We all do it — get really excited for a new book, make sure it’s preordered or on the library waitlist, count down the days until we can get it in our hands, hug it all the way home, then add it to pile and promptly begin to feel guilty about not reading it immediately. It happens. Sometimes you need a book that fits your mood. Sometimes you are in the midst of another book at the time. For me, it’s often that I am revelling in the anticipation of reading the book and being immersed in it. The promise of the book is as exciting as anything. Of course this is tempered in equal measure by the shame of allowing the book to sit there unread…

Here are ten titles I desperately needed to have but I still haven’t read.

Dark Enchantment by Dorothy Macardle

I read The Uninvited and The Unforeseen in what seemed like moments. Macardle’s writing is stunningly good and it’s impossible to stop once you start. Sadly for us, she only wrote three novels. I knew I needed to complete my collection but I haven’t read it because once I do, there is no more Macardle for me to discover. I am grateful to Tramp Press for reprinting these editions.

Middlemarch by George Eliot

I love Victorian novels of sensation. Tons of characters, lots of drama, subplots galore. For no good reason, I haven’t gotten around to reading Middlemarch yet. I finally bought myself the nice Penguin clothbound classic edition. It has been promoted to the book cart in my bed room but I haven’t cracked it open yet.

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

I stumbled upon Rules of Civility when it came out. I bought an e-reader specifically so I could read Eve in Hollywood, and I made everyone I saw read A Gentleman in Moscow. Strangers were tired of me pushing it on them. I couldn’t wait until The Lincoln Highway came out. And yet it remains on my nightstand. I suppose part of me is afraid I won’t love it as much as Towles’ other work.

S / Ship of Theseus by Doug Dorst

I’m fascinated by the idea of books with a hidden layer of a secondary story. This takes the form of a library book, with borrowers leaving notes for one another and making scribbles in the margins. But I know that this book is going to require my serious attention in order to really become immersed in the mystery.

Dame of Sark: An Autobiography by Sibyl Hathaway

I first heard about this remarkable woman on an episode of Futility Closet. When Nazis invaded her island, she held forth and took a definitive stand against the invaders. The book is out of print and I have been looking for a (reasonably priced) copy for a couple of years. I finally found one, and promise myself I will get to reading it soon.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth

I went on a book buying spree at a local indie bookseller (surprise!) and I filled up a couple of bags. This was one of the many I picked up. It’s a big, fat, juicy Gothic novel. It sounds amazing, and for no good reason, it is still on my to-be-read pile. Perhaps this summer I will have some time to really sit down with it (and all these other books).

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I have no fear of Russian literature or long books, but for some reason I still haven’t delved into this one. I’ve seen the movies, I love the story, I like winding dramatic storylines. I even like reading in translation. No good reason I haven’t read it.

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

A modern-day reimagining of the Frankenstein epic, which never gets old, if you ask me. This one merges Gothic horror, Arabian mythology, and some humor — all the things I love. I really need to get this to the top of the pile.

Mythos by Stephen Fry

I honestly think Stephen Fry is a genius. An actual genius. I love reading his work (and listening to his voice). It’s been a while since I revisited the Greek mythology stories so I am really excited to see his take on it.

What has been on your to-be-read pile for way too long?

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