The above is the stack of unread books that currently resides in my room. (Naturally the cats are an essential part of the whole affair. They function as book-guardians. Also they’re cute.) This has been pretty much a permanent feature for a while now, at least four years. Some of the books up there have been on the stack for at least six months. One has been there for almost four years. Ah.
To go through them one at a time:
The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett: This was a Christmas present. It’s historical fiction set in Scotland and I can’t say I know much about it other than that. The copy I have is also old enough that the price is listed as 40p. Those were the days.
The Owl Service by Alan Garner: I’ve actually already read this one, but it was a long time ago and I didn’t really understand it. Few people fully understand The Owl Service who aren’t already familiar with the Mabinogion, the Welsh prose epic that forms the basis for the story. I read the Mabinogion for Celtic Studies a while back, then decided that I should really give The Owl Service another shot. Elidor was on the stack as well until a few days ago – I re-read that one in one sitting. It’s fantastic and I should probably review it.
Ben Hur by Lew Wallace: Hopefully this one goes without saying. I found it for 50p at a car boot sale and I liked the film so I thought I would buy it. I forsee it staying on the stack for a long time, though.
The Ropemaker by Peter Dickinson: Another book to be re-read. I read this for the first time when I was in secondary school and I enjoyed it so much I’m actually a little apprehensive about re-reading it in case it’s not as good as I remember. My memory of the plot is a bit garbled but I know that it involved a ropermaker (naturally), unicorns, and magic spoons.
The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko: This is the one that’s been there for three years! I won it in a pub quiz in fresher’s week of first year. It’s been sitting around for so long that it’s basically a permanent fixture now. I’m planning to read it next and get it over with.
Claudius the God by Robert Graves: Having read I, Claudius I feel like I should read this one as well for the sake of completion but everything I’ve heard says that it’s not as good. Hence I have put it off thus far.
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman: This one sat in my ‘to buy’ on Amazon for a while. I figured now was a good time since I’m on the brink of actually finishing a novel (exciting, I know) so there’ll be editing to be done.
Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire: Really not looking forward to sitting through this monster, but having dragged my way with increasing reluctance through the other three books, I really can’t stop now. You can’t read three books out of a quartet and then stop. It’s the final book in the Wicked Years quartet. The other three are Wicked, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Amongst Men.
I am very much hoping to make a decent dent in this by the end of the summer, and so far so good, though it’s taken me until the last couple of days to start on any that have been there for longer than a month or so – naturally the ones I want to read (The Owl Service, The Ropemaker) are all recent additions.