TBR Challenge

December 1st, 2009

I read about Emily’s Attacking the TBR Tome Challenge over on Of Books and Bicycles, and it seems like a useful thing for me, though I suspect I am not going to participate in the not-buying-new-books part of it. These days most of my book acquisition isn’t actually purchasing books, anyhow: mostly, it’s picking up books from the sidewalk (I live in a bookish neighborhood!) or from the kitchen at work (I work in publishing, with other bookish people!). But I have been buying the Proust books as I slowly read my way through them, and want to continue to do so.

So here we go: 20 books I currently own that I aim to read by December 31, 2010, not necessarily in this order!

  1. The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, trans. C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin: I’ve picked this one up and put it down a few times but want to pick it up again and get back in the Proustian mood!
  2. Inventing Japan by Ian Buruma: seems like smart nonfiction; I like smart nonfiction.
  3. Waiting for the Weekend by Witold Rybczynski: ditto the above
  4. Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald: I think I bought this for school but only read part of it. But I think I liked it.
  5. Eating for England by Nigel Slater: picked this up when I was in England for work last year, but haven’t read it yet. It is about food and the UK and seems light and fun.
  6. White Teeth by Zadie Smith: seems like everyone else has read it already!
  7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: ditto the above
  8. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal: because I haven’t read any Stendhal.
  9. The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald : because I never read any of the Great Brain books as a kid, and should have.
  10. The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman by Angela Carter: because I’ve never read any Angela Carter.
  11. Elegy for Iris by John Bayley: I bought this when Iris, the movie, came out, but sadly, didn’t read it.
  12. Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg: do I lose queer points for not having read this yet?
  13. Seeing Through Places by Mary Gordon: I think I read this in college but I sure don’t remember it. I think I kept it because it was good. I’d like to find out!
  14. The Green and Burning Tree by Eleanor Cameron: I’m excited for this—it’s all about children’s literature—though it will surely just add a bunch of children’s books to the list of books I want to read!
  15. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman: I bought this in college but never read it; Megan read it over the summer and said it was really good.
  16. The Uses of Literature by Italo Calvino: mm Calvino. I bought this in college but never read it.
  17. Moments of Being by Virginia Woolf: mm Woolf. I bought this for a college class on autobiographical writing that I ended up dropping; I kept the books because it was a good reading list, but I’ve never gotten to this one.
  18. The Lost Art of Walking by Geoff Nicholson: mm walking. I loved Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit and have heard this is another satisfying walking book.
  19. Witch Grass by Raymond Queneau: when I first bought this I knew nothing about Oulipo but thought I’d like it. Now I know a little more about Oulipo and still think I’ll like it.
  20. How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith: I got this for Christmas last year and should have read it by now! This one might actually be tied with Proust for the one of these I plan on reading first—I think this book will be a good start to 2010. If you are not familiar with Keri Smith, go look at her blog and prepare to smile.

    and a bonus number 21…

  21. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, because Josh said I’d like it.

We shall see how this goes, as I’m not normally very list-directed in my reading habits, which is of course why I end up owning a bunch of books I haven’t read yet.

7 Responses to “TBR Challenge”

  1. Emily Barton Says:

    Boy, the lists for this challenge are so wonderfully varied. It’s going to be such fun to read everyone’s thoughts on what they read. BTW, the rules are meant to be broken, and I don’t consider picking up books from sidewalks and kitchen table true acquiring. That’s just accidental acquiring: the books happened to get in your way (and I miss those days of working in a physical building with other bookish publishing people and acquiring books from the kitchens — both offices where I worked had shelves in the kitchen for that purpose).

  2. Heather Says:

    Emily, I like the way you put that, about books happening to get in one’s way – that happens to me a lot.

  3. Erin Fae Says:

    Can I borrow How to Be an Explorer of the World when you’re done with it? I started reading Moira’s copy while in NZ and need to spend some more time with it :D

  4. Heather Says:

    Oops, belatedly, yes — though at the rate I’m currently going it may be a while before I get to it myself!

  5. letters and sodas: booknotes » Blog Archive » The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerHarcourt, 2004 (Originally MacAdam/Cage, 2003) Says:

    […] been a while since I picked up any of the books I picked for Emily’s Attacking the TBR Tome Challenge—I’ve only read three books from my […]

  6. letters and sodas: booknotes » Blog Archive » What I Read in 2010/Plans for 2011 Says:

    […] TBR pile: I read just six books from my list for Emily’s TBR challenge, but the first one was a long […]

  7. letters and sodas: booknotes » Blog Archive » 2012: The TBR Double Dare Says:

    […] years ago I posted this list of 21 books I owned but hadn’t yet read and wanted to read. Since that post, I’ve read […]

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