The terrible, dreaded TBR pile


y TBR is a monster of many parts:


On my bedside table waiting to be read or re-read (R)

(often because I enjoyed it the first time but was so tired I didn’t do it justice; I quite often try to read when I am exhausted). 

Other Household Toxins by Christopher Allen (R)

Feet In The Clouds by Richard Askwith

The Trick To Time by Kit De Waal

The Choice by Edith Eger

Bad Dreams by Tessa Hadley

In a Country Garden by Maeve Haran

Leap In by Alexandra Heminsley

Some of Us Glow More Than Others by Tania Hershman (R)

The Swordfish and the Star by Gavin Knight

The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan (R)

Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

After You by Jojo Moyes

Becoming by Michelle Obama

How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (R)

Jar Baby by Hayley Webster

A Little Life by Hanya Yanaghara (have been halfway in for years, restart)


On my shelf 

Various girls and dragon tattoos and hornets’ nests… the whole series.

Several Hilary Mantel tomes of varying size, including one big enough to move into.


In my Kindle 

Oh dear… [scrolls] lots of collections, and some old classic rereads such as The Handmaid’s Tale.


Classics that passed me by

These were flagged by a Twitter “quiz” to see whether I’d read more than 6/100 books (yes). Some of these are really embarrassing because “everyone” has read them. Everyone except me. In the order posed by the quiz:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

1984 by George Orwell

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

Far From the Madding Crown by Thomas Hardy

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (I read this just after having a baby, can’t remember a thing…)

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute


I have decided to read/reread these – all of them – before buying ANY more books. And then we’ll move onto the bookcase in the other room…


Image attribution


  1. Kath says:

    Good luck not buying any more books until you complete your reading challenge. I would find that way harder than the reading. Thanks for the tour of your TBR piles – I’m not sure I’d be able to sleep with that many books beside the bed, unless they were on the floor though!

    • TU says:

      Hi Kath, thanks for dropping by. I have a big windowsill…
      Every night, though, I look at it and despair. I start reading, but am usually so tired that I fall asleep very quickly and have to restart the same section the next night. I’ve read the beginning of The Goldfinch about 25 times; it’s a good book but I literally don’t have the time to get stuck in. (Which of course means I want to more than ever.)
      I’ve actually booked some reading time in my calendar now, the same as I would a gym session. Let’s see if that works!

      • Kath says:

        Fair play, a windowsill doesn’t seem as precarious as a pile of books on a bedside table somehow. That’s okay.

        I read before bed as well but rarely read when I’m in bed. I just nod off when I do that. Have you tried listening to an audiobook of The Goldfinch or alternating between that and the print copy? I find that helps when I’m time-starved but can listen when I’m cooking or ironing. (That might not be so easy to do with kids, I realise.)

        I like your idea of scheduling in some reading time. Hope that works for you!

      • TU says:

        Audiobooks are a great idea, I need to look into them. I remember listening to Pride and Prejudice on a school coach tour once, it was magical. For some reason I’ve never really got into them but I do enjoy them and they would fit into my life a lot more easily than having to stop, read and turn pages.

      • Kath says:

        Yes, they can be just as good or better than reading the book yourself, depending on the narrator. P&P is so witty & acerbic, a perfect antidote to a school trip!

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