Book Reviews/Recaps!

Book pages

Since I’m going for the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge this year, and also because I think it will help me remember books I’ve read in general (and I have friends who do similar things), I want to start posting about books I’ve read. I don’t know if I’ll put every book I read here, but I at least want to document my thoughts on them, and invite conversation about books.

Tell me why you disliked a book I liked, or why I should give a book I didn’t like a second chance.

Also, tell me if you prefer Austen or Bronte. I hear usually people fall into one of those categories. Personally, I love both. It’s weird, actually. I have read numerous blog posts/ articles by someone who loved Jane Austen and couldn’t get into Jane Eyre, or people who pledge undying devotion to Jane Eyre and think Pride and Prejudice is just meh. It seems many people prefer one or the other.

I understand that they have very different tones, but I love them both. I would happily pick up Pride & Prejudice or Jane Eyre any day and read them again. Just tell me you want to do a re-read of either and I will leap at the excuse.

…But I digress. Someday I’ll try to analyze why people fall so hard along these lines (and why I don’t want to pick sides). Without further ado, the real point of this post!

Here’s the tentative format (all subject to change at the whim of management):

  • Title & Author (and year of publication)
  • Brief Summary (hopefully spoiler-free or spoiler-light. I’ll warn you if I want to say something spoiler-y)
  • Other thoughts I had on the book
  • Goodreads/Netflix style, I’m also going to try incorporating a star rating for how much I liked the book (I might change my mind tomorrow and think a star rating is a terrible idea. I’m going with it for now).

Maybe I’ll do that with some movies too. Who knows.

Photo by Send me adrift. used under Flickr Creative Commons License.

“To Be Read” Pile Reading Challange

Last year I started the “Back to the Classics” reading challenge. It seemed like a great idea, but then I got bogged down in “The Brothers Karamazov,” and after that I read some but never really recovered from being over-ambitious in January and then not moving on from that quickly enough to keep going. So I didn’t post any updates. Fail.

Also, in the fall we bought a house, so that kind of ate up my free time. Guys, buying a house is like having a part-time job. My head was too full to do much serious reading.

This year, instead of trying that challenge, I’m going to try one called the “TBR Challenge,” which is basically an attempt to read those books you’ve bought or otherwise had on your list of books to read, but for whatever reason, haven’t gotten around to yet.

I’m picking one per month, so 12 books, but I realize some longer books might take a while. We’ll see how I do.

Here’s a link to the post in case you want to sign up or check out the rules.


And here are my 12 books (not necessarily in the order I want to read them in):

  1. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (1891)
  2. The Man Who Was Thursday – G.K. Chesterton (1908)
  3. North & South – Elizabeth Gaskell (1855)
  4. Special Topics in Calamity Physics – Marisha Pessl (2006)
  5. Awakenings – Oliver Sacks (1973)
  6. Gilead -Marilynne Robinson (2004)
  7. The Secret Adversary -Agatha Christie (1922)
  8. Crooked House – Agatha Christie (1949)
  9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot (2010)
  10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane -Neil Gaiman (2013)
  11. A Wizard of Earthsea -Ursula K. Le Guin (1968)
  12. Ender’s Shadow – Orson Scott Card (1999)

And 2 alternates, in case I get in too deep and am not going to make it with one of the others (such a kind rule!):

  1. Nathan Coulter – Wendell Berry (1960)
  2. Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott (1995)

I’ll also try to remember to link back to this post with updates throughout the year. Here’s to hoping I’m steadier in my reading plan in 2015 (apologies in advance if I’m not).


Photo by C.J. Kershner used under Flickr Creative Commons license.