TBR Challenge 2017

I feel so inadequate when I look at other book blogs.

There are so many links.  And graphics.  And charts.  And gifs.  And little pictures celebrating how many challenges they’ve participated in.

Here at the Readers’ Corner…I’ve got lots of Simpsons stills.  Lots.

I feel like my posies are droopy and my tattered rags are about to get caught on the coffee table.

As longtime readers have probably guessed, I’ve just spent some time investigating more reading challenge possibilities for the blog.  And I think I’ve got a good one: The TBR Challenge!

It’s just what it says on the tin: I read as many books as I can from my To-Be-Read list–in my case, I’ll be going down my Goodreads To-Read list, which currently numbers 831 and dates back to 2012.

I figure this will be a lot easier than other challenges (all I have to do is go down a list of books I already want to read), and there’s a rewarding achievement at the end (I’ll have knocked some titles off my TBR list).

I just finished the first book on the list: The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill.  You will have to wait for Horror Month to hear about that one.

Next up: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.




State of the Challenge

Happy Thanksgiving a day early, American readers!  As the holiday season kicks off in earnest and 2015 begins its close, I thought it would be a good time to chart my progress with the 26 Books to Read in 2015 Reading Challenge (hosted by Bringing Up Burns).

Here’s where she stands:

Book Challenge

Neat, better than I thought!  So what does that leave?

8. A book at the bottom of your to-be-read pile
9. A book with a color in the title
14. A book set in the summer
16. A book you learned about because of this challenge
21. A book with a great first line
25. A book that is more than 10 years old
26. A book based on a true story

Seven books to go.  Thirty-six more reading days in 2015.

Let’s.  Go.


Oh, and P.S.:

26 Books to Read in 2015: #10

My next read for the 26 Books to Read in 2015 Challenge is lucky number ten!

#10: A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.

Black River

A couple of years ago I developed an intense, inexplicable desire to see Montana.

I have no relatives in Montana.  I have no friends who came back from Montana and said, “Marie, you gotta go to Montana!”  I don’t hunt or fish or interact with bears.  I don’t know how to camp or to mine coal.  I am an indifferent hiker prone to falling down.  I have no interest in pronouncing “Butte” correctly.

Still, though.

I really want to visit Montana.  Look at their tourism website!  Everything looks so sweeping and grand and immensely beautiful.  A different sort of beauty altogether than what we have in New England.  There are two national parks there, Yellowstone and Glacier.

As if all that wasn’t enough, comedian Rich Hall lives in Montana!

Rich Hall
He coined the term “sniglet.” The more you know.

Until I can steal an Airstream trailer and go AWOL from the library for a couple weeks, though, I’ll have to make do with novels that boast a beautiful and evocative sense of place, like S.M. Hulse’s Black River.

This novel is about an ex-prison guard named Wes, who was maimed during a prison riot years ago.  When his wife passes away, he goes back to his little hometown of Black River, Montana, to see his estranged stepson and put his wife (and ghosts) to rest.

There’s a gorgeous emotional honesty to this character-driven Western.   Wes has a lot of past to overcome, particularly when the inmate who tortured him during the long-ago riot comes up for parole.  Hulse really gets to the heart of the old-fashioned Western–at their cores the best Westerns are stories about redemption, of strength in the face of adversity, and of setting an out-of-joint world to rights again.  Black River is about all of those things, presented simply and well and without a lot of drama and fuss (also like a good Western!).

A pretty good patch on a trip to Montana for now.

There’s also this, which has nothing to do with Montana but does give me a Rich Hall fix.


“Vacationland” Reading Challenge

Here we are, readers–the reading challenge for what’s left of our summer here on the coast of Maine!  The challenge is to read four books that suit four different descriptions (outlined below), during the month of August.  The theme is Summer in Vacationland.

Vacationland Summer Reading Challenge: August 2012

1)Because it’s Vacationland, read one book that deals with a vacation.  It can be fiction or nonfiction, about a family trip, a road trip, a solo venture, as long as it has to do with taking a trip!

2)In honor of the season, read one novel that has the word “summer” in the title.

3)Lobsters are RED (when cooked!), and blueberries are BLUE.   To celebrate these two Maine summer staples, read one novel that has either the word “red” or the word “blue” in the title.  Or both!

4)What’s summer in Vacationland without some time on the water?  Read one book, fiction or nonfiction, that has some connection to the ocean or the beach–in the title, as the setting, or as the primary subject of a nonfiction work.

Look after the jump for the rules, as well as how to participate if you haven’t got a blog.  And info on PRIZES!Read More »