Top Ten Books I Want to Read But Do Not Own

This week’s prompt is easy because there are countless books on my wish-list and tough because I have to narrow my list to 10 books only.For those who don’t know,Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the guys at the Broke and Bookish.Here’s my list:

1.The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

An illustration of the award-winning Folio edition by the famous Balbusso twins.

I wish to have this book in Folio edition.I’ve waited for more than a year for a discount,and I wonder if I was right to do so,as its price has lately gone up.Nonetheless it is one of the most coveted books on my wish-list,and I hope to have it next year at least.Another reason why I so want it is that I have a shelf (soon,that won’t be enough) exclusively reserved for the Folio editions of Booker nominees and winners.So next to Possession,Oscar&Lucinda,Midnight’s Children and The Remains of the Day,among many others,I have a vacant place for Atwood’s novel!

2.Room – Emma Donoghue

I added it in my cart the last time I did some shopping on bookdepository,but replaced it with Achebe’s Things Fall Apart which was $4-5 cheaper.I don’t regret this choice,as the latter book was an incredible read,but some day or the other,I will buy Room.It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and I have heard mostly good things about it; however those who didn’t like it didn’t miss the opportunity to lambaste it!

3.Cloudstreet – Tim Winton

An illustration of the Folio edition by Sam Pash. 

Recipient of the Miles Franklin Award in 1992,this book looks really interesting.I think the writing will be very subtle and delicate,and the book will explore the intricacies of the different relationships people can have with one another.Moreover it has even been made into a superb Folio edition that doesn’t leave any one indifferent.On my wish-list,even though it’s quite costly because of its size.

4.Sons and Lovers – D.H Lawrence

An illustration of the award-winning Folio edition by Anne-Marie Jones.

E.M Forster described Lawrence as ”the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation”,Philip Larkin said of Sons and Lovers,”nearly every page of it is perfect”,and Blake Morrisson opines that ”There is nothing quite like Sons and Lovers in the whole of literature.It is momentous.” Need I say more why I want this book?

5.Wole Soyinka – King Baabu

Written by the first Black African to win a Nobel Prize,this satire of Mugabe’s reign over Zimbabwe looks very promising.The Prime Minister of my country is strongly reminiscent of all those corrupt Borgian leaders,and this is why I am drawn to this particular play by Wole Soyinka.Having lately read Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,I know what African leaders are capable of,and this is why I’m much looking forward to reading this little tale!

6.Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales – Hans Andersen

I have the Folio facsimiles of the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault,and I only have that of Hans Andersen to buy to complete my collection.Although it has gone up in price,it is a must-buy for me.Maybe I’ll have it by the end of the year or in next year’s summer.Anyway I’ll share a picture when the collection is completed.What makes these facsimiles stand out is the fact that they comprise the illustrations of their best-known artists: Arthur Rackham for the Brothers Grimms,Edmund Dulac for Perrault,and W.Heath Robinson Hans Andersen.

7.Maus I&II – Art Spiegelman

According to the reviews I have stumbled upon,this graphic novel amply deserves its Pulitzer Prize.I saw some excerpts of the book,and the illustrations looked very powerful and for the little I saw,I liked Spiegelman’s writing.I honestly cannot wait to read Maus,even though the two copies together will cost me about the price of 4 paperbacks!

8.Nobody Writes to the Colonel – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I saw this book some days ago and was surprised upon learning that it was written by Marquez.The man had a knack to find very poetic titles for his books and Nobody Writes to the Colonel was no exception.Given that I haven’t read any book from Gabriel Garcia Marquez,I think I will start with his lesser known works before reading Love in the Time of Cholera and then,his masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude.

9.Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

An illustration of the Folio edition by Neil Packer.

Yet another book I want in Folio edition.Like countless others,it has gone up in price,but I will still save my money to buy it.It is often featured in the list of the best cult books,so I think it’ll be worth it to have Heller’s masterpiece in Folio edition.

10.Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A friend told me that this book is excellent and the few reviews of it I’ve seen around are in keeping with his words.Thanks to Things Fall Apart,I have grown infatuated with African literature and I want to read more books pertaining to that sphere.Half of a Yellow Sun seems a good book to carry on my exploration of this literary world.Also Ngozi Adichie is very young,yet her books are constantly being nominated for a myriad of literary awards.Thus I’m quite confident that I will not be disappointed with her book.

My list is pretty eclectic.Is there an unusual book you recommend? Or one that doesn’t receive enough recognition in your opinion? And have you read any of those I’ve listed?

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19 thoughts on “Top Ten Books I Want to Read But Do Not Own”

  1. Excellent list. I do love those Folio editions, they are so beautiful. No One Writes to the Colonel is a lovely book and a good place to start with GGM. I really enjoyed Room although it does have it’s detractors. I was so close to putting Maus on my list, I’m dying to read it!

    1. Ah,finally someone who knows about No One Writes to the Colonel!
      I’m impressed you know even that book. (In other words,you’ve read pretty much everything!)

      I’m quite sceptic about Room,due to all the bashing,but I think it deserves a chance..
      As for Maus,I think I’ve seen a bad review of the book! It is a definite must-read,I guess,given it is the first and only graphic novel to have won the Pulitzer Prize!

      1. My Dad was a BIG GGM fan and when I finally got round to reading Love in the Time of Cholera, I read pretty much anything of his I could get my hands on.
        I think your enjoyment of Room depends on how well you connect with the narrative voice. I didn’t mind it at all.

      1. I liked the book very much but but I saw it is one of the Top Ten you want to read but do not own. I wanted the joy of supplying you with one of the top ten books you want to read.

      2. Thanks a lot! I really appreciate the intention!
        I however will have to decline your offer,as it’ll be quite expensive for you to pay for shipping – I live in Mauritius! Besides I can afford the book,so it’ll be wrong from me to have you undergo so many complications for my sake!

        I really liked the gesture,and believe me,people like you make the world less hopeless! I’m really honest here.
        Your kindness will remain stuck in my mind for the rest of my life!

      3. Hi Kainzow,

        Thank you for the kind words and I am glad you can afford the book.

        You live in Mauritius? I did not know where Mauritius was until now. But now I know and I am pleased to know. Your island is so beautiful (I saw a few Google photos).

  2. I too have Numbers 2,7,9 and 10 on my overall TBR 🙂 I wanted to buy Catch 22 recently but my mom said that there may be an old copy around because it was my grandfather’s favourite – so waiting for her to fish it out of somewhere. Oh and I have added King Baabu to my TBR !!

    1. Yep.These are all books which many people have raved about!
      Half of a Yellow Sun is not that well-known though,to my surprise.But I think it’ll an excellent read.
      As for King Baabu,I think it will be a superb satire.Soyinka’s talent is undisputed,and given the way he fumes about Mugabe in interviews,I bet it’ll be one very good play!

    1. I haven’t read any Atwood,sadly! :/
      I wish to begin with Handmaid’s Tale though.Like any dystopian novel,I think it’ll captivate our attention from start to finish,so I don’t think we’ll have any difficulty with Atwood’s writing.Besides I’ve seldom heard a bad thing about it,so you should give it a chance!
      And also,it’ll be a shame to not read Atwood,as she is one of the greatest living authors in the world.Her books are always nominees for and winners of the most prestigious prizes.I plan to read all her works in the future!

      1. I’ll read her one day, and probably choose The Handmaid’s Tale first, like you.

        If you like dystopian, have you read Walter M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz? I don’t read tons of dystopian but that was a favourite!

      2. Oh,I haven’t read many dystopians yet.My favourite would be Brave New World,because Huxley was spot-on on many things!
        Of course I will read the other great dystopian books later on,but here are some lesser known classics belonging to that genre,which you might want to check out:

        1.Blindness – Jose Saramago (Nobel Prize)
        2.We – Yevgeny Zamyatin (I think you already know about it)
        3.On the Beach – Nevil Shute

    1. Ah,book prices can be trolls,as you said! 😉
      But in case of Folio editions,they are like the Parker of pens; their quality is different.
      They comprise about 7 illustrations from top artists,are generally bound with cloth or buckram,are printed in different fonts,and are larger than hardbacks and paperbacks.Evidently,books of such quality have a price,and you sure feel that whenever you go shopping in their bookshop (in my case,I shop online).

      I’ve always thought that given that I don’t smoke,drink or go clubbing,I have the right to spend my money on Folio books.I buy most of my books on sale and even if I complain of the high prices,they are totally worth it! 😉

  3. The Handmaid’s Tale is a brilliant book, and there are some really lovely editions of Hans Christian Andersen’s tales, particularly the one with Harry Clarke’s illustrations. Here’s my TTT!

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