TBR Year-End Report
Last New Year I added up the full extent of the horror of the TBR, including the bits I usually hide. So, time for 2016’s final count to see how I did over the year…
Well, I know you won’t believe me, but despite the fact that the overall total has gone up, I’m going to declare this a major victory. Firstly, it’s only increased by 12 overall. The TBR (books I own) has increased by nearly thirty, but the wishlists (books I don’t yet own) have fallen. This is due to my wonderful system of sticking all the books I’d like to read on my Amazon wishlist and then snapping them up any time they go on sale – and anyone who Kindles will know that books go on sale all the time. And the jolly thing is that piles of Kindle books don’t take up nearly as much room as piles of paper books.
But thirdly – and the real reason I’m feeling rather smug – is that in the middle of the year I joined the Classics Club, and this involved adding between 40 and 50 books to either the TBR or the wishlist. So for the end of year total to have only increased by 12 means it would in fact have reduced by a decent amount if not for those added classics. And the Classics Club challenge runs over five years, so it doesn’t stress me out that my overall total includes nearly 90 classics at the moment, since I only intend to read about twenty a year, regardless of how quickly I acquire them.
I can hear you laughing, but I do genuinely feel more in control of the TBR than I have in ages…
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The Around the World in 80 Books Challenge
Last check-in was in September, and I’ve been concentrating since then on bringing review copies under control, but I’ve seen a little bit of the world nonetheless…
I went for a looooong sea voyage in the company of Cap’n Ahab, Ishmael and the boys from the Pequod. I’m trying to only add books I recommend to my Around the World list, but I’m slotting Moby-Dick in for the Pacific meantime, to be replaced later if I read something I prefer. I visited 19th century New Brunswick in Canada to witness a true crime and subsequent trial in Black River Road by Debra Komar. Then I was shown the horror of the WW2 fire-bombing of Dresden in Germany in the wonderful Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. My last trip was closer to home and considerably more relaxing, if you discount a murder or two – north to the Scottish Highlands in the company of Anthony Wynne in Murder of a Lady.
Since it’s the end of the year, here’s the full list so far…
The Main Journey
- London – Martin Chuzzlewit
- Orient Express – Travels with My Aunt
- France – The Sisters of Versailles
- Mediterranean Sea
- Red Sea/Arabian Sea
- Calcutta – A Rising Man
- Elephant Travel
- Indian Ocean/ South China Sea
- Hong Kong
- Pacific – Moby-Dick: Or, The White Whale
- San Francisco
- Sioux lands
- New York – Three-Martini Lunch
- Atlantic Ocean
- Queenstown (Cobh) Ireland
- London – The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
That leaves 53 spots for me to randomly tour the world, so here’s where I’ve been so far…
- The Hebrides – Coffin Road
- Florida – Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Iceland – Snowblind
- Himalayas – Black Narcissus
- Ireland – The Heather Blazing
- Channel Islands – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
- Australian Outback – Fear is the Rider
- Portugal – The High Mountains of Portugal
- Milan, Italy – The Murdered Banker
- Madrid, Spain – A Heart So White
- Saturn – 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Kabul, Afghanistan – The Kite Runner
- Vatican City – Conclave
- New Brunswick, Canada – Black River Road
- Dresden, Germany – Slaughterhouse-Five
- Scottish Highlands – Murder of a Lady
23 down, 57 to go!
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The Classics Club
So far, I’ve read four from my Classics Club list – a little behind schedule, but I’m expecting to make that up quickly now that I’ve got fewer review copies to contend with.
- 4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie – a 5-star re-read. Classic crime writing at its best.
- Passing by Nella Larson – 4 stars for this book about race and belonging.
- Moby-Dick: or, The White Whale by Herman Melville – just 2 stars for that pesky and apparently ubiquitous whale.
- The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White – 5 stars for the book on which Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes is based.
4 down, 86 to go!
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