top 10 tuesday: Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish which is now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s topic:

September 25: Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

17412573The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara.  I think I’ve waxed eloquent about A Little Life on here enough (side note: check out my friend Patrick’s brilliant review), but I am very much a #fakefan of Yanagihara’s, having never read her debut novel, The People In The Trees.  I’m a little apprehensive; my mom who’s just as huge a fan of A Little Life as I am had a kind of lukewarm reaction to The People in the Trees, so it’s put me off even though I’ve heard from other people that it’s brilliant.  It’s definitely one I want to get to in 2019.

17333223The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  The Secret History has been one of my all-time favorite books for years, but it’s still the only novel I’ve read by Donna Tartt.  I own her other two, The Goldfinch and The Little Friend, but I think I’ve been putting them off because I’m not convinced they could begin to compare to The Secret History.  But, The Goldfinch in particular I really do want to read soon, especially after Steph recently read and loved it.


15995144The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan.  This is probably the book I’ve carried with me to the most places without ever having read it.  I think it came to Houston with me both times.  This seems to have been at the top of my TBR for about two years now, but it never seems like the most pressing thing I need to read.  But, I absolutely adored Ryan’s All We Shall Know and From a Low and Quiet Sea, so I really do need to get to The Spinning Heart soon.


7616033Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro.  I’ve read every single one of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels, meaning his short story collection Nocturnes is the only thing I have left to read by him.  And I’ve actually read half of it.  I started it I think back in 2015, and never ended up finishing it for some reason, and now I’m torn between starting over and picking up where I left off… I actually have a bizarrely good memory so I feel like I’d be fine to just start in the middle, but I’m worried I’ll have forgotten some finer details.  And I did really like the first few stories I’d read.

39999The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.  I feel like the last person on earth who hasn’t read this.  I remember one of my roommates telling me about this book senior year of college because I’d actually never heard of it or the author; fast forward four years and John Boyne is now one of my favorite authors and I’ve read four of his novels, but not this one.  I’m a little apprehensive because I don’t read middle grade, at all, but I feel like I need to just devote an hour of my life to reading this at some point and see how it goes.

35842338The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill.  I feel like the only person in the world who failed to get excited at the prospect of a YA Little Mermaid retelling, but, nothing about YA Little Mermaid retelling exactly screams my name.  But even so, I really adore Louise O’Neill, and having read and loved Asking For It and Almost Love earlier this year, I really want to read everything she’s written at some point.


40605629Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel.  I’ve read Station Eleven twice which is huge for me as I’m not a big re-reader, but it got selected as a book club pick after I’d already read it, and I loved it so much that I felt no hesitation in picking it up again.  But I actually haven’t read anything else by Emily St. John Mandel.  I own a couple of them, including Last Night in Montreal, which sounds simply brilliant.


33784272The Good People by Hannah Kent.  Kent’s debut Burial Rites is one of the most devastating and beautiful and atmospheric things I’ve ever read, so it only stands to reason that her sophomore novel set in Ireland would be even more up my alley.  I have heard from some people whose opinions I trust that The Good People isn’t quite as excellent as Burial Rites, but I’m still really hoping it will work for me.


7928877Ariel by Sylvia Plath.  Despite the fact that The Bell Jar is one of my absolute favorite novels, I don’t think I’ve read any of Sylvia Plath’s poetry.  I mean, aside from Lady Lazarus and Daddy and all the individual poems that everyone knows.  But I really do want to read her collection Ariel at some point in the hopefully not too distant future.  It’s actually one I keep an eye out for when I’m in bookstores, but I can never seem to find a copy out in the wild.

31326Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham.  I don’t think I’ve read a single Somerset Maugham novel since I started book blogging, which is a shame as he’s one of my all-time favorites.  I’ve read Of Human Bondage, The Razor’s Edge, The Moon and Sixpence, and The Painted Veil, but I’d like to read all of his novels at some point.  I own this one as well as Cakes and Ale, but Theatre calls to me a bit more so I’ll probably be starting here.


Have you guys read any of these?  And what are some books by your favorite authors you still haven’t read?  Comment and let me know!

40 thoughts on “top 10 tuesday: Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

  1. Hope you enjoy The Spinning Heart! I’d definitely recommend consuming it in one go if possible. As with most of Ryan’s work, there’s a lot of nuance and intricate connectivity that could get lost otherwise.

    I’m excited/nervous about The Good People too. Kent’s debut was indeed excellent, and she’s an author I think I could really come to love.

    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the tip, I ended up wishing I’d read From a Low and Quiet Sea in one sitting so I feel that. I’m weirdly not great at reading books in one sitting but I’ll have to just pick a weekend day and go for it.

      The Good People seems like a good fall read so I feel like the moment of reckoning will soon be upon us… I hope we both love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I also have been wanting to read more of John Boyne’s work. I started The Heart’s Invisible Furies over the summer, but I think I lost my copy moving cities. Do you have any recommendations on where you’d begin with his novels?

    Wishing you luck with coming across a copy of Ariel! It is odd that more stores don’t stock it, considering how famous Plath is. Her poetry is really finely crafted and well wrought, despite its reputation as raw. She had a gift for irony and ambiguity that tends to get overlooked in discussions of her work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Heart’s Invisible Furies is just brilliant. But aside from that, I’d definitely say The Absolutist. It’s beautifully written and the ending is one of the biggest emotional gut punches I’ve ever read.

      It probably doesn’t help that I live in the middle of nowhere and most of my local bookstores have very limited poetry selections. But, it definitely is very odd that I haven’t been able to find a copy of Ariel. I suppose I could just order it online, but I’d like to just stumble across it one day… very excited about reading it in the hopefully not too distant future!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read the Sylvia Plath collected poems a while back and some are completely, sublimely excellent and others didn’t grab me so much, or at least nowhere near as impacting as the Bell Jar. Still worth the read though!

    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a pretty good story too, from what I remember but I kind of struggle with reading middle grade stuff too. Definitely better to read it all in one go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That tends to be my feeling on most poetry collections tbh, I’m not sure I’ve ever read one that grabs me from start to finish. I’m really not a ‘poetry person’ in general but I’m trying to get better! I have this kind of dumb idea that poetry is too abstract and complicated for me, so I need to start conquering my fear… so yes, very excited about reading Plath’s poetry, if there are even a handful of poems that really strike me I will be happy.

      Oh that’s good to hear that it was enjoyable – the bar is so low for me with middle grade I will be perfectly happy if I give it even 3 stars. But, I adore Boyne’s adult fiction so much I feel like if any author can make me like middle grade it’ll be him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Same for me with poetry collections, they always seem to have some gems and then a lot that I feel like I either don’t get or just plain don’t enjoy. Which feels weird when there’s usually a poem or two I fell in love with that drew me to the collection in the first place. I think you’ll definitely find at least a handful in the Plath poems that speak to you!

        I really love the Russian poets, if that’s a corner of it you’d be interested in…they’re in translation of course which is extra weird for poetry but there are some excellent English translations and the stories behind the writers’ lives are also fascinating. Anna Akhmatova is a great one to start with if you haven’t read her before.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, intriguing! You know, my Russian lit is pretty abysmal, I think the only Russian novel I’ve actually read is War and Peace, so I’m not actually sure how I feel about Russian lit in general. So it’s definitely worth a try – I’ll check out Anna Akhmatova! Is there a collection of hers you’d recommend?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I actually can’t stand Russian lit of the War and Peace variety, I’m impressed you made it through that! but I love the poetry, memoirs, etc. the topics are still heavy but I feel like you get more of the personal experience of it all and less of the heavy atmosphere and melodrama of the classic novels.

        I think the one I’ve heard is a good starting place for Akhmatova is called Poems for Akhmatova? If it’s a Stanley Kunitz translation that’s the one. There are also some great mixed collections to get a sampler of various Russian poets – I’m obsessed with the Everyman’s Library edition of Russian Poets, and the Penguin book of Russian Poetry is great too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • War and Peace nearly killed me. I was doing it as a part of a group buddy read which definitely made it more bearable, but I could not believe how boring it was. Perhaps I should have expected that there would be that much war in a book where ‘War’ is literally half the title, but my god, I did not think there would be that much war.

        But thanks for the recommendations! That’s so funny because I was in a bookstore yesterday and came really close to buying The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry after this conversation, but I hadn’t seen this comment yet and couldn’t quite justify it. If I’d seen you specifically mention that collection I probably would have gone for it! Oh well, next time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s definitely worth the buy, then you can dip in and out when you’re in the mood. I really like it and reading Russian poetry feels like such a learning experience too, it’s so steeped in history and culture.

        War and Peace seems more manageable in a group, at least you can discuss, but still…it just seems so dense and if it has more war than you even anticipated, then yikes. That’s really saying something. Except for some short stories and The Master and Margarita (I can’t remember if we talked about that one at some point? It’s more contemporary but still considered a classic of sorts and it’s really fun!) I’m just not a fan of Russian fiction. I abandoned Dr. Zhivago and held on to a copy of Anna Karenina for years before finally dropping it in one of those free library boxes the last time I moved apartments..I felt so free! I want to like and appreciate the Russian classics but I’ve accepted that it’s just not going to happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have The Master and Margarita on my shelf but I haven’t read it yet! I love the cover so much (this one and I’ve been meaning to read it for ages. I’ve heard Anna Karenina is miles more entertaining than War and Peace so I do want to give that a shot at some point, but a year after W&P it’s still too soon… I totally get that, the Russian classics really don’t call to me either. I feel like I should try Dostoevsky at some point, maybe The Idiot since I loved Elif Batuman’s Idiot so much? But after that and Anna Karenina I think I’ll probably throw in the towel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Such a gorgeous cover on that edition! That’s the translation I read but with the old cover of the silhouetted black cat. It’s such a delightful book! I don’t know Elif Batuman’s Idiot but if it’s connected to the Dostoevsky I’m sure it would make a great companion read.

        I’m sure Anna Karenina is far more entertaining than War and Peace but I couldn’t hack it. I felt ashamed too, even my mom who’s not a big reader read and enjoyed it. But I could never concentrate when I tried. There’s an excellent book coming out soon called the Anna Karenina Fix, it’s part memoir and part light literary/cultural analysis of the Russian classics and how we can apply their messages and life lessons. It’s hilarious and gives a great overview of the plots, devices, etc. I think it would be a great companion to reading any of them! Master and Margarita, Anna Karenina and Dostoevsky (can’t remember which) are covered there, you might like it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh yay, I’m glad that translation is good! I almost read their translation of War and Peace but decided to go with a different one in the end, I’m not sure how much that impacted my experience… it’s always so tricky to pinpoint how that element comes into play with your enjoyment of a book.

        Anna Karenina certainly seems like a pretty big commitment, especially if your heart isn’t in it. (Says someone currently slogging through a 500 page book that I’m only reading because of a literary prize…) But anyway, that book sounds brilliant, I’ll definitely look it up!


  4. I relate so much to having a book on top of your TBR for years, but somehow just not getting around to it. I was really excited about The Surface Breaks (fairytales + pretty cover are the way to my heart), but I was a little disappointed. It’s a good retelling, but not as nuanced as her other books. I have Last Night in Montreal on my TBR as well, I really want to read more of her stuff. But I keep not getting to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right?? I use Goodreads shelves to manage my immediate TBR – I have hundreds of books on the generic ‘want to read’ one, and then I have a shelf I call ‘tbr shortlist’ for things I’m going to read in the next week or two, and I think I’ve put The Spinning Heart on that shelf approximately a hundred times. It’s crazy how difficult it can be to just pick up a certain book and start reading it.

      That’s too bad about The Surface Breaks, though thankfully my expectations are pretty low just because I am so ridiculously uninterested in the premise. So, who knows, it may end up being a pleasant surprise… and yes, I really must read more Emily St. John Mandel!


  5. I haven’t read the Secret History, but I love the Goldfinch! It’s really long, but definitely worth it. And don’t worry, I haven’t read the Boy in the Striped Pajamas either! Also didn’t realise until now that it was written by *that* John Boyne

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    • I’m so excited for The Goldfinch! I’m sure I’ll end up loving it. And yay, I’m not the only person on earth who hasn’t read it!! I know, I remember last year The Heart’s Invisible Furies was one of my most anticipated releases based solely on its premise, and I was so confused when I saw ‘from the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.’ He’s such a bizarrely versatile writer.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know same!!! I feel like I should read The People in the Trees before rereading ALL, because if I don’t like it at least I’ll have ALL to come back to. The Secret History is perfection, you need to read that!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I adored Hannah Kent as well, and I must say I actually loved The Good People more than Burial Rites, though they are both really really good – one of the best books I read last year. So wait for a really cold day and definitely pick up that one 🙂
    Same goes for The Goldfinch! It was actually the first book I read by Donna Tartt, and I thought The Secret History was better but this one is a close second.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh I’m actually happy to hear that you preferred The Good People to Burial Rites – there’s hope for me yet that I’ll love it! Which one did you read first?

      I’m perfectly fine with The Goldfinch not surpassing The Secret History – I just adore TSH so much on a deeply personal level and I’ll be surprised if I end up loving her other books quite that much. But, I still hope I’ll love The Goldfinch! I definitely want to get to it soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I read Last Night in Montreal after absolutely adoring Station Eleven. And I enjoyed it but I can hardly remember anything. I have not been super eager to pick up the rest of her backlist. But her new novel sounds brilliant.
    I found The Goldfinch overly long if wonderfully written. I haven’t read The Secret History yet even though I have owned it for numerous years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Station Eleven was just perfect and I’m sort of afraid her backlist won’t live up? But I still want to read all of it at some point, especially since I own a couple already. But I agree her new novel sounds fantastic. I have high hopes!

      I NEED you to read The Secret History. It is the most delightful fun I have ever had with deliberate pretentiousness in a novel. Tartt is brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

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