Sunday Salon: The TBR Triple Dog Dare Month One Check In

TBR Final DareDid you dare?  How are you doing?

It’s been a month, one-third of the way through, how is everyone doing with the TBR Triple Dog Dare?

So far it’s been pretty easy for me this time around–probably a result of doing it for so many years now I’ve lost count. I’ve developed something of a taste for my own TBR shelves lately anyway; I’m not all that interested in what’s new and current these days.  I do still find quite a few books that are “new to me” from reading book blogs, but I don’t have the same sense of urgency about keeping up with current titles that I used to have.

So, I’ve been reading from my own TBR shelves, four books at a time currently, having a great time.  I’ve not found anything really wonderful yet, but I have been enjoying myself quite a bit.  Right now I’m reading The Visitor by Sheri Tepper, a post-apocalyptic fantasy that is good escapist fun so far; The Man Who Watched Trains Go By by Simenon which is dark, very dark, creepy and suspenseful; the third book in Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Series which is sadly not as good as the first two were so far; and The World Rushed In a massive first hand account of the California Gold Rush.

I just finished Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilyich which was not funny at all.  The other Russian classic’s I’ve read have all be pretty funny, at least at times, but Tolstoy seems to have no sense of humor at all.

All of the books but the Ferrante one have been gathering dust on my TBR stacks for some time now, at least a couple of years each.  It’s good to finally get to them.  I’m doing 100 to 150 pages a night which has really cut back on my Netflix/Hulu addiction.  Good for me but bad for Hulu I guess.  They’ll get over it.

I’m cheating a little in that I am reading YA books for school.  I picked up two books from my school library and had my students vote on which one I should read.  It was a very close vote but I’ll be reading something called The Boys of Fire and Ash by Meagan McIssac later today.  Having my students vote on what I should read really got them interested in the books.  The “loser” is in a students hands as we speak.

We’re doing Book Bingo this semester, too, which is also paying off.  I’m doing it along with them which has been making them much more aware of reading.  No one has a bingo yet but a few students are very close.  I had them do a little assignment about reading where they calculated how many books they could read in a semester if they only read 20 minutes a night on school nights only.  Turns out, they were very surprised by how much they could read and  by how much more that would be than what many of them usually read.  That and Book Bingo has already got a few of them reading much more than they did last fall.

And no one has to take an Accelerated Reader quiz either.

So what have you found in your TBR stacks?

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46 Comments

  1. Jim Randolph says:

    Finished Station 11 and quite enjoyed it. Almost done with Let’s Talk About Love by Carl Wilson (the one with the added essays in the back) and I’m trying to finish the last of our districts “Reader’s Rally” books. Long Walk to Water sure was depressing! Next up is a lighter one, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Flemming. Hope it’s better than that old silly movie.

    1. I know in my heart that you are right, but my brother and I really loved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when we were kids. At the time, were were the movies target audience. Everything about it was perfect for us.

  2. Not to ague that Ivan Ilych is a big barrel of laughs, which it ain’t, but maybe revisit all references to Schwartz and his expressive eyebrows in the first section. Or the little farce with the shawl and the chair with the over-responsive springs.

    1. I’m still working through what I’m going to do with my review of it later this week, but it will certainly go on my “to be re-read in retirement” shelf. I’ll take another look at the sections you mention before I write my review.

  3. Thanks for linking back to my review – I loved the whole series but hope you enjoy the fourth Neapolitan novel more than the third!

    1. I’m still enjoying the third one, just not as much as the other two. I am committed to reading all four and I do have number four in my TBR bookcase already.

      1. lizzysiddal says:

        Number three is the weak one – far too many pages of politics and feminism for it to be enjoyable.

  4. It’s going a dream, thanks again for proposing the challenge as am sure would have another half a dozen books on the shelves otherwise. Going into a bookshop just to browse is turning out to be a lot more fun than I’d imagined… Have finished the 700 pager of a “A Little Life” and am almost half way through the massive “War & Peace”, so not getting through the volume I’d anticipated but it’s all good!

    1. It is a different experience with no plans to spend. Kind of makes me spend more time with the books in the shop since I can only read them there.

      1. Likewise!

  5. carolee888 says:

    I really enjoyed January’s Double Dog Dare and finished these:
    1. Shady Cross by James Hankins. I loved this strange mystery and think any mystery fan would.
    2. Living in Harmony by Mary Eliis. That is Amish Fiction. Great escape fiction that makes me feel good.
    3. Rules of Murder bu Drew Farthering It got off to a very slow start but I am glad that I didn’t quit on it. Loved the way that the author broke all the rules of mystery fiction.

    Now on to February, starting off with Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Freemantle.

    1. Sounds like a lot of fun reading to me.

  6. The second Ferrante book was my favorite, though the others were still very good. I’m hanging in there with the TBR Dare… two books from my shelves finished this month (The Story Hour and The Girls of Atomic City) and I’m almost done with the very long City on Fire. I’m enjoying it, but can’t see myself recommending a 950 page novel to anyone 😉

  7. On on the wait list for City on Fire at my local library. I’m so far down on the list that I don’t think I’ll get it until May since it’s such a long read.

  8. lizzysiddal says:

    I’ve made a good start – I’ve read 8 from the shelves. I made two exceptions; the first for the new Read the Book Book Club – it was a translation from German, so I had too; the second was my most anticipated title of 2016 – non-fiction, but about exiled authors Zweig, Roth and Keun in the Summer of 1936. (Likely to be the most influential read of 2016 for me, if not book of the year.)

    1. I’ll have to look for your review of the Zweig, Roth, Keun book.

  9. Lisa says:

    I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think it’s going pretty well. BUT – I am buying a lot more books than I should be. I finally read Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop, and I went out looking for more Cather – even though I won’t read the new books until after The Dare ends. And of course in the process I found some other book I just *had* to have.

    1. I’m making it a point to avoid bookstores as much as I can until April 1. Come April 1, I’ll make a pilgrimage over to City Lights in San Francisco.

  10. tracybham says:

    I have read eight books from the TBR pile, including two by John Le Carre and one by Walter Mosley that I have been planning to read for years. Three of mine were rereads (all by Rex Stout) but since I reread those regularly, I count them as part of the TBR pile. And the biggest bonus is that I have bought no new books.

    1. 8. I feel like a slacker. 😉

  11. Sarah Wrightson says:

    I’ve had an exceptional reading month, 14 books from the already have books (admittedly a few came in at the last minute): Authors include E. Nesbit, Rcihmal Crompton, Dorothy Hughes, Edna O’Brien, Noel Streafield, Mrs. Oliphant, Sebastian Faulks (His tribute to PG Wodehouse). A few of the books were Must You Go by Antonia Fraser (her life with Harold Pinter), The Morville Hours (the making of a garden) by Katherine Swift, A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas, Ladies of the Canyon by Lesley Polling-Kempes (Women in the American Southwest in the early 20h century). Only problem is I like them all, so they are now shelved, and I’ve not managed to rid myself of a few! Oh, and I’ve acquired way too many: book buying ban for February!!

    1. 14! Now I know I’m a slacker. 😉

  12. Amy says:

    I’m reading George Saunders’ Tenth of December, which I bought when it came out, and then didn’t read because there was so much hype around it and how fabulous it was. Or is, since I’m finding it fabulous. Otherwise, I’m reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North for book club, also from the TBR.

    1. I have Narrow Road to the Deep North in my TBR stack. I love it that the Saunders book turned out to really be fabulous.

      1. Amy says:

        I have to say, Narrow Road is a slog in the beginning, then gets better.

  13. annieb says:

    I read The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende (ordered from the library in December 2015 and received on the 30th.) She is one of my favorite writers and while I liked the book a lot, it wasn’t her best. I only finished two others: Evan Blessed by Rhys Bowen and Annapurna: a woman’s place by Arlene Bloom. Annapurna was excellent non-fiction and Evan Blessed was part of a series of not-so-cozy, cozy mysteries. I usually read more in a month, but my book club selection,The Goldfinch, took up most of the month and then I couldn’t finish it because it bored me to tears. I have come to the conclusion that if a writer cannot say it in 400 pages–I don’t care to hear it. And, yes, I know she won the Pulitzer. I am presently working on Ruby Ridge by Jess Walter and Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall. Plan to do better in February.

    1. I read The Secret History back when it first came out, actually, I hate-read it. I’ve not read anything else since. I generally agree with your 400 page rule, it’s a reasonable one, but I have found exceptions.

  14. Kay says:

    I’ve done pretty well with the ‘dare’. Read 14 books in January – 9 were from my TBR or were rereads from my shelves or audibook library. My only exceptions were 5 graphic novels that I checked out from the library. I’ve not been a graphic novel reader, but I read Displacement and Can’t We Talk About Something More PLEASANT? earlier this month. Really was amazed by them and touched. So, I’ve kind of been on a graphic novel binge. Who knew that what I thought of as ‘comics’ could be so deep? Well, other bloggers had told me, but I had not investigated. I’m very pleased to have dipped my toe into a new type of storytelling.

    1. 9 from your TBR shelves is excellent. I did a graphic novel this month, too. While there are graphic novels I’ve enjoyed, I’m more of a dabbler in them than a fan.

  15. Heather says:

    The Dare is still going well for me. In January I read 1 library book that I had checked out in December, and 4 books from my own shelves, one of which was a re-read (The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan, which I had read in college but not since). I just started Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow and am liking it a lot – it’s a werewolf story in free verse.

    1. I now of The Book of the City of Ladies but have never read it. I’d love to read a “selection” from it to see what it’s like. I’ve always imagined it would be tough going.

      1. Heather says:

        I found it surprisingly readable – some of it felt repetitive/tedious but a lot of it was interesting and/or amusing. I’m not sure how much of the tone is in the original/how much of it’s the translator, but it was less of a slog than I anticipated.

  16. bybeebooks says:

    I’m doing great!!! Sticking to mine own bookshelf, even after 31 days. Who’d have thunk it???

    1. Once you do it long enough it can become something of a habit.

  17. I read three books from my own bookshelf, and sticking with it through February!

    1. Excellent!

  18. lailaarch says:

    This is my first Dare, and I’m finding it quite the challenge! (I work in a library so that doesn’t help, all the new books coming and going right in front of my face every day.) I read 3 of my own books, though, in January, and one library book that was an up-front exception since I’d had it on hold since back in the Fall. Currently reading two of my own books – Black Water Rising by Attica Locke and a Bruce Springsteen biography I’ve had for YEARS. Let’s just say that I’m doing my best to stick to the Dare, but it’s tough!

    1. Working in a library has long been kind of my fantasy job. I think I should never really work in one, though, so I can keep the fantasy alive. The real world can be difficult even in a job you love. Maybe especially in a job you love.

  19. quinn says:

    many thx once again for helping us hit our own bkshelves. much easier than i would expect…got me to read the only capote i have delayed in reading, ‘in cold blood’…and wonderful as expected and such a different capote voice, so appreciate his writing….then hit marvalous beyond description w/ ‘a manual for cleaning women’, lucia berlin….yes as good as the reviews..better….just finished ‘fat city’ a quiet spare on point classic (love nyrb)….so many many thanks and good readin to u..
    quinn

    1. I’m a big fan of In Cold Blood. In Cold Blood is the book Dakota has eating in the picture I’m using for The TBR Dare. It was a library book I had to pay for.

  20. sarscoff says:

    I finished 14 books and I’ve already finished one book this month so I’m feeling pretty good about the challenge so far!

  21. At 14 books, you are far beyond me. I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying the TBR Dare so far.

  22. MarinaSofia says:

    I didn’t officially sign up for the TBR Triple Dog Dare this year, as I failed so miserably at it last year. But, in fact, I’ve been very good this month. Aside from a couple of review books, I’ve read things off my shelves and e-reader. The one exception was a book that a friend of mine had promised to lend me back in September and finally brought around at the beginning of January: Christos Tsiolkas’ Dead Europe, which I felt obliged to read relatively quickly, so that I could return the book to her.

    1. Actually, if you had plans in place to read Dead Europe before the end of 2015, then it still qualifies under the rules of the TBR Triple Dog Dare. 😉

  23. alison41 says:

    I hit my target: 1 from the TBR stack. ‘”The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’ – Junot Diaz. Great read. Shed light on Dominican Republic, a country about which I knew nothing. Have to say I’m glad I don’t live there!

    1. Excellent. I admit, I’ve tried to read Junot Diaz but just not been able to get into him. Still, it’s nice to get a title moved from the TBR pile into the R pile.

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