Posts by tag: TBR pile

Impossible Longing

It’s a paradoxical kind of longing, but I miss the days when I was able to plow through fat novels with nary a second thought about whether something else might sooner merit my attention. (I know, a very modern problem.) These days I read very few novels, let alone big fat ones. Pardon this lament; it’s not that I don’t have a score of tomes on my shelves that I want to get to.

With this in mind, since I am always making such calculations, I thought I’d jot down a list of my so-called TBR pile. I know my reading is so undisciplined that I’m not likely to read more than perhaps max three or four of these before the year is up. But we shall see.

Likewise, I would be curious what you have been meaning to get to but haven’t been able to, whether from distraction, lack of discipline, or want of time. Comments are open. And if you want to advocate for or against any of the books in the below list, I am all ears, and very susceptible to influence. I remain a most fickle reader.


Hadrian the Seventh (1900) – Fr. Rolfe (Baron Corvo)

Parents & Children (1941) – Ivy Compton-Burnett (not all that thick, I might get to this before the year is up!)

Independent People (1946) – Halldor Laxness (trans. J.A. Thompson)

A Meditation (1969) – Juan Benet (trans. Gregory Rabassa)

The Death of the Detective (1974) – Mark Smith

Lookout Cartridge (1974) – Joseph McElroy (I’ve read this once before circa 2010, but I’ve got to get back!)

The Great Fire of London (1989) – Jacques Roubaud (trans. Dominic di Bernardi)

Mason & Dixon (1997) – Thomas Pynchon

Annals of the Former World (1998) – John McPhee (not a novel, albeit, but hefty nonetheless)