2012 TBR Pile Challenge & Other Notes

I can’t believe we’re halfway through November already! Of course that could be in part thanks to the unseasonably warm weather of late, although that should be changing—overnight. I also can’t believe that I’ve barely read a word since my last post. I don’t know what’s gotten into me… But Tea with Transcendentalists started today, and I am determined to read Walden and “Civil Disobedience” by December 15th. I’ve decided not to worry about the library books I have out now, so I can focus on these instead.

It’s the time of year I’m beginning to see challenge lists (terribly fun to read!) all over the place. Personally, I wasn’t going to sign up for any challenges, especially year-long challenges, really I wasn’t. I simply have done horribly in recent months at anything for which I’ve signed up in advance, so I didn’t (don’t) think it a good idea. But then Adam at Roof Beam Reader posted his TBR Pile Challenge and I kept seeing all of these TBR posts, and I got to thinking about it—I’ve already decided for the coming year that need to focus on what I really want to read, and what I’ve had piling up. (I’m planning some organized theme reading as well—more on that in a later post.) This challenge will hopefully help me focus on my goals for next year, while at the same time working through my very, very lengthy list. I’ll probably have other books I read next year that have been on my list(s) for a while as well, but some of them I’ve already read (no rereads on this list) and others I haven’t made my mind up on yet. So…

My 2012 TBR Pile Challenge Official List:

  1. The Iliad – Homer, c. 8th cent. BCE (Greece)
  2. The Aeneid – Virgil, 1st cent. BCE (Rome)
  3. Beowulf – Anonymous, c. 8th-11 cent. CE (Anglo Saxon)
  4. The Lusiad – Luís Vaz de Camões, 1572 (Portugal)
  5. Twelfth Night – William Shakespeare, 1602 (England)
  6. Coriolanus – William Shakespeare, 1607 (England)
  7. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, 1605 & 1615 (Spain)
  8. Bleak House – Charles Dickens, 1853 (England)
  9. Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell, 1853 (England)
  10. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins, 1860 (England)
  11. Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges, 1962 (Argentina)
  12. The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien, 1977 (posthumous, England)


  1. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell, 1877 (England)
  2. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke, 2004 (England)

I will track these on my 2012 TBR Pile Challenge Page. If I get through all of these, plus some other books I’m hoping to read next year, 2012 will be the best reading year I’ve had in a long time!

I’m also planning to participate in Allie’s (A Literary Odyssey) January Shakespeare month, so Twelfth Night and Coriolanus will do double duty nicely. Other possibilities for January include Much Ado About Nothing and Othello. Or pretty much any play Shakespeare wrote that isn’t Romeo and Juliet (I’ve had my fill of that one) or Macbeth (let’s just say high school senior English killed any interest I have in that one). The last time I read any Shakespeare (a year ago), I was reminded how much fun he is to read, so I’m really looking forward to this month.

Now, to just get the books finished that I wanted to read this year!