The TBR of Doom

I recently realized that I’ve bought ten nonfiction books in the last few months and haven’t yet read them, and so began drafting another TBR challenge.  Both in 2014 and 2016 I imposed a challenge on myself: no more book buys until I’d  finished reading what I had.   Things are much, much worse now.   “How bad could it be?”


The Oil Kings: How the US, Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East, Andrew Scott Cooper
The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, and the Secret Deals that Reshaped the Middle East, Jay Solomon
Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler, Mark Riebling
An Iron Wind: Europe Under Hitler, Peter Fritzsche
The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, Ayn Rand
The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Botton
Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton
The Moral Animal, Robert Wright
To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World, Arthur Herman
Taking to the Ground: One Family’s Journey on Horseback Across the Sacred Land of the Navajo, Douglas Preston (Purchased in Flagstaff, AZ)
The Essential Russell Kirk, Russell Kirk
Honor: A History, James Bowman
The German War: A Nation Under Arms, Nicholas Stargardt
The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans, and the Battle for Europe, Andrew Wheatcroft
The Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings, Abolqasem Ferdowsi
The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and the United States, Kenneth Pollack (Purchased in St. Augustine, FL)
The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution, Brion McClanahan
Who Killed the Constitution?, ed. Thomas E. Woods
The Church and  the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy,
Thomas E. Woods
Constitutional Chaos | The Constitution in Exile | A Nation of Sheep, Andrew Napolitano
The Ends of the Earth: The Polar Regions of the World, Isaac Asimov (Purchased in Las Cruces, NM)
Whatever Happened to the Egyptians?, Galal Amin
The Winter Pascha: Readings for the Christmas-Epiphany Season, Thomas Hopko
Ironies of Faith: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature, Anthony Esolen
On the Good Life, Marcus Tullius Cicero
Go Directly to Jail: The Criminializaton of Almost Everything, ed. Gene Healy
Trucking Country: The Road to America’s Walmart Economy, Shane Hamilton
Tradition in a Rootless World: Women Turn to  Orthodox Judaism, Lynn Davidman

Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire, Roger Crowley
Virolution, Frank Ryan
The Scarlet Thief, Paul Fraser Collard
ST Vanguard: What Judgments Come, Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore
ST Vanguard: Storming Heaven, David Mack
ST Vanguard: In Tempest’s Wake, Dayton Ward
How Dante Can Save Your Life,  Rod Dreher
Love in the Ruins, Walker Percy
How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America, Brion McClanahan
ST ENT: Live by the Code, Christopher L. Bennett
ST ENT:  Tower of Babel, Christopher L. Bennett
The Afghan Campaign, Steven Pressfield
American Contempt for Liberty, Walter Williams
Defeat in the West, Milton Shulman and Ian Jacob
The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves, Scott Woolley
The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings, Lars Brownsworth
The Letters of John and Abigail Adams, ed. Frank Shuffelton
Our Only World, Wendell Berry
The Memory of Old Jack, Wendell Berry
A Place in Time, Wendell Berry
Sword and Serpent, Taylor Marshall
Democracy: An American Novel, Henry Adams
The Return of George Washington, Edward J. Larson
The Well and the Shallows, GK Chesterton
Survival of the Sickest: The Suprising Connections Between Disease and Longevity, Sharon Moalem, Jonathan Prince
Atomic Awakening: The History and Future of Nuclear Power, James Mahaffrey
The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, Frank Dikotter
The Damnation of Theron Ware, Harold Frederic

Obviously barring myself from buying books until I’d taken care of all these would be futile, but I am pondering allowing myself to buy new books only as I read these — for every book taken from the list, another could be purchased.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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8 Responses to The TBR of Doom

  1. CyberKitten says:

    Oh, I *wish* my TBR pile was that small…. [lol]Interesting that I only have one book from that list:The Afghan Campaign, Steven Pressfield

  2. Stephen says:

    I'd actually forgotten I had that one, along with “The Scarlet Thief”..I thought they were Kindle Unlimited books, but I stopped subscribing to that months ago. The Scarlet Thief is historical fiction set in the Crimean war, if I remember correctly.

  3. Marian H says:

    Well, this makes me feel better anyway (although, your list is decidedly more educational than mine)… I justify it to myself by saying I will need some unread books if the Big One hits and we lose internet.

  4. CyberKitten says:

    I have a few based in the Crimea War – although not that one. I had an idea of reading the 'Fictional History of the World' but my reading is too slow to think very far ahead presently. Hopefully I'll be speeding up at some point soon or my TBR pile will collapse and crush me.

  5. mudpuddle says:

    me too… that's a great rationalization, straight from Fahrenheit 451! like it…

  6. Stephen says:

    Very true, Marian…and I also have a prepper's enclopedia in my library (“When Technology Fails”), so I'm doubly covered. 😀

  7. Brian Joseph says:

    There was a time when I faced the same problem. I decided to go with the flow and just keep buying books when I wanted to. With my discovery of ebooks the issue lessened a bit for me. I know acquire books when I am ready to read them. You have an impressive list of books at least.

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