TBR Thursday (on a Wednesday) 351 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. I’ve been reading up a storm over the summer months but my reviewing is woefully behind, Maybe I need to start having reviewing targets as well as reading ones! Aarghh!! Anyway…

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

Well, I’m beginning to fall behind on a couple, especially the Reginald Hill books and books I already owned at the start of the year, but overall I’m doing pretty well this year. I might miss several of the targets by a book or two, but it all looks as if it’s heading in the right direction for once!

* * * * * * *

The Classics Club

I’m still racing through my new Classics Club list, though that will slow down a lot in the last quarter as I try to catch up with review books, not to mention reviews! I’ve read five this quarter but so far have only reviewed two of them…

8. Silas Marner by George Eliot – This tale, of a man who adopts a young child and through her finds a kind of redemption, has what, for me, Middlemarch lacked – a strong plot. Its brevity is undoubtedly another point in its favour! 5 stars.

9. Consider the Lilies by Iain Crichton Smith – Set during the Highland Clearances, the glaring historical inaccuracies in this prevented me from being fully won over by what was otherwise an interesting and well written story of an elderly woman faced with eviction. 3½ stars.

One unexpectedly great, one unexpectedly disappointing – story of my reading life and what makes it so much fun!

9 down, 71 to go!

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Murder Mystery Mayhem

I’ve only read two for this challenge this quarter and had another two left still to review from the quarter before, but I’ve only reviewed two. Two reviews outstanding – one of them dating back to January – hope I took extensive notes… 😉

52. The Mystery of the Skeleton Key by Bernard Capes. I couldn’t decide which was worse in this one – the writing or the plotting. Together they made for a painfully bad read. 1 generous star.

53. Background for Murder by Shelley Smith. Dull and pedestrian, shallow and cheap, shabby, and justifiably forgotten are just some of the words I used in my review of this one. Another disappointment in this increasingly disappointing challenge. 2 stars.

Fortunately one of the unreviewed books was very good, so maybe things will get better.

53 down, 49 to go!

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Reading the Spanish Civil War Challenge

I’ve read just one for this challenge this quarter…

11. Homage to Caledonia by Daniel Gray. And another disappointment! Interesting enough if what you want are anecdotes about the Scots who went to war, but not a serious contribution to the history of the period, and not in any way comparable to the Orwell book it homages in its title. Just 2 stars.

Surely one of the last two books for the challenge will be good. Surely…

11 down, 2 to go!

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The People’s Choice

People's Choice Logo

I’m falling behind a bit on this challenge at the moment. I’ve read three and but have only reviewed one – told you I was in a reviewing crisis! I promise I’ll catch up with these ones very soon! So did You, The People, pick me a good one…?

July – Death in the Tunnel by Miles Burton. A “locked room” mystery set in a carriage of a moving train. Though well written and with likeable lead characters, impossible crimes are never my favourite style of mystery. One for the puzzle-solvers, though! 3½ stars.

Hopefully five reviews next time, so plenty of chances for you to find me some good ones, People! Keep up the good work! 😉

7 down, 5 to go!

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Wanderlust Bingo

I’ve read the last three books for this challenge this quarter but have only reviewed two. The review of the final one and a challenge round-up will appear soon! Or possibly soon-ish!! The blue boxes are books from previous quarters, and the orange are the ones I’m adding this quarter. If you click on the bingo card you should get a larger version.

Vietnam – The Quiet American by Graham Greene – 5 stars. Greene’s second appearance in this challenge with this wonderful critique of old and new style colonialism written just a year or two before the Vietnam War got properly underway. A perfect fit for the Southeast Asia slot.

An unnamed country that is probably Peru – At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón – 5 stars.  A wonderful book about a touring company putting on a revival of a play that had marked them as dissidents during the recent civil war. Loved every word of this one! It fills the South America box.

Two brilliant books this quarter which have reinspired me to keep travelling – have I the strength of will to do this challenge all over again? Maybe…

24 down, 1 to go!

* * * * * * *

A very mixed quarter this time, which surprised me since I feel I’ve been reading loads of great books recently – must just not have been challenge books! But overall there were enough wonderful ones to outshine the dismal failures, and I’m continuing to make progress. Just need to catch up with reviews! Thanks as always for sharing my reading experiences!

Here’s to more great reading next quarter! 😀

28 thoughts on “TBR Thursday (on a Wednesday) 351 and Quarterly Round-Up

    • Haha, I can’t find any notes on the January book either – must have thought I’d remember enough about it! Oh dear, I might have to read it again and I don’t think I loved it much first time round… 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great going on all your challenges. Good luck with meeting your targets by the end of the year. September was a terribly busy month for me so I’ve slipped behind on almost every thing, and it was also the first month in the last 4 years at least that I didn’t write a single review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Queen’s death captured the attention of so many, so no wonder reviews are down. Plus, several bad books can make one disheartened about reading. You’re doing well, so let’s celebrate that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I took that break recently to catch up with reviews but then got so immersed in all the ceremonies that I got nothing else done. The odd thing is I’ve actually read lots of good books recently, but the challenge books have been disappointing – it’s usually the other way round!


  3. I think you’re doing brilliantly and I can only agree with you over the reviewing. I’ve finished reading my three challenges (including the CC!!) but I’m so way behind with reviews, I’m even years out with some of the classics!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Personally, if I haven’t written a review within about 48 hours of reading a book, I might as well forget reviewing it. Especially if I’m already deep into another book!

    I’d say you’re doing well on your challenges! I’m always impressed with your record-keeping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I usually review lighter books almost immediately, but with factual books or heavyweight classics I like to let them settle in my mind a bit first. I usually take pretty extensive notes of them as I read, but I’ve been being lazy about that recently, so I suspect some of the reviews will never appear! Haha, the spreadsheet is the only bit of my reading that is ever up-to-date! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve actually had loads of good reads recently, but somehow the challenge books were a bit disappointing his quarter – it’s usually the other way round! Yes, I have a few books I’ve already acquired for the MMM challenge which I’ll read, but unless they turn out to be wonderful I think I’ll scrap the challenge then and move on – no point struggling on!


  5. I had a GREAT reading summer, but I’ve since slowed down, probably due to the two 700 pagers I had to read in September – damn! I’m not sure I’m going to reach my goal of reading 100 books this year, I’m only at about a 71 or 72 and it’s the beginning of October. Time to hunker down in spooky season of reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve slowed right down again too now for some reason, but I did so well over the summer that I’m still ahead on my Goodreads challenge for the year. And I’m really enjoying the horror anthologies that I’ve acquired – short stories seem to be suiting my mood at the moment!

      Liked by 1 person

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