2015 TBR Pile Challenge

Too Many Books! (photo by "jsmidt," freeimages.com)

Too Many Books!
(photo by “jsmidt,” freeimages.com)

I’ve never included reading goals in my new year’s resolutions because I read voraciously anyway. (Which is how I know words like voraciously.)  And I’ve never followed a reading list challenge because I like to read what I’m in the mood for at the time. I also like re-reading books.

I’ve seen some interesting reading challenges, though. One started as a “Read England” challenge and spawned a “Read America” challenge, the idea being to read a book set in each English county or American state.

I might do that someday, but the one that caught my eye for right now is one that focuses on my TBR Pile. For the uninitiated, TBR means “To Be Read,” and most readaholics have full e-readers and piles of unread print books.  “So many books, so little time” seems to be our slogan.

My bookcases are often double-stacked – no surprise there – but I used to have a particular shelf for books I hadn’t read yet, usually bought on sale or at a used bookstore or from the Friends of the Library. Like Lays Potato Chips, I can’t buy just one! My TBR shelf grew into two, then three, now all double-stacked. We won’t mention various piles on the floor.

And then I got a Kindle for Christmas a year or two ago.  Do you know how hard it is to resist books at $1.99?  I read the sample on Amazon to make sure the writing is decent and then it’s oh-so-easy to click BUY.  Voila! A shiny new e-book just waiting to be read.

Right now, the new book I downloaded just yesterday is waiting with about a hundred others.  Needless to say, when I saw a challenge that would focus on my ever-growing book list, I jumped on board.

2015tbrbuttonThe idea of Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge is that you pick 12 books from your TBR list which you will read in the 12 months of 2015. You choose two books as alternates “just in case one or two of the books end up in the ‘can’t get through’ pile.”

Hmm . . . books I’ve been wanting to read, most of which I have – I can do this!

So I started my list, balancing out some classics (that I should have read long ago but never did) with some YA and Middle Grade that I’ve missed, plus some that I’ve bought and just haven’t gotten to. Plus a few more that the library will happily provide.  I ended up with about 20 that are calling to me now, and cut those down to this final list:

  1. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
  2. Silk Road – Colin Falconer
  3. Pride of Lions – Morgan Llywelyn
  4. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  5. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  6. To Say Nothing of the Dog – Connie Willis
  7. Red – Kait Nolan
  8. The Maze Runner – James Dashner (completed 1/6/15)
  9. Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
  10. Percy Jackson & the Olympians series (at least two) – Rick Riordan
  11. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress – Rhoda Janzen
  12. Pentecost – J. F. Penn
  13. The Baker’s Daughter – Sarah McCoy
  14. The Agony and the Ecstasy – Irving Stone

I think the last two are my alternates, but I reserve the right to read any twelve of the fourteen that I happen to be in the mood for!  And to be honest, I think my goal is to read all of them anyway.  🙂

As part of the challenge, I’ll be reviewing these on Amazon/Goodreads and probably blogging about them too.  When a review is up, I’ll link to it here. (EDITED TO ADD:  if the title has a link, click it to see my review.)

So what’s on your TBR list? And are you interested in the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge?






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11 Responses to 2015 TBR Pile Challenge

  1. Melissa G. says:

    Anne of Green Gables is a sweet series. I read it when I was around 19 years old, maybe 20. I think that might be worth a re-read after so long.

    More recently, I read the Percy Jackson series. Good stories, but definitely written for a younger audience.

    Aside from the piles of e-books I have waiting to be read, I think most of my TBR list are classics that I’ve never got round to reading. I try once in a while and invariably find the writing…. not as easy to get through as more recent writing. I’ll still keep plugging away at them though.

    • Jennifer Jensen says:

      I”m glad you liked Anne of Green Gables, Melissa. I loved the mini-series a good few years back, but somehow I missed out on most of the children’s classics (never read any of the Little House books, either). I, too, have problems with the slow-going of adult classics. I read rather fast and I have to put myself into a completely different mindset for those. Pride and Prejudice got me started – I had seen the BBC version enough that those voices came through as I read. I’ve also read A Tale of Two Cities before, so I’ve got a start on Dickens. Percy Jackson . . . yeah, that’s why that’s in there – it gives me a break from the heavy stuff! Same age group as I write for and I gather they’re really good time travel books for kids. Happy reading!

  2. Jess Witkins says:

    I’ll be doing my 4th round of the TBR Pile Challenge in 2015! Still finalizing my list, but like you it will be a mix of classics, some YA, and some I’ve intended to read. We will share Persuasion. That’s the last Austen novel I have to read. Anne of Green Gables was part of my 2014 list. I loved it! Enjoy and happy reading!
    Jess Witkins recently posted..Have a Holly Jolly ChristmasMy Profile

    • Jennifer Jensen says:

      Cool! Persuasion is almost the last Austen one for me – I don’t think I”ve ever read Northanger Abbey. Do you have your list up on your blog yet?

  3. JaneGS says:

    You’ve got some fun reading in store for 2015. I am a lifelong Anne fan and plan to reread the last book in the series this year myself. Persuasion is in my top 5 favorite books of all time, and To Say Nothing of the Dog is interesting (albeit somewhat confusing at times!). I have Agony and Ecstasy on my shelf and hope to get to it in 2015 as well.

    Happy reading!

    • Jennifer Jensen says:

      I popped over to your blog and read your list, Jane. Some great ones there, too! (Hmm . . . maybe I’ll switch out a few of mine?) I’m going to need to stop at some other Challenger-takers’ blogs and see what they’re reading, if I can figure out how to do it without doubling the size of my TBR pile!

  4. Jennifer, I am inspired by your TBR file! I too tend to be a little independent and would rather read what inspires me at that moment. I too love to reread those books that spoke to me. So I cheer you on girl! I know you can do this. Me, not so much. lol. “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Is that a good excuse? No? Hmm. 🙂
    Karen McFarland recently posted..Unbroken and UndefeatedMy Profile

    • Jennifer Jensen says:

      I want to read “in the mood” as well, Karen, but I read so much that I *think* I can do these too. And the funny thing is that as soon as I put it on my list, I was thinking about it more and therefore wanting to read it now. Especially when I brought Maze Runner home from the library and had to stare at it for 2 days before I was allowed to start! And more now, b/c I’m in the middle of a really good long one – Milele Safari by Jan Hawke – but it’s still staring at me and calling. 🙂

  5. Caitie F says:

    Good luck with this challenge! Gone Girl, Persuasion, and the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series are all so good. Have fun!
    Caitie F recently posted..2015 GoalsMy Profile

    • Jennifer Jensen says:

      Thanks, Catie. I’ve tried to intersperse fun reads with the heavier ones. I checked out your list and good luck! That’s the first list where I’m not familiar with ANY of the titles! Here’s to us and our many good books!

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