Build My TBR High

Wednesday January 9, 2008 in books |

Reading other book blogs, I often notice that people have phenomenal TBR piles. Stacked high and ready to topple, books eager to be savoured in their dozens. Last night I was shocked to discover that I have no TBR pile of my own. I thought I did, but I’ve exhausted it. The books have run out without me noticing, creeping up on my unnoticed like the tortoise on the hare.

I’m currently reading Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. It’s excellent. It’s also a very slim novel and I’ve also almost finished it. Where to next? I have The Quiet American by Graham Greene, although I overdid Greene last summer. I still have unread collections of ghost stories, but the later months of the year are the best times for ghost stories. So I’m kind of at crisis point, where I will end up buying something from the bestseller lists because my imagination has let me down.

Of course there’s always the January sales, but every time I walk into a bookshop I’m greeted by the faces of Richard Hammond and Terry Wogan…

You might enjoy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, which is the first publication of a new press, MacLehose press, an imprint of Quercus. This book has won lots of awards in Sweden and has just been translated here. It is first of a trilogy. I enjoyed it a lot.
I also read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield over Christmas — it is a very good read- the sort of novel Dickens or Charlotte Bronte might write if writing today?

Maxine    Wednesday January 9, 2008   

No TBR pile?!


That sounds… I don’t know if that sounds fantastic or disappointing. Maybe both.

heather (errantdreams)    Wednesday January 9, 2008   

Maxine: I’ve read The Thirteenth Tale and it’s great. The other book I don’t know – and it sounds interesting.

Heather: no, not fantastic – I feel bereft!

The Book Tower    Wednesday January 9, 2008   

I found that after I finished Disgrace I just wanted to read more Coetzee. The Life and Times of Michael K is phenomenal, and Coetzee’s new novel sounds like a delight as well.

ted    Wednesday January 9, 2008   

I’m considering a Coetzee blitz soon – and Michael K looks like a good place to begin.

The Book Tower    Thursday January 10, 2008   

A great place to get inspiration is browsing the shelves of a decent Oxfam. I always pick up great and weird stuff and it doesn’t cost the earth. Plus of course you get a good feeling from recycling and helping a worthy cause.

simon    Thursday January 10, 2008   

Yes we do have a very decent Amnesty bookstore on the high street. A cheap and worthy way of rebuilding my TBR, and a way to avoid Hammond and Wogan (hopefully).

The Book Tower    Thursday January 10, 2008   

I read Disgrace at the same time as one of my favorite Gordimer novels – The Pick Up. I must have been going through a South African novelist binge. For some reason the two books remain connected in my mind – although they are quite different.

verbivore    Friday January 11, 2008   

I haven’t read The Pick Up – although I might embark on a similar binge.

The Book Tower    Friday January 11, 2008   

Word of warning on Nadine Gordimer: she has an interesting style. July’s People was a good way, for me, into her style, whereas Get A Life felt like a complete mess.

Like a few others I’m amazed you have no TBR pile. Mine is approaching 300 unread books all sitting on my shelves. At least I’ll have something to do after my retirement in 2044.

Stewart    Friday January 25, 2008   

It’s growing again. Slowly, but still only in double figures.

(Took me ages to work out your age counting back from 2044 – maths was never my best subject)

The Book Tower    Friday January 25, 2008   

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