gypsysmom tries to conquer Mount TBR in 2020

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gypsysmom tries to conquer Mount TBR in 2020

1gypsysmom
Editado: Ene 2, 12:20pm

Well perhaps conquer is a bit too strong but I do hope to make it some way up the slope. There are 175 physical books on the mountain so I would like reduce that to 150 by the end of the year which is the amount I can fit on my one bookcase. (I currently have the latest 20 or so on an auxiliary shelving unit.)

Goal #1 Read all the ABC books that I acquired before the end of 2019, a total of 5
As of the end of December I had read all 5 books.

Goal #2 Read 4 books loaned to me
As of the end of August I've read 3 books. Didn't get that last one read.

Goal #3 Read the 8 oldest books on Mount TBR
As of the end of December I had read 7 books. So missed the goal by 1.

Goal #4 Read all the books I received as gifts before the end of 2019, a total of 11
As of the end of December I had read 10 books. Again missing the goal by 1.

Goal #5 Read the 4 books on the mountain that are on the list of 100 Novels That Make Us Proud to Be Canadian
As of the end of June I've read 3 books. Another goal that I missed by 1.

Goal #6 Read the 4 books on the mountain that are on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list
As of the end of September I've read 3 books. And another one.

I managed to read 35 books from the list but due to adding books throughout the year my list is still at 166 books and I still have books on my auxiliary shelving unit.

2mathgirl40
Ene 11, 2020, 7:42pm

Good luck with your goals!

3originalslicey
Ene 22, 2020, 6:45pm

That's a good goal to have to fit everything on one bookcase! I should make a similar goal. I have books EVERYWHERE right now!

4gypsysmom
Ene 30, 2020, 1:02pm

I read 4 books from the TBR pile in January but only 2 fit into the goals I made for this year.

I read Black Berry, Sweet Juice by Lawrence Hill which was a book loaned to me so that is 1 out of 4 for that goal.

I also read The Quarter: Stories by Naguib Mahfouz which I received from the LT Early Reviewers lottery which I count as a gift. So I only (!) have 10 more to go.

5gypsysmom
Feb 22, 2020, 9:30am

Earlier in February I read Vinyl Cafe Unplugged which was a book that came from another BXer and now I have read Fingersmith which is my second oldest book in the TBR pile.

6mathgirl40
Feb 28, 2020, 9:17pm

>5 gypsysmom: I really should read more Vinyl Cafe! I'd read one collection some time ago and enjoyed it immensely.

7gypsysmom
Editado: Mar 31, 2020, 5:39pm

I finished out February by reading Barney's Version one of the books on the CBC list 100 Books that Make You Proud to be Canadian. Amazingly this is the first Mordecai Richler book that I have read and I was surprised by how much I loved it. The title character is in his 60s and is reviewing his life in response to a book another Montreal writer has written about him. Barney is having some memory issues so he is maybe an unreliable narrator but about the accusation that he killed his best friend and hid his body he is crystal clear. He did not commit murder and he still expects his friend to turn up one day. Should we believe him? Read the book.

8originalslicey
Mar 19, 2020, 2:35pm

>5 gypsysmom: Have you read anything else by Sarah Water? Tipping the Velvet is my favorite, but Fingersmith is great, too. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction, but love her writing style.

9mathgirl40
Mar 20, 2020, 10:34pm

>7 gypsysmom: I've not read Barney's Version yet, but I loved The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. My cousins lived in the 1970's on St. Urbain Street in Montreal, where the book is set, and I have fond memories of the area. Lower-income families lived there then, but the street is mostly gentrified now.

10gypsysmom
Mar 22, 2020, 4:27pm

>8 originalslicey: Yes, I've read several of Waters' books. I'm pretty sure I read Tipping the Velvet but so many years ago that my memory of it is non-existent. However The Night Watch and The Paying Guests were great reads. Maybe I'll find a copy of Tipping the Velvet somewhere so I can check it out again.

11gypsysmom
Mar 22, 2020, 4:34pm

>9 mathgirl40: I haven't read Duddy but I did see the movie with Dustin Hoffman and I really liked it. I put a hold on the DVD of Barney's Version but it is being held at my closed library right now so I don't know when I will get to see it. I intend to find more of Richler's books and explore his writing. I have spent a couple of vacations in Montreal (the most notable being for the 10th Jazz Festival which is now 30 years ago) and I really loved exploring the city. Richler and Michel Tremblay's works really give a great sense of the city (at least as it was).

12gypsysmom
Mar 31, 2020, 5:50pm

I took 3 books registered before Dec 31 2019 off the pile in March plus one BookCrossing Ray book that came in during February.
Blacklight Blue was not my favourite Peter May book but it was interesting enough
The Princes of Ireland was a big read which is probably why it has been sitting on my shelf for 10 years. I love Ireland and it was really interesting to read about its ancient and medieval history.
Home Fire is an incredible story of a Muslim family in London and what happens to a teenage boy who gets coerced into joining ISIS.
Round Ireland with a Fridge was just a really fun read which is what I needed at this juncture.

13mathgirl40
Mar 31, 2020, 7:57pm

>11 gypsysmom: I liked the movie version of Duddy too. I hope that when life gets back to normal, you might get a chance to visit Montreal again. The Jazz festival is a terrific event. I also need to go in the other direction and explore more of Canada's West!

>12 gypsysmom: Nice progress for March!

14gypsysmom
Mayo 3, 2020, 6:10pm

I did pretty well in April as I managed to read 4 books that were on the TBR pile before December 31 2019.
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck came from a local BookCrosser and it is a 1001 List book
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves was a gift from my husband last year and it was, believe it or not, my first Ann Cleeves read.
How to Make Love to a Negro by Dany Laferriere is a book that is on the 100 Novels that Make you Proud to be Canadian list and I think it deserved to be.
Coral Reef Views by Vicki Delaney was a LTER win from November 2019.

I also read Educated by Tara Westover which I purchased to read with my Pandemic Book Club for April. I have purchased or won 6 books in 2020 but since I have read 1 of those and taken 14 from the TBR pile as it stood at the end of December I am keeping to my unstated goal of trying to add only half the number of books that I remove. I think there is still time to get the overall number down to 150 especially since our libraries won't be opening for a while.

15BoekenTrol71
Editado: Mayo 10, 2020, 3:20am

>8 originalslicey: >5 gypsysmom: Both Sarah Water's book you mentioned are on my MTBR. I think I'll bump them up a little now.

Edited to correct autotyping (whatever it is that makes your phone type something you don't want when you hit the space bar...)

16mathgirl40
Mayo 21, 2020, 10:40pm

>14 gypsysmom: I'd read a couple of Vicki Delaney's books from her Molly Smith series and enjoyed them very much. I especially liked the setting. I've not tried her other series yet.

17gypsysmom
Mayo 23, 2020, 11:02am

>16 mathgirl40: I didn't think this one was as good as some of the other of hers that I have read but the Caribbean island setting was great for virtual travelling.

18mathgirl40
Mayo 31, 2020, 8:17pm

>17 gypsysmom: Having been stuck at home since mid-March, I totally understand the appeal of virtual travelling. :)

19gypsysmom
Jun 3, 2020, 2:53pm

In May I read the following TBR pile books:
Spindle and Dagger, a medieval historical novel set in Wales and Ireland
Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, an interesting novel of modern and old-fashioned clue solving
Race Against Time, the text of Stephen Lewis's Massey Lectures about the AIDS Crisis in Africa
Wild Dogs, an elegiac study of love and friendship by one of my favourite Canadian writers, Helen Humphreys

Still kicking myself for wasting so much time on Reproduction by Ian Williams which did not deserve to win (IMNSHO) the Giller Prize last year. I could have knocked a few others off the pile if I had just ditched it after 50 pages. When will I learn?

20mathgirl40
Jun 25, 2020, 10:05pm

>19 gypsysmom: There really is value in Nancy Pearl's rule of 50, but I too have trouble following it.

21gypsysmom
Jul 1, 2020, 8:03pm

In June I read 6 books from the TBR pile:
The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson, mystery from the early days of the Inspector Banks series
The Purchase by Linda Spalding, a GG literary winner
Night of Power by Spider Robinson, one of his older books set in New York City during a black rebellion which was pretty timely given the unrest over the George Floyd killing
Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo, one of the CBC picks for 100 Novels that Make Us Proud to be Canadian
The K Handshape by Maureen Jennings, police procedural mystery set in Orillia ON
The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King, another GG literary winner.

All were worth reading and The Purchase, Cereus Blooms at Night and The Back of the Turtle were top reads.

22mathgirl40
Jul 10, 2020, 10:02pm

>21 gypsysmom: A nice selection of books!

23gypsysmom
Jul 31, 2020, 5:22pm

I read 3 of my own books in July along with 6 library books. Only one of my own books was on the TBR list before 2020 but I'm still going to say I made my goal for July. The book that has been longest on my list was Water Lily which I purchased in 2010 from the Aqua Books used book store which was my favourite place to buy used books. Unfortunately it has gone out of business so mostly I get used books from LFLs or library book sales. The other 2 books were fairly recent acquisitions from LFLs as it turns out. Juliana and the Medicine Fish is by local writer Jake MacDonald who died in an accident in Mexico earlier this year. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry has been recommended by several sources to understand the roots of racism in the US. I had actually received a copy from the library and then went to a LFL during the Canada Days release challenge and found a copy there. Since the library book had several holds against it I returned it to the library and read the LFL copy. Water Lily was rather disappointing given how long I had held onto it but both of the others were very good even though they are targeted to the YA reader.

24mathgirl40
Ago 30, 2020, 10:24pm

>23 gypsysmom: I've been getting a lot of my books from the neighbourhood LFLs too. In fact, I recently picked up a couple in anticipation of next year's Canada Days release challenge, so I hope you'll be running it again next year. :)

25gypsysmom
Ago 31, 2020, 3:38pm

>24 mathgirl40: I certainly hope to run the Canada Days challenge next year. Hopefully it will be easier to do wild releases then.

26gypsysmom
Sep 18, 2020, 8:00pm

I read two TBR books in August.
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty was good and much better than the movie that was made of it. It's about a middle-aged woman from Kansas who accompanies a teenage girl (Louise Brooks who goes on to become a silent film star) to New York City as she is going to study modern dance. It is set in 1922 and the chaperone has another reason for wanting to go to NYC. She was born there but was orphaned and was put on an orphan train to Kansas. She never knew what happened to her parents and wants to find out what she can.

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West is a wonderful little book set during World War I. It's one of the shorter books on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list.

27mathgirl40
Sep 29, 2020, 8:30pm

>26 gypsysmom: I also really liked The Return of the Soldier, and yes, it's nice to find some short books on the 1001 list.

28gypsysmom
Oct 2, 2020, 1:25pm

In September I got another two books read from the TBR list: The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz which is sort of a post-apocalyptic novel set in an unspecified Muslim country and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark which is another smaller book on the 1001 list. I had read it before but didn't remember too much of it and I purchased it in a UBS in BC that was going out of business so I think I only paid $1 or perhaps less for it.

29mathgirl40
Oct 27, 2020, 9:56pm

>29 mathgirl40: I really liked The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and it is indeed a smaller book, probably the shortest one I've read from the 1001 list. I hope you enjoy your reread.

30mathgirl40
Oct 27, 2020, 9:56pm

>29 mathgirl40: I really liked The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and it is indeed a smaller book, probably the shortest one I've read from the 1001 list. I hope you enjoy your reread.

31mathgirl40
Oct 27, 2020, 9:58pm

Sorry for the duplicate post! My mouse has been acting up so sometimes it does a double-click. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to delete the second post.

32gypsysmom
Oct 29, 2020, 4:26pm

I managed to read the oldest book on my bookshelf in October. The Tears of the Madonna by George Herman (not the George Herman who was the baseball player Babe Ruth) is a mystery set in Renaissance Italy with Leonardo da Vinci as one of the investigators. I quite enjoyed it and like all these books that have been on my shelf for so long I wonder why I procrastinate about reading them.

33gypsysmom
Nov 20, 2020, 1:37pm

So far in November I have read 3 books from the TBR mountain. Two were gifts, Murder Below Montparnasse and Freeze Frame, and one was an ABC book In Defense of Food. Freeze Frame and In Defense of Food were vastly different but both great reads. I didn't really care for Murder Below Montparnasse.

34mathgirl40
Nov 29, 2020, 10:19pm

>33 gypsysmom: I really liked In Defense of Food too. I'd read it several years ago and I think it has helped me make changes in my eating habits for the better.

35gypsysmom
Nov 30, 2020, 5:32pm

>34 mathgirl40: I had read The Omnivore's Dilemma some time ago and it certainly made me think about where my food was coming from. Then when I read Grass, Sky, Song by the grassland ornithologist Trevor Herriot I decided to start ordering my beef from a local farmer who raises all of his beef cattle on grass. (Herriot recommends this as one of the ways of keeping sufficient habitat for grassland birds whose numbers have fallen considerably.) Realizing just how much better pastured beef and chickens taste I started looking for other producers who take care of their farming environment. I found a farmer co-operative that delivers all kinds of meat, veggies, grains, seeds and even syrups, honeys and eggs about twice a month to Winnipeg. Especially during the pandemic I am grateful to have access to local products that don't have to be shipped hundreds and thousands of miles endangering truck drivers.

36gypsysmom
Nov 30, 2020, 5:34pm

I read two more books from Mount TBR in November so I made my goal. Down Among the Dead Men is a great English police procedural by an author I had never read before, Peter Lovesey. Then to try to get into the spirit of the season I pulled out Holly and Homicide, a cozy type mystery set in a ski village in Colorado which was okay but not great.

37mathgirl40
Nov 30, 2020, 9:43pm

>35 gypsysmom: I also shop from an organization that sources from local farmers. It was a bit chaotic for them at the beginning of the pandemic, as all their procedures had to be changed, but things have settled down now. We order online every two weeks and then pick up from a nearby location. I've been over-indulging in too much good food during the pandemic, though! :)

38gypsysmom
Dic 2, 2020, 12:41pm

>37 mathgirl40: That's exactly how the organization I use, Harvest Moon, works. I love seeing what new items they have available every two weeks. I was delighted a month or so ago to see they had cranberry beans available. When I worked for the Canadian Grain Commission I had the opportunity to take home some cranberry beans and I found a recipe using the beans, tomatoes, prosciutto etc. I don't know if I've been over-indulging during the pandemic but I certainly am making more dishes that take some time.

39mathgirl40
Dic 14, 2020, 10:01pm

>38 gypsysmom: I'd never heard of cranberry beans! I'll have to see if I can manage to get some in my area. I cook beans more often these days now that I have an Instant Pot.

40gypsysmom
Ene 2, 12:25pm

In December I managed to read 5 books from the TBR list but only 3 of them counted for my yearly goals. The Interior by Lisa See was the oldest book on my list, Terra Incognito was an ABC book, and Christmas at the Vinyl Cafe was a gift. They were all worth reading but my favourite was the Stuart McLean book which was published posthumously as a collection of some of his best Christmas stories.

So, other than reading the 5 ABC books, I missed all my other goals by 1 and added too many books to reduce the overall count as much as I would have liked. On to 2021.

41mathgirl40
Ene 2, 9:49pm

>40 gypsysmom: Reading the oldest book on your list sounds like a significant accomplishment! I'm looking forward to following your 2021 progress.