Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read.

I was really excited to see this topic this week. A few weeks ago, as I was re-shelving books after the move, I realized how many books I purchased years ago for my blog that I still haven't gotten around to reading. It kind of made me sad that all these classics have been sitting on my shelves for years and years, and I still haven't made time for them. It's been a few years since I've read a large number of classics yearly, but I'd really like to spend more time with them. They make me feel better as a reader, if that even makes sense. I've got nothing against a YA title, a bestseller, or anything else, but the classics are just something I'm drawn to.

So, one of my biggest resolutions this year was to have a better balance in my book diet. And so far, so good.

I'm sidetracking myself...For this list, I wanted to focus on some titles from my original 250 list, as it's really the oldest TBR list I have, and pull some titles that I still can't believe I haven't gotten to yet. Hopefully I can make room for them this year!

In no particular order...

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: I was super excited to get to read this when I made my 250 list, and while I know I started it at some point (there's still a bookmark in it about 100 pages in), I stepped away from it during a busy period and never returned to it. I'm set to do a readalong of it in April, so I know I'll finally read it and I am so excited. I really enjoyed War and Peace, so I have high hopes!

2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: This is one of those titles that I am almost embarrassed to say that I haven't read yet. I've read a lot of Angelou's work in anthologies, school textbooks, etc, but I have never picked this one up. I can remember being excited to put this one on my list, but time gets away from me. I actually think this would be a great title to read this month...so I'm going to move it on my nightstand.

3. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: It never fails that when I tell people (especially bloggers) that I've never read Alice, they freak out on me. But I haven't. I am a little wary of this one, for whatever unknown reason, but it's never struck me as the "right time" to give it a go. I did put it on my TBR challenge list for this year so I would make it a priority. I'm thinking this spring/summer?

4. Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe: Considering I teach a course on Shakespeare and talk about Marlowe, you would think I would have read something by him. But nope. This is the only Marlowe on my shelves and there it sits, unread and unloved. I'm thinking that once I finish all of Shakespeare I'll give this one a go...

5. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Again, you would think that since I teach a course on Shakespeare I would be able to call this an accomplishment, but no. There are about 10 plays by the Bard that I haven't read (as well as some of his longer poems), and I do want to read all of them. I own almost all of his works as single editions, so perhaps I should try to read one a month until I finish? My little "Shakespeare Project" tab up there is woefully outdated as well.

6. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: I've had a love/hate relationship with Dickens for a very long time, but this was always a title I was intrigued by. I've read a lot by Dickens over the years, but I always pass this one by for some reason...even though I know I will love it. Again, perhaps this summer?

7. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: Yet another title I'm ashamed I haven't read yet. I've also never seen the musical, in any form, so feel free to shame me. I have no doubt that I will love this once I dive in, but my copy looks awfully chunky...

8. Beloved by Toni Morrison: I've actually read a few other titles by Morrison, so that assuages my guilt a touch, but this is another book I should have read by now. I'm actually moving this to my nightstand alongside the Angelou in hopes I'll get to it soon!

9. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe: Every time I get to the Civil War in my history classes, I tell myself that I'm finally going to read this. And every time, I don't. This is definitely a title I need to read sooner rather than later, but it never feels like something I need to get to immediately. Instead I pass over it.

10. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell: I can tell you exactly why I haven't read this yet-I'm hoarding it. I do that sometimes with authors I love. I hoard their books so I always have something unread by them on my shelf. In reality, that's silly. I know I'll enjoy the book more as I'm reading it then having it sit there unread, but that's what I do to myself.

Tell me what books you have sitting on your shelves!

(In looking at this list...I kind of want to do A Victorian Celebration again this summer like I did a number of years ago. Would anyone be interested?)


  1. Les Miserables is sooooo good! I listened to the Julie Rose translation a few years back on audio and it was delightful all the way through.

  2. Most of these books would be on my list too. I've read the Dickens & the Carroll. :)

  3. I would definitely be interested in another Victorian Celebration -- and look how many books you could read from this list! I also want to read Les Miserables. I know some bloggers are reading a chapter a day for a readalong, but I don't know if I could stretch it out that far!

    And Wives & Daughters is just wonderful, you won't be sorry when you eventually start reading it.

  4. cI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings sat on my TBR forever, too, but I finally read it last year and THANK GOD. You should move that one up on your list if you can. You KNOW how I feel about the fact that you haven't read Alice, yet, so... we'll pass that one. (Hey, at least you got to East of Eden. And look how that turned out! Ahem.) Anna Karenina is a stunning novel, but not my favorite Tolstoy. I much preferred War and Peace. Marlowe is amazing - everyone should read more Marlowe. I teach his Edward II in my Queer Lit class. A Tale of Two Cities is actually one of my least favorite Dickens novels and that might be because I read it right after Les Miserables, which is so incredible. That book, really, is something special. I finally read Beloved a couple of years ago in preparation for my doctoral field exams and it blew me away. I can't even describe it.... and Uncle Tom's Cabin! Wow. Come on, history teacher. ;)

  5. I read Uncle Tom's Cabin as part of my Classics Club list. I had a copy that had been sitting on my shelves for quite a while - my college roommate gave it to me, because she had read it in high school and loved it. And I loved it, too, once I got around to reading it! I haven't read A Tale of Two Cities yet, either, and you could describe my relationship with Dickens as love/hate as well. That's what happens when you're forced to read Great Expectations in both high school and college. But I've read others of his since and enjoyed them. I'm sure I'll give A Tale of Two Cities a try at some point!