Twelve Books in My TBR Pile that I’ve Been Meaning to Read for a While

How about a fun post today? As much as I’m grateful for writing last week’s tribute to the late Ursula K. Le Guin, I feel the need to do something lighter this week. Oddly enough, I know which topic to choose. Three of my book-blogger friends (Mogsy @ Bibliosanctum, Nandini @ Unputdownable Books, and Zezee @ Zezee With Books) recently posted Top Ten Tuesday posts featuring ten books that have been in their TBR piles for a while. I enjoyed reading their lists so much that I decided to do my own – and go figure, I came up with twelve books instead. 😉

So, in alphabetical order, here are the twelve books that have been waiting longest for me to read them. Let’s start with…

Born of Shadows by Sherrilyn Kenyon (The League, Book #4 / Dark Fantasy)

I picked up Born of Shadows on a whim when I found it on a Barnes & Noble discount table. It ticked off enough boxes at the time – an intriguing premise, conflicted protagonists, an invented world with a dark fantasy vibe. Then, not long after buying Born of Shadows, I learned the book was not only part of Kenyon’s Legion series, but smack-dab in the middle of it. Oops… So I’ve been hesitant to read it, in case it means I might not understand what’s going on because of events that happened in previous books.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Speculative Fiction)

I can’t believe I haven’t read Cloud Atlas yet! Three friends said it’s among their all-time favorite books; and after the third recommendation, I knew I needed to read it. So why is Cloud Atlas still sandwiched somewhere in my TBR tower? Well, for various reason, I haven’t made Cloud Atlas a priority. One day, though.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert (Memoir)

What’s weird is that a friend who’s a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s work gave me Eat, Pray, Love as a gift one year and then Big Magic the year after. Yet I jumped on Big Magic immediately, while Eat, Pray, Love still sits patiently on the shelf. I’m not reluctant to read it. In fact, I’m really interested in the travel and spirituality angles of Gilbert’s experience. It’s just that I have so many fiction books that I forget about the nonfiction titles I own. (*blushes*)

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho (Romance)

After reading (and adoring) Coelho’s The Alchemist, I snatched up as many of his novels as I could find and read all of them – except this one. Why? I think Eleven Minutes might be a little too… sensual for my tastes. This may be one of those books where I’ll have to be in the right mood (no pun intended) when I dive into it.

Eona by Alison Goodman (Eon, Book #2 / YA Fantasy)

I really enjoyed Eon, the first book in this Asian-inspired fantasy duology by Australian author Alison Goodman. The dragons in this world are gorgeous, fierce, and incredibly unique. Plus, if there’s one fantasy trope I don’t mind, it’s the “girl disguised as a boy” trope, and Goodman puts her own wonderful spin on it in Eon. Not sure when I’ll get to Eona, but it’s ssslooowwwlyyy making its way up my TBR pile, and I’m looking forward to the day when it gets to the top.

Five Decades: Poems, 1925 – 1970 by Pablo Neruda, Translated by Ben Belitt (Poetry)

This might hold the record for the Longest Unread Book on Sara’s Bookshelf. This collection of Pablo Neruda poems translated into English was one of three poetry books I received for winning the Poetry Award for my graduating college class. That was back in 2007 – which means I’ve had this book for over 10 years, yet haven’t read it. I might have to change that soon, especially since I’m writing poetry again.

In the Woods by Tana French (Dublin Murder Squad, Book #1 / Crime Thriller-Mystery)

Someone gave me In the Woods a few years ago as a gift. I don’t typically read crime thrillers, but the gift-giver thought the world of In the Woods, and a few other people I’ve talked to also recommended it as well as Tana French’s later novels. When will I get around to it? Like most of the other books on this list, I’m not sure, but I will eventually!

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (Kushiel’s Legacy, Book #1 / Fantasy)

I think I’ve had Kushiel’s Dart for… 5 years? Maybe longer? Anyway, several people recommended it to me, yet I haven’t been able to motivate myself to read it. This might have something to do with the protagonist’s backstory (Phedre was sold into sex slavery as a child) and the inclusion of some graphic BDSM scenes… So, yeah, it’s not going to be a comfortable read, and that’s probably why I keep putting it off.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (Historical Fiction)

Ohhhhh did I fawn over The Miniaturist when I bought it a couple years ago. The cover is gorgeous, and the premise stole my breath and sent shivers down my spine. Not to mention I love a good historical fiction novel; I’d even say it’s my third favorite genre, after fantasy and magical realism. Alas, like most other books on my shelves that aren’t fantasy or magical realism, I haven’t made time for it. But based on where The Miniaturist currently sits in my TBR pile**, I might actually get to it this year.

**Yes, I have an actual TBR pile next to my reading chair in my bedroom. (*face reddens*)

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (Historical Fiction)

Another book that quite a few people have recommended to me. Yet, like many of the others listed here, it hasn’t been a high priority, and I’m sure I’ll get to it at some point. And when I do, I’ve been told to have tissues ready…

A Princess of Landover by Terry Brooks (Magical Kingdom of Landover, Book #6 / Fantasy)

I… think I picked A Princess of Landover as part of an exchange for a duplicate Christmas or birthday gift? And I don’t remember why. The premise must have sounded interesting at the time. But I haven’t seen many friends or SFF bloggers discuss Brooks’ Landover novels, so I have no idea if this series is any good. Thoughts, anyone?

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy, Book #2 / Paranormal Romance)

So I read the first All Souls novel A Discovery of Witches a couple years ago… and I liked it. Or, rather, I liked the characters enough to keep reading, but thought the pace was slow and the writing overly detailed. And I’ve heard from people who have already read the series that those issues are… well, still issues in Shadow of Night. So I’m somewhat reluctant about continuing this series, because I already have a feeling this book might frustrate me. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

How about you? What books have been sitting in your TBR pile or bookshelves the longest? Have you read any of the books or series discussed in this post?

23 thoughts on “Twelve Books in My TBR Pile that I’ve Been Meaning to Read for a While

    • I know what you mean. Sometimes a book’s size / length intimidates me, too – and other times it doesn’t. I got Shogun by James Clavell for Christmas two years ago, and while it’s not a high priority for me at the moment (like many of the books listed in this post), I’m really looking forward to that 1,000-page doorstopper. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Eat Pray Love was really good! I read it back before it was a bestseller, but once books reach that status I’m not interested anymore😐 I also have Kushiel’s Dart and need to read it at some point, since everyone LOVES it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Most of these books sound awesome, like Cloud Atlas. I hope you have better luck with The Miniaturist, while I liked it I was not thrilled by it. The writing was great and all, I just did not jive with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard similar things about The Miniaturist. Some people loved it, and others thought it was OK. So when I finally get to it, I’ll try to keep my expectations realistic. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it, Luna. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I had a feeling you’d say that, Mogsy. *lol* We’ll see about Kushiel’s Dart. I’m sure I’ll read it at some point… Maybe I just need to be in the right mood for it (no pun intended)?


  3. It’s an excellent list, Sara – there are two books on that list I think you should bump up near to the top. One is ‘Cloud Atlas’. I’m not sure if fractured narratives is your thing, done well I think it is one of my favourite plot structure and no one does it better than David Mitchell, who is also a lovely man. I had the great good luck to attend a book reading of his several years ago. It was a magical evening… The other is the Pablo Neruda poetry collection – though my recommendation is to dip in and out of it. His love sonnets are absolutely exquisite. And if you have even a smattering of Spanish, track down the originals – the use of language and sheer gorgousness of the sound in your mouth as you say them aloud will give you goosebumps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you’d say that about Cloud Atlas! In fact, I think you were one of the three people who have recommended it to me. 😉 And when you say “fractured narratives,” do you mean stories that are told out of sequence? I’ve read a few novels like that and enjoyed them all, from what I can remember.

      With poetry books, I typically read one poem a night. So that will probably be the way I approach the Pablo Neruda collection – though we’ll see what happens when I finally read it. And yes, this collection shows the Spanish originals and English translations side by side. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes… fractured narratives means just that. Though the stories are told in chronological order, as far as I can recall (I read it a while ago) and there is a link between each one, there is also a jump in time and pov. No one handles this structure better than Mitchell in my opinion – he revisits it again in The Bone Clocks, which I also love. Also – glad to hear that I didn’t disappoint in my reaction:).

        Oh, I’m so pleased they have the Spanish there as well! It sounds as though this is a book I should treat myself to…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh! I have many of the same books on my TBR.
    Lol about reading Big Magic before Eat Pray Love. Eat Pray Love is one of my fav books that I turn to whenever I’m feeling down, so I highly recommend it to you. It’s uplifting to me, but I also love it because of how Gilbert writes.
    Same here on Eona. I enjoyed Eon and even reread in 2016 or 2017 so that I can read Eona and still I stalled on doing so.
    Kushiel’s Dart and The Miniaturist are also on my TBR. I’ve heard such great things about both that I can’t wait to start on them.


  5. Oh goodness, I have shelves full of books TBR.In fact, one of my goals for this year is to whittle it down to under two shelves! The Miniaturist was on that shelf for quite some time, until pretty recently. And while the writing was lovely, it was too dark for me. It created an excellent dark mood and lots of suspense…but it dragged me down. And regarding the Deborah Harkness books — for the first 50 pages or so of the first book, I thought oh now! Too much exposition! Why wasn’t all this cut??? But I got sucked in and enjoyed all of the books. Enjoy making your way through your books!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, believe me, those 12 books are far from the only ones on my TBR! They’re just the ones that have been on there longest.

      What you said about the Deborah Harkness books is EXACTLY what I thought when I was reading A Discovery of Witches. It was so slow and detailed, yet I had the darndest time putting it down! I’m just not sure if I’ll feel the same way about Shadow of Night when I finally read it, mostly because it’s been a couple years since I read the first book… and our tastes do change over time…

      Someone else I know said the same thing about The Miniaturist after she read it. I don’t mind dark reads, unless they get… well, really dark, I guess. :S But I’ll keep this in mind when I finally get around to it.


  6. The Miniaturist and Orphan Train have both been added to my TBR list. I am a huge fan of historical fiction so thanks for the recs! I think I have a book that you will love called “The Jinn and The Sword” by authors Sara Cook and Robert Peacock. The book takes place during the 16th century imperial Ottoman court. Il Lupo, master swordswman, and his small posse crush an assassination attempt on the emperor and solve mysteries surrounding the theft of sacred relics. It is exciting, suspenseful, fun, and beautifully written. Check out the website for more info:
    Hope you will check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting choice of books, Sara!
    I never got into Cloud Atlas (I think mostly because I only had the English version, and it was back when I wasn’t as comfortable reading in English yet), but I absolutely loved Mitchell’s Ghostwritten – to me, it’s a masterpiece. His more recent Slade House was nice as well.
    As for Kushiel’s Dart, I don’t think you have to worry. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve read it, but the sex scenes aren’t violent, sex is mostly consensual, and Phedre mostly enjoys it. In a way, it’s very romanticized, well-written (as opposed to certain contemporary erotica with DSDM), and somewhat tasteful. Though I would put a huge trigger warning for book 3 where things get much more violent, non-consensual, and dark. But I think you might be ok with book 1.

    Liked by 1 person

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