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.