Sh*t Just Got Real: My Physical TBR pile

my-tbr-1As I finished another romance-reading binge, I stood in front of my shelves on Wednesday, trying to decide what to read next. I started going through the shelf that holds what loosely represents my soon-to-be-read books but was uninspired. And then I went searching for unread books through all our shelves. I own so many books that I fully intend to read. I’m aware that other people (especially you lovely bookish individuals) might have larger tbr piles than I do but this seems quite overwhelming.

Ok, so there are also unread books in our home that I know I will never read. They were either gifts or bought by my husband (hello, Steven Erickson and Herman Melville). But I am guilty of buying most of these so it’s high time to make myself read them – and put a stop to the crazy e-book-buying spree that’s been happening these past two months. Here are the books I want to read (they’re a combination of titles I bought and novels my husband bought and highly recommended):

Non-fantasy titlesmy-tbr-2

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (Slovenian translation)
  • The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (Slovenian translation)
  • The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green (read in April 2015)
  • My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
  • Tobie Lolness 1+2 by Timothee de Fombelle
  • Le Combat d’hiver by Jean-Claude Mourlevat
  • Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich (read in March 2015)
  • Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (read in June 2015)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (not pictured, I only found it later) (dnf in March 2015)
  • Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (ditto)
  • Lady Thief by A. C. Gaughen

Fantasy titlesmy-tbr-3

  • Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb
  • Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman (you can see where I got stuck when I first tried to read it)
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Slovenian translation)
  • Good Omens by Terry Pratchett Neil Gaiman (Slovenian translation)
  • Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke (Slovenian translation)
  • Half the World by Joe Abercrombie (read in April 2015)
  • Best Served ColdThe Heroes and Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
  • A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (see my bookmark?) (decided to drop the series)
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
  • Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Slovenian translation) (read in April 2015)
  • Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (see bookmark…)
  • Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (bookmark…)
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (bookmark…)
  • Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
  • Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness


So. Here they are. Crazy, right? I don’t think I’ll be able to manage them all in 2015 but I want to make a serious dent into this pile because they’re good books that I actually want to read.

I intend to come back and cross them off as I read them so I keep myself accountable. I started with Janet Evanovich who is awesome, by the way.


What does your TBR pile look like?

Would you recommend any of these? Where should I start?

  • Yikes, that’s a whooole lot of books! You’re going to be occupied for a while, I think. :’) My (physical) TBR pile isn’t that big, I think. Not completely sure though, because there are a lot of books in my parents’ bookcase I still want to read as well…
    I recently read Jane Eyre, and I really liked it! Can definitely recommend giving that one a go soon. Looking for Alaska is also really wonderful, and I enjoyed Mrs Dalloway a lot as well (and it’s quite a quick read).

    • Kaja

      Ugh, if I raided my parents’ shelves as well, I’d probably triple this list :/ Sometimes I get panicky because I *know* for a fact that I won’t be able to read all the books I want to read in one lifetime, even though I’m only 28. Eh. But I’ll try ;)
      Thanks for the recommendations! “A quick read” is a good feature in a book – I want to read so many!

  • I’ve totally been in a romance reading binge lately, too. It’s all I want to read. Usually I read a variety of books every month, but so far this month it’s all adult romance.

    Good luck with your physical TBR books. I should come up with something similar because I own so many books that I haven’t read either.

    • Kaja

      Yeah I don’t know what got into me but I’ve been reading loads and loads of romances. Not just NA, adult stuff as well. Jill Shalvis is my crack, seriously. I read your reviews and I add things to my tbr every week :D
      But I really want to make a dent into this pile, I feel like I should make an effort to diversify my choices a bit.

  • My TBR pile is pretty ridiculous too, now I don’t feel so bad anymore! We’re readers and book lovers, it’s our lot in life :)

    • Kaja

      That’s true :) I really like being a part of the blogging community because I don’t know many people who read as much as I do – and especially not the same stuff. It’s really refreshing to be able to talk about the books I like with others – before, my go-to person for fantasy-related debates was my husband but for YA and romance books, there simply wasn’t anyone. I love blogging :)

  • That’s a lot of Abercrombie! Best Served Cold is my all-time favourite of his. :)

    If you don’t mind me asking, why does Steven Erikson not appeal to you? I think his Malazan series is amazing. :D

    • Kaja

      Yeah, Abercrombie… I read The First Law trilogy and was really disappointed and then I read Half a King and loved it so I figured I have to read the rest of them to see how Joe came from point A to point B ;) And we have the books at home anyway because my husband’s a huge fan, so there.

      Well, as to Erikson (without “c”? Oops…): I heard – both from my husband and from reviews I’ve seen – that it’s really the type of epically epic fantasy. While I like some epicness in my books, I’ve been gravitating towards fantasy authors who manage to convey stuff without going into extremes – even Martin goes too far sometimes and I only tolerate Tolkien because he was one of the first fantasies I read and he holds a special place in my heart :) But I prefer subtler worldbuilding. For example: I completely choked on Sanderson’s The Way of Kings (and even Mistborn was a stretch…). And from what I’ve heard, Erikson is the king of epic :D I may be wrong and missing out on a great series but so far, nothing I’ve heard about it seemed to attract my fancy!
      But now I have to know: what did you like about it? Do you think it would be a good fit for me?

      • Hmm, maybe it’s not your cup of tea then. The main series is comprised of 10 novels, each around the 1000-page mark, and it’s about as epic as can be. You’re probably right to avoid him based on what you’ve said.

        See, I’m a huge fan of epic fantasy, and I love the scope of Erikson’s series. You really get the sense that the world goes back for millions of years, the magic system is awesome, and the sheer number of complex storylines woven together is just incredible. But the main reason I like him is because of his characters. Even though the cast of Malazan is HUGE, it still feels like you know each character personally, and I became immensely invested in nearly all of them. Many of his books – Deadhouse Gates in particular comes to mind – really put you through an emotional wringer, and I find them incredibly satisfying and rewarding. [/gush]

        You wish you’d never asked now, don’t you? :P

        I don’t blame you for not being attracted to the series. The majority of fantasy lovers I’ve spoken to didn’t get along with the first book, and so never carried on with the series. But it’s seriously awesome, and they’re missing out, in my opinion. :D

        • Kaja

          Noo, it’s always awesome to discuss books even if I’m not sure about them. Yeah I think I’ll leave Erikson be for a while – in any case, I’m in the middle of two other epic series (Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and ASOIAF) so I don’t think I could handle another one with so many characters and plot lines right now. Too confusing. Maybe at some point I’ll finish these and I’ll be in the mood for something grand again :) I don’t mind the length, though, I’m used to that.

  • I don’t see any use in comparing TBR piles with other people — we all read at such different speeds, and what’s good fun for someone is a huge challenge for someone else. I’m one of those people with a huge, huge, huge TBR (1,000 last time someone calculated for me, not counting review copies), but I also have a ridiculous reading speed and too much free time! I would offer to buddy read some of these with you, but I’m hopeless at doing that: one minute I’ve read 50%, the next I refuse to read any for weeks. Gah. Too contrary! But I have Half the World to get to, and I want to reread Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

    • Kaja

      Ooh, so Jonathan Strange is re-read worthy?
      I *know* you read at impossible speeds, I see your reviews every week and marvel :D
      I haven’t participated in any read-alongs yet because I’m a mood reader and like you said – either I barrel right through a book or it drags and you can never tell which it will be until you start reading…

  • Cannot recommend Jane Eyre enough. I was seriously obsessed with that book, then after taking a seminar course entirely on that book (it was two semesters!!) I am even more in love with it. There are some problematic issues with gender and marriage, but overall it is genius. A Monster Calls will make you cry, guaranteed. So emotional.

    LOL the bookmarks! I definitely do that too. Quite a few of these are on my TBR as well, most notably American Gods and Allegiant…although I think I may just give up on Allegiant and move on.

    • Kaja

      Haha thanks for this epic commenting spree!
      Ok, I’ll definitely give J.E. a try. I mean, I’ve had the book for years now but still. I also challenged myself to read more classics in 2015 so I’ll really try to get to it next.
      I am SO RELUCTANT to read A Monster Calls for that exact reason. I love Ness but MAN he can be intense.

  • Wow SO many books! I used to have an overwhelming TBR pile like this too but then I left all my unread books in China, although I will ship them over eventually… Also Jonathan Strange is an AMAZING book. Curious to see what you make of Good Omens too… never read it buout would really like too.

    • Ok, each one of you recommended a different book :D That means I have some very interesting reading times ahead. I wonder about Good Omens, too – I haven’t read anything by Pratchett yet + it’s a translation!