Cleaning up my TBR #4

Back in November last year, I did my first “Cleaning Up the TBR” post, something I first saw over on Fictionophile, who had seen it on Lost in a Story, and thought it was a really good idea. I know I’m not the only one who thought the same as I was seeing it everywhere so I am glad to jump on the bandwagon. Hopefully no one will mind 🙂

The idea is you take your Goodreads TBR list, sort by ascending date added, and look at the oldest five to ten items on your list. If you haven’t read them by now, are you likely to? Why or why not? If you want to keep them, make the case. This is my fourth visit to the list so far, with the last one in March. Here’s what’s next on the list…

When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis

When we were friendsIt had always been the six of us.

Since we met at university twenty-five years ago, we’d faced everything together. Break-ups and marriages, motherhood and death. We were closer than sisters; the edges of our lives bled into each other.

But that was before the night of the reunion. The night of exposed secrets and jagged accusations. The night when everything changed.

And then we were five.

Should it stay or should it go? I put this book on the list after reading One Step Too Far which I really enjoyed.  I thought Seskis wrote well and the story was compelling. I‘ve burnt out a little on this sort of story at the moment so I think I’m going to say goodbye to it.  It goes.

The Confessions of a Monopolist by Frederic Clemson Howe

Confessions of a MonopolistThe narrative by Frederic C. Howe, entitled “The Confessions of a Monopolist [1906],” tells the story of an American business man who exploits special privilege and makes society work for him, and so gains great power and becomes a United States Senator. This story draws strong statements from the press. It is ” the deadliest text-book of practical politics that ever was printed “; “a masterpiece of cold-blooded satire “; “the condensation of all the recent muckraking”; “as racy as any romance”; etc.

In introducing his book, the author writes:

“Here is the confession of a monopolist. It is the story of no one monopolist, but of all monopolists. It shows the rules of the game. The portrait presented is not the portrait of any one monopolist Senator; it is the composite of many, and the setting may be laid in any one of the Northern States. For the United States Senate is the refuge of monopoly.”

Should it stay or should it go: This is supposed to be a brilliant, if slightly dated, satire and I still quite fancy it.  It reminds me of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. It stays.

The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favourite Board Game by Mary Pilon

monopolists The Monopolists reveals the unknown story of how Monopoly came into existence, the reinvention of its history by Parker Brothers and multiple media outlets, the lost female originator of the game, and one man’s lifelong obsession to tell the true story about the game’s questionable origins.

Most think it was invented by an unemployed Pennsylvanian who sold his game to Parker Brothers during the Great Depression in 1935 and lived happily–and richly–ever after. That story, however, is not exactly true. Ralph Anspach, a professor fighting to sell his Anti-Monopoly board game decades later, unearthed the real story, which traces back to Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and a forgotten feminist named Lizzie Magie who invented her nearly identical Landlord’s Game more than thirty years before Parker Brothers sold their version of Monopoly. Her game–underpinned by morals that were the exact opposite of what Monopoly represents today–was embraced by a constellation of left-wingers from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression, including members of Franklin Roosevelt’s famed Brain Trust.

A fascinating social history of corporate greed that illuminates the cutthroat nature of American business over the last century, The Monopolists reads like the best detective fiction, told through Monopoly’s real-life winners and losers.

Should it stay or should it go: While I still like the sound of this, I don’t think I’ll every get round to reading it.  It goes.

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

ghost brideLi Lan, the daughter of a respectable Chinese family in colonial Malaysia, hopes for a favourable marriage, but her father has lost his fortune, and she has few suitors. Instead, the wealthy Lim family urges her to become a “ghost bride” for their son, who has recently died under mysterious circumstances.
Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at what price?
Night after night, Li Lan is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, where she must uncover the Lim family’s darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family.
Should it stay or should it go: This is a difficult one.  I love the sound of it, but am not sure I’ll read it.  It goes.

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

mean streak.jpg

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her

While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law. Wrong becomes right at the hands of the man who strikes fear, but also sparks passion

As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer from those who wish her dead – and from heartbreak.

Should it stay or should it go: I put this on because I have never read anything by Sandra Brown and I thought I should because I know a lot of people like her.  I don’t think I’m ever going to get round to it though – plus I have another Sandra Brown book on the shelves that I’m more likely to get to.  It goes.

So five books, four going.  I feel lighter already.  What do you think – did I make the right choices?




  1. I seldom pay attention to my Goodreads TBR list…except for the books I actually own. Then I have separate lists on one of my blogs to keep track of those.

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. I think this is an excellent idea! Though the only person who has to make those sorts of decisions is you, as you were the one who chose the books in the first place – but there isn’t anything on your discard pile that makes me wince and think you should have kept it… Good for you – I cope with the guilt the comes with a teetering TBR pile by not thinking too much about it.


  3. Mean Streak sounds pretty interesting but heck you can always add it later. 🙂 I have been trying to clear out my Goodreads and make it to where the only things on my Want to Read are things I own and putting the others on a wishlist but after years of just adding things it’s a total mess. 😦


    • My list is a mess to. My main problem is I forget to post reviews there then do a flurry so it’s all over the place.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s