(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to make your own list? Clicking the image will take you to this week’s post. Happy listing!)
Today’s list is all about books that you just had to buy, but are still sitting on your bookshelf. I think most people will have no problem coming up with ten items this week!
Like many readers, I have a love/hate relationship with my TBR list. I love adding new books to it, but I’m regularly reminded that I don’t have the time, energy, or ability to read all the books I want to. But I digress. On to the list!
1. The Letters of John and Abigail Adams – After Best Friend introduced me to 1776 the Musical (which you should totally watch), I got a little obsessed with John Adams. From all accounts, he and his wife Abigail were very much in love, and many of their letters to each other have survived. Abigail was a firm believer in abolition, and was just as intelligent and passionate as her politician husband. I’ve had the Penguin Classics edition of those letters for a few years, and have never gotten around to reading them.
2. Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert) – I hopped on this bandwagon with everyone else, and have read the first section. At first I told myself that I was avoiding reading it because I didn’t want it to end. But that’s definitely not my style. I guess it’s just not what I’m looking for right now. Plus I’ve heard some negative quips about it that are keeping me from finishing.
3. O Clap Your Hands: A Musical Tour of Sacred Choral Works (Gordon Giles) – London Vicar Gordon Giles takes the reader through 30 of the best known sacred choral works, talking about each one, its meanings, and some spiritual thoughts behind each. The book comes with a CD on which all 30 songs are included, with the idea being that you listen and read simultaneously. I need to schedule some time to do that.
4. Inbound Marketing: Getting Found… (Halligan, Shah, and Scott) – A work-related book that I’m avoiding reading because I’m all inbound marketed-out and want to read just about anything else.
5. In Pursuit of Silence (George Prochnik) – We live in a loud world, and Prochnik’s book is an effort to see how that came about. What dangers are we facing due to all this noise? What are we missing by not cultivating silence? Ironically enough, I haven’t picked this one up because I haven’t been able to find enough quiet time.
6. Super Sad True Love Story (Gary Shteyngart) – I’m interested in seeing how this book goes, but it sounds a wee bit Dystopian, and I’m afraid to open it up. But I can’t wait to see how Shteyngart crafts a world in which books are considered messy nuisances, and love is something to make fun of.
7. At Home: A Short History of Private Life (Bill Bryson) – Clearly the descriptor “short” was added in jest; at just over 450 pages, this book definitely counts as a chunkster. While traveling from room to room in his home, Bryson tells a bit of history dealing with each (bathroom includes the history of hygiene, the bedroom the history of sex, etc.). It’s broken up into handy sections, but they’re still long, and I haven’t had the time to dedicate to diving in.
8. I Was Told There’d be Cake (Sloane Crosley) – A series of essays by humorist Crosley, who manages to destroy a museum exhibit, call the cops on the wrong neighbors, and a host of other catastrophes. I could probably read one essay at a time, but I get the feeling that once I crack the sucker open I’ll be unable to stop.
9. The Woman Behind Little Women (Harriet Reisen) – I got this book for Christmas, but had just purchased Susan Cheever’s Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography. I read the latter book first, then dove straight into Geraldine Brooks’ March — and that’s just too much of a good thing. So I’m giving it some time before I pick this one up.
10. An Accomplished Woman (Jude Morgan) – This was another Christmas gift, and I’ve never heard of the author or the book. The plot sounds interesting, but I’ve had other books that I wanted to read more, so this one’s been at the bottom of the pile. Maybe next week?
I’m really backlogged on reviews, so I won’t get to any of these books this week. But Best Friend and I are dog-sitting this weekend, and maybe I’ll have some free time to get to one of these then.
What’s still sitting on your TBR pile? What’s keeping you from jumping in?
16 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday: My TBR Pile”
I didn’t participate this week in the meme, but it did get me thinking. I have way too many books that I had to have and then never read them.
One I keep telling myself I’ll read is Andre Schawrz Bart’s The Last of the Just. It’s been 8 yrs, I won’t read it, I can’t let it go, it’s just there.
I know what you mean about being unable to let a book go, Jennifer — I’m the same way with Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I have it, I know I should read it, but I just can’t bring myself to open it up. My belief, though, is that it’s okay to pass up on a book. Besides, there are a gazillion more that I know I’ll read, so why dither around with a book I’m not interested in? Better to just move on.
I try to limit how many books are in my TBR pile at one time. My wishlist can be as long as I like, but if I’ve got more than about 10 or 15 on the pile, I put off buying more until I’ve whittled that stack down a little. I have a sick amount of discipline (and no money, which is helpful).
I abandoned Shytengart and Gilbert’s novels. I hated both, actually. I’ve also got Bill Bryson’s At Home on my list, but I haven’t read it. I just read his book on Shakespeare and loved it. I also have Sloane Crosby’s book, and remembered it as soon as I read your post, but am not sure I’ll actually ever read it after taking a peak at the jacket again. Nice list. Seems we have much in common. Looking forward to following your reviews from now on!
I tend to dislike Dystopian novels, and that’s what’s keeping me away from Super Sad True Love Story. As for Gilbert’s book…I read some negative critiques, and in typical fashion now that I’ve read them I can’t get them out of my head, and my enjoyment of the story is ruined. And it is kind of true that the author makes it seem like she left her husband because she was just…bored. And that’s kind of a lame reason to leave. So when I pick it up again I’ll try to ignore that part and focus on the descriptions of the awesome places she visits and things she experiences.
I’m excited to start Crosley’s book — I could use some good laughs right about now. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Beth. By the way, I love the photos on your blog—you’re a great photographer!
We have quite a few (not listed on my TTT post but that are on my bookshelf) that are the same!
The Woman Behind Little Women– Have that one! Just haven’t been in the mood for biography-ish stuff.
I was Told There Would Be Cake– I’ve had this for forever! I think I read a bad review and kept pushing it aside. I WILL READ IT.
At Home With Bill Bryson– I love Bill. I don’t know why I haven’t picked this up.
And I read Eat, Pray, Love…a little before the major hype. I liked it. I did. I wonder how I’d feel upon a reread. The travel bug in me was just lapping up the descriptions of all the places she was. And ya know..who am I to say that her “journey” isn’t valid? I’ve heard ppl say things about it..but to each there own.
I have to say..The Kite Runner. I’ve had that on my shelf for forever. Read a few HORRIBLE reviews and was scared away..similarly to how you were with EPL. i hate when I let reviews sway me when I was initially excited about it!
That’s the potential downside of reading book blogs, Jamie: lots of potential for spoiling something you were interested in. Of course the main trouble I have is that I read reviews of books and keep adding them to my wishlist! :p
I think I’m more interested in the places Gilbert went than the actual story itself. I loved Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun, so I’m planning on treating Eat, Pray, Love as something similar.
Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad we have similar taste in books. Here’s hoping we cull our TBR lists soon!
I felt the same way about EPL. The first time I tried it I wanted to throw it across the room; the second time was for a book group last year, and I did not hate it. Some parts dragged and the first section was definitely my favorite, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. The movie was meh.
I did, however, love, love, love At Home by Bill Bryson. I’m really into Victorian literature and history lately so it was fascinating — it weaves in and out and covers stuff like British history before the Romans and Monticello and stuff you wouldn’t even expect. I read it all fairly quickly because it was a library book and had a ton of holds, but it would be perfect for reading a little at a time. Fascinating stuff.
I think lots of people have mixed feelings about Gilbert’s book—I wanted to see the movie because I like Julia Roberts, but I just never made it (mainly because movie tickets cost a fortune).
I haven’t read any Bill Bryson before, but I love history. It’s also a neat concept, the idea of touring his home and seeing what researching each room inspired. I imagine there will be lots of notes in the margins: “Cool!” “Didn’t know that.” “Um…weird.” I can’t wait!
I can see why you’d like to space out your Alcott biographies. =) Too much of a good thing can be lost on even the best of us. I hope it turns out to be worth the wait when you finally get to it.
I love Alcott, but her life was most definitely not rainbows and sunshine. I hate to say it, but knowing about her real life has kind of ruined the magic of Little Women for me. I knew the book was fictionalized, but I didn’t realize how essentially lame Alcott’s life really was. But at the same time I know what we shouldn’t turn writers/leaders into heroic, perfect figures. So yes, I do space out biographies pretty far. 🙂
I know only the tiniest bit about Alcott’s life, so the word “lame” really raises my eyebrows. Poor woman! How did learning about her life affect your reading of her fiction?
One writer I loved as a child who kind of fell off a pedestal after I learned about her life was Madeleine L’Engle. I still like her old novels, but now I read them with a far more critical–or even cynical–eye.
I wouldn’t say that reading the Alcott biography ruined my enjoyment of her fictional works, but it did put a bit of temporary damper on things. All of the characters in Little Women are very good people — there are no bad guys, just bad circumstances. But Alcott’s father was pretty nutty, and both he and his wife put their kids through what I would consider to be abuse. I’m sad that Alcott didn’t like writing Little Women, but I’m so glad she didn’t let that show, because it’s a great, great book.
I tried to read A Wrinkle in Time when I was younger, but I never finished it. I might have been too young — I’m not even sure of what the plot is. I hate when people you idolize turn out to be normal humans, rather than the perfect mythical beings we consider them. :p
Nice list. The only one I’ve read was Eat, Pray, Love. I really liked it. Looking forward to seeing your reviews on these books. I’m always looking for new recommendations. 🙂
We’re name twins! 😀
I’m always on the lookout for recommendations too, which can get me in trouble. My TBR stack is big, but my wish list is even taller, and I don’t even have any of those books yet! Reading blogs is dangerous…in a totally awesome, I-can’t-believe-I-haven’t-read-this-yet kind of way. Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!
Omg, my TBR pile is enormous!! School is what’s interfering, plus the fact that I can’t read while riding in the car. 🙁 Right now I’m halfway through Jane Eyre, every time I pick it up I’m loving it but just have too much school work. Oh yeah, you’re not dog-sitting after all this weekend, hehehe.
I have 19 to go on my gothic challenge list, plus nearly every time you write a review I want to read that book too, lol. Next up for the gothic list are The Black Tower by P.D. James, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole and Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates.
I need to get some of these on cd…
Did you get your sculpture project finished? No ride this weekend—lame! Is there another one coming up soon you could go on?
TBR lists can indeed become overwhelming. Sometimes I wish I lived in a major East Coast city so that I could have a long commute on public transportation—then I could read while going to and from work. That would be nerdily awesome.
I’m all caught up on the Gothic Reading Challenge for now. I’ve got a review of The Woman in White coming up soon, but after that I’ll have to grab the next one off my list. I’m way behind on writing reviews in general, which means I have to stop reading and get to writing. :p
Audio books are awesome, and you’ve got long enough of a commute in the mornings/evenings to justify buying them. Could be worth checking out some from the library.