Sunday, October 27, 2019

2019 Challenge: UPDATE on Combo Book Challenge: 2X19 and Mt TBR - COMPLETED

Back in January book challenge season, I posted a dual challenge aimed at clearing out my TBR shelves.

2X19: One is a personal challenge I call 2X19 to read 38 books off my TBR shelves. I've done the same thing since 2013 -- tried to read a "two times the year" number of books off my shelves. It keeps getting more difficult! I plan to switch to one book for each year in 2020.

MtTBR: The second TBR challenge I do every year is the Mt. TBR Challenge Bev from My Reader's Block hosts on her blog.

Here is my update, now that we are roughly 85% of the way through the reading year.



I intentionally chose short books for 2019 (short in pages, not height, but see below). I'm drawn to long novels, so intentionally picking short books made me read books that have been sitting on my TBR shelves for a long, long time.

I read one book from each of 38 separate shelves on various TBR bookcases. I read 29 fiction books and nine nonfiction books.


I took this picture last December when I planned the challenge, which explains the Christmas theme.  I read them in the order listed below, which followed this plan: The first were my New Year's resolution books; the next two came early because I'm was excited to read them; the rest I read in order of height, from tallest to shortest, for no reason except whim. I realized I had two Françoise Sagan books, so I swapped one for a Wise Virgin.

A Year of Living Kindly: Choices That Will Change Your Life and the World Around You by Donna Cameron (my interview with Donna Cameron is here)

On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior

The Girl from Oto by Amy Maroney (my interview with Amy Maroney is here)

The Shame of Losing by Sarah Cannon (my interview with Sarah Cannon is here)

An Affair with a House by Bunny Williams

Mark Hampton on Decorating by Mark Hampton

The Tenth Man by Graham Greene

Friend of My Springtime by Willa Cather

Licking Flames: Tales of a Half-Assed Hussy by Diana Kirk (my interview with Diana Kirk is here)

Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Shum

Zuckerman Unbound by Philip Roth

The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion

The Robineau Look by Kathleen Moore Knight

Agents and Patients by Anthony Powell

Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson

A Woman of Means by Peter Taylor

The Poorhouse Fair by John Updike

Girl, 20 by Kingsley Amis

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Slam by Nick Hornby

Lady Into Fox by David Garnett (James Tait Black Memorial Prize Winner)

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot

Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat by William Bradon

The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery by Kyril Bonfiglioli

The Gift of a Letter by Alexandra Stoddard

Do the Windows Open? by Julie Hecht

Dirty Friends by Morris Lurie

Something Special by Iris Murdoch

The Imitation Game by Ian McEwan

The Small Room by May Sarton

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel

Wise Virgin by A. N. Wilson

The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

The Heart-Keeper by Françoise Sagan

The Abbess of Crewe by Muriel Spark

Levels of Life by Julian Barnes

First Love by Joyce Carol Oates



Every year, I join Bev at My Reader's Block in her Mt, TBR Challenge. This year, I am trying to reach the Mr. Kilimanjaro level of 60 books. I tried this in 2018 and fell sort by two books because I didn't get through all of my 2X18 books. This year, I have to read 22 in addition to the 38 from my 2X19 Challenge. It looks like I will make it, since I am at 56 books and still have a little over two months to go.


In addition to the 38 books listed above, I've read:

Educated by Tara Westover

The Jewel in the Crown (The Raj Quartet, Book I) by Paul Scott

The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan

The Day of the Scorpion (The Raj Quartet, Book II) by Paul Scott

The Towers of Silence (The Raj Quartet, Book III) by Paul Scott

A Division of Spoils (The Raj Quartet, Book IV) by Paul Scott

Staying On by Paul Scott (Booker Prize winner)

In the Woods by Tana French

Collected Poems by Kingsley Amis

A Man of Property (The Forsyte Saga, Book I) by John Galsworthy

In Chancery (The Forsyte Saga, Book II) by John Galsworthy

To Let (The Forsyte Saga, Book III) by John Galsworthy

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

The Best of Friends by Joanna Trollope

A Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendell

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold John le Carre

Set in Darkness by Ian Rankin

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel

A Cat Abroad by Peter Gethers

The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs

Shattered by Dick Francis

The Hunter by John Lescroart


Updated as of December 21, 2019.

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