Sunday 8 December 2013

2014 TBR Pile Challenge

Straight from Roof Beam Reader and under the gentle influence of Jean at Howling Frog Books, I have decided to tackle the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge.

This challenge is somewhat different from my other TBR Challenge.  The rules are:

The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).
1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2013 or later (any book published in the year 2012 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.
2. To be eligible, you must sign-up with Mr. Linky on Roof Beam Reader's site – link to your list (so create it ahead of time!) and add updated links to each book’s review. Books must be read and must be reviewed (doesn’t have to be too fancy) in order to count as completed.
3. The link you post in the Mr. Linky must be to your “master list” (see Roof Beam Reader's site). This is where you will keep track of your books completed, crossing them out and/or dating them as you go along, and updating the list with the links to each review (so there’s one easy, convenient way to find your list and all your reviews for the challenge). See THIS LINK for an idea of what I mean. Your complete and final list must be posted by January 15th, 2014.
4. Leave comments on Roof Beam Reader's post as you go along, to update us on your status. Come back to the post if/when you complete this challenge and leave a comment indicating that you CONQUERED YOUR 2014 TBR LIST! Every person who successfully reads his/her 12 books and/or alternates (and who provides a working link to their list, which has links to the review locations) will be entered to win a $50 gift card from or The Book Depository!
5. Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable, as long as you have never read the book before and it was published before 2013!
*Note – You can read the books on your list in any order; they do not need to be read in the order you have them listed. As you complete a book – review it, and go back to your original list and turn that title into a link to the review - that will keep the comments section from getting ridiculously cluttered. For an example of what I mean,Click Here.
Monthly Check-Ins: On the 15th of each month, Roof Beam Reader is going to post a “TBR Pile Check-In.” This will allow participants to link-up their reviews from the past month and get some recognition for their progress. There will also be small mini-challenges and giveaways to go along with these posts (Such As: Read 6 books by the June Check-in and be entered to win a book of your choice!). This will help to keep us all on track and make the challenge a bit more engaging/interactive. 

  My original hesitation in joining this challenge, was due to the fact that I am terrified of making lists in case I don't follow them.  However, I have decided to really challenge myself in 2014 by participating in this challenge.  My list is as follows:

  1.  Defense Speeches by Cicero  August 20, 2014

  2.  Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Mallory  December 6, 2014

  3.  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley   April 4, 2014

  4.  The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis   June 15, 2014

  5.  The Epic of Gilgamesh  August 14, 2014

  6.  Stories from the East from Herodotus by Alfred J. Church

  7.  The Sayings of the Desert Fathers  August 25, 2014

  8.  Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes

  9.  Socrates by Paul Johnson

10.  Daniel Deronda by George Eliot  February 24, 2014

11.  Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow by Jerome K. Jerome

12.  The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton  August 20, 2014

And my alternates:

1.  Allegory of Love by C.S. Lewis

2.  Oedipus Rex/Oepidus at Colonus/Antigone by Sophocles  December 28, 2014

Yes, I am actually going to attempt to follow a list!  Everyone wish me luck …….. I'll need it!


  1. Wow! Another TBR challenge. I seriously thought about this one, but it is a little ambitious for me right now. And speaking of ambitious, so is this list. I look forward to reading you opinion about Gilgamesh and who your choose as your translator.

    1. Ah, perhaps it looks ambitious but I was somewhat devious! Four of the books will be coming up for group reads, three I have started to read already ….. I'll re-read them but since I have had a start already, I should be able to go faster, and two to three more are quite short. So it probably isn't as impressive as it looks. And now I have given away all my secrets! ;-)

      If you have a recommendation for a good Gilgamesh translation, I'm all ears!

  2. Idle Thoughts! Oh! Wonderful wonderful book! :D

    I was thinking about Tom Brown's School Days myself, as it happens. What's putting me off, and this sounds ridiculous - my edition has a sort of scratchy, canvas cover and I cannot stand touching it - my skin is crawling now just thinking about it. I need a new edition! Do want to read it. I might put a paper cover on it :)

    1. If you know about Idle Thoughts, you must have read Three Men in a Boat. I loved that book! I laughed all the way through it, and his descriptions of the areas around the Thames were just beautiful!

      Oh, I know what you mean about things like that! I am particular about font size and sometimes even the size of the book. Even the shade of the paper it is printed on can make me enjoy a book less or more. In your particular case, you could put on one of those nice faux-leather covers and pretend it is an old, old copy. If just thinking about the feel of the book makes your skin crawl, it doesn't sound like there is much hope of you picking it up without a nice cover!

  3. Well, you can read The Great Divorce in about two hours, so no worries there! You are going to love that one.

    1. It sounds fascinating! Whoever it was who decided to stay in Hell, I am so intrigued to learn why. This read will be coming up for me in June.

  4. wow..oedipus..I have already done and prepare to read 2 last trilogy, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone ^^

    Good luck ^^

    1. I've read Antigone with my daughter but I need to read the other two and give Antigone a re-read. The Greeks are known for their tragedies but I think these plays go even beyond tragedy.

      Good luck with your reads and thanks for your wishes! :-)

  5. Like you I've avoided lists and challenges in the past...because I always gets sidetracked by other temptations. But that's part of the problem! My TBR pile is out of control!!
    I've also really enjoyed the sense of community building up around the classics club blog this year as well as during my own AusReading month challenge in Nov.
    I figured joining in a few challenges was a way to keep up the connections.

    Good luck :-)

    1. Thanks! I'm just in denial about my TBR pile. Perhaps that's why I don't like making lists; it reminds me of the stacks of books that I have yet to read.

      Sad to miss your AusReading month …. I was somewhat slow to find your blog. However, I do have intentions of going back to see what Aussie books you've been reading. I'm always interested in popular authors from other countries. I think Picnic at Hanging Rock is the only Aussie book that I've read and I need to expand my horizons!

  6. This certainly sounds an ambitious list to me, but I see you have some solid plans for tackling it! Then again, I've been terrible at this challenge in the past (which is why I'm not attempting it in 2014). Good luck and enjoy!

    1. Honestly, this is going to be my most difficult challenge because of that list. We'll see how it goes …..

  7. I love very much your #7 and #12, now about #7, which collection are you using? there are actually lots of various collections of their sayings, there are thousands of sayings you know. just posted my own list for this challenge:
    Will try not to do too many challenges and book tours this year, to be more free in my reading choices, but it's hard to resist a good challenge...

    1. I'm reading the Alphabetical Collection (Cistercian Studies) Benedicta Ward edition. After this I'm going to move on to The Rule of St. Benedict.

      I've decided that this is the year that I start reading Chesterton. I've been meaning to get to his books for a long time and what better time than now.

      I may regret signing up for all these challenges at the end of the year, but I'm trying to leave them open enough so I'm not too restricted. We'll see, however …..

  8. Hi, Cleo! Congrats on your progress through the TBR Pile Challenge. I love your list, and I've been enjoying your thoughts on each of the books so far.

    I have some news for you - can you email me at roofbeamreader(at)gmail(dot)com, please? Thanks!

    1. Thanks! I've felt like this is one of the lists that I'm not on top of, but I have a few of these in the works, so hopefully I can manage to complete it by the end of the year.

      I'll e-mail you directly!