Top Ten Tuesday: TBR Books That Keep Getting Left on the Shelves


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For the rules see her blog.

This week’s topic: Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why – (maybe you’re scared of it, worried it won’t live up to the hype, etc. I don’t have any books that I’m scared of reading or am worried about in any way.

So, this week I’ve adapted the topic to suit me and it is:

TBR books that I keep leaving on the shelves – including books on my Kindle. These books have not seen the light of day for ages as they’re from the back of my double shelved bookcases or from the depths of my Kindle, or I’ve not read them yet just because they are so long that I choose a shorter book to read in preference, or because I’m reading newer books or review books.

From the black hole that is my Kindle.

These are books I’ve forgotten I downloaded:

  • Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver – On the Appalachian Mountains above her home, a young mother discovers a beautiful and terrible marvel of nature: the monarch butterflies have not migrated south for the winter this year.
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – set in 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes.
  • Sea of Poppies by Amitav Gosh – an epic saga, set just before the Opium Wars, an old slaving-ship, the Ibis is crossing the Indian Ocean, its crew a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts.
  • The One I Was by Eliza Graham – Rosamond Hunter is full of guilt about her involuntary role in her mother’s death. When her nursing job brings her back to Fairfleet, her childhood home, to care for an elderly refugee, she is forced to confront the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.

Forgotten books, some from the back of my bookshelves:

TBRs Sept 2019

  •  Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan – On an ill-fated art expedition of the Southern Shan State in Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas morning tour – and disappear. (Hidden at the back of my bookshelves.)
  • The Book of Love by Sarah Bower, set in the late 15th/early 16th centuries historical fiction about the Borgias. (Hidden at the back of my bookshelves.)
  • World Without End by Ken Follett – Book 2 of 3 in the Kingsbridge series. I’ve read book 1, Pillars of the Earth. World Without End is set two centuries later  beginning in the year 1327. You can see in my photo above just how chunky this book is – 1237 pages in a very small font. Need I say more about why I haven’t read it yet!
  • Slipstream: a Memoir by Elizabeth Jane Howard – I love her Cazalet Chronicles, which is why I want to read this book. Why I haven’t yet is a mystery!
  • The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff – a WWII love story, part thriller and part romance. This book turned up in the post one day from the publishers, unsolicited by me, which is probably why I haven’t read it yet.
  • Small Wars by Sadie Jones – This is historical fiction set in Cyprus in the 1950s as the EOKA terrorists are fighting for independence from Britain and union with Greece. (Hidden at the back of my bookshelves.)


34 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: TBR Books That Keep Getting Left on the Shelves

  1. Oh, I have my share of unread books on the Kindle, too, Margaret. And on the shelves. There’s just never time to read it all, is there? And there are so many different factors that go into what we choose to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t it funny – when we buy a book it seems at the time to be a ‘must read’ situation, with all the excitement that comes with book buying in general. Inevitably, those books get put on one side while we finish what we are currently reading, and then, and then….! All these volumes look really interesting though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz, I agree – so many times I’ve bought a book, really looking forward to reading it and so many times I’ve waited whilst I finish a current read and then the impetus fades. But searching through these TBRs has made me keen to read them soon … but which one should I read first?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh what a question! Of the titles you have featured (I bet you have plenty more hidden away 😉) I think I would be homing in on Flight Behaviour or The Luminaries. But it is a difficult choice!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have The Luminaaries and I really do want to read it but it never quite happens. One day! I’ll be interested in how you find Slipstream, Margaret. I love The Cazalets yet I couldn’t finish Slipstream.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The writing style was so dry. I am a huge fan of The Cazalets and much of Louise’s character was drawn from Elizabeth Jane Howard’s own life but I found the early chapters lacked feeling and sparkle. Just a dry account which left me cold. I’ve also been unable to enjoy any of her other books that I’ve tried so perhaps it’s just me. I might try again one day but I’m happy enough re-reading The Cazalets!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. When we moved The Bears made me weed out a lot of books that had been sitting on the shelves for too long, but one or two still made the cut. From the ones you’ve posted here I would say get round to Sea of Poppies and particularly Flight Behaviour, which is one of Kingsolver’s best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I haven’t read anything by Amitav Gosh, but the story appealed to me whereas I’ve read some of Kingsolver’s books, but I was a bit disappointed with Lacuna. I felt it dragged and it was as though something was missing – so I’ve been a bit wary of reading Flight Behaviour.


      1. I felt exactly the same way about Lacuna but Flight Behaviour was chosen by my book group and I was so pleased because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have read it and that would have been a mistake. She is well back on form.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Margaret, I am just like you, I have many books forgotten on in the deep recesses of my Kindle’s to-be-read folder and, before I got my new bookshelves, behind my double sometimes triple stacking of books. I hope you have time to read some of your long forgotten books soon and that you enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loved The Luminaries, abandoned Sea of Poppies, couldn’t even bring myself to consider World Without End despite having loved The Pillars of the Earth – somehow I seem to have lost the enthusiasm for major chunksters these days. Some of these look great – it always amazes me how many good books get left lingering on TBRs as we all get bogged down in keeping up with new releases… enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see that I’ll have to look at The Luminaries again very soon – it was the length that put me off before. I’m not so keen on reading chunksters these days – in the past I always liked to get stuck into a really long book, but these days I’d much rather have a shorter book, even when it’s an e-book. And those books from NetGalley really do get in the way of my TBRs! I keep telling myself not to request any more, but I can’t resist looking to see what is on offer every now and then, and then publishers send me emails too offering books.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I thought World Without End was quite good, but then Ken Follett is really becoming a favorite with me. Flight Behavior was incredible. I too have books that languish, unread for years, for really no good reason!

    Liked by 1 person

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