Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Bookshelf is Crushing Me, or I Can't Resist a Challenge

My "to be read" book pile is out of control. Truthfully, I don't even have a pile. I have an entire "to be read" shelf, which is not only full but it has books stacked horizontally on top of the vertical ones. It is also a problem that despite the large number of books on that shelf, I can't stop myself from getting new books. Some of these are from the quite handy Paperback Swap and some are from the library (right now I've got 5 books out that are due in a week, and I've finished none of them), so at least I'm not spending money on all of my new ones, but that's still too many books coming in and not enough being read.

So I'm going to tackle the 2011 TBR Pile Challenge, in which I pledge to finally read (sorry, split infinitive) 12 books from my "to be read" pile, within 12 months. Truthfully, I culled out 20 books from my shelf that absolutely have to be read and get off of my shelf in 2011, but those extras will be my little secret. (Yeah, the titles are just too embarrassing to publicly fess up to.) Here is my list:

The Twelve to Be Read:
1) Songs and Stories of the Kojiki by Yoko Danno
2) Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
3) Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
4) Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffengger
5) Seven Poets, Four Days, One Book by Dean Young, Christopher Merrill, Marvin Bell, Tomaz Salamun, Simone Inguanez, Istvan Laszlo Geher, Ksenia Golubovich
6) Lucky in the Corner by Carol Anshaw
7) In the American Grain by William Carlos Williams
8) After the Banquet by Yukio Mishima
9) The Shadow of the Sun by A.S. Byatt
10) A Perfect Vacuum by Stanislaw Lem
11) Vineland by Thomas Pynchon
12) The Best American Poetry 2003, edited by Yusef Komunyakaa

The Two Alternates:
1) The Anxiety of Everyday Objects by Aurelie Sheehan
2) The Fifth Book of Peace by Maxine Hong Kingston

My understanding of the challenge is that I don't go to the 2 Alternates unless/until I give up on a book in my original 12, so I think I won't get to those unless I end up using them or my original 12 are finished, whichever comes first. I will post reviews here as I finish the books, and I will also keep track of my progress on Goodreads.

As I look over the list, I'm looking forward to tackling it. It's mostly fiction, though not all. I'm sure Pynchon and Eco will be the most challenging (they're also the longest), but I also have some poetry and essays to break things up. I am going to get to one of these before January is over, though I've got about 8 books on my "currently reading" shelf, as well as the 5 library books (4 books of poetry and a novela)!

Anyone else up for this challenge? What does your "to be read" pile look like?


Adam said...

Hi, Sarah!

Thanks for taking the challenge with us - I'm looking forward to reading all your thoughts on these books. You've got a great list, here!

Adam said...

Just checking-in on your progress for the 2011 TBR Pile Challenge - how are things going so far?! Don't forget to link your reviews to your master list. :)

Also... BIG Giveaways are happening on my blog this week, and TBR Pile Challenge participants earn extra entries for linking to their lists, so be sure to visit my Giveaways section soon! ;)