Top Ten Tuesday: Books that have been on my TBR for a while

"Tope Ten Tuesday" in a white font mimicking handwriting on navvy starry skies

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

This week is a freebie, so how about a bit of a shaming to get me to finally read these books?

1. FIREBORNE, by Rosaria Munda

This is one that I got during the summer of 2020, and then leant (before reading) to a friend who was looking for comps for her YA fantasy dragon book.

This book was not read or returned to me until the end of 2021, so in a way, it’s only been unread for so long because I haven’t had it. But, in all honesty, it probably would have stayed unread on my shelves anyway as I’ve been so behind these past few years. Which means I now can’t entirely remember what it’s about, though I am told it’s good.

2. HOUSE OF DRAGONS, by Jessica Cluess

This book had exactly the same journey that the first one did – i.e. leant to that same friend for the same reason and then kept for about 18 months. And then sat on my shelves ever since it was returned.

HOUSE OF DRAGONS is the first in a duology, but it looks like the second book isn’t going to be published? I’ve been told it’s brilliant, but that I’ll want the next book when I’m done, and as it looks like that might not happen… well, it’s a pretty good excuse to put it off, if we’re being honest.


THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING is the classic Arthur retelling (alongside the medieval LE MORT D’ARTHUR, which is also on my shelves.) I like Arthurian mythology. I also like retellings of Arthurian legends, so I figured I ought to read the famous one at some point.

When I put it onto my TBR, I didn’t realise how thick the book was. Or how many books were in the series. Plus, it’s quite old so I’m not sure how well it will hold up, particularly in regards to the women (I am certain there will be no diversity of any sort too.) And thus it languished.

4. TORN, by Rowenna Miller

Book cover for TORN: title in red on yellow below crown od needles

The premise of TORN grabbed my attention from the first time I heard about it. Seamstress magic, turning that mundane thing women in classic fantasy always do for the men and making it into something inherently magical and powerful. And exploitable.

This is a US-only book, so tracking it down (after decided I wanted to read it) was very tricky. And then, yeah, I don’t know why I didn’t pick it up immediately. Depending on when you count TBR (decide to read vs get a copy) this has either been on there a year, or several years!

5. WINTER KING, by Thomas Penn

Book cover for WINTER KING: title above a portrait of Henry VII

This non-fiction history about Henry VII is one I gave my father for a present years ago – so many I can’t remember now! As often happens with the British history non-fiction I get him, I then ask to read it after he has (and then it becomes mine, because he won’t re-read but I will.)

Now, it does take him a while to get through his TBR (even longer than me!) but it’s been probably four years at least that I simply haven’t been in a Tudor mood. I’ve read a lot of other non-fiction history, just earlier or later than this period!

6. COLONYSIDE, by Michael Mammay

Book cover for COLONYSIDE: title in white perpendicular next to image of an alien jungle

The third and final book in the PLANETSIDE trilogy, COLONYSIDE came out in January 2021. My defence for this book is that I was recovering from illness at the time of this book’s release. Like many other books released in the winter/early spring of 2021, it got forgotten.

However, it’s finally time I read it, given a new (and standalone) book is coming from the author and I’m not a big fan of backlists hanging over me when a new book arrives. It feels like cheating to skip ahead to the new book!

7. LADY HOTSPUR, by Tessa Gratton

Book cover for LADY HOTSPUR: title in red on white above a hand holding a crown

I did not get on with THE QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR, another Shakespeare retelling by Tessa Gratton set in the same world as this. At all. But LADY HOTSPUR is a retelling of my favourite Shakespeare play (Henry IV Part One) so how could I not pick this one up and hope?

But it’s chonky, and I’m worried it will disappoint me as much as the previous book, and then I started writing my own (very different) retelling of the play. So the book has just sat there, waiting for me to gather my courage.

8. THE HAND ON THE WALL, by Maureen Johnson

Book cover for THE HAND ON THE WALL: title in white on a green clock

THE HAND ON THE WALL is the finale to the original TRULY DEVIOUS trilogy, a YA thriller/mystery series about a cold case. Given I wasn’t such a fan of the first book because the central wasn’t solved, but kept reading because I wanted to know what happened, the fact that I haven’t picked up the book where it’s actually solved is a mystery of it’s own.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I waited until paperback for all the books, so was post hype when the books arrived?

9. THIEF’S MAGIC, by Trudi Caravan

Book cover for THIEF'S MAGIC: title on canvas above

When the world went into lockdown for the first time, a bunch of already published books went up onto NetGalley. I guess the thinking was that people might have more time to read and it was a chance for some added publicity for publisher’s backlist titles right when there was a lot of worry over money?

According to Netgalley, I requested and was approved for THIEF’S MAGIC sometime in March 2020. And then I had a major bereavement and then became seriously ill. There was no release date deadline to push me to read this one, so it fell by the wayside as I focused the energy I had on the books publishing soon.

10. CROWNING SOUL, by Sahira Javaid

This is also a NetGalley eARC from the same time as THIEF’S MAGIC, except CROWNING SOUL was published in September 2020. (I am STILL playing catch up on NetGalley eARCs almost 2 years later, though this and the above are the longest waiting ones.)

My guess is that this book was just a casualty of the time. Even though it had a publishing date and so a bit more pressure than the above, it probably forgotten because I was not really in a YA mood. I’ve been moving away from YA for a while, but the pandemic and then illness really accelerated it as I was seeking more and more things that helped me feel less low.

What books have been sitting on your shelves for a while?

9 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books that have been on my TBR for a while

    1. I know! And it looks like there’s a lot of hype/demand for it too, but it’s disappeared from everywhere (supposed to be out last year) and the author isn’t on SM at all either


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