Top Ten Tuesday: Books that have been on my TBR the longest

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, asks us to list the ten books that have been on our TBR the longest. I keep track of my TBR through Goodreads so I decided that the easiest way to approach this week’s topic was simply to take the first ten books on my Goodreads ‘to-read’ shelf, which were all added in 2010/2011. Before I started blogging I was very good at reading the books that I’d bought before buying more, so I don’t have any very old books on my TBR.


1. The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon

Historical fiction set during the Crimean War. I remember buying this on a visit to my favourite bookshop, Barter Books; I did start to read it once but didn’t get very far with it.

2. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

I added this to my TBR – and then read two other Kate Morton books instead. Because I was disappointed by The Distant Hours, I never went back to read this one. Maybe I should.

3. The Blasphemer by Nigel Farndale

A dual timeline novel divided between the First World War and the modern day. I won this one in a giveaway by the publisher, so I feel very guilty that I still haven’t read it!

4. Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

I don’t know much about this one except that it’s set in Palestine, but I remember reading some glowing reviews from other bloggers a few years ago, which was why it was added to my TBR.

5. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

This novel about a 17th century village ravaged by plague has been recommended to me many times, but every time I’ve picked it up I’ve found that I was in the wrong mood for it.

6. Annie Dunne by Sebastian Barry

I love Sebastian Barry’s writing and have read several of his other books about the Dunne and McNulty families, but this one has been languishing on my shelf for years while I’ve been drawn to the newer ones instead.

7. Trespass by Rose Tremain

I added this to the TBR at a time when I hadn’t read anything else by Rose Tremain and I wasn’t sure whether or not I would like her writing. I’ve now read three of her other books and enjoyed them, so I think it could be time to try Trespass!

8. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

The Booker Prize winner from 1988. It has never felt like the right time to read it, but I said recently that I wanted to read more books set in Australia, so perhaps the time has now come.

9. Blood Harvest by Sharon Bolton

This is the only one of Sharon Bolton’s crime novels that I still haven’t read. I’ve no idea why not as I’ve loved all of her other books and her standalones, like this one, tend to be my favourites.

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison

I included this book on my original Classics Club list but removed it to replace it with something else. I do still want to read it and will hopefully find time for it soon.


Have you read any of these? Which books have been on your TBR the longest?

38 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books that have been on my TBR the longest

  1. whatcathyreadnext says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who was disappointed by The Distant Hours. In fact, I never finished it, it’s sitting on my bookshelf half read. I will give it another try one day. I’ve read The House at Riverton although I can’t remember much about it – I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. I haven’t read any of the others on your list although Oscar and Lucinda was recommended to me recently by another blogger.

    • Helen says:

      I did enjoy the first Kate Morton book I read, The Forgotten Garden, but The Distant Hours really put me off reading any more. I’m sure I’ll still give The House at Riverton a try at some point, though.

  2. Jane @ Beyond Eden Rock says:

    I’ve read two of your ten, and I can tell you that ‘Oscar and Lucinda’ is one of my favourite books ever and that ‘Blood Harvest’ is very good. I think it marks the first appearance of a character who appears in one of her series books. I think you will enjoy both books.

    • Helen says:

      I don’t know much about Oscar and Lucinda but hearing that it’s one of your favourite books makes me think that I should read it sooner rather than later. It’s good to know that you enjoyed Blood Harvest too.

  3. Margaret says:

    I wasn’t keen on The Distant Hours either, but I loved The House at Riverton. I also loved The Rose of Sebastopol, Oscar and Lucinda, Blood Harvest (fantastic book!) and Beloved (although that was years ago and can’t remember much about it). Year of Wonders is also one of my TBRs. Some of my books have been on my TBR list I can’t remember when (or why in some cases) I first thought of reading them – I’ll check and maybe do this myself.

    • Helen says:

      It’s good to hear that you loved so many of the books on my list! It seems there were a few of us disappointed by The Distant Hours, so I’m glad you thought The House at Riverton was better.

  4. Sandra says:

    There are some great titles on here, most of which I knew about and also intended to read before they dropped off my radar. I suspect my own tbr is about to grow longer!

  5. malanielovesfiction says:

    I’m so scared to read beloved because it’s going to be so sad. and I’ve been reading a ton of sad books lately???? but it’s on my TBR too and should have been on my list this week!!! love this post!

  6. Alex says:

    I also had The Rose of Sebastopol and The House at Riverton on my TBR for ages, and they didn’t survive The Great Purge of 2017. I DNFed Oscar & Lucinda, but realy like Beloved and Year of Wonders!

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad you liked Beloved and Year of Wonders. I’ll be interested to see what I think of Oscar and Lucinda – I hope it’s not a DNF for me too!

  7. Poinsettia says:

    I haven’t read any of these, but I hope you find time to enjoy them. My problem is I’m a mood reader, so I’m not very good and finishing my tbr in any particular order. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

  8. Café Society says:

    I enjoyed Blood Harvest much more than Bolton’s more recent one offs. For me she is a writer whose work has diminished recently. Blood harvest is worth the effort. I’m also another great proponent of Oscar and Lucinda, just never ever watch the film which makes such a travesty of the ending that all copies should be destroyed immediately!

    • Helen says:

      I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Sharon Bolton, but I do think her newer books have a different feel from the early ones. I’m looking forward to reading Oscar and Lucinda, but thanks for the warning about the film!

  9. cirtnecce says:

    The House at Riverton is better than The Distant Hours, atleast that was my take, but I personally loved the Secret Keeper and The Forgotten Garden has been on my TBR forever. The Year of Wonder is also in my TBR, again for some time and Oscar and Lucinda….I never seem to be in the mood for that book! Adding a couple including Trespasses to my TBR!

    • Helen says:

      I enjoyed The Forgotten Garden but was so disappointed by The Distant Hours I have never read anything else by Kate Morton. Maybe I should leave The House at Riverton on my TBR for a while longer and read The Secret Keeper instead. I have never been in the right mood for Oscar and Lucinda either, but I do want to read it soon.

  10. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

    Great list! Toni Morrison is an author I really need to check out and so is Kate Morton. Year of Wonders is definitely a novel you need to be in the right mood for, it’s fairly slow-moving, but I really enjoyed it.

  11. Judy Krueger says:

    My unread owned books and TBR lists go back decades. They are all organized by year but I suppose I would need at least another lifetime to read them all. From your list I have read The House at Riverton (so so), Year of Wonders (my least favorite by Geraldine Brooks) and Beloved (wondrous and strange and beloved by me.)

    • Helen says:

      I used to keep my TBR under control, but since I started blogging it just gets bigger and bigger every year. At least yours is well organised! I’m looking forward to reading Beloved.

  12. jessicabookworm says:

    I’m afraid I haven’t read any of these so I can’t help to motivate you to read them much, but I do think most of them sound good 🙂 There are quite a few books, especially hidden away on my Kindle, that have been there unread and unloved for too long! While one of the physical books that looks accusingly at me from my bookshelf is Drood by Dan Simmons!

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad you think most of them sound good, even if you haven’t read them. I hope I’ll have a chance to read some of them soon now that I’ve reminded myself about them.

  13. Jo says:

    Beloved is a powerful book, which I had to read at A Level – I think?

    Rose of Sebastopol is very good book. The House of Riverton was the first Kate Morton and is worth a read to compare to her later work. I thought it was very good and she has had some rather not so good books since.

    • Helen says:

      The Rose of Sebastopol sounded great when I bought it, but I’ve never been able to get into it. I’m glad you liked it – I’ll have to give it another try! I do still want to read The House at Riverton too, so it’s good to know that you thought it was better than some of her newer books.

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