TBR Thursday 200…

A stroll around the TBR…

Since this is the 200th TBR Thursday post I’ve done on the blog, I thought instead of listing the next four books I intend to read as usual, I’d take you on a little tour of some of the dark alleys and hidden byways of my ever-expanding TBR.

The definition…

My TBR is made up of books I own but haven’t yet read, plus a tiny sprinkling of books I’d like to re-read in the near future.

The current total…

It’s gone up again while I’ve been on hiatus to 222! One simply never knows when a book avalanche might occur!

The target…

I’d like to reduce the total not because of a simple numbers game, but because there are lots of potentially great books on it I’d really like to read but keep shoving aside in favour of new releases, which often turn out to be less than stellar. Under my gradual reduction plan, I want to get down to 185 by the end of this year, mostly by severely controlling the numbers of books I buy or accept for review. It’s possible…

The breakdown…

I usually only acquire factual books and sci-fi and horror books when I intend to read them, so there are never many lingering on the list. Crime and fiction are a different story…

Factual………………………. 2
Fiction……………….………. 94
Crime/thriller…….……… 107
Horror………………..……… 6
Sci-fi……………………..….. 12
Romance (eh?)………… 1 (How did that get on there?)

The format…

198 of the books are Kindle, and only 24 paper! Thank goodness – I’d need a bigger house if they were all paper copies…

Chatsworth: Darcy’s Library!!

The oldest book…

The Observations by Jane Harris, which I acquired on 20/6/2011. I can’t remember why I went for it now, but I still think it sounds good.

The Blurb says: Scotland, 1863. In an attempt to escape her past, Bessy Buckley takes a job working as a maid in a big country house. But when Arabella, her beautiful mistress, asks her to undertake a series of bizarre tasks, Bessy begins to realise that she hasn’t quite landed on her feet. In one of the most acclaimed debuts of recent years, Jane Harris has created a heroine who will make you laugh and cry as she narrates this unforgettable story about secrets and suspicions and the redemptive power of love and friendship.

However, I’ve scheduled it as one of my 20 Books of Summer, so it should finally escape from the list soon! Then the oldest one will be The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst – acquired on 29/7/2012.

Again, no idea why, and this one doesn’t appeal to me much now. Plus it’s very long! So it may linger on the list for a while longer.

The Blurb says: In the late summer of 1913, George Sawle brings his Cambridge schoolmate – a handsome, aristocratic young poet named Cecil Valance – to his family’s modest home outside London for the weekend. George is enthralled by Cecil, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by him and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to. But what Cecil writes in Daphne’s autograph album will change their and their families’ lives forever: a poem that, after Cecil is killed in the Great War and his reputation burnished, will become a touchstone for a generation, a work recited by every schoolchild in England. Over time, a tragic love story is spun, even as other secrets lie buried – until, decades later, an ambitious biographer threatens to unearth them.

The newest book…

Books, actually, since I received a delectable parcel of mouth-watering delights from the lovely people at the British Library only yesterday. Vintage crime, vintage horror, vintage sci-fi – FF heaven! What was I saying about cutting back on review copies…??

The review copies…

Currently 22 26 outstanding which, due to my exercising iron self-control at the moment, is was the lowest it’s been for about three years. The oldest review copy, I’m ashamed to say, is Soft Summer Blood by Peter Helton, which I acquired from NetGalley on 01/04/16. I’ve read and enjoyed his books before too, so I have no excuse.

The newest review copy (before yesterday’s parcel) is Snow White and Other Stories by the Brothers Grimm – a recent addition to the Oxford World’s Classics gorgeous hardback series, which popped through my letterbox unexpectedly on 15/5/19. (These covers never look good on the blog but in real life they’re vibrant and gorgeous…)

The 200th book on the list…

Lots of my more recent acquisitions are for one or another of my ongoing challenges – I’m trying to get out of the habit of random book-buying till I feel more in control of the backlog on the TBR. The 200th book is Tracks in the Snow by Godfrey R Benson, one for my Murder, Mystery, Mayhem challenge, acquired on 16/3/19.

The books I most want to read and can’t understand why I don’t just do it…

(I’ve excluded ones I’ve scheduled for the next few months.)

* * * * * * * * *

Hope you enjoyed the guided tour of my TBR! I’d love to look round yours, if you fancy answering the questions either on your blog or in the comments below.

Have a Great TBR Thursday! 😀

76 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 200…

  1. I loved The Observations but Alan Hollinghurst leaves me cold. I’m on the point of giving up The Sparsholt Affair having pushed through The Line of Beauty got to the other end and wondered what all the fuss was about. It seems I failed to lean my lesson!

    • I suspect that I must have seen some other disappointed reactions to Hollinghurst which must be subconsciously what’s put me off, since on the face of it the blurb still sounds fine. I must admit when a book is so long I really need to feel enthusiastic about it to pick it up – The Observations is also quite long, I think, but I’ve seen so many people praise it that my enthusiasm level is high…

  2. I love that spreadsheet – I’m hoping that one day you’ll publish the definitive guide to interpreting it 😀 Picnic at Hanging Rock and A Month in the Country are on my tbr (which is massive since it includes all the want-to-reads regardless of whether I own them yet). In fact, just this morning AMitC got a boost up the ladder and has honorary status as an exchange choice for the 20 BoS challenge. In case I need to swap out a long book for a short one whilst still ticking a Classics Club box. You’ll appreciate the strategies required to maximise the benefits of a particular choice. 🤷 😂 And The Poisonwood Bible – love to hear your thoughts on that one day!

    Congratulations on this 200th edition. Hope you’re celebrating with chocolate in front of the tennis!
    🎾🎾🎾

    • Hahaha! I would but it’s constantly evolving! In fact, I’m pretty sure that sometimes it evolves all by itself even while I’m logged off… 😱 The odd thing is AMitC is so short it ought to be easy to fit it in, and yet it’s been on my TBR for a couple of years now. And I’m longing to read Picnic so I can rewatch the film and see if it’s as wonderful as I thought it was back in the day. My TBR used to include my wishlist too, but lots of bloggers at that point seemed to only include owned books, so I separated them. I still declare the full total at the end of every quarter, but I really have been restricting myself from adding to the wishlist, or I’ll never get around to all these ones. It’s a major problem! I think the UN should get involved!!

      Thank goodness there is tennis today – I went into a decline when it was rained off yesterday… 🎾📚💪

  3. The Craftsman is in my reading pile too. I can’t even hazard a guess at the number of books waiting to be read, which is perhaps just as well 😉

  4. I like the look of your TBR! The distribution on my – imaginary – TBR would be very similar I suspect, except Romance would be one lower… and Factual would be higher.

    The Chrysalids is excellent although not as good as The Day of the Triffids which holds a special place on my shelves. It was my very first Science Fiction novel and probably one of the first books I read in English (my English teacher chose it for us…)

    And haven’t you read Ann Cleeves’ Vera series yet? Really?!

    • Hahaha – I think an imaginary TBR is just as real as a real one… 😜 Yes, I seem to remember a blogger did a month of reviews of romances and I decided to pick a favourite and try the genre… hmm. Well, I acquired the book, so that’s a start, eh? 😉

      The Chrysalids will be a re-read but from long, long ago. Totally agree about Triffids – I suspect it must be one of the best sci-fi/dystopias ever written. There’s so much packed into it in terms of ideas, but a great story too. And all still so relevant.

      I know – crazy, isn’t it?? I’ve been meaning to read them for years! And yet in the meantime I’ve read a million books that never appealed half as much…

  5. Well, I don’t know how that avalanche happened, FictionFan – not for sure. But I did intercept some feline-generated emails to various online booksellers. Just sayin’…. 😉 Seriously, you do have some fine books on this list, and (don’t tell anyone), you’re not the only one who’s had books on your TBR for a while….

    • Haha – I had to laugh earlier! I was just on the point of opening the door to let Tommy pop out when a book came flying through the letterbox and missed him by about two inches! Payback!! Poor boy… he’s still looking at me suspiciously… 😂

  6. I hope you get to read The Poisonwood Bible soon! I love this! I don’t think I can answer the questions because you are much more organized than I am. Goodreads and my brain are my only trackers. 😂 Well-done, FF! I loved looking through this and seeing what’s coming up for you.

  7. Thanks for a close-up peek at your TBR and spreadsheet, FF. I’m afraid I’m much more random than you are. When I see or hear about a book that piques my interest, I either lay claim to a copy immediately or add it to a growing list (that has no order, rhyme, or reason!). I can see myself lolling on a weekend in Darcy’s library, though, can’t you?!!

    • I used to be like that before I started taking review copies and acquiring zillions of Kindle books, but now if I don’t keep a list I totally forget which books I’ve still to read! Ha – yes, although if Darcy was actually there at the time, I’m not sure how well I’d be able to concentrate on the books… 😉

  8. if this Alan Hollinghurst is anything like Line of Beauty it will be very slow and indulgent. Sorry!
    your spreadsheet is a masterpiece which makes me look at mine and think Ugh. I do try to keep track but sometimes even forget the name of the book I acquired so it just goes in as xxxx. Not very helpful! I do keep track of how I obtained the book though – a gift, or from a publisher etc. so that sometimes triggers my brain to remember the title.

    • Oh dear! I think it’s because I’ve heard a lot of people being less than enthusiastic about Hollinghurst that I’ve gone off the idea of that one. But once it becomes the oldest on the list I’ll have to force myself to at least try it. 😫 Hahaha! That’s why I keep a list – my memory is so appalling I’d never remember what books I had, and because so many of them are Kindle it’s not as easy to browse through them as if they were all easily accessible on a shelf…

  9. Well you’re doing far better than I am at clearing them off in a timely manner. I have some that have been on my shelf 35-40 years!! 😱

    Romance is one of those genres that I rarely pick on its own, but don’t mind if it’s worked into a historical fiction. I don’t see any American Westerns on your list. I finally read my first Louis L’Amour last month. 😀

    • Hahahaha – that makes me feel much better!! I used to never have a TBR of more than a handful of books. I’d buy a batch and then read them all before buying another batch. It all went wrong when I started reviewing and reading other people’s reviews!

      I’m the same – I don’t mind if it’s part of a story but I don’t like it so much when it’s the whole story. I do have Lonesome Dove on my list, under fiction, and I think No Country for Old Men counts as a modern Western. But in general it’s a genre I really don’t know much about at all. Did you enjoy the Louis L’Amour?

  10. Fascinating! I’ve read some of those books that you most want to read and can tell you they are great – you have some treats in store, especially A Dark Adapted Eye. I used to have Observations on my TBR list, but having started it several times I gave it away unread – I may regret that!
    Oh, and one reason I don’t get round to reading more of my TBRs is, of course, blogging – both writing and reading other people’s – so posts like yours are partly responsible 🙂 as I can’t resist reading them and am tempted to have a go at compiling a guided tour of my TBRs.

    • Oh dear, bad news about The Observations! I regularly find myself abandoning books other people have raved about, though – reading is so subjective. A Dark Adapted Eye is on there because so many bloggers have mentioned it as one of their crime favourites over the years. I really want to read it too…

      Oh, yes, blogging is great fun but incredibly time-consuming! I read less now than I did when I started recording my stats on Goodreads and it’s clearly because of the time I spend writing reviews and reading other people’s blogs. Oh, do – I’d love to tour your TBR! 😀

  11. Looking at your TBR is a real eye-opener. I have read The Observations buying my copy on 25 December 2010 – I clearly didn’t think much to the Xmas gifts that year haha.
    I have way more physical copies on the TBR than you do especially as now my eyes prefer reading the kindle although I do still love owning the books.
    I can’t quite believe some of those brilliant books you have on the TBR – A Dark Adapted Eye is one of my favourite reads, We Need to Talk About Kevin has haunted me since I read it (many years ago) and Sharon Bolton??? Really??
    Thanks for sharing a peek behind the TBR – I need to get reading so that mine doesn’t carry on growing exponentially 😉

    • Hahaha! Yes, it’s never a good sign when Christmas Day is spent shopping on Amazon! I think paper copies remind me they’re there and so get read reasonably quickly, while it’s too easy to keep adding Kindle books without feeling like it’s a real “pile”. I still love my Kindle, but I’ve rediscovered my love of reading paper books recently – approximately at the same time as I discovered reading glasses… 😉

      A Dark Adapted Eye is on there because you said it was one of your favourites in a post way back in 2015 or thereabouts! A frightening number of books are lingering on my TBR because either you or Margot recommended them – I’m excellent at acquiring them, not so good at actually reading them! I’ve also wanted to read We Need to Talk About Kevin for years, and I know – I can’t believe I still haven’t managed to fit The Craftsman in! I need help… 😀

  12. Can’t stop laughing at the thought of a gradual reduction plan. I’ve been wildly unsuccessful using something similar to lose weight!
    Loved having a look at some of the stories about the books on your TBR and was excited to see Picnic at Hanging Rock on the list. I drive past Hanging Rock sometimes for work, but have never been there (you can see the rock from the road). There’s a hot rod show there on the closest Sunday to Valentines Day every year but it’s always roastingly hot then and it doesn’t appeal.

    • Hahaha – yes, my TBR reduction plan is about as successful as most diets I’ve tried too!!

      D’you know, I hadn’t really thought of Hanging Rock as being a real place, which now seems kinda stupid since of course it’s based on a real story, isn’t it? That’ll add extra interest to reading it. I did love the film a lot back in the day but have never got around to rewatching it – I want to read the book first! Ugh! If it’s too hot for you, then I would frizzle up like an egg in a frying pan…🍳

  13. I’m also often distracted from my chosen & purchased TBR by the lure of newly (or new to me) reviewed books. These sometimes produce real gems, but overwhelmingly supply ‘meh!’ choices I should have avoided – yet there is pleasure in sharing book thoughts (good & less good!) with other readers.
    The other problem is that I really, really want to keep supporting our local library & so order these books from there, along with a steady supply of non-fiction books which take longer to read & ponder.
    I dare not count my TBR – but I can see it shrinking by one book as my next read is going to be my copy of Picnic at Hanging Rock after being reminded of it on here LOL.

    • Yes. it’s difficult getting the balance right. I don’t want to spend my life only reading authors I already know I like, so would always want to read some new releases, but an awful lot of them end up feeling like time wasted. I keep thinking of rejoining the library but honestly, do I need more books??? 😉

      Haha – well, if you enjoy Picnic at Hanging Rock let me know, and maybe it’ll encourage me to finally shove it up the list! 😀

  14. Well you’ll have seen mine in my post of 1 June although that does exclude Kindle books, which are both more horrend and older. Argh! The Hollinghurst looks REALLY good. I loved The Sparsholt Affair and will be digging around his back catalogue once I’ve hacked through the TBR a bit (ha).

    • Mine looks fine if I exclude the Kindle books, which is partly why I can keep fooling myself I’m in control of the situation… 😉 Good to hear someone who enjoyed Hollinghurst – he’s not had much support so far…

    • Oh dear, now I want to read it even more! Haha – at one point I even went through the TBR and highlighted all the short books thinking I could blitz them, and then realised that would mean all the remaining books would be long ones, which somehow would be even more depressing… 😉

  15. I really did enjoy this tour! I’ve got way more physical copies than I should but on a positive note, I put sevral boxes of books in the car to donate this week.

  16. Congrats on your 200th TBR post! I hope you enjoy the new crime reads you were sent. It’s just hard to turn down a good story. I think my TBR list is at like 350 right now… 😂 I don’t even pretend to think I will get caught up. Like ever haha.

    • Hahaha – it’s cheered me up a lot to know that so many people’s TBR are even worse than mine! I don’t think any of us are in much danger of running out of books any time soon… 😉

    • I used to get rid of any book that I didn’t think I’d ever re-read but I’ve got awfully slack about it recently, with the result that my house is turning into a storeroom! These OWC hardbacks are too nice to get rid of though…

  17. Loved your tour of the TBR. Mine, as you know, is made up both of books I own and books I want to read, all housed on my Goodreads to-read list. At the moment it’s 347! Which is down a few due to some culling. I am trying (really, I am) to read books I own and books that have been on the TBR for a long time. I did read the longest held one on the list earlier this year – Jane Austen’s Lady Susan/Watsons/Sanditon. That’s progress!

    Just how did that romance get on your TBR? 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed it! 347 is great – you used to be up in the 1000s, weren’t you? My combined total is about that too, though I’m being really strict about not adding things to my wishlist as much as I used to. Did you hear they’re doing a TV version of Sanditon later this year or early next year? I’m going to try to read it before then.

      Haha! Somebody did a month of romance books on their blog and I decided to pick one and try it. Hmm, well, I bought the book… and I’m sure I will read it some day… 😉

  18. Since you’re not an Aussie I cannot in all good faith judge you for not read Picnic at Hanging Rock! But I do urge you to drop everything and read it NOW!!

    Great idea and I will shamelessly copy it (although I have nothing as useful as a spreadsheet to guide my search through my TBR).

    • Haha! I wish I could but as always I’m awash with review copies that must get priority – help!!!

      Oh yes, please do copy it – I love peeking into other people’s TBRs… 😀

    • Haha! I know! It was one of those sudden urges I got after reading an enticing blog-post. It enticed me enough to buy the thing, but not yet quite enough to read it… 😉 😂

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