Down the TBR Hole #1

My Goodreads TBR shelf is currently at about 400 books. I tend to add things without thinking too hard about it, and then its state stresses me out and I never actually look at it for suggestions!

Luckily, I saw this meme done by JJ at This Dark Material, (her blog is great, check it out), and I figured I’d give it a go!

The plan:

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?

I’m going to go through ten at a time, so it should take a while to complete! (Especially since I never stop adding more, universe help me.)

The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler is my favorite. I mean, maybe not my very favorite. But he’s up there. You may know him as Lemony Snicket, who writes the Series of Unfortunate Events books. The Basic Eight is about friends and a murderess and YES.


We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler

Sooo this one has pretty bad reviews! But it’s still Daniel Handler and I’m still on board because did I mention I love him?! I also already own this book, so.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Okay this is just an OBVIOUS yes, right? I absolutely must read this. I hate that I haven’t yet.


Crosstalk by Connie Willis

I didn’t remember having added this one! It’s apparently about people being able to get surgery that will connect them to their romantic partners? I love stories about dangers of technology. Gotta keep it!


The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

Another I don’t remember having added. This one is a literary thriller, and definitely doesn’t sound like something I’d be into at this point.


Join by Steve Toutonghi

About a technology that lets small groups of people connect minds, and a killer who basically hacks that technology. I need more sci-fi in my life!


The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

About a reality tv show gone horribly wrong?! I’m such a sucker for that.


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Hmm, so, after having read the synopsis, I don’t think it’s something I’d handle well at this point in my life. For now, at least, I don’t think I’ll seek it out.


The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

This reminds me of a show I tried to watch, where a bunch of people have randomly disappeared. It doesn’t sound as exciting to me anymore? I just can’t imagine that I’ll actually read it.


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

It’s Neil Gaiman. It OBVIOUSLY STAYS.


So! I’ll be keeping 7/10, which really isn’t bad! It feels like a minor purge, and that’s always very comforting!

What About You?

Have you read any of these? Are you doing Down the TBR Hole posts? I’d love to see them!


Let’s Talk About Tropes, Baby

I’m gonna come right out and say it: cliches get a bad rap and it’s maybe unwarranted.

Humans are limited. Let’s face it. We’ve been telling the same stories since we’ve had writing. I love me some ancient Lit, and let me tell you that you’ll find the same themes in The Epic of Gilgamesh as in a lot of your current faves. It’s what we do! I think as long as a story is told in a new, fresh way, there’s merit to tropes, cliches, re-tellings.

Here are some of my favorite, and some of my not so favorite, tropes/themes/devices/plots:

Older Character Changed By Young Character

Okay my best example of this is the movie Up. I, sadly, haven’t seen it as well utilized in a novel. But I love it and I seek it out and if you know of a novel that does this well please tell me.


I don’t know why, but I love amnesia plots. I’m such a sucker for it. I think it’s because I adore an unreliable narrator, and watching my protagonist’s internal battle is just the best. My favorite example for contemporary is probably Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella, and for an AMAZING sci-fi one, Archetype.

Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger and/or treasure hunts. Anything in this realm, really. The farther someone has to go, the better. I love it. I like it with magic, I like it with contemporary. I’m just all about it. I see a lot with my kiddo when we read middle grade novels, but I’m SO STOKED because I just got an e-arc of The Summer List, which is an adult novel about a scavenger hunt and I’m SO here for it.

Doomed Love

You’ll notice there has been nothing explicitly romantic on my likes thus far, and it’s because I’m not particularly attached to any (with this one exception). I think most romance tropes are silly. I also think a good romance can overcome a bad trope.

The one I am such a sucker for is doomed love. Going back much further than Romeo and Juliet. I love any story with starcrossed lovers, and honestly if they die, I’m totally cool with it.

Good Girl Loves Bad Boy

No! No no. I hate this. I mean, there are examples where this can be cute and work out, such as in One Of Us Is Lying, but that’s because he’s really a good person in bad circumstances. The ones I hate are like in Hexed, where the guy treats her like garbage and objectifies her and she loves him regardless. We can have nice, decent men who are still fun and sexy. Less packaging abuse as love k thanks.

Super Unusual Names

This is newer? But I’m seeing it a ton. My most recent example being As You Wish, where EVERY name was ridiculous. I accepted that the town had a secret, wish-granting cave. But I can’t abide the names.

Love Triangles

I KNOW THIS IS CONTROVERSIAL. It’s just not for me. I always like one, hate the other, and get mad at our hero/ine for having to make the decision at all when it’s so obvious.




Sigh. Instalove is unrealistic and obnoxious and very difficult to root for and somehow doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I just wrote about it in terms of Starswept, a book that I liked otherwise.

Chosen One

I love Harry Potter, and he’s quite literally the chosen one, I know. But come on. It’s too much now and I’m over it.

Girl Who Is In Every Way More Competent Than Boy Becomes A Damsel In Distress In The Third Act

I mean I think that says it all.

What about you?

What are your favorites? Do you like/dislike any on this list?