Monday, February 5, 2018

TTT: The Ancient TBR

With the delightful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish moving on to other things, TTT is now hosted by just one of their contingent, That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

The topic this week is: Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

Ouch. I feel like these topics lately have been a little too on the nose for me. I am really bad about not reading books from my TBR, especially the ones I put on when I first joined Goodreads back in 2008.  As a matter of fact, I'm sure the ten oldest items on my TBR all date from that summer.  Let's check, shall we?

Yes, that's 12 books, because that's how they show up on Goodreads, okay? I am pleasantly surprised, because it turns out that these books were added to my to-read list from November, 2008 (five months after I joined Goodreads) through April of 2011. This doesn't mean I've been burning through my deepest TBR titles, but it does mean that I did a decent clean-out about six months ago, eliminating titles that I either accepted I would never read, OR that I didn't need to keep on the list, because, for example, I KNOW that I haven't read David Copperfield, and I'm not likely to forget it exists. 

Maniac Magee is a MG classic, but it hits that time period between when I was a MG reader and when I was a MG teacher. So I'm afraid it will just be kind of dated, without having the nostalgia pull of books I read as a kid. But Spinelli is pretty awesome, so I still think I should read it.

Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States is by Bill Bryson, and I love me some Bill Bryson. When I read Summer 1929 I realized that it is okay to read sections of nonfiction without finishing it, and that may be the permission I need to give myself to tackle this one too.

Promised Land: 13 Books that Changed America is a book about books, which of course is an awesome thing, and it's by a guy I took 20th century lit from in college. I've read and enjoyed some of his other work. I'm already seeing a pattern in these books, which is that I strongly suspect I would enjoy them, but they are serious, nonfiction, and/or lengthy. I guess I'm kind of a lightweight.

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith is by Anne Lamott. Like what I said about Bryson, I've loved other books by her, but need to get motivated to take this on.

Waltzing the Cat is by Pam Houston, whom I was really fond of reading in my twenties. She's way more of a badass than I ever was (or, needless to say, will be), what with her river rafting and weakness for cowboys, but I still liked to pretend I could relate to her, or at least that the lessons she hewed from her mistakes were ones I could benefit from as well.

A Crack in the Edge of the World is actually a book my husband told me about. He doesn't read fiction, or novel-length nonfiction, but he was a geology major, and a book about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 sounded interesting to him. So...I put it in on my TBR? To be fair, this kind of micro-history is one of my favorite types of nonfiction.

Shadow Tag. Another book by an author I have read and enjoyed, and, let's face it, an author I feel like I should be better read in. There are so few Native American authors I've read--Erdrich, Alexie, Gansworth, Least Heat Moon. Part of me thinks I should seek out other voices, but part of me thinks that Erdrich is a major American novelist, and it would behoove me to check out more of her work.

Twilight Robbery is--wow!--a light-hearted YA fantasy!  Why haven't I read it? I suspect it's because I really enjoyed the first book in the series, but don't remember much about it, leaving me with the age-old "fake it, or re-read" conundrum to solve.

At Home: A Short History of a Private Life is another Bill Bryson book, one I added in the midst of a bunch of research around home building. I think I read a chapter or two once and didn't get into it, but I might be thinking of a Michael Pollan book.

A Heart For Any Fate is a westward expansion novel, which is a genre I was majorly into as a kid, and still enjoy from time to time. This one is a prize winner. I should read it.

The Namesake sounds good. I read Lahiri's book of short stories shortly before adding this book to my TBR, so I must have been somewhat impressed with it. 

The third volume of Persepolis, like Twilight Robbery, is one I am only avoiding because it's been so long since I read its predecessors. I liked them a lot, being much of an age but very much not of a similar background as the author. I might even have this in my classroom library. 

The lesson I learned from this week's topic is that I have lofty expectations for my own reading, but more often than not, read the easy stuff instead. I am sure I would enjoy all of these books (that's why they're still on the list), but I am not going to guarantee that I'll read any of them any time soon. 


  1. Once I started getting into it my list threatened to explode too, so I had to check myself. :) I think I have some of Bryson's books on mine too, from ages ago.

  2. wow I can't believe I don't have any of these books on my TBR! I'll have to check them out and add some!

  3. I hope you eventually get a chance to read all these! Maniac Magee is on my Newbery reading list, so I’ll get to it eventually. I loved Lahiri’s short stories, so I don’t know why I haven’t read her novels.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. I've read At Home by Bill Bryson and enjoyed it but it's massive - both in page count and the amount of information he managed to cram into the book. I had much better luck with it on audio. I have a Lamott book on my list and really do want to get around to reading it someday. It's really amazing how many books are just sitting on our TBR for years!

    1. Oooh, I like the idea of getting that on audiobook. It's the right kind of book for me to listen to.

  5. I feel like my daughter read Maniac Magee, because it was really popular in her youth. In fact, she read a bunch of Spinelli. He really does write great books.

  6. I think most of these are okay to ditch if you want. I would read Namesake because of Lahiri’s beautiful writing. And Lamott because she always makes me laugh. Well, Bryson, too.

    I’m obviously not much help.

  7. I haven't read a single one of these either. Shadow Tag in particular has been gathering dust on my shelf and I also love Erdrich.

  8. Omg Maniac Magee!! I read that in school and LOVED it so so much. And now I totally feel like a reread?!? So thank you for that.😂


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