Twenty Books I Plan on (Finally!) Knocking Off my TBR List

To all the books I’ve bought (or borrowed/have been gifted) and never read, I am sorry for ignoring you for so long but better late than never, right?

Some of these books were stored in my cabinet for years, gathering dust and wondering when they will see the light of day. Today’s the day, I guess. They are currently in a pretty pile, waiting for me to read them one by one. Most of these books were bought secondhand, some were gifted, and few were borrowed. All of them, however, are books that I have been excited to read but never had the time to do so (a horrible truth, but the truth nonetheless).

This pile is pretty interesting if I do say so myself. It’s a blend of classics and contemporary fiction, and I have at least one book for non-fiction and another book for poetry. I also managed to squeeze in some graphic novels! That’s a win for me!

Here are twenty(-three) books I planned on (finally) knocking off my TBR list (or die trying):

1. A Question of Heroes by Nick Joaquin. Nick Joaquin has been on my radar since I was in college, but I never got around to reading ANY of his works (I know, such blasphemy!). A Question of Heroes has been on my Nick Joaquin list, followed closely by May Day Eve. I’ve been pining over this dude for years now, so I think it is time to break the ice.

2. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. I heard about this book from Rincey of Book Riot when she talked about its sequel. I’ve read the first few pages years ago, but I abandoned it a couple of pages in due to busyness (the story of my life, really) and promptly forgot what I’ve already read. I’m eager to pick it up and finally finish it!

3. Boy by Roal Dahl. I watched Matilda when I was a kid, and read the book version two years ago. Since 2018, I have been collecting and buying Roald Dahl books from this bookish jungle heaven called Booksale. I was excited when I bought Boy because I think it is just a fun way to get to know this quirky author better as a child.

4. Going Solo by Roald Dahl. Going Solo is the adult version of Boy– literally. It regales the tales of Dahl’s experiences as an adult, and I am equally curious to know him not just as a writer of some of my favorite children’s literature.

5. Crowns and Oranges edited by Cirilio Bautista and Ken Ishikawa. This is a poetry book written by young poets and I bought this at National Bookstore for Php80 years ago. I plan on reading 2-3 poets a day just so I don’t get saturated by metaphors and pretty figurative language in one sitting.

6. Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I have never seen the film nor have I ever read the book. It was on sale in Booksale, and I am really a sucker for inexpensive classics so I got it.

7. Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami. This book was gifted to me maybe a year or two ago by one of my mentees, so this one is pretty special to me. I am quite curious about Murakami’s work, but to be honest, I have always felt intimidated by this author because everyone is just raving about his prolific work. I figured it is time to get over this feeling and just enjoy his stories.

8. Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay. My excitement was off the charts when I heard about this book from fellow Filipino book bloggers that I immediately bought a copy once it became available at Fully Booked. I even had a copy reserved for two branches because it sold out pretty fast. Needless to say that I didn’t get to read it once I got my copy last year. I think that with all my spare time this month, I can finally tick this off my list.

9. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Buying this book was one of my you-will-never-get-another-copy-of-this-book-as-cheap-as-now-so-you-better-buy-it moments. I got this from Ateneo when I had to attend a seminar there. It was a spur of the moment buy for me, but I at least got a steal.

10. The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I have wanted to read The Color Purple for the longest time because it tackles issues that I really care about– segregation, discrimination and the struggles of women. I know that my heart will break when I read it, but I am totally prepared for the inevitability.

11. The God of Small Thing by Arundhati Roy. I love the title. Just read it. The God of Small Things. Beautiful. It’s really what drew me to the book and I always pick it up when I browse books in bookstores back in the days when I don’t have money to buy them. I felt drawn to the book, so much so that I managed to buy two copies of it without me realizing it.

12. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Its blurb got to me. I remember thinking that I wanted to read another love story like The Time Traveler’s Wife (which is my all-time favorite love story ever), then I stumbled onto The History of Love at an online secondhand bookshop. I am sure that story is not like TTTW but I sure hope that I’d get the same feeling of appreciation for life, love and the people we hold dear after reading it.

13. The Jupiter Effect by Katrina Tuvera. When my teaching partner and I were trying to decide on a novel that would fit the curriculum of Grade 7 English (Philippine Literature), one of her suggestions was The Jupiter Effect. I have never heard of it. I felt bad because my knowledge of Philippine literature is sparse and sadly neglected, so I promptly sought out a copy for me to read and ease this wretched guilt.

14. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. I adoooooore Kidd’s book The Secret Life of Bees (the movie was sadly lacking for me). I love it so much that when I saw The Mermaid Chair in Booksale (I think), I immediately bought it because I was afraid I never get to buy a copy again.

15. The Pearl by John Steinbeck. I have this mindset that I have to read a lot of classics (which I don’t) because I am an English teacher. Aside from the required reading for my classes, I don’t pick up a lot of classics because it felt like work to me. I’m trying to break out of that mindset though, and I wanted to start with Steinbeck’s The Pearl (which by the way is soooo thin that I am hoping it motivates me to read and enjoy the story).

16. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. I borrowed this from my cousin (I am certain it has been more than 3 years ago) but I have never gotten around to reading it (obviously). I think it is about time I read it and return it to its owner.

17. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. I first heard this book from Sanne of booksandquills and Marion of marionhoney back in 2013, I think, and I have been trying to look for copies of it ever since. I only managed to score one two years ago, and it’s been on my TBR list ever since.

18. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I HAVE TO READ THIS. Periodt.

19. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. This one was also gifted to me by one of my mentees, and I was thrilled that I got a copy immediately after its release. But you know me– I get a book and read it years later.

20. Trese (books 1-4) by Budjette Tan. I’m cheating a bit. This list was supposed to be 20 books, but I decided to consider this series as one. What I have is incomplete though, because I know that Trese 7: Shadow Witness was released last year. I bought this from my co-teacher who was moving to Italy in 2018 but I have a hard time reading graphic novels, which is weird because I read manga. I am excited to read this because it features Philippine folklore, which is a topic I am totally into.

And there you have it, folks. My current reading goal for 2020 is 15 books but if I do finish my TBR pile, I’d be 5 books ahead of that goal (which is always a good thing). I really do not have any excuse not to pick up at least one book this week, as time is certainly not a problem for most of us. With that being said, I do hope that everyone is safe and well in this crisis. May you have something or someone that brings you joy and light amidst these unfortunate times. Stay safe, everyone!

What are your some books from your TBR that you are excited to read? Comment them down below! I’d love to know some of your reading plans. πŸ“š

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