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If Long-Awaited: Possibilities

It was the melding of ideas that made Ana and Iris’ long-awaited reads month compelling, the combination of books that had been languishing, together with starting the new year with books you’d not yet read. It’s been a good few years since the Month ran officially but nevertheless, whether I opt to ‘use’ it or not, come each January I’ve got the concept in mind.

Looking at my books I found myself creating three categories – books that, if I’m being honest with myself, I’m probably not going to read for ages if at all; books I expect I’ll read but have no idea when; and books I’d like to read in the near future. This made creating a basic idea of which books I might like to add to this year’s reading a lot easier – I’m listing only books in the third category. I also stuck to physical copies; I’ve too many free books downloaded on a whim.

I wanted to post something on the subject of Long-Awaited without harping on, so this will be it – suffice to say if I happen to review any of the books below within a few months, I probably read them in January, not forgetting the basic timeline my round-ups provide. Brick Lane, carried over from last year, is also technically Long-Awaited – a book I’ve had for 18 months or so that I had been wanting for a few years more than that.

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Anna Hope: The Ballroom (early 2016)Loved the debut, bought the second novel. This was one of those occasions where I was raring to read my brand new book but decided to finish the one I was currently reading, and we all know what can happen when you don’t immediately start a book you’re wanting to immediately start.

Barbara Kingsolver: Flight Behaviour (mid 2013) – I went looking for The Lacuna – that door stopper I’d heard was slow but nevertheless wanted to read – and when I couldn’t find it I shrugged my shoulders and decided a different book by the same person was good enough. Of course it never is – while I do want to read Flight Behaviour, the reason I haven’t is simple – it’s not the book I’d been wanting.

Deborah Levy: Swimming Home (early 2016) – I remember reading a review and putting this on my list, then hearing Levy speak at a Peirene Salon, and deciding that yes, I should indeed buy it. It’s a very short book, it’s still on my list simply because I know it’s quite literary and I’m looking for that impossible perfect moment. For the past couple of years I’ve been working on the idea of ‘done is better than perfect’ – I haven’t yet added books to that and need to.

Eowyn Ivey: To The Bright Edge Of The World (Christmas 2016) – Although I loved The Snow Child, I hadn’t been following Ivey’s writing career, and it was only when this book appeared on blogs that I found out about it. Like Ivey’s debut, it is about Alaska, and already knowing I wanted to revisit the area in fiction, I added it to my list. I made a brief start on it last year but it’s very different to her previous, and because I’d thoughtlessly expected a fair similarity, I decided to move on to another book and revisit it when looking for the sort of book it actually is.

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Lauren Owen: The Quick (Christmas 2016) – A book widely lauded by bloggers, I stayed away from spoilers and put it on my list, eventually listing it as a Christmas gift idea. There’s no real reason as to why I haven’t read it – it’s fairly long but hardly a tome compared to others.

Haruki Murakami: Norwegian Wood (early 2016) – This was always the Murakami I knew I wanted to start with, for no reason other than the previous cover intrigued me more than the rest and I reckoned starting with a shorter book was best. Picking the short book hasn’t helped the daunting feeling, however.

N M Kelby: White Truffles In Winter (mid 2013) – The idea that this might be about Christmas and chocolates, warm and cosy, and that combined with the foodish alliteration, drew me in. It’s a different story to what I had in mind, and indeed may well be about the more savory truffles, but when the nights draw in I often find myself thinking about this book, all its possibilities. I need to get around the difference between my early expectations and the reality.

Robert Galbraith: The Cuckoo’s Calling (mid 2013) – I bought this for the same reason as everyone else, and purchased the hardback because I’d enjoyed reading The Casual Vacancy in that way and the cover was, is, gorgeous. Expectation is the only reason I’ve not read it – I’ve the second and third in hardback, too.

Right now, the Kelby and Ivey are calling to me most; it’s likely I’ll finish my current read, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and head on over to my bookcase.

Which unread book have you had on your shelves the longest?



January 14, 2019, 10:59 pm

I have had books on my TBR for longer than I remember. This year I decided to read 8 of them in no particular order, plus some more backlist ARCs. Here’s hoping that I can accomplish that. I have been trying to purge my shelves as much as possible and buy most books I own in electronic format–adjusting font size is very convenient, as is the format itself.

Tracy Terry

January 15, 2019, 4:49 pm

What an interesting way to categorise your books. Lets face it we all have books on our TBR piles that we will probably never get around to reading; that we pick up only to discard again with hardly a second thought.



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