Ten Books that Have Been on My TBR List a Long Time (and I Probably Won’t Read)

This week’s topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is for ‘Books That Have Been on my TBR List the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read’.

A few years ago I did a post on ‘Obsolete Books’. The first four books on my list this week are from that post. They have been on my TBR list a while, I still have not read them, and I probably won’t (for reasons described in that post):

1. It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong (with Sally Jenkins)

2. Hitler’s Pope by John Cornwall

3. Muhammad by Karen Armstrong

4. In Search of Excellence by Peters and Waterman

Next up, some more books I still have not read and probably will not:

5. Secrets of the Code by Dan Burstein

Back in the days of the excessive hype around The Da Vinci Code, this book by Dan Burstein collected work from academics and experts on the topics Dan Brown uses in his novel in the hope that this may help people separate fact from fiction. I’m just not sure I am interested anymore.

6. Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know by Ranulph Fiennes

This autobiography by the extreme adventurer and prolific author certainly captured my interest when I first came across it, but that interest has waned a great deal.

7. The Qur’an

I feel a responsibility, an obligation, even a duty, as a citizen of the world to at least try to gain some comprehension of the ideas that influence the workings of our world even if I know I won’t agree with them. I’m just not sure how far to take that impulse and, rather than reading the Qur’an, I might be better served with books about the Qur’an and Islam especially if they come from a place of rational skepticism which modern scientific and historical research demands. Tom Holland’s In the Shadow of the Sword might be a good start.

8. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce

Said by some to be unreadable, I am an especially stubborn reader but I’m not sure I want to put myself through this.

9. Yossarian Slept Here by Erica Heller

A memoir/biography of Catch-22 author Joseph Heller by his daughter, Erica. This was a bargain-bin purchase by me and, though Catch-22 is my favourite book, I am not sure if I am really that keen to read a biography of its author.

10. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

This was a book I had no doubt I would be reading but one seed of doubt has emerged. Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution is True and whose blog I follow (here), is of the opinion that its 19th century language is an inhibition for the modern reader trying to learn from it and that you would be better off with an annotated version. On one hand, I have no problem with 19th century language; I read plenty of 19th century literature, and The Origin is said to be beautifully written as well as important. On the other hand, if learning is one of the main reasons to read it, maybe I would be better served with an annotated version. I’m still not sure.


  1. On the basis that you probably will never get around to reading these, what are they still doing on your shelves? See,s like you could get rid of them and make way for something more to your interest. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right. I’m not a hoarder but I have some similar tendencies and have difficulty throwing things out. I am putting together a pile of books I can part with. I hope to find a second-hand store that may be willing to take them off me in exchange for some store credit!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.