Books on my Spring TBR 2020

Tulips in Spring

Books on my Spring TBR was a Top Ten Tuesday topic and probably one I missed this year, however I thought I would resurrect it, for my own interest as well as yours.  Why my own?  Well, I have very little idea what I plan to read this spring.  As the death of my mom has left me somewhat lost and meandering and the pandemic has changed life considerably, I’ve found that I don’t feel like concentrating on the books I usually choose.  And while I haven’t officially chosen any particular book, today I thought I’d wander through my bookshelves to see what catches my eye.  My choices might even be a surprise to myself, lol!

1. The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

Okay, not a surpriise.  I’m reading it right now and loving it! ❤️


2.  The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

I’ve always been hesitant to read this book.  And I didn’t know why.  Now that I’ve started it, it’s reminding me of Thomas Hardy and perhaps my hesitation is becoming clear.  But I’ll keep an open mind.  I love George Eliot’s writing and her Middlemarch is one of my favourites!


3.  The Mystery of the Blue Train

And while I’m wondering what to read, what better time to restart my Agatha Christie chronological challenge?  I’ve already finished The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret AdversaryMurder on the Links, The Man In The Brown Suit, The Secret of Chimneys, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Sign of Four. Which reminds me that I still have to write a review for The Sign of Four.  Sigh! Have you every written a review ages after you finished the book?  I suspect, it wasn’t easy ….


4.  Team of Rivals

Team of Rivals

What ho! (I’ve been reading too much P.D. Wodehouse and Bertie Wooster!)  This IS a surprise!  But I found it sitting around and I’ve always wanted to read a book about Lincoln, so what better?  And it would be nice to read about political genius, as it is now extinct, ha ha! 😉


5.  How The Irish Saved Civilization

How The Irish Saved Civilization

I own almost all of Thomas Cahill’s books.  And how many have I read?  Zero!  So it might be time to change that.  I was reading The Pilgrim in Narnia’s blog and he happened to mention what an excellent book this is, so I’ve decided to move it up my list.  Do you notice a theme with the last couple of books that I’ve chosen?  I do.  It’s time to change that.


6.  Tales of the Long Bow

The Tales of the Long Bow

Chesterton is a nut.  But he’s the most brilliant and the most insightful nut I know. With this book that introduces us to a club called the Lunatic Asylum, I’m sure this read would be not only enlightening but appropriate as well.  With a style that seems part Dickens, part Cervantes and part who knows who else, I’m excited to read it, as we all participate in the lunatic asylum of life!


7.  To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird


While I’d like to read this book every year, it’s already been a couple.  So it’s time for a re-read.  This book is brilliant.  If you havent’ read it, you definitely should. You won’t be disappointed.


8.  The Last Chronicle of Barset

The Last Chronicle of Barset

What ho!  The last novel in my read of The Barsetshire Chronicles series that has taken me over 5 years.  For shame.  I absolutely LOVED The Warden, I liked Barchester Towers and Doctor Thorne, but then Framley Parsonage and A Small House at Allington found me losing steam and interest in Trollope’s characters.  But this last book is supposed to be good, so what am I waiting for?


9.  Miss Hargreaves

Miss Hargreaves

We’ve all created imaginary characters, haven’t we?  Well, what do you do when the character you created in your imagination shows up at your front door?  This book sounds delightful!

10.  The Social Contract

The Social Contract

Well, I feel like disagreeing with someone and what better person than Rousseau? It’s with warm sentiments that I’ll disagree though because Rousseau holds a special place in my heart after reading his autobiography, Confessions.  He was just an odd duck, but a likeable odd duck.  Hopefully I’ll feel the same way about him after finishing this book.



I have a Russian literature challenge that I signed up for, however I’m not finding that I want to read any, as their literature is not the most uplifting.  Yet I should try.  Here are some possible choices:

Dead Souls / The Foundation Pit / One Day in the LIfe of Ivan Denisovich 

Dead Souls The Foundation Pit

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich



I’d also like to continue reading Zola with:

The Dream or Le Rêve

Le Rêve Zola


And I’d also like to read some Newbery books like:

The Bronze Bow / All Sails Set / The Dark Frigate

The Bronze Bow







Okay, enough books for now.  I’ll be lucky if I finish three from my spring TBR.  And after a lovely long, long weekend, I have to get back doing my taxes, which I got an early start on this morning.  Reading will have to wait for now but, boy, do I have a list!

What do plan to read this spring?

Spring Daisy Flower

Ten Books on my Spring TBR 2017

Ten Books on my Spring TBR 2016

Ten Books on my Spring TBR 2015



Top photo courtesy of Skitterphoto on Pixabay

Last photo courtesy of Bessi on Pixabay

39 thoughts on “Books on my Spring TBR 2020

  1. What an interesting range you have. I must try more Chesterton, I keep thinking I don’t like him, because I’m not keen on Father Brown, then when I read one, I quite often seem to discover they’re cleverer and more subtle than I expected. I’m drawn to Tales of The Long Bow, though.

    • You have to get in a completely different mindset with Chesterton. I’ve never known a writer to write so absurdly but then have such important underlying themes and your realize the absurdity is only a cloak for keen insight and opinion. I’d recommend Chesterton’s The Club of Queer Trades. That was fun!

    • I stick mainly to classics as they’ve stood the test of time and bring to light deep important issues that people should be focusing on and they also help us deal with real life in mature ways. This list is a little less classic-y than normal. I’m looking forward to having a look at yours!

  2. Wind in the Willows is a fine spring choice! Lighthearted and fun to take one’s mind off of the world.

    So should I try Mill on the Floss? You dropped Hardy’s name…nonetheless, I’m fairly sure I will attempt it this summer.

    Good luck with Social Contract. It wasn’t the fuzzy warm personal story that Rousseau gave us in Confessions. It’s more of his economic, political, and philosophical mind, if I remember correctly.

    • I love The Wind in the Willows! I can’t believe I took so long to re-read it!

      I think you’d like The Mill on the Floss — and I hesitantly say that. When you do pick it up, pretend it’s a Hardy book you’re reading and see what you think.

      Yes, I get the impression I’m in for a deluge of Rousseau’s ideas. However, I think I’m prepared for them. I don’t expect to like it as much as Confessions but I hope it’s entertaining in its own way. Happy spring reading!

  3. Looks like you’ve got a lot of good reads coming up! Have you read Go Set A Watchman yet? I was really curious, after enjoying To Kill A Mockingbird when I was younger. I don’t think Go Set A Watchman was as good as what it ended up becoming, but I thought it was a really interesting read and different approach.

    I actually liked The Social Contract, though now I’m curious because I’ve never actually read an autobiography of Rousseau. xD

    Here’s my TTT post.

    • Thanks, Sammie! No, I haven’t read Go Set A Watchman and I must admit, I refuse on principle. If Harper Lee wanted it published, she would have published it. I believe the people who inherited her estate saw dollar signs and did not respect her wishes. So I won’t be reading it but it’s certainly interesting what others have to say about it.

      I do have a soft spot for Rousseau, who was a bit of a mess. If you liked The Social Contract, you’ll probably like Confessions more.

      Going now to stop in to check out your post!!

      • I totally understand your stance. As a writer, it freaks me out that someone might do this, because early work just … isn’t meant to be published? It’s been changed for a reason? But as a reader, I was definitely curious.

        Thanks! I’ll definitely have to look up Confessions, then. Now you’ve got me curious.

        • I know what you mean and it’s kind of neat that you are able to relate to both sides.

          You’ll have to let me know what you think of Confessions when you read it!

  4. I read Mill on the Floss back in my bibleschool days. I couldn’t believe it was the same author who wrote Silas Marner. I get the same Hardy vibes too 🙁

    • Groan! Really?! Have you read Middlemarch? Daniel Deronda? I really don’t want to read another Hardyesque book but I suspect I’m committed now.

  5. Ooo, pick me, pick me! haha The Bronze Bow is one of my all time favorite children’s books. First read when I was 12, I’ve read it several times since. I absolutely love it. I am a big Speare’s fan in general and really enjoyed The Witch of Blackbird Pond, but this is by far my fav. And the Wind in the Willows is so much fun if you need something a little light-hearted.

    Other than that, have you ever read Anna Karenina? If not, I’d suggest that for your Russian classic.

    • Well then, when I read the Newbery’s, I’ll just have to put The Bronze Bow first, in your honour, lol! The Wind in the Willows is indeed fun. It takes you away to a completely different world which I think everyone needs right now.

      I have read Anna Karenina and since last year was such a big year for re-reads for me, I’m trying to steer away from them. But I loved it! Tolstoy is marvellous. I was enjoying his War and Peace before all this “stuff” happened. It is a re-read but worth it. I’ll have to see if I can catch up!

  6. What a fun assortment! Tales of the Long Bow is quirky but full of Chestertonian humor. I’m also curious if you’ve read Go Set a Watchman. It felt SO incompatible with TKAM but maybe a second reading would change my mind…

    Also, I’m with you on “political genius” or lack thereof. We are seeing a resurgence of local/states’ authority dealing with pandemic, but overall the mood feels uncertain and tense. Reading history can be comforting; it reminds me that things get sorted out, eventually.

    • I read your review of Tales of the Long Bow and know you were sort of so-so with some of it. I almost feel Chesterton has to be read over and over again, just to have a basic understanding of his infinite skill, and then over and over again again, to be able to understand his stories. I hope there’s reading in Heaven!

      Oh my! The more I read about what’s happening, the more I can’t believe it. Our prime minister tells everyone to stay home and then goes away for Easter with his family. Good grief! And his wife tested positive and went away with her kids a short time after. I cannot believe the number of people who act just like children. You are so right …. reading history can be comforting. I’m going to try to read more of it.

  7. What a wonderful and eclectic mix of books! I wonder how you will feel about The Last Chronicle of Barset. There is at least on character that tried my patience a bit. But it was (for me) also a very emotional read. I didn’t want to say good bye.

    I’ve only read a few of the books you have on tap but I can recommend One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. If that doesn’t put the minor inconvenience of sheltering in place in a western country in perspective, I don’t know what will.

    Team of Rivals was on the communal bookshelf at my place of employment a few months ago and I toyed with grabbing it but someone else eventually took it home. Some day, perhaps. For sure I can check it out from the library at a later date.

    Happy reading!

    • I tend to be very eclectic …. mostly for me it’s only modern fiction that gets left out, lol! I’m so glad to hear that about The Last Chronicle …. I’m inspired to read it now. Oh, if only to finish! I’d jump for joy!

      Well, at least One Day .. is short. And I might think that I don’t want to read a certain type of book, but find out differently when I do! We’ll see ….

      I do hope Team of Rivals is interesting. I prefer the American Revolution era but Lincoln is interesting in his own right.

      Happy reading to you too, Ruthiella!

  8. So many interesting choices! I was just looking at Wind in the Willows the other day and thinking I’ve never properly read it…if I didn’t have so many books in my TBR pile though (it’s telling when you’re not sure if you’re going to get through your library pile before the library reopens–in a month or two…). I’ve not read To Kill a Mockingbird in years, but I should. It is such a wonderful book.

    To answer a question, yes I’ve written post months after finishing a book. No, it’s not easy. It usually means a short, somewhat shallow post. But have I learned my lesson? No…

    Whatever you end up reading, I hope you thoroughly enjoy! (And it’s a suitable reward for all those taxes!)

    • Well, you followed me with Christie so why not The Wind in the Willows. I think you’d absolutely LOVE it!

      And To Kill A Mockingbird … yes! Somehow fit it in!

      That doesn’t surprise me about late reviews. I have a few of those in the works. Often I’ll jot ideas down in a draft so I have something to work with but The Sign of Four is blank. And it wasn’t that enjoyable for me which makes it even harder. Oh well, I need to get at it.

      Thanks! I can’t wait to get the taxes over with and more reading time!!

  9. It does look like a great bunch of books.

    The Wind In The Willows is so much fun. I only read it for the first time as an adult. I needed it in my childhood, too!

    I’ve also not read anything for the Russian challenge yet this year. I need to get on that, too. Uplifting comfort reads are a bit hard to come by in Russian, aren’t they?–War and Peace may be the best choice. Of course, though it’s uplifting, lifting it up is a different story…They say Dead Souls is a comedy, and I suppose I found it grimly funny, but for me the emphasis was definitely on the grim. You have to be in the right space, I think.

    I loved The Mill In The Floss, but it is dark. I’d say it’s the mostly purely tragic of Eliot’s novels, and so it is closer to Hardy.

    I liked The Social Contract, but it is more straight philosophical argument, well-written, but not personal like the Confessions. Rousseau is one messed-up dude! But you wouldn’t necessarily know it from The Social Contract.

    I’ve never even heard of that Chesterton, but it does look interesting. Read that & tell me what you think! I’d also be curious about the Lincoln book, which I’ve also thought about reading, but never have.

    Hope you’re doing alright.

    • Uplifting Russian books must be few and far between. I wonder what their children’s books are like? I started Dead Souls a number of years ago, so I have an inkling of what to expect. I think I can handle it now. I think …..

      Okay, well that’s encouraging that you like The Mill on the Floss. So far I’m slightly creeped out about how obsessive she is towards her brother and how manipulative he seems to be with her. But we’ll see ….

      I felt sorry for Rousseau. He was messed up but I think some of his contemporaries were more messed up than he was …. Voltaire comes to mind ..

      I will read Tales of the Long Bow along with The Man of Property, hee, hee! All these books that you’re directing me to read. Perhaps this is a new way of getting me reading. I think I like it!

      I’m doing quite well, thanks! The sun is shining, the air is much fresher (due to the lack of cars on the road) and I might have some time to read tonight. What more could one ask! 🌞🌺🍃

      • The Confessions is fascinating–I find Rousseau fascinating in general, though I frequently disagree with him. But the Confessions is bold: as they said in the sixties, he’s letting it all hang out…The Social Contract is quite different. When I read it, it felt like something I already knew, which only reveals how amazingly influential it was.

        • I know!! I feel exactly the same way about Rousseau!

          You felt like you already knew it? It could have been its influence or perhaps you’re just really, really clever, lol! 😀

  10. Wow, what a variety! I’ve never heard of that Chesterton title; maybe I’ll grab it sometime. I find Chesterton fun but tiring; his constant insistence on neat little packages of wit ends up being hard work for me.

    It’s true, Russian literature is not exactly fun-packed. Ivan Denisovitch is a pretty good read though. Dead Souls is a comedy, if a dark one, but it depends on knowing a lot about Russian characters, so I missed much of the humor. The Foundation Pit…not fun.

    • You haven’t heard of the Chesterton title?!! Wow! Always think of you as the person who has read everything!! Yes, Chesterton is work but worth it, I think.

      Good to know about The Foundation Pit. I should have known by the title. I might re-think this one.

  11. The Social Contract is really interesting! Democracy in America is up next for me in the WEM Histories, but I will probably read The Road to Wigan Pier first, since it is much shorter.

    • I’m glad to hear that you liked The Social Contract. I still feel guilty about dropping out of the WEM project. Hopefully I can get back to the histories one day. The Road to Wigan Pier is tempting. I do love Orwell’s writing.

  12. Hi Cleo, so sorry to hear about your mum. Been thinking of you. ❤️
    Some delicious books here! Ive almost finished TLOTR & am looking forward to my last Josephine Tey & some new Agatha Christie books I bought when we went on lockdown. Hope you are well.

    • Your condolences are much appreciated, Carol. That’s so kind of you.

      Sorry but for some reason my blog put your comment in spam, but I’ve found it! Oh, I used to try to read TLOTR once per year or year and a half but it’s been a long time now. I’d love to pick it up again. Your reading sounds delightful! Enjoy!

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