I saw this on Bookmark Your Thoughts and thought it was a really cool idea, so I’m going to go through and do this as well! In this challenge, I’ll go through the earliest 5 books on my Goodreads to-read list and determine whether they stay or go!
- Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
- Read the synopses of the books.
- Decide: keep it or should it go?
- Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week
So, here we go!
Book 1: The Count of Monte Cristo
The Blurb: In 1815 Edmond Dantès, a young and successful merchant sailor who has just recently been granted the succession of his erstwhile captain Leclère, returns to Marseille to marry his Catalan fiancée Mercédès. Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration.
The Verdict: Keep! In fact, I almost picked this up yesterday, so maybe now it’s really time to commit! If you read my post of books that changed my life, you know it took me AGES to pick up most of those 🙂
Book 2: Memoirs of a Geisha
The Blurb: A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha. In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.
The Verdict: Dismiss. While it does sound interesting, I’m neither a lover of historical fiction nor romance, so this seems like one I’d just be reading out of obligation.
Book 3: Les Miserables
The Blurb: Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope—an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.
The Verdict: Keep. I, of course, added this in the first place out of love for the musical, and I still have every intention of reading this! Hopefully soon, no less!
Book 4: Lolita
The Blurb: Humbert Humbert – scholar, aesthete and romantic – has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady’s gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love. Hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust.
The Verdict: Keep. It’s a classic, and a staple of modern literature I’m told, so it stays.
Book 5: The Princess Bride
The Blurb: What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams? As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears. Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere. What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex. In short, it’s about everything.
The Verdict: Keep! Another one that initially made the list out of love for its other form, I think this movie is one of the funniest of all time, so I’ll have to give the book its chance as well!
The Tally: 4 stay, 1 goes
I suppose it’s a good thing my goal was not to clear the list! This was a fun little task that re-energized me to look into some of these early TBR picks. Can’t wait to do this again next week!