I’m Joining the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge!


I’m joining the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge over at Roof Beam Reader! As I said over there, I saw the challenge on Adam’s blog last year, but from the title my mind jumped to the conclusion that if you joined, you couldn’t buy any books for a year, and I freaked — I didn’t even open the post! Oh my, I think someone may have a book problem.

This year I actually read the post (!!!) and saw that it’s nothing of the sort — it is simply a pledge to read 12 books that have been on your to be read pile, and they need to have been published in 2012 or earlier. Phew! OK. I can do that.

To make it personally challenging, I’ve decided to read stuff published in the last 75 years (from 2012, backwards), and choose books that do not overlap my Classics Club list.

Without further ado, please let me present my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge List!

  1. Angela Carter – Nights at the Circus – 1984
  2. Jeanette Winterson – Written on the Body – 1992
  3. Winifred Watson – Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day  – 1938 (my oldest choice!)
  4. Brett Easton Ellis – Glamorama – 1998
  5. Grace Metalious – Peyton Place – 1956
  6. Tea Obreht  – The Tiger’s Wife –  2011
  7. Jeffrey Eugenides – The Marriage Plot – 2011
  8. Sherman Alexie – Indian Killer – 1996
  9. Helen Simonson – Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – 2011 Review
  10. Carlos Ruiz Zafon – The Shadow of the Wind – 2001
  11. Hilary Mantel – Bring Up the Bodies – 2012
  12. Barbara Kingsolver – Flight Behavior – 2012

Ta da! I’m not choosing two alternates because I’m wild like that. If I can’t get through one of these, I’ll pick something else then (but — look at these titles! Twelve months of fun! I don’t think that will happen!). The only hard part will be choosing what to read first! If I don’t feel a strong pull on January 1, I may have to use a pendulum, the Tarot, or, ah, the random number generator.

Thanks for hosting, Adam! I will never be scared to read your posts again.



    • jackiemania

      I was crazy for Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. I am obsessed with fairy tale retellings by women a la Byatt, Carter, Sexton. That’s my imaginary English PhD thesis subject 😉 (imaginary because I’m not a PhD student in English, but if I were!)!

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings

    What a lovely and varied list! “Miss Pettigrew” and “The Shadow of the Wind” are different and wonderful – I hope you enjoy them!

  2. heavenali

    Oh I had thought the same – and I too have a problem not buying books.
    The Pettigrew books are wonderful – very different to each other but really good. I loved Bring up the Bodies too. I too have Flight Behaviour tbr.

  3. Brona

    Peyton Place brought a smile to my lips. My mum had this book tucked away at the back of the bookshelf as I was growing up. I discovered it when I was 13 and read it in secret! Such illicit fun 🙂

    Loved Bring Up the Bodies too and I can’t wait for the third book to come out.

    Good luck

    • jackiemania

      Growing up, I always heard my grandmother say “Gasp! It’s like Peyton Place!” I saw a bit of the film and was intrigued — oh, that’s what she meant all these years! It’s only right that I read the book to truly understand the cultural reference 😉

  4. Roof Beam Reader

    I really enjoy Bret Easton Ellis’s books – Glamorama was probably my favorite, but it’s very weird. I haven’t read The Marriage Plot, yet, but I loved Middlesex! Can’t go wrong with Sherman Alexie, right? Lots on your list that I haven’t read, yet! My partner just read Angela Carter’s The Magic Toyshop… I hope to read that one soon.

  5. Wallace

    I vote Major Pettigrew to start the year. It’s a good one to read while it’s still cold, so you can bundle under a blanket and enjoy tea and reading.

  6. Ellie Potten (@BlondeBookGirl)

    I LOVED The Shadow of the Wind – it was one of those books where I ended up reading with burning eyes until about 4.30am, when I finally finished the last page and instantly fell asleep. GOOD STUFF. I’ve had Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day for AGES now, I really should look it out and read it at last. It sounds like perfect winter reading, actually – I’ll have to go digging through all the post-move boxes still scattered around my room! Good luck with the challenge! 🙂

  7. Shonna

    4 of your choices are sitting on my shelves (though I didn’t put them on my list this year), and I’ve read Shadow of the Wind and totally enjoyed it. Good luck

  8. Pingback: We’re Reading Middlesex at Unputdownables! | jackiemania

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