Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole 2

Should they stay or should they go? This week's contenders: Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy, Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, Pompeii by Robert Harris, Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, and Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole was created by Lisa at Lost In A Story. She's since cleaned up her TBR list (go Lisa!), but has inspired others to work on their TBR lists. I saw this meme over at Lampshade Reader and decided to take the plunge!


How to participate:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order by Ascending Date Added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or let it go?

My Goodreads TBR list is mostly books I own but haven't read yet, so I'm going to use my wishlist instead. Starting off with 113 titles on my wishlist and maybe if I get that cleaned up, I'll move on to my Amazon list next!

The Books:



Lady in the Tower by Jean PlaidyLady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy

Date Added: June 18, 2009

One of history's most complex and alluring women comes to life in this classic novel by the legendary Jean Plaidy.

Young Anne Boleyn was not beautiful but she was irresistible, capturing the hearts of kings and commoners alike.... 


Although his queen was loving and loyal, King Henry VIII swore he would put her aside and make Anne his wife. And so he did, though the divorce would tear apart the English church and inflict religious turmoil and bloodshed on his people for generations to come. (Goodreads)

While I'll always have a soft spot for King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, I think I've had my fill of the family for now.

VERDICT: Let It Go



Gates of Fire by Steven PressfieldGates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

Date Added: June 18, 2009

In 480 B.C., two million Persian invaders come to the mountain pass of Thermopylae in eastern Greece, where they are met by 300 of Sparta's finest warriors. The Greek loyalists battle for six days in a prelude to their ultimate victory. (Goodreads)

I don't remember why this one was added to my wishlist. It was probably after I saw the movie 300. Pretty sure that Gerald Butler won't be making an appearance, so letting this one go.

VERDICT: Let It Go



Pompeii by Robert Harris
Pompeii by Robert Harris

Date Added: June 18, 2009

All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman empire's richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. The world's largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum, and Pompeii.

But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared. Springs are failing for the first time in generations. And now there is a crisis on the Augusta's sixty-mile main line -somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. (Goodreads)

The ruins of Pompeii continue to fascinate me, but I've lost my desire to read this one.

VERDICT: Let It Go



Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Date Added: June 18, 2009

When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. 

Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders."

Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. (Goodreads)


Not at all my usual type of read but the excerpt was good enough for me to keep this one on my list.


VERDICT: Keep



Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Date Added: June 18, 2009

Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities.

The Birth of Venus is a tour de force, the first historical novel from one of Britain’s most innovative writers of literary suspense. It brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling a compulsively absorbing story of love, art, religion, and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a heroine with the same vibrancy of spirit as her beloved city. (Goodreads)

Another mystery on how this wound up on my wishlist, but the excerpt didn't convince me to keep it so buh-bye Venus!

VERDICT: Let It Go




Previous posts:


Down the TBR Rabbit Hole 1


Down the TBR Rabbit Hole 2: Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy, Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, Pompeii by Robert Harris, Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, and Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

4 comments:

  1. That's quite an impressive selection you have shared from your Wish List. I'm not a big fan of Jean Plaidy, have a bit of a love hate relationship with Robert Harris (I'm desperately trying to remember if I have read his Pompeii or not) and the cover of Birth of Venus really doesn't appeal to me (I know never judge a book by its cover); of the others it is Year of Wonders that really appeals to me.

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  2. I tried to tame mine once - I disappeared for a day and couldn't see a dent ;)

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  3. I never remember how books end up on my TBR if I don't own them!

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