Monday, March 31, 2014

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2014

How on earth did I miss signing up for this challenge at the end of 2013?! It's hosted by Bev at My Reader's Block, and I am already participating in the Color-Coded Reading Challenge there - so I can only think it was an oversight. This is a great way to track the TBR books I have been trying to make a dent in - and some more incentive to read from my TBR pile rather than checking out NetGalley or the library and adding books to my pile.

I think I will commit to the Mount Kilimanjaro level of 60 books - that seems very doable with my on-hand pile of books and it works well with my other challenges. I am not going to create a list in advance, but I will track the books I read from my TBR pile in this post on an ongoing basis. I'm going to go back to January 2014 for this one, and track the other books here for the rest of the year.

Here's a link to the challenge - have you already signed up? If so, leave me a comment so I'll know you'll be keeping tabs on my progress! :) Thanks again to Bev for hosting another great challenge!


1. The Man in the Iron Mask - Alexander Dumas
2. The Tin Drum - Günter Grass
3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
4. Late for Tea at the Deer Palace - Tamara Chalabi
5. Our Man in Havana - Graham Greene
6. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
7. The Prince and the Pauper - Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)
8. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
9. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
10. The Cold War: A New History - John Lewis Gaddis
11. World and Town - Gish Jen
12. The Dark Side of Camelot - Seymour M. Hersh
13. Ilustrado - Miguel Syjuco
14. Lady Chatterly's Lover - D.H. Lawrence
15. The Kingdom of Ohio - Matthew Flaming
16. Hubert's Freaks - Gregory Gibson
17. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
18. Bel Ami - Guy de Maupassant
19. The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver
20. Сорока-белобока / The Magpie
21. The Man Who Was Thursday - G.K. Chesterton
22. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
23. La Canne de Jonc - Alfred de Vigny
24. De Eenzamheid van de priemgetallen - Paolo Giordano
25. The Solitude of Prime Numbers - Paolo Giordano
26. Cities of the Red Night - William S. Burroughs
27. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
28. Atonement - Ian McEwan
29. Cold Sassy Tree - Olive Ann Burns
30. Palace of Desire - Naguib Mahfouz
31. Sugar Street - Naguib Mahfouz
32. Leaving Cold Sassy - Olive Ann Burns
33. The Meaning of Night - Michael Cox
34. The Times Anthology of Ghost Stories
35. The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum
36. Lost in Shangri-La - Mitchell Zuckoff
37. The Flappers: Vixen - Jillian Larkin
38. The Poison Tree - Erin Kelly
39. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen - Syrie James
40. Alibi - Joseph Kanon
41. A Carrion Death - Michael Stanley
42. Fall of Frost - Brian Hall
43. Fated - S.G. Browne
44. The North China Lover - Marguerite Duras
45. Emily of Deep Valley - Maud Hart Lovelace
46. The Universe in Miniature in Miniature - Patrick Somerville
47. Being Polite to Hitler - Robb Forman Dew
48. Our Father - Robert Tyler
49. And Only to Deceive - Tasha Alexander
50. Cause for Concern - Margaret Yorke
51. The Detroit Electric Scheme - D.E. Johnson
52. House of Sand and Fog - Andre Dubus III
53. The Devil's Tickets - Gary M. Pomerantz
54. The Memory Room - Christopher Koch
55. Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut
56. Three Plays: Blithe Spirit, Hay Fever, Private Lives - Noel Coward
57. A Handful of Dust - Evelyn Waugh
58. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
59. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
60. Sacred Games - Vikram Chandra

I made it!! Here is the final checkpoint wrapup post:

1. Tell us how many miles you made it up your mountain (# of books read). If you've planted your flag on the peak, then tell us and celebrate (and wave!).  Even if you were especially athletic and have been sitting atop your mountain for months, please check back in and remind us how quickly you sprinted up that trail. And feel free to tell us about any particularly exciting book adventures you've had along the way. 

My response: I made it all the way up Mount Kilimanjaro, with 60 out of 60 books read, for a total of 5,895 meters/19,341 feet. I just barely made it about an hour ago, and I am thoroughly stoked! I had planned to keep a better pace but I got mightily distracted by ARCs and random books so December was devoted to summiting, and that meant reading 23 books - yikes. As much as I love reading, I don't want to do that again next year, so I will try to keep a better pace!

I encountered a lot of new favorites through this challenge, including a bunch of classics, such as The Grapes of Wrath and Lady Chatterly's Lover, but my proudest moments were completing the 3 foreign language books that had been gathering dust and making me feel guilty for years. In any case, I am ecstatic at removing 60 books from my insane TBR pile, and totally looking forward to setting (and meeting!!) this same goal in 2015.

2. The Year in Review According to Mount TBR: Using the titles of the books you read this year, please associate as many statements as you can with a book read on your journey up the Mountain. 
Describe yourself: Lost in Shangri-La
Describe where you currently live: World and Town
If you could go anywhere where would you go?: The Memory Room (if I could get more memory capacity there! :) )
Every Monday morning I look/feel like: The Man in the Iron Mask
The last time I went to the doctor/therapist was because: I had Hay Fever
The last meal I ate was: The Grapes of Wrath as part of my Breakfast of Champions
When a creepy guy/girl asks me for my phone number, I: tell them I'm into the Solitude of Prime Numbers
Ignorant politicians make me: feel I have Cause for Concern
Some people need to spend more time: beating The Tin Drum
My memoir could be titled: Bel Ami
If I could, I would tell my teenage self: don't worry, you'll be Leaving Cold Sassy
I've always wondered: about The Importance of Being Earnest


  1. Welcome to Mount TBR, Anja! Good luck with the climb!

  2. Thanks Bev, I'm looking forward to it! :)