Eight Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read 

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.

The topic this week is Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read. Years ago I didn’t have had any books I hadn’t read – as soon as I bought or borrowed a book I read it. I didn’t have a backlog! Now I have so many that I have to prioritise, which means that books like these I’ve listed below keep being left on the shelves even though I was really excited to read them when I bought them. It’s comforting to know I have books ready to read, but it was also great when I could buy and read a book straight away.

There are two books listed on my LibraryThing catalogue that I’ve owned since 4 February 2007 – A Dead Language by Peter Rushforth and Thomas Hardy: The Time-torn Man by Claire Tomalin. I did start to read both of them years ago, but put them aside for a while – and that’s where they still are. I bought the Rushforth book as I’d loved his first book, Pinkerton’s Sister, but A Dead Language doesn’t have the same appeal, although I can’t bring myself to the point of actually abandoning it. Whereas I still really want to read the Hardy biography …

I have two novels about Troy –The Song of Troy by Colleen McCullough and Helen of Troy by Margaret George – both bought because I love historical fiction and have enjoyed books by both authors. I devoured McCullough’s Rome series and expected to be able to immerse myself in The Song of Troy but the book is in such a small font that I haven’t got very far reading it. I loved Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George years ago so I was really keen to read Helen of Troy, but it is such a big thick book of over 750 pages that it is so unwieldy, hard to hold and so tightly bound I can hardly open it.

The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone is a book I’ve been longing to read for years. It’s a biographical novel about Michelangelo. The copy I had was impossible to read as it was falling apart so I bought a new copy – but it’s still sitting waiting to be read. Why? Well because I have so many other books I really want to read …

Another book I’ve had since 2007, still waiting to be read for the same reason is 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro. 1599 was the year the Globe Theatre was built and that Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar, Henry V, As You Like It and Hamlet. it’s full of detail, not just about Shakespeare, his plays and the theatre, but also about the events of his life and times!

Two more books I really wanted to read before now are The Children’s Book by A S Byatt and Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally.

When I bought The Children’s Book I was in the middle of reading Wolf Hall and I 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 was really excited to read Schindler’s List when I bought it as I’d recently watched the film, Schindler’s List for a second time and was very moved by it – it had me in tears. It was first published as Schindler’s Ark. It recreates the story of Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi party, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. He rescued more than a thousand Jews from the death camps.

TopTen Tuesdays: Bookish Characters

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.

The topic this week is Bookish Characters (these could be readers, writers, authors, librarians, professors, etc.). There are some Top Ten Tuesday topics that I think I’d struggle to find ten books – not so with this one. It’s a no-brainer as I’ve read plenty of books with bookish characters, most of them librarians. These are just ten of them:

  1. The Serpent Pool by Martin Edwards, Marc Amos, a rare book dealer
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Liesel Meminger, who loves books
  3. The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett, Peter Byerly, an antiquarian bookseller and Bartholomew Harbottle in the Elizabethan/Stuart period and the Victorian Benjamin Mayhew 
  4. The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse, Bernard Joubert, a bookseller
  5. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, Mr Hutchings, Westminster travelling librarian
  6. The Wench is Dead by Colin Dexter – Christine Greenaway, a librarian at the Bodleian Library.
  7. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles, Odile Souchet at the American Library in Paris
  8. Crucible of Secrets by S G Maclean, Robert Sim, the college librarian (it was called Crucible when I read it)
  9. Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake, Sourdust, the Gormenghast librarian
  10. The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken, Peggy Cort, an introverted librarian