Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - TBR Selections for Winter

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's theme is top ten books for Winter off your TBR shelves. My first thought was, "Didn't we just do a TBR list?"  But, as I browsed my TBR shelves, I realized that when I'm looking for something to read, I do have a very specific mindset, and one of the things that affects my book choice is what's happening outside...there are beach reads, scary stuff, gardening and outside stories, amongst a host of others that I probably read more at certain times of the year than others.  So, as I scanned my shelves I thought about what I would want to read on a cold, wet day just like the one we're having today. 

Winter is messy in Mississippi.  If we have snow, we don't have that fluffy stuff everybody else gets; we have wet slushy stuff that makes a complete mess.  Don't get me wrong; we enjoy it just the same, but we Mississippi folks don't have a clue what to do when the roads get slushy or icy; our electricity goes off, and we get stranded at home.  I guess because we're so used to being hot, it's pretty difficult for us to switch to such an extreme temperature.  Of course, I keep saying "WE"; it could be just ME ;)
Anyhoo, Winter is time to stay indoors in Mississippi, wrapped in a blanket and snuggled up by the fire.

All that said because Winter reading to me is cozy reading...similar to Fall reading but not necessarily spooky...Winter to me is cold, drafty castles or older houses and characters keeping warm whilst I do the very same thing.  Winter to me is Classics...but don't laugh because I haven't read these.  Yes, I'm an English major...but I was an American Lit fan, so when given a choice, I skipped over these titles in favor of early colonial American texts.  I  really haven't had time till now to think about going back and reading some of these.    

The following top ten list includes books by non-American authors and are all actually already sitting on my TBR shelves just waiting patiently.  Where do I start??  Any advice??  Warnings?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Can you believe I actually own this beautiful annotated edition and haven't read it?  

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I know absolutely nothing about this one...except that lots of people say I should read it...ok, ok.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
My oldest daughter raves about this one...and chastises me every time she realizes I still haven't read it.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
My middle daughter hated, and I mean hated this one.  She begged me for the movie and Spark Notes for it in order to pass the test.  I wouldn't give in to either. 

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
I read A Christmas Carol last year during the holidays and was so deeply involved in the descriptions of Old London that I didn't want the story to end.  I wonder if this Dickens will be as detailed?

Emma by Jane Austen
I actually saw this movie when it was made with Gwenyth Paltrow...don't snicker.  I was and still am somewhat of a Paltrow fan.  

Howard's End by E.M. Forrester
I've seen a snippet or two of this movie with Anthony Hopkins...but not enough to really know what was happening.

Mrs.  Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
I've read A Room of One's Own, The Hours and seen the movie "The Hours."  But, I've never read the Woolf novel that inspired Cunningham to write The Hours. Time to remedy that :)

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I know this one is about a garden and a couple of kids...that's it.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
I'm breaking the law on this one...I've seen the movie...and cried and cried and cried at the end.  But, that was back when my older girls were little so I think I can enjoy the read just as much...if not more.

**I might have read these last two, but if I did, it was so long ago that I won't remember anything anyway :)  Besides that, I'd like to read them with an adult lens now.

Till next week...


  1. I feel like Austen is a good wintery choice, although I don't really have anything to back that up! Just that, you need some concentration when you read her, and, you know, when it's all cold outside, you obviously can't go out and so have to stay inside with your book! Or something... Also, I think Rebecca is an AWESOME winter read. Or anytime, really. Go for it!

  2. Rebecca is SO good! Everyone is write about that!

    I love how many classics are on here. And that edition of Pride And Prejudice is GORGEOUS!

  3. What a great list of books! Rebecca should be your first and then Pride and Prejudice right after. Both are fantastic and will keep you in a reading mood. I'm also looking forward to hearing what you think of Wuthering Heights. I'm not fond of Virginia Woolf, though - her writing is rather dry and tends to go off on tangents.

  4. What a fun pile, although I am totally with your daughter on Wuthering Heights! (but if it's any consolation to her, the movie is just as hateful as the book!) Oh and an annotated P&P, what fun! I didn't even know there was such a thing!

  5. I've read most of these, surprisingly enough. However, the fun part is that I read most of these over winters spent indoors in North Carolina where we got MUCH more snow and cold than we do here in Texas. :D It took me 4 tries to knock off Wuthering Heights, but ultimately I was glad I read it.

  6. Ooh, I was just thinking about how much I'd love to reread Rebecca! That is such a fun book to read for the first time. Good stuff.

  7. Rebecca is awesome and Emma is one of my fave of Austen's, I think she's a fun heroine. I am with your daughter on Wuthering Heights. I loathe that book.

  8. Seriously, you must read Rebecca NOW. So, so good. Same with P&P. But in my opinion, skip Wuthering Heights. Miserable, ugly monsters of humanity, these people. Some might disagree, but I couldn't get through it quick enough so I could move on and not be depressed.

  9. Ok you got me. Love all your selections with the exception of Emma. Saw the movie, and didn't like it. she annoyed me. I love all the rest of Jane Austin's books.

    Great cat by the way.

    Here's my Post

  10. OMG! You need to bump #1-3 up to your immediate read list!! They are such favourites of mine and they are just classics! All are fabulous in their own way! And perfect wintry reads :)
    And I loved Emma as well! But really, nothing can ever beat Pride & Prejudice :)
    -Daisy @ the Broke and the Bookish

  11. What a FANTASTIC list of books!! I definitely agree that winter brings on a whole different mood for reading and I love that you've chosen to cuddle up with some great classics. I haven't read Oliver Twist but would love to. Didn't care for Howards End but wonder if that's just me. ;)

  12. I have a vague memory of the movie of Black Beauty making me cry as a kid too... :)

    You should definitely read Jane Eyre before Rebecca, because there're similarities and Jane comes first! They're both absolutely wonderful, I'm glad you're thinking of reading them this winter. Good winter books!

    I had to read Mrs Dalloway for a course at uni and I hated it, but it was a case of a book being forced on me when I wasn't inclined to read it, and books always suffer for that don't they?

    Here's my list.

  13. Nice drafty castles! I love Mrs. Dalloway. It is a great starting point for Woolf fiction.

  14. Well, I quit on Mrs. Dalloway after three pages so good luck with that. I think you'll enjoy Rebecca. I was pleasantly surprised.

  15. Definitely read Rebecca....awesome (so is the movie). I want to read several by Dickens this year. Hope u enjoy them all Patty.

  16. Anybody else notice how many times you guys said you didn't like Wuthering Heights? Guess what's going to the bottom of the list?? Looks like Jane Eyre on top and heaven forbid we forget about Rebecca!!! I hope it's as good as it sounds!!

  17. P&P was my "challenge" book for 2011, I'm a British student studying English Lit. so I completely felt that I'd failed since I was in my second last year of Uni and hadn't read this yet! I ended up listening to it as an audiobook and while I didn't love it I did find it a nice, relaxing story. Jane Eyre was my challenge for 2010 and it's definitely one of my favourite classics.

    I read Wuthering Heights in my first year of university but didn't love it. Everyone raves about the beautiful love story but I found it more to be a book about people who hold huge grudges and act very hatefully towards each other...but it's very atmospheric, so if you want a darker classic definitely go for this one! I still liked it, just didn't love it.

    The Secret Garden is lovely! Not such a fan of Black Beauty though, could never get into this one as a child. Not a fan of books about animals, to be honest.

    Hope you enjoy your delve into classics this winter, looks like you've got some good reads ahead of you :)