2013 book challenge

After Christmas, as I was adding some new books to my shelf, I became aware of just how plentiful my book collection has become. It’s not in the thousands or anything, but there’s a hundred or so. What’s more, is that at least 25% of them haven’t even been read at all. I am really great at purging my belongings from time to time, especially at the beginning of a new year, but I cannot seem to let go of a book if I haven’t read it. I might get brave for a second and make a stack of giveaways after reading the back-of-the-book, but they always end up back on the shelf waiting for their day in the sun.

I was talking about this issue with my sis, and she seems to have the very same problem. In fact, between the two of us, we have 100+ that have yet to be read. They’re taking up a lot of space and are difficult to clean around. Every now and then I get really frustrated with the stack and declare I’m e-booking it from here on out. But then I catch sight of one of my most treasured books and love the way it looks in my house and how it can bring back memories of a long, hot summer just from smelling it.

I am a real book kind of girl, I’ve decided. For the most part.  But I’m also caught in this weird limbo where I don’t want to have a bagillion books to organize and dust, but can’t stand having a book I truly fell in love with trapped inside a Kindle, with no presence on my shelf. I’m not sure how I will buy books in the future, but what I do know, right now, is I have a ton of real books to read and decide if they too belong in my library-of-life or in the donation bin.

To deal with this issue, Becca and I have decided to take on a 2013 Book Challenge. We have sifted through our books and plucked out every single one that hasn’t been read from our separate collections. For as long as it takes in 2013, we will tackle our individual stacks one by one. If a book is particularly bland, we can choose to stop reading at 25% completion and give it the ‘ole heave-ho. Books that are just to die for will likely remain in the collection, and the rest will be donated. We hope to get through as many books as possible, but predict we may not get through all of them within the year!

We’ll keep this post updated with our progress as we move down the list, and we’ll likely be sharing some book reviews of the new favorites we discover!


100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed by Melissa P.
Another Day in the Frontal Lobe by Katrina Firlik
Any Place I Hang My Hat by Susan Isaacs
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Bag of Bones by Steven King
Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande
The Big Love by Sarah Dunn
Birth Marks by Sarah Dunant
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Cannibals by Dan Collins
Casa Rossa by Francesca Marciano
Cupid & Diana by Christina Bartolomeo
The Dewey Decimal System of Love by Josephine Carr
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
Dune by Frank Herbert
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
Eve Spoke by Philip Lieberman
Evening by Susan Minot
Fashionably Late by Beth Kendrick
For Matrimonial Purposes by Kavita Daswani
Frequencies by Joshua Ortega
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close Keeping this book–really related to the feelings about young-adulthood that plagued all of the characters!
Girl Most Likely To by Poonam Sharma
Girls Night In by Various Chicklit Authors
Girls Night Out by Various Chicklit Authors
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Handyman by Linda Nichols
The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötsch
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
The Intelligent Traveler by Jenny Herbert
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Lamb by Christopher Moore
Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC by Joseph B. McCormick & Susan Fisher-Hoch
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Lucky Everday by Bapsy Jain
The Man I Should Have Married by Pamela Redmond Satran
Miss Buncle’s Book by D.E. Stevenson
My Lobotomy by Howard Dully
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
The Neanderthal’s Necklace by Juan Luis Arsuaga
One Day by David Nicholls
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Paper Hearts by Debrah Williamson
Pledged: the Secret Life of Sororities by Alexandra Robbins
P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
The Red Queen’s Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov
Run Catch Kiss by Amy Sohn
Seventeen Interviews Film Stars and Superstars by Edwin Miller
Sex Wars by Marge Piercy
Sometimes I Dream in Italian by Rita Ciresi
Song of the Magdalene by Donna Jo Napoli
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon


According to Jane by Marilyn Brant
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate HorsleyThe Last Van Gogh by Alyson Richman
The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dastoevsky
Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Dragonfly by Frederic S. Durbin
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Desmond Seward
Emma Brown by Clare Boylan
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Forms of Devotion by Diane Schoemperlen
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
The Haunting of Charles Dickens by Lewis Buzbee
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans
How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tonya Egan Gibson
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Husband by Dean Koontz
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz
Interred with their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell
Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood
The Last Van Gogh by Alyson Richman
A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth
Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
Malinche by Laura Esquivel
Mansfield Revisted by Joan Aiken
The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
Mystery Man by Bateman
The Odyssey by Homer
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
Outfoxing Fear: Folktales from Around the World by Various Authors
The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
The Postcard Killers by James Patterson
Priestess of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
A Proper Education for Girls by Elaine DiRollo
The Queen’s Bastard by Robin Maxwell
The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose
The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte by Laura Joh Rowland
The Serpent and the Scorpion by Clare Langley-Hawthorne
The Silver Sword by David Zindell
The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes
Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
Spider’s Web by Agatha Christie
Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley
Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters
Sylvester by Georgette Heyer
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Tess of D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. Lafevers
Weeping Undwerwater Looks a Lot Like Laughter by Michael J. White
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey & Danny Danziger


One thought on “2013 book challenge

  1. Pingback: in which the chronic non-finisher actually accomplishes a goal + giveaway winner | Goodbye Bernadette

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