Top Ten Unread Books

Top Ten Books I Absolutely Had To Have ‘“ But Still Haven’t Read. I saw this on Litlove’s blog and thought it was a great idea. You never know it might just spur me on to read some of these.

They are all books I was driven to buy but the impulse to read them had passed by after I bought them, replaced by the urge to read other books. I still would love to read them.

They are:

  • The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning. I’ve read and was deeply engrossed in the first two of these – The Great Fortune and The Spoilt City as separate books, three years ago! At the time I wanted to read the final book as soon as possible, but I couldn’t find it published as a separate book and so a year later I bought the Trilogy including all three books. I still haven’t read the third one Friends and Heroes. The three books are a portrait of Guy and Harriet Pringle’s marriage during the Second World War.
  • The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson. I bought this three years ago after I’d read and loved Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. Like Crow Lake, The Other Side of the Bridge is set in Canada, this time about two brothers in the 1930s, when their uneasy relationship is driven to breaking point.
  • The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. The Poosionwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favourite books, so I just had to get this book. It’s so long though and I read several indifferent reviews which made me less inclined to start it – but I do intend to read it, just not yet.
  • Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maugham. I’d read a few of Maugham’s books a while ago and full of enthusiasm wanted to read this one, said to be the most autobiographical of his masterpieces. I got it for a Christmas present in 2008 andI’m still anticipating it will be very good.
  • The Children’s Book by A S Byatt. I have this in hardback as I couldn’t wait for it to come out in paperback. I’ve read many conflicting reviews about how good or otherwise it is and have actually read some of it. But it’s got such a huge cast of characters and I wanted to read Wolf Hall at the same time and couldn’t cope with two such long and complicated books, so I temporarily put down The Children’s Book to read later – then other books got in the way. I’ll need to go back to the beginning when I do get back to it.
  • The Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill – another book I wanted to have before it was available in paperback. This one is the fifth in her Simon Serrailler novels.
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I loved March by Geraldine Brooks, which prompted me to look for more by her. This one has had good reviews all round and I have absolutely no idea why I didn’t read it straight away.
  • The Needle in the Blood by Sarah Bowyer. I seem to have had this book for ages, spurred on to read it by so many good blog reviews a few years ago and it’s still sitting here unread, a novel about the women who created the Bayeux Tapestry.
  • The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. Well, I love Margaret Atwood’s books, so how could I not buy this one? It covers the same time period as Oryx and Crake,  a book which I’d read some time ago and remembered as being one I had to concentrate on – not a book to skip through. So I thought I’d better wait for a suitable frame of mind to read this – it hasn’t arrived yet. But I do want to read this.
  • The Secret River by Kate Grenville – another book I’ve had for nearly three years, inspired by other bloggers to buy it I still haven’t started it. I love books about the settlers/convicts lives in 19th century Australia. I really must read this soon.

14 thoughts on “Top Ten Unread Books

  1. Oh dear… I think I could do a top 100 let alone a top 10. LOL. Needle in the Blood – yes same here, mine’s sitting there unread too. I have read The Secret River… it’s very good. Also People of the Book – not so smitten with that but it wasn’t terrible. I want to read The Children’s Book but am so unsure whether or not I would like it that I’ll be sensible and get it from the library I think. Perhaps I’ll do this too later in the week.


  2. Just 10? I wouldn’t know where to start. I’ve only read 2 of your 10 and on that basis alone would recommend the Brooks as an easy but enjoyable tale. The Atwood…not so much.


  3. I think 10 is restrained! I have done the same thing with The Needle in the Blood – really must get stuck in. I’m currently sitting on The Importance of Being Seven, but only so I can have a surefire delight for a gloomy day!


  4. Margaret – I don’t even want to think about the number of books I wanted very much but still haven’t read. I just wish sometimes that there were more than 24 hours in a day to get to all of them.


  5. You’ve all commented on the number of books I’ve listed – well, of course, I have more than 10 – and couldn’t bear to think about any more than 10, or even like Margot to think about how many there are.

    Needless to say I have a few years reading before I run out of books! 🙂


  6. I should do a post like this *laughs* Well, I can tell you I LOVED The Children’s Book, Secret River and People of the Book … very good, enthralling books 🙂 Of Human Bondage has been in my stacks for YEARS!!! I really should read it 🙂


  7. ‘The Needle in the Blood’ is on my shelf as well. It was a gift, which makes me feel even worse about it. Do you think you should add ‘The Levant Trilogy’ to ‘Friends and Heroes’? It takes the Pringles’ story on into Egypt.


  8. I’ll be doing my version of this soon. I’m discovering, as others suggested both over at Litlove’s and here, that it’s very difficult to keep it to a mere ten. Still it’s a fun exercise. The only one on your list I’ve read is Of Human Bondage, and that was so long ago, and I’ve been in a mood to read more Maugham lately, so I just may have to reread it soon (which, you see, is why I never seem to get to half the books I buy. Sigh!).


  9. I noticed most of the books on your list are big ones and therefore time consuming. Maybe we all share the hesitation to start on a fat book because we think of how many of the smaller ones in our TBR piles we could be finishing in the same amount of time. I have fat biographies and histories that have been sitting on the shelf while I indulge in faster reads. I too loved The Poisonwood Bible so The Lacuna would go to the top of my list along with the Susan Hill.


  10. These are such great choices and, I have to say, the majority could have been on my list, too! The Kingsolver, the Byatt, the Brooks and the Bowyer are all waiting for me, and my overdue Margaret Atwood is The Blind Assassin. I am so glad it’s not just me who buys books with the firm intention to read them instantly and then years pass!


  11. Year of the Flood is one of the few books I really had to have and then actually managed to read soon after acquiring it. That’s something that doesn’t happen very often.


  12. Lots of books on there I’d like to read, especially the Manning and the Byatt. I really enjoyed the Maugham and can recommend that highly. But you don’t need recommendations, do you! 🙂


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