Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Into The Void Of Good Intentions: The To-Be-Read Pile

I've been pretty specific (and pretty dang sporadic) in the content of my posts lately. It's been a bit of an interesting time, getting back to uni and stepping into two new committee roles, trying to reconfigure my system after so long at home. A bit of a year-long creative slump hasn't really helped, either, but I hope that with a little help from some fresh intellectual stimulation I'll be able to claw my way out of that pit before too much longer.

Today, however, I'm going to do something I haven't done in a very long time - a tag post.

And, fittingly enough, it's a tag about my To Be Read pile. Nothing like a look to the future to improve a day, eh?

Thanks to Miriam Joy for pushing this little doozie in my direction - let's begin!

The To-Be-Read Tag

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I thank God and genetics for my freakishly good memory . . . well, good for remembering the names of books that people have told me I should read, at least. It probably puts them where the timings of my lectures and seminars should be kept.

2. Is your TBR pile mostly print or e-books?

A bit of both? If it's a book belonging to a series I've already started, or by an author I know I like, I will usually hold out for a print copy (whether or not I'll succeed in appeasing my inner nitpickers and find one of an edition that matches the others is an entirely different kettle of fish). 

However, if I'm going into it completely blind, I'll usually get the e-book to save money. Because I might need that extra £2 for a can of baked beans in the very near future. Like my dinner.

3. How do you determine which TBR to read next?

It will depend on what I want to read. If I'm feeling bereft of a particular genre or writing style, I'll reach for the nearest one that fits the bill. 

Most of the books on my TBR are things I want to read for myself, not things I feel like I should or ought to read (though there are exceptions). So it's a bit like a bag of mixed sweets at the cinema; I have a rummage about until I find something I fancy, munch through it, then follow whatever subsequent craving comes next.

4. A book that's been on your TBR the longest?

Probably a book that I've long-since forgotten about by now. That said, people have been pestering me to get back into the Percy Jackson series for just over three years now, and it's flared up again in light of the fact the last book is due to appear some time next month. I only ever read the first book, and never felt inspired enough to pick them up again of my own volition.

5. A book you recently added to your TBR?

The next book in John Gwynne's The Faithful and The Fallen series. 

I wrote a whole blog post about how unexpectedly invested I had found myself in this series. Luckily, Mr Gwynne writes a good deal faster than most of the other authors of the same genre who occupy this list, so hopefully I won't be left to climb the walls for too many years.

6. A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

Veronica Roth's Divergent series. The story holds little to no attraction for me in any greatly inspiring sense, but I've been told it's interesting, has a good main character etc etc.

That, and I'm fond enough of both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games that I think I'll give their lovechild a chance.

Also, I have a thing for enigmatic symbolic covers. Sue me.

7. A book on your TBR pile that you never plan on reading?

Atonement, by Ian MacEwan. I've told myself over and over again I'll read it for its cultural impact / scale / setting / kicks and giggles . . . but I have such unreserved and unashamed hatred for Mr McEwan's writing style and narrative tendencies (looking at you, Enduring Love) that I doubt I will ever muster the willpower to actually pick it up unless my only other choice is to cut off my own hands with a spanner made of bees.

8. An unpublished book in your TBR pile that you're excited for?

The Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss. While I have my suspicions that this trilogy will have to go the Paolini route and extend itself to cover all it may need to, I am dementedly excited for the continuation of this series. Luckily, there's a newly-released novella set in the same world that I can chew on for a little while to lessen the pain of waiting.

9. A book in your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

I'm pretty sure most people recommend me this book on the grounds that they want to watch me tear it to shreds in some manner or other. I seem to have something of a reputation for being very amusing as I brutally vivisect a book, no matter how popular or beloved, in front of horrified fellows and university professors alike.

It's Evermore, by Alyson Noel. People told me it was worse than The House of Night . . . well. I could hardly resist a challenge like that. Onto the list it went, to await its execution date.

10. Number of books in your TBR?

There are fewer fish in the sea, stars in the sky, and ways in which the word "infinite" can be used in pretentious teenage hipster novels than there are books that have, at some point or other, found their way onto my list.

I'm not even joking.


Well, well, well, wasn't that fun? Now then, the tagging business - I think I'll tag Cait and Mime of The Notebook Sisters, because they're extremely good at these sorts of things, and Liam at Inside Liam's Brain, because I know it will annoy him. In the best possible way.

Or, if you want to do this post at all, dear readers, consider yourselves tagged by proxy. Have fun!

~ Charley R


  1. I didn't enjoy Atonement at all. Not my thing.

    As for Divergent, that's actually the US cover, and thus not the one you'll find locally. Sorry. The UK edition is pretty, too, though? It's dark red and abstract and illustrated, so I like it. I possibly like it more than the book, which annoyed me with the COMPLETELY FRUSTRATING ROMANTIC SUBPLOT THAT WASN'T EVEN NECESSARY (a subplot that began to take over all logic and plot in book two, to the point where I got completely fed up). It's not a bad book, I just hate romance and kissing scenes, so...

    1. Ugh, if it's got that sort of romance in it, I'm not going anywhere near it. I'll spend too long wanting the characters to die if that's the case.

  2. Divergent is AMAZING. YOU TOTALLY SHOULD READ IT. I will always dance upon the rooftops and proclaim it's marvellousness. ^-^
    Eeeeep! Thank you for the tag, though I've done this one already. XD

    1. Goshdarnit. That's what I get for running a league behind the bandwagon!

  3. Do not read Evermore. I repeat. Do not read Evermore. Not if you value your sanity. It is worse than the House of Night series. You will die reading it. I remember being so angry about how stupid it was that I threw my new iPad Air across the room. It is awful. Abort mission. ABORT.