Battle of the Buttons

Today is March 31st, the last day of the TBR Double Dare. For those of you who don’t know, the double dare involves only reading books that you already own (i.e., in your To Be Read pile) as of the stroke of midnight on December 31st for a full three months. Last year I gave in a week early because I really wanted to read My Life in France by Julia Child and couldn’t wait another week to do so. This year I have comfortably managed to make it all the way to end. I doubt there will be any slip ups between now and midnight.

I was helped with the TBR Double Dare this year, with my foolish wise decision to also take part in A Century of Books where the goal is to read one book from each year of the 20th century. It was easy to find books in my TBR pile to fill in the years. But now I face a conundrum. I find I am getting a bit obsessed with only reading stuff from the 20th century. Since there is no way I will complete all 100 books this year, I think I need to give myself two years to finish it. That way I can actually read more than just 20th century lit.

Thankfully the Muriel Spark was a 20th century writer because I want to participate in Muriel Spark Reading Week. I have read many of her novels and they are all fascinating in their own way and have a tendency toward quirky subversiveness.  I think I am going to read The Bachelors which in my TBR and will count toward A Century of Books. I might also re-read something of hers so I have a bit to reflect on when the reading week comes up.

I think I may knock out a year or two of the 1980s with Anita Brookner. I have already read all of her 23 (or is it 24 novels) and have started over in chronological order. Even though I am not promoting International Anita Brookner Day like I did last year, I think I re-read novels 3 (Look at Me) and 4 (Hotel du Lac) in time for Brookner’s 84th birthday on July 16th.

13 thoughts on “Battle of the Buttons

  1. Amy March 31, 2012 / 11:05 am

    I'm hanging in there on the TBR Dare too, although the copy of The Snow Child that arrived at the library earlier this week has tempted me mightily. But I think I can wait until tomorrow morning to crack it open.


  2. winstonsdad March 31, 2012 / 11:26 am

    I m looking forward to my first Spark novel next month ,all the best stu


  3. Amanda March 31, 2012 / 11:26 am

    I'm signing up for the TBR double dare next year. It sounds like a fabulous challenge.


  4. Jeane March 31, 2012 / 11:41 am

    yayy! I think I've made it, too (last year I failed miserably ha ha). I've been awfully tempted by some books I saw on display when I took my kids to the library, but I was strong and just mentally added them to my list!


  5. martine March 31, 2012 / 2:36 pm

    I totally failed, didn't actually buy anything new but had loads from the library, mainly audiobooks, and hardly made a tiny dent in my TBR pile. never mind, will keep plodding on.
    much love


  6. Karen K. March 31, 2012 / 5:27 pm

    My hat is off to you — I didn't even sign up for the TBR Double Dare this year because I knew that I'd fail. Working at a library (plus all my book groups) made it impossible. Almost half my reads so far this year have been from the TBR shelves and that's an accomplishment for me. I have started keeping track of the books read by year and that's really fun. There's no way I'd be able to read a century of books in an entire year either, I have too many TBR books from the 19th century.


  7. StuckInABook March 31, 2012 / 6:03 pm

    What fun to see all the badges together!

    I am doing better than expected with A Century of Books (more or less on track for all 100, but of course overlaps will become more frequent as the year goes on) and Muriel Spark will add a few more to that tally. I think I might retire defeated on the Brookner front, for the time being.


  8. Susan in TX March 31, 2012 / 6:11 pm

    Yay! I'm with you on the Double Dare, although it has been most difficult this week. I went on a major purchasing spree this month which made sticking to the shelves a little tougher. I think spreading out the 20th century over two years is a good idea. If you take the pressure off, you may end up doing it without trying. As for Muriel Spark, I'll be reading my first ever of hers this month. I agree with Simon – the buttons look lovely all together like this.
    Have a great weekend!


  9. Thomas at My Porch April 1, 2012 / 9:39 am

    Amy: Sounds like you made it.

    Stu: Which one are you reading?

    Amanda: It is quite good at getting one focused on good books that have been languishing on the shelf for too long.

    Jeane: I have some that I bought back on January 21st. I can't wait to open them up.

    Martine: The library can really make it hard.

    Karen: Starting a “books read” list back in 1994 was one of the best things I ever did. I love having the record and remembering back what my life was like when I read a certain book.

    Simon: My main problem is that I know I am not going to get to 100 books this year,so I would come up short. Plus that damn DH Lawrence is still staring at me.

    Susan: Have you chosen which Spark you are going to read?


  10. Kim April 2, 2012 / 10:39 pm

    I missed the TBR Double Dare but I'm starting now. Not kidding. The stacks of TBR is stressing me out!


  11. JoAnn April 3, 2012 / 10:55 am

    Congratulations on sticking with the TBR Double Dare! I failed miserably this year… only made it through January.

    Thanks for the push to update my header. I went out with the camera this morning.


  12. Geranium Cat April 11, 2012 / 12:42 pm

    Your comment about becoming obsessed with books from the 20th century made me grin ruefully, because that's what's happened to me! I've hardly read anything new so far this year, and have been heard to mutter irritably about reissues that the publishers don't say when a book was first published. But I'm allowing myself 2 years for the complete century despite my compulsive tendencies.


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