Book collection update

tbr-final-dareMy performance with challenges has proved less than stellar over the years but I’m doing much better with the TBR Triple Dog Dare sponsored by James at James Reads Books. The Dare asks participants to read only books that they already have during January, February and March. With only a couple of more weeks to go I’m feeling rather elated about how well I stuck to this plan. The magic key to why this one works and all other TBR challenges I’ve tried have not, is that I can still buy as many books as I want. I just can’t read them yet.

Of the 12 books I’ve read so far this year only two were not already on my TBR. That isn’t bad going for one who usually has the staying power of a mayfly. And there were good reasons for both misdemeanours.

The first slip from the straight and narrow path came in the form of A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale which was the book club read at the start of the year.  I wish I could say that my stray from the path was worth it but this was a lacklustre read. You can see why in my review.

Happily my most recent lapse was all in a good cause. I requested My Name is Lucy Barton  by Elizabeth Strout from the library last year. Finally it came through last week and I’m the first borrower. Ideally I would have liked to hold onto it until the end of the dare on March 31 but there are now so many people waiting for it that the library service is blocking any renewal options. So I had to read it. But it was absolutely no hardship. The book is a joy to read and of you havent got to it yet, dont hang around too long.

But it’s read and returned and I am back on track with the dare, reading Brooklyn by Colm Toibin as part of Reading Ireland Month. Another beautifully constructed novel which, after a similarly rewarding experience with Nora Webster, is making me want to read more of Toibin’s work. Anyone care to make a recommendation on which of his books to read next?

Emboldened by my success to date I might stretch it for another month.

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on March 20, 2016, in Sunday Salon and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Wow, impressive! I don;t even try any of the TBR challenges because for me they have FAIL written all over them. That you have done so well deserves three cheers!

  2. I was going to suggest reading The Master next, too. Congratulations on your TBR challenge success! Here we are three months in, and I haven’t read even a single book on my year-long Mount TBR challenge!

  3. I loved The Master by Toibin about Henry James although it may have been because it made me feel as if I had read James himself which I have frequently failed to do. Trouble is I do like a writer who throws the odd paragraph or ten!

  4. Oh I can’t wait to see what you have to say about Brooklyn. And I know what you mean about the library books, I just got The Magician’s Land, third in Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy and I wanted to savor it, but I felt bad with how many people were on the list so I read it pretty speedy (two days) and then returned it. Now if only I would read the galleys I’ve got too many of I’d be all set.

  5. I have tried various TBR Challenges, too, and have had a certain amount of success…but the one I’m doing now is Reading the Books I Buy…and I like it, because I don’t have to restrict myself to those books, but the numbers only add up when I read the targeted books. I’ve read 21 this year so far. The books can include those purchased from June to December 2015, too.

    I am eager to get my hands on My Name Is Lucy Barton…and I have Brooklyn, eager to read it. I saw the movie yesterday on Amazon Video. I was afraid it might be boring, but I was very wrong. I found myself glued to the TV, watching those small and large emotional moments conveyed in the actor’s face…I was hooked.

    Thanks for sharing…and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

  6. Well done for sticking to the challenge (mostly) I was really impressed with the words inbetween the writing in My Name is Lucy Barton and so I’m pleased you considered this a well-worth exception to the rules. I also want to read Brooklyn having been similarly impressed with Nora Webster.

  7. Wow! I am definitely impressed! You put me to shame! Good for you! I registered for a similar challenge, #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, and have failed rather miserably at reading what I already own thus far this year! But…at the same time this has encouraged and motivated me to cut WAY back in the amount of books I buy and bring into the house, as well as upping my library usage by probably 1000%! So, definitely progress, if I can just make myself resist unrestrained interest in the new-to-me books I discover and really really want to read! Right now!

    • I figured out that there was a reason why i had bought these books in the first place and who was to say that they were not as good as anything i would go and buy in the next few months.

  8. Congrats! You’re doing great. I often pop library books to the top of the list when I know that renewing them won’t be an option.

    • its my own fault for getting carried away with the library on line reservation system. If i had to actually go there I wouldn’t get quite so tempted

  9. I do well with this challenge as far as putting a ban on book buying for the first quarter of the year, but I have yet to give up my weekly visits to the library.

    • thats what is so clever about James’ approach – you can still go shopping and visiting the library. If the challenge was one that said I couldnt do this, I know I wouldn’t last even a month

  10. So glad you enjoyed Lucy Barton – it’s brilliant (and so thoughtful for such s slip of a story).

    • good point Kate, it is indeed quite a feat to convey such depth in a slim book. When you summarise the plot it also feels somewhat insubstantial but she makes a lot of it

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