TBR Thursday (on a Friday) 297 and Quarterly Round-Up

TBR Quarterly Report

At the New Year, as I do every year, I set myself some targets for my various reading challenges and for the reduction of my ever-expanding TBR. This has been a terrible quarter, reading-wise, with me taking a break of five or six full weeks from reading, so I’m expecting the worst for my poor targets!

Here goes, then – the third check-in of the year…

Aarghh! Well, it’s just as bad as I expected and there’s no way I’ll be able to retrieve the situation in the last quarter of the year. I might catch up with the People’s Choice and fit in a few more classics, but the rest are pretty hopeless. I needed that break though and hey! Who’s counting? 😉

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The Classics Club

I’ve read just one from my Classics Club list this quarter, and had another still to review from the previous quarter…

79. My Ántonia by Willa Cather – I enjoyed this excellently written novel telling of the coming-of-age of the title character and the narrator, Jim, together with the story of the pioneering days in the fledgling USA. 4 stars.

80. I, The Jury by Mickey Spillane – One from the pulpy end of hard-boiled crime, complete with every ‘ism of its time. Violence, sex and guns galore – and yet oddly I enjoyed it! 4 stars.

Two books from the US that couldn’t really be more different, but both enjoyable in their own way!

80 down, 10 to go!

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Murder Mystery Mayhem

I’ve managed to read precisely none from this challenge this quarter! However I had one left over to review from the previous quarter…

46. Darkness at Pemberley by TH White – White throws just about every mystery novel trope into this preposterous story, but manages to pull it off! Hugely entertaining, and not to be taken too seriously. 5 stars.

46 down, 56 to go!

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Reading the Spanish Civil War Challenge

I’ve only read one for this challenge this quarter, and had another still to review from the quarter before. Unfortunately I haven’t reviewed either of them yet, so the sum total for this round-up is…

Reviews will follow soon though, I promise!

6 down, indefinite number to go!

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The People’s Choice

People's Choice Logo

I’ve only read two this quarter but hope to catch up before the end of the year. Did You, The People, pick me some good ones…?

JulyHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I found this tale of privileged members of the Igbo caught up in the Biafran War surprisingly flat in tone despite the human tragedy it describes. However I learned a good deal about the culture of that time and place, and overall am glad to have read it. 4 stars.

AugustThe Black Cabinet by Patricia Wentworth – A highly entertaining mystery from the Golden Age, starring a charming heroine meeting peril after peril in her attempts to do the right thing. Just the right combination of mystery, humour and romance to make for perfect relaxation reading. 5 stars.

One I’m glad to have read and one I thoroughly enjoyed, so take a bow, People – you chose well! And they’re off my TBR at last – hurrah!

8 down, 4 to go!

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Wanderlust Bingo

I haven’t filled many boxes this quarter, and I’m kinda kicking myself because I’ve got great-looking books lined up for every space now – it’s just a matter of finding time to read them! I have a few coming up on my reading list soon, but this challenge is definitely going to drift into next year (unless I grow an extra head). The dark blue ones are from previous quarters, and the orange are the ones I’m adding this quarter. I might shuffle them all around at the end so this is all quite tentative at this stage. (If you click on the bingo card you should get a larger version.)

SwedenTo Cook a Bear by Mikael Niemi – 5 stars. I’ve slotted this into Village, since the village setting is an important factor in the story.

France – The Man from London by Georges Simenon – 4½ stars. Simenon’s settings are always one of his main strengths, and here he gives a great picture of the working life of Dieppe as the background to his story. I’m putting this in the Europe box.

Biafra/NigeriaHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – 4 stars. I can’t imagine a more appropriate book to fill the Africa box than this story of the short-lived existence of the Biafran nation.

Still a long, long way to go, but ’tis better to travel hopefully than to arrive…

10 down, 15 to go!

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A slightly shorter post this time, for which I’m sure you’re all very thankful. 😉 Thanks as always for sharing my reading experiences!

Here’s to more great reading next quarter! 😀

48 thoughts on “TBR Thursday (on a Friday) 297 and Quarterly Round-Up

  1. That’s the thing, FictionFan. Sometimes life has a way of getting in the way of reading. That’s why I think it’s not really productive to be too hard on oneself when those reading goals aren’t met. I really admire the way you set goals for yourself and keep track of your progress; I should do the same. But things happen, life happens, and sometimes just having a near-DNF experience is enough to stop the mojo for a while. I hope the rest of your reading year is excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I love the phrase “near-DNF experience”! 😱 I’m much more relaxed about my goals than I used to be – I really use them now to remind me not to get completely stuck in a rut of reading the same type of thing all the time and to that extent they work quite well. But I do seem to have spent most of the pandemic slipping in and out of reading slumps which is annoying, especially when there are so many appealing books waiting on my TBR!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, I’ve been feeling remarkable lazy myself this quarter – my poor challenges are feeling very neglected! I’ve been re-reading lots of Christie on audio – re-reading is so much more relaxing.

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  2. Our health (whether physical, mental, or emotional) should always take precedence over goals and statistics. You still read a respectable number of books in my thinking. (and isn’t half the fun of posts like this just working the spreadsheet, no matter what the numbers say??)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to be way down on my usual number of books read this year, but there’s definitely no point in forcing books down when we’re not in the right place for them. It’s just unfortunate that it makes posts like this a bit sad-looking… 😉 I do love my spreadsheet and spend many happy hours playing with it – how did we keep track of books before computers?? 😂

      Liked by 1 person

        • Haha, I still writes notes for reviews in a notebook but I keep thinking I should change to doing it on the computer. But it’s about the only thing I do still write by hand and I’m afraid I’ll lose the ability to do it all if I don’t keep in practice! 😉

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  3. Don’t feel too bad, FF. I think you’ve done amazingly well — after all, we ARE still in a pandemic, right? I think all the feelings of discombobulation prevent us from doing everything we’d like to do. Perhaps a nice hunk of chocolate would help ease your angst!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mood has definitely been all over the place during the pandemic even though I’m one of the lucky ones who hasn’t been personally affected by it. But hopefully we’re getting close to the end, or at least to learning to live with it! Haha, chocolate always helps!! 😀

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  4. Congratulations on many books read, most of them enjoyed, taking time out for the best of reasons and for amazing tracking of books and goals (which I know is its own fun 😉). All in all, a good quarter! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was actually surprised that I’d read as many challenge books as I have – I was expecting the results to be even more dire, so all-in-all I’m feeling quite upbeat about failing less badly than I thought… 😉 Must start working on my 2022 page on the spreadsheet soon! 😀

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  5. Looks like you’re doing brilliantly to me. All a matter of balance. And reading is meant to be a pleasure not a chore, right? Of course, you know all that 😊 I remain in awe of your record keeping!

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  6. Your meticulous tracking puts my paltry master list and spreadsheet to shame. But in spite of all those reading projects that must have been at the back of your mind, it’s great that you took the time off you needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, I do love my multi-sheet multi-coloured bookish spreadsheet – I feel it belongs in a gallery of modern art! 😉 I’ve learned to be relaxed about reading projects and not let them begin to feel like work, and I really badly needed that break. Happily my enthusiasm has returned and I’m looking forward to doing a bit of catch-up now… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, it looks like the overall quality has been good even if the quantity hasn’t been up to usual standard. 🙂 And I suspect you still read more books than I do, even when you are in a slump. To me the above doesn’t look bad at all!

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    • Yes, not too many duds! When I’m not slumping I seem to be speeding through books at the moment – famine or feast. I’d really rather be more like the tortoise though – slow and steady wins the race… 😉

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  8. I have recently been thinking that it’s really okay to slow down and not race through books just to get to the next one or cross them off the list… it’s an unusual feeling for me, ha ha! Why put pressure on ourselves to read at a breakneck pace if we don’t feel like it? My pace the last few weeks has been slow and I’m fine with that. I admire your diverse reading goals, even if you don’t meet them on your timetable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree – I think we all push ourselves too hard in order to have something to write about on our blogs! I’ve recently cut down from five to four posts a week, which means cutting down from three to two books and reviews a week, and that’s definitely working better for me. If my speed ever picks up again then I can pop the extra post back in, but I’m not going to push myself. I do enjoy my challenges though, even if I constantly miss my own targets! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You’ve managed to read more than me during the last few months anyway, it’s strange the way pandemic uppers and downers are still continuing even though we’re back to something closer to the pre-Covid days. At least you have been able to enjoy your reading for the most part, which is how it should be really.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The odd thing is that when I’m not slumping I seem to be reading at twice my usual rate! I’m still surprised at how much the pandemic has affected my mood. I’m usually a pretty placid person and I never go out much through choice, so it hasn’t made a huge difference to my day-to-day life. But somehow everything seems to be more stressful – even having a workman in the house or visiting the doctor. And it’s gone on so long now! Ah well, no doubt we’ll get back to normality sometime, if we can still remember what that was…

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  10. I love all your challenges, lots to inspire there FF! Thank goodness it seems for the Patricia Wentworth and TH White. Is the Bingo of your own design or are you following a challenge?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love my challenges too, even if I’m always failing at them! They force me out of my groove and usually provide most of the best books I read. The Bingo is my own, designed to replace the Around the World challenge when I finished it, and to keep me “travelling” bookishly. The plan was to complete it in this year, but it’s going to drift into the beginning of next year. But again it’s made me look for interesting books to fill the boxes, so I may even do it again… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well done on reading as much as you did, FF. I’m glad you enjoyed ‘O Antonia’ by Willa Catha. It was one of Catha’s best, and she wrote some good ones. I’m reading ‘Half a Yellow Sun’ at the moment and I’m finding it slow-going. I agree with what you say – an interesting analysis of how rich and privileged Africans lived, but dull. It won an award! Books that win awards are always dull as ditchwater.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! My Antonia is the only Cather I’ve read but I’d like to read more of her in the future. I found it odd how flat in tone Half of a Yellow Sun was, given what a tragic piece of history it was describing. Haha, yes, I’m coming to look on awards as warnings rather than incentives these days… 😉

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  12. I’m glad you are going easy on yourself FF, it’s important we take breaks and not take this blogging thing too seriously, which is what I remind myself when I start to see my TBR numbers climbing yet again (groan!)

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