TBR Triple Dog Dare – Just 11 Days To Go. You Can Do It!

TBR Final DareIt’s so tempting to fall off the wagon at this point.  Just eleven days left in the TBR Triple Dog Dare, but if you’re like me, then you already have a small stack of books you bought surreptitiously somewhere in your house tempting you to stray.


I confess that I have been to the bookstore twice already and that I do have a small pile of books almost as high as the stack off books I’m passing along to the Friends of the Library Book Sale when the TBR Triple Dog Dare ends.  I won’t list them all but among them is my first Hap and Leonard book thanks in large part to a review over at Book Chase.  Thanks, Sam.  That’s probably what I’ll read first come April.

April Fool’s Day, when the TBR Triple Dog Dare comes to its final close, I’ll be in Los Angeles at the Association of  Writers and Writing Programs annual conference listening to four days worth of author panels. I plan on skipping a couple to check out The Last Bookstore in downtown L.A.  I hear the entire second floor is dollar books so I’m bringing along an extra suitcase.   The Last Bookstore is the largest bookstore in California; many conference goers will be skipping out to visit at some point.

Anyone else going to the AWP? Want to meet up for lunch?

Today I’ll be reading The Penultimate Truth by Philip K. Dick which I picked out from the far reaches of my TBR pile and my very first Mike Lupica book–I forget the title but it’s about basketball.  I brought in a selection of sports books for my 7th graders this week–we’re playing book bingo and many of us need to cross off the book about sports square.  The librarian selected several Tim Green and quite a few Mike Lupica books.  Never having read either author, I asked my students which one I should read; they said Lupica so I’ll be giving him a go later today.

The librarian gave me just over twenty books about sports, mostly novels, only two of which were about girls.  When I asked her about this she said she’s had a very tough time finding sports books about girls which surprised me.  We have the Shark Girl books along with non-fiction about the true story they are based on and a couple of Girls Play to Win books–Girls Play to Win Lacrosse did get taken this week as did the Shark Girl books–but not much more.  The only sports related series books for girls we have are books for reluctant readers.  There does not seem to be a Tim Green, Mike Lupica, Matt Christopher equivalent for girls.  If you know of one or any single titles, please let me know in a comment.  We’re looking for middle school level books.

It’s supposed to rain all day today, so I should be able to complete Mr. Lupica’s book, maybe Mr. Dick’s book as well.  Then I’ll reach over Bad Chili for another title from my TBR stack.

Just eleven more days.  I can do that.


Triple Dog Dare Two Months In – Have You Found Anything Really Good Yet?

TBR Final DareIf we don’t count tomorrow’s leap day–which made this years’ Dare just a little bit longer, by the way–we are at the end of month two of The TBR Triple Dog Dare.  So, I thought I’d ask, have you found anything really good in your TBR stacks yet?

I’ll admit, I haven’t found anything that totally knocked my socks off, but I have found a couple of wonderful books that I am going to put in the to-be-re-read-someday stack.

Grace Ogot’s novel, The Promised Land to start with.  This little piece of East African fiction has been on my stack for almost a year.  I found it for well under a dollar, I think I got it for a quarter at my local library’s monthly sale.  My brother currently lives in Tanzania where he works for the state department–he’s spent a large portion of his adult life living in various parts of Africa.  That and the couple of courses he took in African literature, and the couple I took in colonial and post-colonial literature, have put African writers on my radar.  I’m by no means an expert, even an amateur know-it-all, but when I see something with an African author, I take a look.

So, I finally read The Promised Land, and I liked it quite a bit.

The other stand out from my TBR Dare reading so far is A Simple Heart by Gustave Flaubert.  This is only the second book by Flaubert that I’ve ever read, Madame Bovary was the first, and I started out a bit skeptical.  Stories of devoted servants tend to get my hackles up, I’m not a fan of Downton Abbey at all even if Maggie Smith is delicious, but I was moved by A Simple Heart.

I’m a little dismayed this morning to find that I’ve only read ten books so far this year.  I’ve posted reviews of only seven of those.  However, tomorrow is national reading day, or something like that, so we’ll be reading all day in all of my classes.  I’ll have nearly four hours of reading time, since I do model proper reading behavior when my classes are reading by reading along with the class.  Not only is that good teaching, it’s a perfect way to get lots of reading done.  Administrators are always pleased when they stop by and find us all reading.

So a  win-win for me.


TBR Triple Dog Dare Temptations

I was sorely tempted this week, but I resisted.

Over the many years now that I’ve run the TBR Dare, it’s gotten much easier to do.  The first year was tough, very tough, but now sticking to my own TBR shelves for the first three months of the year has become kind of a habit.

But February is still a difficult month.  Six plus weeks into the TBR Triple Dog Dare new titles can be very tempting.  And it’s just about impossible for me to stay out of bookstores after three or four weeks.

And I had this past week off, which did not help things.

I spent the week reading four books at a time, which I sometimes do.  I’m currently reading Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, book three in Elena Ferrente’s (Not her read name) Neapolitan Quartet;  A Man’s Head by Georges Simenon; The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price, Purveyor of Superior Funerals by Wendy Jones and still working my what through The World Rushed In  by J.S. Holliday.  I read each in 50 page chunks, two or three books a day.

So, I’ve no business thinking about getting more books to read.  I do have over 200 in the TBR bookcase in my studio downstairs.

But we found this Ace Double in an antique store up in Santa Rosa and I had to have it.  Read The Martian Missile then flip the book over and read  The Atlantic Abomination.  Two books in one.  I have a very small collection of these Double books, some Ace and some Tor.  I think they are a great idea that kids today would love.  And I really wanted to dive right in to The Martian Missile.  But I resisted.  It will have to wait until April 1.

As will Walt Longmire.  My local bookshop, Bookshop Benicia, has the complete Walt Longmire series on the shelves, tempting me.  I’m a big fan of the television show but I’ve never read any of the books.  Up in Santa Rosa yesterday, I visited Paperbacks Unlimited, where once again I found Walt Longmire sitting on the shelves, the first book in the series, too, at half price.  I resisted again.

To add to this temptation, Melville House sent me two more novellas, I subscribe to their The Art of the Novella series.  All of these went into the basement where they wait in a special pile until April 1 when it’s open season.

I did get Michel Houellebecq’s new book Submission from the library but this was a very late addition to my hold’s list, made late December 31, 2016, so it does not break the official TBR Triple Dog Dare rules.  Of course, you are allowed to break the rules when needed and to make your own.

So I’m sticking to my TBR stack for five more weeks.

March is actually much easier than February.  In March you can see the end approaching so putting off that new title you just have to start on is easier to do the closer you get to April 1.  For many years I celebrated April 1 with a trip to City Lights Books in San Francisco.  City Lights always managed to have lots of books I’ve never heard of that I absolutely must have.  That’s what makes a great bookstore in my opinion.  This year, I will be in Los Angeles at a conference on April 1, so I’m going to go to The Last Bookstore which I’ve read so much about.  Apparently, they have an enormous second floor full of one dollar books.

And, I’ve found my first TBR treasure, The Promised Land by Grace Ogot.  An old paperback, yellowed quite a bit, that I have no memory of buying.  Probably sat on my TBR stack for years.  I also loved Flaubert’s A Simple Heart  much more than I expected.

So keep the faith, people.  Just six more weeks to go.  The next two are toughest, but if you can get through those 14 days, you’ll just slide in to home.

We can do it.

Sunday Salon: Announcing the Final TBR Triple Dog Dare

TBR Final Dare
This is Dakota. Dakota passed away earlier this year, but since she has always been the official mascot of The TBR Dare I decided to include her in this the final dare. She’s pictured here just after eating In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Yes, it was a library book, and no, she was not sorry about it. It was a tasty book.

Are you brave enough for one final round?

I’ve been wavering about it for several weeks now but I’ve decided to go ahead and release the Kracken!  So if you’ve taken the dare every year for years, or never taken the dare before, this will be your last chance before I retire The TBR Dare for good.

The TBR Triple Dog Dare works like this….

For the first three months of 2016 read only the books that were already in your TBR stack as of midnight December 31, 2015.

You can modify The TBR Dare any way you need to: include books you’ve ordered but not received yet as well as books you have already placed on reserve at your local library; make exceptions for certain books that will be published early next year; allow  book club choices and ARCS as needed.  The TBR Dare has always been about having fun, so make whatever changes to the “rules” you need to to keep it fun.  To keep everyone honest, I only ask that you publish your exceptions in your sign-up comment or on your blog.

If you just want to take The TBR Dare for a month, that’s fine, too.  The TBR Triple Dog Dare will run from January 1, 2015 to April 1, 2005.  Technically, it’s not a shopping ban so you can still buy books–you just can’t read them until April 1.

Most people find it’s very enlightening to finally read the books they’ve had on the TBR shelf all these years.

To sign up, click on over to the official TBR Triple Dog Dare page, which looks a lot like this one, and leave a comment.  Or just sign up in a comment below.  I’ll add you to the list of who’s in as quickly as I can.

And please do help spread the word by posting on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else you go on-line.  Feel free to use the “button” above and to link to this page.

Be sure to check back here from time to time.  I’ll be posting updates throughout The TBR Triple Dog Dare to see how everyone is doing.

Remember, The TBR Triple Dog Dare is not a “reading challenge”; it’s a dare.  So if you’re someone who does not sign up for reading challenges you can still participate.

I triple dog dare you.