Since I've got a hefty TBR and Matt over at Runalong the Shelves is doing a TBR reduction challenge, I figured why not?
Because many of my books are still in boxes after the moves (in 2019 and 2020, ha!!), I'm restricting the books even further to the current 3 open boxes and 1 shelf of unread books, plus unread ebooks on my Kindle.
The idea is that once I clear these boxes and the shelf, I can move on to the next unopened box. And work from there until there are no more boxes clogging up my office. (Will that actually happen??? Probably not in the next year or so).
So, here are the books I've lined up so far. I may not end up doing the stretch goals because I DO also have e-ARCS to review and I try not to post more than 4 reviews a month. I also don't think I have the time to read more than that.
I'll be linking the books to their Goodreads page here first, and then updating the links to my review post once I've read them.
JANUARY: End to end temptation
- Newest book in Mount TBR = Nusantara: A Sea of Tales by Heidi Shamsuddin. This is the last book I remember buying. Could be wrong, but eh. Review: 25/1.
- Stretch goal: Oldest book in Mount TBR = Storm Front by Jim Butcher. Not sure if it's really the oldest, but it's from a BBW sale that's coming up to a decade ago so I figure it counts. Review: 1/2.
FEBRUARY: Short steps
- 28 short stories = Whitstead Harvestide: A Speculative Anthology by Abigail Falanga (ed); The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends by Peter Berresford Ellis. I've been midway through these since 2022, so I might as well get around to finishing them off for this challenge. If that doesn't make up 28 short stories, I still haven't read Exhalation by Ted Chiang. Review: 22/2 (5); and 1/3 (9+1+9). EH that's only 24, oh well.
Stretch goal: 4 novellas one for each week of the month OR shortest book in Mount TBR = I don't know if I have any for this, so I might just skip this one.
MARCH: Fresh starts
- Start a new series = Nameless (Morningstar: Destiny Trilogy #1) by A.C. Williams. It was this or The Witcher, since I bought the omnibus when it was on sale, but... I'm more likely to finish the stretch goal of reading the whole series if I do this one. Review: 22/3
- Stretch goal: Read all the remaining books in the series by year end = Namesake (#2) Review 3/5; New Name (#3).
APRIL: Open and Shut Case
- Standalone = Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng. Just because it's in the box. Review: 19/4.
Stretch goal: finish the last book in a series in Mount TBR = huh, idk. Most of my unfinished series' are stuck in one of the unopened boxes. This isn't technically the "last book" in a series, but I figure Snakewood by Adrian Selby should fit somewhat because I read The Winter Road without reading this one and they're somewhat connected?
- A book about revolution or a change of those in power = I'm going to put The Old Man's War by John Scalzi as a placeholder here though I don't really want to start a new series without the subsequent books, because well, it's been in the box for a while now too. Review: 17/5. Huh, not so much revolution, but just war. Eh, whatever.
- Stretch goal: A tale with a member of a royal household in a leading role = The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. Didn't write a full review on the blog, but it's up on Goodreads here.
JUNE: long reading days or longest nights
- The largest tale on Mount TBR = The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I cannot remember if I've ever read this before or if I only remember the story from watching the movie, but this is a pretty long one. Is it the longest? idk. Review: 28/6
- Stretch goal: The shortest novel in your pile = Well, the Goodreads page says it's a short novel (163 pages) so I guess Songs in the Night by Laura Frances. Review: 26/7
JULY: Holidays are coming!
- The author who lives the furthest from you on the globe = The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Mostly because USA is further than the UK (from Malaysia), and I feel like I should get around to reading this. Review: 6/7 (because I finished reading it on the way to USA lol!! And it's currently Weds here, but Thurs on the laptop)
- Stretch goal: A tale with an empire featuring heavily in it = Maybe The King's Sword by C.J. Brightley unless something else comes up. Don't know if it's exactly empire. Am open to suggestions. Review: 19/7.
- Free read! = Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. Mostly because I met the author at SRFC and got the book signed so I really should read it. Review: 9/8
- Stretch goal: A translated work / a character on holiday =
I might go with Muara by Pauline Fan, (ed), Badrul Hisham Ismail (ed), Izzudin Ramli (ed) and Hafiz Hamzah (ed) on this. Not exactly translated, but a mix of works in English & Malay.Changed my mind and read The Epic of Bidasari and other tales instead. Review: 13/9
- A book linked to one of the seven deadly sins =
Fatal Greed by John W. Mefford, just because it has "greed" in the title.DNFed because I don't really like it. So I read Lust by Mike Wells instead, which was kind of 1/3 of a book (so I guess a Novella?). Review on Goodreads.
- Stretch goal: An author who has published more than seven books = Set in Darkness by Ian Rankin. Finished reading this, added a star rating, but will be skipping the review.
- A book with a spooky or dark theme: Hantu Macabre by Jill Girardi. Review: 20/10.
Stretch goal: A book connected to nighttime in some way = Apparently, I have previously downloaded a book called Midnight Marriage by Lucinda Brant. I have just read the summary and I have no idea why I have it on my kindle but okay! We shall find out!!!
- A book published by a small/indie press =
The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M. H. Boroson. Published by Talos Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing.I'm gonna cheat on this one and replace it with Wings of Truth by Aaron DeMott, published by Onicranium Dragon Books so that I can merge my reading list. (Cheat because it was just published on 1 Oct 2023 and I won an ebook copy in a giveaway lol). Review: 15/11
- Stretch goal: A book where peace is the end result = Huh, how would I know this if I haven't read it? I'm gonna assume that Steampunk Cleopatra by Thaddeus Thomas is going to end in peace. lol Also open to suggestions for this one.
- A book someone else gifted you = In Defence of Doubt by Val Webb. My sister sent this to me from Australia last year.
- Stretch goal: A wintry-based tale = Umm maybe The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, since the blurb starts "Just before dawn one winter's morning..." I'd love to read The Winter's Tale, which I know I own, but I just don't know which box it's in, so it's not in the scope, lol.
I'll probably update the list further on in the year if I decide that something else in the box/kindle fits better. Or if I cave and open another TBR box.