We all have them: books that are so low on our TBR piles, we almost forget they are there.
Weeks ago, I looked through my bookshelves, taking note of all the books I own that I have not read yet. There are some that I want to read before the year is over; others that I want to read but I can wait a little while longer; and lastly are some books I still want to read, but they are low priority. It is simply a matter of when I will read them.
As shameful as it is to say, I have a list of eleven such books on my TBR that I honestly have no idea when I will read them…and I am seriously asking myself if I will read them.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Room is an adult fiction novel told through the eyes of a five-year-old boy named Jack. Jack spent his whole life in “Room,” believing it to be the world only he and his mother belonged to. Except “Room” is Ma’s prison and now she’s determined to free herself and her son from “Room” forever.
Like several of the books on this list, I bought Room on impulse at Target. The movie had just come out and I wanted to read the book before watching it. Then, it kept getting pushed back by new books, too. Plus, I have heard mixed things about the writing in this novel, because Emma Donoghue wrote this story how a five-year-old child would think and speak.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
I don’t know why I have not read The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling yet. It’s the book she published a few years after completing her Harry Potter series: an adult contemporary novel about a small English town filled with secrets that are exposed after the sudden death of a prominent town council member.
This might be something I enjoy. I’ve read quite a few books about American small towns and their small-mindedness and secrets. English small towns can’t be any different, can they? Except people have labeled The Casual Vacancy as “boring,” which is likely why it is taking me so long to read it. But now I have read, as well as loved, J.K. Rowling’s other series under her pen name Robert Galbraith, the Cormoran Strike mystery series. So, I chalked up the mixed reviews of The Casual Vacancy as people comparing it too much to Harry Potter.
That doesn’t mean I know for certain when I am actually going to read this book.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Not only have I not read any book by Nicholas Sparks, not just The Notebook—likely one of the most successful romance novels—I have not seen the movie either.
I know the basic premise of it: rich girl falls in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks and her mother intervenes in the relationship. A friend of mine loves Nicholas Sparks and I feel like The Notebook is one of those books I want to read just to say I did so I have a valid opinion on it. Problem is, novels heavy with the romance are not ones I tend to gravitate towards.
I might not watch the movie, but I’m still up in the air regarding the book. (Ryan Gosling just doesn’t do it for me, sorry.)
Vanilla by Megan Hart
Vanilla by Megan Hart is a book I bought because I refuse to read the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy by E.L. James yet I’m still interested in the erotica genre. Funny, huh?
Vanilla follows Elise, a strong woman who dominates men in the bedroom—until she meets Niall. Niall is too sweet for Elise’s tastes, but she falls for him anyway. Only the real problem these two have is who is going to be the one on top?
Like I said before, I tend to stray from novels heavy with romance and the main focus of the story being the relationship. However, what draws me to Vanilla is the dynamic of the relationship: the woman dominating the man, something you don’t see portrayed often in media.
The synopsis promises two strong protagonists both set in their ways as they try to compromise their relationship inside the bedroom as well as out of it. I think I want to save this one for next Valentine’s Day.
The Cellar by Natasha Preston
When I bought this book, I was so excited to have found it at Target and I wanted to read it almost immediately. That was probably a year ago.
The Cellar is about a teenaged girl named Summer who is kidnapped by a deranged man named Clover and trapped inside a basement with three other girls. The novel is supposed to be all about their captivity, told in both Summer and Clover’s perspectives. What is even cooler about this book was that it was first written on Wattpad, then it got so popular that a real publisher picked it up.
I tell myself I am saving The Cellar for when I need a really good mystery novel instead of a fantasy. But its placement on my TBR changes frequently depending on which books have my attention at the moment.
The Appearance of Annie van Sinderan by Katherine Howe
The Appearance of Annie van Sinderan is a young adult paranormal stand-alone novel about Wes, an aspiring teenaged filmmaker in New York City, who meets a strange but beautiful girl named Annie while filming a séance. Like other young adult novels, he’s drawn to her and she has dark secrets.
It’s been so long I can’t remember what it was exactly that drew me to The Appearance of Annie van Sinderan. It was enough that I bought it at a little bookstore while visiting Salem, Massachusetts without thinking too hard about it.
The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver
The Skin Collector is an adult mystery novel, the eleventh in a series about Lincoln Rhyme, a New York City detective, and his crew. A serial killer is killing his victims by tattooing them with poison. I bought this book from the racks at CVS. Yes—I have no self-control.
FYI—I have never read anything by Jeffery Deaver, either.
The Merciless by Danielle Vega
The Merciless is a young adult horror novel about a group of deranged popular girls bent on performing an exorcism on the school’s outcast. That’s all I know about it and all I really needed to know when I bought it. The plot reminded me of Bliss by Lauren Myracle, one of my all-time favorite books. Since high school, I had tried to find something like it. Then, I discovered Dawn Kurtagich last year. Her novels blew me out of the water. After that, The Merciless made its quick descent down the TBR pile.
Kindred by Octavia Butler
I received this book from the professors of the Women & Gender Studies department at the luncheon they held for the seniors graduating from the WGS minor. Kindred is a science fiction novel about a young African-American woman who travels back in time to slave-era Maryland in time to save a young white man—the same slaveholder who fathers her great-grandmother. As you can imagine, this puts the protagonist in quite a predictament.
Just as I write this, I think I might move Kindred higher up on my TBR pile….
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
I had wanted to read Wicked for years when I bought it. I grew up watching The Wizard of Oz. It is a retelling of the origin story of the Wicked Witch of the West, and how she came to be the villain we all love to hate in the original story. I still want to read it, of course, but my interest has sadly dwindled in the past year.
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
I have a love-hate relationship with Hemingway that runs deep. I liked The Sun Also Rises and I disliked A Farewell to Arms. For Whom the Bell Tolls is hailed as his best work. But like his previous books, it’s about a wayward American falling in love with a beautiful woman that will likely break his heart into a million pieces and likely will end with everyone miserable. What else would one expect from a Hemingway novel?
If anyone has read these books and loved them, feel free to convince me to read them!