Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read

My dusty books fall into a couple of categories:

1. "I loved one book this author wrote, so I'm sure I'll love others."

Babel Tower by A. S. Byatt
I bought this after I read and loved Byatt's Possession.
It sits on my shelf, glaring at me.
All 640 pages.

The Orange Fish by Carol Shields
Acquired after I read and loved The Box Garden and Happenstance.
I really don't think I've even opened this book.
And it's not that daunting in size.

Belles on Their Toes by Frank Gilbreth, Jr.
Cheaper by the Dozen was fabulous,
so surely I will love its sequel, I thought.
Not enough to actually open the book
and start reading it, apparently.

World Without End by Ken Follett
(Sequel to Pillars of the Earth)

Do you see a pattern here?
Note to self:  Just because you like one book
an author wrote does NOT mean you will
like others of said author.

2. "Everybody else loves this author, so I'm sure I will, too."

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Paper Towns

After reading a hundred blog posts about the fabulousness of John Green,
 in a crazed, I-must-buy-John-Green's-entire-oeuvre state,
I did exactly that, Looking for Alaska and these two books.
I read Looking for Alaska first and
 it wasn't the torrid love affair with John Green I'd envisioned.
Consequently, these two books sit unopened.

Turtle Moon and Here on Earth

Everything I read about Alice Hoffman books says
I should love them.
I don't know why,
but I don't.
Why, then,
do I continue to buy them?

3. "This is a book I must read if I'm to call myself a real reader."

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Not one, but two copies of this book
sit unopened on my shelf.
(In my defense, I will note that the two copies
have entirely different covers.)

And there are probably a hundred more in this category
that have sat on my shelf forever.

Wuthering Heights...
War and Peace...
Anna Karenina...
The Portrait of a Lady...
Mansfield Park...
Moby Dick...
As I Lay Dying....

I must clear these off my shelves
and admit defeat.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


  1. Lol owning 2 copies of the book - it's practically begging you to read it :-)

  2. Thanks for checking out my list! I seriously need to get into John Green, too - he's meant to be so good.

  3. Great list break down. Loved The World Without End, but it is a bit different or not as connected to the 1st as I thought it would be.

  4. I feel the same way about Hoffman. What's up with that? The only book that I really liked was The Story Sisters.

  5. World Without End is on my shelf, too. I probably should have added it to my list since it's been a year since I read Pillars of the Earth.

  6. Song of Solomon is the first & only Toni Morrison book I've read. It was harrowing but her prose is quite amazing. I'm hoping to read Beloved & The Bluest Eye....some day.

  7. Read Wuthering Heights and Mansfield Park before you get shot of them - they're both excellent!
    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post. :)

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog!
    The only one I've read from your list is World Without End. It is just as good as Pillars of the Earth (which, to me, means not perfect but still very enjoyable).

  9. World Without End is on my shelves too! I have never read anything by Byatt but I have at least two of her books on my shelves too!

  10. I have a really long list of chronically unread books. Ack!

  11. I have hundreds of TBRs sitting on my shelves (and on the floor and boxed up and...) too. Could have gone on much longer.

    But here are the books I decided to highlight: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/11/top-ten-tuesday-post-of-shame.html

  12. Ooh "Paper Towns" is a book that's been on my to-read list for a while, but I have yet to pick up a copy! Your list has reminded me ;)

  13. AHHHH!

    You've got so many goodies here! I also loved Possession (though I've never read anything else by AS Byatt). I tore through it while my children napped.

    Bells on Their Toes is wonderful! My grandfather roomed with one of the Gilbreth boys in college, so maybe that's why this book is especially interesting to me.

    I enjoyed World Without End even more than The Pillars of the Earth. It also kept me company during the hot, dark hours after Hurricane Gustav, for which I'll always be grateful.

    I loved Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines. Green is hilarious and tender at the same time.

    I read Here on Earth while traveling for an interview my husband had years ago. Isn't it strange the way books lodge themselves in our minds in relation to what was happening in our own lives?

  14. Paper Towns has been on my list for a while too. I'm really interested in John Green, but I just don't seem to have the time to get to his books.

  15. I'm jealous! I've been looking for a copy of Belles since my daughter loved Cheaper by the Dozen. You should read it. It was sadder but still very interesting.

  16. Possession is actually on my list. I haven't read anything by Byatt. I feel like I should though.

  17. The Pillars of the Earth is one I've had for a long time and have been meaning to read, and then I'm sure I'll have the sequel sitting around for eons til I get to it, too. LOL!

  18. I liked Will Grayson much better than Looking for Alaska. You should definitely crack it open. It's a delight.

  19. There are a bunch of books that fall into the "I should read..." category. Wuthering Heights surprised me with how good it was though :)

    Thanks for stopping by Project to be Read :)

  20. Oh don't clear your shelf of Anna Karenina without reading it...one of my most favorite classics :)

    I am sometimes astounded at what I see when I stand in front of my bookshelves...I often wonder who the person was who bought some of those titles??

  21. I just read Babel Tower. I had it for the same reasons you did and it's been on my shelf for about 10 years. It was incredible. I loved it. It's very nearly as good as Possession.

  22. Now you tell me, Victoria. ;->. I cleaned off all of my shelves over Christmas!


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