books that are on their way OFF my TBR shelves

Folks, I’ve said it before: there are too many good books in this world (this is not necessarily a bad thing) and not enough time. I have huge stacks, as do we all, of to-be-read books piled and shelved all around me. If they cave, Husband and two little dogs and I will be crushed. Please help. I’m getting ready to get rid of some of these TBR books that I’m not so sure I need to read, to make room for more. Below are the books that are on my shelves but I can’t remember why. This is your chance to make an argument for any I need to keep. In other words, please remind me why I have these books in the first place. Mom, especially you as I think you’re responsible for a number of them. Otherwise they’re off to better homes (like the library where I work). This is not a tragic fate; they’ll be read, never fear. Just not by me.

(Of course this list does not include all those I KNOW I need to read, sigh. That list is even longer.)

Thank you. GO.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

The Bookmaker’s Daughter by Shirley Abbott

Red House by Sarah Messer

Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood

(I have never not loved anything by Atwood but this has been sitting for like years. Why has it taken me this long? Should I give up?)

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage by Hermann Buhl

The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Sanctum by Denise Mina

Scoundrel Time by Lillian Hellman

If I can remember the original reason I wanted to read a book, it has stayed on the shelf. But these need a little push to stay. I await your comments.

17 Responses

  1. I’m not much of a saleswoman, but here’s what I think.

    God of Small Things is very good. It is a moving, thought provoking book and I really enjoyed it. Plus, it’s short!

    That’s the only book on this list that I’ve read, but if it were my TBR shelf, I also wouldn’t get rid of the Margaret Atwood because a) It’s Margaret Atwood; and b) that cover is cool. 🙂


  2. Ha! Good call on the cover of Good Bones. I like it too. Okay, noted.

  3. I so agree about the Atwood cover. Plus, it is a really good little book with lots of little interesting scenes. I wrote about it a few years back:

    A Separate Peace is one of those classics of American lit that I just thought was boring. I say chuck that one to the corner.

    As for the Hedgehog book. I haven’t read it yet, and it seems like as many people dislike it as like it. But if you get rid of it, I think you might regret it later–at least until you have read a bit of it to see if it is for you.

  4. Ah Thomas, some support! Thank you. I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed with all the books these days; it will feel good to let a few go.

  5. I just realized that the Atwood book I reviewed has roughly similar content but a different title from the edition you have.

  6. I think I’ve seen it under different titles. You’re close enough to convince me, I think.

  7. Where to begin?
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog has been on my to-read list, but I don’t recall anything about it offhand. I’ll take it and refer it back to you; how’s that?
    The Bookmaker’s Daughter is my book, out of print I believe. Give it back! Or read it for a background on Southern roots and a pleasant memoir. I read it twice, but a long time ago.
    I would read any Atwood book, but this is one I don’t know. Unless it’s in verse form?
    I think The God of Small Things was on a book-club-possibles list. It is on my list too; I like her based on her politics and on-radio persona. Give it to me.
    Am I being selfish?
    Lillian Hellman: is this an old library book? If so I may have passed it to you, but don’t know anything more.
    If any of this inspires you to hang on to a book, do so. (Put my name in the front for the next time it comes up?)

  8. I shall hand all of these back to you. I am interested in the Bookmaker’s Daughter from your description, but won’t have time for it anytime soon, so it can live on my shelves or yours, don’t think it matters. Will keep Atwood.

  9. I’ve heard very good things about The God of Small Things and The Club Dumas. Both are on my TBR list, although I can’t seem to find an English version of Club Dumas.

    Other than that, since I have yet to read them, I can’t exactly convince you to.

  10. Thanks Alexis, and all… I’m trying to be aggressive this time around! I appreciate your input. Brought 10 books to the library this morning! Very exciting.

  11. Nanga Parbat is mine. You can ditch it…

  12. YOU? Husband? My husband?

  13. Is there another Husband who has books in our home?

  14. No! I just didn’t know you had books, so much.

  15. […] So I guess my conclusion is, I don’t have a terribly well-ordered method of deciding what to add to the library. Hypothetically, I like Katie’s plan of considering each book carefully as one that I will want to own, reread, refer to, and/or loan out. It should meet some sort of standard for inclusion on my illustrious shelves. In reality, however, I have a touch of the hoarder in me. ANY book is liable to end up on the shelf, at least until I find a good home for it. I recently purged: one book that had broken in three pieces and was only genre fiction in the first place, went into paper recycling, and I think I took another 8 or so to work to donate. How’s that for a purge? Single digits. Sigh. Of course, you could help me out by commenting on what to get rid of! […]

  16. […] God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy: No, but it was recently discussed here… I took it off the shelf […]

  17. […] in the backlog on my TBR list/shelves. Part of that improvement can come through weeding – as I’ve done before. If it’s been on my list for a few years and I’ve forgotten why I was interested, I can […]

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