Posted in My book problem

The TBR Book Tag

PicMonkey Collage TBR

Following more additions to my TBR following a trip to the local book sale, it was time to make some room on my book shelves and even with the bag of read books to be delivered to the charity shop, I was still struggling for room so I delved into the cupboard that houses the bulk of my TBR physical books and realised I had a few more than I expected. I then saw this tag on <a href="http://

” target=”_blank”>The Quirky Book Nerd, the perfect way to confess and to admit the true size of my TBR (my definition being those books I own)  Questions I have always declined to reply to before now!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Well clearly I haven’t been keeping track of it otherwise I wouldn’t have allowed it to grow quite so big! I used to have a ‘relatively’ small pile of books that were on view which were all the books I owned that I hadn’t yet read. Since I got my kindle five years ago the pile rapidly expanded… and then I started blogging and it has grown totally out of control.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

My TBR consists of three different categories; print books, e-books and NetGalley items which although technically e-books need to be tracked on a separate list. And the winner is print books, totalling 82 books – sort of explains the lack of room!

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

I have a good old spreadsheet and the review books get put on first based on the publication date – then in theory I choose what I fancy reading to fill the gaps, the problem is I always end up with far more review books than expected for each month. In my reading and reviewing post for 2014 I was aiming for 40% of my reading to be from my own bookshelves, I haven’t achieved that although I have upped the percentage from 18% to 28% so far this year.

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

Room by Emma Donoghue has been on my kindle since very soon after it was published in 2011, I still really want to read it, I will read it!

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. Goodreads

A book you recently added to your TBR?

The most recent book I’ve added to my TBR was loaned to me by a friend Are You My Mother by Louise Voss

Are you my mother
From the age of nineteen, Emma Victor has had to bring up her much younger sister Stella. It has shaped both their lives. Now Stella is almost grown up, and Emma’s nurturing instincts extend to her work as an aromatherapist, and inform her relationship with the unreliable but irresistible Gavin. But something is missing, and Emma has to confront her deepest need – a need she’s been denying for years – and embark on a search for her birth mother.

ARE YOU MY MOTHER? chronicles Emma’s search for her birth mother and for a sense of her own place in the world in this compelling, funny and profoundly moving novel about love, identity and the need to belong

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

No, covers may draw me to look at the content but I don’t choose by cover and as many of my reads are crime based, beautiful covers are few and far between.

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

No, if I’d found any books that I didn’t plan on reading they would have gone in the donation bag for the charity shop.

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

I’m very much looking forward to reading Beside Myself by Ann Morgan which is due to be published on 12 January 2016.

Beside Myself
Beside Myself is a literary thriller about identical twins, Ellie and Helen, who swap places aged six. At first it is just a game, but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Forced into her new identity, Helen develops a host of behavioural problems, delinquency and chronic instability. With their lives diverging sharply, one twin headed for stardom and the other locked in a spiral of addiction and mental illness, how will the deception ever be uncovered? Exploring questions of identity, selfhood, and how other people’s expectations affect human behaviour, this novel is as gripping as it is psychologically complex. Goodreads

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

Loads! But another that I’ve had for a long time is All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer

All The Light We Cannot See
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. Goodreads

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

The most recently recommended read has been The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman based upon my interest in post partum illness.

The Yellow Wallpaper
Written from a feminist perspective, often focusing on the inferior status accorded to women by society, the tales include “turned,” an ironic story with a startling twist, in which a husband seduces and impregnates a naïve servant; “Cottagette,” concerning the romance of a young artist and a man who’s apparently too good to be true; “Mr. Peebles’ Heart,” a liberating tale of a fiftyish shopkeeper whose sister-in-law, a doctor, persuades him to take a solo trip to Europe, with revivifying results; “The Yellow Wallpaper”; and three other outstanding stories.
These charming tales are not only highly readable and full of humour and invention, but also offer ample food for thought about the social, economic, and personal relationship of men and women — and how they might be improved. Amazon

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

One of my recent purchases, The Lake House by Kate Morton. I love this author as can be seen by my header picture on my blog.

The Lake House
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read. Goodreads

How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Goodreads states 240 but as it includes different editions of books I’ve read as well as books I’ve had a fleeting interest in, I prefer to stick by my own count of actual books I own.

So… drum roll… The total number of books on the TBR on 6 November 2015 is 173!  This is made up of 82 physical books, 71 e-books and 20 books on NetGalley!
I do have a list of books I want to own which I keep on a Amazon Wishlists. These comprise of upcoming books by authors I enjoy and many book blogger recommendations end up on here while I debate whether or not I need another book. So in the open spirit of confession, I have 146 books here too.

So this post is entitled TBR Reduction Plan, a bit of a misnomer as I have no real plan except a vague hope that by confessing all, I will be more mindful of the huge number of books that I want to read and that I already own.

I’m not tagging anyone, but of course I want to feel better about my TBR, so if you have more than 173 books, please share in the comments box below!

Posted in My book problem

On My Bookshelf – What’s In a Name?

On My Bookshelfv1

Following on from yesterday’s post where I gave you a peak at some of my bookshelves I have decided to extend the theme and show you more – yes there is more!

I have endured a lot of mocking about my reviews over the years, chiefly from my brother who on discovering them on Amazon felt the need to add helpful comments on random reviews. These comments are chiefly made up of ‘in jokes’ and will make no sense to anyone hoping for enlightenment, something that is gratifyingly noted by the number of people who thinks it adds to the discussion!

One of the latest objects for mirth is my ‘Five of the Best’ posts, which was initially prompted by my son, who insists that what I read in a certain month can’t possibly be of any help to anyone – after all a book I read in February has no relevance to what someone else will choose in February – I take all this on the chin and tell myself it is done out of affection.

However all this mickey taking got me to thinking… and I give you an excerpt of an early comment on one of my book reviews. The book I was reviewing was written by Sophie Hannah:

Probably also the kind of person who only reads books by people who have surnames as first names like Clive Michael or Betty Richards – don’t bother looking them up as I made them up as I’m not that kind of person myself –  although I once did have a surname as a first name but now I don’t as I changed it about three weeks ago for a first name to another name with a first name afterwards so it’s not a hypocritical thing to say at all…

So if you can disentangle the last part of that sentence you will deduce that my  maiden name is also a surname which is a first name… so today I am spotlighting five authors who have first names as surnames and currently sit on my bookshelf! That’s got to be helpful right?

Sophie Hannah – I have read all the books in the Culver Valley series which are very clever puzzles, one was too obscure for this reader, and although I haven’t enjoyed them all, I do like to see what direction the author will take us in next.

My review for book nine in the Culver Valley series: The Telling Error

Sophie Hannah1

Peter James – Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of this series, not least for another name detail, Roy Grace’s wife is called Cleo! Peter James delivers consistent well-told tales including his latest book You Are Dead which is out later this month.

Peter James 1

Agatha Christie – probably the author that started my trend of reading books by people with surnames that can be first names. I love Poirot and his little grey cells and here are three 1970’s editions published by Fortuna!
See my review of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Agatha Christie 1

Graeme Cameron – the newest author to join this special gang has created a serial killer with a wicked sense of humour in Normal

Graeme Cameron

Sarah Hilary has created a fantastic protagonist in Marnie Rome (perhaps my next post should be characters who have countries for names?) while simultaneously covering difficult issues in this immensely readable series.

See my review of No Other Darkness Sarah Hilary

So today’s challenge is to tell me who sits on your bookshelf with a first name as a surname!

Tune in next time and you might be lucky and find a useful link between my chosen books although this can’t be guaranteed!

Posted in My book problem, Weekly Posts

Musing Monday (September 16)


Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week… It is hosted by

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Monday ramble is about the number of books I own and haven’t read. My thoughts turned to organising my bookshelves when I saw that there was a book challenge from to clean out your e-reader.

I have spent a good portion of my weekend feeling organising, feeling guilty and so here is a post part confession and part dealing with my problem!


I have lots of books on my kindle that haven’t been read and sorted by genre only
I have no idea how much I paid or what they cost now
I also have books on my bookshelves, in cupboards, bags and other hidey holes that remain unread
I keep buying more kindle books
I keep buying more physical books
Until today I couldn’t face up to the size of my problem

Starting on Saturday I loaded an excel spread sheet and set to work to find out the magnitude of books to be read.

The verdict I have 48 unread kindle books dating back to October 2010
I have 32 unread physical books dating back to I really don’t know
The kindle books would cost £149.22 at today’s prices (good news is I got them for £67.33)

Realistically these 80 books will take me until the end of July 2014 if I don’t read anything else. That would mean no ARC’s and no author reviews; too sad to contemplate. Instead I have taken a few measures to tackle the problem as a compromise.

I have signed up to clean out your e-reader challenge and identified 9 books to be read in November

Clean out your e-reader Challenge
Click here to join up too

I have also sorted out 11 of the physical books and put them on one shelf in the bedroom. These I will read before the end of the year.

Pictures books to read

The next step is to exercise some willpower. I am not going to stop reading blogs and coming across books I want to read but I can’t buy every book.


I will not order anything else from my TBR, not even if they are in the daily deal, identified as a price drop on or for any other reason than I am going to read them within the next couple of days.

I will start sorting out the TBR over the next week or so and removing books I don’t really want to avoid the price drop temptation.
I will make proper notes on why I want a book so that I can review these lists regularly.

As penance I will listen to any other book confessions that need to be made by other’s with a similar affliction.

I have two bags of books to donate to the charity shop so someone else can enjoy them.

bags of books