The ten longest serving members of my TBR list

I am always adding to my TBR list. I can barely leave the house without returning with a new book to join the shelves and shelves of unloved and under appreciated ones I already own. And that’s just the ones I physically own. The number of books that I’ve mentally filed away as something I want to read reaches a number higher than modern mathematics can comprehend.

And although some books get added to the TBR and started in the same week, others languish on there for years before I finally pick them up. Or don’t even get picked up and just sit looking at me, reminding me of my failure.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The main reason I haven’t read this yet is that it’s really long. And as much as I’m excited by the plot and haven’t actually heard a single bad thing said about it, every time I go to choose a book there’s a less well reviewed shorter one I choose instead.

  1. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Of the Agatha Christie books I’ve read I was, shall we say, less than impressed. But I really want to like her. I can just imagine myself curled up on a winter’s night, log fire blazing, hot toddy in hand, reading an Agatha Christie mystery. And as this is the most famous, it ought to the best, so I can’t write her off completely until I’ve read it.

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This book has been hyped up so far that I know it will never live up to my expectations. So I’m becoming more and more unwilling to actually sit down and read it. Plus I’m worried it will scare me because in general I don’t do well with thrillers.

  1. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Who can help but love John Green? Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns were all brilliant. So then I started buying his other, not quite so famous books, which I know won’t be quite as good, won’t live up to their compatriots and therefore won’t get read.

  1. The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

I’ve actually started this book on two separate occasions but never got further than the first 50 pages. I love classics, I love Oscar Wilde, this book is hugely famous, and yet I just couldn’t get into it. So now I’m even less willing to try again.

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I think I did own a copy of this as a child but I don’t think I’ve ever read it so technically this has been on my TBR list for near on 15 years, which is quite the achievement.

  1. The Innocent by Ian McEwan

Around February last year I had a little phase of complete obsession with everything Ian McEwan. I read about six of his books back to back, along with buying pretty much every other novel he’s ever written. But I can only read so much of one author before I’m desperate for a change and that’s exactly what happened here. Come March my progress through my Ian McEwan collection had slowed to a snail’s pace and this one’s day has yet to come.

  1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I bought this book about a year after I saw the film, convinced that I’d loved it and was desperate to read the book; a feeling that was probably exaggerated by the beautiful edition that I came across for only £2. But before I got round to reading the book I ended up watching the film again and although I still enjoyed it, it wasn’t as good as I’d remembered. So I’ve gone off the idea of reading it somewhat and now basically pretend it doesn’t exist on my shelf.

  1. 1984 by George Orwell

I can’t believe that I still haven’t read this book. For years I’ve been saying that I will and yet it hasn’t happened. I think if I get to the end of 2016 and it remains unread I might have to start incentivising it.

  1. We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

The Jane Austen Book Club was one of my favourite reads last year and definitely my favourite Austen modernisation. So when I discovered Karen Joy Fowler had a new book out that was widely acclaimed I rushed out to track down my own copy. And then the motivation subsided and I left it on my shelf to gather dust for the next 10 months.

So go on then, which of these should I start right this second, and which are better left waiting on the shelf?


19 thoughts on “The ten longest serving members of my TBR list

  1. The Book Thief’s on mine as well! I really didn’t get the hype around Gone Girl – Flynn’s written others (Sharp Objects, for example) that are much better imo.

    The Picture of Dorian Grey, though, that’s brilliant. Happy reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well now I’m really excited for Life of Pi after all these positive comments!

      I heard some very negative reviews of The Cement Garden which has really put me off 😦 But The Innocent is supposed to be really good and yet like you still haven’t read it. Maybe it’s an Ian McEwan thing…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have exactly the same issue with The Book Thief – it’s been sat on my shelf for YEARS. I don’t know why – I have heard so many good things about it, but I never seem to be in the mood to read it. And it’s huge! I’ve also had The Picture of Dorian Gray on my bookshelf for just as long. And in answer to your question, I would say… leave Gone Girl on the shelf (so over-hyped, and really slow paced for a thriller) and pick up 1984 because it’s an amazing book! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is what always happens with Gone Girl – one amazing recommendation and then another saying its rubbish! I don’t know what to think 😶

      Is 1984 tough to read? I think I’m expecting it to be which is putting me off. No matter how much I enjoyed Animal Farm

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah it’s quite a marmite book I think.. but I wouldn’t say Gone Girl is rubbish. I did enjoy the book (and the film is excellent), but I didn’t think it was as good as other thrillers I’ve read, because it took me a long time to get into it. I think if you read it without expectations you’ll enjoy it more (rather than going into it thinking it’s the best thriller ever written, which is what I did!) 1984 wasn’t tough to read – well, tough in subject matter maybe, as it’s quite bleak haha – but in terms of the writing style, I found it really easy to get into. I think I read it when I was about 14 (and I really wasn’t into classics at all at that age) and it was really exciting. In terms of the story, it is pretty depressing, but very engaging, and very worth reading!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lizzie I am DYING look at this list. So many of my faves!
    Life of Pi – worth every second. READ.
    The Picture of Dorian Gray – once you get passed the first 70 pages or so it’s incredible. Don’t give up!
    The Book Thief – might be long but it’s a really easy read.DO IT!
    Gone Girl – lives up to the hype, but I couldn’t read it at night.
    1984 – a true classic, it’s just got to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

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