Posted in Uncategorized

The TBR Book Tag or Still No Change

PicMonkey Collage TBR


On 6 November 2015 I put on my big girl pants and tackled the TBR tag which I saw on  The Quirky Book Nerd,  in a bid to get a grip on just how many books were sitting on the TBR, especially focussing on those books I already own.

Last year I did a follow-up post which might have indicated that the TBR had grown, but only by a net value of 8 books from the original count of 173 to 181 books owned and waiting to be read. So what will be the result a year on, after using maximum willpower…

To help me along I designated June and December as book acquisition free months – now there was a flaw there because at Christmas time I get given books, and vouchers so I gained a few. I was away for a good proportion of June and had no time for requesting books although I did receive quite a pile of unsolicited books at this time – not my fault guv’nor!

So onto the questions

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

My answer is still the same – a good old excel spread sheet although I did realise the downfall of this approach when it didn’t travel with me – but I’m confident it is back up to date now.

My spread sheet has separate tabs for physical books, kindle books and lastly one for NetGalley approved books. There is of course, a colour code, required because some on the first two tabs are also review copies and another one to track the books I’m reading for challenges such as 20 Books of Summer and Mount TBR (I might just fail this latter challenge)

Each Sunday, within my weekly wrap up I publish the total which reminds me how well I’m doing. I can hear you all cheering with approval, those measures are guaranteed to make a huge difference.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Overwhelmingly print books even when I combine the NetGalley reads and purchased eBooks mainly because if I’m buying my own books I tend to go for print versions but like everything, it depends on a number of factors. At the time of writing this post I have 97 down from a high of 115 back in February.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I go by publication date, all of which are entered into the spread sheet. I’ve learnt the hard way to check on Amazon for these and not to trust NetGalley. Each month of the year has ten spaces to fill, three of which should be from my TBR which I usually choose on a Sunday when I do my blog admin. In practice the choices get endlessly shuffled as my magpie eye alights on a newer shinier book.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

There is a story behind the fact that the answer is identical to that of last year, oh and the year before – Room by Emma Donoghue went onto my kindle in August 2011 and after vowing to read it at long last, it had a slot earlier this year but disaster struck and I couldn’t locate it on my kindle and so removed it. Whilst perusing my books on the kindle just a couple of weeks ago, it had reappeared – I have a feeling it was something to do with the fact my edition has been replaced by a newer one following the film – anyway, end result is that I won’t be answering the same next year – I promise.


To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. Goodreads


A book you recently added to your TBR?

The most recent addition to the TBR which isn’t a review copy is Broken Bones by Angela Marsons which I pre-ordered despite being behind with this wonderful series – Dead Souls by the same author is still on the TBR, something I hope to remedy soon. Broken Bones was published on 3 November 2017.

The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.

At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.

The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light. Amazon

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

No, periodically I go through my TBR and any I don’t plan on reading go in the donation bag for the charity shop, this rarely happens.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

So many with a varied list that isn’t all crime fiction – I’m going to choose Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan which is due to be published on 11 January 2018 so I’ll be reading it soon.


Part courtroom thriller; part portrait of a marriage; part exploration of how our memories still haunt us, Anatomy of a Scandal is a disarming and provocative psychological drama.

Sophie’s husband, James, is a loving father and a successful public figure. Yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to engulf him. She’s kept his darkest secret ever since they were first lovers, at Oxford. And if she stood by him then, she can do it now.

Kate is the barrister prosecuting his case. She’s certain that James is guilty and determined he should pay. No stranger to suffering herself, she doesn’t flinch from posing the questions few want to hear. About what happens between a man a woman when they’re alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in a lift . . .

Is James the victim of an unfortunate misunderstanding or the perpetrator of something sinister? Who is right: Sophie or Kate? This scandal – which forces Sophie to appraise her marriage and Kate her demons – will have far-reaching consequences for them all. NetGalley

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

So many but I’m going to pick Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase which I resolutely resisted when it was being widely raved about and then crumpled as soon as I read the wonderful The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde earlier this year.


Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family’s country estate where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, one stormy evening in 1968, it does.

The idyllic world of the four Alton children is shattered. Fiercely bonded by the tragic events, they grow up fast. But when a glamorous stranger arrives, these loyalties are tested. Forbidden passions simmer. And another catastrophe looms . . .

Decades later, Lorna and her fiancé wind their way through the countryside searching for a wedding venue. Lorna is drawn to a beautiful crumbling old house she hazily remembers from her childhood, feels a bond she does not understand. When she finds a disturbing message carved into an old oak tree by one of the Alton children, she begins to realise that Black Rabbit Hall’s secret history is as dark and tangled as its woods, and that, much like her own past, it must be brought into the light.

A thrilling spiral into the hearts of two women separated by decades but inescapably linked by Black Rabbit Hall. A story of forgotten childhood and broken dreams, secrets and heartache, and the strength of a family’s love. Amazon

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

Oh so many to choose from but one of my recent additions is The Dry by Jane Harper that so many other bloggers have raved about over the year.



I just can’t understand how someone like him could do something like that.

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn’t rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend’s crime.

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

All of them! I’m going to pick one that isn’t due out until next year that I’m very tempted to read well ahead of the publication date – I won’t as that would throw my system into disarray but hey a girl can dream – Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce sounds quite unlike my normal reads and that’s always a draw.


London, 1940. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.

Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. Emmy finds herself dismissing problems from lovelorn, grief-stricken and morally conflicted readers in favour of those who fear their ankles are unsightly or have trouble untangling lengths of wool. But soon the thought of desperate women going unanswered becomes too much to bear and Emmy decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back . . .

Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce is a love letter to female friendship, Blitz spirit, the kindness of strangers and the art of letter-writing itself.


How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?

There are currently 207 books but to be honest there are lots of duplicates of books I’ve already read – this site needs some serious housekeeping and my Amazon wishlist no longer has a counter – perhaps it’s decided that the number is simply too high – there are loads of books on here. However, my TBR count is books that I own that I haven’t read and so without further ado…

This year…

On the TBR there are a grand total of 170 books which means that in an entire year (and a couple of days) I have reduced the pile by a staggering 11 books!!


The make up of the pile is:

Physical Books: 96
Kindle Books: 55
NetGalley Books: 18

I’m not tagging anyone, but of course I want to feel better about my TBR, so if you have more than 170 books on your TBR, please share in the comments box below!


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

40 thoughts on “The TBR Book Tag or Still No Change

  1. I am impressed by your spreadsheet method…I once had one, created by my eldest son. I haven’t done one on my own…but I suspect it might not work for me as well as my pages on the Curl up and Read blog. That method is familiar for me and I find it useful.

    Thanks for sharing your TBR…and your numbers are pretty good, I think. I have way too many e-books on my Kindle…but someday I might get to them all. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Laurel, like you say whatever works best for you. I’m quite impressed that overall I’ve stopped the TBR increasing at the ridiculous rate it did but I still get to read so many amazing books.


  2. I love this post- you are more organised than me but think I need to be stricter about how many books I add each month- your 10 slots is realistic! I would like to read some of the books I’ve just bought for myself too but always distracted by netgalley!!! I’m a hopeless case when it comes to books!


  3. So much here I identify with. I too have a spreadsheet with colour coding that I absolutely couldn’t live without for organising my reading and my blog. It has an additional tab with my blog calendar so I can slot in your commitments. I too get annoyed when NetGalley publication dates are wrong or don’t get updated as it throws out my reading schedule! However, I don’t have my entire TBR listed as there our just too many books in our house – mine and my husband’s combined – and it would be the work of ages to work out which ones I haven’t read (or even, after all this time, to work out whose are whose)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh I now have calendar envy! I’m hoping it will get better with designated sites for each jurisdiction but I double check these days to be sure. Most of my TBR is in the cupboard under the bookshelf so I can’t see them very easily. As my partner doesn’t read too many books and those that he does aren’t to my taste I don’t share that problem 🙂


  4. I’m too embarrassed to say how many are on my TBR but my Goodreads stats will! I’m impressed that you’ve reduced your TBR by 11 books – I can’t stop adding to mine!


  5. I’m a bit strange because I don’t count ever. Your spreadsheets terrifies me. It makes it seem like a task to tick off. I know my backlog is huge and growing. I know I have some really great stuff in there, like the Kate Medina books I am reading. I am just very chilled out about it. There will always be book mountains, where there are devoted readers. We will always find more. We are addicts…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I couldn’t live without my spreadsheet to remind me of publication dates. I perhaps should have made it clear that this post is mainly in jest – I live new books but do want to have time to read the many which I already own 😊


  6. What an interesting post, Cleo. I have to say, I never quite feel ahead of the TBR. As you say, one gets gifts, and there are top ‘auto buy’ authors, and then…. I like it that you have a real system for tackling yours. Must make notes…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I confess to having 288 books that I own but have not yet read. I do keep a spreadsheet but am nowhere as organised in using this as you are; all my books are on one tab and then I just have a column to indicate the format. Like you I have been trying to get this down this year simply because I am running out of room. I made good progress at the start of the year but the last few months i’ve gone a bit mad with the purchasing…..


  8. I am NOT going to read “Room” by Emma Donoghue. I know the premise, and I’ve decided that it would be just too distressing. I DO want to read “The Dry” by Jane Harper, but I’m a bit wary of all the hype surrounding it. Perhaps my expectations will be too high and I’ll be a wee bit disappointed…


    1. I think I may be in the minority as I really didn’t like Room. I have The Dry to read after it was recommended to me by a member of staff in my local Waterstones earlier this year. I’m hoping it lives up to expectations!


  9. This post has made me add to my TBR 😂😂. My list is nowhere near as large as yours but I’ve made a list in a notebook and I’m trying to bring it down as I feel it’s getting overwhelming. I luckily have an incredible book shop near me which works on a bartering system so I can take books I’ve read and exchange them for others which helps the bookshelf space a bit.


  10. 11 books down is excellent! That’s one a month (since we’re in November!) My own TBR is made up of my Goodreads to-read list and the physical books unread at home (at last count I believe it was 36.) Considering how many good new books come over EVERY WEEK you’ve done well. 🙂


  11. I really like this tag, and I’m tempted to have a go. My TBR is currently a little above where I started the year, though… Oh well, there’s always next year 😉


  12. I refuse to tell you how many I have, and you can’t make me! Haha – a reduction of 11 sounds like paradise to me. Well done! Of course, this means you can never get a visa for FFLand, not even for a weekend break. I hadn’t spotted they don’t give a count on Amazon any more – how annoying! They’ve also stopped letting you sort your wishlist on price, which makes finding those 99p bargains more difficult. Bah! I did this the last time you did, so I may well copy you again this time. The person with the highest TBR should really get a cake, don’t you agree??


  13. I think I need to do this next year. My main issue are books on my shelves, though now I’m not travelling I am wondering that will change as I rely on my kindle less?


  14. I’m in the process of reorganizing my TBR. It’s a mess and there are even duplicates books on it. I get this lost feeling every time I look at it. LOL I’m making some notes and plan to have it straightened out by the end of the year. This tag looks fun.


  15. Ah yes, the TBR list – mine is just a loose one floating around in my head, but it causes me a little stress. I like the idea of a spreadsheet – that would get me organized and, hopefully prevent me from acquiring anything new!


  16. I use Goodreads plus a spreadsheet and for upcoming titles that have drop dead review dates, I also put them on google calendar. My only problem is finding the book when it’s been on the TBR list for more than a few months. I have a very poor system of knowing where they have been shelved … my memory!


Leave a Reply, I love hearing what you have to say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.