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Top Ten Tuesday, Which I Am Posting on Saturday

Since I started my blog on a Friday, I feel like I should be licensed to do this meme which is only apparently supposed to be done on a Tuesday.

I have a buying compulsion as regards books and DVDs. After buying them, I tend to not take the important next step of reading/watching them. This recently led me to the mortifying realization that I possibly have more unread than read books on my shelf. So this meme is perfect.

Top Ten Books I Just HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf

We all have them. That book that you needed to buy so badly and had every intention of reading it as soon as possible...but they're still on your bookshelf collecting dust or sitting in a pile on the floor.

1. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell: I have not one, but two copies of this book. A friend visiting from out of town finished it while en route and left her copy with me. The reviews for it basically acted like it was the second coming of Dickens, but Dickens with magic added. And who wouldn't be pro-magical Dickens? But it's a fricking huge book, and it intimidates me.

2. The Children's Book: New A.S. Byatt book? Of COURSE I have to buy it opening day. I mean, Possession was so awesome, and it's her first new book in years. And the cover's so pretty! — Yeah, I got about ten pages in and then started reading something else. I will read it someday. I will. I'd just be more eager to if it was about two 19th century poets gettin' it on.

3. John Adams: I have owned this book for about ten years. Remember when it first came out and everyone was all "Yeeeeahhhhhhh new David McCullough biography!"? I was in high school, and I wanted to marry John Adams, so I bought it. I have never gotten further than maybe 20% of the way in. My brain tells me maybe I should just give it up, but NO. It will happen.

4. A Damsel in Distress: This is the only PG Wodehouse I own. I've had it for maybe five or six years, and when I saw it in the bookstore, I desperately needed it. I honestly don't think I've read any of it. Ever. But after I finish Love Among the Chickens, I will maybe try it.

5. Middlesex: I specifically remember rounding up my friend Becca and making her go to the bookstore with me so I could immediately buy this book. Why I needed her to go with me, I do not know. But I do know I still haven't read it, and it's been a huge amount of time since then.

6. Cold Comfort Farm: Everyone said this was delightful and to read it. I went out, bought it, tried it, and soon gave up because the promised hilarity was not forthcoming. Since then it has sat, forlorn and abandoned, but surrounded by other books I'm ignoring, in my living room bookcase. If I were at all insane, I might start worrying that all the books I've neglected over the years might rise up against me some day in a sudden fit of rebellion. But of course I'm not insane and therefore have never thought that. Ever.

7. The Looking Glass Wars: It annoys me when people connect to things just because they have the same name as a character, but my mother shoved Alice in Wonderland down my throat from an early age. I had a doll. I had five thousand copies of the book. I had a dresser that she painted with scenes from the movie. So it was probably a cultivated-by-my-mother instinct that, upon seeing this book at Borders, said "BUY ME NOW." I like to think that it was the clichéd "You can't tell me how to live!" teenage thought that has prevented me from reading it thus far. I'll go through the motions, Mom and Dad, but I won't mean them! Although actually, that book looks kind of good.

8. Contact: I bought this at a now-closed bookstore in Geneva, IL. I think I was nine or ten. And I remember NEEDING to buy it. I've started it maybe four times, but it hasn't happened.

9. Mayflower: The first of Nathaniel Philbrick's books I haven't finished. This one I actually tried, though. But college interfered and I had to stop reading about why cod were so amazingly useful to the pilgrims. Actually, I might have that fact wrong, but that's what comes from not reading books.

10. The Last Stand: And, without having finished the book of his I already had, I told my brother he had to get this one for me for my birthday. Who DOESN'T want to read about General Custer? Sure, I've never had any kind of interest in the Old West aside from Annie, Get Your Gun (does that count as the Old West?) and the movie Maverick, but...actually, I don't know what my motivation was for wanting this book. Maybe a hope that somehow the Cavalry wouldn't come off looking like a bunch of assholes, although that seems unlikely, since they always look that way.


  1. Middlesex is very worth it. I couldn't make it past page 100-something of Strange vs. Norrell, but that was before I developed a crush on Charles Dickens this year, so.

  2. Is it? It's on my To Be Read Challenge list, so I'll hopefully get to it this year. And another problem I had with S&N was that I didn't feel like I could justify the time. I mean, what's to be gotten out of that book? At least Dickens had things like "Don't be a Mrs Jellyby, however fun her name is."

  3. WAIT are you saying you haven't read PG Wodehouse?? Like at all?? That can't be true. Anyway, I'm fairly sure I've read Damsel In Distress and it's kinda subpar. Sort of a "pay the bills" book in comparison to the better stuff.

    I read Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrel (or whatever the title is, I can't be bothered to scroll back up) in Italy, someone had left it on the shelf. I thought it was great, although I was probably comparing it more to fantasy stuff than Dickens. It's been a loooong time since I read any Diana Wynne Jones (or Strange for that matter) but I think they might be comparable?

  4. Hmmmmm. All right, I'm more willing to give it a chance now. Jonathan Strange, that is.

    As for Wodehouse...I mean, I've read some Jeeves and Wooster obviously, but those're mainly short stories, so I don't count them. Love Among the Chickens isn't that great, though.

  5. +JMJ+

    LOL on #7! My family isn't very literary, so I didn't have any namesakes pushed down my throat--but I've refused to learn Spanish for years. Does that count?

    Contact sounds as if it's been with you for a long time. Why did you "just have" to buy it? Was it the movie?

  6. Sure that counts.

    Well...what with said buying happening like 15 years ago, I can only hazard a guess, and that guess would be yeah, 'cause of the movie. How very embarrassing indeed.

  7. +JMJ+

    That's not so embarrassing! =) It was a pretty mediocre movie, but it was working from a fascinating premise. If I had figured out at the time that it was based on a book, I would have bought a copy, too, with the certainty that the book would be so much better.

  8. JS&MN is actually more like Austen combined with Tolkien (without elves but many fairies and Napoleonic stuffs). But it is amazing.

    Also, Cold Comfort Farm is okay. But then, I have no sense of humor outside of Jane Austen, and it makes lots of Jane Austen jokes, so maybe that's why I liked it. The movie was okay, though not quite as coherent as the book.


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