Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 TBR Challenge Wrap Up

Take a walk with me. When you enter my house, a long hallway stretches out before you, leading into the living room. If you make a left at the turn in the wall, head straight through to the back hallway and make another left, you will come upon two doors. The door to the right is the door you are looking for. Let me get the door for you. You will be met with a sight that will make your heart skip a beat or two. Remember to breathe. And no, it has nothing to do with the monkey swinging from his stick on the ceiling. If you are not a booklover, I expect you might run screaming from the room and out of the house onto the street and into oncoming traffic. If you are a booklover, however, you are most likely to let out a sigh of pure contentment and make your way further into the room for a closer look. You have entered my TBR room. Books line the shelves, quite a few stacked on top of those, and overflow from boxes and bags laying on the floor. Occasionally you will find me sitting in the middle of the room, breathing in the bookish smells and admiring my collection. Although, there are times I prefer to go in and get out as quickly as possible for fear of being grabbed by one of the more aggressive books. This is not one of those times.

When I first heard mention of the MizB's 2007 TBR Challenge, I knew I would join in. My very first challenge! And how perfect! A way to clear some shelf space or at least maybe empty a box. Unfortunately it was not quite that simple. As the year progressed, I discovered that even though I was clearing out some of the older books that had been languishing on my shelves, books that had been ever so patient for their turn, newer books were rapidly taking their place. I was recently asked how many books go in for every one that comes out. I dare not say. I really do not want to know. Neither does my husband, thank you very much.

Still, the 2007 TBR Challenge was a fantastic idea and a much appreciated one. Books I had been longing to read but that had gotten lost in the shuffle were suddenly getting my full attention. I even cleared a spot on my desk here at the computer for the year's challenge books. As the year passed I watched the books shrink as books were read, swell as books were added as a result of new challenges, and shrink again. My cat is relieved to finally have his high space back, let me tell you. He wasn't pleased at all when I first starting adding books to the shelf last January.

Besides clearing out some of the older books on my shelves, this was the challenge that can be credited with setting free the challenge monster that has been hibernating inside of me. I went from one to three to fifteen challenges by the end of this year. It's wild. It has been a fun experience, albeit stressful on occasion, but overall worthwhile and one I do not at all regret.

The goal of the challenge was to read one book that had been sitting on the TBR shelf for at least six months at the beginning of the challenge per month. I was able to read all twelve of my choices, along with one alternate.

TBR Challenge Books:
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (04/2005)
Emma by Jane Austen (07/2005)
April Witch by Majgull Axelsson (10/2004)
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert (01/2006)
Wickett's Remedy by Myla Goldberg (12/2005)
The Ghost Writer by John Harwood (06/2005)
In A Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes(04/2006)
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos (10/2005)
Song of the Cuckoo Bird by Amulya Malladi (01/2006)
Atonement by Ian McEwan (01/2005)
Sula by Toni Morrison (12/2004)
The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle (06/2005)

Pope Joan by Donna W Cross
The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley [read]
The Golems of Gotham by Thane Rosenbaum
Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate

This was an amazing year of reading. Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos and Moloka'i by Alan Brennert were among my favorites. Ian McEwan's Atonement and John Harwood's Ghost Writer following close behind. I have no regrets in my selections for the challenge, finding each one a worthwhile book to read. Myla Goldberg's Wickett's Remedy probably charmed me the least of them all, but even that was enjoyable in its own right.

For now, My three remaining alternates will return to their place in my TBR room, but there moment will come. It is just a matter of time.

Thank you, MizB for introducing me to reading challenges and hosting the TBR Challenge. I look forward to another year of great reading.


  1. "You've entered the TBR Room" -- OMG I love that. I need to put that on a poster and place it at the entrance to one of our rooms! :)
    Isn't it sad that books we were so excited about somehow end up getting lost in the shuffle? Oh well, at least they are there and just waiting for us. Congrats on finishing your challenge! I see you have been wrapping up several - yay!

  2. I wish I had a room for my TBR collection. At least then it wouldn't be taking over the house! Loved your description.

    As you know, I don't officially do reading challenges, but at a personal level I think I do need to tackle this one. You're inspiring me. :-)

    (Based on your enthusiasm, I came thisclose to using part of a B&N gift card to buy Broken for You today. But I decided to wait, since it will probably be worth spending my own money on.)

  3. Congratulations on your achievement! I picked up The Ghost Writer yesterday at the HPB sale based partially on your review. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  4. Well, darn. Now I feel like a piker with only 100 or so books in my TBR pile.

    I love your entire post and I will probably be adding to that pile because of your reviews.


  5. Iliana - That's not a bad idea. Maybe I should make a sign . . .

    It is sad and when I think of those books, I often find myself getting excited about reading them, just as I had when I first added them to my collection, but then it gets lost in the excitement of the next book I come across. Ho hum.

    Florinda - Having a separate room for my TBR books does have its advantages in more ways than one. The room is actually a guest room, or at least it was until I took it over with my books. LOL

    I hope you will like Broken For You when you do read it. It's one I decided to read based on fellow booklovers reviews. I might not have picked it up otherwise.

    Tara - Thank you! I hope you will enjoy The Ghost Writer as much as I did.

    I wish you and your family a Happy New Year as well!

    CJ - Be glad you aren't as bad off as I am with so many TBR books. You're obviously wiser than I am. Haha


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