Bottom of TBR Pile Challenge

My to be read (tbr) pile is huge….much bigger than I would like.  I worry that I’ll acquire books, and they’ll lounge around forever, never to be read. Thus!  I now challenge myself every year to read as many books from the bottom of the pile by the end of the current year as possible.

Here is a table of how I’ve defined the Bottom of the TBR Pile each year and how many books I’ve read or pulled from the pile.

Year Defined As Start of Year Books Read Books Pulled End of Year
2012 Acquired before 2011 47 14 0 33
2013 Acquired before 2012 83 17 24 42
2014 Acquired before 2012 42 13 0 29
2015 Wished for before 2012 31 12 unknown unknown
2016 Wished for before 2012 14 7 unknown 8
2017 Wished for before 2013 23


As you can see, this year I’m starting with 23 books on the pile. I’ve chosen not to include books I acquire in 2017 after making this list that were wished for prior to 2013 in the official count. I’m setting myself the goal of reading 12 of these total or 1 book per month.

Below are my Bottom of the TBR Pile books!  Read and reviewed ones are listed underneath the year read with links to the review.  Also, out of my own personal curiosity, in parentheses is listed how, exactly, these books wound up on my tbr pile.

Bottom of TBR Pile (Books Wished for Prior to 2012 that Have Since Been Acquired)

  1. 11/22/63 by Stephen King (Amazon)
  2. Bleed, Blister, and Purge: A History of Medicine on the American Frontier by Volney Steele (Bookstore)
  3. Callisto: Adrift by Erica Conroy (Smashwords)
  4. Carpe Juglum by Terry Pratchett (found)
  5. Clear Heart by Joe Cottonwood (Smashwords)
  6. Crazy Enough by Storm Large (ARC)
  7. Disclosure by Michael Crichton (gift)
  8. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews (Audible)
  9. House of Zeor by Jacqueline Lichtenberg (PaperBackSwap)
  10. Hybrids by Whitley Strieber (PaperBackSwap)
  11. Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm (PaperBackSwap)
  12. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (Kindle)
  13. Pennterra by Judith Moffett (PaperBackSwap)
  14. Portrait of the Past by Kate Halleron (Smashwords)
  15. Rainbow Man by M. J. Engh (PaperBackSwap)
  16. Silence of a Soldier by William J. Duggan (Smashwords)
  17. Steel Drivin’ Man:John Henry: the Untold Story of an American Legend by Scott Reynolds Nelson (Kindle)
  18. Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft (Bookstore)
  19. Unshapely Things by Mark Del Franco (PaperBackSwap)
  20. The Walking Dead: Volume 16 by Robert Kirkman (Bookstore)
  21. The Women’s Room by Marilyn French (PaperBackSwap)

2017 Bottom of TBR Pile Books Read and Reviewed

  1. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan (unknown)
  2. We All Wore Stars: Memories of Anne Frank from Her Classmates by Theo Coster (gift)

2016 Bottom of TBR Pile Books Read and Reviewed

  1. American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defied the Puritans by Eve LaPlante (Brookline Booksmith) review 5/23/2016, 3 stars
  2. Bellwether by Connie Willis (gift) review 5/9/2016, 4 stars
  3. Finny by Justin Kramon (PaperBackSwap) 2 stars
  4. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (PaperBackSwap) review 8/15/2016, 2 stars
  5. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (PaperBackSwap) review 8/15/2016, 3 stars
  6. Path Of the Assassin, Vol. 1: Serving In The Dark by Kazuo Koike (Harvard Books) dnf 1/13/2016, 1 star
  7. Watership Down by Richard Adams (PaperBackSwap) review 5/2/2016, 3 stars

2015 Bottom of TBR Pile Books Read and Reviewed

  1. Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman (Kindle) review 8/13/2015, 4 stars
  2. Cowboys & Aliens by Joan D. Vinge (gift) review 8/18/2015, 3 stars
  3. Fated by S. G. Browne (PaperBackSwap) review 7/17/2015, 2 stars
  4. The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You by Dorothy Bryant (PaperBackSwap) review 10/30/2015, 5 stars
  5. Moonlight in Odessa by Janet Skeslien Charles (PaperBackSwap) review 2/15/2016, 4 stars
  6. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious (PaperBackSwap) review 7/22/2015, 4 stars
  7. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover (PaperBackSwap) review 8/20/2015, 3 stars
  8. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella (*coughs* recycling bin on my street again) review 8/25/2015, 4 stars
  9. Smokin’ Six-Shooter by B. J. Daniels (gift) review 10/27/2015, 3 stars
  10. A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore (PaperBackSwap) review 2/22/2016, 3 stars
  11. The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (PaperBackSwap) review 5/13/2015, 4 stars
  12. Zelde M’Tana by F. M. Busby (SwapTree) review 4/23/2015, 2 stars

2014 Bottom of TBR Pile Books Read and Reviewed

  1. A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts: A Collection of Deliciously Frightening Tales by Ying Chang Compestine (Better World Books) review 9/16/2014, 5 stars
  2. Brains: A Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker (Harvard Books) review 10/28/2014, 2 stars
  3. Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer (Better World Books) review 6/01/2014, 4 stars
  4. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan (PaperBackSwap) review 5/08/2014, 3 stars
  5. Ecstasy in Darkness by Gena Showalter (CVS) review 1/16/2014, 2 stars
  6. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood (Better World Books) review 5/30/2014, 3 stars
  7. From a Buick 8 by Stephen King (Harvard Books) review 10/09/2014, 3 stars
  8. Fudoki by Kij Johnson (Better World Books) review 9/10/2014, 5 stars
  9. The Hornet’s Sting by Mark Ryan (Kindle) review 2/20/2014, 3 stars
  10. The Keep by F. Paul Wilson (PaperBackSwap) review 12/20/2014, 4 stars
  11. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (PaperBackSwap) review 11/25/2014, 4 stars
  12. The Postmortal by Drew Magary (Kindle) review 8/23/2014, 3 stars
  13. Waiting For The Galactic Bus by Parke Godwin (PaperBackSwap) review, 3/12/2014, 4 stars

2013 Bottom of TBR Pile Books Read and Reviewed

  1. Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt (PaperBackSwap) review 2/27/2013, 4 stars
  2. Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States by Andrew Coe (Kindle) review 8/17/2013, 3 stars
  3. Dagon by Fred Chappell (Better World Books) review 3/14/2013, 3 stars
  4. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris (PaperBackSwap) review 5/18/2013, 3 stars
  5. Deeper than the Dead by Tami Hoag (PaperBackSwap) review 6/05/2013, 3 stars
  6. Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (Brookline Booksmith) review 7/18/2013, 3.5 stars
  7. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (Harvard Books) review 9/21/2013, 4 stars
  8. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (Harvard Books) review 5/21/2013, 4 stars
  9. The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames (PaperBackSwap) review 2/16/2013, 3 stars
  10. Man Plus by Frederick Pohl (PaperBackSwap) review 6/06/2013, 5 stars
  11. Mulliner Nights by P. G. Wodehouse (Harvard Books) review 5/01/2013, 4 stars
  12. A Room with a View by Edward Morgan Forster (won) review 08/03/2013, 2 stars
  13. The Stoning of Soraya M.: A Story of Injustice in Iran by Freidoune Sahebjam (Kindle) review 10/22/2013, 4 stars
  14. Superior Women by Alice Adams (Better World Books) review 5/25/2013, 3.5 stars
  15. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (Kindle) review 9/07/2013, 5 stars
  16. The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess (PaperBackSwap) review 3/15/2013, 3 stars
  17. Where The Blind Horse Sings: Love and Healing at an Animal Sanctuary by Kathy Stevens (Kindle) review 4/18/2013, 4 stars

2012 Bottom of TBR Pile Books Read and Reviewed

  1. Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham (PaperBackSwap)review 5/06/2012, 5 stars
  2. Across The Table / Dancing On Sunday Afternoons (two books in one volume) by Linda Cardillo (…recycling bin on my street *runs, hides*) review 8/14/2012, 4 stars
  3. The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman (live signing at Brookline Booksmith)review 7/10/2012, 3 stars
  4. A Crack in the Line by Michael Lawrence (PaperBackSwap) review 1/07/2012, 3 stars
  5. Dark Life by Kat Falls (PaperBackSwap) review 1/12/2012, 5 stars
  6. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (PaperBackSwap) review 5/23/2012, 4 stars
  7. The Mount by Carol Emshwiller (PaperBackSwap) review 6/25/2012, 3 stars
  8. Nova by Samuel R. Delany (PaperBackSwap) review 1/18/2012, 2 stars
  9. The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins (won…somewhere on the internet) review 7/23/2012, 4 stars
  10. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (PaperBackSwap) review 9/05/2012, 2 stars
  11. Soulless by Gail Carriger (PaperBackSwap) review 10/23/2012, 3.5 stars
  12. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (Better World Books) review 1/25/2012, 4 stars
  13. Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead (PaperBackSwap) review 2/04/2012, 4 stars
  14. Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien (PaperBackSwap) review 1/10/2012, 4 stars
  1. July 19, 2012 at 10:50 am

    This is a really good idea … especially since my blog has gotten more notice within the past year but TBR pile is probably somewhere between 20 to 30 books … =0P

    I know it’s a good think … I’m not complaining … it just when I think of it in numbers like that it’s a bit overwhelming. *hahaa*

    • July 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Lol, it’s one of those problems that’s *good* to have….but can still be a bit overwhelming!

      I can’t claim 100% credit for the idea. I tweaked it from a challenge another book blogger (Amy of amckiereads) was doing with her roommate.

      But I’m really enjoying it! It keeps books I once was interested in from being forgotten entirely and also helps point out to me that I basically have my own personal library at home to pick from. 🙂

      I definitely think I’ll be doing it again next year, although I’ll be bumping up the year to “books acquired before 2012.”

  2. August 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I like this idea – I quickly lose interest in the books at the bottom of my tbr pile. In fact I literally got rid of 10 bags of books recently (all unread!) which frankly just felt ridiculous. But, I just knew that I wouldn’t get to them. Much badness!
    Lynn 😀

    • August 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Yes! I got concerned that I’d just never get to books I acquired um *coughs* years ago, so it felt like a good idea. It’s also been quite interesting to see how and why I acquired things back then and how my interests had changed. For instance, back then, I was reading pnr and YA a lot more because I was in grad school and working full-time. Now that I’m out of grad school, I have more brain energy for more challenging reads like nonfiction!

      There are lots of tbr challenges out there, but I like having it be totally personal to me. I feel less stress that way!

  3. August 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    What we should actually do to liven it up is make it a challenge. So, your list of books above – your friends/commenters choose your next book (then the pressure would be on!) Read that book or else – don’t make us all come over there.
    Lynn 😀

    • August 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Lol, oh man! Maybe I can try that as part of the end of the year events. Especially since I obviously won’t be making it through all of them!

  4. August 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Sorry, I’ll go away now (just one more comment!) Just noticed your next book is Poison Study – I’ve read this and I actually enjoyed it but I do like YA and I think Maria Snyder isn’t as valued as she should be!
    I hope you enjoy that one and I’ll look out for your review. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s obviously got it’s faults but on the whole I found it enjoyable).
    Lynn 😀

    • August 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Dude, no worries! I love friendly comments. I mean, we’re both book people, right? 🙂

      Yeah I’m actually pretty excited that picked this one next (that’s how I’ve been picking what comes next). I’ve heard very good things about it in the librarian circles!

  5. September 1, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Amanda, you’re amazing! My physical TBR pile is in the hundreds. 😦 I keep saying that I’m going to read more from that pile but I constantly go to the library. Keep it up!

    • September 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      Aww, thank you, Vasilly! I was just feeling kind of lame because I hadn’t made it through as many of these this year as I wanted to, lol. I worked them into my reading rotation so they won’t be *completely* ignored….

  1. February 11, 2012 at 1:01 am
  2. April 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm
  3. October 30, 2014 at 4:28 pm
  4. April 23, 2015 at 12:22 pm
  5. May 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm
  6. July 17, 2015 at 12:40 pm
  7. July 22, 2015 at 4:42 pm
  8. August 13, 2015 at 4:55 pm
  9. August 18, 2015 at 12:12 pm
  10. August 20, 2015 at 1:00 am
  11. August 25, 2015 at 1:02 am
  12. October 27, 2015 at 1:58 pm
  13. October 30, 2015 at 2:17 pm
  14. February 15, 2016 at 1:01 am
  15. February 22, 2016 at 12:02 pm
  16. May 2, 2016 at 12:13 am
  17. May 9, 2016 at 11:35 am
  18. May 23, 2016 at 12:04 am

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