I Thought I Was Doing So Well…

I haven’t signed up to the TBR Triple Dog challenge this year (which means no purchasing or borrowing new books for 3 months, until you reduce your TBR pile considerably). I love the concept, but I failed rather dismally last year. Secretly, however, I was planning to tag along unofficially. I noticed, with some satisfaction, that in January I managed to read 14 from my TBR list, 2 review books, 1 from the library and 1 that a friend lent me. So I blithely informed James at his end of January update that I had done quite well.

But then books started arriving in the post, my willpower weakened and my clicky finger got activated…

So here is the truth of the matter:

Books I borrowed and had to read quickly before returning:

Christos Tsiolkas: Dead Europe

Ian Rankin: Standing in Another Man’s Grave

Books I got sent by publishers:

Karl Ove Knausgaard: Some Rain Must Fall – Vol. 5 about attending writing school and becoming an adult – I dived into it at once

Peter Gardos: Fever at Dawn – 1945 and Hungarian Miklos has just emerged from Belsen and is recovering in a refuggee camp in Sweden; he is looking for love and writes a letter to 117 Hungarian women from his village.

He Jiahong: Hanging Devils – Set in the mid 1990s, this debut by one of China’s foremost legal experts turned crime fiction author describes a rapidly-changing society.

Succumbed to Netgalley temptation:

Simon Booker: Without Trace  – a miscarriage of justice, a childhood sweetheart released from prison and then her own daughter goes missing – can she trust anyone?

Lisa Owens: Not Working – 20-something stops working to figure out what her purpose in life is

Joanna Cannon: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep – 1976 and 2 ten-year-olds decide to uncover the mystery of the missing neighbour

Melissa Harrison: Rain – 4 walks in the English weather – better get used to it again

Ordered thanks to enthusiastic reviews (I name the guilty party too):

Javier Marias: Your Face Tomorrow trilogy (Tony Malone)

Andrew McMillan: Physical (Anthony Anaxagorou) – poetry: hymns to the male body, friendship and love

Rebecca Goss: Her Birth (Anthony Anaxagorou) – poetry: series of poems documenting the short life of a daughter born with a rare and incurable heart condition

Claudia Rankine: Citizen (Naomi Frisby) – I’ve read this but wanted my own copy

Complete Novels of E. Nesbit (Simon Thomas) – because I haven’t read any of her novels for adults

So I acknowledge defeat on the buy/borrow/download front, but will stick to reading more from the TBR pile at least…



26 thoughts on “I Thought I Was Doing So Well…”

  1. You’re not alone, Marina Sofia – at all! There are so many good books out there that I don’t see how anyone can possibly read everything good that’s out there. Even if one only reads one genre, it’s well-nigh impossible.

  2. Well I think that’s quite a respectable, healthy balance of sources and an interesting mix of books… but then I failed 3 attempts at the #TBR20😳

    Still working on my 2016 reading/writing/reviewing resolutions – having conveniently shifted my ‘NewYear’ for blogging to March 1st😀

  3. I really like the idea of these challenges too but I can’t stick to them either. I’ve discovered the way to reduce my TBR is be honest with myself and get rid of the ones I’m never going to read….

  4. I’ve stopped beating myself up over it. I spent no money in January and still ended up with a dozen books from authors, publishers, review sites and the odd Amazon FREEBIE!

  5. I see no defeat. You are allowed to buy/borrow/loan during the dare. (And I’ve bought 11 so far.) You’ve just not to read them (unless you declare them exceptions).

    I read only one exception in January. Things will come unstuck later this month because I will read a couple of new books for AyeWrite! But as these were pre-declared, I’ll stay on track. (Currently thinking I might actually manage the dare this year ….)

    1. That’s what I was hoping to hear! That’s all right then, I’m not planning to start reading any of them soon. Well, except for the ones I had to return. And of course the Knausgaard… oh, hang on…

  6. I fell off the wagon when I tried a second round of the TBR20 last year. It’s hard to avoid temptation for more than a month or two! Looking at the books you’ve acquired, I’ll be especially interested in your thoughts on the Melissa Harrison. I liked her first novel very much.

    1. I’m really rubbish with botany and zoology, know no names of plants or barely any animals in any of the languages I speak, so I always thought nature writing is not for me. But I love walking in the midst of nature, so I hope this will be inspiring.

  7. There are so many great new books this year that I can’t stop buying new ones. I think I’ve filled my shelves with more than I can ever read, but I’m hoping to read as many as I can. Without Trace sounds really good. It’s always tough not to look on Netgalley…

  8. I can’t remember the last time I took a book from the tbr pile. So many new ones pile in from the library, many of which have to be read for outside commitments. I’m beginning to think that I should have a rule that says if I haven’t read it a decade after I bought it a book should go to the charity shop. I reckon that would reduce my shelves by about 75% overnight.

    1. A decade?!? Respect! You are obviously far more ‘hardcore hoarder’ than me! I only started buying books without reading them at once about 3-4 years ago. Before that I was a saint!

  9. Glad it’s not just me… Despite my best efforts, books *are* creeping in, though I’m doing quite well in reading from the stacks! 🙂

  10. Haha – sorry! I like the concept of tagging along unofficially to hope that you are not doomed to fail! To be fair you’ve picked some great books, I really did enjoy Without Trace and want many of the others on this list.

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