Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

Happy April, fellow readers! We’re well into Spring in the Northern Hemisphere and Fall in the Southern Hemisphere. Have you been working on your TBR Challenge or spending time outside?

Knowing the end of the month was coming up spurred me to pick up a TBR book–The Hanover Square Affair by Ashley Gardner (also known as Jennifer Ashley), a Regency mystery novel in a bundle I picked up four years ago–but, as is becoming my habit, I didn’t read much the rest of the month. I’ve been writing a fair amount, getting my summer releases ready to go. I’m also in the process of getting a dog, so most of my free time the past few weeks has been devoted to back-and-forth-ing with a couple of rescues in the area. There’s good news on that front, though–Max, a German Shepherd mix, is coming home to me this weekend 😀

My book-buying habits haven’t slowed, though. It seems I picked up four more books this month, bringing my bought-in-2017 total to 25. Twenty-five books in just four months! And here I thought I’d been holding myself back this year. Max’s foster mom says that he likes to hang around the house with his person, so maybe he and I will spend more of May reading…and less time purchasing 😉

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

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We’re nearly through the first quarter of the year, fellow readers! How is your TBR reading going?

Once my RITA scores were turned in (you can click here to see the finalists in each category if you’re interested) I took a break from reading for a couple of weeks. It was only the other day I picked up a book again to read for pleasure, and it hasn’t been in my possession long enough to qualify for this challenge. So officially that makes March another month where I didn’t gain any ground. And I’m up to 21 books purchased since January 1, so I’m actually losing ground!

I’m not too worried, though. The bulk of my time has been spent writing–I have a short story and a novel coming out with a fantastic group of authors in July. As soon as those are done and released, I plan to read and read and read 🙂

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

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Two months down and ten to go! Are you making progress toward your TBR Challenge goal? I haven’t, actually. I’m judging books that have been entered in Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards, so I’ve been reading those all month…and that’s all I’m allowed to say about them 🙂 My scores are due in this week, so I’ll be back to my old reading habits in just a few days and have more to report for March.

I can talk about the addition of my Bought In 2017 shelf on Goodreads. So far this year I’ve purchased fourteen books, and all but one are e-books that were on sale. That doesn’t really tell me anything new–I was already aware of my penchant for good deals, and e-books drop in price much more often than print books do. But it did startle me a bit to see that number glaring back at me from my Goodreads page. I’ve purchased fourteen books in just two months! No wonder my TBR pile is more of a mountain range 😀

Six RITA statues, courtesy of Barbara Samuel via flickr

Six RITA statues, courtesy of Barbara Samuel via flickr

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

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One month down, fellow readers! Have you had a good start to your TBR Challenge?

I got off to a good start with Caroline Dunford’s A Death in the Family, the first in her Euphemia Martins mystery series, which I’d had on my Kindle for a couple of years. Then I picked Historical Whodunits out of one of my bins,an anthology of historical detective stories from Ancient Egypt all the way up through the Victorian era. Historical fiction and mysteries are two of my favorite genres, so I’m really looking forward to this one.

Then my RITA books came! I’m judging for the RITA awards this year (the Oscars of the romance genre), and my packet of books appeared on my doorstep last week. I can’t say anything about them, or even acknowledge that I read them until after the awards ceremony in late July. I have to have my scores in by March 7, so my Goodreads totals are going to look rather sad for a while, but I’m going to try to sneak in a TBR book among the RITA entrants next month 🙂

Photo credit: ginnerobot via Flickr

Photo credit: ginnerobot via Flickr

Cora’s TBR Challenge 2017

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It grows and grows and grows…unless we tame it. Here’s to another year of trying to conquer our TBR piles!

Photo credit: ginnerobot via Flickr

Photo credit: ginnerobot via Flickr

The past few years I’ve done a romance A to Z challenge, in addition to this TBR Challenge and the overall goal I set on Goodreads. But this year I’ve decided to forgo the A to Z challenge (it’s a bit confining–reading books whose titles or authors begin with each letter of the alphabet) to focus on reading in general, and my older books in particular. With all the writing I’ve got on tap for this year, simpler is better when it comes to reading  🙂

Here are my conditions for this year:

1. How many books from your TBR pile will you read? I’m setting my goal at 21 books from the TBR pile this year. That three more than last year, but in letting go of the A to Z challenge I was participating in, I’ll have more freedom in the titles I select.

2. How long have your books been waiting? For the purposes of this challenge, the books I read must have been acquired by me or placed on my library TBR list before August 1, 2016. This means I can’t buy new books in January and count them toward my TBR Challenge come September–which I found myself doing at least once during the first year, and kind of defeats the purpose of the challenge.

3. How will you hold yourself accountable? Like years past, I’ll post here once a month to share my progress and see how you all are doing. I found that creating a Goodreads shelf and the dedicated page on this blog to be enormously helpful, too, so I’ll do both again. I’m a very visual person and being able to see the collection of books that I’ve read gives me a nice sense of accomplishment, which makes me want to read more TBR books.

4. What about adding more books to the pile? This year I’m going to keep track not only of the books I read, but those I buy. At least half the reason I have such a TBR problem is because I buy books faster than I can read them. So this year I’m making a second Goodreads shelf to keep track of what exactly I purchase through the year. Being a former Math teacher numbers appeal to me, and having the number of books I’ve read to compare directly to the number of books I bought ought to make an impression. I won’t promise to stop buying books, but at least I’ll know how fast I’m buying them!

So how ’bout it? Who’s in this year? Leave a comment with your goal and any special rules you’re using. We can do this!

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

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We’re down to the last days of 2016! Did you make your TBR Challenge goal this year?

bones-never-lieI came in just under the wire, finishing my eighteenth TBR book just a few days ago–an ARC of Kathy Reichs’ Bones Never Lie that I picked up at an RWA conference a few years ago. I love a really well-written, science-y mystery and this definitely fit the bill (though I have no idea why it was given away at a Romance Writers of America conference–there’s no romance in it). I’ve got just one more Temperance Brennan novel to read–also on my TBR list–and I’ll be all caught up…at least until the next one comes out  😉

I also managed to finish Laura Andersen’s alternate history Boleyn the-boleyn-reckoningtrilogy this month, and the third book (The Boleyn Reckoning) was fantastic! The fun thing about alternate histories is that you never really know how the story is going to go, so there’s an element of suspense that isn’t there in historical fiction (unless you’re reading about a part of history you’re unfamiliar with). It looks like there’s another trilogy that follows this one, and though I’ve never been a huge fan of Tudor fiction I suspect I’ll be continuing along with this series as long as Laura Andersen keeps writing it.

Ready for next year? I’ll have a post up on New Year’s Day with my personal guidelines for 2017, so start thinking about your strategy for next year!

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

We’re in the home stretch, fellow readers! Are you going to complete your TBR Challenge this year?

Giuseppe_Maria_Crespi_-_Bookshelves_-_WGA05755I’m getting very, very close. I pledged to read 18 books that have been in my TBR pile since before August 1, 2015, and November has brought my total to 16 this year. Two of the titles ticked off my list were novellas (The Groom’s Gamble by Jade Lee and The Lawyer’s Luck by Piper Huguley), and reading novellas always makes me feel a little bit like I’m cheating. I enjoyed them both, though, and shorter stories shouldn’t have to wait any more than their longer counterparts 🙂

I’ve also burrowed back in to Elizabeth Boyle’s Brazen trilogy this month, reading Brazen Heiress (the second book in the series). I read the first book (Brazen Angel) four years ago, and somehow wandered away from the series without finishing it. I can’t figure out why, as the first book was fun and well-written, but I’m glad I found my way back to it. Elizabeth Boyle’s books are always a treat to read, and I’ve had such a good time getting to know the D’Artiers family again!

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

Halloween is almost here, fellow readers! How scary is is your TBR pile right now?

I’ve fallen into the pattern (again!) of buying books faster than I can read them, so overall my TBR bins and collections are worse than when I started the challenge in boleyn-king-coverJanuary. But I have managed to read thirteen TBR books so far out of the eighteen I set as my goal.

I dove into The Boleyn King earlier this month, which has been waiting on my Kindle for a couple of years. It’s an alternate history novel, telling the story of what might have happened had Anne Boleyn not miscarried the baby boy she conceived after Elizabeth I was born. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a lot of fun (even if you aren’t a scholar of Tudor history), well thought out, and easy to read.

The rest of the books I’ve read (or am in the process of reading) this month are all new-ish, so they don’t count toward my TBR goal. But I’m trying to keep books from the year-or-more-since-I-bought-it pile, too, and it’s nice to buy a book and read it fairly soon (for a change). Maybe we should start a non-TBR challenge next year 🙂