Saturday, 11 July 2009

Belated booking through Thursday (part 1)

I was hugely excited to see last week's Booking through Thursday post about books awaiting attention:

“So here today I present to you an Unread Books Challenge. Give me the list or take a picture of all the books you have stacked on your bedside table, hidden under the bed or standing in your shelf – the books you have not read, but keep meaning to. The books that begin to weigh on your mind. The books that make you cover your ears in conversation and say, ‘No! Don’t give me another book to read! I can’t finish the ones I have!’ “

as I had been meaning to undertake a blogged assessment of what is on there. See the picture (actually this was taken before I rearranged my Persephone books, but it is necessary to use this picture as I have a number of TBRP's).

I'm going to respond in two parts. I'm first going to tackle the TBRBC, and then I shall deal with whatever is the current state of the library pile... I shall list the books and make comments about them... How many of you have similar books in your TBR?

On the top
I've actually read A nice cup of tea and The wedding group, so they don't count!
1. The Edwardians (Sackville-West) - been wanting to read this for a while, so was happy when I spotted it in Thame Oxfam. I know Darlene has got this too, so hopefully we will read it at the same time :)
2. Next to nature, art (Lively). Another Thame Oxfam.
3. Hotel du Lac (Brookner). Another Thame Oxfam. Am enjoying Brookner, so decided I should read her Booker winner. Particularly as I'm also trying to read more Booker winners.
4. A cast of smiles (Brookfield). Enjoy her books and so does my Mum. Something lighter.

Shelf 1
1. Maiden's trip (Emma Smith). Loved Great Western Beach and A Far Cry so had to have this.
2. The tent, the bucket and me (Kennedy).
3. Size 12 is not fat (Cabot). Magazine freebie.
4. Voluptuous delights of peanut butter and jam. I think a charity shop find, a Virago anyway :), and a lovely hardback.
5. Some tame gazelle (Pym)
6. Excellent women (Pym). The only two Pyms I have left to read. Discovered Pym again this year and really loved reading her stuff.
7. The Dud Avocado (Dundy). Who could resist a title like that? Virago :)
8. One Fine Day (Panter-Downes). Really looking forward to this one. Virago :)
9. Honourable estate (Brittain). Didn't realise Brittain had written novels too. Virago :)
10. Well tempered Clavier (Coles). Amazon recommended this to me - looks good.
11. Zennor in darkness (Dunmore). Set in Cornwall - coming with me this summer.
12. The sea lady (Drabble). Discovered Drabble earlier in the year, and really enjoying. Book set by sea sounded good.
13. The kiss (Lingard).
14. The queen of the tambourine (Gardam)
15. Faith fox (Gardam)
16. Old Filth (Gardam)
17. Flight of the maidens (Gardam)
[17a. Long way from Verona (Gardam) - on the day this picture was taken, this book was in my handbag to go to London but I didn't get around to reading it. Gardam is another author I missed out on when I was younger, and have rediscovered this year, and the Verona book is the one I'm most looking forward to].
18. My silver shoes (Dunn). Discovered Dunn this year.
19. The post-office girl (Zweig). Has had some good reviews.
20. Nightingale woods (Gibbons). Didn't enjoy Cold Comfort Farm but this sounded appealing. Don't think the cover is very Virago though.
21. Fugitive Pieces (Michaels). Another Booker. Was curious to read after reading about the film, and found this lovely copy in Red Cross Shop.
22. The great lover (Dawson). Can't wait to read this.
23. The Vinegar Jar. (Doherty). Loved her teenage titles, and her other adult book, so looking forward to this.
24. The Guernsey Literary Society...everyone raves about this and I was v. pleased when it was one of The times £2.99 books.
25. Something beginning with (Salway). Can't remember why I bought this!
26. The white tiger (Arind). Another Booker...should definitely read as he went to the college where I work. Another The Times £2.99 book.
27. Fixing Kate (Murphy). Chick lit but one of my best friends is called Kate and thought she would love this when I've read it. Must read and give it to her... Charity shop.
28. Singled out (Nicholson). Some rare non fiction. Charity shop buy.
29. Rebecca's Tale (Beaumann). Du Maurier related but couldn't get into it when I started it last year.
30. Plan B (Barr). Magazine freebie.
31. If you were here (Ahern). Magazine freebie.
32. Hunting and gathering (Gavalda). Picked up in the Blackwells sale last year - according to the back is a bit like Amelie. Really looking forward to this one.

Middle shelf
1. Camel book mobile. Spotted this in a remainder bookshop for a friend for a £1 but turned out she'd already read it. Proves I'm good at recommending books?!
2-4 Three Angela Thirkells, I can't remember which, on loan from my Mum.
5. Kingdom by the sea (Theroux). I love books about travel in England.
6. Eating people is wrong (Bradbury). His first book, with an intriguing title.
7. Providence (Brookner). HER first book I think.
8-10 Three more Margaret Drabbles More charity shop finds...
11. Smile please (Rhys). Her autobiographical volume, which I'm intrigued to read after reading her 4 autobiographical novels earlier this year.
12. A pagan place (O'Brien). Discovered O'brien earlier this year with her Country girls trilogy.
13. Olivia (Olivia). Picked this up after reading Stuck in a book's recommendation.
14. Temples of delight (Trapido). V happy to find this in a charity shop as I loved trapido when I read her books a few years ago and thought I'd read all of them.
15. Relative love (Brookfield). See above.
16. Brief lives (Brookner).
17. Fair exchange (Banks). The only Bank's I've not read. I loved her books, especially the L-shaped room.
18. Summer after the funeral (Gardam).
19. Guppies for tea (Cobbold). A light charity shop purchase.
20. Niagara Falls (McCracken). Loved her giant book.
21. Anderby Wold (Holtby). Loved South riding. Green Virago :)
22. Four frightened people.
23. Rumours of heaven (Lehmann). Wonder if related to Rosamund?
24. Cosmo Cosmolinus (Garner). It's a shame the green Viragos aren't more uniform.
25. Sea house (Freud). Enjoyed previous books so snapped this up in Oxfam.
26. Waiting (Jin). Only £1 and looked interesting.
27. Gut symmetries (Winterson). Liked Oranges...and thought this appropriate for a person with chronic stomach pain!
28. Second husband (Candish). Light charity shop read...
29. Trust (Flanagan)
30. Spell of winter (Dunmore).
31. East of wimbledon (Williams)
32. Sensible life (Wesley)
33. Spring sonata (Rubens)
34. I sent a letter (Rubens). Not read any Rubens, but 50p each I seem to recall.

Bottom shelf
I have read a few of these Persephones, so for this purpose I'll only list the ones I haven't! And not in order...
1. Operation heartbreak (Arthur)
2. Bricks and mortar (Ashton)
3. A very great profession (Beaumann)
4. The shuttle (Burnett)
5. Every eye (English)
6. Fidelity (Glaspell)
7. Manja
8. Carlyles at home (Holme)
9. Little boy lost (Laski)
10. Making conversation (Long)
11. Good evening Mrs Craven (Panter-Downes)
12. Fortnight in September (Sherrif)
13. Hetty Dorval (Wilson)
14-20 All seven Greyladies titles. (Fingers getting tired).

Since this photo, I've got two more books, the new Bloomsbury group Henrietta, and He's not that into you (another magazine freebie).

Phew. I suppose I should analyse this collection but I think it is more interesting as an oversight of what I am currently enjoying reading. Think I have so many books awaiting me for several reasons:
- getting into blogging has really inspired my reading
- offers at Borders, Waterstones and Persephone earlier this year
- a bit too much charity bookshopping!


  1. That's quite the list!
    I can't view the photograph but I know it from a previous post, I think.
    My immediate TBR pile is actually two, teetering and toppling beside the coffee table. The amount of books awaiting to be read on the shelves is astronomical. I tend not to keep them all together as it's far too intimidating and instead mix them up with the ones read. This isn't as confusing as it sounds as I know what's to be read and usually know where they are. I also have a few hundred TBR home in Glasgow.

  2. I think that's sensible actually, I always used to do that before things got completely out of hand this last few part 2 will reveal, I also have some TBR mixed in. Part 3 will cover the library pile..

  3. Great list! I'm guilty of excessive charity shop purchasing too!

  4. Barbara Pym is amazing, you'll love Excellent Women. I burst out laughing at one of the characters being called a slut because she was lazy, you know, a bit of a slattern. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was my favourite book of 2008 - hands down, you'll love that one too! One Fine Day is another on my TBR pile so if you feel inclined to pull that one from the shelf just let me know. You'll need to give me a headstart actually, you're so quick:)

  5. I'm still recovering from writing that list and there are another two parts to come - which I guess should be written before next Thursday!

    Darlene - I expect I'll take the first two you mention at some point on one of our weekends away this summer (away the next four, and then another two later on). And ditto One Fine Day...

  6. What an epic list, Verity! I'll comment on a couple of the ones I've read.
    One Fine Day is great, though it was five years ago I read it.
    The Well-Tempered Clavier I enjoyed, and reviewed in May 2008.

  7. Hi Simon - yes, I think it might have been your review which alerted me to it... I'd love to see your TBR list - I bet it'd be even more epic!


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