Jun 27, 2010

The Sunday Salon – The Ones I’m Leaving Behind

A sample of my towering TBR
(If only this were the half of it...)

My dear friends, I need your help. In a little over two months I’ll be packing my bags and moving away, and this means I won’t have regular access to the 135 books on my TBR pile for a year. Naturally I want to read as many of them as possible in the next two months, but my reading always slows down during the summer, so I know I won’t be able to get to nearly as many of them as I’d like.

Another problem is that I can’t decide what I want to read. The closer the date of my move gets, the more all these books begin to sound incredibly appealing. I’m fairly sure that if I wasn’t going anywhere I wouldn’t be in the mood to read any of them, and that the moment I move away, they’ll all become exactly what I’m craving. Unless, that is, the library and used bookshops at my new location make me forget about them completely, which is what I’m sort of hoping will happen.

Anyway, this is where you come in. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, I’d be incredibly thankful if you clicked over to my LibraryThing and told me what I need to read before September. Any reason is valid: “I loved this book and think you would too”, “I’m on the fence about this book and would like to hear your thoughts so I can decide if it’s for me”, “I sent you this book ages ago and I can hardly believe you haven’t read it yet, you ungrateful creature” (it’s mortifying to think how many of you actually have reasons to say this), etc.

Your help will be very much appreciated. Based on what you tell me, I’ll make myself a summer reading list. I promise to read the three most voted books for sure; if there aren’t three most voted books, I’ll randomly draw three titles and read those.

This year my summer reading plans will be restricted by my move, but to those of you who’ll have a bit more reading freedom in the upcoming months, have you made any reading plans for the summer? If so, what are they? Or will the summer be all about following your reading whims?

The Sunday Salon.com


  1. I absolutely loved Captain Corelli's Mandolin 10 years ago and am curious to know if that was just youthful ferver.

    I have been meaning to read Across The Nightingale Floor for years but know that I will not do so for a while yet!

  2. Your wish is my command. Going to look at the list now.

  3. My summer reading is about making a dent in the old reading list, a futile effort if there was ever one, since I add books faster than I read books! But there are some books I can only get from my local library here instead of where I go to college, so I want to get my hands on those.

    You need to read Atonement and The Eyre Affair, both of which are quite excellent. While I've never read either, I also suggest Kindred, which I hear good things about, and The Gormenghast Trilogy, simply because I also want to read that.

    Oh, and good luck with your move!

  4. Because we have thus far proven to be mystery twins, both in what we like and what we don't, I'm going to suggest Case Histories, which I just read on audio and adored (although I wouldn't really call it a mystery).

  5. The sweetness at the bottom of the pie

    1. Because I also own this but haven't read it yet.

    2. I have yet to read a bad review for it.

    3. It strikes me as a nice summer read

  6. So fun. The stresses of too many cool books to read, yes? My votes would be for the Fforde and the Bradley books because they might be faster reads? and moving has its own stresses. My plans include to finally read my first 'adult' Neil Gaiman! and a Diana Wynne Jones book. Best to you. :)

  7. The Alan Bradley books: fun, fast, delightful. (I've read only the first)

    I liked Middlemarch when I read it years ago.

    Gilead -- I've been curious about it.

    Eyre Affair: fun, you'd like it.

    Ellis Peters: I love that series.

    Wife of the Gods -- interesting, I didn't love it as much as others.

    I LOVED the Tales of the Otori.

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: I love Kesey, especially his Sometimes a Great Notion.

    Boleyn Inheritance -- I'm curious.

    Three Musketeers -- oh be sure to read it at some point.

    Twain -- fun, yes, but it can wait.

    I love Proulx. I haven't read this entire collection.

    Elizabeth Peters: love, love, love Amelia.

    I haven't read that tolkien -- so I'm curious.

    I have thoughts on other titles, but these jumped out at me.

  8. I went through your list and I was like MAN haven't read any of these books. Then I saw Half of a Yellow Sun on there and you MUST drop everything and read it now and it's wonderful. The end. Enjoy your reading :)

  9. I vote for The Surgeon of Crowthorne, because dictionaries are surprisingly interesting. Also because it is not every day you read a book that (is true and) contains both dictionary-making and castration. Also, Simon Winchester is an amusing writer.

  10. Wow...you've got so many fantastic sounding books on the TBR pile, it's no wonder you're having trouble deciding! I'm really horrible--I wanted to just make a list of all the ones I already own, just to save me buying more books. Because that's what your reviews inevitably do! But I decided that strategy simply wasn't sporting. So instead, I just picked out one that I'd never heard of, but sounded awesome from its title alone: Body 2 Body: A Malaysian Queer Anthology.

    As for my summer reading plans, while I hate to get my hopes up too much (as I will be working on preparing two courses for Annie and I also need to finish up the many books I have started), I'm sincerely hoping that I will have way more opportunities for complete whim reading. Just to go and pull a book off the shelves that grabs me at the moment--sounds like heaven!

    Hope you enjoy every book you get to this summer, Ana!

  11. I'm reading Black Swan Green for my book group at the end of August. I would very much like your valued opinion of the book. :-)

    Good luck with deciding which to keep - it's difficult. If it's too difficult, just grab a random selection, and I'm pretty sure they'll be fine.

  12. Fat Kid Rules the World! It's awesome and a quick read. =D

    I'd definitely recommend Geek Love, too. It was a book that was so twisted that, at the outset, I didn't think I could even like it, but I loved it, and it sticks in my mind even thought it's been years since I read it.

  13. Definitely read Bradley´s Flavia books! I loved them, and they are quick reading so you might be able to squeeze in s couple of longer books, too :) I also really love the Thursday Next books. These are really great summer reads.
    I´ve read Wild Seed by Butler, and thought there was too much going on, but it was speulative fiction, so you might really enjoy Fledgling.

    I´m going to read whatever I´m in the mood for this summer, no plans and no lists. I want this summer to be guilt-free!

  14. Oooh I have Black Swan Green to read as well. I think you ought to read that so you can review so I can get around to reading it sometime soon!

    On a more serious (less selfish) note hehe:


    Atonement by Ian McEwan. If you are only going to read one by this author then you should read Atonement. It is a beautiful story and he writes so well. Unfortunately, his other books - though good aren't as good.

    The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry - I really adored this book. I had been wanting to read more Irish books author/setting and I thought this one particularly beautiful. Definitely an author I will be reading more of.

    It's a simple story, but beautifully told - not a page turner but one you can just slowly submerge yourself into.

    V for Vendetta by Alan Moore this was my first graphic novel that wasn't a memoir and that had been in colour - and it really made me want to read more Alan Moore. Really powerful - kinda scary.

    Actually! You just reminded me I still got the DVD on rent to watch gah. 3.99 a month to online rental and I have had it for about 2 months and unwatched!

    Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn - ahhh beautiful beautiful. One of my all time favourites. I really love this series it's very... well like being swept away and SO well written. I have yet to read the prequel Heavens Net is Wide. You should read this one first though. It's really, really, good. I love the fantasy-japanese setting. Different.

    The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Have you read any other Dumas? I would recommend the books by him I haven't read. Loved Musketeers - great swashbuckling adventure. The Counte of Monte Cristo is also absolutely brilliant. Not a slow part - you'll be on your feet all the time reading this.

    The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones. I thought this was a pretty darn good book - people say she's not as good now as she was in the past but I think this one is really good. Very funny, loved it all.

    I haven't read Hexwood yet but I love DWJ indiscriminately so I'd recommend that too.

    Oh and Conrad's Fate - I have read that one. Not my favourite in the Chrestomanci series, a bit ploddy buy heck still better then a lot of the other fluff out there.

    Mixed Magics - Oh I read that one night when I couldn't sleep and I probably woke everyone else up laughing really loudly.

    Well - most of the others I haven't heard of so can't recommend.

    I do however want to read Black Swan Green and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - both of which I own and both of which sound fantastic.

  15. Oh... I would hate to have to make this decision by the way. I don't think I could decide which to read first or take with me.

    Where are you going by the way, I may have missed that.

  16. There are a couple here that I want to tell you that you need to read!

    MZB's The Firebrand: One of the better Troy fictionalizations that I've read. And it has MZB's signature kick-arse main female character.

    Neil Gaiman's Mirrormask: First of all, it'll take you an hour tops. Secondly, OMG the typography and graphic design of the book is positively DROOL WORTHY. Thirdly, it's Neil Gaiman.

    Ones I think you should skip: Skullduggery Pleasant (totally over-rated), Miss Wyoming (I thought it was weird).

    Good luck choosing which ones to read!!

  17. I'm with Jessica - "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie". I've heard a lot about it but have not read it yet.

    Good luck moving!

  18. Just looked at your list and the two I'm going to mention are actually in your photo. Corelli's Mandolin in an all-time favorite, and I would love to read your thoughts on Half a Yellow Sun. I've been meaning to read Adichie for ages.

  19. Great idea! I would say the Alan Bradley books but hey, I sent them on so they obviously weren't my total favorites ;)

    I am planning on reading Woman: An Intimate Geography at some point this summer, as well as Half of a Yellow Sun. I quite enjoyed The Flying Troutmans as an easy, light read.

    And The Surgeon of Crowthorne appears to be just a different title of The Professor and the Madman which I quite enjoyed!

  20. Tea Lady: Across the Nightingale Floor sounds so good! The trouble is that it's a series, and can I get to them all? Will keep Captain Corelli in mind!

    Clare: Thank you! I can't believe I've yet to read Gormeghast. Probably the biggest gap in my fantasy reading.

    Teresa: I really hope I'll be able to get to the Atkinson! She sounds like an author I'd love.

    Jessica: I love your reasons :P

    Care: Thank you! It sounds like you have some excellent reading ahead of you this summer :)

    Beth F: Middlemarch I'll get to for sure, for the readalong. Unless I drop my copy in the bath or something :P *knocks on wood* Thank you so much for the thoughtful and detailed list! As for Amelia Peabody: I recently read and loved the first two books, but I can't read those three because they're the third, fourth and sixth - so I'd need to acquire books 3 and 5 first. The reason why I own those involves a bargain sale a few years ago and my complete lack of willpower :P

    Lu: Well, how can I say no after that?

    Jenny: Dictionary-making and castration? It actually sounds more interesting than I had imagined :P

    Debi: Oooh, thank you for reminding me of how much I want to read Body 2 Body! I hope you get to follow your reading whims this summer, though it sounds like you'll be a bit busy. Do you ever rest? :P

    Leeswammes: If I get desperate, I might just blindfold myself and reach for the shelf ;)

    Megan: I do need to read Fat Kid Rules the World! You have never mislead me before, and it does sound like an amazing read. And so does Geek Love - gah, I want to read them aaaaall.

    Bina: They do sound like perfect summer reads! I'm glad they're getting multiple votes :P

    Fiona: I'm saving some of those DWJ for Jenny's Tribute week, of course :D As for The Merlin Conspiracy, the reason why I haven't read it is because shortly after I acquired it that it was a sequel to Deep Secret, so I'm going to have to read that first. As for where I'm doing, I'm actually moving to your country for a year to go to grad school. A big bloggers meeting will have to be planned at some point :P

    Court: That Mirrormask is actually the illustrated script book, which is over 300 pages long. I did read the "regular" one a few years ago and loved it! But I should read the script too at some point... I tend to forget I even own it! As for Skullduggery Pleasant, I have a feeling that Kelly and Rachel will want to Have Words with you about that ;)

    Kate: Thank you!

    JoAnn: I'm glad those are both getting multiple votes, and I'm dying to read it! I read Adichie's Purple Hibiscus last summer and I absolutely loved it.

    Amy: We should read Woman together! And thank you again for Flavia :D

  21. Hated Atonement, Gilead, and Her Fearful Symmetry. I think Doctorow is very good and writes on topics relevant for Library Studies. (The Patrick Ness books will also serve you well in that regard.) I suggest the Octavia Butler too - the more "classics" you have under your belt, the better it will serve you in this field!

  22. Of what I've read, definitely Half of a Yellow Sun and Atonement. Very good books both. Of what I haven't read, The Gormenghast Trilogy. I've been wanting to read this since forever but haven't purchased yet. Also The Secret Scripture because I've heard so many good things about it and also want to know what you'll think of it.

    How long are you leaving for? It isn't like you're leaving all your books behind for good, right? You'll still be blogging, right? :)

  23. Oh I feel for you! Just as soon as you can't have something, that is when you want it the most. I shall hop over to your LT, but doubt I can offer much help. I'm usually the one following you around and wanting to read what you review. As far as summer reading, I am keenly focused on getting through my challenges, so I can throw caution to the wind this fall!

  24. Jill: I like the way you think! I hadn't thought of focusing on books that will come in handy for library school, but that makes perfect sense. As for the three books you hated, they do seem to divide opinions! I wonder how I'll feel about them.

    Claire: I'm hoping that if I don't manage to get to Gormeghast, I'll at least be able to take it with me. I can't take many books because of luggage weight allowances, but one or two should fit into my handbag. I'm leaving for a year, so fortunately I won't be parting with my books for good! Not that I'd have much trouble rebuilding my tbr if I were :P

  25. Sandy: Good luck with your challenges this summer! And it's funny how what we can have is always more appealing, isn't it?

  26. OK I'm back with my two cents. I read Passion a few years ago before blogging, and had no knowledge whatsoever about the romance poets. I was enthralled. I still talk about that book to this day. The Stand? Total classic, and probably on my top ten ever. I also loved Her Fearful Symmetry, but not everyone did. I think I was in the minority.

  27. Well, I will not suggest Middlemarch, as the readalong is still on, or the Amelia Peabody mysteries, as I just read your comment on them. I just love that series, and do keep in mind that the books get better as the series progresses!
    To your TBR list then. You have many excellent books on your list & it's hard to choose just 3, but here goes:
    1. Does My Head Look Big in This by Randa Abdal-Fattah (an excellent YA novel, very refreshing)
    2. The Three Musketeers by Dumas
    (I loved this book so much that I have never been able to read The Count of Monte Cristo!!)
    3. Sherlok Holmes: Short Stories. (These are perfect summer reads if you don't have much time for reading.)

    Ok, I cannot stop at 3. :) I would also recommend any book by Julie Anne Peters. And I have heard great things about Woman: An Intimate Geography & Barry's The Secret Scripture sounds really interesting.


  28. You should read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie because I think you'll adore Flavia.

  29. I too hope to be taking part in the DWJ tribute week. I haven't read Deep Secret yet either - but I didn't find out it was a sequel until alter. I'm informed though it doesn't really matter - as if she ever writes book in order anyway!

    Fortunately I own most of DWJ's books apart from her older, harder to find ones like Puss in Boots and that. So I'm going to have to figure out which one I want to read for that week. Exciting!

    I hope you'll enjoy your year in stinky old England. Hehe!

  30. Whoa lots of comments here already! :)

    I didn't see any that stood out as ZOMG you must read this right now sorts of books. I guess my thoughts would be - will there be a library where you're going? If so, I'd concentrate on the books here that aren't available at that library, so that in the end there won't be any gaps at all.

  31. I'll add my vote here for:

    THE EYRE AFFAIR and WIFE OF THE GODS, both of which I read with my mystery book group. Wouldn't take too long for either of them.

    I also notice you have THE STAND, which is one of my favorite books ever, but it is very long. Too long probably.

    I've always meant to read GEEK LOVE. So, I'll add that one in.

    Really, Ana, I would say just read what strikes you. I can't believe that you wouldn't be able to find most of these at a library in your new location.

  32. Shall we reschedule our co-read of The Bone People now that I'm "back"?

    I think that the Fforde books are a must although they're perfect for summer reading...

    I'll be reviewing Fledgling later this week.

    I think Woman: An Intimate Geography is a must-take; it's a good choice as it may keep you occupied for a while (dipping in and out for each stand-alone essay/chapter).

    Half of a Yellow Sun is one I highly recommend you taking; I love Ngozi Adichie (I can now pronounce her name!) so much and that was a highlight.

    The Firebrand and Kindred are ones I want you to review so I'll then read them myself ;)

    You simply have to read Geek Love soon, before you drive me to distraction! It's insane and bloody brilliant. I believe I said the same the last time you let us loose on your TBR!

    I loved Captain Corelli's Mandolin although it's been more than a decade since I read it; the multiple narrative strains are so creative (especially the ones by Mussolini and The Homosexual).

    Claire, Steph and I are doing a reada-long of Toni Morrison's Love next month if you are free to join us?

  33. Don't forget that you can full access to my little library when you're over here! I have nearly all of the YA novels on your list, so leave them there and I'll post you any you need :)

  34. Geek love, for sure. It's so weird and quirky and I think you'd really get a lot out of it. Lots to think about. I also loved Atonement, which is an absolutely beautifully written story. Good luck deciding!! I'm sure there will be plenty of books where you're going too, so no worries!

  35. OK. My suggestions:

    Forever by Judy Blume ~ this is such a great summer read! And, it's like, Judy Blume! Plus, it'll be real quick, so you'll feel accomplished. :P

    Geek Love by K. Dunn ~ OK. This is just completely selfish of me. I want you to read this because it's on my bookshelf to read. And maybe if you read it, I'll be motivated to read it myself. :)

    And then it's a toss up between Go Tell it n the Mountain & One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest because their classics.

    Plus, I added you to my LT Friend list.

    Best of luck to your decision.

  36. I know how stressful an impending move can be! I moved this past April and my books are still in stacks in the basement.

  37. I vote for The Mysteries of Pittsburgh because it's one of the finest first novels I've ever read, and I ADORE Michael Chabon. I also recommend the Thursday Next books (Jasper Fforde) because they're clever and literary. Have fun making your list!

  38. The Eyre Affair would be a top choice for me because I loved the premise, and the execution wasn't too shabby either. Middlemarch really captured my love language when I read it in college. And my number 3 choice would be The Boleyn Inheritance - I haven't read it and I'd like to know if I should. I did enjoy The Other Boleyn Girl....

  39. 1. Atonement - best McEwan book I've read so far.

    2. Half of a Yellow Sun - haven't read it, but I haven't read a single bad review, either, and I imagine you'd like this.

    3. The Shadow in the North - I'd like your valuable opinion on this. The first (second, and third) time I read it, it left me totally heartbroken, but you know, I was young and impressionable.

  40. Ooh, I love picking books for other people! My choices are 1) Atonement, a book I couldn't put down and then immediately re-read upon finishing; 2) Drood, which made me sleep with the lights on a couple of nights and was one of my favorite reading experiences last year; 3) Them, by JCO, because it's on my TBR pile as well. Good luck with the move!

  41. Amazingly enough, I haven't read any of those books! I can't make any suggestions, sadly.

    As for my summer, I'm basically reading my way through the library. There aren't many books I have in mind that I really, really want to read, so I'm planning on making multiple visits to the library and choosing books that interest me!

  42. My reading plans for the summer is to read as much as I can and to mostly read non-fiction since it's out of my comfort zone.

    My recommendations:

    The first 2 short stories in Peter Beagle's We Never Talk about My Brother

    Gilead - because I've read great things about it

    Consider the Lobster by Wallace since I think he was a genius

    V for Vendetta since I've always wanted to read it.

  43. Oh, moving and culling books is so hard! I'm late chiming in here but maybe you'll consider my suggestions too!

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Conneticut Yannkee in King Arthur's Court- both great books I really enjoyed. And I think you should read Where the Wild Things Were just because I want to read it too!

  44. I haven't had access to most of my TBR pile for almost two years now, and you'll be happy to know that (at least for me) out of sight is, actually, out of mind. Sometimes I see the left behind ones in my LT catalogue and get sad, but I try to choose from my TBR here and just not think about them until it's time to bring more back over.

    As for what you have:

    Woman by Natalie Angier - because I also have it, I want to read it, and I really want to see what you think about it.

    Moon Called by Patricia Briggs - because I love this series and it's a very quick read, so you'll know straight away if you're going to enjoy the rest of the series or not.

    Half of a Yellow Sun - I really liked it and I think you would too.

    Tigana - because Guy Gavriel Kay is fantastic and this is one of his best.

    And I'll stop there. I hope you enjoy your summer reading!

  45. Atonement was wonderful, but in my mind it's not really a summer sort of book. Same goes for Her Fearful Symmetry.

    Tigana, obviously, I think is excellent, but I tend to save my fatty-fat paperbacks for packing and traveling - the most reading for the size it takes in my carry-on!

    The Jasper Fforde and Alan Bradley books would be fun summer reads, and The Cure for Death by Lightning is not exactly fun, but also feels like a summertime book (and was quite good.)

  46. The only ones I would recommend are the Amelia Peabody books, especially if you're in the mood for an archaeological mystery that takes place in Egypt. However I do have a couple that I would say DON'T plan on reading:

    1. The Elizabeth Hand book. I've never liked her writing. You might feel differently, of course, but I have an extreme aversion to her novels.

    2. Drood. Not that it's not good, but it's a long-ass book and it doesn't exactly go by quickly. If you're looking to read as many books as possible before you leave, I'd just give that one a pass.

    I'm planning on moving soon, too, so I'm facing a similar problem and I feel your pain!

  47. (1) 'V for Vendetta' by Alan Moore - you can read it in half an hour - so why wait :)
    (2) You have 'Astonishing Splashes of Colour' by Clare Morrall? How awesome! This is a book that I have been searching and am not able to find. (So maybe you should read it now :))
    (3) Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres - is there on my 'TBR' list after being highly recommended by many friends. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.
    (4) Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert - I read it a few years back (the exact same edition) and loved it. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

    So, these are my favourites, and I hope you can read them.

    Maybe, one of things that you can do is that you can put the 135 books in boxes (they might come in two to four boxes, depending on size) and ship them to your new address, where you are moving. That way you won't miss them :) I did this once, when I moved, and it worked. I didn't miss the books that I brought with me - I ignored them and bought new books and read the new ones :)

  48. Many great books but I think Half of a Yellow Sun is a must read.

  49. Sandy: Passion does sound wonderful - especially considering the brain crush I have on Mary Shelley! I wonder if I can take The Stand and Her Fearful Symmetry with me. They both feel like autumn books...

    Tiina: I so enjoyed the first two Amelia Peabody books - I'm glad to hear they get even better! Thank you for the tips; I'm entering them all in my geeky little chart :P

    Kathy: I think will!

    Fiona: I've heard such conflicting opinions on whether reading order matters! But as a plan to read Deep Secrets anyway, I might as well play it safe and read it first :P Also, thank you! I'm sure I will :D

    Amanda and Kay: I'm sure I can find most if not all these books at the library there, but I actually want to read books I don't own while I'm abroad. My tbr pike will still be here when I come back one year for now, so I figured I might as well focus on reading books I won't have access to once I come back.

    Claire: Yes! Any time is fine my be. I look forward to reading your thoughts on Fledgling, and I'd love to join you, Claire and Steph for Love. When in July is the readalong?

    Stormfilled: Aww - you are too kind!

    Heather: One more vote for Geek Love! I'm not worried about book access once I move :) It's really what to read this summer that troubles me :P

    Christina: Selfish reasons are perfectly valid ;) And thank you for friending me!

    Stephanie: I'm not looking forward to putting mine in storage!

    Florinda: Oooh - I'd forgotten I own that! I love Michael Chabon too, so I really ought to read it.

    Trisha: Whatever else I do this summer, Middlemarch will get read! Thanks for the recommendations :)

    Alessandra: Thanks for the suggestions! #1 and #2 are getting lots of votes, so I have a feeling I'll be getting to them.

  50. Black Swan Green is one of my dearest darlings.

  51. Hello! Long time reader, first time commenter. I felt I had to recommend Black Swan Green, or anything by David Mitchell, as he is one of the best and most original writers of our generation. Brilliant writing, deeply developed characters and unique storylines. BSG is a bit of a departure from his usual fare as he tells a semi-autobiographical tale about growing up, but still a brilliant read. Read this one and then read Cloud Atlas - or vice versa - you'll love them both.

  52. My votes go to:

    1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare - Brilliantly written history that made me look at The Bard's plays in a new way - plus, I learned a lot about British history that I hadn't known before.

    The Eyre Affair - so much fun - the perfect summer read for a book-lover!

    Good luck narrowing your list down. :)

  53. Sometimes I WISH I could leave my TBR behind and start fresh :p It can be so overwhelming sometimes!! But I'd imagine that you're feeling stressed right now trying to pick what to read!! Ok...here are my votes :)

    Pictures That Tick - It's a pretty quick read and it's freaking AMAZING!!! Especially a couple of the stories...just blew my mind.

    Red Spikes - Just because I love hearing you talk about Margo Lanagan :)

    Her Fearful Symmetry - I promise I'm not just picking books I've sent you :p I truly loved this book! More and more as time passes. It didn't blow my mind immediately, but it's haunted me since I've read it.

    Luna - Incredible.

    Ok...I could've picked like 5 more, but I'm going to stop at 4 :p

  54. So many good books! I particularly enjoyed:

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres - this's one of my favourites. The narrative structure is just gorgeous, and I love how the whole thing comes together. It's beautiful and heartbreaking.

    I Was A Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block - it's a very affecting book, for its size. It does deal with some hefty issues, though, including child abuse, s it's not exactly a light read.

    Girl Goddess #9 by Francesca Lia Block - short stories! And really good, emotionally charged short stories, at that! I was just thinking about one of them this morning, but I won't tell you in what context because of spoilers.

    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - it's clever and creative and meta, and I know you like that sort of thing.

    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay - because it's my favourite book of all time and it deals with memory and truth and love and personal accountiblity and seventeen thousand other wonderful things and I am totally incoherent about it and I want everyone to read it but especially you because it's sitting there all unread and that is a CRIME.

    V For Vendetta by Alan Moore - another one I was just thinking about. It's thoughtful and complex, and I think you'll get a lot out of it.

    Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake - I haven't read the rest of the trilogy yet (for shame!) but I really enjoyed the first one. I think you'll like its twistiness.

    The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice - another of my favourites. I'm shocked that you haven't read it. Shocked to the core. It's gorgeous and emotional and impossible to put down. I need to reread it myself, come to that...

  55. Just the idea of having to leave any of these books behind makes me sad :(

    I think you need to meet Flavia so read Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie!!

  56. Have to say, I enjoyed reading the comments on this just as much as I enjoyed taking a look at your list!

    That said, I would echo Rhapsody's thoughts on Gilead. Couldn't finish it. However, Her Fearful Symmetry is one that I just finished and really liked.

    A former coworker of mine, who is a very avid and eclectic reader, raves about Geek Love and tells me it is her absolute all time favorite book. I haven't read it yet, but I'm thinking I must.

  57. So. I duly clicked over to your LibraryThing page & was completely confused. Thus, the following, based on your photo. You MUST read:
    The Eyre Affair--because it's a
    hoot; easy and fun (lots of literary references to keep you entertained)

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin--read this years ago & LOVED it. Hope you will too.

    Half of a Yellow Sun: haven't read this but adored Purple Hibiscus, and also a talk she gave somewhere that was on YouTube for a while. So I would claim this as a must-read for you.

    Off the library thing list:
    Middlemarch--it's my favorite Victorian novel & the best of George Eliot. Long, but worth it.

    Gilead--Marylynne Robinson. Done.

    Best of luck to you with the relocation! Happy summer!

  58. So many books, so little time!!!

    Here's a few of my recommendations:
    ~ Atonement (the story just blew me away!)

    ~ Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (just loved the story & the magical aspect of it!)

    ~ Her Fearful Symmetry (I haven't read it, but have read so many rave reviews about it, so I'd like to hear your thoughts.)

    ~ Geek Love (Love the title!)

  59. You have a very good list there and choosing will be tough. I have read Alan Bradley as well as Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and found those books very good.

  60. Morris Gleitzman is a wonderful children's author, I've loved his work since I was a kid so would recommend Two weeks with the queen and once.

    Black Swan Green was a very enjoyable and moving coming of age tale and Half of a yellow sun is incredible, so I'd vote for those as well. And White Teeth, and Blue Diary and...but I'll stop now!

  61. Oh dear, you've had some great comments and there are so many good books there, so I'll just go for three:

    Keri Hulme's The bone people is a stunning book. It's the ONLY book my f2f group has done twice. Does that tell you something. It has its confronting moments.

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a yellow sun is a really moving book about the Biafran crisis. It's told through a number of POVs and evokes the period well.

    Louis de Berniere's Captain Corelli's mandolin is an expansive story - different too but a bit like, in a way, Middlesex (just because of its sweep). It's beginning is challenging to some people because it chops and changes so you wonder where you are but the writing is so engaging that you just want to go with the flow.

  62. I feel like I missed something....why won't you have access to your tbr pile for a year? What will you be doing?

    Anyway, I'd love to see what you think of Generation A, as it's on my wishlist, and I want to know if it should stay there.

    Does My Head Look Big in This, because I'm curious about a ya book with a Muslim main character.

    Also, This Boy's Life, because I love memoirs!

  63. I'd like to state here, as I've stated anywhere else anyone will let me, that anyone I know and love (this includes you, Nymeth) who has read Jane Eyre NEEDS to read The Eyre Affair because it is one of my favorite books of all time. That is all.

  64. What a great tbr list! so many books I want to read myself.
    I've onle read 3 The Eyre Affair, Does my head look big in this and The Shadow in the North.
    Definitely read The Eyre Affair not that you've read Jane Eyre!
    I loved Does my head look big in this, while I didn't particularly love Shadow in the North, but it was crucial for getting attached to the character of Sally Lockhart in the tiger in the well, which in turn was excellent and I think you'd like it (brave heroine, victorian settings, women's rights involved...)

  65. I can totally recommend Atonement (awesome, awesome book) and The Bone People. I hope that you get to read all good ones coming up to your move!

  66. I liked the look of Does My Head Look Big in This and I LOVED One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest when I read it in high school.

  67. I recommend The Boleyn Inheritance for its drama and betrayal. And
    20th Century Ghosts for its creepiness.
    Whatever you chose, happy reading ;)

    I dont have summer reading plans, just want to go with the flow :)

  68. Yep, absence makes the heart grow fonder...even of books.

  69. Verbatim: Atonement is winning, so it sounds like I'll be reading at least that one for sure! And I've seen such mixed reviews of Drood. Those who love it seem to really loce it, though - fingers crossed that I'll join your ranks.

    Emidy: Reading your way through the library sounds like a wonderful plan!

    Vasilly: I can't believe I've yet to read that Beagle collection! Complete #Anafail.

    Jeane: Fortunately I won't have to actually cull the pile - just leave it in storage at chez my parents for a year. The thought of actually getting rid of them makes me want to cry!

    Meghan: I'm relieved to hear it! Hopefully the same will happen to me :P

    Fyrefly: Maybe I can take those two and read them in the autumn?

    Heidenkind: I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Hand's writing, so I doubt I'll feel differently about this book. As for Amelia Peabody, sadly I can't read those 3 books :( The reason being that they're books 4, 5 and 8 and I don't own 3 or 6 :P I found them at a bargain sale, though - how could I say no? :P

    Vishy: I notice that Alan Moore's comics actually take me a long time to read. I spent over a week with Watchmen, even though it's not that long. Having said that, I do plan on reading V this summer, as I hate the thought of leaving comics behind!

    Gavin: I'll make sure I get to that one!

    raych: I think that's the reason why I own it :P

    Garry: Hello, and thank you for commenting! I've been meaning to read David Mitchell for ages, as he really does sound like my kind of writer. I'll do my best to squeeze Black Swan Green in!

    Carrie: Thank you for the recommendations!

    Chris: Are you SURE the theme here isn't "books that I sent you and you haven't read, you ungrateful and dismal friend?" ;) It'd totally understand if it were :P

    Memory: *stares guiltily at Tigana, all alone on the shelf*. The Francesca Lia Blocks are sure to be quick reads, so I really have no excuse, do I?

    Staci: I'm not getting rid of them for good - just leaving them in storage for a year!

    Melissa: Gilead really does sound to divide opinions. And Geek Love fans seem to be really passionate about the book! Thanks for the recommendations!

    I'll finish replying to these later, but THANK YOU everyone for your help! If you're curious, the winners so far are (I decided to read 5 for sure instead of 3): The Eyre Affair, Atonement, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Geek Love/Captain Corelli's Mandolin (tied).

  70. That must be so hard to leave your books behind for months. Well you've got lots of good ones there of course but I do highly recommend Half of a Yellow Sun. While it's a novel, I was just amazed about how much I learned about Biafra. I think it's a shame that for something that happened not so long ago in history I was (and I'm sure a lot of people are) so clueless about it. When I was reading the book I kept thinking, how come this topic was never covered in any of my high school or university courses?! Anyway, I hope whenever you do get to it you will find it as engaging a novel as I did.

  71. Since I haven't read any of these, I am probably the last person to recommend. But of the books you have here, do read the David Mitchell book, Half of a Yellow Sun, and the Alan Bradley books.

    I am moving in a month too, but so far I've been hopeful that I can carry all my books with me. We'll see how that goes.

  72. Awww...so sad to be separated from your books!! I'll be happy to give my 2 cents ... I love helping people compose reading lists.

  73. So many to look at ..

    I haven't read Kate Atkinson but someone I trust just recommended "Case Histories" and I plan on reading it too.

    I personally loved Flavia in the Alan Bradley books.

    And I think you should read "Forever" just for kicks!

    You have ton of books on there!

  74. I'm going to say Empress of the World is a must aren't I, but it's never going to make the top 3. So I'll go for 'Across the Nightingale Floor' as perhaps that has half a hope of, also 'Atonement' and 'Close Range'.

    Whatever you do don't make 'Love' your first Morrisson! Only for devoted fans (and perhaps not even them, since I was bored by it). So unless you've read 'Jazz', 'The Bluest Eye' and 'Beloved' for starters I'd avoid that one.

    If you're moving in September is this not a good idea to send you something? I think you'll really like it, but I don't want to add to your storage pile.

  75. I see some on your list that are also on my list! Two that I plan on reading in the coming months are Woman an Intimate Geography and Half a Yellow Sun. I also am drawn to the old classics on your list (two versions of the Robin Hood tale?, Mark Twain) but I suspect most classics can be got via public domain so maybe not as urgent to read.

    I'm reading Victorian this summer and it's fun! Since I am reading long books, I don't feel any pressure to blog: I'm just reading a lot!

  76. Huh. Everyone is giving you different answers. That's what you get when you ask booky people about books! I would let the others' great comments do all the work, but I have to say I got all excited when I saw Black Swan Green in your photo. I agree with Raych and Garry. Also, it is book of subtleties that creeps up on you, and I know you like that! When I read it, I didn't realize how many things were going on until the book was halfway done, then I spend the second half not wanting it to end. And it is the perfect book for a big transition time.

    So is This Boy's Life, perhaps even more than Black Swan. Tobias Wolff and David Mitchell are my prose sweethearts. They give me faith in words and humanity.

    I think I've already recommended Liam Hern to you. You don't need to worry about getting to all of them. Across the Nightingale Floor stands well alone; I actually savored the Otori series more for putting long gaps between them. Giving them time to settle in, and the craving to come back.

    (I couldn't hack Ghormenghast, much as I wanted to. I settled for the miniseries, which I thought was surprisingly good in a surreal way.)

  77. Loved The Eyre Affair and I think you'd like it a lot.
    I really enjoyed One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Black Swan Green too.

    I've read quite a few of the others, but those are the ones that stood out for me. Good luck!

  78. I hope you'll read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I'd be very interested to hear what you think of it.

  79. You've probably already chosen, but I agree, The Eyre Affair is a must-read. It's quirky and fun and a fast read, and you'll love all the jokes about books. Of course, you may have to read the entire series, which will just add to your to-read list. I also liked The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, another quick read. And even if you don't finish Middlemarch, don't leave it behind! Take it with you, it is so wonderful.

    Case Histories -- also wonderful. Don't leave it behind either. And I love Twain so I really want to know if Connecticut Yankee is as good as Tom Sawyer.

    But you could skip TTYL, not that great, though it is a superfast read.

  80. Another vote for The Eyre Affair from me! And also for Kindred, I think zouąll love it!

  81. I'm going to use caps and it does mean that I'm yelling:

    THE BONE PEOPLE. Read it Ana. It's a beautiful heartbreaking novel. It's one of the few that is in my "must read again before I die" pile. And please read it soon so I can know what you thought.

  82. Um, can I vote again? I know The Bone People isn't going to win--I fear it's not well known enough.

    So again, The Bone People. Really.

  83. Is it too late to vote?

    I recommend Patricia Briggs' Moon Called because it is the first of an excellent urban fantasy series. I love the main character, Mercy Thompson. I'm reading the fifth book in the series right now.

    Also, Octavia Butler's Kindred is awesome and brilliant - it is a unique sort of time travel narrative and it has a wonderfully nuanced exploration of race relations.


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