Here we are! The last TBR shelf I have! I can’t believe it. I mean, I really can’t believe I have so many books to read. However, to be fair, apparently this collection of books I have yet to read demonstrates that I have a condition called “tsundoku.”
While it was refreshing—and interesting—to learn this new word, it still just means I have too many books and not enough time in which to read them.
BUT. I shall continue, so that I can finish my trek through my shelves (and so that I can move on to discussing all the books I wish I had so I could read them instead of the ones I have on shelves already). Yes. I really do have a problem.
1. Love In The Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
3. The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
4. Utopia by Thomas More
5. Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions, Revised and Expanded by Jeffrey Moses
6. Tomcat In Love by Tim O’Brien
7. Metamorphoses by Ovid
8. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
9. What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool
10. Solomon’s Puzzle by Loris Nebbia
11. The Collected Stories by Reynolds Price
12. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
13. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
14. English History by Lacey Baldwin Smith
15. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
16. Antigone by Sophocles
17. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
18. The Jane Austen Handbook by Margaret Sullivan
19. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
20. Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin
21. The Story of Lucy Gault by John Trevor
22. Jane Austen’s Guide to Good Manners by Josephine Ross
23. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
24. The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
25. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
26. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
27. The Making of Victorian Values by Ben Wilson
28. Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto
29. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
30. The Walking Dead, Compendium One by Robert Kirkman
31. When People Grieve: The Power of Love in the Midst of Pain by Paula D’Arcy
32. Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls by Gary Buslik
33. We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
34. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Love In The Time of Cholera: I read and loved 100 Years of Solitude. I also absolutely love using “The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” to teach the structure of the short story (not to mention allegory, social commentary, magical realism…oh wait. I’m talking about books here, not teaching). Anyway, my love for the two other works of Marquez prompted this purchase from The Bookworm.
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency: I bought this from The Bookworm when I was pregnant, thinking that I would be able to have some downtime and read after my son was born. I did, I guess, but not enough…because newborns. At any rate, the book is still there, waiting for me to read it.
The Tropic of Cancer: Another Bookworm buy, this book is here because of a blog post I did when I was trying to suss out the idea of the “Sexiest Book Alive.” Miller’s book kept appearing on all of the lists that discussed “sexy” books, so I got curious.
Oneness: I bought this out of curiosity. The curiosity waned. The book is waiting. It might go to The Bookworm.
Tomcat In Love: Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is an amazing work of literature that is really about the layers of truth in stories. I am so excited to get to teach it again this year. Because I love O’Brien’s work, I rescued Tomcat from my mother-in-law’s purge.
Bel Canto: At my old school, a counselor had a bunch of books donated from some organization that were for our students to take home and read. She gave me this one. It’s been on the shelf a while.
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, Jane Austen: A Life, The Jane Austen Handbook, Jane Austen’s Guide to Good Manners, English History, The Princes in the Tower, and The Making of Victorian Values: Did I mention before that I love to study British history? Or that I might love Jane Austen a little? I think I might have in my last post… Anyway, these books are all here because they can be great resources for people like me who wish there was really such a thing as Shannon Hale’s “Austenland.” Or they’re good resources for people who want to learn more about the “life and times” of Austen and her contemporaries, or various other aspects of British history.
Solomon’s Puzzle: I received this book as a Christmas gift one year, courtesy of my stepmother. I received it because the author is my high school AP Literature and Composition teacher, a woman I respect and admire, and I owe her so much (including the majority of the credit for my ability to write as well as I do). I love that she is now a published author, and that she was always so dignified and composed no matter what the situation. From what I’m told, there are representations of students in this book. I think part of what’s taking me so long to read it is that I am afraid to see some version of myself in there. Do I really want to visit seventeen-year-old me again? Anyway, I still remember, when I decided finally to go back to school, one of the things I had to do was tell Mrs. Nebbia, so I went back to Maryland to tell her in person that I was going to do what she always told me I should, and go back to college and become an English teacher. Side note: she keeps encouraging me to call her by her first name. Hasn’t happened yet. Probably never will.
Reynolds Price’s The Collected Stories: I am always on the lookout for more stories to use in my teaching, and this was one I saved from my MIL’s purge of all of her books. As you can see, though, I have yet to read it.
Gilead: I had no idea what this book was about—another one saved from my mother-in-law’s pile—until I heard a story yesterday on NPR, and realized this was the same Marilynne Robinson whose book Lila is nominated for the National Book Award this year. I also learned that Lila returns to the subject matter of Gilead, which I found interesting.
The Casual Vacancy is here because J.K. Rowling. I read and loved all of the Harry Potter books. I am not ashamed. They made me laugh, cry, hope, and nag my husband until he read them, too.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Time Machine, Brideshead Revisited, The House of Mirth, Utopia, and Metamorphoses: These are all classics that I have not yet read but want to. I have read The Age of Innocence, and I love Wharton’s style, but the others are “new” to me. I did, of course, watch that crazy old adaptation of The Time Machine with the blue Morlocks…my dad had the movie, and I watched it. Many times. I might be a little ashamed to admit that. But, oh well.
Antigone: This play is on the wrong shelf. I’ve read it several times. I think it is here, actually, because I was going to re-read it so I could teach it last year.
The Grapes of Wrath and Anna Karenina: I have read these. They’re here because I read them in high school, and I want to revisit them as an adult. But there are so many other books I haven’t read, they’re low on the priority list. I will admit, though, that I did not make it all the way through The Grapes of Wrath in my senior year. For me, then, it fell into the category of Dickens’ Great Expectations. It just didn’t capture my attention. Now that I’ve grown up, and read and loved East of Eden,, I am going to give the book another try.
The Story of Lucy Gault: I really don’t remember where this book came from, though I think it was from my mother-in-law’s book purge. This was what I felt like when was trying to remember where I got it:
Amrita: When I taught International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Language A, I “inherited” teaching a book by this author from my friend who taught the class before me. The novella I taught, Kitchen, is complex in its simplicity, and is amazing to use as an introduction to the various aspects of literary analysis. I let a friend at my new school borrow Kitchen, and in return, she gave me this book to read. Might take me a while to get it back to her. She actually asks me for book recommendations all the time, and over summer I sent her home with a giant bag of books. She still has the Magnus Flyte books that I love, and she said she loves them, too. She told me a couple weeks ago that it was all my fault she was binge reading when she should be grading papers. Oh, well.
The Blind Assassin: So I don’t repeat myself, go ahead and check out my previous post wherein I proclaim my literary devotion to Margaret Atwood. This book is on the bottom shelf because it was too tall to fit on the shelf with the rest of her books. But, there’s a lesson in this: Margaret Atwood is everywhere. There is no escaping her awesomeness.
The Walking Dead, Compendium One: I’m one of those people who, when they start to like something, have to know how true it is to the original work. Well, I LOVE The Walking Dead as it is portrayed on AMC, so I wanted to see the original. Obviously this is not a book I can read beginning-to-end/all-at-once, so I have been reading in bits and pieces over a period of time. No, I’m not anywhere close to the end.
When People Grieve: In January of this year, I lost my grandmother on my mom’s side. She was a constant fixture in my life. Losing her was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to go through (to try and work through it, I wrote a three-part reflection, I guess, that begins here). When Ma went on, I was at work. My best friend was there to catch me when I fell out of my classroom, and when I came back from Ma’s funeral in Maryland, she had put this book—and a card—in my mailbox. Then, in June, I lost my grandmother on my father’s side. Though she and I were not as close, and she “lost” herself years ago, it was difficult to process that I was officially “grandparentless.” I haven’t read the book. I can’t yet. But it’s still there, waiting.
Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls is here courtesy of the author, Gary Buslik. He emailed me letting me know about his book and requesting a review. The idea of the book intrigued me, so I said sure! But as you can see, I am behind. Sorry, Gary.
My mother brought me We Are Not Ourselves and The Bone Clocks because she was done with them, and so I have still more books to read. Someday I will get round to them all, I swear.
There are an awful lot of good and quite different books in that list, but of the ones I’ve read I’d recommend Bel Canto, Metamorphoses (not The Metamorphosis–although people should read that too), Brideshead Revisited, and anything by Edith Wharton.
Oh my goodness I fixed that. How terrible of me!