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Talking books….getting to grips with my TBR list….

I have Bibliomania, hardly a ground-breaking revelation, after all, this entire blog started as a way for me to talk about books.

I’ve always read. I’m often asked how I find time to read as much as I do; I make time to read, it is my number one go to for when I want to switch off and ignore the world, a book will get me to ignore my phone in a way television never manages to. I have books all over, there’s always a book on the go, however, there are hundreds I own that I haven’t gotten around to actually reading.

I know, many other bibliophiles who follow this blog have exactly the same problem, more books than we’ll ever be able to read.

I am however, determined to knock some off my TBR, starting with those on my Kindle.

I resisted a Kindle for years.

I became a convert six years ago when I was bought one for 30th birthday, I was not convinced. I liked physical books, I like the smell of them, I like holding them; however, I have to admit that having a Kindle has changed my reading habits….

  1. It does make me read more 
  2. It makes me read different types of books that I may not necessarily have picked up in a book shop.
  3. I don’t read the books I buy immediately 

I’m going to focus on point three in terms of my ever expanding TBR list.

I buy books constantly. I’m drawn to them like they’re treasure, they are treasure to be fair. I always have the intention of them being the next read, then 30 seconds later, I’ve bought another piece of treasure that has taken my fancy and then proceed to read neither.

There are currently 228 books on my Kindle, I’ve completed 135 of those, I have 93 to read.

That’s 93 books that currently aren’t fulfilling their destiny, or aren’t being read if you aren’t as dramatic as I am…..

I’ve long since come to terms with the fact that I’ll never complete my Kindle, there will always be books to buy and read, even so, 93 unread books feels a little excessive. In fact my friend Sinead has messaged me while I’ve been writing this, she’s a big reader too and felt that was a ridiculously long list.

I have decided to set myself a challenge. I’m going to knock ten off that list of 93 before I buy more new books; I’m not counting the books that I’ve no doubt pre ordered and forgotten about, that will appear on there as nice little treat one day in the next month or two.

Here’s the ten I’ve chosen to start with…

Testaments by Margaret Atwood.

I put this on last year’s TBR list. I still haven’t picked it up.

I loved The Handmaid’s Tale when I read it circa 20 years ago, I loved the first two series of the TV show. I haven’t seen series 3 &4 because I haven’t been in the right mood to watch it, what with living through a pandemic and all.

I still think I’d need to read the Handmaid’s Tale again before reading Testaments; again I haven’t been in the mood to read about a dystopian near-future, even though I am really interested to see what Atwood has come up with in the follow up, and so there it languishes, waiting to be read…..still.

Pretending by Holly Bourne 

Pretending is about April, unlucky in love and unable to get past date five. 

If only April could be more like Gretel.

Gretel is exactly what men want – she’s a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems.

The problem is, Gretel isn’t real. And April is now claiming to be her.

As soon as April starts ‘being’ Gretel, dating becomes much more funespecially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua.

I’ve only read one of Holly Bourne’s other books – The Places I’ve Cried in Public, which was a bloody difficult read for young adult fiction, this is her first adult novel, I think I bought this when it was released in early 2020, I then got distracted by another book and never picked it up.

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan 

I do not remember buying this, sounds good though…

From the back…

In her guise as ‘Dear Amy’, agony aunt for a local newspaper, Margot Lewis has dealt with all sorts of letters – but never one like this…

Dear Amy,

I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man. 
I don’t know where I am. 

Please help me,
Bethan Avery

This must be a cruel hoax. Because Bethan Avery has been missing for nearly two decades.

I can only assume I haven’t read this because I haven’t had much luck with thrillers of late, the few I have read have been largely disappointing and it puts me off the genre. It shouldn’t but here we are.

The Party by Elizabeth Day.

This the only Elizabeth Day book I have left to read ahead of the release of her new novel Magpie later this year. She is one of my automatic buy authors.

I loved Paradise City, when I read that a few years ago, I really like the sound of the plot in The Party.

Martin Gilmour is an outsider. When he wins a scholarship to Burtonbury School, he doesn’t wear the right clothes or speak with the right kind of accent. But then he meets the dazzling, popular and wealthy Ben Fitzmaurice, and gains admission to an exclusive world. Soon Martin is enjoying tennis parties and Easter egg hunts at the Fitzmaurice family’s estate, as Ben becomes the brother he never had.

But Martin has a secret. He knows something about Ben, something he will never tell. It is a secret that will bind the two of them together for the best part of 25 years.

At Ben’s 40th birthday party, the great and the good of British society are gathering to celebrate in a haze of champagne, drugs and glamour. Amid the hundreds of guests – the politicians, the celebrities, the old-money and newly rich – Martin once again feels that disturbing pang of not-quite belonging. His wife, Lucy, has her reservations too. There is disquiet in the air. But Ben wouldn’t do anything to damage their friendship.

The Choice by Edith Eger

Edith Eger is a survivor of the Holocaust, when Auschwitz was liberated, she was pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive.

Edith was 16 when she was sent to Auschwitz and forced to dance for Josef Mengele, this is her story.

I know this will be a difficult read, I know it will be a story that sticks with me, and I know it’ll be powerful. I actually don’t understand why I haven’t read it already.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey 

Ah, this is another that was on last year’s TBR list.

Okay, so this one’s controversial, it was billed as his life story, he was then found to have embellished the truth a little and Oprah shouted at him on television.

I do want to see what the hype is, however, I did hear a podcast with James Frey earlier this year and was put off, he came across as pretty arrogant and I do wonder if I’ll be able to warm to this book knowing what I know, I guess we’ll see.

Black Wave by Kim Ghattas

I heard Kim Ghattas do a radio interview on this just before it’s release. She’s a former Middle East reporter for the BBC.

Black Wave tells the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fuelled by American policy.

After hearing speak, I downloaded it as soon as I got home and then never really found myself in the right frame of mind to read.

I love books like this, I’m journalist, I find history fascinating and have always had a need to understand things and to understand conflict.

I’ll never tire of reading about the middle east or reading books written by correspondents.

The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis

I think I’ve had this for years. 

I’ve scrolled past it on countless occasions and had no idea what it’s about. Looking at it, I was thinking some kind of murder plot, a mystery, a bit of thriller….who knows, I’ve had to google it.

1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant, she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.

Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late. 
Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever…

Now I understand exactly why I bought it.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

I know, I can hear you shouting at me, I feel like everyone has either read or watched this….I’ve done neither.

I know it’s had rave reviews, I know it isn’t exactly going to be a happy ending, it’s about teenagers who are terminally, I know it’s also described as being funny and I’ll more than likely really enjoy it.

The Rose of Sarajevo by Ayse Kulin

I bought this after visiting the Balkans in 2015.

I enjoy historical fiction, and this is set against the backdrop of the horrific wars in the 1990s. I have a limited grasp of what happened and after visiting wanted to learn more. I have read other books about the Balkans and the wars, I haven’t read any historical fiction on the crisis though, hence why I chose this one.

From the back…

Ever since Nimeta was a child, she’d done exactly what was expected of her. She married a responsible man she met in college, had two children, and established a busy journalism career—and there was no reason to think anything would ever change. Then one day, while reporting on a protest in Zagreb, Nimeta’s life takes a dramatic turn. Not only does she lay eyes on a handsome reporter who captures her heart, but a little-known politician by the name of Slobodan Milosevic delivers a speech fanning the flames of long-dormant Serbian nationalism. As her love affair intensifies and political tensions build, Nimeta is forced to reconsider everything she thought she knew about family, love, loyalty, and humanity itself. Navigating both the new landscape of her heart and that of her beloved war-torn city, Nimeta must draw upon her deepest reserves of inner strength to keep her family safe. 

So, there’s my first ten…

I know I’ll enjoy most, if not all of these, I’ve clearly found their blurbs interesting enough to actually buy them. I’m determined to make a dent in my TBR list, I think these may have been on there the longest, so they seem as good a place as any to start.

Whether or not I’ll be able to stick to my pledge not buy any more books until I’ve knocked at least ten off my TBR list remains to be seen, wish me luck.

As always if you have read any of these, I’d love to hear from you in the comments, thanks for reading xxxx

radiosarahc View All

Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm

17 thoughts on “Talking books….getting to grips with my TBR list…. Leave a comment

  1. There are always Kindle books on offer for 99p, and you think that, for 99p, it’s a shame not to get it, especially as the 99p offer will probably only last for a few days and it’d be a pity to miss it … and they pile up like mad!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m the exact same – only I have a similar amount of unread physical books! I think I’m going to have to set myself this challenge too, haha. Thanks for the recommendations, will definitely be checking Dear Amy out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I’ll be able to read 10 without getting a new book – I’m too weak 🤣🤣🤣 Dear Amy sounds really good so have no idea why I’ve not got round to it 🤷🏻‍♀️ thanks for reading x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember seeing Dear Amy around – it does look good. I read A Million Little Pieces years ago before the controversy, so I did like it, but I don’t know what I’d think now.

    I definitely have a lot of e-books on my Kindle that I really need to get to!

    Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Like

    • I have just started Dear Amy 🙌
      I’ve wanted to read a million little pieces for ages but when I heard him on a podcast this year, he came across as really unlikable and it’s put me off 🤷🏻‍♀️

      Like

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