Mount TBR Challenge

I have recognised that I have a problem. A big problem. A tottering problem. I have too many books. By this I mean that my habit of buying myself a book if I feel sad, or if I have something to celebrate, or to mark the fact that I have visited somewhere, or if I particularly like the bookshop – well, it’s gotten a bit excessive.  It’s no longer a TBR pile.  It’s a mountain.  And it keeps growing.  So I need to face the problem and tackle it and the Mount TBR challenge, hosted by My Readers Block seems an ideal opportunity.  So, I am going through the unread books on the shelf  – if I no longer want to read them, then they need to take the trip down the road to the Helen and Douglas shop, but if I do then they need to be tackled. The issue here is that I am going to Australia for a month in March and I am only planning to take my Kindle – this is because I have unread Netgalley proofs into the three figures so wanted to encourage myself to tackle a different TBR.  I feel that the Mountain TBR Challenge is about overcoming the physical pile though – because of this, library books do not qualify but I do think that borrowed books do as these need to fly back to their original owners.  So, here is the plan for 2017!


The Mountain

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams

Under The Lilacs, Louisa M Alcott

The Power, Naomi Alderman

The Ruby Slippers, Keir Alexander

Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood

The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood

The Robber Bride, Margaret Atwood

The Brooklyn Follies, Paul Auster

The Telling, Jo Baker

Master Georgie, Beryl Bainbridge

The Regeneration Trilogy, Pat Barker

The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty, Sebastian Barry

Tortoise by Candlelight, Nina Bawden

All Men Are Mortal, Simone de Beauvoir

The Wombles, Elizabeth Beresford

The Other Side of the World, Stephanie Bishop

The Course of Love, Alain de Botton

The Last September, Elizabeth Bowen

A Song for Issy Bradley, Carys Bray

She Left Me The Gun, Emma Brockes

The Professor, Charlotte Bronte

Shirley, Charlotte Bronte

The Year of Wonder, Geraldine Brooks

The Testament of Youth, Vera Brittain

His Bloody Project, Graeme Macrae Burnet

The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton

A Commonplace Killing, Sian Busby

Kick, Paula Byrne

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

Amnesia, Peter Carey

Jack Maggs, Peter Carey

Parrot and Olivier in America, Peter Carey

Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter

The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton

The Summer Queen, Elizabeth Chadwick

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke

The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins

Sisters by a River, Barbara Comyns

Operation Heartbreak, Duff Cooper

The Phantom Tree, Nicola Cornick

Academy Street, Mary Costello

Worst. Person. Ever., Douglas Coupland

Bagthorpes Besieged, Helen Cresswell

Martini Henry, Sara Crowe

Not Just Jane, Shelley DeWees

The Red Tent, Anita Diamant

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens

Joy and Josephine, Monica Dickens

The Sealed Letter, Emma Donoghue

One Fine Day, Molly Panter-Downes

The Birth of Venus, Sarah Dunant

Blood and Beauty, Sarah Dunant

In The Company of the Courtesan, Sarah Dunant

Girl Trouble, Carol Dyhouse

Middlemarch, George Eliot

The Green Road, Anne Enright

The Forgotten Waltz, Anne Enright

Heartburn, Nora Ephron

Women Who Run With The Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes

A Good and Happy Child, Justin Evans

Their Finest Hour and a Half, Lissa Evans

The Panopticon, Jenni Fagan

The Fatal Flame, Lyndsay Faye

The Awakening of Miss Prim, Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante

Consuming Passions, Judith Flanders

The Making of Home, Judith Flanders

The Invention of Murder, Judith Flanders

Victorian City, Judith Flanders

Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Sanfran Foer

The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles

Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III, Flora Fraser

Flash For Freedom, George Macdonald Fraser

Flashman and the Angel of the Lord, George Macdonald Fraser

Flashman and the Redskins, George Macdonald Fraser

Flashman’s Lady, George Macdonald Fraser

Flashman and the Mountain of Light, George Macdonald Fraser

Nightwoods, Charles Frazier

Skios, Michael Frayn

Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller

Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman

The Matchmaker, Stella Gibbons

The Rich House, Stella Gibbons

The Barbed Wire University, Midge Gillies

The Odd Women, George Gissing

An Episode of Sparrows, Rumer Godden

The Vicar of Wakefield, Oliver Goldsmith

Loving, Henry Green

Elizabeth and Leicester, Sarah Gristwood

Arbella: England’s Lost Queen, Sarah Gristwood

The Humans, Matt Haig

Life and Death of the Wicked Lady Skelton, Magdalen King-Hall

The Observations, Jane Harris

Before I Fall, Noah Hawley

Elizabeth is Missing, Emma Healey

Tatty, Christine Dwyer Hickey

The Devil in the Marshalsea, Antonia Hodgson

Seventh Heaven, Alice Hoffman

The Hunger Trace, Edward Hogan

South Riding, Winifred Holtby

This Book Will Save Your Life, A. M. Homes

Slipstream, Elizabeth Jane Howard

A London Girl of the 1880s, Mary Hughes

A High Wind in Jamaica, Richard Hughes

Everland, Rebecca Hunt

Which Witch, Eva Ibbotson

The World According to Garp, John Irving

The Rabbit Back Literature Society, Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen

The Vanishing Act, Mette Jakobsen

A Very Long Engagement, Sebastien Japrisot

The Tortoise and the Hare, Elizabeth Jenkins

The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden, Jonas Jonasson

Witch Week, Diana Wynne Jones

Fire & Hemlock, Diana Wynne Jones

Perfect, Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce

Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler, Trudi Kanter

Reality, Reality, Jackie Kay

Red Dust Road, Jackie Kay

Pigeon English, Stephen Kellan

Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler

The Outside Lands, Hannah Kohler

Anastasia, Peter Kurth

Ice Cold In Alex, Christopher Landon

Invitation to the Waltz, Rosamond Lehman

The Echoing Grove, Rosamond Lehman

The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

The Secret History of the Blitz, Jonathan Levine

Rebel Girls, Jill Liddington

Moon Tiger, Penelope Lively

The Mistresses of Cliveden, Natalie Livingstone

The Mitford Girls, Mary S Lovell

Bess of Hardwick, Mary S Lovell

The World My Wilderness, Rose Macauley

Whisky Galore, Compton Mackenzie

Wicked, Gregory Maguire

The Fields, Kevin Maher

The Singer’s Gun, Emily St John Mandel

Her Privates We, Frederic Manning

Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, George R R Martin

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, Eimear McBride

Mrs Engels, Gavin McCrea

Amongst Women, John McGahern

C S Lewis: A Life, Alistair McGrath

Hue & Cry, Shirley McKay

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman, Mindy Mejia

Pure, Andrew Miller

The Year of Reading Dangerously, Andy Miller

A Reunion of Ghosts, Judith Claire Mitchell

Hons and Rebels, Jessica Mitford

The Perfect King, Ian Mortimer

Watching the Door, Kevin Myers

Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger

The Hand That First Held Mine, Maggie O’Farrell

My Own Story, Emmeline Pankhurst

If You Go Away, Adele Parks

Headlong Hall and Nightmare Abbey, Thomas Love Peacock

Arcadia, Iain Pears

Monks Hood, Ellis Peters

The Sanctuary Sparrow, Ellis Peters

The Language of Dying, Sarah Pinborough

The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Aberystwyth, Malcolm Pryce

Last Tango in Aberystwyth, Malcolm Pryce

The Ruby in Smoke, Philip Pullman

Curtain Call, Anthony Quinn

This Is Life, Dan Rhodes

The Hourglass Factory, Lucy Ribchester

The Hollow City, Ransom Riggs

Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs

Bluestockings, Jane Robinson

Gilead, Marilynne Robinson

Dominion, C J Sansom

Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, Siegfried Sassoon

Bellman and Black, Diane Setterfield

Astonish Me, Maggie Shipstead

Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan

Priscilla, Nicholas Shakespeare

Inheritance, Nicholas Shakespeare

The Chimes, Anna Small

How To Be Both, Ali Smith

A Tale of Two Families, Dodie Smith

Edith Cavell, Diana Souhami

Becoming Jane Austen, John Spence

Golden Hill, Francis Spufford

Charles Jessold: Considered as a Murderer, Wesley Stace

The Light Between Oceans, M. L. Stedman

The Circus is Coming, Noel Streatfield

Far to Go, Noel Streatfeild

Tea By The Nursery Fire, Noel Streatfeild

Mrs Miniver, Ian Struther

Blue Remembered Hills, Rosemary Sutcliff

Waterland, Graham Swift

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

Rasputin and other Ironies, Teffi

Memories, Teffi

Pop & Co, Scarlett Thomas

Lark Rise to Candleford, Flora Thompson

Nora Webster, Colm Toibin

War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole

The Trapp Family on Wheels, Maria von Trapp and Ruth Murdoch

Katherine: Henry’s Spanish Queen, Giles Tremlett

The Ragged Trousered Philantropists, Robert Tressell

A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler

Daredevils, Shawn Vestal

Miss Garnet’s Angel, Salley Vickers

Love and Treasure, Ayelet Waldman

The Fountain Overflows, Rebecca West

They Were Sisters, Dorothy Whipple

Frost in May, Antonia White

Breath, Tim Winton

The One-in-a-Million Boy, Monica Wood

Simply Christian, Tom Wright

Among The Janeites, Deborah Yaffe

The Watcher in the Shadows, Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Prince of Mist, Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin


N.B – This list may continue to grow over the next little while due to my habit of leaving books in safe places and then forgetting about them.  This list is an attempt to round all up all unread reading materials and document – essentially, this is my Intervention.

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6 thoughts on “Mount TBR Challenge

  1. You have so many fantastic books on this list but the one that immediately jumps out at me is One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes. It is one of my favorite books and one I recommend endlessly. I hope you enjoy it. I am hoping this is the year I actually manage to conquer Middlemarch. I keep picking it up and putting it down. And now I am off to search online for a copy of Tea By The Nursery Fire. I am trying to resist the urge to look up every book on your list that I haven’t read. If I do that my own TBR pile will become even more out of control!

    1. I will definitely be taking a look at that one soon then – thank you for the recommendation! I am really hoping to get through a good load of these this year – it was really surprising when I went through my shelves about how many of these I had been so keen to read and just got distracted from!

      Thank you for commenting – happy new year 🙂

    1. It was out of print when I was little and I was never able to track it down – I have a copy now!

      And yes, living for two years near a place that gave out second hand books for free was a bit deadly, plus then I got all those review copies. I was a bit shocked though when I realised quite how extreme the situation had become but there are lots on here that I do really want to read – it’s been really good to go through the list and to remember what’s there!

  2. That is an ambitious list!

    What was your criteria? (Other than they were on the shelf and you wanted to read them, I’m sure you have others that are still on the shelf.)

    1. I have added a few more to the list – I think it’s quite extensive, especially given that there’s around another hundred or so on my Kindle. It’s all those on the shelf that I haven’t read yet. There are quite a few others that are on the shelf that I would like to reread and write about for the site, but those don’t count. The Basildon Free Books Project and a constant stream of review copies have rather swamped my reading list and I really want to take back control of what I read. I’ve noticed a lot of biographies on here. It may take me a while to tackle but I will get there!

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