I’ve seen this tag from a few bloggers and booktubers and today I happen to be very much in the mood of ‘jesus I own a lot of books’, which seems the perfect time to confront the problem head-on and do The Intimidating TBR Pile tag. I was indirectly tagged by Sarah at Sarah’s Chapter so you should take a look at her tag post – and her blog for that matter because it’s lovely. Without further ado, let’s confront that intimidating TBR…
01. What book have you been unable to finish?
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – please do not kill me, fantasy fans! I tried, I really did, and I’ve heard such wonderful things about this series. I was in a mood for fantasy when I picked this up at the library and yet I still couldn’t finish it – I got to about 30% through before I realised reading was becoming a chore. Maybe one day I’ll try again, when I’m in the mood for reading a 600-page behemoth of a book.
What book have you yet to read because…
02. … you just haven’t had the time?
For months, years probably by this point, I’ve been meaning to read Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Since hearing such astounding things about Melville’s beautiful writing and his immense knowledge from a few booktubers I adore (Ron Lit, Baz Pierce, and Cinzia), I’ve been meaning to pick this classic up. The problem is that I know I need to be in the right frame of mind to dedicate time to this book, to read it quickly would cheapen it, and that would be a shame given how much praise I have heard for this book. One day, one day I will tackle the beast.
03. … it’s a sequel?
I pre-ordered V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows and eagerly anticipated its release by stalking her on Twitter (I love her Twitter feed, it’s a realistic look into a writer’s process), but I still haven’t picked it up. My excuse is that I can’t remember some of the finer points of the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, so I feel like I need to re-read that before tackling its sequel… or at the very least cheat a little bit and utilise Recaptains’ summary of it.
04. … it’s brand new?
It’s not necessarily brand new but I pre-ordered Alison Goodman’s The Dark Days Club in January and I’ve yet to pick it up. The words “swash-buckling”, “magic” and “Regency London” are appealing to me though so it’s only a matter of time before I crack open the brand new shininess of this paperback. Until then it will just sit pretty and new on my shelf, along with the other pre-orders.
05. …you read a book by the same author and didn’t enjoy it?
The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson, part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series which are an upcoming series of retellings of Shakespeare plays by contemporary authors. The Gap of Time focuses on Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale‘, a play which I managed to make it through my degree without reading but which I really ought to get around to. The only other book I’ve read by Winterson is her short story collection The World and Other Places. I was once assigned it for a contemporary literature module and we didn’t get along. I could only somewhat appreciate the craft in the writing and to this day I don’t particularly understand the hype around Winterson. It’s quite possible I just “don’t get her”. I’m told I’m so, so wrong in this opinion though so maybe trying her take on a Shakespearean narrative would be a better idea.
06. …you’re just not in the mood for it?
There are two strong contenders in this category, both quite appealing but both also quite large – Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries. Due to the page length of both of these tomes I know I need to be in the right frame of mind to tackle these beasts, as much as I’m eager to read them I’m also well aware of the need for the right attitude when approaching the reading.
07. …it’s humongous?
I feel like this goes without saying but definitely Hanya Yanigahara’s A Little Life. As the obvious joke goes… it’s not little in the least, and the themes sound more than a little bit heavy, so it seems very unwieldy. I will eventually get around to it, since I splurged on the hardcover edition when it was released and have yet to actually do more than use it as a convenient bookend for the rest of the TBR books on my shelf.
08. …because it was a cover buy that turned out to have poor reviews?
Definitely Tessa Harris’ The Anatomist’s Apprentice – I saw the American edition’s cover somewhere (probably booktube, let’s be honest here) and ‘ooo’-ed over it enough for the title to stick in my head. Next time I was in a charity book shop and saw a copy, I nabbed it with little thought. Imagine my shock when I came home, checked out Goodreads, and found less than positive reviews for it.
09. What is the most intimidating book in your TBR pile?
I don’t even have to think about this – War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I recently bought a lovely edition clocking it at around 1400 pages which is no small matter. Not only is it long in terms of sheer page number, its font is tiny, it is Russian literature so the naming system makes things extra complicated, it’s a translated classic… the list of reasons to be intimidated goes on and on. I’m considering watching the recent BBC adaptation alongside reading it, though, to hopefully keep the characters straight in my head amidst all the text. We’ll see.
10. Who do you tag?
I hereby tag anyone reading this. Yes, that means you.