Help me choose my next books!

I seem to have been collecting a vast quantity of unread books over the last year or so, and decided to do a bit of a tot-up today to figure out just how long my TBR-long really is. Amazingly (and I didn’t fiddle the numbers)  it came to exactly 100 books!

There are some that I need to read soon because they are library books, and I’d like to read Andrea Levy’s  Small Island soon too so I can watch the BBC adaptation on iPlayer before it gets taken off. I also have The Wind-up Bird Chronicle which I am looking forward to re-reading for my book group.

But I thought perhaps I could get some thoughts from other bibliophiles and find out what books people think I should bump up the pile!

I’d love it if you could have a quick scan through.


  • The Almost Moon – Alice Sebold
  • I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
  • Saturday – Ian McEwan
  • Amsterdam – Ian McEwan
  • Dorian – Will Self
  • Liver – Will Self
  • Calendar Girl – Stella Duffy
  • Parallel Lies – Stella Duffy
  • The Night Watch – Sarah Waters
  • The Observations – Jane Harris
  • Afterwards – Rachel Seiffert
  • The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
  • The Widow’s Secret – Brian Thompson
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Anni Barrows
  • Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
  • The Finishing School – Muriel Spark
  • Symposium – Muriel Spark
  • Reality & Dreams – Muriel Spark
  • The Bachelors – Muriel Spark
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – John Berendt
  • Small Island – Andrea Levy
  • Feather Man – Rhyll McMaster
  • Heliopolis – James Scudamore
  • A Guide to the Birds of East Africa – Nicholas Drayson
  • The Island – Victoria Hislop
  • The Coma – Alex Garland
  • The Spell – Alan Hollinghurst
  • The Swimming Pool Library – Alan Hollinghurst
  • Disgrace – J.M.Coetzee
  • The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrell
  • The Outcast – Sadie Jones
  • When We Were Bad – Charlotte Mendelsson
  • The Devil’s Paintbrush – Jake Arnott
  • Wetlands – Charlotte Roche
  • 26a – Diana Evans
  • Talk Talk – T.C. Boyle
  • The Dead Father’s Club – Matt Haig
  • Young Adam – Alexander Trocchi
  • Human Traces – Sebastian Faulkes
  • Life isn’t all Ha-ha He-he – Meera Syal
  • The Welsh Girl – Peter Ho Davies
  • Mrs DeWinter – Susan Hill
  • Zorro The Novel – Isabelle Allende
  • Ines of My Soul – Isabelle Allende
  • Ghostwalk – Rebecca Stott

Modern Classics

  • Peyton Place – Grace Metalious
  • Vertigo – Boileau and Narcejac
  • Requiem for a Wren – Neville Shute
  • The Woman in Black – Susan Hill
  • The Bird of Night – Susan Hill
  • Goodbye to Berlin – Christopher Isherwood
  • A Burnt Out Case – Graham Greene
  • Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
  • The Glass-Blowers – Daphne DuMaurier
  • I’ll Never be Young Again – Daphne DuMaurier
  • The Three Hostages – John Buchan
  • Huntingtower – John Buchan
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
  • The Moon is Down – John Steinbeck
  • Vile Bodies – Evelyn Waugh
  • Justine – Lawrence Durrell
  • Balthazar – Lawrence Durrell
  • Clea – Lawrence Durrell
  • Mountolive – Lawrence Durrell
  • Across the River and Into the Trees – Ernest Hemmingway
  • I Claudius – Robert Graves

Classics & Poetry

  • Medea – Euripides
  • The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
  • No Name – Wilkie Collins
  • The Shuttle – Frances Hodgeson Burnett
  • William Blake Poems – Selected by Patti Smith
  • Wordsworth – Selected by Lawrence Durrell
  • Thomas Hardy Selected Poems
  • Tennyson – Selected by Kingsly Amis
  • Maurice – E.M.Forster
  • A Room with a View – E.M.Forster
  • Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott
  • Emma – Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  • Les Liaisons Dangereuses – Pierre Choderos Laclos
  • The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Lady Audley’s Secret – Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles (half read) – Thomas Hardy
  • The Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
  • Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  • Tales of Unease – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

Crime / Thriller

  • The Laughing Policeman – Majsowall & Per Wahloo
  • The Wimbledon Poisoner – Nigel Williams
  • A Quiet Belief in Angels – R.J. Ellory
  • Vanish – Tess Gerritson
  • The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  • Post Mortem – Patricia Cornwell
  • From Potter’s Field – Patricia Cornwell
  • Point of Origin – Patricia Cornwell
  • The Bone Collector – Jeffery Deaver

Biographical / Non-Fiction

  • Daphne – Justine Picardie
  • This Book will Save your Life – A.M. Homes

Are there any that jump out at you? Any favourites?

17 responses to “Help me choose my next books!

  1. You have many terrific books which makes it hard to choose! If you haven’t read anything by Ian McEwan yet, I would start with Saturday. His books aren’t very long but they are so well written, rich and elegant. E. M. Forster’s A Room with A View is also wonderful.

    Whatever you choose, you are almost sure to have a great experience! Enjoy!

    • I have read McEwan but I do love his writing, that helps me pick the next one! Room with a View really needs to get read soon, especially as it’s actually the book I’m holding in my profile pick lol. Thanks for your advice 😀

  2. What a fantastic list! Here are my commnets on a few of them:

    Guernsey: Wonderful book. Fast and delightful
    Surfacing: Atwood’s always great in my book.
    The Finishing School: I like this Spark a lot. Quirky and fun.
    Midnight in the G of G and E: Interesting, more like journalism though
    The Spell: More interesting than his others I think.
    Disgrace: Very well written and compelling.
    Requiem for a Wren: Haven’t read this but I have loved all 8 or so books of Shute that I have read.
    Alexandria Quartet: These are all fascinating, but a little challenging.
    A Room with a View: I love everything by Forster but I would put this one ahead of Maurice. And then rent the 1985 movie of RWAV. Best movie ever.
    The Da Vinci Code: Save this for when you want a compelling story and bad writing.

  3. Most of the books on your list I haven’t read yet, and I’m afraid that I didn’t love a lot of the ones which I have.

    The only one which I’ve read and loved is Heliopolis by James Scudamore, so I have to go for that one!

    I haven’t read these, but I’d love to know what you think of them, so I can decide whether to push them up the pile or not:

    ■Talk Talk – T.C. Boyle
    ■The Almost Moon – Alice Sebold
    ■I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith

    I hope that you enjoy whatever you decide to read next.

  4. You have a couple of my all-time favorites on your list (Tess and Jane Eyre), and I’ll make a third recommendation of a Room with a View (although Howard’s End is my favorite Forster)

    Here are a few others that I really liked:
    I Capture the Castle: lots of fun
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: hilarious and fascinating
    Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox: twisty and disturbing
    Emma: can’t go wrong with Austen
    Les Liaisons Dangereuses: despicable people, but an irresistible book
    Return of the Native: can’t go wrong with Hardy (unless you want something happy)
    Vanity Fair: great characters, great story
    Daphne: interesting story of writers and readers

  5. WOW…so many to choose from. I especially enjoyed Almost Moon; Sebold and Guernsey Potato Peel Society.


  6. The perfect 100. Nice!

    The ones I’d recommend would be :

    1. Dodie Smith – I Capture The Castle
    2. Ian McEwan – Amsterdam (it’s a love it or hate it book)
    3. JM Coetzee – Disgrace

    I couldn’t get through The Da Vince Code, but, I guess that’s another one of those books….. so, I’d be interested to see what you think of it.

  7. Well, I had to stop reading your list the minute I came to the words Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Which I just finished two days ago. It’s awesome! Easy to understand? Not especially? Powerful in mood and thought? For sure! I’ll be back to see what you decide, it looks like you have lovely possibilities stretched out before you.

  8. I would say definitely read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, I think the title puts everyone off.


    Point of Origin, Patricia Cornwell.

    If you haven’t read any of her books whichever one is 1st choose, her early stuff was great.

  9. I’m going to recommend three: Disgrace, The Idiot, Across the River and Into the Trees. You can’t go wrong if you hang onto these and read them.

    I see Disgrace has a couple of other votes!


  10. The first thing I thought when I saw this list what ‘oh my goodness I am officially a book pusher/dealer’ hahahaha.

    Of the list the ones I think you must read soon are Peyton Place, Great Expectations (for Rogue BG) and Wind Up for other BG.

    From the rest…

    The Observations – modern sensation and utterly wonderful naughty (bit like Michelle) heroine.
    Guernsey – utter delight, a near perfect gentle read despite some dark parts
    Small Island – because its just amazing, one of my fav books ever
    Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – marvellous and might make you cry
    The Woman in Black – spooks galore
    No Name and The Shuttle – wonderful female leads and interesting in terms of female social history
    Vanish – well we are agreed on how fabulous Tess is
    Daphne – though it is actually fiction and great fiction at that, I think you have read Rebecca so it wont spoil that, if you havent read Rebecca then avoid.

    I would avoid Room With A View I hated it, but then I read it at school and hated every book that crossed my path there.

  11. A great list.

    I’d recommend “The Laughing Policeman” by Majsowall & Per Wahloo — it’s absolutely brilliant, although the translation in my edition was a bit odd, everything seemed slightly stilted, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story regardless.

    Others I’d recommend:
    * The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man — the early chapters are especially wonderful.
    * Saturday – Ian McEwan
    * Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – John Berendt

  12. What a lot of books to choose from! I’d go for Peyton Place (I plan to read that over Christmas myself), I Capture the Castle, The Shuttle, Heliopolis, Disgrace and Symposium (PP is the only one that I haven’t read myself).

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  15. What a great pile of books! Decisions, decisions. This is slightly late but I really recommend Jane Eyre and Great Expectations.

    And there’s a meme that I’d tagged you in. I hope you’ll do whenever you get a chance. 🙂

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