Booking Through Thursday – Book Gluttony!

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Mariel suggested this week’s question
Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

I think the best way of demonstrating my book buying problem is to show you my TBR pile:


It is quite hard to see, but all the books are double stacked, so there are probably nearly 400 books there……


…..over 100 here, stacked very precariously!

Apart from the 5000+ books I have for book business, I also have another couple of hundred books in the garage,  which although aren’t technically in my TBR pile often migrate into it!

On the positive side I am very disciplined when buying new books, especially hardbacks. If I splash out on a newly released book then I am very good at reading it straight away, and then selling it on as quickly as possible, so I don’t lose much (any) money on it. For example, I have already sold my copied of The Thing Around Your Neck, Little Stranger and Burnt Shadows, which I read earlier in the month.

My TBR pile consists almost entirely of books bought second hand, whenever I happen to come across a book I’d like to read cheaply. It is expanding much faster than I can ever read them, normally at a rate of 5 – 10 books a week.

Does your TBR pile look anything like mine?

How quickly is your TBR pile expanding?

Do you see any books in my TBR pile that need to be read immediately?

Or any that need to be culled?

Orange Prize Richard and Judy Book Club

Half of a Yellow Sun – Thoughts at the half way point

Winner of the Orange Prize 2007




On reflection the half way point is a terrible place to stop and write notes on this book. I should have chosen a place about a third of the way in, when the characters had just been introduced, before the horrific events start to take place. Having not read the book I wasn’t to know this, and so I’ll have to make the most of it, and try to form some opinions, despite being in the middle of the fast paced devastation taking place in the book at the moment.

The book did not progress as I expected it too. The writing style was different to Purple Hibiscus, in that it seemed more complex, and instead of focusing on one central character we are introduced to lots of different ones, who don’t seem to have anything in common. The build up was very slow, and I was beginning to wonder why people rave about this book so much, as it didn’t have much appeal initially.

The female characters don’t appear to be as strong as the male ones at this half way point. Perhaps this is just a reflection of the African nation, where men take a more dominant role in society, but the female characters are coming across as quite vague and hard to relate to at this stage.

My favourite character is Ugwu. He is a boy from a poor village, who goes to work as a houseboy for a university lecturer. I especially loved the scene at the start of the book where he goes to his Master’s house for the first time, and is excited by the food and running water he finds there:

Ugwu turned off the tap, turned it on again, then off. On and off and on and off until he was laughing at the magic of the  running water and the chicken and bread that lay balmy in his stomach.

Scenes like this remind us of how lucky we are in the west to have basic luxuries like running water in our homes.

The pace of the book has picked up a lot in the last few chapters. The scenes of violence are disturbing, and my heart is often in my mouth as I read the words. I can only imagine that it is going to get much worse in the final half of the book. My only wish is that Ugwu survives to the end, and has a promising future predicted.

What are your thoughts on the first half of the book?

Is it how you expected it to be? Are you enjoying it?

Who is your favourite character?


Half of a Yellow Sun – Read-along

I’m trying to put a bit more effort into completing my TBR challenge pile. So when Kathrin from Cozy Murders suggested a buddy read of Half of a Yellow Sun, I jumped at the chance! I now have some motivation for reading it, as having someone else to share the experience always increases my enjoyment of a book.

We have decided to start reading it in the first week of May, getting to the half way point on 7th May, and hopefully finishing it on 14th May. If anyone else would like to read along with us, then we would love the opportunity to share our thoughts with you!

Would you like to read Half of a Yellow Sun with us?


While I was writing this post I discovered that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s new book The Thing Around Your Neck has just been released here. I was really looking forward to reading it, and assumed it was being released in June, as that is the date I had seen everywhere in the blogging world. The good news for me is that it is released earlier here in the UK, so I have just ordered a copy! Hopefully I’ll manage to read this in the next few weeks. The bad news for those of you in the US is that you still have a couple of months to wait!!

Have you read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s books? Which is your favourite?

Are you looking forward to reading her new one? 


Why is the TBR Challenge the hardest?

tbr-pileI had a quick check through the status of my reading challenges today, and was shocked to discover that all of them are on track apart from the TBR challenge. I haven’t read a single book from my TBR list! I thought that this would be one of the simplest challenges – all I had to do was write a list of books which I already own and want to read. I was so confident in completing this challenge that I didn’t even bother to create a reserve list!

I do really want to read all the books on this list, but for one reason or another there is always a book which jumps ahead of them.

1. Going Out – Scarlett Thomas
2. Lamb in His Bosom – Caroline Miller
3. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
4. Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
5. The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields
6. When We Were Orphans – Kazuo Ishiguro
7. The Hiding Place – Trezza Azzopardi
8. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
9. Reading in the Dark – Seamus Deane
10. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
11. Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
12. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

I need to get this challenge back on track, so am going to  prioritise these books in the coming months – well I hope I’ll be able to!

Is anyone else struggling with the TBR Challenge? 

How many of your TBR pile have you read?

Which challenge are you finding the hardest to complete?