Saturday, December 20, 2014

2015 TBR Pile Challenge

I have decided to enter the TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by Roof Beam Reader. I mentioned in October that I have a sizable stack of un-read books that I really do want to read but never seem to tackle. So here is my formal declaration that I will read TWELVE of these books over the course of 2015.

I have chosen a set of twelve (as well as two alternates) that includes different genres that I enjoy: literary fiction, mystery/thriller, nonfiction, and YA.  Here’s the list: 

1) The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (nonfiction). I got this for Christmas several years ago. I was reminded about how much I want to read this book during the discussion about good titles in Nonfiction November.

2) Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (literary fiction). This was a gift at my book club’s holiday book exchange a few years ago. Someone else received it and asked me to pass it along to another member. I never did. Oops. I read this author’s Leaving Atlanta and enjoyed it. (Completed 1/9/15. Review here)

3) The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan (nonfiction). I gave this to my husband for Christmas a few years ago. People were also talking about it during Nonfiction November. I read this author’s The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest and enjoyed it.

4) Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem (literary fiction/mystery). I bought this at the Friends of the Seattle Public Library book sale years ago.

5) Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (literary fiction). Someone lent this one to me, and I never gave it back. Sorry! You can have it in 2016. I have read the following titles by this author:  Run, State of Wonder, The Patron Saint of Liars, What Now?, and most of This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

6) Charming Billy by Alice McDermott (literary fiction). I bought this one at the Friends of the Seattle Public Library book sale years ago. My mother recommends it. (Completed 6/15. Review here)

7) Shatter by Michael Robotham (mystery/thriller). I bought this one new at Third Place Books in Seattle. This is the third in the Joseph O’Loughlin series, which I started a couple of years ago.

8) The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (literary fiction). I bought this one at a used bookstore a few summers ago, when it was all the rage. I can’t remember which store it was.

9) When the World Was Steady by Claire Messud (literary fiction). I bought this one at a Friends of the Seattle Public Library book sale. I have read this author’s The Emperor’s Children (which I loved) and TheWoman Upstairs (which I loved less). (Completed 3/18/15. Review here).

10) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (YA). I also bought this one at the library book sale. My favorite famous librarian, Nancy Pearl, recommends it.

11) After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell (literary fiction). I bought this one used at Magers and Quinn bookstore in Minneapolis a few years ago. I have read The Hand That First Held Mine, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, and Instructions for a Heatwave by this author, and I have liked them all. (Completed 7/30/15. Review here).

12) A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon (literary fiction). I bought this one at Powells bookstore in Portland.

And my two alternates are:

1)   The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood (literary fiction). This is another book I picked up at the library book sale. I read this author’s Something Blue 20 years ago. (Completed 5/21/15. Review here).

2)   My Dream of You by Nuala O’Faolain (literary fiction). I ordered this used online, from some store that links with Amazon.

Does anyone want to do this challenge with me? If so, please share your list of books in the comments section (or join it officially! But please let me know that you're doing it). It’s easy to leave a comment – I promise. Click on the word "comment" below. Then just choose "anonymous" as your ID and write your comment. Remember to hit "Publish" when you're done.  It would be great if you would sign your name in the comment so that I know who you are.


Not Scott said...

12 books...that's nearly one a month if I've done the math correctly.

I doubt I can do it, but here are my twelve.

1) Andrew Ross, "Bird on Fire." On subjects dear to me: urban planning, ecology, Phoenix. And by an author and scholar I respect highly. I bought this when it was published in 2011. I keep it in reserve, waiting for just the right time to read it.

2) George R.R. Martin "Game of Thrones." I won a free book at the library over the summer and I had limited selection. I chose this one to see what all the fuss was about.

3) David Foster Wallace "The Pale King." Never quite made it around to reading this posthumously published work. His death sent me back to the stuff with which I was familiar.

4 & 5) The Leslie Klinger editions of Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. These are gorgeous books that I used my daughter as an excuse to buy. I certainly am not going to read all of the Holmes stories in one month, but I would like to delve into these eccentric scholarly editions that refuse to acknowledge the fiction of their protagonists.

6) Boris Vian "L'ecue des jours" I borrowed this from my French teacher because I wanted to see the film "Mood Indigo" when it came out. My French is pretty bad, so I'm putting off trying to read more than the 20 pages I've struggled to read so far. Maybe by October of 2015 I'll have the skills.

7) Arthur Phillips "Prague." I've read many of his other books and enjoyed them all. I bought "Prague" a couple of years ago and never read it.

8) Richard Russo "Bridge of Sighs." Same as Phillips.

9)-12) will have to wait as I have to go prepare dinner.

jennifer said...

This is a great list, Not Scott. Did you pick 9 through 12?

Anonymous said...

Good luck! I need to read Code Name Verity too.

jennifer said...

Thanks! I've heard such good things about that one.