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The 2015 TBR Challenge and Other Bookish Goals

Happy first day of 2015, friends and fellow readers! Over the last few years as a book blogger, I’ve realized that I am not very good at keeping book-related goals. I start the year with great intentions, but inevitably fall to the siren song of reading whatever the heck I want. I’m sure you’ve all been there, right?

But isn’t going to stop me from setting a few goals for 2015 and trying my hand at a challenge I’ve failed miserably at in the past.

The 2015 TBR Challenge

2015tbrbuttonAlthough I am not big on reading challenges, I think I have a decent shot at completing the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge, organized by Adam at Roof Beam Reader. I tried this challenge in 2012 and 2013 and failed both times — it seemed like as soon as I put a book on a challenge list, I became entirely uninterested in reading it.

While it’s entirely possible that will happen again in 2015, I’m a little more optimistic because my reading stats from 2014 show that I’m doing better at reading books from my own shelves. This is a trend I’m hoping will continue, especially with a reading challenge like this one.

The TBR Challenge asks you to focus on books that have been on your shelves for a least a year (published in 2013 or before). You pick a list of 12, plus two alternates, and commit to reading and reviewing them in 2015. Here’s my list:

  1. The Legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan Karunatilaka (2012) (fiction)
  2. Out by Natsuo Kirino (2003) (fiction)
  3. America’s Game by Michael MacCambridge (2005) (nonfiction)
  4. Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller (2001) (memoir)
  5. The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara (2013) (fiction)
  6. Duplex by Kathryn Davis (2013) (fiction)
  7. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (2012) (fiction)
  8. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett (2013) (essays)
  9. An Astronaut’s Guide to Love on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield (2013) (memoir)
  10. Embassytown by China Miéville (2011) (fiction)
  11. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013) (fiction)
  12. The Translator by Daoud Hari (2008) (memoir)


  1. Never the Hope Itself by Gerry Hadden (2011) (nonfiction)
  2. Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye (2010) (fiction)

I’m excited about this list for a lot of reasons. It has a nice balance of male and female authors, a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and includes several authors of color. I’m hoping that a diverse list, in many different respects, will mean that I have a book for every type of mood.

Other Bookish and Blogging Goals

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that one of my goals for 2015 is to read more diversely. I decided to put that in writing: I want 25 percent of the books I read this year to be written by authors of color. That’s not a ton, but it will be a jump for me.

I also would like to get my entire library cataloged in LibraryThing. I got this partially done in 2014, but I want to make it a priority in 2015.

Other than that, I hope 2015 is a year of free and fun reading, filled with great books and even better bookish conversations.

What books are you hoping to read in 2015?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • C.J. @ebookclassics January 1, 2015, 7:23 am

    Good luck with your goals! You have quite a few books that interest me on your list. I’m also hoping to read more authors from diverse backgrounds this year too.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading January 1, 2015, 7:42 am

    I love your goals and I’m so excited to see some of the books on your list! Americanah and The People in the Trees were both fantastic and Duplex is a book I really, really want to talk to more people about. Hope you have a great year!

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:34 am

      I’ve hard really good things about all of them! I actually started The People in the Trees last year, but somehow didn’t get around to finishing it… weird. So that should be an easy one to check off anyway 🙂

  • Tanya Patrice January 1, 2015, 8:49 am

    Good luck with the challenge – and I’m planning on reading some of the same books, like Out and Americanah.

  • Andi January 1, 2015, 9:31 am

    Good luck with your goals! I inevitably fail at the TBR challenge so I’m giving myself a pass this year. lol I do want to read more diversely. Last time I checked, I did achieve 25% for 2014 so hopefully I can raise the bar for 2015.

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:36 am

      That’s pretty good! I thinking 25 percent is possible for me since amounts to one in four books. As long as I keep it top-of-mind through the year, I’m optimistic about it.

  • Trisha January 1, 2015, 10:01 am

    I really should participate in the TBR challenge as I have so many on the shelves; these days, however, I’m just happy to be reading, so no requirements allowed.

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:37 am

      That’s totally fair! I skipped it in 2014 because I was tired of not actually doing it — hopefully this year will be different!

  • Belle Wong January 1, 2015, 11:19 am

    Good luck with the TBR challenge! I’m the same way with reading challenges – it feels like every time I join a challenge, it’s almost a certainty I won’t read any book on my challenge list. I did decide to read 10 books from my TBR stash this year, as an unofficial self-challenge. I’m hoping that will work for me!

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:37 am

      That sounds like a great plan. These are all books on my shelves too, several that I’ve intended to read this year and then skipped for various reasons.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) January 1, 2015, 6:08 pm

    I hope you achieve all of your goals. Happy New Year!

  • Chris January 1, 2015, 7:13 pm

    Good luck with all your goals! I’m the same way–as soon as I put a book on a list I resist it. I swore off reading challenges this year, but do plan to read more from my own shelves. Happy New Year!

  • Vasilly January 1, 2015, 8:43 pm

    Ann Patchett’s collection of essays is fantastic. I think you’ll enjoy it. The TBR Challenge is too hard for me to do, so I’m joining the looser Double Dog TBR Challenge instead.

    So what’s your word for 2015? 😉

    Happy New Year!

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:38 am

      I’m sharing my word next week, Tuesday I think. I have to finish up writing the blog post first…

  • susan January 1, 2015, 9:23 pm

    Happy New Year! The Hadfield and Patchett book are great. Enjoy your reading.

  • Jess - A Book Hoarder January 1, 2015, 11:20 pm

    Love your goals. Good luck with them. I’m so tempted to join the TBR Challenge that I just picked 14 books from my shelf but I have the same problem as you once I put a book on a challenge list so I’m torn…

  • Jennifer January 1, 2015, 11:31 pm

    These are awesome goals. Best of luck in accomplishing them. I’m definitely going to be making a bigger commitment to reading books I already own this year. My shelves are pretty full and I want to set myself up to read the books I was interested in enough to buy. I look forward to following your progress and getting more recommendations for books!

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:40 am

      It’s so weird that we all have trouble reading from our own shelves, as if books suddenly become more interesting when they’re for review or from the library or given as gifts. It’s the strangest thing!

  • Ciska @ Ciska's Book Chest January 2, 2015, 4:22 am

    I do recognize the problem with putting books on lists and losing interest in them. Hope you will enjoy your books!!

  • Caitie F January 2, 2015, 10:19 am

    I have done this challenge for several years and fail every time, but it is fun to try. So many of your books look great!

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:40 am

      It is fun to try. And a good challenge to myself, to see if I can keep a commitment I’ve made that only I’m accountable for.

  • Sarah's Book Shelves January 2, 2015, 1:52 pm

    Good luck with your TBR challenge! I have yet to participate in a single reading challenge since I’ve been a blogger…maybe I will at some point, but am not really feeling the pull as of now.
    Happy New Year!

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:41 am

      I do very few reading challenges. I don’t think I did any last year. This is probably the only one in 2015, save a few monthly reading events like Jazz Age January and Nonfiction November.

  • Lu January 2, 2015, 2:04 pm

    I wasn’t planning on signing up for this because I failed all the other years too, but you’re inspiring me!!

  • Lu January 2, 2015, 2:04 pm

    Americanah is great and Duplex and The Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth will be on my list too!

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:42 am

      Do I sense a buddy read?

  • Jennine G. January 2, 2015, 8:01 pm

    2014 was my first go at the TBR Pile Challenge and I missed by three books. Mostly because I read ten chunksters in 2014 too and one of my three left was another Chunkster. But among a list wasn’t too bad until the end of the year and I didn’t feel like reading from the list any more. I’m free for all-ing TBR reading this year. Just going to pick up one TBR after another and see how many I can get in.

    I love seeing TBR posts because it’s when you find those oldies but goodies you missed before.

    • Kim January 3, 2015, 8:43 am

      Wow! That is better than I have ever done with this one! And I agree — it’s fun to get some reminders about books we have missed rather than just new books all the time.

  • Christina January 4, 2015, 5:32 pm

    I am the same way with challenges — once it goes on the list, I tend to lose interest in reading it. Which is why I decided to pass on the TBR Challenge, but hopefully you will be able to stick to your goal. I have Americanah on my to-read list as well.

  • Susan January 4, 2015, 7:23 pm

    Ooh, I have The Rook on my pile, too, which a good friend sent me when I became ill this fall. It looks so good. I like how you go into challenges hoping to do them, and knowing if you failed, at least you got some books read! lol I am thinking about doing this challenge as I have so many books on my shelves I have to read now. I did this a few years ago and did well with it. Happy New Year, Kim!

    • Kim January 5, 2015, 8:49 pm

      I used to stress about finishing reading challenges, and then at one point I realized how silly that was 🙂 Now I try not to stress about them at all since there’s really no harm in not finishing!=.

  • Maphead January 4, 2015, 9:00 pm

    I tried to do the TBR challenge last year and failed BIG TIME!! I signed up once again in hopes of redeeming myself!!

    • Kim January 5, 2015, 8:49 pm

      Pretty sure my best showing in that was three books… I can certainly do better this year!

  • Alex (Sleepless Reader) January 5, 2015, 5:12 am

    Happy New Year! I’m also going to try to read more diversely, but this year will focus on reading more in different languages (EN, FR, ES, PT) and in translation. Hopefully this will get me to also read more authors of color.

    • Kim January 5, 2015, 8:50 pm

      That sounds like a great goal — good luck!

  • Melissa January 5, 2015, 10:54 pm

    Getting everything into LibraryThing would be amazing for me. I even bought a cuecat a few years back so that I could just scan the books in, but it’s still so much work!

    I’m also doing the TBR challenge (again) this year. Last year I read 6 of them, which was a miracle. I usually only scratch off 4.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB January 5, 2015, 11:09 pm

    Americanah is fabulous!