Saturday, December 15, 2007

2008 TBR (To Be Read) Challenge

One of my favorite reasons for participating in these challenges is putting together the book list. With a TBR room (or warehouse, as my husband prefers to call it) as full as time is, there is never room to complain that I have nothing to read. Unfortunately, it is easy for a book to get lost on the shelves or in a box. Some books have been waiting for years as patiently and quietly as they can while I pick up their neighbors without complaint. I often wonder what they do to pass the time. Do they read to each other? Settle in for a long nap? Play hide and seek (maybe that's why I sometimes have trouble locating a book)? To be a book in my library . . .

This year's TBR Challenge started out simply as a way for me to finally read some of those books that had been lingering in the TBR room for longer than most. As challenge fever struck, I applied the rule to just about every book I read for each of the challenges I signed up for. While there was some hope that this would curtail some of the growth to my already bulging TBR collection, it did no such thing. My collection continues to grow at an alarming rate. So, if at first you do not succeed, try again, right? Of course, one could argue that the goal of the TBR Challenge is not to lessen the TBR stacks so much as to make room for new books. I suppose though, you actually have to have the room for them first. Which I don't, but at least you can still walk around in the room, maybe even lie on the floor without being too stymied by boxes of books.

For details about the 2008 TBR Challenge be sure and visit MizBooks' FAQ list. I hope you will join in this year for some great reading!

My 2008 TBR Challenge List:
1. Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
2. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
3. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
5. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
6. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
7. Out by Natsuo Kirino
8. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
9. Saturday by Ian McEwan
10. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
11. Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett
12. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Alternates List (because every challenge should have one):
1. Midwives by Chris Bohajalian
2. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
3. The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat
4. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
5. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
6. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
7. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
8. A History of God by Karen Armstrong
9. Killing Pabloby Mark Bowden
10. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert


  1. I try to choose TBR books for all of my challenges too. Hasn't cleared any space though, funny that! ;)
    I've read 8 books from your main list and really enjoyed all but one of them. You have lots of good reading ahead of you.

  2. I would put the shadow of the wind at the top of your list. Best novel I've ever read.

  3. Great list, Wendy! :)
    I have been waiting for this challenge for some time since I have missed the last round. These reading challenges are soooo addictive, hehe.

  4. You really should read The Time Traveler's Wife! It'll be a movie soon with Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. I really am looking forward to it.

  5. What a great list of books! I've read a few, and all are great. My faves are 12 on the first list and 5 on the alternates.
    Have fun. I liked your descriptions of the TBR room books.

  6. I am hoping to sign up for this challenge as well. I have read a couple of the books on your list and enjoyed them all (The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf) and there are some I hope to read next year too like Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

  7. My TBR challenge would be nearly every book in my house right now. And like yours, it would probably juest end up making room for more books. :-)

    You have a few books on both your lists that are TBR for me too. But because I've read both A History of God and Eat, Pray, Love, I'd say they belong on your main list instead of the alternates, not that it matters. I hope you like Bel Canto - I thought it was excellent.

  8. Ha,ha... A TBR room. I love that. I think I need to do this challenge too then. You've got some great books on your list - love The Shadow of the Wind and History of Love. Just wonderful.

  9. Tanabata - Yes, it is funny how reading TBR books for challenges doesn't seem to really have an effect on shelf space. :-)

    Now you've got me curious about which one you didn't like.

    Anonymous - Shadow of the Wind is on my main list at list. I listed the books alphabetically by author's surname, so Zafron would have to change his name to make it to the top. ;-)

    Melody - I am glad you are going to join in this next year! And yes, they are very addicting. Too much so sometimes!

    Michelle - I hope to one of these days. I had a really hard time narrowing down my final list, but hopefully I can get to the alternates too.

    Elizabeth - I've heard such good things about the two you pointed out. I hope I will enjoy them too. :-)

    Rhinoa - It was really hard putting the list together because I wanted so many to be on the final twelve. I actually had 13 on the list, but my husband pointed out that it couldn't work that way. Haha Good luck in choosing your books for the challenge! Hopefully it will be easier for you.

    Florinda - Ultimately over half of the books in my house are TBR books (over 1000), but I can only put 12 on the list with a minimum of 12 alternates (I chose 10 this round). :-)

    Iliana - Thanks! It's kind of embarrassing that I have an entire room in my house full of TBR books. Haha

  10. That's a great list! I have read quite a few of those (1,2,3 on 1st list, 4,5,7,8 on 2nd list--all were really good, although I never actually finished A History of God)

    You also have a few that might make it onto my TBR challenge list--Bel Canto, English Patient, Shadow of the Wind, and The Time Traveler's Wife. All have been sitting on my bookshelf for more than 6 months.

  11. I think you are really going to like 'The Shadow of the Wind'. It's a book-lovers book. Good luck on this challenge. I think I'll be joining too.

  12. Alisia - Thank you. I'd like to get to them all next year, but we shall see. So many more didn't make the cut . . .

    Kookie - I think so too. At least that's what everyone keeps telling me. :-)

  13. Great list! I've read a few of them (liked most of the ones I've read) some of them are also on my TBR list, but not on my 2008 TBR Challenge list.

  14. LOL. Just me being intentionally vague. ;)
    But let's see.. on the main list I've read #1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and it was the Atwood I didn't get along with. I've also read #2, and 6 from your alternates list. I really enjoyed all of them, well except that one, but my favourites would probably be The Time Traveler's Wife and The Red Tent because both of them made me cry!

  15. What a great list! I have read The Time Traveler's Wife and truly loved it. When I first heard of it, I wasn't sure that I would like it - no really being one for time travel stories. However, after reading the first couple chapters, I was very engrossed. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on your 2008 reads.

  16. SuziQ - Thank you. I'm hoping I'll enjoy all the ones I get to. :-)

    Tanabata - LOL That's okay. I know some people prefer not to tell you which one he or she didn't like for fear of ruining it, but I don't really have that problem. I like to know which books were struggles for others even before I read them. :-) That way I have an idea of what I may be in for! Haha

    April - Thank you. I've heard great things about The Time Traveler's Wife. I have had it on my shelf forever to read. I don't mind the time travel, but I worry it may be a little more heavy in the romance than I may like. The friends who recommended it to me assure me that that isn't so. I trust them. :-)

  17. I'm considering signing up for this challenge. And the first in a series challenge and the graphic novel challenge, lol. Is this evidence of being an avid reader or of having no life??

  18. The more I read, the more I buy,

    I have 3 of those in my TBR stack....I'm slightly dreading 1/1/08 when I see how my challenges fared.....

  19. What a great list! I almost picked "Out" and "The Blind Assassin" for my list, but there weren't enought months. Book warehouse - heh heh. I think I pay rent to house my books.

    I read "Extremely Loud..." for bookclub last year and it turned out to be one of my favorites after I got used to his writing style and voice. And Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors. 2008 will be fun!

  20. I read Water for Elephants last year and LOVED it. I also have Alice Hoffman on my "someday" list but not this year. :)

  21. Trisha - For me I think it is a combination of both--being an avid reader and having no life. Haha

    Carrie K - That is my problem too--for every one book I read more seem to come in. And it isn't always just one to replace the old one.

    And I am right there with you in dreading the end of the year and discovering where I fell short reading wise. :-( I know we shouldn't feel that way at all, but it's hard not to sometimes.

    Terri B - Thank you! There are never enough months when it comes to reading.

    Amy - I've put off reading Water for Elephants for awhile now because I'm leary of the whole circus storyline, but so many people love it that I probably will end up liking it too. Might as well find out, right?

  22. Great lists! Read Water for Elephants - it's a very quick read. Would love to know what you think of The Time Traveler's Wife - I loved it but I know reviews are mixed.

  23. Tara - I'm looking forward to finally getting to both books. I need to stop procrastinating and give them a chance. :-)

  24. I've read Practical Magic,THe Shadow of the Wind, Water for Elephants, and THe Time Traveler's WIfe...the last 2 are among my top 10 favorites of all times

  25. Chris - I am glad to hear it! I am really looking forward to reading them.

  26. I really enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife...I did have to go back and read at times though because I would get confused! lol!

  27. Jenny - I am glad to hear you enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife. I really hope to get to that one this year.


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