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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 956 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:

 

One-hit Wonder by Lisa Jewell

161347Bee Bearhorn had a number-one hit single in 1985 – and was never heard of again. Fifteen years later she is found dead in her flat and nobody seems to care …

But Ana Wills always day-dreamed about the exotic half-sister she hasn’t seen in years. And when she comes to London to clear Bee’s flat, she uncovers a life more exotic than she imagined: a secret country cottage, mysterious weekends away, and even a missing cat.

With Bee’s closest friends – mad Lol and strong, silent Flint – Ana sets out to discover exactly what did happen to Bee Bearhorn, the one-hit wonder …

 

It’s Lisa Jewell, need I say more?

Verdict:  Keep

A Married Man by Catherine Alliott

1006576Widowed four years ago, London antiques dealer Lucy Fellowes was plunged into single motherhood with two growing boys. Since then, she’s had little time—or inclination—to think straight, much less fall in love again.

Now, she’s been offered an incredible dream house in the country. Of course, accepting means having to cope with her domineering mother-in-law, her husband’s wacky family, and all their assorted scandals. But suddenly, none of it matters. Because she’s met HIM. His name is Charles; he’s a famous television writer, gorgeous, witty, charming, and very, very attracted to her. And, he’s married. Well, a woman can’t have everything. Or can she?

 

When I was going through a chick-lit phase many years ago I remember the joy of discovering Catherine Alliott’s books. I really did enjoying escaping into her wonderful country stories and picked up lots of her books at second hand sales. I’m not really in the mood for them now though.

Verdict: Remove

 

Olivia’s Luck by Catherine Alliott

4798159Fans of Catherine Alliott’s other novels will be pleased to find that they can add another page-turner to their growing libraries. Olivia’s Luck is a combination of gentle farce, emotional heartache and some uplifting moments. Olivia (Livvy) recounts the sudden breakdown of her 10-year marriage and the swings and roundabouts that follow. Alliott has created a seductive cast of characters, from Livvy’s 10-year-old daughter and the cockney builders to her mother-in-law and old school friends, all of whom seem realistic, with a dash of the drama queen for the fun of the story. Although–or maybe because–the novel is damning about the fate of marriages and the bad behaviour of men, the story will strike a chord with many thirty-something women.

Verdict: Remove

 

Rosie Meadows Regrets by Catherine Alliott

14849095

 

Three years ago, Rosie walked blindly into marriage with Harry. They have precisely nothing in common, except perhaps their little boy, Ivo. The night Harry drunkenly does something unspeakable, Rosie decides he’s got to go. At long last she realises it is time she took charge of her life.

 

Verdict:  Remove

 

 

 

The Real Thing Alliott by Catherine Alliott

19203846What do you think I am, Laura? Some bored Putney housewife with seven-year itch who’s just ripe for bumping into her glamorous ex-boyfriend on holiday, ditching her nice, safe, comfortable husband and embarking on a steamy affair with him? This isn’t one of your Aga sagas, you know, this is me, Tessa Hamilton, happily married mother of two, and apart from anything else I went out with him years ago…’
Everyone’s got one – an old boyfriend with whom they never fell out of love, they simply parted because the time wasn’t right. And for thirty-year-old Tessa Hamilton it’s Patrick Cameron, the gorgeous, moody, rebellious boy she met at seventeen; the boy her vicar father thoroughly disapproved of; the boy who had left her to go to Italy to paint. And now he’s back.

Verdict: Remove

 

Serious by John McEnroe

329473John McEnroe made waves from his very first Wimbledon in 1977. An eighteen-year-old qualifier from Queens, New York, he stunned the tennis world by reaching the semi-finals, and shocked it with his on court behaviour. What followed was a double act of technique and temperament that set the sport alight: SuperMac, the sublime, unorthodox genius, who won seven Grand Slams and seventy seven singles titles, Superbrat, the foul-mouthed fireball, furiously yelling at officials, fans, players and himself alike. John McEnroe can be serious. He can also be humorous, impassioned, controversial and painfully honest. This is his autobiography, a book as enthralling and as straight talking as the great man himself.

 

I do enjoy a biography and if I can get this from the library on audio I’d still love to listen to this.

Verdict: Keep

 

Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong

18282935Originally published in 1945 and now reissued with a new introduction by the author, Jade Snow Wong’s story is one of struggle and achievements. These memoirs of the author’s first twenty-four years are thoughtful, informative, and highly entertaining. They not only portray a young woman and her unique family in San Francisco’s Chinatown, but they are rich in the details that light up a world within the world of America. The third-person singular style is rooted in Chinese literary form, reflecting cultural disregard for the individual, yet Jade Snow Wong’s story also is typically American.

We first meet Jade Snow Wong the child, narrowly confined by the family and factory life, bound to respect and obey her elders while shouldering responsibility for younger brothers and sisters – a solemn child well versed in the proper order of things, who knew that punishment was sure for any infraction of etiquette. Then the schoolgirl caught in confusion between the rigid teaching of her ancestors and the strange ways of her foreign classmates. After that the college student feeling her was toward personal identity in the face of parental indifference or outright opposition. And finally the artist whose early triumphs were doubled by the knowledge that she had at long last won recognition from her family.

I have a vague recollection of reading this in school and would love to find a copy to read it again sometime.

Verdict: Keep

 

Between shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

7824322Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruellest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

I’m drawn to novels set during the First and Second World Wars so this is staying.

Verdict: Keep

 

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

17267

In “The Great Divorce, ” C.S. Lewis’s classic vision of the Afterworld, the narrator boards a bus on a drizzly English afternoon and embarks on an incredible voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations, and comes to some significant realizations about the nature of good and evil.

A stunning new edition of this timeless allegory of heaven and hell, repackaged and rebranded as part of the C.S. Lewis Signature Classics range.

 

 

 

I’ve had this physical book on the bookshelf for years but haven’t read it yet. I didn’t enjoy Mere Christianity another one of his theological books, but I do love the Chronicles of Narnia.

Verdict: Remove

 

 

Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue by Kathryn J. Atwood

16144364Noor Inayat Khan was the first female radio operator sent into occupied France and transferred crucial messages. Johtje Vos, a Dutch housewife, hid Jews in her home and repeatedly outsmarted the Gestapo. Law student Hannie Schaft became involved in the most dangerous resistance work–sabotage, weapons transference, and assassinations. In these pages, young readers will meet these and many other similarly courageous women and girls who risked their lives to help defeat the Nazis. Twenty-six engaging and suspense-filled stories unfold from across Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, and the United States, providing an inspiring reminder of women and girls’ refusal to sit on the sidelines around the world and throughout history.

An overview of World War II and summaries of each country’s entrance and involvement in the war provide a framework for better understanding each woman’s unique circumstances, and resources for further learning follow each profile. Women Heroes of World War II is an invaluable addition to any student’s or history buff’s bookshelf.

In all honesty although this does look fascinating, I would prefer to watch this as a documentary that read it as a book.

Verdict: Remove

 

 

Books Removed 6 TBR total 950

I did enjoy doing this again and as the pile is so large I will definitely be doing more of these posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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