Adam over at Roofbeam Reader hosts the yearly TBR Challenge. Rules and more information can be found over here. I signed up for it this year and epically failed. I think I abandoned all hope of finishing in, like, February. I want to try to do it again. I think I was a bit too ambitious when I created my list. This year I want to break it up a bit--four classics, four non-fiction, and four funner fiction books. My two alternates will be one classic and one funner fiction. Maybe this will give me a better chance of finishing? Goodness knows that a lot can happen in a year, so we'll see how this goes.
Some of the books are reflective of where I feel like I am at the moment, but hopefully enough of them will be able to grow with me throughout the year that I stay engaged.
1. Emma by Jane Austen I have always been reluctant to read this one because Emma seems like kind of an annoying busybody, but I keep hearing a lot of good things about this novel and I think it will be good for my patience.
2. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray This one has always been such a turnoff because Becky seems kind of like a bitch, but I have to admire how she makes her way in the world (not necessarily her methods, but the fact that she makes her own way). I think this one will be a good personal challenge.
3. Light in August by William Faulkner Honestly, I own almost all of Faulkner's books, yet I've only read two of them. This one is often talked about as a masterpiece, so I'm gonna go for it!
4. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction by J.D. Salinger It's been a while since I read Salinger. At the point that I'm compiling this list, I'm reading Hornby's Ten Years in the Tub and he's talked about Salinger, particularly this one, so I'm convinced to read it.
5. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan I chose this one because the back description spoke a lot to where I feel like I am in life--"all the opportunities in the world, but no clear idea about what to choose."
6. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse This one sounds like a lot of fun and somewhat ridiculous, which makes it a good choice for the challenge.
7. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie I've never read anything by Christie, so I randomly selected the title from my shelves. But I chose Christie because I think this will be some good brain candy for the summer.
8. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende This one sounded interesting. Particularly the setting--California Gold Rush.
9. John Adams by David McCullough I've heard so many good things about McCullough and think it's a good time to finally pick up this meaty biography.
10. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath edited by Karen V. Kukil She's my soul-sister and I need to read these journals. I plan on spacing this one out over the course of as much time as it takes because I've tried reading this one before and it's really easy to get bogged down in someone else's thoughts.
11. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Agar Nafisi I really admire what these women did. I think that the ability to read what I want when I want is something that I take for granted.
12. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie I don't know really anything about Catherine, but she pops up quite a bit in conversations about strong women.
1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky I've never read Dostoevsky. This seemed like as good a place as any to start.
2. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett An ex bought this for me. We broke up. I got rid of the novel. I recently decided I wanted to read it.
The main challenge now is to wait until January 1 to start reading these! Hopefully my project of reading War and Peace in December and the other novels I'm reading (if you must know, Damned by Chuck Palahnuik and I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe) will keep me busy and keep my mind off of it.
Hopefully this will be a good enough mix that I can actually finish the challenge this year. :)