TBR Challenge 2023

The TBR challenge is 10 years old, thank you RoofBeamReader!

It’s a simple challenge to read 12 books that you’ve owned for a year at least, in any order over the coming year. Last year I read A Time of Gifts the first part of Paddy Leigh Fermor’s memoir of travelling across Europe in the 1930’s and loved it so much I bought the second part straight away so that’s the newest copy on my list. Birdsong though, has been sitting on my shelf for years and has even appeared on a TBR challenge list before and still not been read, that’s why it’s here at number 1!

Here’s my list To Be Read in any order (apart from Birdsong):

  1. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
  2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  3. Between the Woods and the Water by Paddy Leigh Fermor
  4. Quicksand & Passing by Nella Larsen
  5. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  6. Giving up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel
  7. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  8. Maman, What Are We Called Now by Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar
  9. Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  10. Norah Webster by Colm Toibin
  11. Bats in the Belfry by E.C.R. Lorac
  12. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

And two more just in case:

13. The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glover
14. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Like Birdsong, The Goldfinch has been looking at me for years without inspiring me to pick it up (I don’t know why), I’m tempted to say now that if I don’t read it this year it’s going straight to charity, hmm I’m not sure, but everything else looks great!

20 thoughts on “TBR Challenge 2023

  1. Wow, loads of classic titles here — none of which I’ve read however, and apart from Mantel, Steinbeck and Tartt, authors I’ve yet to become acquainted with. Good luck with these; I’ve scheduled my list for the 14th January, and have planned to link many of them with other regular events like #RIP and #NovNov, in the hopes these’ll prove as incentives!

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  2. It’s a good idea to combine the challenges but I think here I’m only doing that with the Wodehouse and my new classics challenge list – I’m looking forward to your list, is that Saturday?

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  3. Good luck with the challenge! I didn’t particularly love The Goldfinch, but White Teeth and Breakfast at Tiffany’s sound good and Passing is actually on my TBR. Can’t join this challenge, I don’t own 12 books, I haven’t read 😉 (did that sound unbelievably smug??)

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    1. Haha, it doesn’t sound smug at all – maybe you could buy some books this year and hang on to them for next year’s challenge! I’ve just finished Breakfast at Tiffany’s and it was very good especially with the film in mind!

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  4. Some great stuff here! Of the ones I’ve read, Passing, Nora Webster and Bats in the Belfry would all be highlights, and of course Jeeves is always wonderful! I had a slightly more mixed reaction to Birdsong, but definitely well worth reading! Have fun. 😀

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  5. Lorac and Toibin have become firm favourites of mine (even though I’ve only read The South) so I’m looking forward to those two. I’m glad I’m reading Birdsong but I’m not quite sure what to make of it yet at about a third of the way through.


    1. Sorry to be so late to your reply – the war story was definitely it’s strength, I found the love story quite creepy. Glad to have read it though!


  6. The Goldfinch “is going straight to charity”. I like the bravery of your statement. I think it is the weakest book of Donna Tartt, seeing that she penned only three, but I would still give it a shot. It is overly long, but there are some nice bits in it which may still be worth your time.

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  7. I really liked The Goldfinch, but the sad thing (to me) about Donna Tartt’s writing is that she seems to have no hope. I have read The Secret History more times than I can count since it’s publication, but the last time this fall, left me flat. And The Goldfinch I’ve read only once, but it seemed so despairing when I finished it, and I always like to believe that there is more for us.

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  8. I could even reread it, as she’s one of my favorite authors. I agree with Diana that it isn’t her best, but that still makes it better than half the books I am pitched as best sellers!😉

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