Saturday, November 24, 2012

TBR Pile Challenge 2013


It's time to sign up for the TBR Pile Challenge 2013!!  I really loved this challenge because it really forced me to read some of the books I've been ignoring for so long.  And it's very reasonable -- I pretty much read one off the list every month, and I finally finished it a few weeks ago.  I read 11 books from my original list, plus two alternates, and most of them were pleasant surprises -- with only a couple of exceptions, I was sorry I'd left them unread for so long.

Basically, you just look at your unread books and select 12 that you've owned for at least a year and still haven't read.  Complete details of the challenge can be found here.  It's a great way to read those neglected books, plus there's a drawing at the end -- if you complete the challenge, your name goes in a drawing for a $50 gift card from Amazon or The Book Depository!

Here's my list:


1.  Wild Swans:  Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang.  A book from my list of 50 Nonfiction Books in 5 Years.  Completed 10/28/13.

2. Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Berniers.  Purchased more than 10 years ago for a book group.  I read the beginning and liked it, but for some reason got distracted and never finished it.  I've since moved it to four different houses.  Completed 3/15/13.

3.  The Duchess by Amanda Foreman.  I was supposed to read this for my Jane Austen book group last year, but I just never got to it.  Everyone in the group loved it though, and I'm always trying to read more nonfiction.  Also on my list of 50 Nonfiction Books.  Completed 11/14/13.

4.  Fidelity by Susan Glaspell.  One of the first Persephones I ever purchased, for an online readalong about 2 years ago.  Never opened it, except to admire the beautiful endpapers. Completed 2/10/13.

5.  The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hacek.  Another book purchased for a (different) online reading group.  Completed 8/24/13.

6.  Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence.  This was one of the books I received in the Big Box of Penguin Classics a couple of years ago -- I still have a few more I have to read (Moby Dick is another unread book from the box, but I think I have enough doorstoppers on this list!)  Completed 6/15/13.

7.  Collected Novellas by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Definitely, the book that has been owned-and-unread the longest.  My husband gave me this before we were married, after I read Love in the Time of Cholera.  This year I read the other book I'd owned the longest for the TBR Challenge, and I absolutely loved it, so I'm hoping this one will be as good.

8.  My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok.  A Christmas gift from my friend Amanda couple of years ago.  She's the one who encouraged me to blog, so it's appropriate that I add it to the challenge.  Completed 6/19/13.

9.  Giants in the Earth by A. E. Rolvaag.  Another one I've been carting from house to house unread.  A good friend gave me this when I moved to Nebraska -- it's actually set in the Dakotas, but he also gave me O Pioneers and I think he was looking for something else besides Willa Cather.  Completed 7/9/13.

10.  The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki.  Supposed to be sort of a Japanese version of Pride and Prejudice.  I'm always looking to read more Japanese writers so this is a good choice. Completed 4/25/13

11.  Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson.   Bought the book shortly after I started reading about the TV adaptation on the blogosphere.  The TV series never aired here, but I haven't watched any of the DVDs, and the book is still untouched on the shelves.

12.  Kipps by H. G. Wells.  Bought after an author raved about it at the St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading, back when I lived in Florida and began my quest to read more classics.  Since then I've read two other books by Wells and was underwhelmed by both; hopefully I'll enjoy his realistic fiction more than the sci-fi, which really isn't my thing.  Completed 12/4/13

Alternates:

Nella Last's War by Nella Last -- a Christmas gift from a couple of years ago.  It's also on my list of 50 Nonfiction Books in 5 Years. Completed 5/27/13.

The New York Stories of Edith Wharton -- I have about thirty unread books of short stories on my TBR shelves.  I have no idea how they pile up like that!  Maybe I need to do an entire short story challenge next year.  Completed 8/02/13.

The list includes one Persephone; six books from my 75 Classics in 5 Years Challenge; one NYRB Classic; one book from my Big Box of Penguins; three books from my 50 Nonfiction Books in 5 Years Challenge; and four books in translation.  Plus, it includes four of the books I've had on the TBR shelves the longest:  I've owned Collected Novellas since (ahem) 1990; Giants of the Earth since 2000, Captain Corelli's Mandolin since 2001; and Kipps since 2005, so it'll be nice to finally get those off the TBR shelf.

Well -- good list or bad?  Which ones should I read first?  And who else is signing up for this challenge?  

    33 comments:

    1. I hear such good things about Captain Corelli's Mandolin. I really need to get a copy, sometime. I've never read any D.H. Lawrence, so I'm looking forward to your thoughts on that one. Glad you're joining us - good luck!

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      1. Thanks! I was terrified of Lawrence but I read Sons & Lovers a few years ago with an online group and was surprised how much I liked it. Not the nicest characters, but the story was really compelling. I'm hoping Lady Chatterley is as good.

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      2. Oh, how I wish I were you and could discover Lawrence through Lady Chatterley's Lover again!!! Do not be terrified of him, he's probably the truest soul that ever existed. Words cannot describe my love for Lawrence!

        Your list is so good, by the way!

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    2. Great list. I read Wild Swans several years ago and found it to be a completely engrossing story. I look forward to reading your reviews!

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      1. I don't know why I've put off Wild Swans for so long! I think the length is a little daunting. I keep hearing great things about it though, might be the first one I tackle.

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    3. Wow, what a great list. Wild Swans is one of my favourite titles and Captain Corelli's Mandolin is wonderful.

      Happy reading :)

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      1. Thanks! I'm really looking forward to both of them -- I'm tempted to start reading some of these right now!

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    4. Congratulations on completing the 2012 challenge. Isn't it satisfying to clear books off the TBR piles? I also have The Duchess on said piles, and I keep moving it toward the top. I loved Amanda Foreman's book on the Civil War. You have two other books on your list that I just love, Lark Rise to Candleford and The Makioka Sisters.

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      1. It was great! But of course I should really just STOP BUYING books I haven't read. It's a bad habit. Lately I've mostly been buying out-of-print stuff that I can't get at my library.

        I'm really looking forward to Lark Rise and Makioka Sisters -- I hope I haven't chosen too many long books though.

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    5. The only one of these I know is Lady Chatterley, and you know how I feel about DH Lawrence, haha! Though I think you might be in luck, because I believe that title will be on the Classics Book Club list next year. Several people were asking for it during our Lolita discussion.

      This is one of those challenges that's impossible for me to participate in, because I refuse to buy books anymore that I haven't already read, and if I do, I read them right away because I only buy one or two. I have no unread books on my shelves! I love it that way. I feel so much better than the pressure i used to feel.

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      1. I'm not even going to comment on how many unread books are on my shelves. It's too embarassing!

        I'm hoping to be able to go to more of the Classics Club Book Discussions in 2013. I think I only went to three this year!

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    6. I loved Nella Last's War and hope you enjoy it, too. I got one of the three books in the series from the library and bought the other two. I gave one away after I read it, but by the end of the third, I was so attached to Nella that I was sorry I had given it away. I kept the third book and plan to get the other two so I can re-visit Nella whenever I want. I think her diary told me more about day to day life during and around the time of the Second World War in England than any other book I've read. And I fell in love with the long-suffering, outspoken, scrappy Nella.

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      1. That sounds like exactly my sort of book! I've heard the movie adaptation was great too. I'm tempted to start reading it before the end of the year!

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    7. I love your list! I'm positive this will be the only challenge I participate in during 2013. I stink at completing challenges, so.... :)

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      1. Last year I also signed up for the Classics Club, the Victorian Challenge, and the Chunkster Challenge. There was a lot of overlap between my lists, so it really wasn't that hard. I can probably do it again this year without any trouble.

        I did make the mistake of waiting too long to sign up for the Historical Challenge, and I'll never complete that one in time. Maybe next year.

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    8. I'd like to join your TBR Challenge. I have MANY books, some read, some unread. Many are used or remainders. I'll set up my journal and look forward to starting in 2013. Highly recommend Wild Swans!
      Thanks,
      Lorraine

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      1. I'm so sorry, I forgot to add the link to the signups!! I've corrected it in the posting.

        And thanks for the recommendation -- Wild Swans is getting the most positive feedback on the list, so it must be good.

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      2. Congrats on your challenge. Not only will I challenge myself for the TBR Pile challenge, which is MORE than a pile for me, but will give each finished book to the library sale.

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    9. Wild Swans is such a good book! Congrats on finishing your challenge!

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      1. Thanks! I feel like I've accomplished something. . . until I start counting the books on the TBR shelves.

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    10. I'm going to take part in the TBR challenge this year. My TBR books have now overflowed off the TBR shelf onto piles on the floor. Your list looks great, I remember reading Wild Swans - a really good book.

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    11. I sympathize, I spent several hours this weekend rearranging my books and sorting some to donate to the library's book sale. . . and I realized how many MORE belong on the TBR shelves and don't fit.

      I should really sign up for the TBR Double Dog Dare at Ready When You Are, C.B.'s blog. . . but I'd never manage to keep from checking out books from the library! It's too hard working full-time at the library -- it's like spending 40 hours a week at a candy store!

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    12. Karen, I did sign up for the TBR Double Dog Dare and I am scared! You're right about the library being like a candy store - it is going to be so hard for me to ignore all the amazing books that come in every day.It is something I really need to do, though, so I'm going to give it my best shot.
      Your mix of TBR books is really interesting - I have Fidelity and Lark Rise to Candleford on my shelves, too.

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      1. I read another book by Susan Glaspell off the Persephone list and absolutely loved it -- I don't know why I've waited so long to read Fidelity.

        Every year I try to read more books off my own shelves, but it's a losing battle. Le sigh.

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    13. Wild Swans is harrowing and beautiful. Hope you get to read it in 2013!

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      1. It's definitely at the top of the list!

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    14. Despite its length, I read Wild Swans in a few days; it's one of the best biographies I've ever read. And Fidelity is one of my favourite Persephones. On the other hand, I'd leave Lark Rise in another pile for the charity shop and, much as I loved Sons and Lovers, Lady C could go, too!
      Now I should go and inspect my own teetering pile!

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      1. Some people love Lark Rise, so I hope it's not a disappointment. And at least Lady Chatterley isn't that long. I have some good alternates just in case!

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    15. I'll attempt to read Moby Dick with you in 2014. I have Lady Chatterly's Lover around here someplace, too, I think...

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    16. I also have Les Miserables on the TBR pile!! I really want to read it since the movie's coming out, but it's about 1200 pages!! And my daughter thinks I need to read The Count of Monte Cristo since she had to read it for school last summer.

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    17. I don't know where you've been lately. I miss your posts. I hope all is well and that you're having a wonderful Christmas.

      Have a happy, healthy, wonderful New Year!

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    18. Oh, I like the sound of this challenge. The other TBR challenge that I've looked at limited me to only TBR books until April 1...as if?

      You have some wonderful reading ahead of you--I love historical bios, and The Duchess is simply one of the best I've ever read. Well-written, heart-breaking, interesting, and relevant to those of us who love to learn about that time period. Enjoy!

      I've read My Name is Asher Lev 2-3 times, but not for a good 30 years. I got it as a teen and found it fascinating. I hope you like it. I really should reread it and find out whether it holds up after so long.

      I've been wanting to read more Edith Wharton myself, and I've still never read Lady Chatterley's Lover.

      Happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful book-filled new year!

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    19. You have a lot of books that I've never heard of on your list, so thanks for sharing. I read Wild Swans years ago and really loved it, so I hope you enjoy it as well. Good luck with your 2013 challenges!

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