Books on my TBR That I Still Haven’t Read


I was reading some of Bookstooge’s crazy enlightening posts today and one of his questions to me in the comment section made me realize that I haven’t posted here for ages.  So I decided it was time to post something, even though I have no reviews to offer.  So here goes …

This is a Top Ten Tuesday topic.  It’s an old topic and it’s not even Tuesday but what the heck.  I’m grasping.



Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

I’ve started it and love the challenge of Dostoyevsky’s writing but I didn’t get far.  I’m eagerly anticipating it though.


Dead Souls

Dead Souls

I keep pulling this out but can’t seem to get any traction.  I’ve thought of beginning with some of Gogol’s short stories first.

To Say Nothing of the Dog

To Say Nothing of the Dog

I absolutely LOVE Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog) and I’ve heard so many good reviews of this take-off.  Why haven’t I read it yet?

A Distant Mirror

A Distant Mirror

Barbara Tuchman is one of my favourite non-fiction writers and medieval times is one of my favourite time periods.  But still this one remains un-read.  Sigh!

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style

Such a lauded book for grammar, I’ve homeschooled and still I haven’t read the whole thing cover to cover.  For shame!

Plutarch's Lives

Plutarch’s Lives

I’ve started it but got bogged down along with Plato’s Republic.  I am so excited to read it but why can’t I get going?

The History of the Ancient World

The History of the Ancient World

I’ve read some of this, enough to do an introductory post eons ago, but never kept going. She has three other books following this one.  I have alot to catch-up on.

The Name of the Rose

The Name of the Rose

I began this book and it annoyed me.  The point Eco was trying to make seemed to overshadow everything and the behaviour of the characters often did not seem to be historically believable.  But what do I know.  It’s a classic for a reason and I should read it.

Wives and Daughters

Wives and Daughters

I love Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s writing and have read all of her major works except for this one.  And I can tell you why I haven’t read it.  Because when I do, all the discovery will be over.  Silly reason, huh?  I just need to read it.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I absolutely LOVE Les Miserables, so I’ve been a little hesitant to read this in case it doesn’t live up to expectations.  I don’t expect it to be another Les Mis but I wonder ….. I should read it to find out!


The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

I can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet!  But perhaps I’ve been avoiding it because I know I need to get back to my Shakespeare Project.  You think?

God In The Dock

God in the Dock

I’ve read some of C.S. Lewis’ essays in this compilation and have so enjoyed them.  I’d always planned to read the whole thing but haven’t yet.  Which is crazy because I’ve read most other things Lewis.

Wild Strawberries

Wild Strawberries

This one has been on my TBR for a long time.  Then I read High Rising a number of years ago and didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I expected so Wild Strawberries has remained unread.

Scenes of a Clerical Life

Scenes of a Clerical Life

George Eliot is one of my favourite authors and while I have a couple of major works of hers yet to read, I’ve always been attracted to this one in spite of some mediocre reviews. Will 2021 be the year to read it?

Niccolò Rising

Niccolò Rising

I’ve heard some exciting reviews of this book, however it’s the beginning of a long series which has been part of my hesitance to read it.  What if I love it?  Will I be immersed for a long time in a Dunnett Saga?  We’ll see …

Great Expectations

Great Expectations

I will not make a corny joke about having great expectations of reading this book.  No. I. Won’t. But I will say I have great anticipation about reading it.  However, I need some down-time to enjoy it and I don’t want to start it without that.  And I haven’t had down-time.  Enough said.

Bleak House

Bleak House

Ditto for Bleak House, what I said above.  I did start it once but became too frustrated by interruptions.  I want to be able to immerse myself in the story.

Grain field

I’m sure I could come up with many more candidates for this list but the list has become too long already.  But perhaps my readers can help me out.  If you were to choose two books off this list, which books would you choose?


Top Photo courtesy of Adege on Pixabay

Last Photo courtesy of Fietzfotos on Pixabay

44 thoughts on “Books on my TBR That I Still Haven’t Read

  1. Welcome back, Cleo. What a lovely idea for a post.

    I share a couple of your titles on my ‘started then drifted away from’ list – Strunk and White, for instance. And it is such a shamefully small book!

    I did like the Umberto Eco, but I see your point.

    The title that most appeals to me is To Say Nothing of The Dog, but that’s because I’d like to read it. If I’m going to recommend anything, it’s Gogol’s short stories.

    I look forward to an interesting review of one of the above. Will that be a good enough motivation?

    • Thanks, Cath! Hope you’re doing well!

      I feel guilty about Strunk and White for exactly the same reason! I even purchased a student workbook this year. Now I REALLY need to read it!

      That’s great to hear that Gogol’s short stories are so worthwhile!

      Well, I must say, you’ve given me excellent motivation. I must finish The Mysteries of Udolpho and then concentrate on one of these!

    • I know! I’m sure I’ll think it’s just awesome. And it’s so frustrating having a “just awesome” book within your reach and not having the time for it. I can’t remember when I’ve wanted to read a Dickens’ so much.

  2. A few of these are on my TBR, too. In particular I also don’t know why I haven’t read that Tuchman. It’s on the shelf

    I’d go for Great Expectations and then probably Bleak House. (What, some kind of Dickens fan are you?) Crime and Punishment & Merchant of Venice are great, but both kind of downers, without quite meaning to be, in their different ways.

    I really liked Name of the Rose as a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, but I can see being annoyed by it, too.

    Still working on Plutarch…

    Good to see you back!

    • Well, Tuchman can be long but she’s still a great read. I do sense I’m tending to lean towards Dickens … I seem to have lost my Shakespeare groove … don’t know where that’s gone. :-Z Great that you’re still working on Plutarch. Did you start The Decameron? I actually did, but again, progressing very slowly.

      Thanks so much for the wishes!

  3. You know why we are soul sisters? Because I feel exactly the same way about not Reading Wives and Daughters. And Oh! Umberto Eco, same reasons again! I love Barbra Tuchman and though I have not read this one, I have heard great things about it. You should read Great Expectation once and as well as Bleak House which is my favorite Dickens by the way. I am not very fond of George Elliot but Scenes from Clerical Life is brilliant! We shall not speak of Dead Souls….lol

    • Oh yes, we are! And I will read Dickens soon. I just have to get through Udolpho which is soooo long! As I trust your judgement implicitly, I’m so glad to hear you loved Scenes from a Clerical Life. I shall look forward to it now with no reservations! Perhaps we should speak of Dead Souls at some point. It’s a little bit of a bête noire but perhaps one that should be faced. I’d like to get it off my TBR at some point. So glad to hear from you, sista!

  4. wow, so many goodies here! I got distracted first. I’m learning Russian, so I saw the title under the first one, but then wondered why you had chosen to write the name in Greek and not Russian. Then I realized with the following titles that had something to do with the font, lol!!

    • Interesting. I just changed to a new hosting company and wonder if certain things aren’t looking quite right. My font for titles and descriptions is quite basic …. is it appearing frilly or ornate on your end? I’m curious.

  5. I’ve read several individual Plutarch’s Lives, like Puplicola, Cicero, and some others. But I’ve not read a whole book of them. I like reading the selections from Ambleside Online to see if there are lives that coordinate together. Then you can read the two lives and compare and contrast them. 🙂

    I also have Bauer’s History of the Ancient World too!!! I’ve wanted to read it for some time now, but it’s pretty massive. I’ve worked my way through the first two volumes of Churchill’s History of the English Speaking People and think I want to work my way through the last two volumes before tackling Bauer’s book. But who knows? Ha!

    I also have The Elements of Style. We use it as a reference book so I haven’t just sat and read through it. Interesting idea! I might try that some time!

    I really want to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame too! I don’t think it’s going to have the place that Les Mis holds for me, but I hope it will be good. I’ve heard some say they didn’t think it was nearly as good as Les Mis. But we know that reading is such an individual thing….so we might both love it just as much!

    Now you know I have to try to reel you in to reading Great Expectations with me in November. 😉 It’s my favorite Dickens’ novel so far. If I continue as planned with doing it as a read-along on my blog, I would love to have you read it with me! *insert big smiley face here* No pressure though. Heehee 🙂 I need to see if there is still interest in the read-along for Great Expectations because there’s been no participation in the Wuthering Heights read-along. So we’ll see……

    • Hi Karen! So glad to see you pop up here again!

      With Plutarch’s Lives (which I’ve also seen titled Parallel Lives) it makes it so much more interesting that he does give parallel lives that we can compare and contrast.

      You’ve read the first two Volumes of Churchill?! I’ve always had plans to make my way through them. Did you enjoy them? Oh, now you’re inspiring me to start!

      You know I might just start in on Great Expectations with you. I doubt I’ll have time for weekly posts but it might be just the thing I need to speed me up. I’m reading regularly, just about 5-10 min per day. Isn’t that sad? So I need speed and not necessarily consistency as I have that already.

      No discussion for Wuthering Heights? That’s a shame! You’re doing a great job, Karen, even if it seems like you’re talking to yourself. I always had to remember that I was doing the read/read-along for ME … to further my understanding of the book. That way, if no one showed up, it was fine and if others DID show up, it was a bonus.

      In any case, I’m a definite MAYBE for Great Expectations! 😉

      • Regarding Churchill’s History of the English Speaking People, I like Churchill’s style of writing overall but I think it can be challenging at times. Not that it’s hard to understand, but just challenging with names and events and such. Kind of hard to explain. I think they are well-written. I think I liked the first volume better than the second but I can’t really pinpoint why. Hmm…..

        I really want to get to the third volume. But I kind of have an idea that I’d like to read Paul Johnson’s History of the American People while I’m reading the last two volumes of Churchill’s series. I know, a lot of reading. Ha!

        Regarding the read-along for Wuthering Heights, yes it has been great for me! I am seeing things more this time around as far as Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship. And I anticipate I will pick up on more things when I read Great Expectations again. 🙂

        I have a number of books I want to read again! You can pick up on more with additional readings of a book. And of all times, Les Mis has been calling to me. I have NO time to embark on reading that one again right now! I’m reading Wuthering Heights and then Great Expectations in November – and all the while I am also reading through the whole Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers (and they are pretty thick books!) And that’s not including read-alouds I’m reading with my daughter. Les Mis is going to have stay on the shelf for now. 🙂

    • Many moons ago, I began to read through his works but I also watched the plays performed at the time I read them. If I remember correctly, I reviewed both movies/performances and the plays themselves. To date I’ve read 4 Comedies, 4 Tragedies, 4 Histories and two poems. I was really going well with them but suddenly I lost interest. I’m not sure why, as there are a number of titles I’m looking forward to. But I just don’t seem to be able to get going on them again.

      You’ve reminded me that I do need to post a Project update and perhaps add it to my menu above, if for nothing else, as a reminder! Stay tuned!

  6. When I read your list it’s almost as if reading my list. 😀 I have read Great Expectations and Strunk, the latter was underwhelming if I’m being honest. But I would definitely go for Bleak House. I’ve read about 1/3 of it but watched two TV adaptations, and along with Cirtnecce would say it’s my favorite Dickens story!

    • LOL! You’re funny! Bleak House is your favourite Dickens but you’ve only read 1/3 of it? I almost want to read 1/3 of it and watch 2 adaptations myself to see what I think and THEN read the rest of the book. 😂 Are you planning to finish it?

      • Oh yes!! 😆 It is silly but I looove the TV plotlines (both versions, and they’re consistent with each other). I do intend to finish reading it!

  7. I have A Distant Mirror on my TBR for next year (for TWEM histories.) [It’s been tough getting through these histories in 2020, thanks to the library being impossible to use for months and months. I finally had to order a used copy of The New England Mind via Amazon, and I’m reading The Feminine Mystique free on] So I should get to Tuchman’s book next year – as I own my own copy, yay! — if you want to join me.

    BTW, I’ve been craving a whole medieval year myself, and I lined up all of my remaining medieval titles for next year, including The Hunchback. Again…if you want to join me…

    And don’t feel bad. I haven’t read my Elements of Style cover to cover either! (But in all seriousness….you remind me that I need to just do it. So thanks!)

    • For some reason my site put your comment in spam. The nerve! I was on it though so you weren’t lost for long! 😉

      Yes, I’ll read A Distant Mirror with you! I wish I had more time or I’d get back on the WEM bandwagon but right now, I know I’d fall off before long. I’m very curious about the histories now though …. whether I’d like them or not. When I see some of my biography reviews being looked at by people, even though some of them I didn’t enjoy that much (Sarton, Rodriguez, Conway, …), I’m reminded that I’m still very glad that I read them.

      Oh my goodness, if you do a medieval year I might be unable to resist joining you. When Jean had her challenge, I became so entrenched in Le Morte de Arthur, that I’ve always felt I never read nearly as many of the medieval books as I’d hoped. Is there somewhere we can compare lists? I’m going to pull out my books and see what I have!

      I wonder how many homeschoolers haven’t read The Elements of Style cover to cover, lol!

      • Just piping in on the idea of a medieval year….Cleo, Churchill’s History of the English Speaking people vol. 1 called “The Birth of Britain” would fit well in a year of medieval studies. Also, literature such as The Once and Future King. I’ve read the first book of The Once and Future King and liked it. I really do need to finish the rest of it! Ivanhoe also fits that time period but I’ve not read it, only just a wee bit of the beginning of it. A book on Joan of Arc would fit the time too.

        • Great suggestions, Karen. I did read Once and Future King …. loved the first book but White increasingly got whackier as he went along. I believe I found the last one weird. I’ve wanted to read Ivanhoe for ages. Ah, something to look forward to in 2021!

          • When I saw Karen’s suggestion about Churchill’s Histories, I almost added another book to my list…but, alas…I do not own Vol. 1. So, shucks!
            I read a few of my Pyle books for Jean’s Medieval Reading Challenge, and she encouraged me to read some Medieval authors. That was a fun year.
            So, this is what I do own and added to my TBR for next year:
            The Romance of Tristan and Iseult
            Le Morte d’Arhur
            Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
            The Prince and the Pauper
            Hunchback of Notre Dame
            Idylls of the King
            Once and Future King
            Bulfinch’s Mythology
            Song of Roland
            and of course, A Distant Mirror will fit in nicely, too.
            It’s a lot for one year, but, like I said, I hope to immerse myself in medieval-ness.

            BTW, TWEM histories have really zapped me. I’m slogging through them.
            And this year has been sucking the life out of me (I don’t know how anyone else feels the same…LOL!!!!). Can’t wait to get through this stupid election, more riots, and this pathetic scamdemic. I had to get offline; but, God willing, I will come online if we make it past 2020. 😀

            So take a look at that list and see if you want to join me for any of those. That would be fun.

          • That’s a great list! I’ve read Once and Future King, Le Morte d’Arthur and Song of Roland. I was also thinking of:

            The Decameron (if I don’t continue with/finish it this year)
            Arthurian Romances
            Chronicles of the Crusades
            The Romance of the Rose
            Everyman and Other Miracle and Morality Plays

            Also Beowulf, The Life of Charlemagne and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are excellent but I’ve read them already.

            The list is long, but if I’m able to read at least 5-6 out of the bunch, I’ll be happy.

            This year, fortunately, hasn’t been sucking the life out of me but it sure has been sucking time out of me. I seem to have lots of people around me who need attention, lol! Yes, your political situation ….. actually it’s more the way people act with regard to the political situation …. sounds stressful. As for COVID, I’ve heard it called plandemic but not scandemic yet. I’m personally tired of the “cases” rhetoric with little focus on deaths and then only the extreme ones.

            So, yes, let’s take a trip back to Medieval times in 2021!

  8. There is no more reply button, so I’ll start a new thread. Of the books you’ve suggested, I’ve read Arthurian Romances (loved that), Chronicles, Beowulf (love, love), and Sir Gawain (and this, too). I do not own the others. I know I said I’d read Decameron…I’ll add that to next year’s list…thanks.

    I’m glad to see that you also get the obsession w/ CASES – not deaths. Our governor is PUNISHING us in Cali, per county, if we do not test more people. As long as our testing numbers are low, we are “on restriction!” Therefore, our county supervisors are trying to get everyone tested, which is WRONG! If you test positive, even though you are not sick w/ symptoms, your life gets turned upside down, and everyone around you. Plus it adds to the number of positive cases, and then we have a higher positive percentage, which means longer restrictions. Only California is doing this. In addition, if counties do not have similar percentages of cases based on race, we get penalized. (ex. if you have too many Hispanics that test positive, but not enough whites…restriction continues.) It’s very sad how our elected officials have taken advantage of this germ. It is like it was planned…so, plandemic works.

    • I’m glad to see so many thumbs up for the ones I’m considering reading!

      We see through a glass darkly. We focus on “right now” often without contemplating what the effect and implications of all these restrictions will be in the long term. There is certainly no perfect solution but I’m disappointed at the response in some cases. I saw Mudpuddle’s comments on herd instincts and humans and sheep and stampedes on Marian’s blog and thought they were rather insightful.

  9. So many great titles here! Wives and Daughters is fantastic, as is the TV series they made of it… the only frustrating thing is that it’s unfinished, and if I remember correctly the story cuts out right when things are getting really interesting…

    • Hey you! Glad to see you’re around and posting a little! Fortunately I’ve seen the Wives and Daughters mini-series which had an ending that I liked so I think I’ll be okay. If it wasn’t for that I would have been sooooo frustrated. So for one time only, it was better to see the series before reading the book. Although …. you may have hit another reason why I’m hesitant to read it …

      • Haha yes I’m making an effort to return from the dead when it comes to my posting 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed the miniseries! I think you’ll enjoy the book nonetheless, I think it would have been one of Gaskell’s best if she’d managed to finish it…

  10. Well, you certainly like to keep your TBR lightweight, Cleo… 😉

    Although I still have a number of Gaskell left, I’m kinda like you about Wives and Daughters – I’m sure I’ll love it, so I’m putting it off… One of these days. BUt maybe not for a while, I”ve had so many looong reads this year, I’m ready for some short stuff! Which is probably why I would pick The Merchant of Venice from your list. (I think I’ve read it, but I’m not sure–I definitely saw a live production at the local theater.) Hmm…I need to get back to Shakespeare myself.

    I started Strunk and White when I was in high school (I think–might have been college), but never read much. This is a good reminder that I’d actually like to read though the whole thing. Wonder where my copy got to…

    By the way, I did start The Decameron–wasn’t sure if you were still reading it or not, but I’m finding it a pretty fast read for 14th century Italy. Not sure how much I’ll remember by the time I’m done, though.

    • I actually do feel lightweight lately ….. Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey …. even Anne Radcliffe. Luckily I’ve started a Virginia Woolf novel so I’m back on the horse, so to speak.

      Ah, The Merchant of Venice. Another horse I have to get back on … Shakespeare. Good recommendation.

      You started The Decameron! Excellent! I haven’t picked it up in a few weeks but now I will. I hope you’re enjoying it. I thought it was only Reese and I, and we’ve both been a little loose with read-alongs lately. I’m inspired to know you’re tackling it!

      I’ve started reading Agatha Christie again and am almost through The Seven Dials Mystery. I both like and dislike aspects of it but I’ll try to post a review soon. In the meantime, happy reading!

      • I can’t remember if I actually had told you I’d be reading The Decameron, and when you got busy I wasn’t even sure if you’d get a chance to read it, but I’m enjoying it–well, some parts of it more than others! I find some of the stories laugh out loud funny. (Some are just…well, of their era.) I’m just starting Day 9 and I’m on track to finish up next weekend at latest – it really does read fairly fast for as thick as it is.

        To circle back to Shakespeare, some of the stories in The Decameron really put me in mind of the Bard (at least one was actually a source for one of the plays), so this may be the inspiration I need to get back to Shakespeare. If I don’t get sidetracked by something else first… 🙂

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