Top Ten Tuesday: Must Haves, Just Not Must Reads

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the blogging team at The Broke and the Bookish, is asking me and my fellow bloggers to bust ourselves out about those books we just had to have, but that have been sittig on our shelves gathering dust ever since.  Well, I can't possibly make a list, because that compulsion has never happened to me!  I am frugal and circumspect in my book buying choices.  I don't ever walk into a bookstore and come out with a few extra impulse buys, like they are so many candy bars at the check out stand!  I never...

OK, who am I kidding?  Of course I have succumbed to the temptation to pick up a book in a whim which then serves as a shelf decoration for some period of time.  Sometimes I even pick up a book that I just can't wait to read, I need it NOW-except apparently I can wait to read it, because there it still sits, on my shelf.  Anyone who loves books-not just stories, but the actual physical thing-has probably got at least a couple of these squirreled away.  Please note that I WILL in fact read this books at some point, but with 350-400 books in my house I have yet to read I'm just not sure when I will read them!  Here's my list of the 10 most wanted (but not read):

1.  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen and Seth Graham Smith:  I love the irreverence of this idea-to take a beloved work of classic fiction and create a mash-up with something so absurd as a zombie story.  Can't tell you if I actually love the execution of it, because I still haven't read it.

2.  Life Mask, Emma Donoghue:  This is one of several titles that was on the long list for the Orange Prize for Fiction last year.  I vowed to read as many of them as I could by the time the prize was announced in June.  I bought about six of them-I read two.  This wasn't one of them.

3.  The Road, Cormac McCarthy:  What's puzzling about this one is that I bought the book specifically so that I could read it before watching the movie.  I'm still waiting to watch the movie because I haven't read the book.  Seems stupid, no?

4.  Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie:  This book has been sitting on my shelf for at least two years.  I've been telling myself ever since that whole fatwa business that I wanted to read it.  It took 15 hears for me to even buy it.  I kept putting it off last year because it is lengthy and I was trying to reach 100 books.  What's my excuse now?  Yeah, don't really have one...

5.  You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know, Heather Sellers:  First I read about this book on a blog, then I heard and interview with the author on NPR.  It's a fascinating topic-face blindness.  Imagine going through life not being able to recognize faces!  Well, I'll have to keep imagining, because it's still warming the shelf.

6.  Love, Toni Morrison:  I don't just love Toni Morrison-I worship at the alter of her fabulosity.  So why I've had this book on my shelf for literally years and have yet to read the slim volume is a mystery to me.

7.  A Mercy, Toni Morrison:  See above

8.  Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, Susanna Clarke:   This kind of fantasy story set as historical fiction sounded like and intriguing mix to me, so I bought it.  Then it came, and it's HUGE.  Not that I'm intimidated, mind you, but I am inpatient...I'll get to it, maybe this summer, when I can spend more time reading for me and less time reading for class.

9.  The Bookseller of Kabul, Asne Seierstad:  Unlike much of America, I knew well before 9-11 what was happening to women and girls in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule.  That's what originally drew me to this book.  Apparently it didn't draw me enough to actually read it, just enough to purchase it and let it have a place of honor on my to-be-read shelf for years.

10.  Amazing Grace, Jonathan Kozol:  Kozol's book Savage Inequalities complete changed the way I think about equity in public education, so when I saw his book about the effects of living in poverty on America's children I had to have it.  Have it, mind, not read it...


  1. I've read a couple of the books on your list (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Love, Strange & Norrell, Amazing Grace) and they're all pretty great. Plus you have some I really want to check out, like The Bookseller of Kabul and The Road. Love the list!

  2. Jonathan Strange is on my list too. Your list looks as though it will be fun. Good luck whittling it down.

  3. I have quite a few of these. I bought Mercy right when it came out. I've read Love and didn't like it that much, even though I love Morrison. I am fascinated by You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know, but have resisted buying it.

    Check out my list here:

  4. I read The Satanic Verses for my upper-division literary theory class. Hated the theory work, but I liked the book. I keep meaning to try another book of his but haven't yet.


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