I've decided to do something a little different, challenge-wise, in 2011. Usually, I tend to shun challenges completely because I've found that I am so fond of variety that I get topic fatigue rather quickly -- or, at least I'll limit myself to one or two challenges at a time, each year. This year, I've decided to do something I've been pondering for quite a while. Instead of joining in on formal blog challenges and all that they involve, I'm challenging myself to hit my TBRs and really tackle them one shelf at a time. Each time I finish a shelf, I'll start on another.
The idea is to just keep going; it's a perpetual self-challenge, although I'll number the shelves and see how it goes. My first shelf of books began with some titles that have been on my closet shelf for quite a while and from there I switched and substituted, added and rearranged until I decided I'd better just take a photo or I'd keep altering things, forever. I do that, you know.
I tried to arrange the books to fit the variety I crave but I'm also starting out with at least 4 books that have been loaned to me, so that I can get them back to their owners. There are a few ARCs I didn't get around to reading, last year, and a few classic titles that I keep looking at longingly. Two are volumes of short stories, one is a goofy book, one a book about Bible characters. Yeah, it's a hodge-podge, all right.
I've already begun reading one of the titles: Far Afield by Susanna Kaysen. I'm not sure, but I think I might have heard of that particular book and acquired it because of a review by SuziQ, a favorite blogger who never leads me astray. So far, it is excellent.
Here's my list for Shelf #1:
1. The Thieves of Darkness by Richard Doetsch - Probably received via Shelf Awareness (Ack! I don't remember!)
2. You'll Be Sor-ree! by Sid Phillips - Started to read this last year and stopped, another SA book
3. Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife by John Nagl & Peter Schoomaker - borrowed from husband
4. Semper Cool by Barry Fixler - Meant to read this for the Vietnam challenge
5. Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs - for fun
6. Manifesting Change by Mike Dooley - An ARC I didn't get to in 2010
7. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl - On loan from my future daughter-in-law
8. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri - Got this ARC for free from my local library and I've heard the stories are marvelous
9. Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda - Borrowed from future DIL; we have both read Gavalda's I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere repeatedly.
10. Never Shower in a Thunderstorm by Anahad O'Conner - My goofy read
11. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald - I'm planning to buddy read this one with New Orleans Chris (aka "Stuffster", at least in my little brain)
12. True Grit by Charles Portis - I've had this one for a while, but naturally the new movie version has motivated me to dig it out.
13. Fire Bell in the Night by Geoffrey S. Edwards - Another buddy read, sent to me by the author and then lost repeatedly. My friend Paula has wanted to buddy read this one with me for so long it's embarrassing.
14. Virtual Realities by Alfred Bester - Sci-fi short stories; I've read a few of these and really enjoyed them
15. Far Afield by Susanna Kaysen
16. Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara - Classic from the closet shelf
17. A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick - Borrowed from eldest son's collection
18. Anagrams by Lorrie Moore - I've had this one for probably 10 years; it's one of the many books I bought at our former salvage store when they got some very-slightly-damaged book stock that was sold at unbelievable prices. I got a lot of wonderful literature from that particular sale.
19. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale - A book I've put on challenge lists twice and failed to even open. This time I shall read it, oh yes I shall.
20. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes - Another classic I keep telling myself I need to get around to reading
Not pictured: Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate (two novels in one book)
That's quite a big shelf for starters, isn't it? We'll see how long it takes to read them. Should be interesting!