Book lists, Book Memes, LGBT Books

Down the TBR Hole #1

down tbr

Down the TBR hole is a meme created by Lia from Lost In Story, and the whole point is to clean out and organise your TBR. I have a tendency to add books to my TBR with minimal knowledge of what the plot is. If they fit into the genres I read, and have LGBT characters, chances are good I’ll just blindly add them to my Goodreads Want to Read pile. What that means is that I sometimes look at my TBR and forget why I even picked those books in the first place. I’m hoping this will help me at least keep track of the books I want to read, and more importantly why, and hopefully get rid of the ones I’m not that into, after all.

down the tbr

The Miniaturist — Historical fiction set in 17th century Netherlands. An 18-year-old girl travels to the city to the house of her new husband, who is kind but distant. And keeps herself occupied with a miniature replica of their home, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. I don’t think this book is for me, I heard good things about it, but I’m horribly picky with historical fiction these days and the setting just doesn’t seem all that exciting. So this one is a pass.

The Last Sun — This is urban fantasy, set in an island-city which pretty much amounts to New Atlantis. The protagonist is hired to search for a missing person but he ends up finding more than he expected to, including a legendary creature. I’m actually more interested now, the summary doesn’t give a lot away, but it says enough to leave me wanting more. The idea of Atlantis is exciting enough, I’m keeping this one.

The Iron Council — This is actually the third book in a series, but it’s the one I keep being recommended. It’s set after the events of the previous two books so I think that’s why it doesn’t matter if I read it first. I’m actually really interested in this book, it’s a sci-fi book often labelled as weird fiction, and it has a strong political tone. I like it when sci-fi lays it on thick with the real-world politics and this books seems like it will be right up my alley. I’m keeping it.

Girls Made of Snow of Glass — The tagline describes this as “Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale.” The Goodreads summary goes into far more detail, which makes it sound much more interesting than that description makes it out to be. Plus, I heard really good things about it so I’m keeping it.

Amberlough — I know a lot about this book and I’m super excited to read it, it’s an adult fantasy novel heavily inspired by the rise of the Nazi party in previously decadent and tolerant Berlin. I’ve heard some people complain that it’s too on the nose, and it might as well just be set in real life Germany, I for one I’m glad it isn’t. I don’t have much patience for Historical fiction set during WWII so the fantasy setting is perfect for me, definitely keeping it.

down the tbr2

Sawkill Girls — I was super excited to read this book, because I heard great things, but now that I actually have it it’s like the wind went out of my sails. I’m still really excited to read it, and pretty sure I’ll like it, but it doesn’t feel as urgent anymore. Which figures, either way I’m keeping it.

The Nowhere Girls — This book is about a group of girls coming together to avenge a girl who accused popular guys at her school of gang rape, and instead of justice was run out of town. The reviews are great and this seems like a book with the kind of messages I appreciate. I’m keeping it.

Truly Devious — A true-crime aficionado is set to start her first year at a famous private Academy where one of America’s greatest unsolved crimes happened, decades ago. That alone is enough to pique my interest, but the goodreads summary goes into more detail about the school that make it sound even more exciting. Keeping it.

Her Body and Other Parties — This is a collection of feminist short stories, that span a myriad of genres, including horror. I’m curious about it, but at the same time I have a hard a time making it through short stories. So I’m indecisive about this one, because while the theme really interests me, the format might not be for me.

Running with Lions — A group of friends attends a summer soccer camp, the protagonist re-unites with an estranged childhood friend. I actually gave the first chapter of this book a try recently and I think the writing is not for me, so I’m going to have to pass.


  • Books kept: 7/10
  • Books removed: 2/10
  • Unsure: 1/10

I can’t say this went the way I expected it to, I actually thought I would end up passing on a lot more books, but I’m very excited to read every book I kept, so I guess that’s a good thing too. I’d love to hear from anyone who has read some of these books, especially if you think I’m making a mistaking by passing on one of those two books, or to help me make up my mind about the one I’m on the fence.


12 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #1”

  1. I disagree with those who say Amberlough is the same as pre-Nazi Germany, it didn’t feel like that at all – I probably wouldn’t have been able to read it if it had. It was still a difficult read, but it was… surprisingly fun at times? Which made the whole thing both readable and even more painful when everything crashed.
    And I’m glad you kept Girls Made of Snow and Glass! I love slow-paced quiet fantasy, it’s not as common as I’d want it to be, and to find one that was also f/f was great.
    About Her Body and other Parties: I’ve read one short story by Carmen Maria Machado, “The Husband Sticht” (which you’ll find in the collection but it’s also free online, and it’s her most famous story) and found it overrated, but it’s a very unpopular opinion and this specific kind of magical realism isn’t my thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really glad to hear that, because I think the fantasy setting really adds to my interest, and I think people are always too quick with the Nazi Germany comparisons — it was one of the most awful regimes in the world, it’s obvious that any fiction that also deals with an equally evil regime is going to have some similar elements.
      I’m excited to read Girls Made of Snow and Glass because re-reading the goodreads summary made me remember why I was so excited about the book in the first place, it might be the book I pick up after finishing what I’m currently reading.
      I think I’ll check that one short story out and see how I feel about it, if I really like it I might pick up the book, if not I’ll give it a definite pass.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Her Body and Other Stories was interesting and featured lots of queer characters, but I had a hard time following the stories. After finishing the book, I couldn’t tell if I’d enjoyed it or not.

    Some of these other books might make it into my TBR as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The queer characters and feminist topics were what made me interested in Her Body and Other Parties too, but at the same time I have a really hard time connecting with short fiction, and I have two other anthologies I’ve been meaning to read but no urgency to pick them up, so I’m afraid this would just end up joining them in short fiction purgatory.
      I’m glad you found some books you might also like, I love reading other people’s TBR posts exactly to learn about new books.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jen! This is a useful meme just to remind myself why I wan to read some of these books to begin with. The Miniaturist doesn’t really seem like a book I’ll enjoy, but I did recently pick up a book that had been sitting on my shelf for two years and I’m loving it, so you never know!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, you can read Iron Council first, it’s part of the loosely connected Bas-Lag series. And your description is spot-on, it’s weird fiction with a political bent. I recently re-read Iron Council, and here’s what your in for: excellent beginning, really draggy middle, freakin’ amazing end that makes the middle draggy bits worth every page.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to hear and I’m even more excited about picking it up now! I’ve heard great things about Mieville’s writing, but people have said that Iron Council would be a great one for me to start with because I was sure to like the themes. I find that most books I read suffer from soggy middles, and I have no problem powering through so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but it’s great to know that the ending makes up for it.


  4. I’ve read The Miniaturist and The Nowhere Girls. I didn’t love The Miniaturist, it was a very bleak reading experience and it didn’t end well for the queers. I really enjoyed The Nowhere Girls, it has a great cast of characters and the story made me want to kick the patriarchy’s ass, which is always nice. I’m on the fence about Her Body and Other Parties too! I feel like everyone loves it, but I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I was afraid of as well, I hate it when the queer characters meet some sort of tragic ending so the straight characters can learn some powerful life-changing truth. I get the same feeling about the Nowhere Girls, I think it will deal with some difficult topics but ultimately resolve them in an empowering way which is always something great to read especially in between more challenging reads. Short stories aren’t my thing most of the time, and some of what I heard about Her Body and Other Parties makes me fear I’ll end up DNFing it.


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