Monday, January 5, 2015

Annual TBR and Nonfiction Reading Challenges

So last year I found out that I totally lose track of challenges. Sometime around late August / early September - poof - I forgot about all of them. I was still reading lots of books, including books from my TBR pile, just not the ones that I planned to read and I didn't update any challenges for ages.  Oops.

However,  I am going to try a few again - 1st) Roof Beam Reader’s 6th Annual TBR Pile Challenge. 

The 2015 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader

The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).

1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2014 or later (any book published in the year 2013 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

Monthly Check-Ins: On the 15th of each month, RBR is going to post a “TBR Pile Check-In.” This will allow participants to link-up their reviews from the past month and get some recognition for their progress. There will also be small mini-challenges and giveaways to go along with these posts (Such As: Read 6 books by the June Check-in and be entered to win a book of your choice!).

My 2015 TBR Pile Challenge List: Once again I am going to keep my TBR list to non-fiction books, since that is where I have the worst book accumulation issue. (I am going to admit to cheating a little here - in a couple of places I list an either/or because I have two books covering the same topic hiding in my TBR pile - there is no sense necessarily in reading both, unless they both turn out to be terrific, but I want to at least read one of them. Please excuse this quibble.)
1. Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart (2002)
2. dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery (2007) OR Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Logan (1995) - I want to complete one of these.
3. Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum by William Ruddiman (2005)
4. Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy 2nd ed by Pietra Rivoli (2009)
5. Hubbert's Peak by Kenneth Deffeyes (2001) OR his When Oil Peaked (2010) - I want to see how this holds up
6. How to Build a Habitable Planet by Charles Langmuir and Wally Broecker (2012) - this one is 718 pages long! I have read bits and pieces but really need to read the whole thing.
7. Toxic Truth: A Scientist, A Doctor, and the Battle Over Lead by Lydia Denworth (2008)
8. Tom's River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin (2013) another one that is big (538 pages) and that I have read bits of but not the whole thing in order.
9. Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River by Jonathan Waterman (2010)
10. Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth by J.E. Lovelock (1979) - this one is short, but I have the feeling I am going to spend a lot of time trying to strangle it.
11. Living Downstream by Sandra Steingraber (1997) - another one that I have picked up and put down multiple times. Too many people in my life (heck in everyones' lives) that have/had cancer.
12. Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese (2003)

I see that authors named William are overrepresented on this list. Odd. I also see that we need more women nonfiction writers in physical science!

Alternates (TBA)
1. At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (2010) - Because I need something fun on this list       
2. Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc by Hugh Aldersey-Williams (2012) 

2nd) Since I am focused on non-fiction for the TBR pile challenge, I am going to overlap with The Introverted Reader's Nonfiction Reading Challenge

I actually completed this challenge last year in terms of books read (not even including the 107 elementary/middle school nonfiction books I read for the Cybils), but as I mentioned, I totally spaced on writing reviews and linking them for the challenge. Since I am such a goof - I am going for the Seeker level of completing 11-15 books.  

All Nonfiction books completed :
1. When Oil Peaked by Kenneth Deffeyes 
2. The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey

Finally I just realized that I should include the one challenge that I actually did complete last year! So 3)

 ~ 2015 Mount TBR Reading Challenge ~ 

Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2015. No ARCs (none), no library books. +++Amended Rule: Rereads may count only in the following circumstances: If you did not own the book when you read it long ago and far away [based on your age, you can decide what that might mean--definitely not within the last five arbitrary pick for a limit] and you bought the book pre-January 1, 2015 intending to reread it now that it's your very own. Audiobooks and E-books may count if they are yours and they are one of your primary sources of backlogged books.

I am going for Mount Blanc level: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s. I managed this last time (probably more than this) but goofed with the whole forgetting to link reviews etc. I hope to do better this year.

Link to the Mount TBR Headquarters: Reviews & More

All TBR books completed:
1. When Oil Peaked by Kenneth Deffeyes 
2. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
3. The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey 
4. The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde

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