Cora’s TBR Challenge 2017


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


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 🙂

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

Happy first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere! And happy first day of spring in deadly-proofthe Southern Hemisphere! The weather hasn’t changed much here in Southeast Michigan (yet), but my reading habits have. How’s your TBR Challenge going?

After all the reading time I found during my trip to the UK last month, September has been rather disappointing. I haven’t finished a single book this month, though I am in the middle of three: a novel (Deadly Proof, the fourth book in M. Louisa Locke’s Victorian San Francisco Mystery series), and two research books (Regency Spies [which isn’t actually helping me, but it’s quite interesting] and To Hell Or Monto [which has been very useful]).

I’ve been writing a lot lately, though, which is why my reading time has been so abysmal. Characters are talking to me for books I haven’t even outlined yet, and that’s not a bad thing (especially with three–yes three!–releases scheduled for next year). It just means that I’ll have to make adjustments to my daily schedule yet again 🙂


Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

Eight months down, fellow readers–what does your TBR pile look like? Mine got significantly smaller…for a minute 🙂

Giuseppe_Maria_Crespi_-_Bookshelves_-_WGA05755I spent a fantastic two weeks in the United Kingdom this month, and with travel comes reading time (what else was I supposed to do on those long plane rides?). Not only did I get to see London and some of the countryside, but I paid an extended visit to Spindle Cove (and finished the series!) and Victorian San Francisco (in the form of M. Louisa Locke’s historical mystery series). Six books in total released from TBR backwater 🙂

Then I bought some more books 😛  Tessa Dare is releasing a new Spindle Cove novel on September 27 (despite Amazon’s insistence that it’s a Castles Ever After book). I discovered that there were several parts of Louisa’s mystery series that I didn’t know about, too. And I went back to the steampunk series I started (The Fall of the Gas Lit Empire) to pick up the two books I didn’t have. *sigh* I just hope I get them all read before they become TBR casualties…

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In


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July has almost gone, and we have five months left in 2016. How goes the TBR reading? I finished my spring classes just after last month’s Check In and have been trying to make up for lost time ever since. Summer hours at the day job mean that I’m up too early in the morning for my taste, but I’ve been getting some pages read before bed.

Photo Credit: Herzi Pinki

Photo Credit: Herzi Pinki

Helps me sleep, too 😉

In audiobooks, I finally finished listening to Dragonfly in Amber (which I started last year–thanks goodness I’d already read it, or I wouldn’t remember what was going on between listens!). I have about thirty books on to To Be Listened To list, and I’m not sure what to start next…but I bet it’ll be shorter than Dragonfly!

In e- and print books, I’ve made it through three of the eight entries in Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series and am working on a fourth (A Week To Be Wicked–Minerva and Lord Payne are so much fun together!). This whole series is amazingly well done, and I suspect I’ll be working my way through the rest of Tessa’s back list when I get a chance. I also started M. Louisa Locke’s Victorian San Francisco Mystery series. I bought the first three a couple of years ago and am wondering why I waited so long to get to them. That’s one of the things I love most about the TBR Challenge–finding gems in my bins and collections that I didn’t even know I had 😀

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In


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The Bullet Catcher's DaughterHappy summer, Northern Hemisphere! And happy winter, Southern Hemisphere! Can you believe we’re halfway through the year already? Are you halfway through your TBR Challenge books?

I am not halfway through, but I am (finally) making progress. The Day Job has been quiet–literally–so I’ve been listening to Dragonfly in Amber once again, and am about 3/4 of the way through it. It’s been a few years since I read the book and Davina Porter does such a wonderful job as narrator, so listening is a pleasant way to pass the time at my desk.

I’ve also been taking breaks from coursework (one more paper left to write!) with books to refresh my ANightToSurrender-400x646brain and sped through The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter (my first foray into Steampunk), which was fun and mysterious and intriguing…and that’s just the series title: The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire. I’ve already put the other two books in the series on my list and can’t wait to read them! I’m in the last few chapters of A Night To Surrender, too, which as been such a wonderful diversion from reading disabilities and classroom assessments. I have yet to read a Tessa Dare book that isn’t fabulous, and the rest of the Spindle Cove series is in my TBR collection, so you can bet I’ll be visiting there again 🙂