Tuesday 23 August 2016

Top Ten Tuesday

Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging

I started this meme with the hope that this venture into my TBR pile from years gone by would inspire me to finally read some of those books that have languished at the bottom of the pile through no fault of their own, except that they were bought a long, long time ago.

Upon closer inspection, though, those books may have been languishing for other reasons.

My unread from long ago tend to be chunksters - worthy books weighed down by their heavy topics. Books that I really want to read, but also ones that I'm waiting for the right to time to tackle.

Now that I've checked them out again, I suspect that these unread books will be languishing a little while longer. Perhaps, waiting for my retirement years?

Charles Darwin 
The Origin of Species

Before I bought my first home (16 yrs ago! where did those years go?) I used to subscribe to the Folio Society. Over a number of years I gradually built up a wonderful array of beautiful hardback illustrated editions of some of my favourite books as well as a few titles I felt that I should have because I wanted to read them...one day.

I read a great bio about Darwin in my twenties and had always wanted to read The Origin of Species for myself. And one day I will!

Christopher Hibbert
Cities and Civilisation

Another Folio Society edition that I had forgotten about completely until Cirtnecce mentioned Hibbert and his fabulous historical non-fiction books in a recent post.

I will never forget though, the thrill of receiving my FS books.
They always arrived well packaged, wrapped and protected. The boxes were then placed in a large mail bag and security sealed. Collecting this huge mail bag from the post office was a pure delight - it felt just like a childhood Christmas day!

Truman Capote
Breakfast at Tiffany's

I know!
How have I not read this iconic story?
I loved the movie of course but somewhere along the way I have heard that the book is quite different to the movie. Different good or different bad though I do not know.

Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

My mother had this book on her shelf from her childhood.
As an avid reader I went through my parent's bookshelves with a fine tooth comb at a very early age. But I could never get into Alice. 
I tried a few times, but it was simply too weird for this reality loving, historical fiction buff.
This new illustrated edition at work might inspire me to try again.

Charles Dickens
Little Dorrit
I've been reading Dickens since my teen years & acquiring the ones I haven't read at odd times ever since. I have no idea how long this one has been sitting on my shelf, but its yellowing edges would suggest a while!

Karen Blixen
Out of Africa

I've been through a couple of editions of this book for some strange reason (the previous edition may have been culled in the great get-rid-of-all-my-unread-movie-tie-in-cover purge when I moved to Sydney).
This lovely cover is the one currently presiding on my TBR shelf.

Rohinton Mistry
A Fine Balance

A lover of Indian literature from way back, I have no idea how this modern classic has stayed unread for so long, except for maybe it's size.

Edward P Jones
The Known World

I have good track record with Pulitzer Prize winning books, so again, I have no idea why this one has remained unread, except perhaps for it's weighty size and topic.

Astrid Lindgren
Pippi Longstocking

Another book from my mum's childhood bookshelf that I never got around to reading. 
Maybe it was all that red hair!
I recently acquired a new edition (& a red-headed niece with it)! 
Hopefully I will now be inspired to tackle this classic that has been lurking in my background for way too long.

Richard Yates
Revolutionary Road

I read a fascinating review about Yates years and years ago. I remember nothing about the review except for the desire it left me with to read some Yates.
Over the years I have been acquiring his backlist, but so far, I have only read one of them.
I'm glad I managed to acquire an edition for Revolutionary Road that wasn't the movie-tie-in one!

Have you read any of the above?
Can you give me a rave reason why I should drop everything and read one of them now?
Which book has been languishing on your shelves the longest?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


  1. Revolutionary Road and Pippi Longstocking are two of my favourite books, so you can guess which ones I'd recommend!

  2. Breakfast at Tiffanys is good different! I love both the movie and book and was so happy to see they were so different because it allows them to stand alone as two different stories. Out of Africa has been on my radar lately too! I love that little Penguin Essentials edition.
    Mallory @ The Local Muse

  3. I've always wanted to read Pippi! Maybe one day I'll get to it.

  4. I barely made it through The Known World, it just didn't live up to the hype imo. Breakfast at Tiffanys is always a good read, the book certainly brings up more questions than happy endings though.

  5. Anonymous23/8/16

    Alice really is a strange tale. I read it properly not so long ago.

  6. I spy some classics that I haven't read yet either. Good choices. I hope you get to read a few of these soon.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  7. #5 and #6 are on my list, too. I started Out of Africa and became disappointed that it was NOT at all like the movie. : ( However, I put it back on my TBR b/c it was beautiful literature about Africa. So, I'll read it some other day.

  8. Definitely recommend Breakfast at Tiffany's. I've picked up The Known World and tried to read it a few times, but just couldn't seem to get into it. Out of Africa is on my TBR list too. Here's my TTT: http://thebookishlibra.com/2016/08/23/top-10-books-that-have-been-on-my-tbr-pile-for-way-too-long/

    1. My fear is that TKW and OOA will suffer the same fate (to remain forever unread by me) as I've heard people say the same thing about them before.

  9. I've only read Breakfast at Tiffany's, Alice and Pippi but enjoyed all of them. Whatever you pick next you've got some good reads to look forward to. I think I'm going to keep Dickens for my retirement. Too difficult now.

  10. Yep - the first one on your list sure is a big one! But you could knock out Breakfast at Tiffany's in an afternoon! I'd start with that one :)

  11. You should drop everything and read Revolutionary Road straight away! I read it for the first time a year or two ago and it blew me away - almost the equal of Gatsby in impact, though quite different in writing and story. And it's soooo much more enjoyable than The Origin of Species... ;)

    1. Curiously I'm looking forward to The Origin of Species, but I just need to be in the right mood/place to absorb it properly.

      But it looks like Revolutionary Road will be next up :-)

  12. Loved Revolutionary Road and A Fine Balance!! I listened to Breakfast at Tiffany's, but probably should have read it... very short.

    1. Thanks, this is all helping me to decide which books to bump up the reading list :-)

  13. You have some great books on this list--Little Dorrit is among my favorite Dickens novels, my dad read Alice in Wonderland to me several times when I was a kid and I have a copy that I reread occasionally for old times sake, and I read Pippi to my kids when they were young. I no longer have a copy of Out of Africa, or it would have made my own Top Ten list. I finally got an illustrated version of Origin of Species because I knew I would never read the whole thing! Breakfast at Tiffanys is worth reading if only to say you've read it--it's short but dated in my opinion. Interestingly, my post on it comparing it to The Great Gatsby is among my top viewed posts on my blog--probably students looking for term paper ideas!

    1. I'll check out your comparison post - sounds interesting.
      Glad to hear the love for Little Dorrit - I've been looking forward to it.

      My Origin of Species has illustrations too as well as a stunning cover and slipcase :-)

  14. Anonymous27/8/16

    Bookshelf: D.H. Lawerence 'Sons and Lovers' - I cannot open that book for the life of me!
    Read: Alice (surprisingly good) Read: Dorrit (predictably exhausting)
    From your list: I'd read Revolutionary Road (Yates)

    1. I read Sons & Lovers at school & thought I would never ever revisit it, but recently read a great review that has me rethinking the whole self-imposed ban on Lawrence!

      I think I will try the Yates next as its attracted a bit of love & suits my reading tastes right now.

  15. Anonymous27/8/16

    Okay, many thoughts:
    10. Ashamed to say I haven't read this either (very bad given that I have studied genetics....)
    8. I haven't read this either! (we're both living examples of that Seinfeld episode where George doesn't read it for his book group).
    7. One of my favourites (actually, Through the Looking Glass is my favourite).
    5. Dare I say the movie is better?! (it is)
    2. It's fun (have been considering that edition for my daughter)

    1. Okay, okay, the Yates it is!!

  16. Love the Folio books. We have a few we bought when they had a special offer. I made the mistake of watching the BBc movie of Little Dorritt. I couldn't make sense of it but loved the book when I later read it & did enjoy the movie after I'd read the book. I just picked up a copy of Out of Africa but I've got a few other books on the go so that will have to wait.

  17. A Fine Balance is sat on my bookshelf too!! Pipilongstocking was a favourite of mine so gets a thumbs up from me!

  18. Out of Africa and A Fine Balance have been on mine as well! I wonder what's kept is (me) from getting to them?


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