Top Ten Tuesday--Books that Have Been on My TBR the Longest that I Still Haven't Read

I am so grateful to Jana for taking over Top Ten Tuesday. I know she's been at it for about a month; I just haven't posted a TTT since she's taken over. It's a fun meme and a great way to meet new friends and add to my TBR. This week's topic is books that have been on my TBR the longest that I still haven't read. And there are plenty of those!

1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville--I have read over half of this. I just haven't read any of it since I started law school. My goal for law school, aside from graduating, was to finish this one--my white whale. Didn't happen. But I will definitely tackle it soon. I hope. It's a cloud hanging over me.

2. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf--I have a most lovely used copy! It's a great shade of yellow and there's some pretty blue and the white is a nice accent...I just haven't read it. I've read a few pages, but it just hasn't grabbed me yet.

3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy--I want to slay this beast as well. Many times in my reading days there have been readalongs for this one. I have signed up for them in the past and summarily fallen behind and quit. What is it about this book?

4. Jane Austen other than Pride and Prejudice--It took me a while after reading it for the first time to appreciate P&P, then read it again and totally appreciate it. I own all of the rest of Jane Austen. I think the matter is picking the right Jane Austen to read next. I've tried Emma, but she makes my teeth itch with her meddling and spouting off. And everything I've read about Sense and Sensibility makes it seem awfully similar to P&P. I'll figure it out eventually.

5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray--Typically, I like antiheroes. Just something about Becky Sharp though knocks the wind out of me. In the past when I've tried to read this one, she's just been a bit much.

6. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford--I bought this one my junior year of college. Up until that point, I was pretty good about buy a book, read a book. I didn't own hundreds of books. I didn't spend hundreds of dollars on books that just sit. This was the one I bought that started the avalanche. I think that if I ever read this one, I'll be able to manage my books and money better.

7. Possession by A.S. Byatt--I've started this one before, but something about it just held me up from finishing. At the time I was a lit major, so maybe it was just a little too close to home? I don't know. I'll try again.

8. The Complete Claudine by Colette--I bought the Colette biography, per Gilmore Girls, when I was a junior. I asked my French professor what she would recommend. This was her pick. I bought it. I read maybe 50 pages. I've read more of the biography--the story surrounding the Claudine stories is very interesting and I think I would like them if I ever sat down and read them.

9. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing--This book has been bought and sold and re-bought and I still haven't read it. Like the previous 9 on this list, I've started it, I've given it a try. I love the synopsis of the book. I just haven't gotten there.

10. The Portable Dorothy Parker--You'd think I'd devour this book. I love everything that I know about Dorothy Parker. Smartassed master of bon mots, swilling martinis. I ever wrote a poem in the style of Dorothy Parker once. But I've only ever read a few pieces from this volume. What is wrong with me?

The thing I like about this list is that I've tried reading every single one of these books on more than one occasion. It gives me hope that it's not just me, that maybe timing, the book itself, outside forces, whatever, are keeping me from finishing these books--I'm not too stupid or wrong. Some day I will get through them. I hope.


  1. I read Mrs. Dalloway and The Good Soldier in a Modern Novel class. Mrs. Dalloway is pretty good, but I really didn't like The Good Soldier.

    As for Jane Austen, you might like Persuasion! That's a favorite of one of my literature profs.

    My TTT:

  2. This is a pretty heavy duty list! Vanity Fair and Possession are two long-term inhabitants of my TBR as well. Mrs. Dalloway is excellent (then read Patrick Ness's YA novel Release, which is inspired in part by it!), and my favorite Austens are Sense and Sensibility or Emma. I think I read some Lessing in college, but that was so long ago. I know I read War and Peace, because I took a Russian lit class. It was...long. Boring in parts, terrific in others. A lot of these books are the kind of book one wants to have read more than one wants to actually read them, if you know what I mean.

  3. This is my first TTT since Jana took over too! Great category though :) I really want to read something else by Jane Austen that isn't Pride & Prejudice!

    Good choices, feel free to check out my TTT list :)

  4. I definitely think Sense & Sensibility is the best Austen to try after P&P. I wouldn't start with Emma or Mansfield Park. You might want to try Northanger Abbey though.


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