Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2007 TBR Challenge wrap-up

I had high hopes of reading the 12 from my main list and then going on to my extra credit list! Ha! I only ended up reading 6 books for this challenge and I'm pretty sure I won't be reading any more in the next week and a bit. Oh well, one, but not the only, of my year long challenges that I didn't manage to finish.

Books completed:
1. The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
2. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
3. The Shipping News - Annie Proulx
4. White Teeth - Zadie Smith
5. Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. them - Joyce Carol Oates

Best book(s) I read for the challenge?
I'd say both The Good Earth and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Although very different, they were both engaging reads.

Book(s) I could've done without?
None really. Even though I didn't like Love in the Time of Cholera as much as I'd hoped, and them was a bit of a slog, I'm glad to have read them.

Any new authors? Will I read them again?
I'd only read Annie Proulx and Joyce Carol Oates before so Pearl S. Buck, Zadie Smith, Susanna Clarke and Gabriel Garcia Marquez were new-to-me authors. Of the six, I think I'm most looking forward to reading more by Susanna Clarke and Joyce Carol Oates but I'd read more by any of them and for most of them I already have other books of theirs on hand.

Best thing about the challenge?
Well, I guess I did get 6 books read from the TBR stacks and I also learned that I'm not great at year-long challenges with a fixed list. Even though all the books on my list are ones I've had for a while and would like to read, my inner moody bookworm didn't like the feeling of being pressured to read them. I'm a terrible procrastinator at the best of times! So except for the Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge I posted about yesterday, I've decided to stay away from year-long challenges with a minimum list of 12 books. But good luck to everyone who is taking part in the 2008 TBR Challenge! I'll cheer you on from the sidelines.


  1. Already read Pearl Buck and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Good books. I say.

  2. I very recently read the Buck and liked it. The Garcia Marquez and Oates are favorites of mine. But when I read the Clarke, I did enjoy it for the most part, but kept waiting for more 'substance,' which never appeared for me -- perhaps that disappointment had to do mostly with the hype I heard beforehand.

  3. I'm quite fickle when it comes to set lists too but for some reason I can't stop joining challenges now! Next year will be the first time I try those year long challenges so we'll see. Oh but I have said I'll exchange books out so I'm giving myself a lot of leeway. Watch I still won't complete the challenges! ha,ha..

  4. I'm the same with these year-long challenges. We'll see if I can resist temptation in 2008!

  5. I loved The Good Earth and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, too. Quite different, yes, but both beautifully written (although the second became a bit long winded for me). I've read half of The Shipping News, which I really want to complete someday. I have Love in The Time of Cholera on order, so it looks like we have quite a few of the same choices. Which doesn't surprise me. Congratulations on completing your six!

  6. quintarantino- I didn't love Love in the Time of Cholera but I'm glad I read it, and I do plan to read more by him sometime.

    Teresa- Hype is so hard to live up to. To me JS & Mr Norrell was fun and clever but I wouldn't use the word 'substance'. :)

    Iliana- Yes all the challenges I join from now on must be flexible. That's my new personal rule! Good luck with all of yours. We'll have to cheer each other on!

    Les- I knew I couldn't resist them all but I'm trying to be more careful about the ones I do choose. I still have a couple others to post about that seem fun and doable for me. There was a third that I was thinking of but the list for that was starting to make me feel a little stressed out so I decided not to join. I'm getting better!

    Bellezza- Thanks! I guess 6 is still better than none! JS & Mr Norrell was a bit long but it was so creative and fun. Have you read anything else by Buck?

  7. I hate feeling pressured to read a set list, too. Reading Dangerously will be *it* for me, although I might do my own self-challenge to read some of the foodie books I've got lying about.

    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell ought to count as 3 books.

  8. Nancy- LOL! That would've helped my numbers a bit. :P
    A foodie challenge sounds like fun. Good luck with it.

  9. You made a good effort, Tanabata! I am in a mad dash to try and squeeze my last two books in. One and a half at this point. I had hoped to get to my alternates too, but I didn't manage that as well as I would have liked. There's always next year.

    I really enjoyed Clarke's book when I read it and hope to read her short story book this next year.

  10. Wendy- You're almost there! You can do it! Clarke's short story book could've also been on my list of neglected books. Maybe next year for me too.


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