A lover who continues to labor for a doomed relationship, knowing that the effort is futile and she is being irrational. I feel like this lover when I do a May TBR post since I know I probably won’t read these books at all. Reading is a whim. If I don’t feel like reading certain book, I won’t do it even if it is on the TBR list. Why bother to say these are on the TBR list? Probably it is just a habit. Or probably I just want to feel that I am reading even if I know I am not going to read these books. It is an illusion. As an Asian growing up in political instability and swayed by vicissitudes of fate, I’ve learned to treat knowledge as easily portable properties. If physical and financial safety is too much to ask for, at least what’s in the mind is safe and sound. In this sense, reading has been something reassuring, something that is a ticket for future possibilities. This illusion will continue even if the underlying rationale is no longer applicable.

“Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker” by Robert Mankoff (Editor). I’ve had this book forever and it was bought on sale many years ago. I just want to finish reading it so that I can throw it away. It is bulky and heavy, occupying too much space on the shelf.

“13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl” by Mona Awad. I bought this book, together with “Bunny”. I don’t know why. I imagined this will be a precursor kind of book leading towards “Bunny”, which is highly recommended by somebody online. What a weird thought. Sometimes one doesn’t know why one did something or bought something or said something in the past. My past self is quite an inscrutable and insane version of my present self. I like “Bunny” very much although I’ve only read about 40 pages of it.

“Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave” by Frederick Douglass. I’ve had this book forever and then one day I just flipped through it by chance and the language is great and the introduction portion really depicts a life of continued struggle for freedom–I really like that.

“On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill. I read this book quite a while ago and forget most of the content already. Now I want to reread Chapter III about individuality and well being, which will go very well with the chapter on freedom of my book on existentialism.

“An Introduction to Existentialism” by Robert G. Olson. I read half of this book already, but still another one hundred pages to go. The book is great, but it has a lot of Christian philosophy, which I am not familiar with. I have to struggle through those portions and often find myself stopping in the middle of my struggle–leaving the book to do something else. This is the third time I try and I want to finish it.

32 thoughts on “May TBR

    1. I know. My book shelf should be called the book never read shelf. LOL. I do more audible book now since I can listen to it while doing chores. LOL. It’s not my favorite option, but under the circumstances, it is the only way. LOL.

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        1. That’s true. Audiobooks are not the best choice, but I can only do what I can, given the circumstances. LOL. Wish we have more time for ourselves and read more books. LOL.

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  1. All of these sound fascinating. I read “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave” by Frederick Douglass a while back for one of my classes and found it to be very eye-opening.

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    1. I just read his Wikipedia page and his life sounds fascinating. From a slave to a statesman, from a farm hand to a best orator. I want to read such a fighting spirit. As an immigrant, I know how important such a spirit is and I need a constant infusion of such spirit in me. LOL.

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      1. Yeah I was truly inspired by his life and achievements. There are a number of books I have read with similar stories of people in slavery going on to achieve so much and they are truly inspiring. If you enjoy his book I would recommend reading about Phillis Wheatly.

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        1. I just googled Phillis Wheatly –there are so many poets I don’t know. Maybe because she died too young and didn’t write too much. How sad and how beautiful.

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        2. Yeah she died young unfortunately and since she was a slave she didn’t get much recognition till later on in life so she is not very well known. A fascinating person to learn about though and a brilliant writer.

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    1. I’ve been trying to read it for years, but always being delayed by this and that. LOL. I will try to finish it this month. The reason I want to read is because I have several very specific questions about liberty and freedom, for which I can’t get the answer. So I am searching for books that can answer them. LOL.


    1. I haven’t read the complete cartoons even if I’ve had it for ten years. LOL. I know I won’t be able to read all these, but still it is fun to push myself a little.


      1. Don’t throw it away! Never throw books away! Donate them to charities! I packed a whole box a few years ago and took them to England with me (donating English books in Germany wouldn’t make much sense) since I was going by car and donated them to one of those cancer charity shops. And found a couple I was interested in for myself in return. 😊

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