The TBR Pile Challenge 2014 …..

I’m signing up for the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge at Roof Beam Reader, because I need something to remind me how many good books I have waiting for me on my own shelves.

2014tbrbuttonIt works something like this:

Pick a dozen books that you have owned for more than a year and not read. Pick two alternates, just in case one or two of that dozen, doesn’t work out. Read them in 2014.

I’m only picking books I really want to read, because life is too short and there are too many great books to do anything else, but I did set myself some other criteria.

I’ve picked my books from different shelves around the house so that I look at all of the other books that aren’t on the list along the way.

Every book I picked has acome from a different place – not for any particular reason, just because I wanted to see if I could work things that way.

And none of these books are on my Classics Club list or anything to do with any other projects, because I want to read a wider range of books next year.

So here are the twelve:

Stratton’s War by Laura Wilson

This one came my way courtesy of ReadItSwapIt a couple of years ago. I really do want to read it, because I like the look of one or two of the books later in the series.

Devotion by Nell Leyshon

I picked this up from a book stall because I recognised the author’s name. I loved The Colour of Milk and I have high hopes for this rather different, contemporary story.

The Phoenix’ Nest by Elizabeth Jenkins

I spotted this one in a local bookshop, sadly now closed, not knowing at the time that it was rare. Searches have revealed noting, it doesn’t get a mention in the author’s biography, but the opening suggests that it is set in an Elizabethan theatre …

The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris

I bought this second novel when it was brand new in local bookshop, because I loved Ali Harris’s first book.

The Mesmerist by Barbara Ewing

This one was sitting on a charity shop shelf, and I had to bring it home.

A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin

I spotted this one at a fundraising sale for our local museum.

Eden’s Garden by Juliet Greenwood

This one was ordered from the publisher after reading Claire’s review.

You by Joanna Briscoe

This one dropped through by letterbox, unsolicited, a few years ago, and I like the look of it but I’ve never quite got around to picking it up.

Darkness Falls All Over Again by Nigel Balchin

I bought this one when I was living in London. I remember listening to the radio, hearing somebody pick this as their favourite book set in London. and saying that it was like ‘The End of the Affair’ – but better.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

This was a gift from a very generous Virago Secret Santa a couple of years ago,

Two-Thirds of a Ghost by Helen McCloy

This is a green numbered Penguin that I picked up in a very good second-hand bookshop in Falmouth.

A Wreath for the Enemy by Pamela Frankau

I can remember my fiancé – a trained spotter of Virago Modern Classics – coming home with this one.

And here are my two possible substitutes:

The Children’s Book by A S Byatt

I pounced on this brand new hardback copy when it was being sold very cheaply at a library sale.

The Heart of London by Monica Dickens

This one came from a bookshop in Redruth, on a day when I had to be very picky because there were so many books I would have liked. It made the cut because I love Monica Dickens, and it is such a lovely editions.

Wish me luck!

19 responses

  1. I’ve been tempted to sign up for this one, but I think I’ll stick to my book-box plan (trying to read at least 50% from the TBR stacks). I’ll be curious to hear about these books – I only recognize a couple of authors (and I am resisting the urge to look up the Monica Dickens, because I know it will lead to ordering the Monica Dickens).

  2. Good luck! I’m very tempted to join you!! Very, very tempted. I could never manage the read-only-books-that-you-own-until-April double dare, but this I could do. And should do. And might do!

  3. I’d need about ten year’s worth of tbr clearing! The Children’s Book was very good, in case you need to slide something out and put in a back-up.

  4. What a nice variety of books Jane! I would like to do this kind of challenge, but to be honest I’m not good at the formal type, and I’ll probably have enough trouble sticking to the LT Great War Reading event. But I *will* try very hard to read as much as possible from my TBR next year!

  5. I can vouch for ‘Stratton’s War’, ‘A Secret Alchemy’ and ‘The Children’s Book’. They’re all novels I wish I still had to read for the first time and I’d happily put them at the top of the pile for Christmas reading.
    I really ought to do something about my own tbr pile, especially if it would help me to then pass the books read onto other owners. Not only is the house now full but the garage is getting close to saturation point as well.

    • It was your Laura Wilson post a while back that reminded me that ‘Stratton’s War’ was still waiting, so thank you. We have books in every room save the bathroom, but not the garage – so close to the sea it’s bound to be damp.

  6. I have the Ali Harris book to read, maybe soon. Like you, I have lots to pick and I am slowly going through them, trouble is it doesn’t include the ones on my kindle.

  7. I love the idea of reading more books from my own shelves, but I can’t commit to reading challenges – I always fail them. I like the simplicity of this challenge, though. I think most of Elizabeth Jenkins’s books are hard to find these days so you were very lucky to get a copy of The Phoenix’ Nest!

  8. I hadn’t heard of any of your books until we got to the possibilities! And I loved, loved, loved the children’s books and have fond memories of my Monica Dickens phase 🙂

    Good luck with the challenge (crazily I’ve combined three challenges into one for next year!)

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