The Great TBR Purge: Revenge of the TBR (Part 1)

Most book bloggers like to start off the year with lists of books they want to read in the coming months. But not on Maggie’s Musings. Nope, here we talk about all of the books I don’t want to read in the new year.

I’ve sort of accidentally made a tradition of doing a purge of my “to-be-read” (TBR) books every two years – I did it for the first time in 2017 (read Part 1 and Part 2) and then again in 2019 (Part 1 and Part 2), and now it’s 2021, so I guess it’s time to dust off the old TBR list again.

But before I begin, I did want to mention three books that got kicked out automatically because they already survived one round of this and I still didn’t read them: Nerve by Jeanne Ryan (2017 Part 1), Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (2017 Part 2), and Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (2019 Part 1). A few other old ones are still around, but they’re on thin ice.

1) Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Year added: 2014

Why is it on my TBR? Because I was a big Scott Westerfeld fan circa 2014.

Will it survive? Yes. I’m hesitant, but I think now that I’m a little older I might like this more and I’m willing to give it another try.

2) The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

Year added: 2017

Why is it on my TBR? I couldn’t tell you. Maybe I just saw it in passing and thought I’d add it to the list? Most of the books I have listed I can at least vaguely remember where I heard of it, but this one remains a mystery.

Will it survive? NO. I feel so strongly about this that it gets written in all caps! I almost fell asleep reading the blurb! And the reviews I saw aren’t exactly glowing either. I feel like my time would be better spent reading something else.

3) The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Year added: 2018

Why is it on my TBR? It’s a popular book and I felt socially obligated to at least consider reading it. That, or I saw it on a library rack once.

Will it survive? No. I’m ready to be excommunicated from the book community for this one. Aside from the premise looking meh to me, the more I see people on the internet talk about this book, the less I’m interested in it. I know every fandom has a “dark side,” but people seem weirdly obsessed with the male lead and it’s really put me off from the whole thing.

4) Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Year added: 2019

Why is it on my TBR? At least one (maybe two?) of my Goodreads friends added this to their TBR lists, and so I decided to check it out for myself.

Will it survive? Yes. Contemporary fiction isn’t really my thing (as I’m sure you’ve all figured out), but I do like seeing YA-style books that tackle life beyond high school.

5) Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

Year added: 2018

Why is it on my TBR? It’s a novel adaptation of the Broadway show Dear Evan Hansen, which a friend introduced me to (well, the cast recording at least), and I really enjoyed at the time.

Will it survive? No. The more I think about the musical, the more I have mixed feelings about it. It’s a lot of complicated thoughts that I don’t really have the space to go into here (maybe someday), but I think I’m gonna draw the line here for now.

6) Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissel

Year added: 2019

Why is it on my TBR? I had a craving for good nonfiction about video games, and this was one of the slim offerings at my local library.

Will it survive? NOPE. Never mind that this book is outdated (published in 2011, which is ancient for a book about video games), the reviewers were not impressed by it. It sounds like the book doesn’t even answer the question the title poses, so that’s a pass from me.

7) Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

Year added: 2015

Why is it on my TBR? No clue. I feel like this is one of the ones that Goodreads recommended to me, or maybe I saw a blogger talking about it? I can’t remember.

Will it survive? Yes, but barely. I’m feeling generous today, so I’ll keep this around a little while longer and see if I get to actually reading it.

8) The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Year added: 2015

Why is it on my TBR? I think an old friend recommended it to me at some point. I’d probably been going on about how much I loved a good heist story (again).

Will it survive? No. I feel like I’m a little too old for this (it looks more like children’s or middle-grade fiction than anything), which isn’t necessarily a reason not to read it, but… I don’t know. I love a good story about thieves, but this one just doesn’t spark interest for me anymore.

9) The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy

Year added: 2015

Why is it on my TBR? Now THIS one I remember! Some of my writing group friends in high school recommended it to me.

Will it survive? Yes. I was a little hesitant because quirky stuff doesn’t always work for me, but this seems delightfully weird and fun. I think it’ll make for a light read once I get around it it.

10) Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz

Year added: 2017

Why is it on my TBR? In a desperate attempt to find more historical fiction I want to read. I think this was from around the time I read Code Name Verity.

Will it survive? Yes. I feel like most historical fiction (especially WWII-based historical fiction) tends to focus more on America and European countries like Britain and France, so I think it would be fun to read about another part of the war that doesn’t always get focused on. And I’m always up for reading about women pilots.

What’s something you DON’T plan on reading this year? Should I reconsider any of my decisions? Let’s chat in the comments!

Until next time!

5 thoughts on “The Great TBR Purge: Revenge of the TBR (Part 1)

  1. I would highly recommend dropping #4–despite the intriguing premise, I was very unimpressed by it once I actually read it xD (slightly spoilery GR review here:

    and not as strongly but still a little pleadingly I would say hold out hope for 8 unless you’ve found that you’re categorically not interested in books with early-teen protagonists (at least i think they’re early teen? somewhere in there at least) because it’s a cool story and there’s some magic involved toward the end if I remember correctly. I should probably reread some Funke this year, it’s been a while come to think of it….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll admit both of those books are ones I was a little bit on the edge about… With #8 I don’t actually mind early teens protagonists. I think I’m mostly afraid I’ll have high expectations for it and be disappointed, but I do like magic, so I might end up giving it a try! Maybe I’ll see if I can find an audiobook version somewhere…


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