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.
So a year on, having exercised my willpower on a daily basis, I thought it would be interesting to answer the questions again and to reveal just how well my TBR Reduction plan has been working! You can read last year’s answers here.
How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
My TBR books are all listed on an excel spreadsheet, a tab for physical books, one for those on my kindle 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 this has made the biggest difference, each Sunday, I publish the total. 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?
My TBR is mainly print books. Over the last year or so if given the choice I prefer print books, don’t get me wrong, I love my kindle especially for portability, but after a few years of reading mainly e-books, I seem to hanker over the more traditional variety.
How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?
I have a good old spreadsheet, books for review get put on the tab of the month they are published (10 slots per month) and then if there is any space in the last few days of the preceding month I fill it with books that I’ve been given after publication date or choices from my own shelves. I then shuffle books endlessly backwards and forwards while looking anxiously at the ‘anticipated finish reading dates’ to see if I can squeeze this extra one in that has popped through the door or somehow been requested from NetGalley.
A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?
It was this question that made me think that redoing this tag was a worthwhile exercise: The answer is exactly the same!
Room by Emma Donoghue has been on my kindle since very soon after it was published in 2011, I still really want to read it, I will read it!
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?
Last year my answer was Are You My Mother by Louise Voss
From the age of nineteen, Emma Victor has had to bring up her much younger sister Stella. It has shaped both their lives. Now Stella is almost grown up, and Emma’s nurturing instincts extend to her work as an aromatherapist, and inform her relationship with the unreliable but irresistible Gavin. But something is missing, and Emma has to confront her deepest need – a need she’s been denying for years – and embark on a search for her birth mother.
ARE YOU MY MOTHER? chronicles Emma’s search for her birth mother and for a sense of her own place in the world in this compelling, funny and profoundly moving novel about love, identity and the need to belong Amazon
Yes – you’ve guessed it, this is also still on the TBR.
This year my latest addition is A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys which arrived yesterday but not due to be published until April 2017.
It was a first class deception that would change her life forever
1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.
But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.
By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.
A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
While covers may draw me to look at the content I don’t choose by cover, although I have noticed that certainly some psychological thrillers are sporting more eye-pleasing jackets than has previously been the case, generally crime fiction and poisoners, don’t get pretty covers.
A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
No, if I’d found any books that I didn’t plan on reading they would have gone in the donation bag for the charity shop.
An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?
I did read and review Beside Myself by Ann Morgan which was my answer last year – this year my most anticipated read is by one of my favourite authors, Erin Kelly with her latest novel He Said/She Said, I’m over the moon to have a copy of this which isn’t due to be published until May 2017.
He said it was consensual.
The woman said nothing.
But Laura saw it…
… didn’t she?
In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura and Kit interrupt something awful.
Laura is sure about what happened. Later, in a panic, she tells a little white lie – and four lives are changed irreparably.
When the victim turns up on their doorstep, her gratitude spills into dangerous obsession. Laura and Kit decide to run – but Beth knows they have pledged to see every eclipse together. They will never be able to entirely escape her.
As the next eclipse draws near, Laura must confront the fallout from what she saw in the darkness. Confessing will cost her marriage; keeping the secret might prove fatal.
But all secrets, sooner or later, will come to light. Amazon
A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?
Last year my pick was All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer– and I finally read this in December of last year!
This year I think I’ll choose (of the loads of books that fall into this category) Cry Baby by David Jackson – I have decided to start this series and read the first, Pariah, recently, so only two to read before this one!
It’s every mother’s nightmare – the abduction of her baby, That’s how it starts for Erin Vogel when she is attacked and left unconscious in her apartment. When she awakes, it is to find that Georgia, her six-month-old daughter, has been taken.
But Erin is given a chance to get Georgia back. At an unthinkable price.
Like most mothers, she has always said she would do anything for her child. Now the strength of that bond is about to be put to the ultimate test.
And when her actions arouse the interest of a certain Detective Callum Doyle, one thing is inevitable: a confrontation that will be as explosive as it is unforgettable.
From the highly acclaimed author of Pariah, The Helper and Marked comes a nerve-shredding novel that questions the line we draw between good and evil. Amazon
A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
I love it when other bloggers recommend books to me and I have a heap that fall into this category – the one that is outside my normal reading genre that is on my TBR to be read is My Name is Leon by Kit der Waal.
A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you’d least expect to find one.
Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not.
As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile – like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.
Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how – just when we least expect it – we manage to find our way home. Amazon
A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I’m not sure how I’m supposed to chose just one, after all they are all on my TBR because I want to read them but the book I pick is from my genre of the year – poisoners and because I’ve gone for the literal interpretation of this question. I give you Poison Panic by Helen Barrell
For a few years in the 1840s, Essex was notorious in the minds of Victorians as a place where women stalked the winding country lanes looking for their next victim to poison with arsenic. It’s a terrible image – and also one that doesn’t seem to have much basis in truth – but this was a time of great anxiety.
The 1840s were also known as the ‘hungry ’40s’, when crop failures pushed up food prices and there was popular unrest across Europe. The decade culminated in a cholera epidemic in which tens of thousands of people in the British Isles died. It is perhaps no surprise that people living through that troubled decade were captivated by the stories of the ‘poisoners’: that death was down to ‘white powder’ and the evil intentions of the human heart.
Sarah Chesham, Mary May and Hannah Southgate are the protagonists of this tale of how rural Essex, in a country saturated with arsenic, was touched by the tumultuous 1840s. Amazon
How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?
Goodreads states this is down from 240 to 216 but as it includes different editions of books I’ve read as well as books I’ve had a fleeting interest in, I prefer to stick by my own count of actual books I own.
The total number of books on the TBR on 6 November 2015 was 173! This was made up of 82 physical books, 71 e-books and 20 books on NetGalley!
I do have a list of books I want to own which I keep on a Amazon Wishlists. I had 146 books here too.
This Year … drum roll… the total number of books on 5 November 2016 is 181! I’m really quite impressed, alright, technically it’s not a reduction, but an increase of only a net worth of 8 books in an entire year, I think deserves a round of applause.
This year the total is made up of 95 physical books, 68 e-books and 18 books on NetGalley. My plan of putting things onto my Amazon Wishlists has worked as I have a whopping 206 books here – but as I said, I don’t own them… yet!
So this post is entitled TBR Reduction Plan, from now on I’m designating June and December for reading books already on the TBR (this year will be to get rid of some of the books requested more than 3 months ago from NetGalley – that tab upsets me far too much!) with an absolute minimum of visits to NetGalley during these months and absolutely no purchases at all.
I’m not tagging anyone, but of course I want to feel better about my TBR, so if you have more than 181 books, please share in the comments box below!
Now I’m off to buy a new bookshelf!