I know. I said no challenges for a while. I made it a condition of my return to book blogging. I did so because challenges tend to pull me away from my own reading. I get caught up in stats. I pick up books I wouldn’t otherwise bother with. My own books languish as I stress myself out trying to read all the books I said I’d read.

2014 TBR Pile Challenge Button

But then I came across the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, which is being hosted for a fifth year by Adam of Roof Beam Reader. I’m not sure how I missed it in years past. The challenge? Read 12 books that have been on your shelves or TBR list for more than a year in 2014. Ooh.

I thought I’d just see which books I’d read if I were to do the challenge. You know, just out of curiosity. And I got so excited at the prospect of finally reading these books that I decided to join. You can say “I told you so” should I end up complaining later!

The Challenge (and My Picks)

The challenge requires you to choose the 12 books you’ll read in advance, plus two alternates in case a couple of your original choices turn out to belong in the DNF (“did not finish”) pile. What’s on my list, you ask? Here it is, alphabetical by author:

2014 TBR Challenge Pile (http://erinreads.com)

  1. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  2. Ramayana (William Buck version)
  3. The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies
  4. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  5. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
  6. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  7. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  8. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
  9. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  10. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
  11. Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
  12. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (read, never reviewed)

And my alternates:

  1. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  2. The Once and Future King by T.H. White

I’ll review these books just like I always do, and once the reviews are up I’ll link them back here. I’m so excited to finally get to these books!

I’d love to know…

What would be (or is, if you’re doing the challenge too) on your list? Where should I start??

Join the Conversation


  1. Oh, you have got some good things in your list 🙂 The Martian Chronicles is among my TOP5 best books of all time, probably. I enjoyed A Prayer for Owen Meany greatly when I read it back in summer! It’s also nice you have a David Mitchell book, I’ve wanted to read more from him ever since I inhaled Cloud Atlas a year ago.

    We have one shared book in our lists – Wolf Hall. It scares me!

  2. I don’t know any of these titles.  ENJOY!!

    I can’t do challenges…too stressful.  🙂

    Have a great evening.  Nice blog…going to follow by e-mail.

    Silver’s Reviews
    <a href=http://silversolara.blogspot.com>My Blog</a>

  3. Good luck on this challenge! I didn’t sign up because I’m such a moody reader. As long as I make a dent in my tbr pile next year, I’m happy. Ella Minnow Pea is a book that many bloggers have enjoyed.

  4. Rivorniel I have another David Mitchell on my list for the same reason you do! I’m hoping Black Swan Green is even half as good as Cloud Atlas. It’ll be hard to top. Wolf Hall terrifies me as well. Maybe we need to organize a readalong to get us through 😉

  5. Vasilly I can definitely understand that. I’m not usually big on picking books ahead of time; most of the (few) challenges I’ve done in the past have been themed, so that I could just pick an appropriate book each month. I’m hoping this one works for me, though, because all 14 of these are books I have truly been wanting to read for a long time. Maybe the challenge will be the kick in the butt I need!

  6. erinkurupLindsay Edmunds The next installment is out as of 12 days ago. It is a dystopian fairy tale (hey, I think I invented a new genre) called Warning: Something Else Is Happening. Read all about it at http://www.lindsayedmunds,com.
    And Merry Christmas!

  7. erinkurupLindsay EdmundsI hope you like it! Cel is having brand new adventures in Networld.

  8. Welcome aboard matey.  We have one book in common, Remains of the Day.  I’ll look forward to hearing what you think.

  9. This challenge seems a win/win to me too.
    They’re all books I want to read since I bought them in high hopes & anticipation, I just haven’t got around to reading them.

    I can thoroughly recommend Wolf Hall & Remains of the Day.
    Good luck

  10. brona68 Exactly! That’s what I figured, too. Maybe a little prompting will actually get me to read them. Wolf Hall scares me, but everyone says it’s so good. And I like Never Let Me Go — I’ve been meaning to read another by Ishiguro for awhile now. Maybe I’ll finally do it!

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