What unread books have you shelved?

After months (if not years) of staring absently at the dusty yet pristine unread books sitting enthusiastically on my bookshelf, I realised: if I haven’t read them by now, I probably never will!

In the past, I have carefully chosen one with nothing but the best intentions. But I have rarely succeeded; after reading the first ten pages I remember the reasons why I never read it in the first place (or even pretended to read it at university).

What books are sitting on your shelf feeling under appreciated and unloved? Are there some books that you simply cannot get your teeth into no matter how hard you try!

I’ve been reading Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned for years now! I’ve read the beginning a zillion times over but it just isn’t doing it for me and yet I class Tender is the night and The Great Gatsby as two of my most-loved books, I just can’t seem to enjoy this third endeavor!

As a result of this realisation, I have purchased FIVE new books:

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

Yes, its a kiddies book. I don’t make a habit of reading these AND I don’t have kids… but this was the most challenged book of 2006, 2007, and 2008, and the most banned book of 2009. I will be reviewing this book and its controversies in a forthcoming post…

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Not my usual choice of book. However, I am reading this as part of the ‘challenge’ set by Lauren Myracle on this Banned Books Week, to: “read one of the titles on the current list of most frequently-challenged books” in the hope that I will have “made the world a better place”. Well, one step a time Lauren. Review coming soon…

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

I’ve always wanted to read this. Holiday reading: in the bag!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Recommended to me by a friend, but sounds right down my street.

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay

I’m going to see a reading of this by Jackie Kay herself in Glasgow on 10th November. Although I’m not a fan of biographies of any sort, her life is such a heavy influence on her work, which I’m a fan of, so I have high hopes for this. Look out for a review of the show sometime in November…

Any advice or opinions on these texts? (even if it is “stay well clear!”)


4 thoughts on “What unread books have you shelved?

  1. I’m very interested to see what you make of “And Tango Makes Three.” It’s obviously a contemporary and emotive issue, (two male penguins wanting to have a baby of their own) but I can’t help thinking that banning it is perhaps a step too far? Though I can see how it might confuse children previously brought up to think only mummies and daddies make babies, not daddies and daddies. But this is 2010 after all…

    Also, I really hope you enjoy The Handmaid’s Tale since it was me who recommended it! You know what a fan I am of Atwood. If you like this you’ll love everything else by her, and I can lend you most of her back catalogue – would definitely recommend Year of the Flood, her most recent offering, especially if you are into conservation of the environment in any way.

    Finally, loving the new layout!


    • Well! And Tango Makes Three arrived yesterday and it is slightly more controversial than I thought it might be to be honest… but there are definite pro’s and con’s – review coming soon!

      Who knew I would have SO much to say about a book aimed at 5 year olds…

  2. I read The Handmaid’s Tale several years ago. It is definitely worth your time. I haven’t read The Grapes of Wrath, but I’m currently working on Steinbeck’s East of Eden and am enjoying it. As to books I’ve shelved, The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky is the one I just can’t get through. I love Crime and Punishment but I got 200 pages into The Brothers Karamazov and was still painfully disinterested. I still tell myself maybe someday… but probably not.

  3. I’m saving Grapes of Wrath and The Handmaid’s Tale for my holiday ( I am only away for a week mind you!). Grapes of Wrath sounds right down my street, love American fiction, still unsure about this sci-fi feminist approach in The Handmaid’s Tale though, the blurb itself sounds a bit mad, but I have only heard good things about it so I am looking forward to getting stuck in.

    I admire you for reading Crime and Punishment, I’m not sure I have it in me to tackle that one…

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