I’ve been tagged by Laura at Reading in Bed, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m in the throes of a mild blogging funk (no issues to speak of, I just haven’t found the time this month), so what better way to bust through it than with a semi-mindless post that takes little no research!
For the record, I’m already five novellas deep into Novellas in November. I just haven’t blogged or tweeted about it. At all. Because … well … knowledge is power? We all need a little more mystery in our lives? Every dog has its–I just haven’t been in the writing mood, okay?!
But in an effort to shrug off my laziness (I’m blaming you, Giller Prize Reading Challenge), here’s a post about a bunch of books I’ve been too lazy to read.
How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
Until this past summer I never actually kept a consistent, physical TBR pile. I’ve always just haphazardly placed my unread books among my read books on one of the bookshelves around my house. No system. Total chaos. But I’ve started a pile of about 10 books on my bedside table, and it’s been working pretty well so far.
Like everyone else, I also have a TBR shelf on Goodreads. But I don’t really use it to keep myself on track or anything. I’ve tried, even going so far as arranging hundreds of books in the order in which I planned on reading them, but the effectiveness of that plan lasted less than the time it took me to even finish the list. If I’ve learned anything from book blogging these last four years it’s that my reading habits are alarmingly short sighted and fickle.
Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?
Always, always, always print. I’ve read exactly 0.4 of an e-book. Doesn’t work for me.
To be fair, I blame the god-awful, why-would-they-even-sell-something-so-slow Kindle that was gifted to me for Christmas five or six years back. I have nothing against e-reading, per se.
How do you determine which books from your TBR to read next?
Like I said, I’m an extremely fickle reader. I still try to plan out my reads three or four books ahead, but I almost never stick to my reading plans. The fact that I managed to read all five Giller nominees in succession over five weeks is, quite frankly, astounding.
Most of the time, I just read the book that jumps out the most from the 10-or-so books on my bedside table.
A book that has been on my TBR the longest?
Without doubt, it’s The Final Confession of Mabel Stark by Robert Hough. This book has somehow traveled to three different cities with me and I haven’t as much as read a single page. I don’t even plan on reading it. Ever. I mean, sure, I’d love to take a run at it someday, but I just know that, short of a TBR Challenge and some serious peer pressure, it’s never going to be at the top of my list. Even though it sounds really fun.
“In the 1910s and ’20s, during the golden age of the big top, Mabel Stark was the superstar of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, and one of America’s most eccentric celebrities. A tiny, curvaceous Kentucky blonde in a white leather bodysuit, Mabel was brazen, sexually adventurous, and suicidally courageous. The Final Confession of Mabel Stark is Robert Hough’s brilliant, highly acclaimed novelization of her fantastic life. It is 1968 — Mabel is just turning eighty and is about to lose her job at Jungleland, a Southern California game park. Devastated by the loss of her cats, she looks back on her life and her five husbands: the fifth would one day be tragically mauled by her one true love, her ferocious yet amorous 550-pound Bengal tiger Rajah. Starting with her escape from a mental institution to begin her circus career as a burlesque dancer, Mabel’s exquisitely voiced confession is a live wire of dark secrets, broken dreams, and comic escapades. It is a brilliant, exhilarating story of an America before television and movies, when the spectacle of the circus reigned and an unlikely woman captured the public imagination with her singular charm and audacity.” (Goodreads)
A book you recently added to your TBR?
Well I just bought a new book today, but it’s basically going to go right into my reading rotation so I’m not sure it counts: The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray. This is his follow-up to the fantastic Skippy Dies.
Fun Fact: Skippy Dies is one of Three Books I Constantly Recommend to People (That They Never Read)©
A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
I won’t go so far as to say that it’s strictly because of the cover (I’d never buy a book based on the cover alone), but I’ve wanted to read We, The Drowned for two years now based on a 80/20 cover-to-reviews ratio.
I mean, like, look at that thing. I want to frame it and put it on my wall.
I should really get to reading it, though. It sounds great.
“A generational saga, a swashbuckling sailor’s tale, and the account of a small town coming into modernity—both Melville and Steinbeck might have been pleased to read it.” — New Republic
A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. Mostly because I don’t know what the fuck this book is and have no clue how it’s on my Goodreads TBR.
An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?
There’s actually three big ones!
Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay (May 10, 2016): Kay’s last novel, River of Stars, is my favorite novel by a Canadian writer, and one of my top three all-time novels (debatable, but I’ve been saying it for two years now). Children of Earth and Sky is “inspired by the conflicts and dramas of Renaissance Europe. Against this tumultuous backdrop the lives of men and women unfold on the borderlands—where empires and faiths collide.” (Goodreads)
The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel (Feb 2, 2016): My new mother-in-law is Portuguese, and she and her husband travel there yearly for month-long stays. I’m sure I’ll be travelling there myself, one day. So I’m curious about all things Portugal. Especially when those things are told to me by the brilliant Yann Martel.
Fun Fact: I should actually change it to Four Books I Constantly Recommend to People (That They Never Read)©, because I need to add Testament by Yann Martel to to the list.
The High Mountains of Portugal is an “allegorical novel that explores questions of loss and faith, suffering and love. Sweeping from the 1600s to the present, The High Mountains of Portugal weaves three intersecting narratives into a captivating blend of epic journey, ghost story, and contemporary realism.” (Goodreads)
Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson (Feb 4, 2016): Shylock is My Name is the second novel in The Hogarth Shakespeare series, a grand project that will see eight authors re-write some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays in modern settings. Shylock is a re-telling of The Merchant of Venice.
Fun Fact: Canadian Margaret Atwood is re-writing The Tempest. (To be published next November)
A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
Can’t really think of one, to be honest.
A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?
Probably Animal Farm. But I’m going to be reading it before Novellas in November is over, so suck on that, “everyone.”
A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
Children of Earth and Sky is definitely number one, but I’m weirdly excited to give A Wrinkle in Time a re-read. I haven’t touched it since I was 12, and from what I recall, I hated it. I’m anxious to take another stab at it.
How many books are on your TBR shelf?
There’s the aforementioned 10 on my bedside table. There are 121 on my Goodreads list. And probably 150 on my bookshelves at home.
Tag, you’re it!
- The gals at Like Bears to Honey
- Emily at The Bookshelf of Emily J.
- Eva at The Paperback Princess
- Tania and/or Kirt at Write Reads
If any of you have done this already, just go ahead and sue me.