2007 TBR Challenge Wrap-Up

>> Thursday, December 6, 2007

The 2007 TBR Challenge was hosted by MizBooks, who challenged us to:
** Pick 12 books - one for each month of 2007 - that you've been wanting to read (have been on your "To Be Read" list) for 6 months or longer, but haven't gotten around to.** Then, starting January 1, 2007, read one of these books from your list each month, ending December 31, 2007. :o)

These are the 12 books I chose for this challenge (with links to my blog posts):
January -
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
February -
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
March -
Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton
April -
Total Control by David Baldacci
May -
Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank
June -
Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
July -
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
August -
The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer
September -
A Piece of Heaven by Barbara Samuel
October -
Forbidden Fruit by Erica Spindler
November -
Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson
December -
The Buffalo Soldier by Chris Bohjalian

The best book: A tie between Les Miserables and The Three Musketeers – both originally written in French, so the choice of which translation was a concern. I loved the translations I read of both of these, and would recommend them.

  • Les Miserables: the Signet Classics edition translated by Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee
  • The Three Musketeers: the 2006 translation by Richard Pevear (which is now out in trade paperback with a truly unfortunate cover – the hardcover dust jacket pictured in the link was so much better it’s ridiculous)
What book could I have done without? None of them were complete duds, but I’d say that Human Croquet was the one I liked the least. A few others were just so-so (Aunt Dimity and the Duke, Enemy Women, The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch).

Any new authors? Yes, Hugo, Dumas, Jiles, Lamott, Moyer, Spindler, and Bohjalian were all new authors for me.

Books I did not finish: I finished read all that I planned

What did I learn? I learned that planning my reading 12 months in advance can be frustrating. I found myself not wanting to wait till the next month to read one of the books on my list quite often. I also learned that for a year-long challenge like this I really need to have some alternates available. A few of the books I really wasn’t in the mood for at the time, but went ahead and finished them because of the challenge. I’m definitely planning on participating in the 2008 TBR Challenge, but I’m going to make some changes based on my experience this year. First of all – I’m not planning to stick with the one book per month plan. I’ll select 12 and read them when I darn well please. I don’t care about challenge prizes, I care about reading books. I’ll also list a bunch of alternates – that way if I start one of the challenge books and find that I’m just not in the mood for it, I’ll have a list of alternates to choose from.

4 comments:

Literary Feline 12/06/2007 8:39 PM  

Congratulations on completing the challenge! I still have three books to go. I was doing so well, and then suddenly I fell behind. :-( I'm still hopeful though.

bookinhand 12/07/2007 7:49 AM  

Congratulations on completing this challenge! I have one more to go to finish, which I will start this weekend. I was like you, one book a month to spread it out throughout the year. It worked for me, but I do agree with your comment that sometimes you just want to read at your own discretion.
Diane

Booklogged 12/07/2007 6:38 PM  

Don't you just love the feeling that comes with finishing a challenge? Hooray for you! I found it to be better to just read the 12 books in any order than assigning each a month. Look forward to next year's list.

SuziQoregon 12/09/2007 10:31 AM  

Literary Feline: thanks - hope you can get through those last three books.

Bookinhand: it's been a fun one, but I don't know if I'll do the one a month thing next year.

Booklogged: I love that finishing a challenge thing too. It's even better when a book is the last book for multiple challenges. My next two books will both wrap up 2 challenges when I finish them :-)

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