Shelf Love, Part 5: The Unreads II

Unreads 2What you see here is a bunch of books I haven’t read or haven’t finished, with a few books I love sprinkled in.

I got hooked on Kate Atkinson on two fronts: my friend (a librarian) has been raving about her and lent me her copy of Life After Life last summer. I never finished it, but was very intrigued by the fifty or so pages I managed to get through before I had to return her book. (I picked up my own copy a few weeks ago; man I love Half Priced Books!) The other avenue I took to Kate Atkinson was through the TV series “Case Histories” starring Jason Isaacs. I cannot wait to delve into these books!

For months, I’ve been toying with the idea of reading (and of course, buying, because who needs libraries?! <smh>) The Devil in the White City. I love true crime stories and several friends have read it and loved it. I picked this one up at a library bookstore (because this is what libraries are for, ha!)

I bought The Hunger Games hoping to read it a.) before I watched the movie and b.) connect more with my students. I did not finish the book before watching the movie and few of my students have read it and enjoyed it, so the only connection I made with them is the half hearted “Yeah, I tried reading it, too.” Oh well.

I’m a huge fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, so I’ve had Kidnapped on my to-read list for quite sometime. I think I caught part of the Masterpiece’s “swashbuckling adaptation” once upon a time which originally piqued my interest. I’ve always been a sucker for Jacobite stories, so I think I just talked myself into moving this classic near to the top of my list! Added bonus: I just discovered that it is part of a series, yay!

Reading Lolita in Tehran was a gift from years ago. I’ve never really had much interest in reading it until recently. I’m so glad that I haven’t gotten rid of it! “[This] is a remarkable exploration of resilience in the face of tyranny and a celebration of the liberating power of literature.” (GoodReads)

The Poisonwood Bible has also been on my to-read list for quite sometime, though I could never quite get myself to buy it. This one was a gift from a friend who is pretty confident that I will like it. Having grown up listening to missionaries talk about their experiences in various locations in Africa, I have no doubt that my friend is right!

I have had a love-hate relationship with Gone with the Wind since high school. I enjoy the movie, particularly the scenes featuring Clark Gable, but never really appreciated the character of Scarlett O’Hara. She has always irritated me and when I tried to read the novel back in the mid-nineties, I just couldn’t stomach her selfish and manipulative antics. It was one of two books that I have never finished at that time (the other was The Killer Angels), which is weird for me on two counts: first, I typically make myself power through whatever books I begin; I believe I cannot form a complete opinion about it unless I’ve read it to the end. Second, they’re both about a time-period that I highly romanticized as a teenager. As I’m re-reading Gone with the Wind now, I still see how irritating Scarlett is, but I also am completely wowed by Ms. Mitchell’s story telling and her gift for painting murals of the South with words.

For ages, I thought that I’d read The Book Thief, as the premise sounds so familiar to something I read when I was much younger; however, I recently discovered that it was published in 2007 which renders that impossible. I’ve promised myself that I will not watch the movie until I’ve read the book, so I guess this also moves nearer to the top of my list (I’m not sure why I phrase it this way; I really don’t have an organized list. I guess I now have a project for the weekend, ha!)

For some reason, I recently decided to start collecting everything Daphne du Maurier.

About a month ago, I noticed that BBC was doing an adaptation of Jamaica Inn. I was drawn to the Great Expectations-esque themes, as well as hints of smuggling and piracy. British history in the early 19th century is one of my favorites (thank you, Jane Austen) so a darker twist to a familiar atmosphere is most welcome!

I didn’t even know The Frenchman’s Creek existed until I found it at a library bookstore. Much to my delight, it promises to contain “satisfying, romantic, swashbuckling action.” (GoodReads)

Rebecca is the only du Maurier novel I’ve read and I say that lightly as I actually don’t remember anything about it except that it’s loosely based on Jane Eyre. Oh yeah, and I’m pretty sure I watched the movie version with my mother when I was in high school as we’re both big fans of Laurence Olivier. I’m a little surprised there aren’t more adaptations of this gothic classic, but since I did just discover this exists, m’thinks I will go a’searching for it! (Charles Dance is so dishy, and his voice! <sigh>)

I remember why now, I originally started collecting du Maurier because I thought that My Cousin Rachel was the sequel to Rebecca. Instead it is really “in the style of Rebecca.” Oh well, I don’t think I’ll regret these purchases… as you know, I’m a sucker for mystery and romance!


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