Tag Archives: tbr

2011 TBR Pile Challenge – check in


2011TBR

Adam from Roof Beam Reader popped by the other day to remind me about the 2011 TBR Pile Challenge I’d signed up for some 6 months ago. It’s a good thing he did, because I’d forgotten all about it. Let’s check in, shall we?

  1. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  2. Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer
  3. Adventures by Mike Resnick
  4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  5. Jennifer Government by Max Barry
  6. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  7. Suburban Safari by Hannah Holmes
  8. As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto
  9. Uncivilized Beasts and Shameless Hellions by John F. Burnett
  10. Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way by Bruce Campbell
  11. Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
  12. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

My alternates:

  1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  2. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

Hmm. Well, I did manage to read The Graveyard Book but nothing else so far. I also did a major sweep of my TBR pile and got rid of Suburban Safari, Uncivilized Beasts and Shameless Hellions, and A Walk in the Woods. I guess that means I’ve failed the challenge already.

The truth is, I’ve been spending so much time reading and reviewing new books that I haven’t been making any progress whatsoever on my existing TBR pile. Perhaps I’ll be able to get caught up (somewhat) during my current hiatus…but no promises.

A Call for Suggestions

Thanks to Groupon and Living Social, I now have $20 gift cards to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I have a serious backlog of to-be-read books on the shelf, and many of the books on my wishlist are the sort I would probably read once and then pass along, rather than keep for myself. I own a large number of journals and sketchbooks, most of which are empty. The Amazon one will probably be easy, since they sell pretty much everything, but I’m not so sure about the Barne.

So here’s the question: what should I get?

The 2011 TBR Pile Challenge


2011TBR

I happened upon this 2011 TBR Pile Challenge over at A Novel Challenge and figured, “12 books is nothing. I can do this.” And so I’ve signed up.  At worst, it’ll get some oldies off the shelf to make room for newbies.

My list:

  1. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  2. Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer
  3. Adventures by Mike Resnick
  4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  5. Jennifer Government by Max Barry
  6. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  7. Suburban Safari by Hannah Holmes
  8. As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto
  9. Uncivilized Beasts and Shameless Hellions by John F. Burnett
  10. Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way by Bruce Campbell
  11. Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
  12. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

My alternates:

  1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  2. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

On Reading and Reviewing

At some point I became a book reviewer. I’m not sure when this happened, exactly, but I now receive review requests every month. Which is fine, of course: as a book lover I certainly am not going to complain about people giving me books. And lately authors have been really good about offering me books I actually might want to read. I have, however, fallen behind on my reading. I warn anyone asking for a review that it could be several months before I even crack open their book, and so far that’s dissuaded no one. I take this as a good sign, especially since my reading habit has dwindled as of late. It’s not that I don’t enjoy what I’m reading, just that I often find myself doing kakuro puzzles instead.

While I’m here, I’d like to share some random tidbits about my reading/reviewing life:

  • My complete to-be-read list is online and regularly updated. With very few exceptions, these are the books actually on my shelves at the moment, waiting to be read. The yellow is what I’m currently reading. The gray is something I am considering never reading.
  • Lately (since the beginning of September) I’ve also been keeping a list of the top of the TBR pile, which are the books I plan to read next. When books arrive, I tell the author/agent/publicist where they are on the stack. Please note that this does not include audiobooks, which I plow through every other week or so, meaning you can’t just count reviews on my blog and expect yours to show up.
  • Sometimes, regardless of what’s listed on the top of the TBR pile, I will just grab some other book off the shelf and read that instead. I figure I’m doing no one any favors if I start resenting my reviewing obligations. But this is an extremely rare occurrence.
  • I do not generally mention on my blog whether the copy I read is one I received for review or not. The way I figure it, I’m not being paid to do this, and books fall into my hands in many ways other than me specifically seeking them out, including random strangers (read: BookCrossers) sending them to me out of the blue.
  • I also don’t always mention if a book I’m reviewing is the audio version. Since all the audiobooks I earread are unabridged, I don’t feel a need to mention it unless there’s something notable about the reader.
  • The vast majority of my reading is done in bed before turning out the light. Occasionally I also read in the recliner in my study, but that inevitably results in a nap, especially if there’s a cat on my lap.

Maybe over the holidays my reading will pick up speed again. I think the first step is tossing that kakuro book.

Open post: to read or not to read

This is an open post. Comments welcome and encouraged. (Not that they aren’t normally, but this time I’m actually asking for opinions.)

My to-be-read pile, generally referred to as Mt. TBR, is occasionally overwhelming. (Ignore the colors; the only one that means anything of interest is yellow, which is what I’m currently reading.) One of my 101 things in 1001 days is to get Mt. TBR under 50 books, even just temporarily. I’m over 150 days in and have not been able to reduce the size of the pile, despite having read over 30 books in that time.

So I’m thinking it might be time for a cull. The following are books I’m thinking of chucking unread. (And by “chucking” I mean wild releasing.) If anyone has any thoughts on any of these, please let me know. I’m willing to keep anything on the list if someone says it’s a good read. But for now, here are my maybes:

  • The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul by Douglas Adams – As much as I love Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency left me wanting.
  • Push Comes to Shove by Wesley Brown – I was lured in by the promise of a free book from Concord Free Press but the subject matter doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.
  • Virtual Light by William Gibson – Neuromancer was okay but hard to follow, so I’m not sure it’s worth it for me to read any more Gibson. (I also have Pattern Recognition on Mt. TBR, but a friend told me it was really good.)
  • James Herriot’s vet tales quadrilogy – I like Herriot just fine, but I have a feeling a bunch of touching stories about injured/sick animals might make me cry more than is strictly healthy.
  • Taliesin by Stephen R. Lawhead – As much as I like Arthurian legend, I’m not sure I really need to read another one unless it’s totally awesome.
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis – A friend “lent” this to me years ago. I assume he never wanted it back since he’s since moved to Florida. It looks…dense. Is it good?
  • Rabbit, Run by John Updike – As far as I can tell, this is about basketball and a selfish man. Nothing in the Amazon reviews convinced me it was really worth reading.

So what do you think? Any of these something I should not pass up? Any that you’d like me to send to you if I do decide not to read it? (That holds for any of them except the Adams one, because that one belongs to my husband.)

And if you want to add books to Mt. TBR, well, I suppose that’s okay too. I’m always up for a good recommendation.

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