Sifting through various blogs and book review pages I have found that it’s a popular practice to list the books you haven’t read yet, these lists are under the label “TBR”. I looked at my nightstand weighed down by the pile of books awaiting my company, but these are not books that I have not started…but instead these are books that I have not yet completed.
It all comes about completely innocent, I begin a book and then something happens. Perhaps I go on a short trip out of town and forget I was even reading a book until I unearth it from under a pile of dirty clothes and and half eaten ramen. Perhaps a gremlin crawls into my room, finding it great joy in pulling at the tassels that drape the binding one one by one. “Hmmpph, where on Earth was I again?”
After a few days, weeks, months, years my memory is fogged, I can’t tell you what even happened on the episode of Supernatural I watched just last night. I open the book, delving my eyes into its ravine of jumbled letters, and I cannot figure out who who Alice is, or what on Earth she is doing in this land of Never’s…or wait Wonder’s?! Dissociation the doctors call it, but that’s a topic for another day.
Disclaimer: Considering I do not utilize the fancy cold technology of Kindle all progression tracker percentages are 83.16% contrived.
Neverland: J.M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers, and the Dark Side of Peter Pan
By Piers Dudgeon
Time Since Last Cracked: 6 years
Though some critics speculate the authors interpretation of the facts, this book was the most engrossing I have ever read post college. I became obsessed, and lucky for my daughters that this book was lost in a move from Houston to Dallas in 2011; one of them may have been privileged with the original name given to Tinker Bell…which after half a decade has been lost on me.
By: Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard
Time Since Last Cracked: 3.5 years
This was one of my books I picked up to sift through while I was breastfeeding my first daughter L’il A. I was super excited about this since I am a huge Civil War (aka the war of Northern Aggression) buff, so much so that I was a docent in a Southern Museum for years. The book though was quite dry, in my ADD mind, and although I do not agree with all ideals it did very much villain-ize the south as a whole. I finally just put it down out of boredom, promising to return someday.
Devil in the White City
By: Erik Larson
Time Since Last Cracked: 2 years
The humorous part of this book being on this list is the years I spent scouring used book stores to find a hardcover version. (I only read hardcover books, I’m a snob that way.) Finally for my 28th birthday my husband gifted it to me in a slew of other gifts. I was ecstatic and started reading it instantly. But the sexy description on the cover did not live up to the writing style. It was written much like a report I would turn into my history profs, how can you make a book about a serial killer so incredibly dull? Everyone says such amazing things about it that I want to finish it someday. While surfing the web in attempt to snatch a picture of the book I found that Paramount has taken it on to create a movie adaptation of this classic with Leo Dream-caprio…so I guess there is even more motivation.
The 5 Love Languages
By Gary Chapman
Time Since Last Cracked: 9 mos.
What a great premise for a book. For valentines I bought two copies one for my husband and one for myself when we hit a point in our marriage that it felt like everything was a competition. Bickering, fighting, and totally valid mature silent treatments had become a regular occurrence in our household. The book at first created for some somewhat productive conversation on our languages, but then progressively itself became a raging competition, who highlighted the most, who read the fastest, who obviously didn’t love the other one enough to complete the next chapter first.
House of Leaves
By: Mark Z. Danielewski
Time Since Last Cracked: 6 months
When I was 19…when anyone was 19 at any time in life…this was the trendy book to read. I wanted a copy so badly but couldn’t bring myself to pay the ridiculous high cost of it. 10 years later one Christmas I unwrapped the red tinseled paper to reveal a new crisp copy from my baby brother who is in fact 11 years younger than me. I was blown away and blown back in time. I was touched and ecstatic all at once…like Ahab must have felt upon beholding his whale. “How on Earth could you have known?!” He shrugged, “It was on your Amazon Wish List.” I wanted to laugh hysterically, picturing him sifting through the eclectic blend of teenage me DDRMax and Crowley’s Tarot deck to discover the perfect book to gift me. I stashed it away for safe keeping; I was in my second trimester with Baby K and thought perhaps I could read it to her while breastfeeding. I started it, but found myself distracted by the amazing miracle that is Don’t Trust The B in Apartment 23.
Orange is the New Black
By: Piper Kerman
Time Since Last Cracked: 3 months
This book like many of my TBF’s was purchased at the beginning of a week long trip to keep myself entertained quietly without waking the girls. I love the series and thought how great it would be to really become acquainted with the actual Piper Kerman. The book itself is not enticing or addicting like the TV series, which is what I heard before I purchased the book. Piper is not at all how they represent her in the show. All this considered though, I love the book more than the series, something more real to the struggle, I relate better to Piper in the novel, and I truly to enjoy the casual manner in which she has laid out the book, this makes it easier to come and go from the book as I please without feeling incredibly lost.
Dragonfly in Amber
By: Diana Gabaldon
Time Since Last Cracked: 2 years
When I was in college the Outlander series was all the craze, and I did not have the time to hop on such a verbose train, The Twilight Saga was about all I had the time to handle. All the girls in my classes would participate in thoughtful discourse through their progression in the series, excitedly discussing their love for the protagonists, and expressing their thrill for each passing adventure. I wanted to not have a full time job, full time teaching gig, on top of a full time load of classes so I could be a part of the chatter, but instead I sat in the back of the class with the dudes, and just mocked the Outlandians instead. When I joined a mom book club quite a few years later the original Outlander book was suggested and I tried to smother the fan girl screams I wanted to make, I was getting a second chance. I read through the book with great verve, I loved every moment of it. The meeting went well and I suggested we just continue through the series but the mom who preferred the tragic sappy shit greatly disagreed and instead suggested works such as Gone Girl, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and I am Malala, books that in my state of severe post-partum were difficult for me to endure. About a year later I decided to pursue the rest of the series on my own, but the book picks up skipping several decades, and already having trouble remembering where the last book had left off…the book sits collecting dust…
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
By: Dave Eggers
Time Since Last Cracked: 5 years
This book was suggested to me by a friend who let me borrow it in college. It was difficult to voluntarily read personally, but when my sister-in-law of the time noticed it in my tote bag, she raved over how awesome it was, and that truly invigorated me to power through. I wanted so badly for her to like me, always wishing I had a sister and desperately seeking her very hard to read acceptance and approval. Moves happened, life happened, divorce happened and this book has been the longest on my TBF book shelf…and is probably the only one on my shelf that will remain that way.
This has again been part of Eric’s Taboo Challenge
AS I’ve said before: Please check it out here: