Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!
This week our topic is …
Books That Have Been On My Shelf Since Before I Started Blogging That I STILL Haven’t Read Yet
We all have them. The books we buy (or receive as gifts) which we never read. Maybe, we have them because they are by an author we have enjoyed before. Perhaps, these novels are from a series we’ve been following closely. But, for whatever reason, these books are put up on a shelf (physical or virtual) then stay there, never looked at again. For years. In my case, decades.
It is a sad truth of life that there is never enough time to read all the great books out there, but even I didn’t realize how horrible my progress was until I started looking at my shelves for this post. Now, I realize I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, or cleaning out to do, because I either have to read the books in this TOP TEN TUESDAY list or trade them in for something I will read.
10. The Bronze Knight by John Marco
In the early 2000s, I had just finished reading John Marco’s debut series, Tyrants and Kings, which I thoroughly enjoyed, so when I saw this new trilogy, I immediately purchased the opening installment. I didn’t read it then, because I had a new baby and work which kept me busy. I was determined to come back to it though. I never have. I still really want to. Maybe, this year will be the year. Or next year. Sigh
When I was a teenager in the 80s and 90s, Raymond E. Feist was right up there in the short list of my favorite fantasy authors. Sure, Tolkien and few others were ahead of him, but I loved the Riftwar Saga and the first few follow-ups series. Then it all came crashing down with my dislike of The Riftwar Legacy. I know many people love that series, but I hated it. However, because I had always enjoyed this author and this series, I kept getting every new book by Feist at every gift giving holidays for years to come, and I kept them, hoping that one day I’d come back to the series and rediscover my childhood love of it. Still haven’t read any of these, but I have almost the complete Cycle sitting on my bookshelf — except for The Chaoswar Saga, which no one ever thought to purchase me.
8. Timeline by Harry Turtledove
Harry Turtledove is an author I’ve been reading forever. It started out with his fantasy endeavors like The Videssos Cycle and Gerin the Fox, then I followed him into the world of alternate history and sci-fi infused classics like The Guns of the South and Tosev. I even enjoyed the opening trilogy of his Timeline series, The Great War, which focuses on an alternate timeline where the South won the American Civil War, but then I hit a wall with this follow-up trilogy, American Empire. I bought all the remaining novels in the series though. My intention . . . Yeah, you’ve heard me say it several times already. I’m really going to read it. Just not sure when.
7. Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
During the 90s, I lived and breathed Wheel of Time. It was, by far, my favorite fantasy series going. Sure, I enjoyed George R.R. Martin’s new series, A Song of Ice and Fire, but I had lived WoT for a decade, and I had to know how it all ended. Then those really long, boring (They were to me anyway) WoT books began to drop from Jordan. I was confused, frustrated, and finally I got angry. I determined I would not buy this water-downed excuse for an epic fantasy anymore until he stopped dragging the damn thing out already. Well, eventually, he did get back on course, and with his death, Brandon Sanderson finished things off. I bought all the books. But I am now too intimidated by having to reread the series to actually open any of them.
In 1996, I wouldn’t call myself a huge Salvatore fan. Sure, I liked Drizzt in The Icewind Dale trilogy, but I didn’t like the follow-up The Dark Elf Trilogy very much. What I did like was the fast-paced, swashbuckling style of Salvatore’s writing. Nope, he wasn’t sending shockwaves through the fantasy genre with his trope subverting plots or social justice narratives; he was entertaining lots of people though; readers who were looking for a traditional, D & D infused, action-oriented story that didn’t take thirteen, eight hundred page books to tell and didn’t drag out over decades and decades like Robert Jordan and George R.R. Martin’s masterpieces. So I bought this whole series, looking forward to sitting down and binge reading it. Hasn’t happened yet.
5. Fortress by C.J. Cherryh
Growing up in the 80s and 90s (I was in college and graduate school most of the 90s.), Cherryh was one of my favorite fantasy authors. I did not read everything she wrote, and I can’t say I read any of her sci-fi stuff, but the fantasy novels she penned (Those I was fortunate enough to get my hands on.) I loved. So when I saw this book in the mid 90s, I instantly bought it, then purchased the sequels which followed: all four of them. But I have yet to read a single one of them. Why? No idea, but after two decades sitting unread on my bookshelf, I think it is time to give them a try or let someone else have an opportunity to enjoy them
4. Mithgar by Dennis L. McKiernan
The series which began with a near copy of The Lord of the Rings in The Iron Tower trilogy slowly progressed until it was a fine fantasy which could stand on its own. Sure, Mithgar novels can be labeled comfort food for the fantasy reader, or whatever other term you’d like, but for those who enjoy the classic, traditional, Tolkien-esque fantasy, there is nothing better to satisfy your appetite for a return to less stressful days. And I have to admit loving ever minute of my time in this place. The Silver Call duology was a great sequel to The Iron Tower; Dragondoom was a fine fantasy standalone which dealt with racism; and Tales of Mithgar was an enjoyable short story collection. So every time another Mithgar novel came out, it found its way onto my bookshelf. And, yes, I will read them eventually.
3. Indigo by Louise Cooper
In the late 80s, I devoured several of this author’s books: the Time Master series and Mirage being personal favorites. They reminded me of Michael Moorcock in more than just their covers. The atmosphere and vibe they gave off was pure sword and sorcery weirdness with more than a little teen angst and teen romance thrown in. They might be labeled Young Adult now. But after my brief fling with Cooper’s writing, I lost track of her until 1998-99 when I bought this whole series at a used bookstore, hoping to rekindle a bit of the old passion for her written word. Don’t start shaking your head. It still might happen.
2. Shannara by Terry Brooks
Like almost all fantasy fans in the 80s, I read the original Shannara trilogy. My feelings were mixed even then. I mean, yes, I recognized the stories were fairly generic fantasy, but I enjoyed them in spite of all that. Comfort food again, if you’d like to label it. (Though we aren’t suppose to label people or things these days, are we?) Anyway, when the new series The Heritage of Shannara was released throughout the 1990s, followed in the 2000s by Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, I bought them. Hell, I even bought the next series. The High Druid of Shannara, I think it was titled? Haven’t bought any since, but I have a lot of Shannara on the shelf that I need to get to or get rid of.
1. Melaine Rawn
I’ve been buying Ms. Rawn’s books ever since she hit the fantasy scene with Dragon Prince back in 1988. I enjoyed that novel enough to buy the next book and the next until almost three decades later I’ve “collected” almost all her fantasy offerings without ever reading any of them.
Why have I kept buying them if I never read them? I honestly don’t know. A habit, I guess. A hope that eventually I’ll get around to them, and they will be wonderful. None of my reasons ring true, even in my own ears.
What have I learned by doing this post, you ask? Something very important actually. It appears I am a book hoarder. Is there a cure for that?