Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Top 10 Books Recently Added to my TBR List

Thanks to Broke and the Bookish for hosting the wonderful Top Ten Tuesday meme! This week's list is pretty self-explanatory. Similar to all book lovers out there, this list just continues to grow relentlessly. Here are my new additions:

1. The Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Recommended by Cleo. Read her wonderful review here. An influential philosophical thinker during the Enlightenment period, Rousseau had a huge impact on the French Revolution. I'd like to know more about the man behind radical social reform during a time of great political turmoil and unstable monarchies. I have not read many autobiographies and Confessions is often considered an apotheosis of the form. The only drawback that I can see is that it clocks in at 600+ pages!

2. The Fortune of the Rougons by Emile Zola: I've never read anything by Zola. Figured this might be the best place to start. Recommended by Cleo.

3. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: Everyone and their grandmother is reading this one at the moment. I don't know much about it and would like to keep it that way. 

4. Hombre by Elmore Leonard: I've been on a Western kick lately. This novel was also adapted into a film starring Paul Newman! Sold. I wonder how many people would be interested in signing up for an Elmore Leonard read-a-thon? Not many, I suspect. This is a shame because he tends to be overlooked, often dismissed as a writer of dime novels or entertaining fictions; thus, not qualifying as an author of "serious literature." I can't stand this type of elitism and literary snobbery--it's maddening! As much as I enjoy reading the classics, I tend to me more drawn towards engaging stories with well-drawn characters. Elmore Leonard knows how to spin a good yarn but he does it with very little exposition. His prose consists mostly of dialogue and he is one of the best in game in that department, hands down. As Terry Pratchett once wrote: “In theory it was, around now, Literature. Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book.” Yep, that sounds like me.

5. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac: Another recommendation from Cleo. Initially, I was going to read "On the Road" by Kerouac for the Literary Movement challenge but she convinced to read this one instead. The Beat generation has always fascinated me and I often find myself partisan to their social ideologies and Zen-like outlooks on life. Really looking forward to this one.

6. 11/22/63 by Stephen King: I used to read a lot of King during my teenage years but have not read anything by him since. No doubt, he's a great story-teller but his writing tends to be bloated and excessively verbose, which partially explains why I have not returned to his works in so long. Nonetheless, the premise behind this novel sounds pretty darn cool. Time traveling and JFK? Ok Mr. King, you've got my attention.

7. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly: Recommended to me for the Once Upon a Time Challenge. I don't know anything about the premise other than it involves a modern re-telling of fairy-tales. Neato.

8. Ilium by Dan Simmons: Greek Mythology and Homer's The Iliad/The Odyssesy collide in an epic science-fiction extravaganza. Consider me intrigued.

9. The Sellout by Paul Beatty: I stumbled upon this book randomly through one of Goodreads recommendations and reading the premise took me completely aback. I always enjoy a good satire but one that focuses on black culture and race relations in America? I've never come across anything quite like this one before. 

10. Till We have Faces by C.S. Lewis: A perfect addition to the Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge, this is a re-telling of the myth behind Cupid and Psyche. If I am not mistaken, C.S. Lewis is one of Cleo's favorite authors. I never would have even known of this title had it not been for her recommendation. C.S. Lewis is one of those iconic authors that I really need to read more from.

So, what other books have you added to your stack of TBR pile recently? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. I hope you enjoy Zola. Last year I read Germinal (my first Zola), and it was amazing. It was raw and piercing. I am planning to begin The Fortune tomorrow.

    1. I have no idea what to expect. I am incredibly ignorant when it comes to foreign authors.

  2. I'm happy to see that I'm having such an influence on you ....... I hope it's a good influence. Ha, ha! ;-)

    Rousseau's 600 pages is a quick 600 pages (as opposed to Le Morte d'Arthur's 900 pages, which feels more like 3000!) I would like to know more about his impact on the enlightenment because he seemed to removed from it. His writing was influential but after he buried himself in the country (which is a lovely place to be, I think), he didn't have much personal contact with other thinkers.

    Ah, I really need to join (late) Fanda's Zola challenge for April. I'd started Money (the 4th book in the series) and didn't finish it, so now would be an opportune time!

    I'm happy to see a Lewis on your list. This book was his personal favourite.

    I have some of your recommendation on my list too, which I'm not going to post because I have too many reviews already that need to be posted. Or perhaps I should just be late again with my Top Ten Tuesday!

    1. Of course it is a positive influence! You got me to seek out and get excited over a lot of classics that I would have otherwise avoided on general principle.

      That's good to know about Rousseau's Confessions, makes me want to read even more now. See, that's one of the reasons Le Morte d'Arthur's scares me: it's daunting length! I know you love it but I get the feeling that it wouldn't sit well with me. Maybe one day...

      I seem to be drawn towards stories steeped in naturalism, revolving around lower/middle class struggles in society and Zola seems to belong those school of writers. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      Well, I know how fond you are of Lewis and needed to include him for the "Once Upon a Time" challenge. I also really want to read the Screwtape letters.

      Considering our divergent taste in literature, I'd be curious to know which of my recommendations actually made your list. :)

  3. *I* would sign up for an Elmore Leonard readathon! I really enjoy his Westerns, though I've had mixed feelings about his more modern set works.

    1. It's great to come across another Elmore Leonard fan! Rock on Katherine. What are some of your favorites western by him? I agree that some of his crime thrillers have been sub-par (I'm looking at you "Out of Sight") but they are usually entertaining enough so they aren't a complete waste of time.

  4. Great list. I haven’t read any of these, but I know a lot of people who have loved Station Eleven. I’ll have to pick that one up eventually.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thanks AJ. Seems like we are in the same boat there.