Thursday, December 27, 2018

Roof Beam Reader 2019 TBR Challenge Signup

Adam at Roof Beam Reader hosts a TBR challenge. I'm signing up this year for the first time. It's a dozen books (plus two alternates) and requires you to specify in advance the books you're going to read. Tricky! At least for me. My reading habits usually amount to "Ooh...shiny!" and off I go in some new direction. Head off to his announcement post for full details.

There are lots of books around here to choose from; it's the choosing that's hard. To help out I decided on some categories before I even started. Here's the list:

Contemporary fiction. I see a review of something and think that sounds fun! Now is the time to find out if I was right:

1.) Eleanor Catton/The Luminaries
2.) Marisha Pessl/Special Topics in Calamity Physics
3.) Xialou Guo/A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers

Poetry. Poetry volumes are often slim and those get read right away. But if they aren't and they don't...

4.) John Hollander/Spectral Emanations: New and Selected Poems
5.) Brad Leithauser/Darlington's Fall
6.) Anne Sexton/The Complete Poems

New York Review Book reissues. I've had such ridiculous good luck with their reissues, I can't resist something new and unknown when it shows up at my remaindered book store. But sometimes they slip into the pile. Time to catch up on those!

7.) Eileen Chang/Love In A Fallen City
8.) Dorothy Baker/Young Man With A Horn
9.) Christopher Priest/Inverted World

Detective Stories. How is it I even have crime novels aged for over a year on my TBR pile? I'm not sure, but not for much longer...

10.) Michael Bond/Monsieur Pamplemousse Omnibus, Vol. 1
11.) Sparkle Hayter/The Last Manly Man
12.) Ngaio Marsh/Overture to Death

And for my two alternates. Two readable choices from my Classics Club list.

1.) George Bernard Shaw/Pygmalion
2.) Jules Verne/Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea

Thanks to Adam for hosting!


  1. I'm so interested in what you think of The Luminaries. Monsieur Pamplemousse intrigues me and I've always loved Marsh's mysteries. Have fun with this challenge!

    1. Thanks! I wanted to read the Luminaries ever since it won the Booker, and I got a paperback after it came out, but then it didn't happen right away. I'm looking forward to it.

  2. I also have a weakness for NYRB classics.

  3. Oops, I hit publish too quickly! I'm also intrigued by Monsieur Pamplemousse so I must research him immediately. I've never read Ngaio Marsh but I've finally moved on to Dorothy Sayers after finishing all of Agatha Christie. Good luck with the challenge!

    1. There were more than 3 NYRB classics to choose from... ;) As a rule I prefer Marsh to Sayers, or really, in the toff department, I prefer Roderick Alleyn to Lord Peter Wimsey.

      I see you've got your list up. Good luck with yours as well!

  4. You should definitely enjoy Overture to Death. Ngaio Marsh is great...but I have to say I lean more towards Sayers. And the Anne Sexton poems are a great choice as well. Good luck with your challenge!

    1. I've been meaning to give Sayers more of a try, but I do admit to being put off by Lord Peter Wimsey. I think the last one I read was Five Red Herrings, a long time ago now, which may not be the strongest.