It’s almost time to get down to business. Both of my challenges this year are about conquering the TBR pile. The first, the TBR Double Dare, lasts from January 1 to April 1: you commit to read a certain number of books from your TBR pile, and not to read anything new with the exception of books that were already on your library hold list prior to January 1 or books for things such as book clubs.
Now, in anticipation of the TBR Double Dare, I put a few things on my library hold list. I thought it might make it easier if I could occasionally take a break from my own books and read something from the library. Generally even if I am first on the list for something, the time to transfer it between libraries can delay things, assuming I am not also waiting for whoever has the book to return it to the library. You can imagine my surprise when I went to the library on December 28 to pick up what I thought were a couple of holds and the librarian came out of the hold room with this:
Serena, Ron Rash. This has been on my list to read since it was published. I can’t remember what made me finally think to put it on the list, but here it is.
The Sunday Philosophy Club, Alexander McCall Smith. This always sounds like a series I might enjoy, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
The English Major, Jim Harrison. I don’t remember why I finally put this on the list either, but as a former English major and aspiring academic, how can I not read this?
The Portable Atheist, Christopher Hitchens. A friend of mine suggested this to me shortly after Hitchens died last month. I thought for sure there would be a longer wait on this one, but I guess tomes of essays about atheism are less popular in the bible belt than I thought. Imagine.
Also not pictured is The Art of Fielding, which I am currently reading because it is currently in the floating collection, so I can only have it for two weeks and cannot recheck it.
So as if all those books weren’t quite enough, I decided that I should probably go ahead and spend the Amazon gift cards I got for Christmas on a few new books for my Kindle. After holding up those library books, I suspect my arms will be tired. Here’s what I bought:
Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins. Finally going to catch up with the rest of the world and finish this trilogy. I loved The Hunger Games, and I cannot believe it has taken me this long to read the second book. This will also help me fulfill another, less formal resolution, which is to read deeper in a few series where I’ve only read one or two books, and to read more books by authors I already know.
Stoner, John Williams. A few years ago it seemed like everyone was reading this book, so it’s been on my list for a while.
Small Island, Andrea Levy. Another one that was everywhere a few years ago. Levy won the Orange Prize for this novel, and it spent enough time languishing on my want-to-read list.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Tom Franklin. I read a great review of this on someone’s blog, but for the life of me I cannot remember who it was. Usually I write these things down, but in this case I forgot. Plus, it was on sale for something like $2.99. I love Kindle book sales.
Mrs. Kimble, Jennifer Haigh. I started to read Faith a few months ago, but I had to return it to the library before I got too far into it. This is Haigh’s first novel, and it was on sale for 99 cents, so what the heck?
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami. I am planning to get back into the running game this year after an injury kept me out last year. That makes me sound like a really serious runner, which I am not, but I hope to be more of one by the end of 2012. I cannot resist a book about running, and I cannot resist the title, which echoes Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.
So I need to develop a real plan of attack to get in my eight TBR Double Dare books. Luckily, I can keep checking out the library books for some time, so I should be able to pace myself, but I’m afraid whatever is left on my hold list will simply have to stay at the library. The difficult part will be mixing my new purchases with some of the older books I already have. I hope to read more than eight altogether, so maybe it won’t be too much of a problem. I’ll post a list of what I hope to read tomorrow.
I hope you’re all off to a great start with your 2012 challenges, if you’re participating in any!