Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Failure? Impossible. TBR Challenge

Thanks to Laura Miller's post on I have been sucked into a new challenge that I have a good 65% chance of failing - the To Be Read reading challenge being held by Adam over at Roof Beam Reader.

I say that I have a higher than even chance of failing because I'm going to be honest. The books on my To Be Read pile (or more accurately, 'piles' since I have one next to my bed, one next to my armchair and a whacking one in the incongruously named TV room) are there for a reason. For the last so many months/years, I've chosen another book instead. These books are the wallflowers, the bridesmaids, the uncoordinated last kid to be picked for kickball - these books ARE me. Strangely, when I look at the list, these aren't any kind of dogs - they're from authors I love or books I'm convinced I'll like, but for some reason, have passed over (except Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - that one is on my pile because my sister gave it to me and everyone says I should read it. If you want me to jump off a bridge, too, just ask.)

So, I need to dust them off and give them a chance. As Linus says "it's not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love." Well said, blankie toting kid, well said.

My list of 12 for the TBR challenge:
1) The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
2) A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
3) The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
4) The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
5) Nights at the Circus - Angela Carter
6) The Secret History - Donna Tartt
7) Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
8) Little Black Book of Stories - A.S. Byatt
9) Mirror Mirror - Gregory Maguire
10) The Death of Bunny Munro - Nick Cave
11) A Certain Slant of Light - Laura Whitcomb
12) Fool - Christopher Moore

1) The Ladies of Grace Adieu - Susanna Clarke
2) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson


  1. Thanks for taking the challenge with us! What a great list, this. I've got some of these on my shelves, and others are on my official challenge list. I look forward to your reviews, and I definitely need to read these:

    The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
    A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
    The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
    Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
    Little Black Book of Stories - A.S. Byatt
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson

  2. What a relief to see that I am not the only one with remorse and renewal associated with my piles of books. Here's my TBR for 2011:

    Norwegian Wood: I think I’d like to read every Murakami book this year.
    Cat’s Cradle
    East of Eden
    A Brief History of Time
    The Incredible Lightness of Being
    The Corrections
    Chronic City
    A biography about Albert Einstein (Still have to pick which one)

  3. Thanks Adam and Jackie for commenting and including your future reads. I'm trying to get lurker-friends to come forward with their TBR piles. Seems there's a shame component involved - and one friend has begged off doing the challenge because she's engrossed in US Weekly. Love her but she's not much of a reader!

  4. What a lovely idea! Is there a prize for first place?

    John Henry Days
    Europe Between the Oceans
    In the Wake
    Knut Hamsun Dreamer Dissenter
    This Republic of Suffering
    Profiles in Courage
    The Metaphysical Club
    The Master and Margarita
    Godel, Escher, Bach

    LOVE Wilkie Colllins

  5. Adam (roof beam reader) is giving away a gift card, I don't even remember the amount.

    To paraphrase the best band name in the world "I Love (Wilkie Collins) But I've Chosen Darkness" - I love WC too, but am having so much trouble getting through Woman in White. I think the other books I am reading at the same time* are so much faster paced that I'm finding it hard to get into a slower victorian groove. I will try again in March - I'm not giving up on Count Fosco!

    *I think this habit of mine is really awful, and not a thoughtful way to read, but it's really hard to break!

  6. Just checking-in on your progress for the 2011 TBR Pile Challenge - how are things going so far?! Don't forget to link your reviews to your master list. :)

    Also... BIG Giveaways are happening on my blog this week, and TBR Pile Challenge participants earn extra entries for linking to their lists, so be sure to visit my Giveaways section soon! ;)


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