Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Convince Me To Read (Or Dump) These Books

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Do you ever buy a book and not read it right away? Then it sits on your shelf for weeks because there are so many books and so little time. It keeps getting bumped down your reading priority list. Months (or years) pass. Then you start wondering why you haven't read this particular book yet. What's wrong with it? Why are you prioritizing other books? Maybe you've lost interest in the topic. Or maybe you saw a bad review after you bought it. Or maybe it's a giant, scary book about complicated things, and you don't have the mental energy for that nonsense right now.

Today, I'm going to look at the 10 books that have been sitting on my shelf the longest. I'll try to figure out why I haven't read them yet. It's your job to convince me to read them or dump them. I got all these books between July 2020 and January 2021, so that's how long they've been gathering dust.

👍  Convince Me To Read (Or Dump) These Books  👎


Adult Historical Fiction


There are many things twelve-year-old Clover Blue isn't sure of: his exact date of birth, his name before he was adopted into the Saffron Freedom Community, or who his first parents were. What he does know with certainty is that among this close-knit, nature-loving group, he is happy. Here, everyone is family, regardless of their disparate backgrounds—surfer, midwife, Grateful Dead groupie, Vietnam deserter. But despite his loyalty to the commune and its guru-like founder Goji, Blue grapples with invisible ties toward another family—the one he doesn't remember.

With the urging of his fearless and funny best friend, Harmony, Clover Blue begins to ask questions. For the first time, Goji's answers fail to satisfy. The passing months bring upheaval to their little clan and another member arrives, a beautiful runaway teen named Rain, sparking new tensions. As secrets slowly unfurl, Blue's beliefs—about Goji, the guidelines that govern their seemingly idyllic lives, and the nature of family itself—begin to shift. With each revelation about a heartbreaking past he never imagined, Blue faces a choice between those he's always trusted, and an uncertain future where he must risk everything in his quest for the truth.


Why I haven't read it yet: For some reason, I attract books about communes. I think they follow me home from bookstores like stray puppies. I enjoy reading stories set in communes, but I've read so many mediocre ones that I'm not eager to pick up another (potentially) mediocre commune novel. Maybe I'm wrong, and this will be the all-time-greatest commune book. I won't know until I read it!


Buy it on Amazon


Adult Historical Horror


In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father.

When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened.

Maud's battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen—and the even more nightmarish demons of her father's past.


Why I haven't read it yet: Have you ever been scared to read a book because you think it has the potential to become an all-time-favorite? This gothic thriller sounds perfect for me! It's about family secrets and creepy houses. I haven't read it because I'm scared it won't live up to the hype in my head.


Buy it on Amazon


Young Adult Contemporary Fiction


Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.

Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.

Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.”


Why I haven't read it yet: The young adult contemporary genre used to be my thing. I read a ton of it when I was in my late teens and early 20s. Then I got old and cranky and started losing patience with teen angst. I just want everyone to calm down and make good decisions! This book has been sitting around because I'm worried about the levels of angst.


Buy it on Amazon


Adult Classic Horror

A young, inexperienced governess is charged with the care of Miles and Flora, two small children abandoned by their uncle at his grand country house. She sees the figure of an unknown man on the tower and his face at the window. It is Peter Quint, the master's dissolute valet, and he has come for little Miles. But Peter Quint is dead.


Why I haven't read it yet: It's a classic. I'm a slow reader, and older books take me forever to get through. I just haven't had the motivation to pick up a book that might take me weeks to finish. I know it'll probably be awesome and worth the time.


Buy it on Amazon


Young Adult Fantasy

When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes with a terrible price, and in punishing the island's residents, Rona also bound her family ever tighter to them.

Fast-forward to the present day and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriarch’s curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author—Nor’s own mother—seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice.

A storm is coming. It's coming for Nor.


Why I haven't read it yet: I had to read Leslye Walton’s debut novel The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender when I was in grad school. I loved it! It’s one of the best books I’ve ever been forced to read. It’s an odd, magical, memorable family saga. I'm worried that The Price Guide To The Occult won't live up to the author's first book. What if it sucks and I'm disappointed?


Buy it on Amazon


Adult Mystery / Crime / Thriller

David Kelsey, a young scientist, has an unyielding conviction that life will turn out all right for him; he just has to fix the Situation: he is in love with a married woman. Obsessed with Annabelle and the life he has imagined for them—including the fully furnished cabin he maintains for her—David prepares to win her over, whatever it takes.


Why I haven't read it yet: Can I just say, "See the above book." I haven't read this one for the same reason I haven't read The Price Guide To The Occult. I'm obsessed with Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Ripley is an ultra-compelling character. He’s an awful human, but everything he does is fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his crime spree. I'm scared that Highsmith's other books won't be as interesting. Then I'll be sad.


Buy it on Amazon


Young Adult Mystery

Natalie's parents are taking her and her three best friends on a cruise for her seventeenth birthday. A sail-a-bration, they call it. But it's only been a few short months since Natalie's boyfriend died in a tragic accident, and she wants to be anywhere but here.

Then she meets a guy on the first night and sparks fly. After a moonlit conversation on a secluded deck of the ship, Natalie pops down to her cabin to get her swimsuit so they can go for a dip. But when she returns, he's gone. Something he said makes her think he might have . . . jumped? No, he couldn't have.

But why do her friends think she's crazy for wanting to make sure he's okay? Also, why do they seem to be hiding something from her? And how can she find him when she doesn't even know his name? Most importantly, why is the captain on the intercom announcing the urgent need for a headcount?


Why I haven't read it yet: I was pumped for this mystery when I first came across it in a used bookstore. A cruise ship disappearance sounds interesting. It's a short book that I know I can read quickly. I was excited, but then I saw a review from one of my book blogger friends. My friend hated this book and completely eviscerated it in her review. My excitement deflated and hasn't grown back.


Buy it on Amazon


Adult Urban Fantasy Graphic Novel


A stolen hookah, a spiritual underworld, and a genie on the run change the lives of five strangers forever in this modern fable set on the streets of the Middle East's largest metropolis.

Cairo interweaves the fates of a drug runner, a down-on-his-luck journalist, an American expatriate, a troubled young student, and an Israeli soldier as they race through bustling present-day Cairo to find an artifact of unimaginable power, one protected by a dignified jinn and sought by a wrathful gangster-magician. But the vastness of Africa's legendary City of Victory extends into a spiritual realm—the Undernile—and even darker powers lurk there


Why I haven't read it yet: I have a friend who loves this graphic novel, which is why I bought it, but I don't know if it's my kind of story. I'm extremely picky about fantasy and get bored with most fantasy tropes. (Also, I don't want to tell my friend that I hate his favorite book. No one wants to have that conversation!)


Buy it on Amazon


Adult History Nonfiction / Biography

Perhaps the most influential sovereign England has ever known, Queen Elizabeth I remained an extremely private person throughout her reign, keeping her own counsel and sharing secrets with no one—not even her closest, most trusted advisers. Now, in this brilliantly researched, fascinating new book, acclaimed biographer Alison Weir shares provocative new interpretations and fresh insights on this enigmatic figure.

Against a lavish backdrop of pageantry and passion, intrigue and war, Weir dispels the myths surrounding Elizabeth I and examines the contradictions of her character. Elizabeth I loved the Earl of Leicester, but did she conspire to murder his wife? She called herself the Virgin Queen, but how chaste was she through dozens of liaisons? She never married—was her choice to remain single tied to the chilling fate of her mother, Anne Boleyn?


Why I haven't read it yet: Have you ever wanted to learn more about a topic, but the actual learning process seems boring and time consuming? That's why I haven't read this book. Like many Americans, I’m inexplicably fascinated with royal families. I want to know more about them, but this book is 500+ pages of tiny font. Do I have the motivation to read all that?


Buy it on Amazon


Adult History Nonfiction


Library Journal calls Howard Zinn’s iconic A People's History of the United States “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those . . . whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories.” Packed with vivid details and telling quotations, Zinn’s award-winning classic continues to revolutionize the way American history is taught and remembered.


Why I haven't read it yet: I haven't read it for the exact same reason I haven't read the Elizabeth I book. I want to learn more about US history, but do I want to read 500+ pages of tiny font? That's not an activity for lazy people like me.


Buy it on Amazon

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Which book has been sitting on your shelf the longest? Why haven't you read it?



  1. Cairo looks quite interesting. And if you hate it, you never ever tell you friend you read it. LOL

  2. Alison Weir's nonfiction books are actually quite good. I'd give that one a try!

  3. The Turn of the Screw was amazing. Yes, it was a little slow at first, but the ending made it so worth the wait. I hope you like it if or when you read it.

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-authors-i-havent-read-but-want-to/

  4. I haven't read any of these books, so I can't defend them.

  5. I know a couple of those authors but can't defend or say dump either, Good luck!

  6. I haven't read any of these books. I did enjoy your question "Have you ever wanted to learn more about a topic, but the actual learning process seems boring and time consuming?" That is me!!

  7. Alison Weir's historical fiction is a great way to learn about the past.I imagine her nonfiction would be just as good.
    My TTT

  8. I hope you get some recommendations on keeping or dumping. I haven't read any of these books.

  9. I was disappointed in The Opposite of Here so I say skip that bad boy. I mean, a cruise ship mystery- yeah. But I didn't think it was great...

  10. Unfortunately, I haven't read any of these so I'm no help to you. I hope you get the recommendations you need.

    My TTT

  11. I haven't read any of those, but The Price Guide to the Occult sounds especially interesting. I totally get what you mean about not wanting to hate a book by a previously beloved author, though... I look forward to finding out what you decide, and what you think of the books you do read :)

  12. I haven't read any of these so I'm no help! Your comment about commune books made me laugh, though. They tend to follow me home as well :) What is it about those settings that is just SOOOO fascinating?

    Happy TTT!

  13. I personally liked The Thing with Feathers, but it is a very "me" book. Not sure it fits with the stuff you usually read.

  14. I haven't read a single one of these, but The Price Guide to the Occult definitely caught my attention! You should for sure read that one and share your thoughts!

  15. If you like Talented Mr. Ripley, you'll probably like Highsmith's other books as well. And please, please, please DO read Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. It's a classic for good reason (plus, it's pretty short).

  16. Yeah some books are meant to sit on our shelves forever unread. That's their destiny. I haven't read the Turn of the Screw either ... Henry James's dull writing scares the heck out of me but maybe I should give this one a try?

  17. I've definitely gotten rid of books that I never read. LOL I haven't read any of these though so I have no actual thoughts to help!

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

  18. I often buy books that I'm really excited for and then leave them unread for way too long. Of all of these, the only one I've read is The Turn of the Screw. For a classic, it's pretty short and I think worth checking out. The audiobook is very good!

  19. I seem to remember "Turn of the Screw" being good, but can't remember anything about it (it's been a few decades). You're not lazy. I have heard good things about Zinn's book, but haven't read it.

  20. So I enjoyed The Price Guide to the Occult, but it's probably best not to go into it expecting the same experience you had with Ava Lavender. Ava is on another plane altogether. It's one of those books that will stay with your for years. Price Guide was good, but I'll be honest, I remember very little of it.

  21. The only one I know anything about is the Howard Zinn book. If you are at all interested in history, this is a great one to read. It gives a realistic (new to some) telling of early US history that is so important for people to understand right now.

  22. Turn of the Screw is short, but I didn't care for it. I remember the writing felt tedious. Though I see there are some strong recommendations for it, so you decide! I didn't love James' Portrait of a Lady either.

  23. I haven't read any of these so I can't really help but The Price of the Occult sounds the best to me.

  24. The REAL question here is, have I ever bought a book and actually read it? 😂 I have not read any of these, but I have heard really good things about The Thing With Feathers, and I too want to read The Opposite of Here. As for what book has been on my shelf the longest? This is tough, but probably Atlantia by Ally Condie? I pre-ordered it (I was a huge fan of her Matched series back in the day) but I had recently started blogging and saw a lot of negative reviews, so I was scared. And then I bought like, 9002973 more books, so. BUT the cover is pretty so I keep it. And lie to myself that I will read it one day.

  25. The only book on this list I've read is The Thing with Feathers, but I didn't love it. I had to go back and look at my "hidden" reviews to see why. I admitted to being a black sheep on this one since most people raved about it. If you want to know more about why I didn't, DM me and I'll give you the details. (I used to write such thorough reviews back then. LOL!)