Reflection: Help me, great and powerful internet community

I have twelve bookcases in my two-bedroom flat. I live surrounded by several thousand books – and as long I don’t leave a lighted candle too close to any of them this isn’t a problem.

But I also live surrounded by piles of books that haven’t made it into bookcases – because I’ve bought them or been given them, and haven’t yet read them. And that’s more of a problem.

Books on the DVD stand

Wonderful, fabulous books, that I want to read, but never get round to, because I am constantly adding to their number. There are over 100 of them at most recent count.

This must stop!

So, I have chosen 91 of these books (I think it’s 91 – my counting may be off) and I have made a commitment that I will not buy another book until these 91 have been read.* And you’re all going to help me.

Here is the list. As I read each book I will cross it off on this list. I’ll review them on Goodreads. I will then take the poor wee books out of the random piles in which they currently live and give them a place on one of my bookcases (alphabetical within subject – don’t judge me!).

And you’ll keep me honest, won’t you, internet people? Please! My name is Avril and I’m not merely a bookaholic, I’m a purchaser-of-books-aholic. Help me overcome this addiction.

The List of Unread Books (July, 2014)

Fiction
The Penguin Book of First World War Stories
Alan Bennett: Untold Stories
Marilynne Robinson: Gilead
Natasha Solomons: Mr Rosenblum’s List
Josephine Tey: The Privateer – read 22/07/2014
Anthony Trollope: Is He Popenjoy?
Anthony Trollope: Marion Fay – read 25/08/2014
Sarah Waters: The Little Stranger

Australian Fiction
Brooke Davis: Lost and Found
Hannah Kent: Burial Rites – 10/05/2015
Drusilla Modjeska: The Mountain
Kim Scott: That Deadman Dance
Nevil Shute: Requiem for a WREN – read 29/05/2015

Children’s Fiction
M. E. Allen: Trouble at Melville Manor – read 31/05/2015
Penelope Lively: Fanny and the Monsters – read 17/07/2014
Paul Magrs: Diary of a Dr Who Addict – read 26/08/2014
K. M. Peyton: The Plan for Birdsmarsh
Maggie S. Smith:
Peggy Speeds the Plough
Sheena Wilkinson: Grounded
Pat Willimott: Chalet School Librarian

Books on the Coffee Table

Crime
Ian Rankin (ed): OxCrimes
June Wright: Murder in the Telephone Exchange – read 28/05/2015

Fantasy/Sci Fi
Tales from the Tower 1: The Wilful Eye
Tales from the Tower 2: The Wicked Wood
Isaac Asimov: The Bicentennial Man
Stephen Baxter: Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice – read 30/05/2015
Jim Butcher: Storm Front
Jasper Fforde: Shades of Grey
Elizabeth Waters (ed.): Music of Darkover – read 07/08/2014

Auto/Biography
Ian Breward: Dr Harold Wood: A Notable Methodist
Edmund De Waal: The Hare with the Amber Eyes
Victoria Glendinning: Trollope – read 05/09/2014
Paul Kelly: How to make gravy
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister
Megan Marshall: Margaret Fuller: A New American Life
Stephen Tomkins: William Wilberforce a biography

Books on the Bookcase

Books About Books
Studies in Sayers
Regina Barreca (ed.): Sex and Death in Victorian Literature
Brenda Walker: Reading by Moonlight: How books saved a life
Frank Eyre: British Children’s Books in the Twentieth Century
Nicholas A. Basbanes: Every Book Its Reader
Jane Gleeson-White: Australian Classics: 50 Great Writers and their celebrated works
Ramona Koval: By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life – read 26/08/2014

History
Gillen D’Arcy Wood: Tambora: The eruption that changed the world
James Boyce: 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia – read 02/08/2014
Owen Davies: The Haunted: A Social History of Ghosts
Geraldine Robertson: Prejudice and Reason: Some Australian Women’s Responses to War
Anna Clark and Paul Ashton (ed.): Australian History Now
Frank Bongiorno: The Sex Lives of Australians: A History 23/01/2015
George Megalogenis: The Australian Moment
Jens Rydstrom: Odd Couples: A History of Gay Marriage in Scandinavia
Lisa Morton: Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween
Juliet Gardiner: The Thirties: An intimate history

Penguin non-fiction
Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky: How Much Is Enough? Money and the Good Life
Jesse J. Prinz: Beyond Human Nature
Robert Trivers: Deceit and Self-Deception
Luke Slattery: Reclaiming Epicurus
Michael Kirby: What would Ghandi do?
Daniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast and Slow
Michael J. Sandel: What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

Pop Culture
The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles
Supernatural and Philosophy: Metaphysics and Monsters … for Idjits
The Literary Angel: Essays on Influences and Traditions Reflected in the Joss Whedon Series
Buffy Meets the Academy: Essays on the Episodes and Scripts as Texts
Noble Smith: The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life – read 31/08/2014
Andrew Crome and James McGrath: Time and Relative Dimensions in Faith: Religion and Doctor Who – 26/05/2015

Religion
William W. Emilsen (ed.): An Informed Faith
Lucy Moore: All-Age Worship
Rochelle Melander and Harold Eppley: The Spiritual Leaders Guide to Self-Care
Clayton J. Schmit: Public Reading of Scripture
Sara Miles: Take this bread
Sarah Coakley: God, Sexuality and the Self: An Essay ‘On the Trinity’
William H. Willimon: Pastor
William Stacy Johnson: A Time to Embrace: Same-Gender Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics
Henry Cloud and John Townsend: Boundaries 04/01/2015
Dale B. Martin: Sex and the Single Saviour
Miroslav Volf: A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good
James Alison: Knowing Jesus
Miroslav Volf: Exclusion and Embrace
Yours, Jack: The inspirational letters of C.S.Lewis
The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis
Eamon Duffy: The Stripping of the Altars
Christian Worship in Australia: Inculturating the Liturgical Tradition

Other Non-Fiction
Hugh Mackay: The Good Life: What Makes a Life Worth Living? 13/08/2015
Jane Caro (ed.): Destroying the Joint
Anne Summers: The Misogyny Factor  07/04/2015
M. E. Thomas: Confessions of a Sociopath
Mark Isaacs: The Undesirables
Meredith Jones: Skintight: An Anatomy of Cosmetic Surgery
Michel de Montaigne: The Essays: A Selection
Clive Hamilton: Requiem for a Species

*This commitment will be in abeyance when I am overseas – I’ve already made a list of second-hand bookshops that I’m planning to visit in the UK, and I refuse to deny myself the option of buying books in airports in the midst of 24 hours of flying.

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7 Responses to Reflection: Help me, great and powerful internet community

  1. Can we make suggestions for what to read next? Because I think I recommended Gilead the last time you posted a list like this somewhere. Also, Take this bread would be near the top of my list.

  2. Julie says:

    I am not sure how we are to help you here. I have read almost nothing on your list, except Shades of Grey (which I think Damian gave us) and Thinking Fast and Slow (which was super interesting). And possibly Storm Front (if so, it was crap). And Reading by Moonlight, which was good but forgettable. I save Trollopes for international flights.

    I have some book suggestions for you, but to make them will be counterproductive. I’ll hold onto them until you get through your list.

    • avrilhj says:

      The Trollopes may be coming with me to a conference, because they’re tiny and take up little room in luggage, but are also nice meaty romances. Yes, don’t suggest any books that aren’t on this list! That wouldn’t help at all!!!

  3. Julie says:

    Also, Thinking fast and slow had 0 penguins in it. They are probably fast thinkers in the water, but slow thinkers in the huddle.

  4. Andrea says:

    Hi Avril, if you start reading Storm Front by Butcher (not the best in the Dresden Files, as his first, but he works out how to write soon into the series) then you could end up either throwing it at the wall, annoyed, or be as keen as I am to keep reading and find out what happens next. The cast throughout the series includes angels, fairies, pagan gods, werewolves, devout Christians (it’s almost worth reading through the series to meet Michael Carpenter, Knight of the Sword), vampires, and The Fallen (spoiler alert: some books have unpleasant torture scenes). xx a

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