Top Ten Books on My Winter TBR List

Oh, how I loves these seasonal lists!  They give me a lot to aspire to, though I have pretty much never really finished anything from them.  But, hey, hope springs eternal!  Right?  Anyway, here's what I'm thinking I'll be reading this winter...

Yay Google for having all the images!

1.  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy--If I read one book this winter, I want this to be it.  I'd love to read this over the course of December.  We shall see how that goes.  This has been on my to read list for a long time.  Winter seems like a good time to curl up and attack this behemoth.  I really enjoyed Anna Karenina and I've heard that this is more perfect than that.

2.  The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides--This one is up next on my TBR list, so I may well finish before winter officially starts in December.  But that's OK.  Due to the cold, I pretty much call everything after my mid-November birthday "winter."  So, this book.  I've been hearing some good things about the author and about this book.  I am really intrigued by the description on the back.  So I'm going to go for it.  I actually read the first paragraph this morning and I'm excited to give it a shot.  I just hope I'll have time to read today, but I don't think I will.

3.  Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris--I think it's about to become mandatory for me to read this book every holiday season.  In recent years, they've become more excruciating.  Example?  We vow to cut down on the sides for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We decide to split up the work so that no one has to do everything.  And yet for the past two years, despite these very detailed and lengthy conversations (which occurred more than once), the same relative has hijacked the event and bought shitty stuffing.  And this is with the side of the family that I actually like!  Now, I could be angry about this, but I'd rather disappear in this snarky book and hopefully get to drink a bit of booze.  To kill the pain of living.  I'm buying a copy for one of my good friends for Christmas.  Sedaris just tells it like it is and I can totally relate.

4.  Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers, and Swells compiled by Vanity Fair--I was so excited about this book when I impulse bought it a couple of weeks ago.  It's a collection of articles from the golden age of Vanity Fair magazine.  I totally want to devour this book.  The topics are pretty wide-ranging and there are pieces by Dorothy Parker and Evelyn Waugh and a whole bunch of amazing authors that I love.

5.  American Pastoral by Phillip Roth--Hmmmm....a couple of the books already on this list have been about the cracks in the American dream, so why not continue cracking it?  I guess.  I have not read anything by Roth.  I saw somewhere (hell, it may have been the back of the book) that this one was his masterpiece.  I have no problem starting with the best.

6.  Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh--I've been reading a bit about this book lately.  It sounds nice and snarky.  I love the interwar period.  It feels like one of the high points of literature.  OK.  It's totally a high point in literature and I will fight anyone who argues.  It sounds like a fun read.  I've read Brideshead Revisited before and really enjoyed it, so I'm hoping for more good things for this book.

7.  The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James--This is another one that has been on my radar lately.  I've heard that James is totally verbose, but I've also heard a lot of good things about this novel.  I read most of it for a class in college and I want to go back and really do it justice.  I love the idea of defying conventions and expectations.  I feel like I've been doing that a bit with my own family lately, so I want to read about it.

8.  John Adams by David McCullough--I keep starting this book.  Winter seems like a really good time to curl up with this massive biography.  I've heard that it is extremely well-written.  Adams was alive in a period of American history that I am not super, super familiar with, though I did take a couple of classes over the period.  (Only period in American history I've never studied as a stand alone course? Civil War...and I'm actually quite OK with this)  I don't know a whole lot about Adams other than he disagreed with my favorite Founding Father on...what...just about everything, right?

9.  You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz--I started this book and read almost 200 pages of it in just a couple of days, then I inexplicably set it aside.  I think this was because NaNo was right around the corner and I wanted to read other things for research...which I didn't wind up reading.  I find myself really liking thrillers like this and I want to finish.  It's at the point where it's getting good!  If I actually sit down with it, I should be able to finish in just a couple of days (if that).

10.  Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno--I've been thinking about Franny and Zooey quite a bit lately and may actually reread it, but I want to read a book about Salinger.  This is the latest biography on him to come out.  I've heard good things about it.  I bought a copy.  I want to read it.  And, as I already said, winter is a good time for curling up with a good biography.

I think I've picked a pretty good mix of fun books and meaty books, and fiction and non-fiction.  Then again, I'm always excited about my list of books and feel like I chose wisely.  :)

What's on your winter TBR list?


  1. Yay for War and Peace and Virgin Suicides! - I haven't read the rest :)


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