The Great Unread Book Pile

One of my goals for 2013 is to finally crack the back of The Great Unread Book Pile that I’ve been accumulating over the years. I got a bunch of books for christmas too, so decided that I really ought to make a list of all the books I’ve bought or been given that I actually want to read – a key realisation was that I had a whole pile of unread books that realistically I had no intention of ever reading, so they’re going in the next charity shop bag that appears.

Here’s the list, split into fiction/non-fiction. [HC] is a dead-tree hard copy, [Kindle] is fairly self-explanatory, and shows how weak-willed I am when it comes to a 99p special offer. Rounding off the list are a couple of books I really want to read but haven’t yet acquired – in the case of The Shining Girls it’s because it’s not out yet!


  • The Terror, by Dan Simmons [HC]
  • The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel, by Kate Westbrook [HC]
  • Mage’s Blood, by David Hair [HC]
  • Engineering Infinity, edited by Charles Stross [HC]
  • Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, by Eoin Colfer [HC]
  • The Vanishing Act, by Mette Jakobsen [HC]
  • The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson [HC]
  • Snuff, by Terry Pratchett [HC]
  • Kraken, by China Miéville [HC]
  • The City and The City, by China Miéville [Kindle]
  • The Hydrogen Sonata, by Iain M. Banks [Kindle]
  • Whispers Underground, by Ben Aaronovitch [Kindle]
  • Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld [Kindle]
  • Goliath, by Scott Westerfield [Kindle]
  • The Outcast Blade (The Assassini, #2), by Jon Courtenay Grimwood [Kindle]
  • The Legend of Eli Monpress, by Rachel Aaron [Kindle]
  • The World House, by Guy Adams [Kindle]
  • How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, by Charles Yu [Kindle]
  • Moxyland, by Lauren Beukes [Kindle]
  • From Russia With Love, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]
  • Doctor No, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]
  • Goldfinger, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]
  • For Your Eyes Only, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]
  • Thunderball, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]
  • The Spy Who Loved Me, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]
  • You Only Live Twice, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]
  • The Man With the Golden Gun, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]
  • Octopussy & the Living Daylights, by Ian Fleming [Kindle]


  • The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece, by Carola Hicks [HC]
  • Blue Blood, by Edward Conlon [HC]
  • Hokkaido Highway Blues, by Will Ferguson [HC]
  • The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, by Christopher Booker [HC]
  • Racing Through The Dark: The Fall And Rise Of David Millar, by David Millar [HC]
  • The Man Who Cycled the World, by Mark Beaumont [HC]
  • The Man Who Cycled the Americas, by Mark Beaumont [HC]
  • Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie, by Andrew Sykes [Kindle]
  • Long Cloud Ride: A Cycling Adventure Across New Zealand, by Josie Dew [Kindle]

on the wishlist/not yet published

  • Angelmaker, by Nick Harkaway
  • The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes

Interesting (to me) that over half the non-fiction books are cycling-related. And you can see there’s a bit of a Bond backlog – I’ve been working my way through the Bond books this year and hoping to tie it in with my planned BlogalongaBondathon when I get hold of the movies. Watch this space. There are a couple on there that I’m wavering about, but have included them for completeness.

I’m actually in the process of reading four other books:

  • The Right Way to Do Wrong: A Unique Selection of Writings by History’s Greatest Escape Artist, by Harry Houdini [HC]
  • Railsea, by China Miéville [Kindle]
  • Safe House, by Chris Ewan [Kindle]
  • The Teleportation Accident, by Ned Beauman [HC]

Looks like it’s going to be a busy year, reading-wise! I’ll be making more of an effort to review the books once they’re finished too.

(Note that the goal of reading this lot by the end of 2013 doesn’t preclude me buying any others, but any bought or received as a present – amazon wishlist is here if you’re feeling generous! will be added to the list…)

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

6 thoughts on “The Great Unread Book Pile”

  1. This is a fabulous idea, I can very much identify with you, I too, probably like a lot of readers/writers have a HUGE book pile. In fact I can probably double your list! Now that is shocking. My excuse, we had an extension built, and now we are decorating, and I have no bookcase etc Pretty lame right?

    Really, I ought to just fetch the charity bag like you have done and harden myself up into thinking, honestly, I am never going to read a lot of these books I’ve accumulated which are gathering dust.

    As for the Kindle, I got one to solve the very problem of clutter, but like you find I have rather a lot of books unread..

    One of my goals for the year is to read more fiction – perhaps this is the answer.

    P.S. Wouldn’t mind reading Kraken, by China Miéville 🙂

  2. Well, crikey! I didn’t notice the Pratchett book before. Start with that, always that! Now I’m back to studying the rest on Amazon. Carry on.

    1. Pratchett is wonderful. Ed and I started reading Snuff ages ago, but the reading at night thing kind of tailed off, and now we’re reading The Hobbit. The Pratchett is a hardback, and a bit big to lug around, so is now my evening ‘at home’ reading. Paperbacks/kindle for my commute/lunchtime reading!

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