gypsysmom's 2018 Reduce MTBR Challenge

ConversesBookCrossing 2018 Reduce MTBR and Other Challenges

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gypsysmom's 2018 Reduce MTBR Challenge

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gen. 5, 2018, 2:40 pm

As in past years I intend to read all the ABC (already bookcrossed books) that were TBR at the end of 2017. There are 8 of them only so I decided to do something else to get books off the TBR pile this year. I have a number of books in series that I keep accumulating but not reading. This is the year that I read them. There are 8 books by Ian Rankin, 5 by Anne McCaffrey, 4 by Giles Blunt, and 4 by Arnaldur Indridason. I also have 4 books by Robertson Davies on the pile and while not, strictly speaking, series books I intend to read those too. That a total of 25 books so with the 8 ABC books I intend to reduce the TBR somewhat. I know I will add more during the year but I'm really going to try to only add half as many as I take away. That sounds achievable, doesn't it?

I've already read one Ian Rankin book, the second in the Rebus series Hide & Seek.

gen. 5, 2018, 4:01 pm

Good luck with your challenge! I'm currently reading the 5th book of the Rebus series, The Black Book. I have a few more Rebus books on my shelves, but unfortunately, they are later ones in the series, so I'll have to acquire the intermediate ones or get them from the library before I can take them off my TBR. It seems counter-productive to add books to my TBR in order to take other ones off. :)

gen. 5, 2018, 5:41 pm

>2 mathgirl40: "It seems counter-productive to add books to my TBR in order to take other ones off.:)" I hear you.
Have you read Hide & Seek and Tooth & Nail? Because I have both on my available pile right now. I was going to put them on the Mystery VBB when my turn comes around but if you're interested I would be quite prepared to send them directly to you.

gen. 5, 2018, 6:42 pm

>3 gypsysmom: Thanks for the offer, but I've read those two already. They're excellent choices for the Mystery VBB, in any case.

feb. 22, 2018, 6:06 pm

I have finished Blackfly Season, one of the books by Giles Blunt that I have earmarked for this challenge. CTV had a miniseries based on this book running in January and February so I read from the book after a program aired and only so far as the program had gone. That way I didn't spoil the ending for myself but it was a little confusing because the TV series changed and added things. The TV series is renewed for the coming year and I believe they are combining two books. I want to get the three remaining books read before the series starts up again.

feb. 23, 2018, 10:05 pm

>5 gypsysmom: I've read the first 3 books in the Cardinal series myself and am eager to view the TV series. I too find it disconcerting when the ending is changed in a TV mystery adapted from a novel. I recall this happening with one of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels.

maig 4, 2018, 12:13 pm

Time for a catch up on the progress I've made on my goals:
I've read one of the ABC books, Miles, Mystery, and Mayhem by Lois McMaster Bujold. It was one that JudySlump612 brought to Winnipeg when she and DrSlump visited in 2016. My sister read it first so I didn't receive it until 2017 which is why it goes on my ABC list from last year.
I finished another Ian Rankin (although technically when he wrote it he was using the pen name of Jack Harvey) Bleeding Hearts.
I finished an old Anne McCaffrey book To Ride Pegasus.
I finished (and loved) High Spirits by Robertson Davies.
Last night I finished one of the Arnaldur Indridason books Jar City although I haven't posted my review.

maig 12, 2018, 6:32 pm

>7 gypsysmom: I loved High Spirits too. I hope you enjoyed Bujold's book. I've read the entire Vorkosigan series and it is one of my very favourite SFF series.

maig 23, 2018, 3:32 pm

I've made a bit of progress on my goals having read another ABC book Olive Kitteridge which was brought to Winnipeg by NorthernLights on one of her trips here last year. It was pretty interesting and made me rent the DVD of the TV series which is quite different from the book but Frances McDormand as Olive was terrific. I'm working on two books by Robertson Davies. The Merry Heart was published after Davies died and is a collection of speeches and writings that reflect on his careers and the art of writing. World of Wonders is the third book in the Deptford Trilogy. I've just started it but I am well into The Merry Heart. Because it covers so much that explains how Davies wrote and how he thought I am only reading a bit each day so that I can absorb as much as possible.

juny 1, 2018, 10:01 pm

I almost got both Robertson Davies books finished in May. I finished World of Wonders before 10:30 pm on May 31 but left The Merry Heart until this morning to finish the final speech on that book so I would be able to absorb what Davies had to say about his own book (and the play that was performed at Stratford which was based on the book).

juny 20, 2018, 7:53 pm

I've read another ABC book Get Shorty since I last reported. It is one of the few genre books on the 1001 list so I requested it from the Mystery and Thriller VBB. It's been sitting for quite a few months mainly because I heard some negative reviews of it and I'm not a big fan of those hard detective stories from bygone years. However, when I read it I was pleasantly surprised; Elmore Leonard had been badly treated by Hollywood and he used this book to get back at the Hollywood he had experienced. Quite clever really.

jul. 1, 2018, 3:35 pm

>9 gypsysmom: I started reading The Merry Heart and had been hoping to finish it before the end of the Canada Days challenge. However, I realized, as you did, that this isn't a book to rush through. I decided that I'll hang onto it for a while and savour it slowly.

jul. 5, 2018, 4:59 pm

I have read one more Giles Blunt book By The Time You Read This which deals with the aftermath of John Cardinal's wife's death. After 30 years of coping with his wife's mental illness he refuses to believe she would have killed herself but everyone else thinks she did. The most personal of the Cardinal books to date. I have also read another Ian Rankin book The Black Book which is another solid addition to the Rebus series. This is #6 in the series and Rebus is not as curmudgeonly as in the later books. He even has a girlfriend although she kicks him out at the start of the book and they just begin a rapprochement at the very end.

jul. 10, 2018, 9:54 pm

>13 gypsysmom: It seems that we are in sync with our mystery series! I finished The Black Book recently and By the Time You Read This is next for me in the Cardinal series. Actually, though I generally hate doing this, I am jumping ahead in the Rebus series as I have had Black and Blue sitting on my shelves for ages.

jul. 11, 2018, 6:00 pm

>14 mathgirl40: I received Black & Blue from another BookCrosser in 2008 and I always try to read ABC books within a year of receiving them. I actually didn't get it read until 2010 because I was hoping to read the ones in the interim. When I realized that wasn't going to happen I read it out of order too.

On my challenge I have now read a second Anne McCaffrey Pegasus in Flight, the second book in the Talent trilogy.

jul. 21, 2018, 3:30 pm

Finished another ABC book Poldark's Cornwall which is a sort of memoir/travelogue/photography book by the author of all the Poldark books. I loved the photographs but Winston Graham's writing left me cold because he was so obviously writing from an upperclass point of view.

ag. 8, 2018, 12:15 pm

I knocked another Ian Rankin off the TBR pile. Blood Hunt was one of the books he wrote under a pseudonym. I believe he did that because it is more a thriller than a mystery. Still enjoyable.

ag. 31, 2018, 10:51 pm

>17 gypsysmom: I've not read any of Ian Rankin's non-Rebus books yet. I plan to try those eventually, but I still have a lot of Rebus books to go! I'm glad to hear you liked this one.

set. 19, 2018, 10:14 pm

Just finished an ABC book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. It's one of the 100 books chosen by PBS for their Great American Read. I can see why this book is such a favourite. It is a great example of the changes wrought on traditional societies by colonization.

set. 19, 2018, 10:36 pm

>19 gypsysmom: I'd really enjoyed this one too and would like to read more by Chinua Achebe.

oct. 5, 2018, 6:01 pm

Well I have now finished off the last Robertson Davies book I had on my TBR list. The Cunning Man was the last book Davies completed and he had not lost any of his abilities as far as I could discern. I would normally feel good that I accomplished this but to think that there are no more novels to look forward to from this underappreciated Canadian writer actually makes me sad. I am sure that I will reread some of them that I know I enjoyed but don't remember much of now so that is something to look forward to. I also have a copy of Robertson Davies A Portrait in Mosaic by Val Ross to read. I've dipped into it a bit and enjoyed what I've read so far. Val Ross is the author but really she is more like an editor who has combined what other people had to say about Davies in a cohesive manner.

oct. 6, 2018, 8:28 pm

>21 gypsysmom: I'm glad you enjoyed The Cunning Man and I look forward to reading this and the biography (thanks again for sending that to me!) as well. Yes, it is sad getting to the end of his novels, but I hadn't realized until recently how many plays and essays Davies had written. I hope to dip into those eventually.

oct. 18, 2018, 11:12 am

I finished another ABC book The Old Man and the Sea which came to a Winnipeg BookCrossing meeting with Pooker3 and left with me. I had never read any of Hemingway's novels but I felt from what I knew of his life and attitudes that I wouldn't like his writing very much. Fortunately this book was short and the writing did not show a vainglorious man but one who recognized that he was no more important than the fish he was trying to kill. I might tackle another Hemingway novel some day but I'm in no hurry.

oct. 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

Also finished up another Ian Rankin. Mortal Causes is #6 in the Rebus series. I found it a bit confusing but that may be because I read it with a head cold. The plot is regarding Protestant loyalists supplying guns and explosives to Northern Ireland. It is set in 1993 so it is 25 years old and the Northern Ireland situation is a lot different now. But it is interesting to see how closely tied Scotland and Ireland were.

oct. 27, 2018, 4:46 pm

Knocked off another Arnaldur Indridason book finally. Voices is set at Christmas time in Reykjavik and starts off with Santa Claus being murdered. It would be a good choice for December but not particularly good for this time of year when I am trying to persuade myself that winter is a little way off yet. Interesting but not quite as good as the other Inspector Erlendur books that I have read.

oct. 30, 2018, 10:14 pm

>25 gypsysmom: I loved the Inspector Erlendur series and was rather sad when I finished the final one last year. I've not read any of the prequels yet.

nov. 15, 2018, 5:23 pm

Read Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata which was given to me by NorthernLights when she visited Winnipeg last December. Only one more ABC book to go (also from NorthernLights). Snow Country is about a geisha at a hot springs resort in northern Japan who falls in love with a man from Tokyo. It did give me a bit more insight into a geisha's life and there was some lovely evocative writing but I only gave it three stars.

I have also read another Ian Rankin Rebus book Let it Bleed which I have to say is my least favourite of all the Rebus books. It's a good thing I didn't start reading the Rebus series with it but it is the last book that fills in the blanks in the Rebus series for me so I am happy to have read it. Now I just have the two last ones to read but that will have to wait until 2019 I think. I'm going to read Crime Machine by Giles Blunt next.

nov. 18, 2018, 10:43 am

Gobbled up another Giles Blunt book Crime Machine. It revolves around a cult sort of like the Manson family who comes to town to settle up some scores and leaves some grisly crime scenes for Detectives Cardinal and Delorme to investigate. Great descriptions of the surrounding area and the joys of living in the north in winter (!) Also we see Cardinal trying to cope with being on his own after the death of his wife in the last book. I have one more in this series to read if I want to make my challenge but I'm thinking I might postpone it until 2019 because the TV series based on these books will be starting up in January and it seems to be based on the last book By the Time you Read This so I'm thinking I might get confused if I am too far ahead in the reading. I do have other books to read!

nov. 30, 2018, 8:35 pm

>28 gypsysmom: I hadn't realized that the TV series based on Giles Blunt's books will be starting in January. My next in the series is By the Time You Read This, so I will try to read it before watching the adaptation. Thanks for the heads up!

des. 29, 2018, 12:25 pm

Since my last post I have read more books for this challenge but I won't quite make it but I have read a total of 50 books from the list as it stood at the end of 2017 so I'm happy about that. My last ABC book was a short one: The Machine Stops is a science fiction novella by E. M. Forster of all people. I also read one more Anne McCaffrey book Sky Dragons, one more Arnaldur Indridason book The Draining Lake and two Ian Rankin books The Flood and Watchman. So I have one Anne McCaffrey, one Indridason and one Blunt that I didn't get to this year. Not too bad.

des. 30, 2018, 11:57 am

>30 gypsysmom: Good work for the year!

I'm a big fan of E. M. Forster but I never realized he'd written a science fiction novel!