TBR Slash: 4 Neglected Books

I keep passing over some books on my To-Be-Read pile when deciding what to read next. They just don’t appeal quite so much as other, newer books.

So it’s time for a little action: this month (and the next, depending on whether I’ll read the full books), I will be reading 75 pages of each book. I will then decide whether to continue, or put it aside forever and take it off the TBR.

The Blasphemer by Nigel Farndale

The Blasphemer by Nigel FarndaleThis is an e-book, and without an e-reader I tend to read from my computer or phone quite irregularly. I started a few pages in this book, but must try harder!

Description: “On its way to the Galápagos Islands, a light aircraft crashes into the sea. Zoologist Daniel Kennedy is confronted with a stark Darwinian choice. Should he save himself, or Nancy, the woman he loves? But how can one moment of betrayal ever be forgiven? And after he escapes the plane and swims for help, who is the elusive figure who guides him away from certain death?”

That sounds quite good, actually! I’ll have another go with this one. DONE (DNF) – Review here.

The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran

The Lady and the Poet by Maeve HaranI bought this about a year ago, when I loved historical fiction. Now, I’m somehow not so keen anymore. But I did read a few others books by this writer, that I enjoyed.

Description: Ann lives with her 4 sisters with her grandparents, Sir William and Lady Margaret More. Her grandfather encourages her to read from his extensive library but hopes she will find a suitable match when she is presented at the Court of Queen Elisabeth. She meets the poet John Donne and finds him irresistable.

Pro: the author, Against: historical fiction, real people in fiction DONE (DNF) – Review here.

The Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende

I’ve read several books by Isabel Allende and I guess I like them, but not enough to rush and read every new book she writes.

Description: “From the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue to the lavish parlors of New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century, Isabel Allende’s latest novel tells the story of a mulatta woman, a slave and concubine, determined to take control of her own destiny in a society where that would seem impossible.”

Ah, that’s right, another historical fiction. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, it’s just… I’m more in a modern mood, lately! DONE – Review to follow

The Human Race by O. C. Heaton

The Human Race by O. C. HeatonI know what it is with this book: I don’t find the cover attractive. No, not ugly, but too in-your-face. I’ll just have to try the inside of the book, don’t you think?

Description: “From the leafy suburbs of London to the frozen wastelands of Iceland, in the shadow of Ground Zero and under the barren dryness of the Mojave Desert, a bloody battle between the forces of greed unfolds. There can only be one winner and the fate of the human race hangs in the balance.”

No historical fiction, hurray! It’s one of those quirky books that could be good fun, or just over the top. 75 pages before I make my decision.

I’ll report back to let you know how it went. I’m guessing I should be able to finish at least two of these books, and maybe all. But I reserve the right to stop at page 75! 🙂 DONE  – Review here.

Will you join me and try some of your neglected books?

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

34 Responses to TBR Slash: 4 Neglected Books

  1. I would definitely say that The Human Race deserves to be in the ugly book comp – that picture is horrible!

    I have a similar problem with too many books (although I have way more than you) and I have started about 5 books in the last week that I have put down at under 100 pages – there are just too many more that I want to read so I am being ruthless.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Exactly, Boof. I’m now doing the same and plan to put them away if they don’t appeal after 75 pages. I wanted to target these books especially because they have been on my shelves for so long already.

      The Human Race – I don’t find it ugly exactly but I agree that it probably would do nicely in the Ugly Covers Competition.

  2. We are thinking the same this week – I finished my last NetGalley read and have decided to read afour books from my TBR pile (blogged about it today). Last night I said to my husband, ‘look, I’m reading a real book’. 🙂

    Good luck with your selections – our reading choices are wildly different, aren’t they….

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Nish says:

    I feel the same way about Isabel Allende. Like them, but I am never chomping at the bit to read them. I don’t know why because once I start, I usually enjoy them anyway.

  4. Uniflame says:

    I just wanted to comment that you should put up that last cover in the ugly covers competition. My God, it is so creepy. To me, this is the ugliest cover I have seen in a long time!

    It would be a good idea for me to try this too. But I guess I will do this at a later point in time. Because atm, I try to read books that really speak to me to get me out of my reading slump. I guess that attempting a challenge like this now, would only feed my reading slump 😉

    • Leeswammes says:

      Uniflame, may be you’re right. But people have such different opinions on what is ugly…. If I need another book I’ll use this one, I promise.

      You should only read “fun” books right now if you’re in a reading slump. Don’t try anything that you’re not sure about!

      • Uniflame says:

        It seems that getting some books that I wanted from the library helped 🙂 I have been reading one book yesterday and one today! 🙂

        I am really glad about it 🙂

      • Leeswammes says:

        I’m glad your reading mojo is back, Uniflame! Hopefully if you get a few more books similar to what you’ve just read, you’ll be back to reading regularly very soon again.

  5. Meg says:

    That’s a great approach! I have lots of books in my bookcase that I wanted at one point in time, but somehow they’ve been stacked there for years and remain untouched. Giving it a 75-page trial period is a great idea — just might have to follow suit! And if they don’t work, I can clear them out for more. 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Exactly, Meg! You got it.

      You could choose one book a month (or more) that has been at the back of your shelves for years – and maybe it wouldn’t take much time to read – just the 75 pages and you’re done. 🙂

  6. I had books that I kept passing up, but I finally read a couple of them, and I really liked them. So now I don’t allow myself to do that anymore. LOL I have a hand-written list (as much of an internet geek as I am, I still do better with handwritten lists) of all my TBR books (the ones for review – I have a huge list of books I don’t actually have on hand on my Goodreads account) and I’m just working my way down the list. At least that way, I don’t have to keep staring at the same books. I can at least start them, and finally get them out of here. 😉

    • Leeswammes says:

      Oh, very organized, to start at the top and work your way down, Amanda! I have a list on Shelfari so also can instantly see which books are the oldest on my shelves.

  7. Cat says:

    There must be something in the air! I was thinking the same thing yesterday as I tottered home from the Book Fair. The books get put on the shelf and then the newer books take precedence and I don’t get them read.
    Definitely time to do something about it and I like the idea of the 75 pages.
    Island beneath the Sea I started to read last year but didn’t finish.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Join me, Cat! PIck some old books from the book shelves and pledge to read 75 trial pages…

      It doesn’t sound hopeful that you didn’t finish Island Beneath the Sea. We’ll see….

  8. Trisha says:

    I’ve never read any of these, but I can say that Allende is a very talented writer, so hers would be the first I tried out. 🙂

  9. Carol N Wong (@Carolee888) says:

    Last January, I joined a challege of reading a book a month of those that I have received some time ago haven’t gotten, the ones that I am yearning for. It is working so well that I am tryng to do two a month!

  10. When I was a kid we used to make book covers out of paper grocery bags. If I could remember how, I’d make one for that Human Race book — ugh!

  11. Leslie says:

    Ok, first of all, The Human Race is an ugly cover. Had to say that.

    I have about a 40 page tolerance level on books that don’t hit it with me. Then I start skimming or put them down.

    On a positive note, I posted a review for a book I listened to months ago. I forgot about it and found it half written in my draft folder. For shame! It was a five star book.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Ok, Leslie, maybe I’ll add that book to the Ugly Covers competition next week.

      40 pages is not bad, but I really do want to make an effort so I thought 75 pages should be more than enough to decide whether I’ll enjoy the book.

  12. Suzanne says:

    I have The Blasphemer on my shelf… somewhere ….. I’ll join you on this one.
    Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge has helped me whittle down my TBR pile a little bit, but it is still out of control. I like your approach to managing it.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Suzanne, I’m doing a different TBR challenge, dealing with the older books – I think one of the four in this new challenge is also part of that one.

      Good to know that you also have The Blasphemer. Since it’s an ebook, if I do read all of it, it will take me a while.

  13. The only one I’ve read it The Blasphemer and I loved it. The only problem with the book is that there is a lot going on and many people don’t like this. As you had a similar problem with When God Was a Rabbit I’d be wary about recommending it too strongly, but I think you should give it a try.

    • Leeswammes says:

      I think I remember you saying you loved The Blasphemer, Jackie. But you’re right, I don’t like too many character or too many things going on at the same time. I will try it this month, that’s what the challenge is for! 🙂

  14. Vasilly says:

    I love this idea! I’m hoping to read at least two books from my tbr shelves this week. Good luck on your challenge!

  15. ocheaton says:

    Hi Judith,

    As the author of ‘The Human Race’, I’d like to thank you and your readers for the honest feedback about the cover artwork.

    When the book was first published, it was packaged as a thriller for a predominantly male readership. However you will not be surprised to hear that, to date, readers’ and reviewers’ feedback about that cover has been almost identical to that provided by the Leeswammes’ Blog commenters!

    In fact there has been a peculiarly sharp male/female divide. Against expectations, ‘The Human Race’ has found an enthusiastic female readership. Those who get past the cover enjoy the book – but have disliked the cover.

    As a result, my publisher decided to have the cover redesigned from scratch for the new Kindle edition of ‘The Human Race’. The Kindle edition launched a couple of weeks ago and you can see the new artwork here:


    As you can see, the new cover couldn’t be more different. To my mind it’s a great improvement, and I’d love to hear what you and your readers think.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks for your comment, O. C. Glad you’re not offended about people not liking the cover. It seems the cover has been a big issue for you too, so you had a new cover made. I like it a bit better, but it’s very dark and male, still. I really have to read the book to see whether the cover makes sense! Well, that’s what I will do this month. 🙂

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