My TBR: an ABC

I thought a fresh look at some of my TBRs might inspire me to read more of them by the end of the year. So here is the first instalment of my A – Z of TBRs (I’m thinking of making this a regular post).

A is for The Appeal by John Grisham: a story of political and legal intrigue.  (On my TBR shelves since February 2008.)

People were hurrying from the courthouse from all directions when the Paytons parked on the street behind it. They stayed in the car for a moment, still holding hands For four months they had tried not to touch each other  anywhere near the courthouse. Someone was always watching. Maybe juror or reporter. It  was important to be as professional as possible. The novelty of a married legal team surprised people, and the Paytons tried to treat each other as attorneys and not as spouses.

B is for The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine: a chilling tale of ambition, obsession and bad blood. (On my TBR shelves since July 2015.)

The Queen appointed him Physician Extraordinary in 1879. Most of her other doctors were in permanent residence but Henry, though sometimes staying a few days at Windsor, retained his professorship and his London home. Though he began on the lowest rung of the royal medical ladder, he enjoyed a special position. He was the Queen’s consultant on haemophilia.

C is for The Children’s Book is for by A S Byatt:  a saga about the years between the closing of the Victorian age and the dawn of the Edwardian, when a generation grew up unaware of the darkness ahead. (On my TBR shelves since August 2009.)

Everyone old and young, now gathered for a kind of sumptuous picnic. As happens in such gatherings, where those whose lives are shaped fortunately or unfortunately, are surrounded by those whose lives are almost entirely to come, the elders began asking the young what they meant to do with their lives, and to project futures for them.

If you’ve read any of these please let me know what you think?

To-Be-Read Books

It’s time for a check of my TBRs. I started listing books on LibraryThing in April 2007, so books I listed in 2007 as ‘to read’ are mainly books I owned before then. Currently I have 319 books listed as TBRs, which is far too many (and that isn’t counting e-books on my Kindle), so I’m going through them to see if I really do want to read them – I did when I first got them, but maybe not now?

I’m beginning by looking at the books I added in 2007 and here are 10 of the oldest books in my catalogue. Some of them I’ve started and put back on the shelves for a variety of reasons:


  • A Dead Language by Peter Rushforth – I really wanted to read this and have started it at least twice. I stopped reading it because of its size – it’s too heavy to read in bed and it’s very long. I loved Rushforth’s Pinkerton’s Sister and it was whilst I was trying to find out more about that book that I came across the world of book blogs – which then led me to writing my own blog.
  • Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man by Claire Tomalin – I stopped reading this partway in as I decided I needed to read more of Hardy’s own books before going further. I’ve read a few more of his books, but have never got back to this biography. I will get back to it.
  • Helen of Troy: A Novel by Margaret George – another long book, not started.
  • Martin Chuzzlewit (Wordsworth Classics) by Charles Dickens – I have started this, but this edition is in a very small font! I’ll probably read it on Kindle.

  • The Liar by Stephen Fry – I haven’t started this one. It’s Fry’s debut novel, described on the front cover as ‘Brilliant’, ‘Hilarious’ and ‘sublime’. Will I find it funny? I’m not sure.
  • 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro – I started it but can’t remember any specific reason I haven’t finished this book.
  • Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks – another one I haven’t started. A novel about the early days of psychiatry.
  • A Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela -I must have read about half of this book before I stopped. It was so long ago that I can’t remember why I didn’t finish it.
  • Band of Brothers by Stephen E Andrews – brotherhood on the battlefields in World War Two. Another book I’ve started a couple of times. I’ve watched the TV adaptation and I have a feeling that it’s better than the book.
  • The Olive Readers by Christine Aziz – not started. Dystopian fiction in which the Readers are smuggling and storing books in a secret library.

If there are any books here that you’ve loved or think are not worth reading do let me know.