29 December 2013

Bits and Bobs (the new beginnings edition)

Roz and Layla about five years before they went mental with all-out reading mania.
(Photo credit: Helen Maybanks)

I wish the year was over so I could start my reading list over
I know that sounds stupid, but I am tired of adding to this year's list. I think it is because once I reached 100 books for the year back in October I didn't have a goal anymore. As much as I complain about how reading goals stress me out, I now seem to be stressed out because I don't have a reading goal.

Resisting the urge to bulk up my TBR
As I have mentioned before, I plan to participate again this year in the Triple Dog TBR Dare where for the first three months of the year, I can only read books in my possession as of midnight on New Year's Eve. Since John and I will be living in temporary quarters for 11 months, I decided to extend the TBR to a full 11 months. Essentially I am only going to read books from my TBR until we move back into our house and my new book shelves are in place. And that will be sometime in November (fingers crossed). I can see myself failing, at least after the initial 3 months are over, but still something to shoot for.

Roz and Layla throw down the gauntlet
In 2013 my friend Roz and I had a contest to see who could read 100 books first. For 2014 she and her wife Layla have challenged a whole group of their friends to do the same. Although I would certainly like to reach at least 100 again next year, I don't think I am going to officially participate because it makes me too bent on finishing books rather than enjoying books.

Just 5 authors for 50 years
Because it took me about 20 months to finish the 12-month A Century of Books challenge the first time Simon at Stuck In A Book hosted it, I will most certainly not be joining him again in 2014 when he attempts to do it again. I invite him to look at my ACOB list of books read with caution. Some of them were real stinkers.  I also took the liberty of filling out his list for the second fifty years of the 20th century with five fantastic female authors. No need to read anyone else Simon. I gotcha covered. You're welcome.

1950 - PYM Some Tame Gazelle
1951 - STEVENSON Shoulder the Sky
1952 - PYM Excellent Women
1953 - PYM Jane and Prudence
1954 - MURDOCH Under the Net
1955 - PYM Less Than Angels
1956 - MURDOCH The Flight from the Enchanter
1957 - MURDOCH The Sandcastle
1958 - PYM A Glass of Blessing
1959 - STEVENSON Still Glides the Stream
1960 - STEVENSON The Musgraves
1961 - PYM No Fond Return of Love
1962 - MURDOCH An Unofficial Rose
1963 - PYM An Unsuitable Attachment
1964 - MURDOCH The Italian Girl
1965 - MURDOCH The Red and the Green
1966 - MURDOCH The Time of the Angels
1967 - STEVENSON Sarah Morris Remembers
1968 - MURDOCH The Nice and the Good
1969 - MURDOCH Bruno's Dream
1970 - MURDOCH A Fairly Honourable Defeat
1971 - MURDOCH An Accidental Man
1972 - ATWOOD Surfacing
1973 - MURDOCH The Black Prince
1974 - MURDOCH The Sacred and Profane Love Machine
1975 - MURDOCH A Word Child
1976 - MURDOCH Henry and Cato
1977 - PYM Quartet in Autumn
1978 - MURDOCH The Sea, the Sea
1979 - ATWOOD Life Before Man
1980 - PYM A Few Green Leaves
1981 - BROOKNER A Start in Life
1982 - BROOKNER Providence
1983 - BROOKNER Look at Me
1984 - BROOKNER Hotel du Lac
1985 - BROOKNER Family and Friends
1986 - BROOKNER A Misalliance
1987 - BROOKNER A Friend from England
1988 - BROOKNER Latecomers
1989 - BROOKNER Lewis Percy
1990 - BROOKNER Brief Lives
1991 - BROOKNER A Closed Eye
1992 - BROOKNER Fraud
1993 - BROOKNER A Family Romance
1994 - BROOKNER A Private View
1995 - BROOKNER Incidents in the Rue Laugier
1996 - BROOKNER Altered States
1997 - BROOKNER Visitors
1998 - BROOKNER Falling Slowly
1999 - BROOKNER Undue Influence


  1. Last night I was contemplating reaching for an Anita Brooker novel....I should have, and think I will after all. Well, for 2014 anyway. I am ready to start a new reading year for opposite reasons--this year was not such a success for me and I am ready to start fresh! Happy New Year---hope 2014 is filled with lots of good reading!

  2. This is going to be lots of fun following how you go with your 2014 "challenges". 11 months of only TBR? I attempted that and didn't last three weeks. No doubt you're a stronger person. All the best.

  3. I am impressed - awed really - with your TBR project. I know I couldn't go that long without new books. Are you a re-reader at all, and if so, will you miss that?

  4. So, Pym, Murdoch and Brookner, then? Check. I have got Pym already but not the other two!

    And I know what you mean about not wanting to add to the 2013 stash of books and wanting to move onto 2014! I am right there with you.

  5. Going 11 months would be too much even for me. However, I am sitting here looking a bit longingly at my TBR bookcase. Wait until Wednesday morning....wait until Wednesday morning....

  6. OH, Thomas, bless your heart! You know how I adore Anita and Iris - how perfect! ;) Would that I *did* love a novelist who wrote short books every year of that period... well, Muriel Spark did pretty well in 2012. I'll have to find another for 2014, and this might help me fill some gaps after all...

  7. Dude. I only read 29 books this year. What the eff? I am so ready to start with next years reading.

    BTW -- send me your mailing address if it is different from your home. I have made it a goal to write more letters next year.

  8. I wish I could find the willpower to only read books from my TBR. I NEED to find the willpower, or my bookshelf is just going to keep getting filled with books I'll never read! Happy New Year! I hope 2014 is filled with amazing books!

  9. I was feeling the pain of wanting to get to the 2014 list this week as well, and was amazed at the superhuman strength that came out of nowhere that enabled me to forego bulking up the TBR. I did purchase 4 books at HPB's annual extra 20% off sale, but that was quite restrained considering my youngest took all of his Christmas gift cards, hit 3 stores and picked up 17 books. (The apples truly do not fall far from the tree at my house! He did his mama proud. ;) )
    Love the list you made for Simon. I'm still trying to finish up my first century - 32 books to go there, but since I'm going to do as much reading as possible from my TBR shelves this year, I'm not sure I will be able to pull it off by year end. NOT going to let it bother me, though. (And will repeat that to self as many times as necessary.)
    Happy Reading to you in 2014!

  10. I think that's something akin to a mix of lust and awe I feel when I look at those 50 years of women writers - wow.

  11. Danielle: As much as I love Brookner, I have to be in the mood for her. Just the other night the mood hit and it was just the right thing.

    Pam: I know I am going to have weak moments but I really feel up to it.

    Lisa: I am indeed allowing myself some re-reads this year. I don't do a lot of it, but I am inclined to go back to a couple of Brookners for sure.

    Aarti: For Murdoch I would start with her firs novel, Under the Net. Good gateway for her. Brookner doesn't really matter where you start they are all so similar. Although Providence might be a good place.

    James: Even though I have blogged about it more than once the Triple Dog Dare kind of snuck up on me. Suddenly it was 2014.

    Simon: It took me a while to recognize your sarcasm.

    Amanda: You have 3 kids, a job, and your knit. How did you have time for even 29 books?

    Lu: It can actually be quite liberating.

    Susan: Don't let ACOB get to you. It can be a real reading blocker. If we didn't have this house project hanging over us, I probably would have bulked it up.

    Vicki: Although my thought was to find as few authors as possible to fill up those years, as I did it, I began to think of making an all-female list without repeating authors. That would be an amazing thing to see/do.


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