Thursday, December 19, 2013

TBR Pile Challenge - 2014

I loved doing this challenge in 2013 and discovered some wonderful books that were "hidden" on my TBR shelf for lo these many years.

Now, I'm signing up for the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, and narrowing down my selection to just 12 plus 2 alternates is a challenge.  This challenge is hosted by Roof Beam Reader.

Here goes:

  1. Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow - I have wanted to read this for years, and have heard great things about it. Having recently read 1876, by Gore Vidal, I'm eager to read about life in America circa 1900.
  2. The Pilgrmage, by Paulo Coelho - since I am still planning on walking the Camino de Santiago in 2015, I'm jazzed to read about Coelho's journey on the pilgrim's path.
  3. The Taste of Sorrow (Charlotte and Emily), by Jude Morgan - I absolutely loved Morgan's Passion, about the Romantic poets and their lovers, and so have high hopes for this fictional bio of the Sisters Bronte.
  4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer - I loved the movie and thought it was a remarkable movie about a remarkable story.
  5. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt - this comes highly recommended.  
  6. Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner - I loved Stegner's Angle of Repose, and lots of other Stegner fans say that this is even better.  
  7. Heat Wave, by Penelope Lively - I've been meaning to get around to reading Lively for years, and I read a blogger's review of this book and thought it sounded perfect.
  8. A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster - Forster's A Room with a View is one of my favorite books, and I know so little about India that I figured this was a great way to learn about the country.
  9. Highland River, by Neil M. Gunn - I'm expecting this to be a Scottish version A River Runs Through It - beautifully written, metaphoric use of nature, melancholy--a stick-to-your-ribs kind of book that you think about for years.  WWI figures in the book, which is appopriate as 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of that cataclysm.
  10. South Riding, by Winifred Holtby - I loved the Masterpiece Theatre mini-series and have heard great things about this novel.
  11. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath - I'm anticipating this book with the same feelings I had with regards to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood--apprehensive but expecting to be wowed.
  12. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Shiguro - I finally got around to reading Shiguro's Remains of the Day in 2013, courtsey of the TBR Pile Challenge, and loved it.  I have great expectations regarding this book too.
  1. On the Shores of the Mediterranean, Eric Newby - a travel memoir; I'm planning a trip to Italy in the fall of 2014 and this should really whet my appetite.
  2. A Conspiracy of Paper, by David Liss - I didn't like his Whiskey Rebels when I read it for the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge, but I've heard this novel is better.  Another historical fiction book set in America.


  1. A most impressive list! I want to read many of them myself. I am looking forward to reading what you have to say about A Passage to India when you get around to to. It is one of my favorite books and I found that it is full of surprises.

    Happy reading Jane!

  2. Awesome stack of books. I've read a few: The Bell Jar and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I preferred the Foer to the Plath, but can't wait to hear your thoughts on both books. Happy Reading!

  3. Ragtime is one of my all-time favorites - and I highly recommend the movie as well.

  4. I loved Crossing to Safety from start to finish. A Passage to India was read a long time ago - I remember it as challenging but very worthwhile. The Secret History was a good read too, although I'm not sure why everyone raves about it quite as much as they do.
    I didn't like Never Let me Go as much as I liked Remains of the Day, but I may have been in a bad mood that weekend!
    The Bell Jar is also on my TBR list & I share your apprehension :-)

    Good luck

  5. Good luck with this one! My TBR is so out of control and I have SO many to choose from, I don't think I could stick to a list like this, though it does seem like a really good motivator :)