1. Robert Kee: The Green Flag – A History of Irish Nationalism
Remember the times before e-readers? When you could only take a few books on holidays because you couldn’t just take a second suitcase full of books with you? In these dark days, I went to St. Petersburg. And I had not taken enough books with me and there was only a limited choice of English language books in the book-stores. And since Irish history interests me I got that. And I even started it (because no books) so it’s not strictly speaking tbr-pile. But I only read perhaps 100 pages of it before I flew back and then got distracted by other books.
2. Sharon Kay Penman: When Christ and His Saints Slept
When I did my A-levels Bavarian schools required something called Facharbeit to get them. It is supposed to prepare you for term-papers at university and has the same rules about length, citations etc. But you only have to write one and almost have one year to complete it. My topic was The Historic Background of Ellis Peters’ Cadfael Novels which mostly meant: The English Civil war between King Stephen and Empress Matilda. It is still sort of a step-child of English history topics. Everyone knows about the War of the Roses or Henry VIII and there’s tons of fiction and non-fiction written about them. Stephen and Matilda? Not so much. And when I wrote the paper it was even worse. I found exactly on non-fiction book about it. Which is why I got desperate enough to buy a novel about it in the hope there was something I could use. (I ended up quoting parts of the introduction…my teacher didn’t complain). But after handing in the paper I just did not want to hear anything about the topic for a while and then I forgot about the book.
3. Lady Gregory: Complete Irish Mythology
There is nothing much to say about this. I can very easily be persuaded to buy things that have ‘Ireland’ written on them so I picked that up somewhere because of that (and because it was cheap) but never was really in the mood for it.
4. Sally R. Munt: Murder by the Books? Feminism and the Crime Novels
I think I bought that when I lived in Belfast. Round the corner of No Alibis, a book-store that specialises in crime novels. It’s an interesting topic but I always forget that I even own it. And then I go through my tbr-pile and see it again but just at that moment have something much more interesting to read…
5. Neil Gaiman: American Gods
I bought it because I felt I should read something Gaiman wrote on his own (I only read Good Omens and loved that) but then a friend of mine read it and was not overwhelmed and usually, we have a very similar taste in books so my desire to read has dropped. And every time I see it I think ‘I could read it…or something I’d be more likely to enjoy’.
6. Erica Fischer: Aimée & Jaguar
When I just looked at this book I realised that it has a sticker from the library next to my school, which means I picked it up when they had a sale of their old books. It’s been a while since I went to school and the library or their sales so I also have this for a long time. But every time I pick it up I think about how depressing it will be…
7. Robert Graves: I, Claudius
I picked this up after I started watching the show I, Claudius because Derek Jacobi was in it and I love him a lot (bonus task: he has a connection to one of the other books on here. Which?). I enjoyed the show and even started the book but then something more interesting came along and I forgot about it.
8. Ann Bronte: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
I read and enjoyed Jane Eyre and while I can understand every person who despises Wuthering Heights I certainly found reading it an experience. So it’s logical that I would also check out the last Bronte-sister. But classics, much like non-fiction always run into the danger of catching a lot of dust on my shelves before I pick them up.
9. Gyles Brandreth: Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol
This is one of those books where I don’t even have a halfway good reason why it’s been on my tbr-pile for so long. It certainly looks like it would be quite a quick read (unlike the rest of the books on this list) but I just never read it.
10. Marcel Reich-Ranicki: Mein Leben
This, on the other hand, is again a book of intimidating length (she said, despite never having any trouble with fantasy doorstoppers) and one that will also be not an easy read because the author also talks about his experiences during the Holocaust. Additionally, I have already listened to the audio-book but only the abridged one on two CDs (of a book with 500+ pages). Still it always makes me go ‘well, I have already read it…kind of’.