Late in December, with encouragement and gentle persuasion from Lizzy Siddal and Richard – and original inspiration from Eva Carson – I agreed to do the #TBR20 Challenge for 2020. The idea is to read 20 books you already own before buying any more. As my to be read pile has morphed into a TBR shelf, this seemed like a good opportunity to look at some of the books that have been languishing, unloved. I wanted to hold on before announcing any kind of list, as we had quite a few books to take to Infinity Books and I knew there was going to be some swapping going on… Then influenza struck, which meant that there were times when reading was all I could do and times when the words were swimming around too much before my eyes and of course posting fell by the wayside.
So without further ado, here is my list of 20 (which you may note is actually 25) books I will read before I buy any new ones. The five are in reserve in case any of the original 20 don’t appeal and I am aiming to finish the challenge by the time the final part of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy is released on 5 March, so it can be purchased with a clear conscience.
My #TBR20 Challenge for 2020:
- Jack London, The People of the Abyss
- Stephen Mansfield, Tokyo: A Biography (Library book)
- Kit de Waal (ed), Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers
- Shaun Bythell, The Diary of a Bookseller
- Beryl Bainbridge, According to Queeney
- Pat Barker, Life Class
- John McDonnell (ed), Economics for the Many
- Jay Rubin (ed), The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories
- Jamie O’Neill, At Swim, Two Boys
- Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
- Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
- Gary Budden, Hollow Shores
- James Salter, All That Is
- J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
- Darran Anderson, Imaginary Cities
- David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Four
- Cathy Otten, With Ash on Their Faces
- Thomas Savage, The Power of the Dog
- Haroun Khan, The Study Circle
- Karen Havelin, Please Read This Leaflet Carefully
- Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (I don’t think I will get to this – it’s too long!)
- Joanne Harris, Different Class
- Ami McKay, The Virgin Cure
- Toby Slade, Japanese Fashion: A Cultural History (Loaned from a friend a shameful amount of time ago)
- Alan Moore, Jerusalem (Again: TOO LONG! But started in 2018 so another attempt is long overdue.)
Lizzy’s Twitter thread of her progress is here and that is such a good idea that I will make one too and add it soon. [UPDATE! Here is my Twitter thread to show where I’m up to.]
Wish us all luck! Would you be able to promise not to buy any more new books before reading 20 you had already bought? Let me know in the comments below.
[UPDATE 2! As I am not reading them in order, have put the titles of the books read into bold, just to keep myself on track.]
Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash
Gutsy to make a list! I did too when I started. Now on book 14 and I’ve only read 4 from the original 20! It turns out the books are dictating the direction of travel ….
They like to do that, don’t they? That’s why I thought I’d better put down some reserves in case. The list was more to give me an idea of what’s there – some on the kindle and others on the shelf – as well as to keep me on track. Good luck with the rest of the challenge, it sounds like you have it well in hand!
I loved The Power of the Dog, I read it this spring too.
Thanks! I loved it, can’t believe I left it sitting on the shelf for so long… I was definitely ready for the challenge.