Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This week's Top Ten from The Broke and the Bookish asks for Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read. There might be a few that have been on my shelf longer, but these have all gathered some serious dust.

1) The Master and the Margarita - I've been told a million times that I should read this, but the crazy plot summary has always made me wary.

2) Sometimes a Great Notion - I read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and I heard this is even better.

3) The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett - I loved Bel Canto and bought everything she wrote after that. Unfortunately I haven't read everything she's written quite yet.

4) Cloud Atlas - I want to read it, but then another person describes it as "dense" or "complicated" and somehow that's made me view it in a negative light.

5) Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov - I read Lolita and the writing was so gorgeous. I don't know why this one hasn't made it off the shelf.

6) Any books by Tracy Kidder - Not even joking, I have 5 books by this author on my TBR shelf (let's be honest, I have multiple shelves) and I've never read anything by him. His books always sound good and I always find them at book sales, but somehow I never pick them up to read them!

7) The Mists of Avalon - This is one of those books I've heard about for years. I do love Arthurian legend books.

8) The Stand (or any other massive King book) - I've read a few short story collections, his nonfiction "On Writing" and even my first novel of his "Carrie," but I've never read any of King's epic work. I think I'm always worried it'll be too dark for me.

9) Travels with a Tangerine (and a dozen other travel memoirs) - I do love reading this genre, but I like it more when I'm traveling a lot. When It's been a year or two since my last venture abroad, it's sometimes hard to read about someone else's great adventures.

10) Small Island by Andrea Levy - It's been on my shelf forever, then they made a BBC miniseries and I wanted to read it even more. I just never seem to get to it. In my defense, I read a lot of WWII fiction.

So, which of those books is an amazing must read? Are there any that have sat unread for too long?

Photo from here.

29 comments:

Kristi said...

Ooooh! Read Cloud Atlas! I really loved it. There are six different narratives and I'd say some are more dense than others, but not necessarily in a bad way. I thought it was worth it even though it took a while for me to get through.

Nymeth said...

I loved The Mists of Avalon when I first read it, but it's been a while and I'm not sure how well it would hold up now. I have very fond memories of it, though!

Anne said...

I loved The Mists of Avalon, it is a long one but worth the time!

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

I too have wanted to read The Mists of Avalon but its length intimidates me! Also, I've been meaning to get to Cloud Atlas - must read it before Hollywood finishes with the movie version!

Trish said...

I have yet to read any Nabokov! I must remedy that in the near future. I've heard good things about Speak Memory and of course Lolita.

Sandy Nawrot said...

The only one I can speak to is The Stand. I am really so glad I read all his chunksters when I was younger and didn't care if it took me a month to read it. That thing is his masterpiece. You must make time.

Teacher/Learner said...

I read The Stand in just a few days. It certainly grabs you! It wasn't as dark as I thought, so it shouldn't be too disturbing for you. I'm reading It now, which is just as long.

Burgandy Ice said...

I'm with the Mists of Avalon rememberers... I remember it as very beautiful, like walking through a dispersing fog, picturesque. Maybe a good one for a reread?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kristi - That does sound good!

Nymeth - There are so many books I wish I read earlier in life.

Anne - Sometimes long books are the best.

Kat - I do really want to read it before the movie comes out. Funny how sometimes that's the best motivator.

Trish - I was wary of Lolita, but it was so beautiful!

Sandy - Masterpiece huh, it needs to be read then.

Teacher/Learner - Ok, I officially need to read it.

Burgandy Ice - I think I need to get to that one.

Kayla said...

The Stand made it on my list too. It's just so big.

I really want to read The Master and the Margarita. I was really into the Russians in high school, but for some reason stopped reading them a few years ago. I need to get back to them. I haven't read nearly enough.

Carrie K. said...

I haven't read any of those, but Mitchell's Black Swan Green was amazing. I keep meaning to read Cloud Atlas - now that there's a film version coming out, I'll have to!

Brenna said...

OK I haven't read any of these so I can't tell you to read one because it's amazing. Instead, I'll tell you that I've had 100 Years of Solitude sitting on my shelf unread for about five years now. It's to the point of obnoxious.

diaryofadomesticgoddess said...

The Stand is one of my all-time faves. Make sure you have an unabridged copy - it's longer, but it's SOOOO worth it!
Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post. :)

Jenny said...

The Master and Margarita has been on my shelves unread for ages too. I keep trying to read it and getting confused by all the characters and all the different versions of their names. Those Russians!

Suey said...

The Mists of Avalon is pretty amazing. I love me some Arthur too.

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

Shall we read "The Master and the Margarita" together at some point in 2012? I know other bloggers also want to read it, so we could co-organize a read-along.

Completely agree with Nymeth about MoA - I actually also plan to re-read it next year.

Jeanne said...

I also remember The Mists of Avalon fondly from a teenage reading. I loved The Master and Margarita!

Jenners said...

I remember really liking the Mists of Avalon when I read it ages ago … and The Stand is a classic for a reason!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kayla - It is big, but I keep hearing it's so good.

Carrie K. - I loved Black Swan Green too!

Brenna - Ahh, me too! What is it about that book? I've been staring at it for years.

diaryofadomesticgoddess - I'll make sure I get an unabridged version. I didn't know there were two versions.

Jenny - Ugh, those Russian names are ridiculous.

Suey - Everyone seems to love that one.

Alex - Yes! Let's do a read-along for it. That would be the perfect motivator for finally getting to it. I'm in.

Jeanne - I think you may be the only person I've ever met who has actually read it! Ok, so it's worth it. That's good to know.

Care said...

Cloud Atlas is on my must reads for 2012. Shall we readalong it?

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Small Island is the definite must read on this list for me Melissa.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Care - Yes! I'm all about the read-along for that one.

LindyLouMac - Oh good. I still wanted to read that, but I hadn't heard much from other readers about it.

Bybee said...

Tracy Kidder is wonderful.

Biblibio said...

The Master and Margarita is excellent, but not for everyone. It's crazy and a bit dense and skips around a lot, but I found it to be utterly brilliant and rewarding.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Oh good! Two more great recommendations. I'm ok with dense and crazy as long as it's worth it in the end!

Amanda said...

I HATE The Master and Margarita. HATE IT.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Amanda - Ha, well maybe there's no hurry to get to that one.

bkclubcare said...

Wait. you have FIVE Kidder books on your shelf? Which ones?!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

bkclubcare - I know, it's ridiculous. I have House, The Soul of a New Machine, Old Friends and Hometown. Also the one I finally read, Among Schoolchildren. Which should I read next?