Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kelly's Final Countdown

Dear Jenny,

Okay! The end of year is closing in. Let's see what I have to do to complete my TBR pile this year...

Like last year, I have done the math -- I need to read 17 pages per day for the rest of the year to finish my list successfully, which seems doable (I'm in slightly better shape than last year -- that post was made in September and I had more books and a 20p/day goal.)

I am about halfway through Little, Big (going more slowly than I would have anticipated... kind of hard to get into that book.) My game plan is to read Michigan next, since I think I will struggle with that. (Generally speaking, I *am* interested in the topic of Michigan, but this book is actually used as a textbook, so I am afraid of a "medicine" feeling to it.) Then I'll hit that Bill Bryson (usually an easy read -- also, of note, my 2nd author repeat in our TBR challenges) and finish with Florence Broadhurst (just flipped through that today and there are photos, so, you know... 17 pages a day is a bit of a cheat with that one...)

As for the TBP... sigh. I totally floundered with that. I read one that was *so* great that I wanted to share a bunch of photos with you. So then the post got really overwhelming because midway through writing it, I got a new computer and have not fully transferred photos from one to another (first world problem, I know!) sooo... I totally stalled out with it. I'm not giving up on that list entirely... maybe I should move on to another book and leave that picture-heavy one for when I have the time to devote to it? Bottom line: I am not going to hit 12 this year -- that's for sure! Oh, well... I'll take another whack at it again next year.

Speaking of next year... have you started making your 2014 TBR list? I do find myself looking at my bookshelves with 2014 in mind, gotta say.



  1. Yes! It is always at this time of year that I start thinking of how fun it is to make the next year's list! Glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

    I guess you should leave off Don't Know Much About History, huh? Or maybe third time is the charm??

  2. Re: Don't Know Much About History... I won't give up! Here's my new plan: There are 9 chapters and a couple of appendices. One chapter per month? I don't know why, but I am hellbent on getting through this book. I won't let it beat me! (I repeat: I don't know why. Indulge me.) So... 2014 = Kelly's Year of Getting Through That Book. Yes!

    As for the rest of my list... my physical TBR shelf has actually gotten quite thin in the past few years of doing these challenges! (The cross-country move last year also shucked some spare junk offa there...) When we started this, I had almost 3 full shelves of books To Be Read and now I am down to less than one! (Shelf, not book.) But I also have a constantly growing "Read this someday" list, so I'll probably be calling on that for 2014.

    There are some shorter books on my TBR shelf and I'm going to throw those on for the first few months of the year, in case I go for some ToB reading again this year -- I'll have to leave space in my reading schedule during those months.

  3. Man, I am *constantly* buying books and not reading them! I have plenty to choose from!

    You know, the read one chapter a month isn't a bad idea.


  4. Well, I used to do that -- that's how I got 3+ shelves of TBR books in the first place! But once I started digging my way out of the pile (via this blog), I felt like, "Whoa.... I don't want to amass a big pile again." Also, moving across the country in 2012 caused a definite book-buying halt. For the year leading up to it, I thought, "Is this worth moving?" And for much of 2012, I was thinking about moving it again. Sooo... I guess I got out of the habit of buying books.

    Also... I don't have a good local (Read: within walking distance. You know how it is over here.) bookstore (something I was lamenting with my book group tonight) which limits my "in person" exposure to books, which is usually when I fall down and scoop up armfuls of books. (In fact, I really have to hold back at *airports*, which is about the only time I have exposure now to books in person... fortunately, the impediment of "You cannot carry this" holds me back!) I am very close to a library, so I pick up tons of books there, but... you can't let those sit around on a TBR shelf! So I guess I've somehow transitioned into a "Only acquire what you can read immediately" (for the most part) mentality in the past few years, for a variety of reasons. Totally not on purpose... just sort of an evolution.

    That being said, I am constantly making notes about books to read. Sooo... I guess my "TBR pile" might be transitioning from an actual pile to a virtual pile (that is... a list).

    Whoa. I just went back to our first post to see if we talked at all about the accumulated books we had (we did not -- I think it must have been via email) and, Jenny, on that very post, I made a comment berating myself for not being able to quit reading a book. This is obviously a huge issue for me (both the not putting the book down *and* my self-loathing for it!) Maybe that should be my reading goal for 2014... stop reading books I do not like? Ha.

    Aaaand... related to that... this book I am reading right now? It's a struggle. The one thing that seems to be rewarding me is that, after each section, I have written a little synopsis about it (I don't know why... because it's sort of disjointed, I guess. And maybe because I was avoiding moving on to the next section?) I just finished the 3rd section yesterday and I went back and read the previous two synopses. I said, "Oh, yeah! That happened! And that!" It's like... I enjoy the *story* but not the *writing*. Hrm. Still... I press on. I gotta see how this ends up. (What is *wrong* with me?!)

    Well, I have a long flight to CA on Saturday (It's last minute, so don't think "Wait. What?" This is my late Summer/Autumn of Travel. I'm just going with it.) And I plan to *plow* through this book. Seriously. For reals. It's me and this book. And only one of us is coming out alive. (Spoiler alert: It's going to be me.)

  5. You and the lady with the french fries are coming out alive. Hahah.

  6. Hey, this guy over at Book Riot usually does a great job of predicting the TOB field, so check this out:

    Also, the Morning News has announced they're calling it TOB X, since it's the 10th one. They are looking for reader input and for people to apply as the reader judge here:

    And one more thing, read some review of audiobooks from the weekend, apparently The Testament of Mary by Meryl Streep & the new verison of The Things They Carried with the guy from Breaking Bad are both supposed to be great. I'd love for you to listen to The Things They Carried, as it's probably one of the best books I've read for this blog!

  7. The entire time I was reading that list, I was thinking, "Please don't say Tampa, please don't say Tampa, please don't say Ta-- DOH!" Motherf*cking Tampa. Grrrr.

    Outside of that brilliant thought, here are my others: I have only read 2 of the books listed (Americanah [which I loved -- thank you for recommending it] and The Interestings). I had The Goldfinch out of the library, but did not finish in time and had to return it. And I literally have The Ocean at the End of the Lane on my bedside table right now (so funny when that happens). I borrowed it from a friend in CA, so maybe I should plan to read it on the plane and return it to her next week!

    I bought S. last week and I haven't had much time to delve into it, but I think it's got a reeeeally good chance of being the "But is it a *book*?" entry this year. If they've got room for that, that is -- this has been a heroic year for fiction!

  8. Remember, these are just predictions, but this guy is usually pretty spot on. We had a bunch of his recs at the library, so I checked some of them out for the Thanksgiving break.

    If I'm really going to start school in January, even if it's only one class, then I'd better read as many potential candidates as I can before then!