TBR Book Tag

I don’t often take part in memes but I’m doing this one for three reasons: the first is I was tagged by Leslie at Folklore & Literacy whose blog I highly recommend, so it’s a good reason for me to send you over there for a look if you don’t read it already. The second is by confessing all about my TBR, I might do something about it! The third is so I can tag some of my favourite bloggers and see their terrible habits too!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Pile? Hahahaha. Book case(s). I don’t. I do keep track of the review copies I’m sent by publishers; I have a spreadsheet in which I log publication dates but I’ve been useless with it the second half of this year. I do actually have two priority piles at the moment though – the books that are on my women of colour #TBR20 pile, which I’ll be finishing reading at the end of the month (yes, it’s taken me this long) and the 2016 publications I’ve been sent which I’m reading in anticipation of my preview post around Christmas.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

It’s probably 75% print. I’ve bought fewer ebooks this year but that’s mostly because it was getting out of hand – it’s easy to pretend you haven’t got a huge stack of unread ebooks when they aren’t physically in front of you!

How do you determine which books from your TBR to read next?

It varies. Sometimes it’s an upcoming publication date, sometimes it’s because a book’s been nominated for a prize, sometimes I just fancy a particular type of read. What’s changed this year though is I’m consciously reading widely so I’m looking at the authors of the books I’m reading and making sure I’m reading more by women of colour and LGBT authors.A book that has been on my TBR the longest?

There are books on my TBR still that I bought in Sixth Form which is 20 years ago now. They’re mostly classics – Middlemarch (which I attempted last year but stalled on) and The Woman in White spring to mind although I’m sure there’s more.

A book you recently added to your TBR?

I bought a copy of Loop of Jade by Sarah Howe which has just been shortlisted for the Young Writer of the Year Award.

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

The 4th Estate boxset of Nell Zink’s The Wallcreeper and Mislaid. I already had a copy of The Wallcreeper from the Dorothy Project but the boxset is so beautiful I couldn’t resist.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

Haha! I think I got rid of all these in the summer. I culled 300 books before moving house and I was very strict about ones I’d held on to that I was never going to read. They were mostly by middle-aged British and American white men!

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

I’m going to be cheeky and have three: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon which it seems everyone’s talking about; My Name Is Leon by Kit De Waal which people I trust are telling me is wonderful, and Where Love Begins by Judith Hermann which I’ve had a sneaky read of the opening of and promises to be wonderful.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?


A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

Beloved by Toni Morrison. I’m going to rectify that before the end of the month.

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

So many! If I was choosing one it’d be Pleasantville by Attica Locke. I loved Black Water Rising, I think Jay Porter’s a brilliant, complex character and Locke’s writing about politics is smart, nuanced and creates cracking page-turners.

How many books are on your TBR shelf?

Oh. Ah. Well, earlier this year I calculated it would take me 23 years to read all the books I have. I’ve removed 300 since then but added some too. Let’s just go with a lot!

People I’m tagging:

Susan at A Life in Books
Cathy at 746 Books
Jacqui at JacquiWine’s Journal
Eleanor at Elle Thinks
Janet at From First Page to Last 
Eric at Lonesome Reader
LaChouett at Chouett
Ali at HeavenAli

27 thoughts on “TBR Book Tag

  1. Aaaah, that made me feel better – books from 20 years ago?! I’m really eager to read the Nell Zink novels – especially Wallcreeper, because of course it is about expats and cross-cultural stuff. Hard to find here and when I came briefly to the UK it was only out in hardback, so a bit expensive. But I’ll get around to it eventually!
    And I can recommend Pleasantville, especially in an election year in the US.
    Middlemarch you have to be in the mood for, but yes, I do recommend it!


    • Glad to be of service! At the moment I’m more intrigued by Zink than anything. I suspect it might be marmite.
      Election year and the possibility of another Clinton in the White House…possibly perfect timing.
      Oh, Middlemarch. One day, maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for thinking of me, Naomi – very kind! I enjoyed reading about your TBR habits and confessions. That Nell Zink boxset is a stunning piece of design, isn’t it? The covers really stand out on the shelves. And well done with your women of colour #TBR20, too. I’d lost track of how it was progressing, but it’s good to hear that you’re almost there! Are you thinking of putting together a wrap-up post at some point?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jacqui. I’m behind with the reviews but yes, they’ll be a wrap up post in December and I’ll be starting a new pile. The effect it’s had on the rest of my reading has been quite interesting, I think.


  3. So exciting 🙂 Beloved is a knockout. You’re in for an absolute…well, treat seems the wrong word. But it’s an unforgettable book. I also really need to read some Attica Locke–thinking I’ll start with Black Water Rising…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve owned a copy of Beloved since 1997. I was a stickler for reading everything on the reading list at uni but for some reason I didn’t read this one – I think I knew I wasn’t going to be at the tutorial. I’m dreading it in the sense that I’m expecting it to be harrowing.

      Black Water Rising’s great. It’s probably a bit too long but it’s a fascinating story.


      • It is harrowing, but I’d read Marlon James’s The Book of Night Women just before, and that’s way more violent than Beloved, so the latter almost seemed (weirdly enough) like a relief or a relaxing of the horror. Morrison doesn’t hit you with the physical awfulness so much (although there’s violence for sure) as with the psychology of enslavement.


  4. This is such fun! I might nick the idea for a post later this year if I’m struggling 😉 My virtual TBR is in the thousands and I have nearly 200 unread books in the flat, so it’s all a little out of control.

    I just finished Loop of Jade yesterday and enjoyed it very much. Middlemarch was my nemesis in third year of uni, but I made it through — a friend’s advice was to JUST KEEP READING. If you do get through it, reward yourself with The Road to Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead afterwards; it’s a lovely bibliomemoir.

    I, too, am intrigued by Nell Zink — I’d like to try to read her stuff early in the new year, possibly for a magazine review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I meant to tag you, Rebecca, and then I was rushing to finish the post before I went out and clearly forgot. I’d love to hear about your TBR.
      Yes, I keep thinking I need time for Middlemarch and I’m just not prepared to give it at the moment!


  5. I am organised in one sense. I have a database of all my books. There are 2340 books in the database. 285 are tagged as “unowned” – ie library or ones I’ve got rid of. 675 have a tag of “read”. That’s bad, isn’t it? Obviously some are reference books which will never be marked “read”. But still… The unorganised bit is I have no room to file them logically. Piles everywhere. I can know I have a book but be unable to locate it.


  6. Greetings Naomi! Thanks for participating in the tag! I really wanted to read your responses. I think you’re right “TBR confessions” can act as a motivator to get that list chopped down! Congratulations on finishing up your women of color #TBR20. It makes me feel I ought to try reading 20 titles from my TBR before buying new books—“western classics” could be my challenge and that would include Middlemarch. Adding Loop of Jade. Be well!


    • Hi Leslie, Thanks for tagging me, I really enjoyed it. Sorry, I meant to leave a link on your blog but had to go out after I’d set it up and completely forgot to come back to it. I’d really love to see what you make of ‘western classics’ but 20 of those would be some hefty reading (in more than one sense)! Oh, I hope you love Loop of Jade. I saw Sarah Howe read one of the poems yesterday and it was just wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

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