Sunday 31 December 2017

Your Urgent HELP Required with my TBR's

As many of you know, I have a TBR problem.
My stacks are out of control and all over the house.

I have all my classic unreads on the bookshelves mixed in with the read buddies (I like authors to stay together).
I have a stack of non-fiction & kids books tucked away in my clothes cupboard.
The chair by my bed has a delicately balanced stack of three, mostly containing Australian writers.
And under the bed are another two rows of book featuring new releases and maybes.

Perhaps you can help me?

I have to read more from my TBR pile!

Please have a look at my MOUNT TBR list here.

Pick FIVE - TEN books that you think I really SHOULD read in 2018.
Pop them into the comments below (or tweet them to me or add to my fb page).
Whatever is easiest for you.

I will collate the options into a list of TEN and vow to read them ALL before the end of the next year.


This idea was first spotted on Kristlyn's @Reading in Winter.


  1. Holy moley, you were not kidding. The Aussie list alone is overwhelming! Here are my picks off the TBR pile -- there were plenty there so I didn't keep going to the CCII list.

    The Danger Game by Kalinda Ashton
    Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller
    Till Apples Grow on an Orange Tree by Cassandra Pybus
    What Was Left by Eleanor Limprecht
    A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
    Funeral Games by Mary Renault
    The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami
    The Peacock Spring by Rumer Godden
    Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
    Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich
    84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
    Imagining London by Anna Quindlen
    Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    1. Thanks for joining in in Jean, I suspect like Kristlyn found, is that with such a HUGE list, getting doubles or triple recommendations could be difficult, but 84 Charing Cross Road is firming as a favourite already!

  2. Well, I am not sure how much emphasis you should put on my suggestions because I have very few of these books. But here is alist of the ones I HAVE read that I think are very good:
    The Round House (and then read La Rose by Erdrich...the other side of revenge---forgiveness)
    Snow Falling on Cedars
    Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher
    Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice ( I haven't read the annotated versions, however)
    Reading Lolita in Tehran (Is this really a translation? It is lovely)
    On Writing (King)

    1. That's EXACTLY what I wanted thank you Anne. I have to narrow down down this crazy list somehow :-)

    2. PS I LOVED LaRose, which is why I now have a couple of Erdrich's backlist on my pile...

    3. Wasn't sure where to put Reading Lolita - it was on the bottom of the stack so I couldn't check whether it was in translation or not :-/

  3. Wow! Those are impressive lists. I have no guidance to offer re the Australian books as I don't know any of them (and have enough TBR piles in my own life already thank you!) There were quite a few on the lists that I have read or begun and would skip, but that isn't what you asked for. I didn't like King's On Writing, but it is very chatty and as such I'm sure is very subject to personal taste.
    Here are the recommendations I would make from your 2 lists"
    Home by Marilynne Robinson (but only if you already read Gilead which is amazing and gives a lot of depth to Home that it would otherwise be lacking)
    The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (the only Murakami I haven't liked was 1Q84, but this was an especial favorite)
    84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (or any Sherlock Holmes, they are all marvelous)
    Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather OR The Professor's House by Willa Cather (both wonderful, I liked DCtA a bit more)
    I have really liked all the Barbara Pym I have read as well, so one of those would be on my list, but which one doesn't really matter
    Good luck and I can't wait to see the list of 10!

    1. Great! Now I have to add Gilead to my list !!
      I'm hoping a few more votes come in for Sherlock Holmes as I'd like this to be year I finally read some.
      1Q84 was my first Murakami and I loved it (most of it), but haven't tackled many of his backlist yet. We're going to Japan this year, so I suspect a Murakami or two will definitely be on the list.

  4. Oh my goodness, Brona! You do need a lot of help! This is really hardly a dent, but here are some suggestions...

    Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon
    Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    The Annotated Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (or any of the Austens)
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    O Pioneers by Willa Cather
    Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

    1. Yay, another vote for an annotated Austen - I was hoping they would make it onto the final list :-D

  5. Lucy Maud Montgomery by Mary Henley Rubio (EXCELLENT biography.)
    The Annotated Mansfield Park by Jane Austen & David M Shapard (I WANT TO READ THIS.)
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Enjoy a revisit!!)
    Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (I've read this and recommend it.)
    Marianne by George Sand (I think George Eliot liked her work. Therefore, you should.) :)
    Poems of John Keats (le sigh, I love him)
    Stoner by John Williams (BEAUTIFUL novel.)
    84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (I read & loved this.)
    South Riding by Winifred Holtby (I've heard this is excellent.)
    The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne (I think you'd like this. I've skimmed it. I haven't read it yet.)

    Happy 2018. ;)

    1. The annotated Austens have me very excited too!

  6. Those are some huge lists. I don't know many of the Australian writers but here are my suggestions from the other lists.

    Any of the Jane Austen--because it is Jane Austen and she can never be read too often.
    South Riding by Winifred Holtby
    Barbara Pym--any of them. She is a joy.
    84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff--I absolutely love it and reread it semi-regularly.
    Jane Austen's Letters--again, it is Jane Austen. Enough said.
    Elizabeth Bowen--you have a couple by hers. She is well worth reading.
    Margaret Kennedy--I don't think I have read either of the ones you have listed but I read two books by her this year and enjoyed them both.
    Diary of a Nobody--I read it some years ago and it was fun.

    1. Barbara Pym is getting some love - I've been thinking of a Pymalong at some point soon, so that I can read her books in chronological order....

  7. Yes, Brona, you have a problem ;-)

    Here are my recommendations:

    Anything is Possible - even better than My Name is Lucy Barton
    The Children Act
    84, Charing Cross Road - I see many have recommended this!
    Barchester Towers - or any of the Trollopes
    The Count of Monte Cristo
    The Easter Parade -my favorite and most autobiographical Yates novel
    Far From the Madding Crowd - watch the new film adaptation afterwards
    Palace Walk -you'll want to read the other two books in the trilogy, too!
    Revolutionary Road - Yates can be depressing. Don't read too many back to back.

    1. I've read 2 Yates already & was very familiar with his depressing nature...which is why his backlist has been sitting around for so long I guess!

      And yes, it looks like I will be reading 84 Charing Cross Road in 2018 :-)

  8. I promised a few suggestions
    ...and I'm planning on reading these books as well!

    The Art of Time Travel by Tom Griffiths (blind date)
    A First Place by David Malouf (essays from 80 yr old writer!)
    True North by Brenda Niall (I like her style, Mannix is very good!)
    True Stories by Helen Garner (doyenne of Australian writers)
    The Turning by Tim Winton (short stories from a very gifted writer....)
    The Acolyte by Thea Astley ( is said to be one of her best books!)

    Hope I have helped!

    1. Yes indeed!
      I'm collating the stats & will posts something later in the week :-)

  9. I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but it certainly looks like you need help.

    The Count of Monte Cristo — I stayed away from it for years, but it blew my socks off.
    The Museum of Innocence — if you read only one Pamela, it should be this one.
    The Name of the Rose, Eco (should be in your list of translations, but it’s great regardless).
    Secondhand Time, Alexeievich.
    Kafka on the Shore — my favourite Murakami is the windup bird chronicle, but this one comes next.

    And if these recommendations don’t sit well with you, at least it may help you figure out what not to read. Happy new year!

    1. Thanks for your tips as well as your comment about which books should be on my translation list. It's easy to forget the filing system one is using as time goes by :-)

  10. Picked on the basis of titles that grabbed me:
    Australian Notebooks by Betty Churcher
    Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany
    A Million Windows by Gerald Murnane
    Till Apples Grow on an Orange Tree by Cassandra Pybus
    Whipbird by Robert Drewe
    An Artist in the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
    Cheating at Canasta by William Trevor
    Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes
    South Riding by Winifred Holtby
    The Key by Junichiro Tanizaki

    Plus you must read all of your Murakami and Pamuk books. It's a crime to let them languish.

    1. I loved your criteria for selecting books - they are all, indeed, attention grabbing titles. And you've helped a couple of books along with their tally.

  11. Read these Bron -

    The Art of Reading by Damon Young
    Island Home by Tim Winton
    A New England Affair by Steven Carroll
    Tinkering by John Clarke
    Whipbird by Robert Drewe
    Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
    Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
    The Green Road by Anne Enright
    The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
    A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
    Lost Japan by Alex Kerr
    Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry

  12. I'm looking at your CC list... My favourites from it are:

    All the Zolas (I do have a particular fondness for The Dream)
    Agnes Grey (I LOVE Anne B)
    Cannery Row
    Far From the Madding Crowd
    Howards End (not read in ages, going to re-read myself)
    Middlemarch (HATED it when I first read it, LOVED it the second time)
    Parade's End
    The Woman in White (<3 Wilkie Collins)

    Good luck :)


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