Thursday, 19 December 2013


Not too daunting?
Another challenge for next year, my 6th and probably my last, though it's possible I may sign up for a Canadian reading challenge around about the middle of next year, depending on what dents I make in this year's other challenges in the next 6 months.

Tracy at Bitter Tea and Mystery has signed up for this one organised over here by Roof Beam Reader. Where Tracy leads, I follow!

The challenge is fairly simple in its aim - to make a small dent in your TBR pile, but the books selected you must have had waiting there for over a year!

The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months). 

There are specific rules and one of the differences in this challenge is that each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2013 or later.

1 - 4 

My TBR Pile Challenge List is as follows:

1. Thomas, Paul - Sex Crimes, 2003
2. Bukowski, Charles - South Of No North, 1975
3. Ross, James - They Don't Dance Much, 1940
4. Mulligan, John - Shopping Cart Soldiers, 1999
5. O'Brien, Tim - The Nuclear Age, 1985
6. Udall, Brady - The Miracle Life Of Edgar Mint, 2001
7. Nisbet, Jim - Death Puppet, 1989
8. Temple, Peter - An Iron Rose, 1998
9. Avallone, Michael - Shock Corridor, 1963
10. Izzo, Jean-Claude - Total Chaos, 2005
11. Nunn, Kem - Tapping The Source, 1984
12. Schwartz, Stephen Jay - Boulevard, 2009

Alternatives are:

13. O'Connor, Robert - Buffalo Soldiers, 2003
14. Keene, Day - There Was A Crooked Man, 1954
5 - 8

The most recent acquisition of the 12 (or 14) is Boulevard from Stephen Jay Schwartz which I bought during 2012. From memory the one before that would have been Bukowski's collection of short stories and prior to that maybe Izzo's Total Chaos. The majority have been knocking about for the best part of 10 years, some even longer!

If I read all 12, I can tick a few boxes in my Australia/New Zealand challenge and 1 from my Golden Vintage and Silver Vintage challenge. Plus a few from the USA 51 State marathon.

If I get through all 14, 4 of them will be re-reads as I have travelled with O'Brien, Avallone, Nunn and O'Connor before.

I don't believe I have to read them in any particular order.
9 - 12

Reserves, plus my snazzy slippers and socks!

Perhaps I ought to go on a photography course!


  1. Col, these reading challenges are getting innovative every year. I think I read about this one over at Tracy's blog. It's good to see some early books in your TBR pile. By the way, a dent is too small; I need a drill to make a big hole in my TBR pile.

    1. Prashant, you're right. Hopefully I haven't bitten off more than I can chew! I suppose though it's all a bit of fun and if I don't complete, what are the consequences.........err, nothing.

      I do like flicking through my old books, which isn't easy at the minute, because I do forget what I have available. I'm not as organised as my dad was. He would have had his books all catalogued and in order! Though with them being stored so haphazardly, it's kind of fun when I'm rooting through them as I turn up things I forgot existed!

      Not sure about drilling, maybe some fracking is needed?

    2. Col, my dad was like that too. My books are stacked in order but that's about it; they are not categorised. Most of the time I read whatever catches my eye or my fancy. There is no method or discipline which is why I don't participate in reading challenges. In fact, I haven't even started on my self-styled challenge! And yes, "fracking" sounds way better.

    3. I was half tempted to adopt a totally random approach to my reading and send one of my girls up into the attic to pick 10 books and just read them, then get another 10, etc etc.
      No thought or choice involved, just read irrespective of length,age, subject, cover, position in series.......and see how I get on. Maybe I'll do that in 2015!

  2. Col - I always especially like TBR challenges. There's a real sense of accomplishment when you put a big dent in the TBR. I'll be interested in your reviews as you go through this one.

    1. Margot thanks. I don't think it will be a big dent though. It was good going through the piles to re-discover some of these.

  3. Ack another one! Good luck to you (and Tracy). I'll enjoy the reviews. I like Bukowski as well but never heard of that title. I loved Post Office by him.

    1. Post Office was enjoyable, if a little bleak from memory - maybe 15 years since I read it. I would like to read more from him and they are there waiting, Hollywood, Pulp, Factotum etc.........aaaaghhh - not enough time!

  4. I like what you did with the list there, acrostic man. I think we've agree before on Tim O'Brien, I've not heard of this one so will be interested. I have a huge TBR pile, but nothing I bought more thant 10 years ago I think - we moved continents, and I spent the next year catching up on every unread book we'd brought back with us...

  5. Moira - you win the prize then! I was wondering if anyone would pick up on it (am I clever, or just sad?)
    You can have a pick from the second shelf - I'll send you O'Brien when I'm done with him, as long as you're not in a rush.

  6. A great list, Col. Most are unfamiliar to me, but that is good, I will learn about more books... more authors. I have read Total Chaos, and I am sure you will like that.

    Thanks for the mention, glad to get you involved in another challenge. I cannot believe you found titles to fit so that you could spell out TBR Mountains. Very impressive.

    I am sure I have books that I have owned over 10 years and not read, but haven't cataloged that information for that long, so hard to tell. Definitely some I have had for 7 or 8 years. Which means I should stop buying books for a while.

    1. Tracy thanks - I probably would only have read two of these next year without this challenge - Stephen Jay and Izzo. So a good chance to clear a few oldies.

      TBR MOUNTAINS....glad your impressed, it took a bit of ferreting and rummaging! I reckon the 10 year plus books run in the 100's, which means I should also stop for at least 10 myself!

  7. Good luck. I am trying not to think about how long some of my books have been sitting on my desk or bookcases.

    1. Bill thanks, I find books a comfort, a bit like having old friends around you. We both must have some old friends then!

  8. I'm honored to be on the list, my friend.
    I'll take the Bukowski every time. I just began reading "The Last Night of the Earth Poems" again for the umpteenth time.

    1. Stephen you're welcome mate! I'm long overdue reading some Bukowski,