This week’s Top Ten is brought to you by The Broke & the Bookish. They have tons of topics to write from which, honestly, can be a little daunting. Thankfully, I think I found a really good one for this week.
Top Ten Books I Need to Buy but Haven’t Touched Since Buying Them
As a self-proclaimed book hoarder, I have a horrible problem with buying books just to stick them on my shelf. I’ll then go to the library to find more books to read. I have about 70-80 books on my bookshelf to-be-read. That doesn’t include the decorative books or the reference books. We probably have about 100 books in all and most of them have not been read yet. So I decided to give a list on my top 10 books I really really really really want to read but just haven’t.
10. The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston
Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch’s Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of Witches.Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.
I adore historical fiction. I romanticize a lot about the past, even though I know there were no toilets or, you know, basic human rights. Still, I can’t help but feeling like there was a sense of freedom about the world before it was this constantly-connected hub it is now. You could leave the town and not say anything and nobody would know what happened to you. I’m sure it would be easier for a man than for a woman, but hey, romanticism. The Witch’s Daughter, as well as Brackston’s other books, all have at least one of the key factors I use when choosing a book: beautiful covers. Don’t kill me!! I know; don’t judge a book by its cover. Just admit it: we all do it. This is one of those books I look at longingly but am too afraid I’ll be disappointed if I read it.
9. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
For the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.
The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Growing up, I was a daddy’s girl. My mom worked long hours as a nurse, so I spent most of the time with my dad. He instilled in me a huge love of anything scary. I am still terrified of many things (bugs, the X-Files theme song and this guy:
) but I enjoy haunted hayrides, scary movies and scary books. One of my favorites books to check out of the library was Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Remember those? Here was my favorite picture, because it creeped me out the most:
Yeah, good times. When I heard about House of Leaves, I heard that it was one of the best horror stories of our time. I couldn’t wait to buy it! Unfortunately, it is about $30, which is kind of pricey for a paperback. Still, one day I took the plunge and bought it, and it’s been sitting on my bookshelf ever since.
8. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.
This is one of those books I bought because of the hype. I knew they were making a television show about it so I figured, “Hey, the book can’t be bad!” Now this one I have touched, but I only read about 20 pages and put it down. I feel like it’s a series that needs a lot of commitment, maybe even more than the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. A lot of beginnings are hard on readers, so I feel like I just need to push more with this one and I’ll like it.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
I’ve heard great things about this book. I remember seeing it all the time when I worked at Barnes and Noble, but I never picked it up. Finally, I found it for $4 at a Books a Million’s Bargain Section and just went for it. Still haven’t read it, though. It has everything I like: dragons, fantasy, female main character, royalty. Why haven’t I read it already? Honestly, it might be because of the “dangerously perceptive” Prince. I am extremely wary of YA novels with romances. I’ve been let down before with the whole “We just met but we’re soulmates,” thing.
6. Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Here is the magical legend of King Arthur, vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. A spellbinding novel, an extraordinary literary achievement, THE MISTS OF AVALON will stay with you for a long time to come….
Once again, the fantasy element caught me immediately. Once I found out it was a retelling of a story, I was pretty interested. Then I saw it was from the women’s perspectives and I was on the prowl for this book. I actually found a hardcover edition of this in a used bookstore/comic book store. They wanted SIXTY DOLLARS for it! Unless it comes with $40 in it, no. So my search continued. I finally found it in paperback for $10 somewhere else and grabbed it. I’m intimidated by the size of it, as well as the fact that it’s used in colleges around the nation for their women’s studies classes. I’m afraid I won’t enjoy it or “get it” and that I’ll feel dumb. I know I’m going to have to read it eventually, though.
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
I use fantasy books as a way to say to myself, “Stephen Hawking has said that there are infinite universes with infinite possibilities. So, in theory, there is a world where all of this actually happens.” I suffer from depression, and whenever I think about what I do and don’t do with my life, I begin that slow descent. Whatever I’m reading can either help me out of that descent or push me further. Usually well-written fantasies push me further. I have no college education, no “adult” job. What could I possibly contribute to life? So I’ll be a good wife and a mediocre blog-writer. Woohoo. That’s probably why I haven’t touched Robert Jordan’s book yet. It has such rave reviews that I’m terrified it’s going to make me want to jump in there and leave all this behind. (Then again, no toilets or basic human rights so…)
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise — she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.
This is a book that I wanted to read because I heard so many people rave about it. There are a handful of women whose opinions on books I take very seriously (most of whom I worked with at Barnes and Noble) and I remember a few of them talking about how much they loved this book. Unfortunately, if I hate the font of the book, it hinders my reading experience. That’s probably why I didn’t like reading Cinder – I had accidentally borrowed a Large Print version. Ouch. I bought one of those “Pre-published” editions of this book from a used-bookstore (see a pattern yet?) and it feels unfinished. Literally. The way the outside is feels like a cheap book. I know, how shallow of me. Don’t worry – one day I’ll get over it.
3. Pure by Julianna Baggott
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
This one hooked me with two parts: 1) That coverrrrrrrr. Excuse me whilst I wipe this drool from my chin. 2) Dystopian lit. I don’t know why, but I just enjoy the idea that even if the world we know it is destroyed, people will still persevere. It’s a feel-good thought. I have absolutely zero good reasons to give as to why I haven’t read this yet. Look at it! It should be in my hands right now!
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
I have yet to hear somebody say anything negative about this book. Why is it I turn away from talked-up books to read ones I’ve never even heard of before? What curse is this?!
Despite the fact that WWII Historical Fic is some of my favorite, I haven’t been able to get past the first few chapters of this book. I’ve tried twice, but each time it was just a little dry to me. To be fair, this seems like a book that needs 100% of your attention and I am a multi-tasker. It takes a very good book to keep my undivided attention. The last series I read, His Fair Assassin, did it very well. It’s going to take a good bit to live up to those.
1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.
That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine – and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.
Another book I have heard nothing but greatness about. It brought a friend of mine to tears. Literal tears from her face! That might actually be why I haven’t read it yet!
But on the reals, I want to read this book. I do think the main reason I haven’t started it is because I only have book one and, as far as I know, it’s a two book series. The last thing I want to do is finish Code Name Verity and not be able to get to a bookstore immediately, because then, depending on how much I like book two, I’d buy it on my Nook to read immediately and then have to buy a physical copy for my bookshelf. Madness, I say, pure madness!
And that’s all! What are some books on your shelf you just had to have but then haven’t touched since? I feel like a neglectful mother now… Hmm. Well, happy Tuesday everyone!