Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 TBR Pile Challenge

And finally, I have over-ambitiously signed up for a third reading challenge. Am I setting myself up for failure? Time will tell, but I hope not!


This challenge is hosted by Roof Beam Reader, and it is actually a necessary and compelling challenge. I always feel so guilty about the books that sit on my shelves unread. It makes me sad, like I am hurting their feelings by ignoring them. I used to have an entire separate shelf (ok, two full shelves) of TBR (to be read) books, but the books just sat there, judging me. So I integrated all of them into the rest of my library, separating them out by putting a green sticker on the spine. Now sometimes I think I can hear the green stickers sneering at me as I walk past my bookshelves on my way to the living room to watch TV.

The challenge is to read one TBR book a month for all of 2012 - for a total of 12 books. The books must have been on the TBR shelf for more than a year, meaning they all must have a publication date earlier than 1/1/11, and I must have had the book for longer than a year. This shouldn't be a problem. Also, I have to pick my 12 books now, but I can pick 2 alternates in case I can't (or don't want to) finish one from my original list. Here are my picks (in no particular order, except the last two are my alternates):

1. The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant;
2. The House of Sand & Fog by Andre Dubus III;
3. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett;
4. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen;
5. The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson;
6. City of God by Paulo Lins;
7. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy;
8. Animal Farm by George Orwell;
9. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve;
10. Bloody Mary by Carolly Erickson;
11. The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir;
12 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe;

My Two Alternates:
13. A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr;
14. The snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway.

So yeah, this is going to be tough because surely if I was excited to read all of these, I would have done it long ago, right? But these are all books worthy of being read, so I'm going to at least give it a go.

I will be updating this list throughout the year as I read and write reviews of these books. I'll post a link here to the review for each book and a link on each review back to this original post. Let the removal of green stickers commence!


  1. Glad you're joining us for the 2012 TBR Pile Challenge!

    Animal Farm is fantastic - Orwell is one of my favorite writers. A lot of the other books on your list could have made it on mine, too (I own most and have for a while...but haven't yet read them!). Looking forward to your reviews!

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks again! I have been meaning to read Animal Farm for years. I read 1984 last year and really liked it, so it only makes sense to read another. I'm looking forward to everyone's reviews too - I kind of prefer reviews about older books to reviews of all the new stuff, and this is a great way to encourage those conversations!