My TBR by the decades – The 2010s

[For those who don’t know, I am participating in A Century of Books this year which requires me to read one book from each year from 1919 through 2018.]

My biggest challenge for this less-than-a-decade, decade is that I’ve got a lot of 2016 and 2017 stuff that I want to read I don’t know how in the world I am going to choose.


Conversations with Beethoven – Sanford Friedman
My Animal Life – Maggie Gee
The Midnight Promise – Zane Lovitt
Eva Sleeps – Francesca Melandri


The Girl in the Polka-Dot Dress – Beryl Bainbridge
Everything Happens Today – Jesse Browner
At the End of a Dull Day – Massimo Carlotto
The Adults – Alison Espach
The Love of My Youth – Mary Gordon
Rodin’s Debutante – Ward Just
Wish You Were Here – Graham Greene


Winter Journal – Paul Auster
Aftermath – Rachel Cusk
The Lola Quartet – Emily St. John Mandel
The Flame Alphabet – Ben Marcus
Jack Holmes and His Friend – Edmund White

The Ben Marcus volume was recommended by a bookseller at Three Lives in New York when I mentioned I liked a dystopia like Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Meanwhile The Lola Quartet seems like a non-dystopic Mandel. 


The Automobile Club of Egypt – Alaa al Aswany
Maggie and Me – Damian Barr
Harvest – Jim Crace
Last Friends – Jane Gardam
The Last Banquet – Jonathan Grimwood
The World is a Wedding – Wendy Jones
Sight Reading – Daphne Kalotay
The Perfume Collector – Kathleen Tessaro
All the Birds, Singing – Evie Wyld


The Boston Girl – Anita Diamant
The Pope’s Daughter – Dario Fo
A Paris Apartment – Michelle Gable
Arctic Summer – Damon Galgut
American Romantic – Ward Just
The Golden Age – Joan London
The Children Act – Ian McEwan
The Dismal Science – Peter Mountford
The Pathless Sky – Chaitali Sen
The Meaning of Maggie – Megan Jean Soavern
Nora Webster – Colm Toibin

A Paris Apartment sounds like it will be a total delight for me, but there is also a chance that it is twee, pandering, dross. 


The Distant Marvels – Chantel Acevedo
The Seventh Function of Language – Laurent Binet
The Green Road – Anne Enright
The Vienna Melody – Ernst Lothar
Girl at War – Sara Novic
The Gardens of Consolation – Parisa Reza
Checkpoint – Jean-Christophe Rufin
Skyfaring – Mark Vanhoenacker

I feel like Girl at War was one of those that was ubiquitous in the blogsphere and I still have read it. Same thing with The Green Road. I think that one was up for a prize. Skyfaring seems like a total pleasure read for me. Non-fiction about the life of a commercial airline pilot.


A Doubter’s Almanac – Ethan Canin
Transit – Rachel Cusk
Weekend – Jane Eaton Hamilton
Rain – Melissa Harrison
Hot Milk – Deborah Levy
This Must Be the Place – Maggie O’Farrell
Commonwealth – Ann Patchett
A Very English Scandal – John Preston
The Woman on the Stairs – Bernhard Schlink
All That Man Is – David Szalay
Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien
The Arrangement – Ashley Warlick
Our Young Man – Edmund White
The Natural Way of Things – Charlotte Wood

The choice for 2016 is just plain insane. Why I haven’t already read the O’Farrell and Patchett I don’t know. I’m very drawn to the Schlink and I  am just dying to devour (and savor) the slim Harrison.


Difficult Women – Roxane Gay
Midwinter Break – Bernard MacLaverty
The Crossing – Andrew Miller
Elmet – Fiona Mozley
Welcome to Lagos – Chibundu Onuzo
George and Lizzie – Nancy Pearl
Sympathy – Olivia Sudjic
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore – Matthew Sullivan
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman – Denis Theriault
When the English Fall – David Williams

The Williams is high on my list as is Mozley, and MacLaverty. This is the year I am second most likely to read more than one. Even if I am behind on the challenge.

The whole list

TBR Chron

6 thoughts on “My TBR by the decades – The 2010s

  1. Ange January 22, 2018 / 6:31 pm

    I have so thoroughly enjoyed reading your series of posts on the century of books challenge that I’ve decided to take part as well.

    I doubt I will be able to finish it (one big fat novel can stall me for months especially if I didn’t really like it – think Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk, or even if I did like it e.g. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel). However I pulled apart my bookshelves last night to see how much of the list I could fill up. I didn’t want to list every book we own, so I started with the pile at the end of my bed and started listing. Whichever book I came to first for a given year was the one I listed. There are a surprising number of gaps, especially for the 1970’s. I think I’m going to add young adult books as well so I can raid my daughters’ shelves.

    We have a few books in common:
    1933 – High Rising – Angela Thirkell
    1939 – The Brandons – Angela Thirkell
    1959 – The Message to The Planet – Iris Murdoch
    1961 – In a Summer Season – Elizabeth Taylor
    1998 – Spiderweb – Penelope Lively

    I also have lot’s of old AJ Cronin’s (I used to love reading these as a teenager, but there were still many I missed) but unfortunately only a couple made it onto my list. I’ve always wondered how you came across Nevil Shute – I’ve always thought of him as an Australian author (though I now know he was English), but his books are not commonly found now, even in second hand shops. I think I’ve read A Town Like Alice many years ago, but no others. Since I’m Australian I have a good stock of Australian novels on my shelves, and have added some Ruth Park, Kate Grenville, Elizabeth Jolley and Thomas Keneally to my list.

    Thanks for your inspiration!


    • Thomas January 22, 2018 / 8:41 pm

      I came across Nevil Shute in high school. I read On the Beach in 1986 and sobbed for the last 30 pages. It takes place after a nuclear war and this was during the cold war nukes scare of the 80s. I have pretty good luck finding used copies of his books here in the US. I think I own all of them. They also have a lot of his books on Audible and they make for really good audio books.


  2. Liz Dexter January 23, 2018 / 3:06 am

    Lovely selections for these years and I’ve read not one of them. I’m not a very modern reader, though! Good luck with this, how wonderful you cover all the years without having to purchase – or did it alarm you when you discovered that?


    • Thomas January 23, 2018 / 2:42 pm

      I loved that I was able to finish the whole list with my existing collection. It provides a more directed way to “read more of my TBR” books this year. For the years where I have multiple titles–and especially when those multiple titles include works by authors I love–I fear I will ignore those authors that are new to me. When I come to a year with only one or two to choose from it is kind of a relief.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. quinn January 24, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    This series is WONDERFUL! Thank you.
    Thought ‘Maggie and Me’ delightful and thoroughly love Jane Gardam.

    Have to thank you, my fav books come from your blog…..pym, shute, lively and so many more
    Thought of this….have totally found 2 new fans for ‘Tepper isn’t going out’ w/ my BFF and girlfriend.
    Happy new year


  4. Susan in TX February 21, 2018 / 1:22 pm

    I thought Commonwealth was beautifully written, and have since enjoyed Patchett’s Run. (Had previously read Bel Canto and wasn’t as impressed with it.) I’m currently reading my first Maggie O’Farrell, and 140 pages in I’m really enjoying it and interested to see where she’s going with it. Also recently read Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore – this is most definitely “not” a cozy mystery. It is a little bit gruesome in places, so be forewarned.


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