Thursday, January 3, 2013

Attack the Stack 2013 Reading Challenge

Hi. My name is Jody and I have a book collecting problem.

I buy books at bookstores. I check books out of libraries. I buy used books from library book sales. Somehow I even attract free books--I win them in contests that I don't remember entering, and I get advanced copies of books that haven't been released yet from the most awesome bookstore in Columbus, Cover to Cover. Also, people like to give me books as presents. Thanks!

But I am having trouble reading all of these books. I pile them in teetering stacks on my bedside table, on the window sill in the bathroom, on the desk in my office. These teetering stacks taunt me daily, and yet, I cannot stop myself from buying/from borrowing/from accepting more.

Something must be done. And since I am all about goals and resolutions and rules, I have come up with an idea that just might solve my problem: what I shall call my Attack the Stack 2013 Reading Challenge. (If YOU, dear reader, suffer from the same problem, feel free to join me in this quest...)


1. Gather all of the to-be-read books from around the house and pile them into one fun giant stack.
2. Read the books (Resolution: read 4 books per month from the stack. Which allows a little wiggle room for new releases, cool stuff that comes along, etc.)
3. PUT A "MEH" BOOK DOWN. (A big issue for me as a former English teacher/English major/guilt-prone Catholic school girl.) I am thinking I will give a book a chance up to a third of the way through before quitting on it.

See pic below. Note that I had to make two piles and even that was a little precarious.

I actually enjoyed doing this part of my challenge--finally getting a good look at all of the books I've been collecting and meaning to read for the past few years. It's an interesting mix, maybe kinda weird too. YA stuff, of course, but also some adult fiction and classics.

The list TBR in no particular order

1. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
2. Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
3. Trouble by Kate Christensen
4. The Fiction Class by Susan Breen
5. Soul of a Dog by Jon Katz
6. Any Place I Hang My Hat by Susan Isaacs
7. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
9. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
10. The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison
11. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
12. The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
13. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
14. Promised by Caragh O'Brien
15. Crewel by Jennifer Albin
16. The Corrections by Jonathan Frazen
17. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
18. Return to Me by Justina Chen
19 Altered by Jennifer Rush
20. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
21. Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
22. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
23. Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
24. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
25. Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti
26. Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan
27. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
28. Many Stones by Carolyn Coman
29. High Tide in Tucson by Barbara Kingsolver
30. Loserville by Peter Johnson
31. What I Was by Meg Rosoff
32. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
33. A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs
34. Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
35. Waiting for Aphrodite by Sue Hubbell
36. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
37. Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
38. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
39. Big Mouth & Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
40. The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman
41. Atonement by Ian McEwan
42. Liesl & Po by Lauren Olver
43. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
44. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
45. Divergent by Veronica Roth
46. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audry Niffenegger
47. Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin
48. Vegan, Virgin, Valentine by Carolyn Mackler
49. Diviners by Libba Bray

Tune in throughout the year as I blog about my progress...


  1. I am SHOCKED that you haven't read some of my most enthusiastic recommendations like THE DIVINERS, OKAY FOR NOW, CROWN OF EMBERS (love, love, love!), DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND'd better get cracking! My stack of books I have yet to read are left unread for a reason--these books are AWESOME. You will enjoy cracking this stack. Or smacking it or whatever it is you are doing. (Shellacking it? Would make a good end table...) Hacking the stack? You could change the endings on kindle....

  2. I know. I know. I am an IDIOT! Diviners is sitting right in front of me--a library book that must be returned. So I will start with that. And the others you mentioned can be next. But I also have those ARCS... See, this is what paralyzes me.
    PS. I have a box of books to send you

  3. Yipes! That's an impressive and daunting pile of books. I'm scared to try that but maybe my pile wouldn't be quite as teetering. Maybe.

    1. Just gathering and stacking was sort of a freeing process for me. Plus, I learned how to take a picture with my iPad. So that was fun too.

  4. How did Somerset Maugham get in there?

    1. One of those classics I never read and found at a used bookstore kind of things...

  5. What a great list! "The Atonement" is one of my favorite books, and "Half Broke Horses" is currently on my own to read list.