30 Day Book Challenge Day 23 – Books I’ve wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t

While I love reading books, buying books is often the greater addiction I have trouble resisting – as the book purchase of thirteen books I made a couple of weeks ago (and wrote about in this post) proves. A consequence of this is that I buy books much faster than I can read them, and over the years have ended up with a backlog of at least a hundred books on my shelves which I haven’t managed to read yet. And still I keep ordering more…

Although this day’s challenge was originally to name one book, to name one in spite of what I just said feels silly, so I am going to name the five or six books that I feel I have most wanted to read, but still haven’t, and in all cases these are books I have owned for quite a long time. I think I should make it a goal to read all of these before the year’s end, perhaps?

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This is the second novel by the same author who brought us The Kite Runner, a book which I absolutely loved, and to which this book has been compared favourably. It is set across several decades in Afghanistan and follows the lives of two women as their lives cross each other, and it sounds quite similar in theme and content to its predecessor. Why haven’t I read this yet? I have no idea, other than that I have been distracted by other books, I suppose.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Although initially known for his thriller novels, this 1989 historical novel set in a fictional town in 12th century England and following the building of a priory against real historical events turned out to be Follett’s most successful work. As somebody who loves history, and has written the first draft of a historical novel set only a couple of centuries later, I feel I really need to get on and read this, as well as its sequel World Without End, as soon as possible.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

I could extend this one to all of Murakami’s works – I am ashamed to admit I have not ready any of his fiction yet, though I have wanted to for such a long time, but I named this one as it is sitting on my shelf. This novel, written in 1987, is about Toru Watanabe, who looks back on his college days in Tokyo in the 1960s, and his relationships with two vastly different women, one beautiful but emotionally troubled, the other outgoing and vibrant. It is one of Murakami’s most popular novels, and was very popular with the youth of Japan upon its release. I definitely intend to read this very soon.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

This is another case where I have already read other work by this author, and know I love this author, and so am not really sure why I haven’t read this particular novel – more so because it was the first of his novels I bought. This is also perhaps one of his better known novels, having been turned into a film and Broadway musical at different stages. If it is filled with the usual wit and charm I have come to expect from Hornby’s work, I expect I’ll enjoy this one quite a lot.

Dune by Frank Herbert

This science fiction classic from 1965 won the Hugo and Nebula awards, started the Dune series of books, inspired multiple interpretations through films, television series, computer games and more, and is considered to be one of the best selling sci-fi novels of all time. Why haven’t I read it? Because I started years ago, and became bored only fifty or so pages into it. Hopefully I will enjoy it more now – I guess I will have to find out.

The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake

This fantasy trilogy consists of three novels, Titus Groan, Gormenghast, and Titus Alone, all written throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Although put in the fantasy genre, it contains no magic and only humans, and is probably closer to gothic fiction, focusing on darker and more grotesque themes and events. Anyway, the story sounds cool and I have been meaning to read this for a long time, and I have the trilogy in a single volume so…what am I waiting for?

What books have you wanted to read for a long time  but still haven’t? Have any of you read any of these books I just mentioned, and if so, what were your thoughts and opinions?

14 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge Day 23 – Books I’ve wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t

  1. Some books I have wanted to read (after reading the reviews by others) are The Rule of Four by Dustin Thomason and Ian Caldwell, The Foutainhead by Ayn Rand… actually, there are so many more. And out of the few mentioned in your list, I have read ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini. I loved it! It’s an awesome book…very touching!!

    • Ah yes, Ayn Rand is another author on my list of authors I have been meaning to read for a long time. It seems a lot of people have read A Thousand Splendid Suns, I reeeaaally need to get on and read that. I am sure I will knock it over in a couple of days once I do read it.

  2. I’ve read A Thousand Splendid Suns – really really great! It is so full of emotions and really makes you sympathize with the characters.. You should most definitely read this one Matt!

    • Ahhh cool! Hahaha all the comments so far are telling me to read this book…I think it’s a sign? Hahaha. But yes, I think I might start this one next, actually! It’s about time I read it…. 🙂

    • So I keep hearing! 😀 I will definitely knock both of these over soon. I also want to read Murakami’s latest book, it sounds really amazing. I think it’s called IQ84 or something like that?

  3. You’ve mentioned a few that I haven’t read yet, but sound interesting. I have read other books by Ken Follet, but not Pillars of the Earth. I should put that on my must-read list, too. I have read the entire Dune series and while the beginning is a bit slow, it does pick up. Like you, I have picked up so many books I intended to read but haven’t, yet, too many to mention!

  4. I’ve read High Fidelity, and I quite liked it. But then again, it was the first Nick Hornby book I picked up. AND I read it just after I finished Roddy Doyle, and I love love love that man. So yes, read High Fidelity. About A Boy is on my to-read list. As is Murakami. (IQ84, you got it right) He’s been on my list for ages, and some book or the other gets in the way.
    I really want to read Everything Is Illuminated. I loved Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, and can’t wait to read this one. But, well, too many books, so little time! Also, The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, and Rob Sheffield’s Love Is A Mix Tape.

    • Yeah, I think Nick Hornby is one of those writers, whatever book you pick up first, you’re probably going to love! And I think I keep not reading Murakami for the same reason, actually.
      Everything Is Illuminated is great, I actually preferred it to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, though I know many who disagree with me there. But it is a great book.

  5. I have wanted to read Dune for a lifetime, its my mother’s favourite book but every time i pick it up i do the same as you- 50 pages in i’m bored and i move on. but maybe one more attempt won’t hurt?

    • Oh wow! Glad to know I’m not the only one then…but yeah, maybe it might be alright on our next attempt? I’ll try one more time if you will? Hahahaha.
      Sadly, I might never read my mother’s favourite book, which, erm, isn’t of quite the literary significance that Dune holds (I’ll give you a clue, it starts with T and rhymes with….frylight…).

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