New Year, New TBR

I am waving a white flag of surrender, admitting defeat, giving up. I had an uber-ambitious list of reading resolutions in 2014 and I did not complete it. However, I did manage to cross off 8 of the 12, meaning it’s by far my most successful set of resolutions I’ve ever attempted. Here’s a last look back at what I wanted to read last year:

  1. Read something a library patron recommends
  2. Read this year’s Everett Reads! book 
  3. Read something difficult, either due to subject matter or writing style
  4. Read an award-winning book
  5. Read something that is super-popular 
  6. Read a book that was the basis for a TV series or movie
  7. Read a classic work of literature
  8. Read an annotated classic work of literature
  9. Read something that will help me plan for the future
  10. Read something that will help me reconcile the past
  11. Read a graphic novel 
  12. Read an entire series that is new to me

Not bad, right? Granted, I could have done more. But by the time the leaves started changing colors I realized I was left with the most challenging selections. I was running short on both time and desire to actually put in the work required to complete my list. And it definitely felt like work. As someone who was once forced to read a bunch of books against my will (aka required summer reading in school) I didn’t want to resent reading, and that’s what it started to feel like: resentment.

With that in mind I’d like to tell you what my plan will be this year: nothing. Don’t get me wrong. I will be reading. I’m not a monster! I just won’t be planning it out ahead of time. Instead of a list of reading resolutions, I want to show you some of the books I missed out on last year that I hope to read this year. But I’m not going to lose any sleep if I don’t read them all!

Carol’s 2015 TBR (To Be Read):

textsTexts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg
Synopsis: Hilariously imagined text conversations–the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange–from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield
Why I want to read it: A book that fictionalizes electronic communication between some of my most beloved literary characters, from Sherlock Holmes to Nancy Drew. How could I skip this one?

steampunkThe Steampunk User’s Manual
by Jeff VanderMeer and Desirina Boskovich
Synopsis: A conceptual how-to guide that motivates and awes both the armchair enthusiast and the committed creator.
Why I want to read it: Steampunk! I just started getting into reading steampunk fiction in 2014, and I’d like to learn more about the subculture before I attend Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) in March.


jackabyJackaby by William Ritter
Synopsis: Newly arrived in 1892 New England, Abigail Rook becomes assistant to R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings, and she helps him delve into a case of serial murder which, Jackaby is convinced, is due to a nonhuman creature.
Why I want to read it: While I hope hope hope (!) the sequel to Libba Bray’s The Diviners will be out in 2015, I’d like to read Jackaby to tide me over, since it sounds like it might be a literary kindred spirit.


batmanBatman ’66 Vol. 1 by Jeff Parker
Synopsis: DC Comics re-imagines the classic Batman TV series in comics form for the first time! These all-new stories portray The Caped Crusader, The Boy Wonder and their fiendish rogues gallery just the way viewers remember them.
Why I want to read it: My favorite Batman was always Adam West, and I am obsessed with that campy portrayal of the Dark Knight in all forms, including this new comic series. It’ll also help get me in the mood for ECCC, where I’m sure to encounter at least a few amateur caped crusaders from the Pacific Northwest.

dont touchDon’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
Synopsis: 16-year-old Caddie struggles with OCD, anxiety, and a powerful fear of touching another person’s skin, which threatens her dreams of being an actress–until the boy playing Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.
Why I want to read it: Um, did you read that synopsis? Swoon!

Regardless of whether or not I read all or any of these appealing books in 2015 the fact remains there are some great books out there. What’s in your TBR?

10 thoughts on “New Year, New TBR

  1. Perhaps my TBR list for 2015 will be the same as 2014, books I had checked out but not started or not finished. I failed miserably at denting this last year, so maybe another valiant attempt?


    • Great idea! It’s a hazard of the job: too many books, not enough time, and just when you think you’ve narrowed it down to the perfect book we get a new shipment of lovelies in and it starts all over again…


  2. Wait! Carol, didn’t you read “AtWQ”? That’s a series and it’s new. Shouldn’t that count? And I know you read The Spellman Files. That won an Alex Award! Maybe you accomplished much more than you realise. =)


    • I did read books from those series but I did not read those series in total, absolutely completely. Some of the books I read and blogged about could have fit multiple challenge categories, but I decided to be a true challenge I should try to be strict about it. I read a ton of books in 2014 and had some fun, but honestly I am looking forward to reading as I please this year. I think it makes for better blog writing, too. 🙂


      • Well, see if I try to soothe your conscience ever again! =P Anyway, I still think you did well considering the ambition of the thing. I guess I’d look at it like a marathon: sure, you didn’t come in first. Okay, you didn’t even make it the full race before you hit the wall and were carried off to hospital. Nevertheless, you planned to try, you did try, and you gave it your all. It counts for something. It’s more than many have accomplished, and no one is Bat Girl. 😉


      • Batgirl–love it! I enjoy your cheerleading, Azy! And I did start reading one of the books from this blog post, Jackaby. I’m loving it.


  3. Read the synopsis, and Jackaby is definitely not my cuppa tea. HOWEVER, I’m def gonna check Texts from Jane Eyre and probably The Steampunk User’s Manual.

    I just read part of a book called The Plague of Doves. I would have read the entire thing, but the first part was so engrossing and amazing that it felt like its own book, and the rest just couldn’t compete. LOL I’ll probably check it back out in a couple of weeks after my mind has settled.

    I haven’t read something so well-written by a woman as long as I’ve been reading. In fact, when I first started reading it, I didn’t realise it was a woman writing. I laughed way too much, as I read most of it in the library, and I laugh LOUDLY! I got a few hairy eyeballs from an old lady, shamelessly devouring a romance novel in the most prominent seat in the building. LOL

    Anyway, it kind’a reminded me of Dead-Eye Dick, in that it was a very serious story, but it was remarkably funny. No other similarities beyond that can be justified. Though, her humour style suggests she may have a Vonnegut influence. She did get a bit too flowery in parts for me, but not enough to annoy me. And annoying me is exceptionally easy to do. =)

    Let me know when you get to Texts from Jane Eyre. I’d like to compare notes.


    • I will add your suggestions to my ever-growing TBR. I didn’t think Jackaby would be quite your thing, but I am proud of the fact that I am already trying to chip away at my list.

      When I pick up Texts from Jane Eyre I’ll definitely let you know!


      • See, there are benefits to being a free-range reader. I don’t keep a TBR list, per se. I see something in a blog or paper or hear someone kvelling over it, and then I forget about it until I see it in the library, and go after it like a free-range chicken goes after a worm who’s stupid enough to stick it’s head up in the barnyard! I never lack reading material, and I’m never guilty skipping over a book I promised myself I’d read.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Jackaby or Waiting for Sequels |

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