Decluttering my Goodreads TBR #8


Happy Wednesday, everyone! I did one of these posts not too long ago, and when I was writing it, I was in the mood to keep cleaning my TBR. So here we are with the eighth round of decluttering my Goodreads TBR. Last time was (as always) a major failure, so let’s hope this one is better! Read parts one, two, threefourfivesix, and seven here!

This was started by Lia @ Lost in a Story and is a good way to organize your Goodreads to-read list!

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

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The Painter From Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein

Pan Yuliang was a girl with no dreams. Her parents were taken from her at a young age, then her uncle sold her into prostitution; it was enough for many years just to cope and survive. One day, fate places a kind gentleman in her path, and she begins to discover the city outside the brothel and the world beyond China’s borders. As a larger canvas of life emerges, Pan realizes that she has something of value to say — and a talent through which she can express herself. From Shanghai to Paris, Pan is challenged by the harsh realities in politics, art, and love, and must rely on her own strength to develop her talent. In so doing, she takes a relatively ordinary life and makes it extraordinary.

A work of fiction — but based on the life and work of a real artist — The Painter from Shanghai transports readers to early-20th-century China, a culture marked by oppression. Epstein has proven herself a shining talent in this first novel, tackling such weighty questions as: How does a talented artist blossom, even under repressive conditions? What is art, and what is love? What makes a life well lived? The answers form a mesmerizing portrait of one young woman’s journey to find herself and to nourish her creative talents despite appreciable odds.

We all know how much I love historical fiction set in China, so this is an obvious keep for me.

Verdict: keep

The Circle by Dave Eggers

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world–even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. 

What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

Okay so I watched the movie of this, and all the ideas were really good and interesting but never executed fully, if that makes sense. It was like several really cool ideas that were not combined at all. So this is a byeeeee

Verdict: remove

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

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

So I feel like people either love this or think it’s just alright. I really don’t know what I think about it, so it’s going on “read soon or remove”.

Verdict: add to “read soon or remove”

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

I’ve heard so many good things about this and definitely want to read it at some point!

Verdict: keep

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

I feel like I missed the chance with this book. If I’d read it in high school, I would have been all over it. But I’m just not interested in it at this point.

*update: it seems like there also might be allegations of sexual harassment against the author, so I’m more comfortable removing this now*

Verdict: remove


Keep: 2
Delete: 2
Added to “read soon or remove”: 1

Total kept: 25
Total deleted: 8

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I actually removed TWO this time!!! That’s 1/4 of all the books I’ve removed ever!! Have you read any of these books? Which should I prioritise? Let me know!

Ally xx

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12 thoughts on “Decluttering my Goodreads TBR #8

  1. I think you should give Ari and Dante a try, the pace of the writing seems to be what makes people dislike it, but I really loved it even as someone who isn’t into too many romance novels, it’s such a cute gay romance and really gave me summer- feelings

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I super support removing The Circle. It was actually one of the first books I reviewed on here! But I totally agree that the ideas were not fully executed, and there were a lot of missed chances in it. From what I remember, I think the book was a bit better than the movie, but it’s really not worth putting time into.

    Liked by 1 person

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