January 27, 2014

TBR Dare and reading update

Remember when I said there are better book bloggers?  One of my favorites is Ready When You Are, C.B. who is hosting the Triple Dog TBR Dare.

[edit: James has a new blog at jamesreadsbooks.com because of Blogger feed issues but is still hosting the TBR Dare at the link above.]

I'm not one for reading challenges because as soon as I lock myself into a fixed list I'm not happy.  There's a reason he calls it a "dare" rather that a "challenge."  It's shorter than most of the year-long challenges and you've already created the list yourself.  It's your To Be Read list or pile or shelf.  And while you're locked into a list, it's one of your own making and you can choose how you go about it.  When I started participating in this challenge a few years back, I had over a hundred titles on my TBR list.  I'm always adding and deleting but this has kept me focused on it and now it's under 50 titles in as long as I can remember.

The thing about the challenge is that you can still buy books and I make exceptions for book club books, but you just don't read anything other than what you've already bought or had on your list for a while.  It's a great way to clear the decks for the rest of the year and deal with some ever-present reader guilt.  If you do it right, when April comes around you feel happy and proud and can't wait to tear into some new books!

Since January 1 I've only finished two book.  The first was A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson ( a re-read for me and part of my book club) and Terry Pratchett's The Light Fantastic.  That one is part of the Discworld series.  I read his and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens a couple years back and loved it.  Our book club did Guards! Guards! some time back and I loved it.  Then last year there was a sale on the first few Discworld books for the Kindle and I snapped them up,  This one is really a continuation of the story from the first book, The Color of Magic.

Now you may think it is weird we read book 8 in a 40 book series for the book club.  But you have to imagine the Discworld series as if J.K. Rowling wrote the first seven Harry Potter novels, then wrote a handful of books about the dragon trainers in northern Europe, then a few books about the ghosts, then maybe some Ministry of Magic books and maybe a series about Neville Longbottom and called them all "the Hogwarts Novels."  They'd all take place in the same universe, but they're really different characters and stories.  So book 8  is the first book in a continuing series about the City Watch guards and it's hilarious.  A great place to start and know if you enjoy this kind of Douglas Adams/Monty Python-type of funny and bitingly satirical fantasy.  The first two books are earlier works, so not quite as tightly written and while I quite enjoyed them, I think book 8 is probably a better place to try the Discworld on and see if you like it there. I did, so I'm going to go read them all.  Eventually.

1 comment:

James Chester said...

Thanks for the plug. I'm glad to see the TBR Dare mentioned. Blogger has dropped me from their feeds or something because people have not been getting my posts for a while.

So I've started a new blog at jamesreadsbooks.com. It's been fun starting over. I'm trying to move all of the TBR Dare stuff to the new site.