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TBR Book Tag by Ian Hobbs @BookDevon

TBR Count

Following on from my TBR Book Tag of yesterday I’m delighted that fellow tweeter Ian Hobbs of The Devon Book Club has added his answers to Goodreads, as he doesn’t have a blog I’m sharing his responses here

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
I was maintaining two lists – one on Goodreads and one on Word but, looking at them today, I decided to amalgamate them into an Excel spreadsheet. I have separate columns for books that I hold in hard copy, ones that I have on Kindle and ones that are just books I intend to read at some point but don’t yet have a copy of. And, of course, a column for Devon authors.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

A mixture.
I have 190 books on my list (oh dear!)
Of these, 29 are on Kindle

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

I am shocked to say that Don Quixote has been there since December 2012 – but it will be read in 2016 – that is a promise.
Incidentally, Cleo – I read The Room two years ago and really enjoyed it. Go for It!

A book you recently added to your TBR?

A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk    


A Strangeness In My Mind is a novel Orhan Pamuk has worked on for six years. It is the story of boza seller Mevlut, the woman to whom he wrote three years’ worth of love letters, and their life in Istanbul.
In the four decades between 1969 and 2012, Mevlut works a number of different jobs on the streets of Istanbul, from selling yoghurt and cooked rice, to guarding a car park. He observes many different kinds of people thronging the streets, he watches most of the city get demolished and re-built, and he sees migrants from Anatolia making a fortune; at the same time, he witnesses all of the transformative moments, political clashes, and military coups that shape the country. He always wonders what it is that separates him from everyone else – the source of that strangeness in his mind. But he never stops selling boza during winter evenings and trying to understand who his beloved really is.
What matters more in love: what we wish for, or what our fate has in store? Do our choices dictate whether we will be happy or not, or are these things determined by forces beyond our control?
A Strangeness In My Mind tries to answer these questions while portraying the tensions between urban life and family life, and the fury and helplessness of women inside their homes. Amazon

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
I don’t have one just because of its cover but I do love the cover on Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists

tan-twan-engIn the highlands of Malaya, a woman sets out to build a memorial to her sister, killed at the hands of the Japanese during the brutal Occupation of their country. Yun Ling’s quest leads her to The Garden of Evening Mists, and to Aritomo, a man of extraordinary skill and reputation, once the gardener of the Emperor of Japan. When she accepts his offer to become his apprentice, she begins a journey into her past, inextricably linked with the secrets of her troubled country’s history.


A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
Not that I own – in updating my list I did delete a couple that I couldn’t realise why I had added them and, on looking again, they didn’t really appeal – must have been someone else’s recommendation.

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

Ironically – it would also be All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – I’ll get to it eventually

All The Light We Cannot See

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. Her father builds a perfect miniature of their Paris neighbourhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. But when the Nazis invade, father and daughter flee with a dangerous secret.

Werner is a German orphan, destined to labour in the same mine that claimed his father’s life, until he discovers a knack for engineering. His talent wins him a place at a brutal military academy, but his way out of obscurity is built on suffering.

At the same time, far away in a walled city by the sea, an old man discovers new worlds without ever setting foot outside his home. But all around him, impending danger closes in

Doerr’s combination of soaring imagination and meticulous observation is electric. As Europe is engulfed by war and lives collide unpredictably, ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ is a captivating and devastating elegy for innocence. Amazon


A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

Not really but, perhaps Elena Ferrante’s The Story of a New Name
I read the first and loved it bit have not yet got to this one – aim to do so over Xmas.


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

The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

the-gift-of-rainPenang, 1939, sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton is a loner. Half English, half Chinese and feeling neither, he discovers a sense of belonging in an unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip shows his new friend around his adored island of Penang, and in return Endo trains him in the art and discipline of aikido. But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. The enigmatic Endo is bound by disciplines of his own and when the Japanese invade Malaya, threatening to destroy Philip’s family and everything he loves, he realises that his trusted sensei – to whom he owes absolute loyalty – has been harbouring a devastating secret. Philip must risk everything in an attempt to save those he has placed in mortal danger and discover who and what he really is. With masterful and gorgeous narrative, replete with exotic and captivating images, sounds and aromas – of rain swept beaches, magical mountain temples, pungent spice warehouses, opulent colonial ballrooms and fetid and forbidding rainforests – Tan Twan Eng weaves a haunting and unforgettable story of betrayal, barbaric cruelty, steadfast courage and enduring love. Amazon

How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Well, 190 books that are on my reading list, of which I have
39 in hard copy
29 on Kindle
And the others I borrow from the library or buy them as I go

So Ian has thrown down the gauntlet! Who else is brave enough?


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

14 thoughts on “TBR Book Tag by Ian Hobbs @BookDevon

  1. Thanks for sharing Ian’s answers, Cleo. It’s always really interesting to learn what different readers have on their TBRs. And no worries, Ian. I haven’t read All the Light… either, although it’s on my wish list. There’s just no time for every book, even every excellent book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice to meet Ian – yay! Another convert to the joys of Excel TBR Spreadsheets! Eventually we’ll take over the world – bwahaha!

    I liked The Garden of Evening Mists very much, and also have The Gift of Rain on my TBR – must get to it sometime. Both beautiful covers.

    Liked by 1 person

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