My Unread Books

the Books You’ve Been 

Planning To Read For Ages,

the Books You’ve Been 

Hunting For Years Without Success,

the Books Dealing With 

Something You’re Working On At The Moment,

the Books You Want To Own 

So They’ll Be Handy Just In Case,

the Books You Could Put Aside 

Maybe To Read This Summer,

the Books You Need To Go With 

Other Books On Your Shelves,

the Books That Fill You With Sudden, 

Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified.

(and so on.)

Italo Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller
To Be Read

 I've read a few TBR lists recently and there has been a discussion of them on one of my book groups and this has inspired me to start to try and put together a list of all the unread books I own.
This will be a thankless task as the pile is scattered and growing. In fact 'pile' makes it sound manageable - it's more of a mountain range.
I'm an inveterate browser of charity shop shelves and although I sometimes wonder under what circumstances some of these books would ever rise to the top of my TBR list. I have thought they would be interesting to read at some point. That is not the case with some that came in boxes from auctions, a pretty indiscriminate way of buying books, where the presence of two or three good books justifies buying thirty.
Recommendations are welcome.

ACHEBE, Chinua - Things Fall Apart
AMIS, Martin - The Zone of Interest
ANGELOU, Maya - Singin' & Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas
ARNOTT, Jake - He Kills Coppers
ATWOOD, Margaret - Widerness Tips; Cats Eye; Penelopiad; Bodily Harm
AUSTEN, Jane - Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon
BAINBRIDGE, Beryl - Harriet Said ; Sweet William;  Young Adolf; A Weekend With Claude; An Awfully Big Adventure; According to Queeney; Another Part of the Wood; The Dressmaker
BALDWIN, James - Tell Me How Long The Train's Been Gone
BALLARD, JG - Super Cannes; Miracles of Life
BAMKS, Russell - A Permanent Member of the Family
BANKS, Iain - Walking on Glass; Stonemouth; The Steep Approach to Garbadale
BANKS, Iain M - Look to Windward; Matter; Dead Air
BANVILLE, John - The Untouchable; The Infinities; Athena
BANVILLE, Vincent - An End to Flight
BARNES, Julian - Arthur & George; A History of the World in 101/2 Chapters;
BARRY, Tom - Guerilla Days in Ireland
BARRY, Sebastian - A Long Way Down; The Secret Scripture; On Canaan's Side
BARSTOW, Stan - A Kind of Loving
BARTH, John - Lost in the Funhouse, The End of the Road
BATCHELOR, John Calvin - American Falls, A Novel
BECKETT, Andy - When the Lights Went Out
BENEDICT, Pinkney - The Wrecking Yard and Other Stories
BENIOFF, David - City of Thieves
BENSON, E.F. - Mapp and Lucia
BERGER, John - A Painter of Our Time; G; From A to X
BIZOT, Francois - The Gate
BLACK, Benjamin - The Silver Swan; Christine Falls; Holy Orders; Vengeance
BLISSET, Luther - Q
BOLAÑO, Roberto - The Third Reich; Tres
BOLGER, Dermot - The Family on Paradise Pier; A Second Life
BOLL, Heinrich - The Lost Honour of Katharina BlumGroup Portrait With Lady; The Clown; And Where Were You, Adam?; The End of a Mission
BORGES, Jorge Luis - The Widow Ching - Pirate
BOWEN, Elizabeth - The Little Girls; Elizabeth Bowen's Irish Stories
BOYD, William - Stars and Bars
BOYLE, T. Coraghessan - Riven Rock
BRECHT, Berthold - Diaries, 1920-22; The Threepenny Novel; Mother Courage
BRENNAN, Gerald - South From Granada
BRONTE, Charlotte - The Professor; Shirley
BRYSON, Bill - Neither Here Nor There
BURGESS, Anthony - Tremor of Intent; A Dead Man in Deptford
BURNEY, Fanny - Evelina
BURROWES, Wesley - Downhill Farm: The Final Episode
BUSBY, Sir Matt - Soccer at the Top
BUTCHER, Tim - Blood River
BUTLER, Herbert - Independent Spirit: Essays
BUTLER, Samuel - The Way of All Flesh
BYATT, A.S. - Possession
BYRNE, Donn - The Hound of Ireland and Other Stories
BYRNE, Trevor - Ghosts and Lightning
CALVINO, Italo - Invisible Cities
CAMUS, Albert - Exile and the Kingdom
CANETTI, Elias - The Tongue Set Free
CAPOTE, Truman - A T.C. Reader; In Cold Blood
CAREY, Peter - Parrot and Olivier in America
CARSON, Ciaran - Fishing for Amber, A Long Story
CASH, Johnny - Cash
CHABON, Michael - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
CHATWIN, Bruce - On the Black Hill
CHILDISH, Billy - Notebooks of a Naked Youth
CHRISTOPHER, John - The Death of Grass
CLARKE, Lindsay - The Chymical Wedding
CLARKE, Susanna - Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrell
CLEAVER, Eldridge - Soul on Ice
COE, Johnathan - The Rotters Club; What a Carve Up!
COHEN, Rich - The Record Men
COLLINS, Wilkie - The Woman in White, The Moonstone; Armadale
CONNELLY, Michael - Void Moon
CONNOLLY, John - The Book of Lost Things
COUPLAND, Douglas - Miss Wyoming
CRAIS, Robert - Hostage; Stalking the Angel
CREWS, Harry - A Celebration
CUNNINGHAM, Michael - Specimen Days
CURTIS, Deborah - Touching From a Distance
DAWKINS, Richard - The Selfish Gene
de BEAUVOIR, Simone - The Woman Destroyed
de BURCA, Seamus - Brendan Behan, A Memoir
de WITT, Patrick - The Sisters Brothers
DESAI, Anita - Fire on the Mountain
DESAI, Kiran - The Inheritance of Loss
DESANI, G.V. - All About H. Hatterr
DICK, Philip K - The Divine Invasion
DONOGHUE, Emma - The Room
DOYLE, Roddy (et al) - Yeats is Dead!
DRABBLE, Margaret - The Ice Age
DU MAURIER, Daphne - Jamaica Inn; The Blue Lenses; I'll Never Be Young Again
DUBUS, Andre - House of Sand and Fog
DUNN, Nell - Poor Cow
EGAN, Jennifer - A Visit from the Goon Squad
EGGERS, Dave - What is the What
ELLROY, James - The Hilliker Curse; Destination: Morgue
ENGLANDER, Nathan - The Ministry of Special Cases
ENRIGHT, Anne - Yesterday's Weather
EUGENIDES, Jeffrey - Middlesex
EURIPIDES - Medea & Other Plays
FAULKS, Sebastian - Birdsong
FIGUERAS, Marcelo - Kamchatka
FILLIPINI, Serge - The Man in Flames
FLANAGAN, Richard - Gould's Book of Fish; The Narrow Road to the Deep North
FORD, Richard - Canada; The Lay of the Land
FOSTER WALLACE, David - The Pale King
FOWLES, John - The Collector
FRANCIS, Matthew - Whom
FRANTZEN, Johnathan - The Corrections; How To Be Alone
FRAYN, Michael - Headlong
FREY, James - A Million Little Pieces
FRIEL, Brian - Translations
GALGUT, Damon - The Good Doctor
GARNIER, Pascal - Moon in a Dead Eye
GASKELL, Elizabeth - Mary Barton
GELDOF, Bob - Is That It?
GEORGE, Nelson - Where Did Our Love Go?
GHOSH, Amitav - The Hungry Tide
GIBSON, William - Pattern Recognition
GOLDMAN, Willaim - The Temple of Gold
GOUGH, Julian - Jude: Level 1
GRASS, Gunther - Headbirths; The Meeting at Telgte; Local Anaesthetic
GRASSIC-GIBBON, Lewis - A Scots Quair; Three Go Back
GRAVES, Robert - The Shout and Other Stories
GREENE, Graham - The Complaisant Lover
GRISHAM, John - The Broker
GUTERSON, David - The Other
GUTHRIE, Woody - House of Earth
HAGE, Rawi - De Niro's Game
HAINES, Luke - Post Everything
HAMILTON, Jane - A Map of the World
HAMILTON, Patrick - Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky; The West Pier
HANDKE, Peter - Repetition
HARRIES, Ann - Manly Pursuits
HARRIS, Jane - Gillespie and I
HARDY, Thomas - The Trumpet Major; Wessex Tales
HART, Josephine - Damage
HASEK, Jaroslav - The Good Soldier Schweik
HEALY, Dermot - Long time, No See
HEARSEY, John - Young Mr Pepys
HELLER, Joseph - Picture This
HEMINGWAY, Ernest - Garden of Eden
HENSHER, Philip - The Northern Clemency
HERODOTUS - The Histories
HESSE, Hermann - Steppenwolf
HIGGINS, Jack - Dark Justice
HOFSTADTER, Douglas R - Gödel, Escher, Bach
HOUELLEBECQ, Michel - Lanzarotte
HUMPHRIES, Tom - Laptop Dancing and the Nanny Goat Mambo
IMLACH, Gary - My Father and Other Working Class Heroes
ISHERWOOD, Christopher - Prater Violet
ISHIGURO, Kazuo - Nocturnes; When We Were Orphans; A Pale View of Hills
JACKSON, Mick - Five Boys
JAMES, Henry - Turn of the Screw
JAMES, Oliver - They F*** You Up; Affluenza
JOHNSON, Denis - Tree of Smoke
JONES, Edward P. - The Known World
JORDAN, Neil - Mistaken; The Drowned Detective
JOSEPH, John - The Evolution of a Cro Magnon
JULY, Miranda - The First Bad Man
KALMAN STEFÁNSON, Jón - Heaven and Hell
KAPUŚCIŃSKI - The Shadow of the Sun
KAVAN, Anna - Ice
KEEGAN, Claire - Antartica
KERSHAW, Alex - Jack London: A Life
KIELY, Kevin - Quintesse
KINSELLA, Thomas - The Táin
KNEALE, Matthew - English Passengers
KNOWLER, John - The Trap
KOCH, C.J. - The Many Coloured Land
de KONINGH, Michael & CANE-HONEYSETT, L. - Young Gifted and Black
de KONINGH, Maichael & GRIFFITHS, Marc - Tighten Up
KUNDERA, Milan - Slowness
LARSSON, Steig - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; The Girl Who Played With Fire; The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
LEE, Chang-Rae - Native Speaker
LEITCH, Maurice - Poor Lazarus; Silver's City
LEM, Stanislaw - Fiasco
LE GUIN, Ursula - Always Coming Home
LEHANE, Denis - Mystic River
LEZAMA LIMA, José - Paradiso
LEONARD, Elmore - Valdez is Coming; Rum Punch, Stick; Pronto
LESSING, Doris - Shikasta
LETHEM, Johnathan - Men and Cartoons: Stories
LEWIS, C.S.-Prelandra
LIPUŠ, Florian - The Errors of Young Tjaž
LOWRY, Malcolm - Selected Letters
LYNN, Loretta &  VECSEY, George - Loretta Lynn
LYNOTT, Philomena - My Boy
MacANNA, FERDIA - The Rocky Years
COUSINS, Mark - Imagining Reality
MacINNES, Colin - Absolute Beginners
MACKEN, Walter - The Coll Doll
MAGRIS, Claudio - Danube
MAILER, Norman - The Fight; Cannibals and Christians
MANN, Thomas - The Holy Sinner
MANSFIELD, Katherine - Bliss and Other Stories
MANTEL, Hilart - Wolf Hall; The Giant, O'Brien
MARTIN, Valerie - Property
MASTERS, Alexander - Stuart, A Life Backwards
MAUGHAM, William Somerset - Cakes and Ale
MAXWELL, William - So Long, See You Tomorrow
McCABE, Patrick - Carn
McCANN, Sean - The World of Brendan Behan
McEWAN, Ian - Enduring Love, Atonement
McGRATH, Pat - Dr Haggard's Disease
McKEON, Belinda - Solace, Tender
McKITTRICK, David & McVEA, David - Making Sense of the Troubles
McLAVERTY, Michael - The Three Brothers
McLYNN, Pauline - Something for the Weekend
McMURTY, Larry - Lonesome Dove
MEHRAN, Marsha - Pomegranate Soup
MEHTA, Ved - Vedi
MENDOZA, Eduardo - City of Marvels
MIEVILLE, China - Perdido Street Station; Iron Council
MILLER, Henry - Tropic of Capricorn; The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder
MILLER, Walter M. - Saint Liebowitz and the Wild Horse Woman
MITCHELL, David - Cloud Atlas
MONTAGUE, John - The Figure in the Cave
MOORE, Brian - The Statement; Fergus
MOORE, Ward - Bring the Jubilee
MORAVIA, Alberto - The Conformist
MORE, Thomas - Utopia
MORRISEY - Autobiograohy
MUNROE, Alice - Hateship, friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage
MURAKAMI, Haruki - Kafka on the Shore, IQ84, Norwegian Wood
MURDOCH, Iris - Sartre; Acastos
MURPHY, Maura - Don't Wake me at Doyle's
MURRAY, Paul - Skippy Dies
NABOKOV, Vladimir - Bend Sinister, A Russian Beauty & Other Stories
NAIPAUL, VS - A House For Mr Biswas
NAPIER-BELL, Simon - You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
NEMIROVSKY, Irene - Suite Francais
NIN, Anais - Journals, Vol 1; Vol 5
NOON, Jeff - Needle in the Groove
NOOTEBOOM, Cees - Roads to Santiago
O'BRIAN, Patrick - Master and Commander; The Golden Ocean
O'BRIEN - In the Forest; A Pagan Place
O'BRIEN, Geoffrey - Dream Time
O'CONNOR, Rory - Gander at the Gate
O CROHAN, Tomas - The Islandman
O'DOWD, Dinah - Cry Salty Tears
Ōe, Kenzaburo - The Silent Cry,
OLSEN, Tillie - Tell Me a Riddle
O'MALLEY, Ernie - The Singing Flame
ORWELL, George - The Clergyman's Daughter
O'TOOLE, Fintan - Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
PALAHNUIK, Chuck - Diary
PAMUK, Orhan - The Black Book; The Museum of Innocence
PARKER, Tony - Red Hill: A Mining Community
PEACE, David - Red Riding 1974; Red Riding 1977; Red Riding 1883; Tokyo Year Zero; Occupied City
PEAKE, Marvyn - Gormenghast / Titus Alone
PERCY, Walker - The Second Coming; Lost in the Cosmos; The Thanathos Syndrome
PETTERSON, Per - I Curse the River of Time
PIERRE, DBC - Vernon God Little
PLUNKETT, James - The Gems She Wore
POWER, Richard - The Hungry Grass
POWERS, Richard - The Gold Bug Variations
COWPER POWYS, John - Wolf Solent; Weymouth Sands; After My Fashion; Letters to Clifford Tolchard
PRATCHETT, Terry - Equal Rites
PRICE, Angharad - The Life of Rebecca Jones
PRITCHETT, V.S. - The Other Side of a Frontier
PYNCHON, Thomas - Inherent Vice
RAISIN, Ross - God's Own Country
RAY, Satyajit - The Chess Players and other Screenplays
REMARQUE, Eric Maria - Time to Love and a Time to Die
REMNICK, David - King of the World
RHINEHART, Luke - The Diceman
RILEY, Joan - The Unbelonging
ROBERTS, Andrew - Churchill, Embattled Hero
ROBINSON, Andrew - Satyajit Ray: a vision of cinema
ROBINSON, Marilynne - When I Was a Child I Read Books
ROTH, Joseph - Rebellion; Hotel Savoy
RUANE, Donal - Tales in a Rearview Mirror
RUSHDIE, Salman - The Ground Beneath Her Feet; The Moor's Last Sigh
SACKS, Oliver - An Anthropologist on Mars
SAGAN, Francoise - Bonjour Tristesse
SARTRE, Jean Paul - The Words
SETH, Vikram - An Equal Music
SEYMOUR, St John D. - Irish Witchcraft and Demonology
SHEPHERD, Lynn - Tom-All Alone's
SHIELDS, Carol - Unless
SŌSEKI, Natsume - The Gate
SPARK, Muriel - A Far Cry From Kensington; The Comforters; Symposium
STUART, Madeleine - Manna in the Morning
THAYIL, Jeet - Narcopolis
WILSON, Robert Anton - The Illuminates Trilogy
SHERIDAN LE FANU, Joseph - Madame Cowl's Ghost; The House by the Churchyard
SHUTE, Nevil - A Town Like Alice
SIMAK, Clifford - City
SMITH, Betty - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
SMITH, Zadie - White Teeth, On Beauty
SOYINKA, Wole - Aké; Season of Anomy
SPARK, Muriel - Robinson; Symposium; The Bachelors; The Comforters; The Bachelors
STEINBECK, John - Travels With Charley; Once There Was a War
STEVENSON, Robert Louis - An Inland Voyage
STROSS, Charles - Singularity Sky
STYRON, William - The Confessions of Nat Turner
SUSKIND, Patrick - The Pigeon
TARTT, Donna - The Secret History
THACKERAY, William - Vanity Fair
THOMAS, Caitlin - Double Drink Story
THOMPSON, Hunter S - Fear and Loathing
TODD, Richard - Iris Murdoch, the Shakespearian Interest
TOIBIN, Colm - The Sign of the Cross; Brooklyn
Toltz, Steve - A Fraction of the Whole
TRAVERS, Stephen & FEATHERSTONHAUGH, Neil - The Miami Showband Massacre
TRESSELL, Robert - The Ragged Trousered Philantrophists
TREVOR, William - Miss Gomez & the Brethern; The Boarding House; The Children of Dynmouth; Fools of Fortune
TYLER, Anne - Searching for Caleb; A Slipping Down Life
UPDIKE, John - Terrorist; In the Beauty of the Lilies
VÁSQUEZ, Juan Gabriel - The Sound of Things Falling
VASSANJI, M.G. - The In Between World of Vikram Lall
VONNEGUT JR, Kurt - Welcome to the Monkey House; Palm Sunday
WAKEFIELD, Walter L - Heresies of the High Middle Ages
WALKER, Alice - Meridian
WALLACE, David Foster - The Pale King
PENN WARREN, Robert - A Place to Come To
WATERS, Sarah - Fingersmith
WAUGH, Evelyn - Brideshead Revisited; Scoop
POTTER WEBB, Beatrice - My Apprenticeship
WELCH, James - Fool's Crow
WESTLAKE, Donald E - Baby, Would I Lie?
WILCOX, James - Modern Baptists
WILDER, Thornton - The Cabala
WILLIAMS, Raymond - Border Country
WILSON, Angus - The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot
WILSON, Colin - The Books in My Life
WINTERSON, Jeanette - Gut Symmetries
WINTON, Tim - The Riders; Cloudstreet
WOOLF, Virginia - Street Haunting; Jacob's Room
XINJIAN, Gao - Soul Mountain
YAN, Mo - Pow!
YOUNG, Toby - How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
ZINOVIEV, Aleksandr - The Yawning Heights
ZOLA, Emile - La Bete Humaine


  1. I can recommend the two books by Jonathan Coe, Riven Rock by TC Boyle and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Reading Black Swan Green by Mitchell at the mo and enjoying it immensely.

    1. The Coe books have been nagging at me to be read for a while.I started Cloud Atlas. Need to take it out again and get into it.

  2. Impressive list. Both here & in your books reviewed and Top 100 list (which is inspiring me to do something similar on the blog). So nice to see a fellow William Gaddis fan. Have you yet read The Letters of William Gaddis? I reckon you'd like it a lot. I'm curious, I noticed you have DFWs The Pale King on your TBR. I've no inclination to read it because I absolutely cannot stand the Internal Revenue Service, and yet I'd rank Infinite Jest among my top 5
    all time reads any day of the week. Have you gotten around to it by any chance? I imagine it might resonate w/you, considering your predilection for Gaddis & Ulysses.

    Quickly, if ever in your "inveterate browsing of charity shop shelves" you happen upon any books by William Sansom or Anna Kavan (fairly recent "new writers" to me, I've found), I cannot state strongly enough that you grab them up pronto, even out of somebody else's grasp if you have to, risking arrest and possible imprisonment, because they're that damn good.

    1. Thanks for the hints on Kavan and Sansom, I will look out for books by them.
      I have Gaddis' letters and read a few but haven't really got going on them. Neither have I read The Pale King, which does sound taxing... Long books seem longer as my reading has slowed down recently. Eyesight and time management (kids) being at the heart of that. Every time I get a window of opportunity I seem to spend half the time trying to find my glasses! I hope it picks up again soon and then I will tackle them.