Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Top Ten: I HAD to Have Them


(Okay, it's not Tuesday, but I just posted, so this will have to wait a day or so.)  First, I have to thank The Broke and The Bookish for this meme -- haven't done many memes lately but this one made me laugh. . . especially when I looked back on my postings and I did this list back in 2011!!  And I've only read three books from the first list, one of which I tried and abandoned.

Well, to keep things fresh, here are another ten books I absolutely had to own . . . and still haven't read:

1.  The Love Child by Edith Olivier.  Read about this after many rave reviews, especially by Simon at Stuck in a Book.  Ordered this and had it shipped from England -- from England, I tell you!!!  Still haven't read it, more than two years later.

2.  One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde.  I was terribly disappointed to miss Jasper Fforde at a book signing up in Austin, a mere 80 miles away -- I didn't hear about it until later the same night, and I'd never have made it in time.  I was consoled by one of the signed copies he left behind at BookPeople, the best independent bookstore in Texas -- maybe the whole world!  And yet it is still unread.

3.  The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer.  In December of 2011, my library's Jane Austen book group had a Georgette Heyer discussion -- we didn't have enough copies of any single book, so everyone chose a different book and gave a booktalk.  I read The Grand Sophy and absolutely loved it, and promptly read two more Heyer books in quick succession.  Then I went out and bought The Unknown Ajax, and haven't read any Heyer since.

4.  Millions Like Us:  Women's Lives During the Second World War by Virginia Nicholson.  Another book purchased from the UK after reading rave reviews on the blogosphere.  I love reading about the War at Home, but I still haven't picked this one up.  I'm currently obsessed with nonfiction so maybe I'll be inspired to read this one soon.

5.  To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carol Wallace.  I didn't so much buy this one as hand it to my husband in a bookshop (not long after the first season of Downton Abbey) and strongly suggest he purchase it for my upcoming birthday.  (I'm not very subtle about birthday gifts.)  That was two years ago.



6.  A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor.  See #5.  Same trip to the bookstore, same birthday.   I haven't read this one either!!!

7.  Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham.  Not long after reading The Painted Veil (and loving the film adaptation) I drove over to Barnes & Noble one night and couldn't decide if I should buy Theatre or A Christmas Holiday.  So I bought both -- about four years ago!!  I did read A Christmas Holiday and was underwhelmed.  I have higher hopes for Theatre.

8.  The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West.  Bought last year after watching the second season of Downton Abbey.  (Do we see a pattern here?)  This is actually the second copy, the first copy was all warped and I sent it back to Amazon in a fit of pique.

9.  The New York Stories of Edith Wharton.  A lovely NYRB books edition, bought before the Borders liquidation, but I'm sure I bought it at a discount with one of the multitudes of coupons they were forever giving me.  I don't think I ever paid full price for anything at Borders, ever, and I'm sure their demise is partly my fault.  I've put this one on my TBR Pile Challenge list for 2013, as an alternate, so I'm determined to finish it this year.

10.  The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell.  Purchased back in 2006 after I read Love in a Cold Climate (ironically, I was living in Florida at the time.)  I read Don't Tell Alfred as one of the alternates on my 2012 TBR Pile Challenge, so I'd really like to read this one soon.

I still have almost 200 books unread on my shelves.  Still, half the books I read last year came from my own shelves, which is not bad considering I work in the library and am faced with literary temptation more than 40 hours a week.  At least I don't work in a bookstore!

And what about you, bloggers?  Any books on those shelves you couldn't resist. . . and still haven't read?

17 comments:

  1. Oh lord yes - and I'm already piling up the 2013 books, when I have 60+ unread from 2012 alone - all of which I HAD to have. I had to laugh at your first, I too have ordered books from the UK only to leave them languishing, which feels worse than ignoring books I came across at Half Price Books.

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    1. What's really annoying is visiting HPB and finding books that I already own, HAD to have, and still haven't read -- and that I paid full price for them. Aarrgh.

      I haven't counted how many books I bought in 2012. I don't think I want to know!

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    2. Especially when I find the UK version that I paid extra for, sitting on the shelf at HPB. Maybe we need a reading challenge: "You HAD to buy it, now you HAVE to read it!" :)

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    3. I think that's a GREAT idea!! I bet we could get a lot of people signed up!!

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  2. I gave myself a modified 2013 TBR dare to read a mere 10 books from my shelves between January 1 and April 1. So far, I have only managed to finish five. I got sidetracked because I decided in January to also to try and read as many of 16 2013 Tournament of Books contenders before the March 3 judging began. Of the 10 books I chose to read from my TBR, at least two have been waiting for over 20 years, so you are not alone.

    That is great that you managed to procure a copy of The Love Child. I too had my interest piqued due to Simon T.’s enthusiasm for that book, but affordable copies are hard to come by. I have a friend who lives in Edinburgh and I have tasked her to keep her eyes open for me when she is browsing the charity shops there. Speaking of Simon, I did manage to get a copy of Guard Your Daughters last year after his enthusiastic review with the intention to read it right away…and I haven’t gotten to it yet!

    Of your list, I have only read The Sisters by Lovell. I checked it out from the library after reading Love in a Cold Climate. I like Nancy Mitford’s novels (I have also since read The Pursuit of Love) well enough, but really I think it is the Mitford family that fascinates me. Whenever you get around to reading The Sisters, I think you will enjoy it.

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    1. I'm trying to read 50% books from my own shelves. I just barely made it last year, though some were rereads. So far this year I'm doing about the same.

      And don't get me started on Guard Your Daughters!! I have a long and ridiculous story about it. When I finish it someday I'll have to write the whole thing in a separate posting.

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  3. That's funny, I just reviewed one of Wharton's New York Stories on my blog this week! I'd never heard anyone else even mention them before.

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    1. Her short stories are great -- I especially love her ghost stories. I have a big stack of unread NYRBs and I think they might make up my entire TBR Pile Challenge next year.

      I'll be reading your blog posthaste!

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  4. Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions. I will be referring back soon. Love visiting "The BookPeople" when in Austin. Bonnie

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    1. BookPeople is the best bookstore EVER. I never miss a visit when I go up to Austin.

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  5. So...I"m curious - which of those from the first list did you try and abandon??

    Theatre is an amazing book. I think of all the Maugham I've read and reread over the years, it comes out on top. I was very underwhelmed by A Christmas Holiday too, but I *adored* Theatre.

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    1. It was The Barnum Museum by Steven Millhauser -- I'm hanging my head in shame because I know you loved the story about Clue! I'll try it again someday, I just couldn't get into it.

      I'm glad to hear you liked Theatre, because I really want to like it. I also want to reread The Moon and Sixpence and Cakes and Ale. I read them years ago and have absolutely no memory of them at all.

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  6. LOL my TBR pile is pretty ridiculous now but I've accepted the fact that it will just have to be a constantly growing list. Can't be helped. I was reorganizing my shelves today (they were starting to look a little cluttered) and realized I had three Ron Rash novels, all bought at separate times, haven't read any of them yet. But I'm addicted to great book sales though! I see a deeply discounted book bin anywhere and I feel like I have to at least look. And then when I find a title I've been looking for for forever, or one that had a ton of great reviews, it totally makes my day and I do have that moment of "I must have this! When will I find it at such a steal again?!" Bless my husband, if he sees me heading toward a book display, he just quietly wanders a few aisles down and loops back to me a bit later :-P He doesn't get into the book thing quite as much as I do, but he's supportive in that he'll always ask "Anything good?". Your mention of asking your husband for the books reminded me that this past Christmas my husband gifted me with two different box sets of series I had expressed interest in for the past few years. I was SO siked to finally have them in my collection, have yet to crack them open. One day though!

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    1. I have to exercise EXTREME willpower whenever I go to Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books. I did go to New York City over the Christmas holidays and I think I came home with something like seven new books. It's kind of embarrassing.

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  7. To answer your last question, yeah, most of them!

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  8. I think there are 12-step programs for addicts like us! I couldn't have resisted that Edith Wharton, either!

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  9. I could have made a list like this, too, definitely! I liked reading everyone else's lists. I work in a library, too, so tend to read newish books.

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