Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Have Been on My (TBR) Bookshelf Forever!

Ten Books That Have Been on My (TBR) Bookshelf Forever!
(And they look the part.)

The Sherlock Holmes Mysteries - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame - Victor Hugo

The Republic - Plato

The Last Days of Socrates - Plato

Politics - Aristotle 

The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

Idylls of the King - Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

Of these ten, I will read Treasure Island with my kids, later this year, for our Exploration school year, and The Republic is part of my WEM Reading Challenge; but other than that, is there one I should move up on my TBR list?


  1. I guess you should do Wuthering Heights one day, but it will annoy you (probably) at least that's how I reacted both times I tried it.

    I'm hoping to get to my Hugo's and Doyle's one day soon too - maybe we need a readalong?

    1. I actually read the first chapter of WH, then put it down. It was many, many years ago. Now I am curious why you say it will annoy me (esp. since Majoring in Lit (below) says something similar.

      True, true about a readalong. They are so encouraging to get through a book.

  2. I agree, Wuthering Heights could be a good place to start, although it is definitely a frustrating book. I also really like Ivanhoe, despite Scott's writing style, which does tend to be quite flowery and full of unnecessary deviations. There's some great books here, though, so no matter which one you start with I'm sure you'll find something to interest you. :)

    1. Like I said to Brona, I'm curious why WH will frustrate me!

      I think I have heard something similar about Scott's writing style, and maybe that is why I am avoiding it.

  3. We have quite a few in common! I've only read 4 off this list. I really want to read the Tennyson quite soon, and I've got the two Platos and the Aristotle on my list as well! Read one or two Sherlock Holmes and enjoyed them. Ivanhoe I wasn't so fond of. LOVE Wuthering Heights, I would really try to forget this 'Romantic Heathcliff" nonsense - I do think reading it as a great romance isn't a very accurate reading of the text. Just thought I'd add that as I think there are a few I've come across who think it is a romance but when they themselves come to read it that view colours it and makes it quite a frustrating book (it just isn't a romance! It has some romantic lines of course here and there, but it's not a romance). It's a great and wonderfully strange book I think :)

    1. Sounds like good advice (not reading WH as a romance). I will remember that. Thanks.

  4. WH reads like a young teenage girls idea of high passion & drama & love. If you can get past the characters based on no human being ever & enjoy the Gothic elements, it could be interesting. I've just never been able to get to the point!

    Maybe reading it at 15 would have been the thing to do too. Most people I know who love it, read it in their teens when Cathy & Heathcliff seem romantic somehow😏

    Don't let me put you off though. My love for the other Brontes means I will give WH another try at some time in the future.

    1. Like o said: don't read WH as a romance. So I will definitely remember to focus on the Gothic elements. I think I like that better, too.

  5. I agree with O - not romantic. I thought it was awful when I first started it & nearly gave up but someone I respected had said it was one of his favourite books. Weird, yes, but there's an incredible theme of redemption which doesn't really come full circle until towards the end. I read it a long time ago & plan to re-read it soon. I think the Circe blog mentions that book by Hemmingway - or it might have been one of his others, but I'd lean towards that one, too.

    1. Thanks Carol. I'm glad you are all sharing your insight on WH b/c I started it a long time ago, and put it down, not liking it. But approaching it differently would be helpful.

  6. Oh, I'll put in a plug for Sherlock Holmes!! "A Study in Scarlet" is chronologically the first SH story, but I think the "Adventures" is the best place to start. I'm overdue for a massive re-read of the series; you can pretty much fly through them, they're so good. :)

    I love Treasure Island and 20000 Leagues... If you haven't seen it, I also recommend the Disney 1954 adaptation of 20000 which stars James Mason and Peter Lorre (probably my all-time favorite movie).

    Ivanhoe picks up pace after you get into it, and it's a good story. I think Ivanhoe is an important read not so much whether one likes it or not, but because it influenced Western culture/literature for many generations afterwards, as the quintessential "knights and ladies" story.

    Not sure if this was much help. I get so excited when I see my favorites pop up on other people's lists!

    1. I have been on the look out for other SH editions b/c the one I have does not include "A Study in Scarlet."

      I'll be reading TI later this year or next with my kids, and I'm sure they'll want to see the film, after we read the story.

      I do love medieval themed lit, and that's why I would read Ivanhoe. I once did a medieval lit challenge, so maybe I'll do that again and add Ivanhoe to my list.

  7. I would read the Last Day of Socrates BEFORE The Republic.

    1) It's short.

    2) It gives one a better feel for Socrates own positions/ideas, whereas The Republic starts moving in the direction of Socrates as mouthpiece for Plato's ideas.

    1. Thanks, Consolation. That makes total sense.

  8. What stories are in the Sherlock Holmes volume? I'm a dedicated Holmesian, so I would vote to bump those up on your list. "The Sun Also Rises" is so far my favorite Hemingway novel, so I vote for that too.

    1. There are 22 stories in my volume:
      A Scandal in Bohemia
      Red-headed League
      Boscombe Valley Mystery
      Five Orange Pips
      Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
      ' of the Speckled Band
      ' of the Copper Beeches
      The Crooked Man
      Resident Patient
      Greek Interpreter
      Naval Treaty
      Final Problem
      Adventure of the Empty House
      ' ' the Norwood Builder
      ' ' Dancing Men
      ' ' Solitary Cyclist
      ' ' Six Napoleons
      ' ' Priory School
      Musgrave Ritual
      Man with the Twisted Lip
      Adventure of the Second Stain
      ' of the Abbey Grange

      I should know you like Hemingway, too. : )

    2. Ahh. I was wondering if the collection was just like two of the regular collections crammed into one, or what. Looks like they pulled from lots of them, instead -- kind of collected the most famous stories, I guess.

    3. Yeah, and I never heard of any of these, except the first one.

    4. Oh my goodness! Oh, I'm so hoping you like them. The Sherlock Holmes canon is one of my happiest of happy places <3