Tuesday, 7 January 2014

TBR Pile Challenge 2014: The List

I mentioned in my Challenges 2014 post that I will be signing up to Adam's TBR Pile Challenge this year. Initially I was thinking that yes, I really need to make some headway with the embarrassingly large pile of unread books threatening to take over my house. Then, over the New Year, I had a slight epiphany about my bookish habits and decided that rather than feeling tied to my TBR, I am going to celebrate it and make the most of the treasures I may have lurking in its depths. For that reason, I am now approaching the challenge with a renewed vitality and definitely renewed interest in what my stacks have to offer.

The List

1. Orlando by Virginia Woolf (1928)

2. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966)

3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)

4. Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter (1984)

5. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

6. Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee (1959)

7. Uncanny Stories by May Sinclair (1923)

8. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (1940)

9. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (2005)

10. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)

11. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)

12. The Mystery of Mrs Blencarrow by Mrs Oliphant (1890)

The Alternatives:

1. Good Evening, Mrs Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes (1999 - collated by Persephone)

2. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte (1847)

I am really quite excited by this list but also feeling quite anxious about one or two (Woolfy, I love you but Orlando just seems terrifying). I am really looking forward to seeing how this 'discovering my TBR' goes and perhaps now is the right time to get to the couple of books on this list I've had on the pile since I was 15 (I'm now 23...).

Have you read any of these? Do I have any in common with your TBR Challenge list?



  1. We don't have common books in TBR Challenge, but I've read several from your list! The Grapes of Wrath is soooo good! I have okay memories of Beloved, but I don't remember that much so I have added this to my CC list as a re-read. For Whom the Bell Tolls - all the Hemingway love, I still remember how I read it last spring and was lost in the book. I'm quite curious what you think of The Book Thief, I really cannot make up my mind whether I want to read it or not...

    Good luck, this is one of the best challenges in my opinion :)

    1. The Grapes of Wrath and Beloved both really freak me out! Not sure why, just intimidated I suppose. I'm so excited for For Whom the Bell Tolls though and The Book Thief.

      Good luck to you too and I completely agree!

  2. The Wide Sargasso Sea is one of my Mum's books which I plan to borrow at some point, so in that sense is on my TBR pile. I also have The Book Thief on my TBR, but neither are on my challenge list.

    I've read The Scarlet Letter. I don't get on that well with classics, but The Scarlet Letter wasn't bad, just not my taste.

    1. I've seen a film of The Scarlet Letter and it has been on my list ever since but I never quite got the urge to finally pick it up. I hope it suits my taste.

  3. Wonderful stack! I just ordered A Study in Scarlet (Penguin edition) from Book Depository...and also The Sign of Four. I love the Penguin edition covers (#coverho). I hope you enjoy all of your picks!

  4. Oh, and The Scarlet Letter is amazing, but don't let the Custom House chapter get you down. Skip it if you need to. It's one of the biggest drags in all of literature.

  5. I read The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter just before New Year's Eve and I found it kind of... odd. The prose is very hard to follow and there were moments of sex for no reason. Mind, that was a short story collection, so maybe Nights at the Circus will be different.

    I also REALLY didn't like Wide Sargasso Sea (clearly I'm being Nelly Negative today!) because I felt like it could have been any old story with Mr Rochester's name thrown in there to make it appeal. It just didn't relate to Jane Eyre that much which is why I read it in the first place.

    Looking forward to reading your reviews - it's always more interesting to read reviews from people with different opinions :)

    I did love The Scarlet Letter though - it takes a bit of effort, but it's completely and totally worth it!

    1. I kind of feel bad for this comment now... hope I didn't put you off. One day I'll keep my mouth shut...

  6. I have Orlando somewhere too - and it's one of the books I've owned longest - so maybe I'll dig it out in 2014 and join you! I haven't read The Book Thief yet either, and I DEFINITELY want to read A Study in Scarlet to get my Sherlocky reading back ON. Good luck, fellow TBR-er!


© Lit Nerd. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig