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The 2014 TBR Pile Challenge


Having moved this past year, I am incredibly aware of the sheer volume of books I own (as are the friends who helped me move). I can’t say I regret owning as many books as I do, because, well, I don’t. But I do find myself somewhat ashamed of the number of books that I own that I just haven’t read. Some are gifts, some are book sale finds, some are, “hey I’m cleaning off my book case and thought you would be interested.” I need to give these books a chance. And this year, thanks to the TBR Pile Challenge hosted by the Roof Beam Reader, 12 will get the chance to be read.

The goal is pretty simple: read twelve (12) books from your TBR pile in 2014. That’s one a month, and feels pretty manageable to me. If you are interested in taking the challenge yourself, click on the link above for the complete details.

My 2014 TBR Pile Challenge List:

1. Running the Race: Eric Liddell Olympic Champion and Missionary by John W. Keddie (2007)

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

3. The Curate’s Awakening by George MacDonald (edited by Michael R. Phillips, 1985)

4. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (1956)

5. The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change by Brenda Salter McNeil and Rick Richardson (2004)

6. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (1998)

7. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (2006)

8. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (1889)

9. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (2003)

10. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1820)

11. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)

12. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (2012)

I’m feeling bold and a little reckless, so I am not going to have alternates. I tried to pick a wide variety in a number of categories, and I did a bit of overlap with my Back to the Classics Challenge list in hoping for success on both challenges.


Back to the Classics Challenge 2014



Karen over at Books and Chocolate has agreed to host the Back to the Classics Challenge in 2014. If you’re considering the challenge for yourself I would recommend perusing the specific guidelines for yourself, including her definition of a classic.

Now, for the categories:


    1. A 20th Century Classic: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    2. A 19th Century Classic: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

    3. A Classic by a Woman Author: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

    4. A Classic in Translation: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    5. A Classic About War: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

    6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You: Some Do Not…: A Novel by Ford Madox Ford

    There are also five optional categories, which I would love to try, but I will conservatively stick with the original list in hopes of actual completion. Here’s to 2014 and the classics it holds!

    World War I Reading Challenge Announcement

    It all started with All Quiet on the Western Front. I had never read anything on World War I before and had only the slightest frame of reference. Then I read A Farewell to Arms, my second book on World War I, my first Hemingway novel, and I found myself reading everything about World War I that I could find.

    In my search for titles, I stumbled across the, which is holding a World War I Reading Challenge which ends on December 31, 2012. Although I am certainly late in my discovery, I thought given my recent fascination with World War I and the Lost Generation writers, I would join in. I am coming at the Wade level, in which participants read 4-10 books in any genre with World War I as a primary or secondary theme.

    With that in mind, here’s what I’ll be reading:

    A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd

    A Duty to the Dead is a Bess Crawford Mystery, following Bess Crawford, an English nurse serving on the front in France during World War I, who seems to keep happening into murders. I started this particular series out of order, with An Unmarked Grave, and enjoyed the mystery and the storytelling so much I had to try the rest of them.

    The First World War by John Keegan

    The First World War is an incredibly readable one volume account of World War I. Although Keegan occasionally gets lost in the military details, its been an interesting and very readable account so far. I anticipate this volume taking the longest- the print is small, and its roughly 500 pages.

    The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response by Peter Balakian

    The Burning Tigris focuses on the Armenian Genocide, and although World War I is more of a backdrop, the two are inextricably linked. I purchased this book quite awhile ago, and decided that this was the time to take it off of the to be read pile and move it to the read pile.

    My fourth book will be The Great Gatsby. Part of what drew me to this time period was the works of the Lost Generation, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work fits clearly into that category.

    If you are interested in finding out more about the War Through the Generations 2012 Reading Challenge, please visit them at




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