My New Book Project: The TBR Challenge

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As some of you may already know, I now have a year until I go away for six months travelling. While I’m gone, all my junk is being left at my parents’ house (Bless them for their patience with me) including a hell of a lot of books. I’ve decided that in order to try and make a bit of space in the house and shed, and to make a tiny bit of extra money that can go towards my travel fund, I’m going to sell quite a few of my books and DVDs. I’m going to go through all my books and sell all of those that aren’t in the list of all-time-favourites.

In the meantime, I have a lot of books in a pile right next to my bed that I have yet to read yet – my TBR pile, if you will. (Above)

This is a ridiculously large pile for someone who isn’t the fastest reader in the world. Take a look at my Amazon wishlist here. Seven pages! SEVEN!

If I don’t read my TBR, I’ll never get round to my wishlist. So …

I’ve decided to create a new book challenge for myself. The TBR Challenge. I have a year to read as much of my TBR list as possible.

I know a lot of the book bloggers I’ve ‘met’ online also hold huge TBR lists too so if anyone wants to join me in this, you’re more than welcome.

This is my full TBR list, as it stands:


  1. Brick Lane by Monica Ali (borrowed from my mum)
  2. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  3. The Blonde Geisha by Jina Bacarr
  4. The Sixth Wife by Suzannah Dunn
  5. The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden
  6. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  7. The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
  8. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
  9. Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  10. My Enemy, The Queen by Victoria Holt
  11. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  12. Poltergeist by James Kahn
  13. The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes
  14. The Bachman Books by Stephen King
  15. Cujo by Stephen King
  16. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  17. Different Seasons by Stephen King
  18. Firestarter by Stephen King
  19. Hearts in Atlantas by Stephen King
  20. The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
  21. My Best Friend’s Girl by Dorothy Koomson
  22. Small Island by Andrea Levy
  23. Girl Meets Ape by Chris Manby
  24. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  25. New Moan by Stephfordy Mayo
  26. The Child in Time by Ian McEwan
  27. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  28. Suite Francaise by Iréne Némirovsky
  29. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenneger
  30. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  31. Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult
  32. The Italian by Ann Radcliffe
  33. Dissolution by C. J. Sansom
  34. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
  35. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy


  1. Songs my Mother Taught Me by Marlon Brando
  2. The British Museum Book of Ancient Egypt
  3. Size Matters Not by Warwick Davis
  4. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
  5. The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry
  6. First Peoples, First Contact: Native Peoples of North America by J. C. H. King
  7. Asthma-Free Naturally by patrick McKeown
  8. Dude, Where’s My Country? by Michael Moore
  9. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht
  10. The Young Victoria by Alison Plowden
  11. The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas ed. by Ariane Sherine
  12. Ancient Gonzo Wisdom ed. by Anita Thompson
  13. Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson (Borrowed from my dad)
  14. The Children of Henry VIII by Alison Weir


  1. The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories ed. by Malcolm Bradbury (Short stories)
  2. The Penguin Book of American Short Stories ed. by James Cochrane (Short stories)
  3. Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot (Poetry)
  4. Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes (Poetry)
  5. The Oxford Book of American Short Stories ed. by Joyce Carol Oates (Short stories)
  6. Ariel: The Restored Edition by Sylvia Plath (Poetry)
  7. Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti (Poetry)
  8. The Collected Works of William Shakespeare (Plays/Poetry)
  9. The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde (Short Stories/Poetry)


So there it is. I’m not too bothered about finishing my collections. It’s more the novels and non-fiction works I want to concentrate on finshing. That’s 49 books in a year … which, I’m sure, doesn’t sound a lot to most book bloggers (who read that many in a week) but for me, it is. Add to that the fact that I receive books from a few book review websites in exchange for free reviews.

But I’m going to try it. Last year I read 50 books in a year. I don’t see why I can’t try and do it again.


8 thoughts on “My New Book Project: The TBR Challenge

  1. Congrats on getting the chance to go traveling! I’ve always wished I’d gone ahead and done it. And you can do lots of reading while you travel to! Looks like a solid list you have there. Glad to see lots of Penguin books. 😉


  2. Good luck and don’t be afraid to purge books that just aren’t speaking to you! I had HUNDREDS of books on my shelves when I decided to make this summer my unofficial TBR challenge. I’m now down to very, very few, like probably less than 30 altogether. I didn’t read that many, though! I just did a lot of abandoning books after 20 pages. It was very freeing.

    Good luck to you however you decide to make it through these books! I’m looking forward to your progress.


  3. Good luck, Ceri! You’ve a great reading list there! I too am trying to catch up on all my TBR pile, which is becoming more of a challenge for me since I’m always adding more on to it. 😛

    Happy reading!


    • Haha, yeah, that’s the problem, isn’t it? This time last year my TBR was exactly the same amount because I keep buying and buying and buying. Eek!


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