pleasure in the simple things that we cook and eat every day.

 

I like Nigella but I don’t need any new books by her at the moment.

Verdict: Remove

 

3257274Jane Moneypenny may project a cool, calm and collected image but her secret diary reveals a different story.

In the grip of an uncertain love affair and haunted by a dark family secret, the last thing she needs is a crisis at work. But the Secret Intelligence Service is in chaos and only a woman’s touch can save it. When Moneypenny finds herself alone on a highly charged Russian adventure she turns, with breathless intimacy, to writing a truly explosive private diary.

 

 

I really enjoyed the first book and I have the physical books so this is staying.

Verdict: Keep

 

Books Removed 6 TBR total 961

I did enjoy doing this and as the pile is so large I’ll probably do another session during the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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