I think this was a resent Top 10 Tuesday theme that I didn’t do or at least something very close to it. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to share with you the top 10 books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf the longest. Also, I wanted to see for myself which these books are so that I can put them on the top of my next TBRs.
1. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
When I was still in high school my aunt got me this book as a birthday gift. Unfortunately, when I asked for it, I didn’t know that it was the second book in the trilogy. I discovered that after she had already bought it from me. Moreover, the Greek edition of the first book was too expensive for me. So, I have been waiting for years now to buy the first book and read them both, which I am now planning to do as soon as I have the money for it.
Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.
But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.
As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.
2. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
In my first couple of months in the University, I passed through a phase when I bought classics all the time. In fact, I wouldn’t allow myself to buy other books I wanted unless I bought a classic too. Of course, it wasn’t something I did consciously. It was rather my parents’ influence that was subconsciously making me act that way. You know, I was finally rid of their nagging and was free to buy whichever book I wanted, but somewhere in the back of my mind I kept thinking of what they would say about my choices and I wanted to prove them wrong. Fortunately, I wasn’t a complete idiot. I only bought books that I was interested in reading, but the pressure of reading them made me not read them. (If that makes any sense.) One of these books was The Portrait of a Lady and the fact that it is just a tiny bit huge hasn’t helped the situation. But I still want to read it.
Money’s a horrid thing to follow, but a charming thing to meet.
Isabel Archer is a beautiful, intelligent and independent young woman. Brought to England by her aunt who seeks to further her education and find her niece a husband, Isabel is determined to shape her own future–one that does not necessarily entail becoming a wife.. Isabel inherits a fortune when her rich uncle dies and feels even more inclined to turn down two eligible suitors on the basis that she is a woman of her own means. However, a trip to Italy heralds her downfall when she meets the charming Gilbert Osmond, a worthless yet ambitious and scheming dilettante.
3. Emma by Jane Austen
This one falls into the same category as The Portrait of a Lady. Though to be honest I did start reading this during the summer.
I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.
Beautiful, rich, self-assured and witty, Emma Woodhouse delights in match-making those around her, with no apparent care for her own romantic life. Taking young Harriet Smith under her wing, Emma sets her sights on finding a suitable match for her friend. Chided for her mistakes by old friend Mr Knightley, it is only when Harriet starts to pursue her own love interests that Emma realizes the true hidden depths of her own heart. Delightful, engaging and entertaining, Emma is arguably Austen′s most well-loved social comedy.
4. Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm
To be fair, I have read several of the stories in this book. But I haven’t read them all and it has been on my TBR shelf for almost five years.
‘The wolf thought to himself, “What a tender young creature! what a nice plump mouthful — she will be better to eat than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both.”‘
Collected by the German Grimm brothers, these folk tales have captured the imaginations of children and adults alike since they were first published in 1812. The best-known stories such as The Golden Goose, Hansel and Gretel, The Frog Prince, and Snow-White and Rose-Red remain as popular today as when first told, although there is an underlying darkness and violence to the original stories that has softened over time.
5. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
I’ve already talked about why I haven’t read Darkest Mercy yet, so I won’t say it again. But it is one of the oldest books on my TBR and I couldn’t just ignore it. So here it is.
Send the messengers for the Faery Courts. This is the end.
The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win…and some will lose everything.
The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr’s New York Timesbestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.
6. Αγελάδα με Φτερά (Cow with Wings) by Giorgos Maniotis
I’ve talked about this one on my Greek fiction post. I have not read it yet, so I don’t think I have anything more to say about it.
In what state is a man and how is he going to react, when he:
a) Has fought twice for his country?
b) Has started three or four times in his life to build his future?
c) Has believed in the vision of the new, wondrous, postwar world?
d) Has turned night into day, working for 50 years, trying to meet his obligations and deal with the needs of this new world?
How will this man react when he finally realizes:
a) That he is suddenly unemployed?
b) That all of the sacrifices he’s made were for nothing?
c) That the future of his children is mortgaged?
d) That all these years he has been used in the worst way?
How will this desperate man, who has nothing to fear or hope for in his life, react?
This is one of the many things the brave reader of this book will find out…
7. Γεύση Πικραμύγδαλου (Bitter Almond Flavor) by Manos Kontoleon
I really need to finally read this one. It’s not even mine.
Phaedra and Odysseus are two eighteen-year-olds. She is studying Theatrology, he is studying Mathematics and Music. Phaedra and Odysseus will fall in love with each other. But their love will not be a cloudless period of their lives, but the tragic moment of two young people who are faced with the inexorable presence of AIDS.
8. A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
This is the next book I am going to read. Finally! I’ve already started it, but I had to put it off for a couple of other books I needed to finish before that one.
The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros are plagued by civil war, while the Night’s Watch mounts a reconnaissance force to investigate the mysterious people known as wildlings. Meanwhile Daenerys Targaryen continues her quest to return to and conquer the Seven Kingdoms. All signs are foreshadowing a terrible disaster that is to come.
9. Room by Emma Donoghue
This one isn’t as old as the rest of the books. In fact I think that it is just over a year old or maybe a little bit more. But I do want to read it. I just have too many other books that I want to read more…
“Room” is the story of Ma and Jack. They live in a single, locked room. Five-year-old Jack loves watching TV, but he knows that nothing he sees on the screen is truly real – only him, Ma, and the things in the Room. Until the day Ma admits there’s a world outside …
‘Room is a book to read in one sitting. When it’s over you look up: the world looks the same but you are somehow different’ Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife
10. A Storm of Swords, by George R. R. Martin
I’m not sure if I bought this one before Room, but I do know that I bought them both at about the same time. I believe it is obvious why I haven’t read this one yet. I need to finish this series as soon as possible.
Here is the third volume in George R.R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Together, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces manoeuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords…
And these were the oldest books on my TBR shelf. Generally, I am quite pleased with myself. In the last year many of the oldest unread books on my shelves have been removed one way or another. Many of them I have donated to the library, but I’ve read a lot of them too. I am hoping to read even more by the end of the year.
Aaaaand that was the end of my list…
Now it’s your turn…
What are some of the oldest books on your TBR?