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Carmenere's (Lynda's) 2017 TBR Challenge

TBR Challenge

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Edited: Apr 20, 2017, 3:36pm Top

Rather than joining ROOTS again in 2017 I'm going to attempt this challenge. I like the specificity and the inflexibility of it and hopefully it will really prod me into getting old ER's off the shelf. So, here goes..............

1. Across Many Mountains ER 2011 CURRENTLY READING

2. The Burgess Boys ER 2013

3. USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series ER 2013

4. The High Divide ER 2013

5. Why Homer Matters ER 2014

6. Without You, There is No Us ER 2014 COMPLETED 1/25/17

7. I Am No One ER 2016

8. Among the Ten Thousand Things ER 2016

9. The Invoice ER 2016 COMPLETED 1-3-17

10. Mexico Stories ER 2016 COMPLETED 3-18-17

11. Vinegar Girl ER 2016 Crazymamie rec'd this book as an ER and passed it on to me. Still consider it ERish

12. Human Acts ER 2016 COMPLETED 2-13-17

ALTERNATES: (These are books within a series that I really need to move off my shelf!)

1. Dark Fire
2. Sovereign
3. Revelation
4. Heartstone

5. Dead to the World
6. Dead as a Doornail
7. Definitely Dead
8. All Together Dead
9. From Dead to Worse
10. Dead and Gone
11. Dead in the Family
12. Dead Reckoning
Bakers Dozen 13. Dead Ever after

Good luck to all!

Dec 14, 2016, 9:09am Top

Specificity yes, inflexibility .... mmmmm well ... you're throwing in with a bunch of rule-breakers here, lol. But yes, I find it helpful to keep me focussed and it ensures I don't go too far down any one reading path (which I always regret later).

Looks like you have a whole series you want to knock off in your alternates. Many times we've had the chat here, what happens if you read the first one and it's terrible? Or the second or third goes way downhill, etc.? I'll cross my fingers for you.

Dec 14, 2016, 9:21am Top

Good luck with your plans. I'll be lurking along.

Dec 14, 2016, 9:33am Top

Yep, this challenge definitely helps keep focus on pushing through that TBR pile. Touchstones are being weird for some of your titles.

Dec 14, 2016, 9:37pm Top

We are so glad you have joined us. Great idea to get those ER books read.

I usually read one book each of several series each year. Reading the whole series in one year seems like a good idea.

Dec 15, 2016, 6:17am Top

>2 Cecrow: Yeah, then, I fit in! I'm a rule breaker, for sure, as I've been a member of the 75 book Challenge for 8 years or so and only achieved 75 books one year. They are so kind to let me stick around.

>3 majkia: Thanks, Jean!

>4 Narilka: Thanks Gale, I fixed most, if not all, of the touchstones. I was in a bit of a hurry yesterday morning :0/ (Cute kitty on your profile page)

>5 billiejean: Thank you for the warm welcome! I feel terribly bad when I don't finish an ER on a timely basis. Hopefully, I'll get on the straight and narrow with this challenge.

Dec 15, 2016, 9:33pm Top

>6 Carmenere: Thanks! That's one of my girls :) I always wonder how the touchstone algorithm goes so wrong. Sometimes they're not even close!

Dec 16, 2016, 6:17am Top

Welcome to the group! I also quit ROOTS and stuck with this group, but several years ago. ;) I love it here, it's my favorite group on LT! :D
Goodness gracious, how do you keep winning ER books if you have all those yet to review? I get behind sometimes too (right now I've got one from a few years ago I never got around to that's still waiting, and one from a couple mos back), it can be hard to keep up with that along with other reading, especially if by the time you get it you're not really feeling in that sort of mood, or you pick it up and it turns out not to grab you like you thought it would!

>7 Narilka: Because it goes by weight - the super popular books (like HP) come up on top, and it doesn't matter what the winning title is - if someone does something asinine like putting whole sentences in the title field (e.g. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) Harry Potter is a magical boy, who goes to Hogwarts. Harry Potter has a strange suspicion that someone will steal something special from Hogwarts. Harry goes down to the depths of Hogwarts to investigate and finds the mischievous person. Read the book to find out who it is and what they want to steal. I liked this book because it is a magical world. I recommend it to whomever likes magic." Yes, this is actually real), and you use any of those words for your title, then... :|

Dec 16, 2016, 7:46am Top

>8 .Monkey.:. Sounds right. I'll do something as innocuous as The Complete Stories, which could be anybody from John Cheever to Hans Christian Anderson but - yep - you get Harry Potter.

Dec 16, 2016, 8:21am Top

>7 Narilka: I've wondered too!

>8 .Monkey.: I like the size of this group, and seems easy enough to pay attention to how others are progressing. ROOTS has just become tooo large.
>8 .Monkey.:>7 Ack! So that's why!! Nice review in the wrong place :(

>9 Cecrow: *snork*

Dec 16, 2016, 9:04am Top

Indeed, it's a nice cozy little group, I find it very homey - like sitting down in the living room before a fire in some comfy chairs with a good group of friends! ;D

Dec 16, 2016, 10:04am Top

>8 .Monkey.: A ha! And that would explain the seeming randomness of how some titles link.

I agree with everyone above. I love this group :) Very cozy and we all enjoy cheering each other on as we go through our goals.

Dec 16, 2016, 11:12am Top

Welcome! I've been doing both ROOTS and TBR but may just focus on TBR in 2017 too. Loved The Burgess Boys, it's my favorite of Strout's books so far. Very interested in Vinegar Girl so look forward to seeing what you think of it.

Dec 20, 2016, 2:50pm Top

>11 .Monkey.: Sounds perfect! Hope I can bring the outdoors in good weather and read by the lake.

>12 Narilka: I've got my pom poms out and ready to cheer!

>13 LittleTaiko: Hi Stacy! I've recently read Lucy Barton and know Strout has done better so I'm looking forward to Burgess Boys. I'm interested too as I read Jacobson's installment of Hogart and blah! Pearl ruled that baby.

Dec 22, 2016, 7:38pm Top

>14 Carmenere: - Lucy Barton was my least favorite of her books though many people seem to have loved it. I just wasn't one of them.

Dec 23, 2016, 6:14pm Top

>1 Carmenere:

Welcome to the group! I am very gun-shy about ER books since the one (and only one) I got last year ended up screwing up my reading schedule a bit last year.* I would have to be pretty much convinced that it was worthwhile to take a break from my normal reading to read it before I put in for another one.

Anyway, looks like you have a nicely varied list of books there. Good luck and happy reading! :D

*was actually just discussing this over on my Challenge thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/242657#5846379

Dec 26, 2016, 8:35am Top

>15 LittleTaiko: That makes two of us!!

>16 artturnerjr: Hi Art! Thanks for the nice welcome! *sigh* I have this thing going with "free book" but I honestly will not attempt to even look at the ER list until I finish all the TBR's on my list.

Dec 26, 2016, 11:40am Top

>17 Carmenere:

You're welcome.

It can be tough passing up freebies. My weakness is sites like www.gutenberg.org and www.feedbooks.com where there are so many classic eBooks there for the taking. When I first got my Kindle I had to limit myself to downloading three books a day or I would never stop!

Dec 27, 2016, 12:03pm Top

>18 artturnerjr: Ack! don't tempt me, Art! I must ignore any mention of gutenberg and feedbooks. Nope, I didn't see anything at all.

Dec 28, 2016, 5:59pm Top

How do I get free books on my kindle from gutenberg?

Dec 28, 2016, 9:01pm Top

>20 billiejean:


Bang. :)

If your Kindle has a web browser, it's much easier to go the mobile site (http://m.gutenberg.org/) and download them directly from there than it is to download them to your computer and transfer them to your Kindle.

If you're having problems, message me and I'll do my best to help you out. :)

Dec 29, 2016, 6:00am Top

>20 billiejean: >21 artturnerjr: Thanks for helping billiejean out, Art!

Dec 29, 2016, 11:38am Top

Thank you! Do I need a kindle app on my desktop? I do have one on my phone. I guess that would work? I have been wanting more classics on my kindle.

Dec 31, 2016, 1:09pm Top

>23 billiejean: Arrrrtttt?!

I've started read The Invoice from my primary TBR list. It's so small normally I'd get through it in a day or two but I'm also reading A Gentleman in Moscow which is sharing my reading time.

Dec 31, 2016, 8:34pm Top

Sorry, I can figure it out, I think.

Dec 31, 2016, 9:30pm Top

>23 billiejean:

I'm heeeere! :)

You don't need the app on your desktop unless you're going to read books on it. If you have a browser on your Kindle, you should be able to go directly to the mobile site on it and download the books onto your Kindle from there.

Hope that helps. :)

Jan 2, 2017, 9:42am Top

Thanks again for helping a fellow book lover, Art.

Jan 2, 2017, 10:34am Top

>27 Carmenere:

I do what I can. :)

Edited: Jan 3, 2017, 10:38am Top

Finished book #1 from my primary list The Invoice 3.75/5

Jan 3, 2017, 12:06pm Top

You're off to a great start. I need a short one, hmmm.

Jan 3, 2017, 12:33pm Top

Wow, good job!

Jan 3, 2017, 1:17pm Top

Hark, the starter's pistol is fired and someone is quick off the mark! I'm still on the starting line, trying to verify that was indeed the pistol I heard.

Jan 3, 2017, 1:37pm Top

>30 billiejean: That's exactly why I'm off to a great start, billiejean. The Invoice is a mere 204 pages.

>31 majkia: Thanks, Jean!

>32 Cecrow: I'm not sure about anyone else but I heard the pistol at 12:01am January 1st! I'm an eager beaver in January and by mid May, a tortoise.

I'm thinking, since N Korea's been in the news of late, I'll begin Without You, There is no Us. But first I'll finish A Gentleman in Moscow which is not part of this challenge.

Jan 3, 2017, 1:54pm Top

>29 Carmenere:

Done with one already? Impressive!

Jan 3, 2017, 2:29pm Top

Nicely done! So that's 3.75 stars of 5?

Jan 3, 2017, 4:32pm Top

>34 artturnerjr: Yes sir! Don't be all that impressed, seriously :0)

>35 Narilka: That's right, Gale. Are you acquainted with the author, Jonas Karlsson? As with his previous novel, The Room the story reads somewhat like an episode from the Twilight Zone making it rather thought provoking and oblique.

Jan 3, 2017, 10:19pm Top

>35 Narilka: Nope. I was thinking Room but that's a completely different author. So I looked it up. That's a very different idea and, I agree, one that would be thought provoking. Interesting.

I was curious how you figured a three quarter star. I've seen half a star for a book that falls between categories but never one as precise as that other than being an average of many reviews. Does that mean it's really close to being a 4 star book for you?

Jan 4, 2017, 7:56am Top

>37 Narilka: Yup, really close but not quite over the hump.

Jan 12, 2017, 8:29am Top

Ha! I've resisted requesting any ER's this month!

Edited: Jan 25, 2017, 6:06pm Top

Finished my second in my first group of 12, Without You, There is No Us. Glad to have that one off the shelf!

Next up will be Human Acts. Looks like this one takes place in SOUTH Korea. Can't leave the peninsula just yet :0/

Jan 26, 2017, 5:06pm Top

What did you think of it? It's been on my radar for quite some time and wondered if it was worth it? Really loved Nothing to Envy and didn't know how it compared.

Edited: Jan 27, 2017, 8:24am Top

>41 LittleTaiko: Well, I haven't read Nothing to Envy and now that you've mentioned it I may look it up however I'd rate Without you 2.5ish out of 5. I'm not entirely sure what her objectives/motives were in impersonating a Christian english teacher at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology or if she had achieved what she set out to do. Of course, as a journalist, she observed some things which are consistent with a country ruled with an iron fist but it's certainly not investigative reporting. That said, the teachers were watched constantly by the Christian church they were working for as well as the students and government. Without the opportunity to question others, there's just nothing new here.

BTW: I just looked at the reviews for NtE and it seems much more informative and highly rated. Looks like something I would like to read.

Feb 13, 2017, 10:36pm Top

Human Acts
I don't recall, in 1980, hearing about South Korea's Gwangju Uprising. Back on May 18th of that year, the story was probably covered with the ashes from Mount St. Helen's eruption, which I remember quite clearly.
Author, Han Kang, takes a brush to those ashes and reveals how young, vibrant men and women, some merely boys and girls, were slaughtered. Some of them were pro-actively seeking Democratic reforms, others caught in the cross hairs. Kang focuses on several individuals in this slim work and overall it is enlightening but sometimes her story telling method is a bit confusing, still, I admire her tenacity in revealing the thoughts and despair of those who remain affected by their loss.

Feb 22, 2017, 11:40am Top

Nice review.

Edited: Mar 1, 2017, 3:56pm Top

>44 billiejean: Thanks, billiejean!
My next TBR read will be Mexico Stories an ER from last year. It is a collection of stories which shouldn't take to long once a get to it.

Hope everyone's challenge is progressing nicely!

Edited: Mar 1, 2017, 9:53am Top

>45 Carmenere:, I don't think you touchstone for "Mexico" is right, and I'm curious about it. If you got it through ER, then it's definitely not James Michener's (and his was not short stories). I read all of Katherine Ann Porter last year, she had a few stories in that setting.

Mar 1, 2017, 3:55pm Top

>46 Cecrow: Thanks, I fixed it by adding "Stories". Ha, even that touchstone came up as "The Iliad". Crazy!

Mar 18, 2017, 9:00am Top

I finally finished Mexico Stories. It took me so long, not because it was bad, on the contrary, it was quite good! Barkan's writing is smooth and the stories are so well told. I'll certainly look for more from Josh Barkan

Apr 20, 2017, 9:37am Top

I added it to my too long wishlist.

Jul 1, 2017, 10:34am Top

>49 billiejean: Sorry for the very late response but I hope you enjoy Mexico Stories

I've been in a miserable book funk so nothing new to report other than I'm almost half way through Across Many Mountains.
Hope to break this funk spell soon.

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