Monday, 7 June 2010


It's been a while since I've shared a picture of my TBR, and as it had to move home recently, owing to the chronic shortage of shelfspace at the cardigan residence, I thought it was time to share it with you. It's now a stack of 24 books*, a far cry from the days of last summer when it took up not just a shelf but a whole bookcase. Judicious weeding and focussed reading during my book buying ban at the end of last year got it down to more manageable proportions, but nevertheless there are some books on the pile which have been languishing for quite some time and which I hope you might convince me to read. However, I do save books for holidays, and as I have a weekend away in Cornwall in July and a week in the Lakes in September I shall probably save some of the most attractive ones for then.

Starting at the bottom...
* I picked up The camel bookmobile (Masha Hamilton)in a remainders shop last year - the title was appealing, but I've not got around to reading it.
* Sandy: the true story of a boy growing up in Cornwall in the late 1800s was a title that appealed to me for its Cornish connections - I think I read about it on Fleur Fisher's blog. Will probably save this to read around the time I go to Cornwall.
* I got this copy of Burning Bright for 2.99 with The times over 2 years ago; although I've enjoyed some of Tracey Chevalier's novels, this one hasn't appealed to me so much, I think because I don't know much about the period in which it is set.
* Fugitive pieces (Anne Michaels) is one of those books that I feel I ought to have read, and picked up in a charity shop for that reason. As it won the Orange prize, I really should get on with it for my Orange Wednesdays theme. Another one that has been languishing for some time.
* The white tiger was another Times book offer, and is another book I feel I ought to have read, but somehow never seems to appeal enough to make its way off the TBR - and has thus been waiting for over a year.
* I bought Nick Hornby's Juliet Naked a while ago and am sure I will enjoy it - it is the perfect holiday reading material, and I took it on my last holiday, and it was just bad luck that I didn't get to it then. Definitely this year!
* The next two books are Capachin Classics, The green hat (Michael Arlen) and The green child (Herbert Read). The first I won in a giveaway from Hannah Stoneman and the second was kindly sent to me from Capachin to review.
* Six ponies (Josephine Pullein-Thompson) is a recent republication by Fidra books, which I discovered was the prequel to a favourite trilogy of horsey books (Pony club challenge/Pony club team/Pony club cup) and I am looking forward to meeting some favourite characters again.
* The next three books are the latest Greyladies titles; these make exceptionally good holiday reads.
* I like to keep up with current children's fiction, and Skate school was a title I happened on in Oxfam - it seemed to be a modern variation on the boarding school story.
* The summer before is a newly released prequel to the Babysitters Club books which I am currently rereading, and so this will be a fun complement to that. Am not sure whether to read it now, or when I am done rereading the older books that I bought recently.
* South of the lights (Angela Huth) was something I picked up in Oxfam as a treat for having to work on the Bank Holiday. I've enjoyed most of her novels but hadn't come across this one, and find her relaxing and fairly undemanding.
* I was bowled over by Angela Du Maurier's Treveryan at Easter, and when I discovered that another of her novels was still in print, I had to order it. The road to Leenane isn't set in Cornwall but Du Maurier has plenty of Cornish connections and I am hoping for another intensely gripping read.
* First term at Cottisford is a school story from Bettany press who specialise in republishing books for fans of British girls fiction. I am sure I will have a treat in store here.
* The next two books were sent to me earlier in the year by Honno Press for review, and seeing them there reminds me that I must have a look at them so that I can write about them here. They are A burglary and Queen of the rushes. Both look fascinating and I have no excuse for letting them linger in this pile.
* I thought I had read all of Monica Dickens books, but it turns out that I haven't; I've still got The fancy, which I bought from ebay recently. As this really will be my "last" Monica Dickens, to save or not to save is the question.
* Simon from Stuck in a book recently lent me Miss Matty which he had written about on his blog; having enjoyed that, he kindly lent me 2 more Richmal Crompton books. I do love her adult novels, although they are very hard to find, for their discussion of family life and emphasis on domesticity. There are definitely similarities with Monica Dickens.
* Finally two childrens books which I picked up in a charity shop, just because they were by authors I hadn't come across and which I thought would get to have a look at when I fancied something gentle - Ponies plot (C Northcote) and Private keep out (Gwen Grant)

Phew! Along with my library books and VMCs I am quite well provided for...

* I do also have a separate pile of Virago Modern Classics TBR, which numbers around 10 books at present, but I keep them separate to make things less overwhelming.


  1. I have not read any of the books on your TBR, although many of them sound appealing. I'd love to read Juliet Naked, but I'm trying to not buy any more books for a while. I am amazed by your pile of only 24 books. I should really try and focus on reading my TBR pile for a while so I could post just one picture to sum up my TBR pile.

  2. Fugitive Pieces is an absolutely wonderful book, one of my favourites. Anne Michaels is a poet as well as a novelist and so the language and images are so beautiful. It may sound odd to call a Holocaust book 'beautiful', but it is...

  3. I also have the White Tiger, I brought it for £2.50 in a 2nd hand book shelf but its just been sitting on my shelf ever since.

  4. I need to read The White Tiger too. It has been on my shelves far too long. I love all the children's books on your list.

  5. Fugitive Pieces is wonderful. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of the Greyladies titles.

  6. What a lovely TBR pile, mine just seems to be getting bigger, I had a very successful library trip the other day so this has bumped mine up considerably!

  7. Hmmm. I grappled with the "White Tiger" a while ago & couldn't get into it at all. Might be worth putting it near the bottom of the heap? I intend to return to the fray at some point but my heap (well. teetering *cliff*) is even worse than yours :)

  8. Iris - I'm quite impressed by only having 24 books, it is so much less overwhelming than it used to be.

    tea lady - I am sure I will enjoy Fugitive Pieces when I get to it, I think it is the holocaust theme which puts me off.

    Jessica and Vivienne - glad other people have the White Tiger sitting unread.

    Kate - I have already read Murder at the flood which was very good!

    Dot - I have a library pile too, but keep it separate to remind me that there is time pressure on those books!

  9. Hah, I have a pile higher than that by my bedside table and those are just those that have gravitated there! My TBR is more mental than actual and is never, ever counted for fear of immediate collapse from being overwhelmed ;)

  10. Alison - I am pleased that it is quite an orderley heap...of course, if I read the things on it, I will then have to find them shelf space.

    Claire - you must have the largest TBR of anyone I know!

  11. How odd that your first two Capuchin Classics should both have "green" in the title...

  12. Wonderful selection on the TBR, I wish my TBR was that small... well I kinda do if it ever gets that low it amy be a miracle so I admire your restraint lol. I just recieved Fugitive Pieces as a treat and am looking forward to it as have heard many wonderful things.

  13. Oh so many good books, trust me Burning Bright is fab (and if you want to get acquainted with the characters try reading Songs of Innocence and Songs of Expereince by Blake first - the poems are short and they rhyme so you can be through the first read quite fast).

  14. I think my TBR might be around the 300+ mark at the moment although Good Reads might be lying (she said hopefully!).

    I love Tracy Chevalier but if I'm honest Burning Bright was the only one of her books which didn't really blow me away, still a good book, but considering I've read all her books it was a bit of a shock to not be immediately engaged. I didn't know anything about Vermeer before reading Girl with a Pearl Earring but loved its quiet style and then wanted to know more about him. Remarkable Creatures is a fabulous return to form - fossils have never been so attractive!


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