I encountered this meme on Jillian’s blog . The original idea of the meme is to help those of us who compulsively add things to our Goodreads “to read” lists and then never get round to them–or, per Jillian’s lovely interpretation, to work out how excited we are about each one and get it down on paper (or screen, I guess).


I have both “owned” and “not owned” TBR lists on Goodreads, and for the purposes of this, I think I will just be using the “not owned” one. I am not setting an annual or a monthly number of books to cull. I like adding books to my list! However, it’s likely that there will be a few books on the list that I am no longer excited about, and those will be cut. As of today, there are 351 books on my to-read-not-owned shelf on Goodreads. Instructions can be found if you click on the link above to the original post at Lia’s blog. I sorted my list according to date added, so these have been sitting in my list for a while. Like Jillian, I am going to rank them from 0-10 in terms of priority.

  1. Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
    Do I still want to read this? Absolutely. Am I likely to read it any time soon? No. The current political climate is just too stressful, we are all missing the Obamas, and I think reading this would make me very sad.
    Priority: 2
    Keep or cull: keep
  2. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God by Francis Chan
    I have no recollection of adding this to my TBR, but it actually sounds really interesting. I know it was written partially as a response to Love Wins by Rob Bell, which I enjoyed but had a lot of theological problems with. Probably that’s why I added this to my TBR in the first place. I definitely still want to read this, probably fairly soon.
    Priority: 7
    Keep or cull: keep
  3. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    Well, it’s probably pretty obvious why this is on my TBR. It’s a classic. I think I picked it back when I was first writing my Classics Club list. I definitely still want to read it, and I’m hoping that this summer I will have the brain space to tackle a few of the novels I’ve been putting off until the end of my PhD.
    Priority: 6
    Keep or cull: keep
  4. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
    Yes, I absolutely want to read this. In fact, I just added it to my library hold list. A classic noir novel sounds like exactly what I want to read right now.
    Priority: 10
    Keep or cull: keep
  5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    So, here’s a funny thing. After reading the GR synopsis of the book, I wasn’t that fussed to read it–but I scrolled down to see the reviews, and the first one that popped up was so passionate and emotional, all about the reviewer’s personal relationship to the book, and the time she got to meet L’Engle herself, and how it inspired her to write aged 7 or 8. A book that can inspire a review like that is definitely worth reading.
    Priority: 3
    Keep or cull: keep
  6. A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman
    I added this book to my TBR before I’d ever read any of Gaiman’s work. Having tried one or two, I am no longer so enthusiastic. I read the much-loved Ocean at the End of the Lane about two years ago and, while I can totally see why people rave about it, it just wasn’t for me. I think this one goes.
    Priority: 0
    Keep or cull: cull
  7. Narrow Dog to Indian River by Terry Darlington
    Hmm. I started reading this recently and DNFed it. I don’t know why it isn’t on my DNF shelf (it was good, but I cannot cope with books that don’t have quotation marks). *eyes GR suspiciously*
  8. The Children of Green Knowe by LM Boston
    I don’t remember why this is on my TBR, and having read the synopsis, I don’t think it sounds like I would like it very much. I think this one goes, too.
    Priority: 0
    Keep or cull: cull
  9. Cover Her Face: Adam Dalgliesh #1 by PD James
    Ooh, yes, I definitely want to read this. I suspect I added it after I read An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, also PD James. I love crime stories, and although I’ve only read one of PD James’, I liked it very much.
    Priority: 6
    Keep or cull: keep
  10. God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics by CS Lewis
    Eventually, I will have read everything CS Lewis ever wrote that didn’t directly relate to his fields of academic study, and I will have enjoyed all the books that don’t mention women too often or go too deeply into gender roles. I suspect that this might try the latter, but I’m going to read it anyway.
    Priority: 4
    Keep or cull: keep
  11. *Show Boat by Edna Ferber
    Hmmm. So, Fanny Herself by Edna Ferber is one of my all-time most beloved novels. I also really, really love her excellent short stories. However, I have my concerns about this. It’s a novel by a white American New Yorker, about race relations in the Deep South, written in 1926. Ferber, for all her qualities, stumbles when she tries to write about racism, and I’m not sure I can stomach an entire book about it. (I’ve never seen the acclaimed/pilloried musical version, which is not popular in the UK). I think maybe I will stick to her other works.
    Keep or cull: cull

Well, I enjoyed this exercise very much! I am very excited about reading The Maltese Falcon, and hopefully getting to a couple of other books soon.

*Bonus extra book because Narrow Dog shouldn’t have been in there. I also deleted the other Narrow Dog book from my TBR without screening it. Dialogue needs quotation marks.