gypsysmom's 2019 Reduce MTBR Challenges

ConversesBookCrossing 2019 Reduce MTBR and Other Challenges

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gypsysmom's 2019 Reduce MTBR Challenges

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gen. 4, 2019, 5:24 pm

As in past years I want to read all the books in my possession that other BookCrossers have registered. That is 12 books this year.

I also want to read 4 books that were loaned to me in 2018.

Challenge 3 is to read the 13 oldest books on my shelves -- 4 were registered in 2009 and 9 were registered in 2010. High time they were moved on.

Challenge 4 is to read the 13 books that I received as gifts before December 31 2018.

Challenge 5 is to read 5 books that are on Mount TBR that appear on the CBC list of 100 Novels that Make us Proud to be Canadian.

That's a total of 42 books and last year I read 50 books so I should be able to do it if I don't get distracted.

gen. 4, 2019, 5:25 pm

Just to show that I am making some progress I have already read one of the gift books, Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny, which was a Christmas present from my very understanding husband.

gen. 8, 2019, 9:42 pm

>2 gypsysmom: I love Louise Penny! I'm on my library waiting list for that one.

gen. 20, 2019, 3:58 pm

I've been reading but only two of the books fit into these challenges. From the ABC challenge I finished A Rich Full Death which was brought to a meetup by lonestranger, another Winnipeg BookCrosser. And then I read one of my oldest books Beneath the Bleeding which was registered in March of 2009, almost 10 years ago. I'm also trying to read some of the Canada Reads longlist so I have to fit that in with reading the TBR mountain.

gen. 22, 2019, 10:12 pm

>4 gypsysmom: I've been browsing the Canada Reads list too, though my biggest distraction right now is the Tournament of Books list

gen. 23, 2019, 6:09 pm

I just read The Music Shop which showed up in my mail just before Christmas sent by Random House. I'm not sure why they sent it to me as there was no explanatory note (and it wasn't from LT) but it was a great choice for me. So that makes 2 out of 13 gift books read for this challenge.

>5 mathgirl40: I try not to let anything get in the way of reading the Canada Reads books and since 3 on the longlist were ones I have wanted to read for some time I put holds on them as soon as the longlist was announced and I got all 3 almost at once. I've read one, An Ocean of Minutes, which I loved and I am about to start The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary.

gen. 30, 2019, 9:51 pm

>6 gypsysmom: I'm looking forward to seeing the shortlist in a couple of days. My book club at work usually chooses one of the books for our February or March selection, so I'll get to one at least. I'm also looking forward to the announcement of the Ontario Library Association's Evergreen list this coming weekend. That list usually has some overlap with the Canada Reads longlist.

feb. 14, 2019, 8:19 pm

I finished an ABC book Missing Justice by Alafair Burke. It was sent to me from the Mystery VBB by Tribefan. I requested it because Alafair Burke is the daughter of James Lee Burke who is one of my favourite contemporary writers. Alafair's stye is quite a bit different from her father's but it was a good mystery.

feb. 24, 2019, 10:29 pm

>8 gypsysmom: I've not read any mysteries by either Burke, but I am intrigued by Alafair's lovely name. Yes, I know that's a shallow reason for investigating a new author. :)

feb. 27, 2019, 10:52 pm

>9 mathgirl40: Re Alafair, in James Lee Burke's Robicheaux books he has a daughter named Alafair. She is actually adopted as she was rescued by Robicheaux from a plane that went down in the Caribbean just off the coast of Louisiana. Alafair was the only survivor from the plane which was trying to smuggle drugs into the US. I don't know if Alafair Burke is adopted but I think it's quite lovely that her father used her name in his own books.

feb. 28, 2019, 10:35 pm

>10 gypsysmom: Yes, I agree, that's a nice tribute to her!

març 31, 2019, 12:16 pm

I finished one of the books registered in 2009. Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra is a doorstopper of a book at over 900 pages. I had to put it down several times to read library books that were coming due but I was always glad to get back to it. I found it quite fascinating and I'm glad I kept it all these years.

març 31, 2019, 9:53 pm

>12 gypsysmom: I'll have to keep that one in mind. I love reading books set in India.

juny 3, 2019, 3:42 am

Its been a long time since I posted any progress on my goals here but I can finally relate some achievements. I've read two books from other BookCrossers The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr which came from imuzak12 via the Mystery VBB and Queen of all the Dustballs by Bill Richardson from judysh who is another Winnipeg BookCrosser. I've also read two gift books: The Devil's Dice by Roz Watkins (a debut mystery set in the Peaks District in England) and The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa (a charming book about a stray cat taken in by a Japanese man).

juny 11, 2019, 9:32 pm

>14 gypsysmom: I had to add The Travelling Cat Chronicles to my wishlist, as I enjoy Japanese literature and books about cats!

juny 22, 2019, 3:19 pm

>15 mathgirl40: It was quite lovely.

jul. 7, 2019, 4:49 pm

I read one more book before June ended that is for this challenge. Spin by Robert Charles Wilson is a science fiction book set in the US but the writer is now a Canadian citizen and this book was chosen by the CBC as one of the 100 Novels that Make You Proud to be Canadian. I think mathgirl40 was one person who recommended I read it and it was very good. I'm going to have to do better about reading from the TBR pile and specifically from these categories because I've only read 11 out of the 42 that I want to read. Darn those library books that keep coming in; who keeps ordering them for me? (It must be that evil gypsysmom.)

jul. 8, 2019, 9:55 pm

>12 gypsysmom: It might very have been me who had recommended Spin. It's one of my favourite science-fiction novels. I'm glad you liked it.

ag. 2, 2019, 5:33 am

I hadn't heard of that book - I have just added it to the 1001-Wishlist!

ag. 5, 2019, 8:21 pm

I have finally read one of the books loaned to me in 2018. I'm ashamed to say that my sister passed The Butcher of Smithfield on to me in July last year. Oh well, I've read it now and I can give it back to her. (I'm pretty sure she still has books that I loaned her even longer ago than that so I don't feel too bad.)

ag. 31, 2019, 6:30 pm

>20 gypsysmom: Don't feel bad. I have an unread book that I'd borrowed from a friend 20 years ago. He moved away soon after. He and his wife were back in town for a short visit recently. We had a lovely reunion but I was too ashamed to mention that I still had his book. :)

set. 9, 2019, 5:16 pm

I read one ABC book since my last update and it was really good. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks is set just before and during WWI. As with all First World War books there are lots of disturbing scenes and details but the comradeship and love between the men fighting in the trenches redeems the horror.

I also read one of the books loaned to me in 2018. The Bone Tree by Greg Iles is a massive book about violence and corruption in Mississippi and Louisiana and there is also a JFK assassination plot. So I actually got through the 800+ pages quite quickly.

And I read one of the oldest books on Mount TBR. A Darker Domain by Val McDermid is a cold case (actually 2 cold cases) investigation in Scotland and both of the cases go back to the long coal strike of the 1980s. Very good.

set. 10, 2019, 12:53 pm

On a roll! I loved Birdsong, though it was tough going at times. I have never read one of Val's books from crime series, but have enjoyed her short stories in other collections. She has a wicked sense of humour.

set. 30, 2019, 10:17 pm

>22 gypsysmom: Your mention of Mississippi and cold cases (albeit in different books) made me wonder if you know about the CBC podcast Someone Knows Something by David Ridgen. The third season, which covers Ridgen's investigation into the murders of two black men in Mississippi, is very good.

oct. 1, 2019, 9:35 pm

>24 mathgirl40: I have heard of that podcast but I've never really gotten into listening to podcasts. I may have to give this a try.

oct. 2, 2019, 10:26 pm

>25 gypsysmom: I found that listening to this particular series seemed not too different from listening to an audiobook. Each season consists of 6-12 episodes and covers one story. If you want to give it a try, I'd recommend starting with season 3, as that revisits his earlier work, the award-winning documentary Mississippi Cold Case.

oct. 25, 2019, 8:49 pm

I'm really not doing very well at my challenges and I only have 2 more months to go. Oh well, I'll keep trying.

I did read one of my older TBRs By Any Other Name is a collection of short stories and articles written by Spider Robinson. I found this book at a library book sale in 2010 but it took me until now to read it. The stories varied in enjoyment for me but there were enough gems that I was glad I kept it and finally read it.

oct. 29, 2019, 9:51 pm

>27 gypsysmom: Yes, do keep trying. November is another month. :)

I'd read my first Spider Robinson book just recently. It was Stardance, which had been sitting on my shelves for over 35 years. I would have registered it on BookCrossing, but the book felt apart in my hands as soon as I was done with it! I did enjoy it, though it was a bit dated.

nov. 2, 2019, 4:07 pm

>28 mathgirl40: Stardance was maybe one of the first Spider Robinson books I read. It wasn't dated then but I can see it would be now. I have the two other books by Spider and Jeanne that follow Stardance in my bookshelf and I'll get to them some time but I'm in no hurry because I don't see any more Spider Robinson new books coming out.

nov. 7, 2019, 9:00 pm

>29 gypsysmom: I should have mentioned that my edition of Stardance included all three books. I did enjoy all of them, and I found this wonderful video of a "star dance" that was choreographed by Jeanne Robinson:

The part of the book that made it feel dated was at the very beginning, when the main character regrets that few people will ever see his dance film because there was no easy way to distribute it. I had to remind myself that there was once a time in which the Internet did not exist, and of course, I am old enough to remember that time! :)

nov. 11, 2019, 6:48 pm

>30 mathgirl40: Great video. It says it was a trailer for a movie but I don't think a movie was ever made. Do you know anything.

nov. 15, 2019, 8:52 pm

I have finished another ABC book God Help the Child by Toni Morrison. I wasn't as impressed with this book as I have been with others Morrison has written but ever since I read of her death earlier this year I've been meaning to read something by her and this book which NorthernLights from Germany brought to Winnipeg last December fit that bill.

nov. 16, 2019, 8:21 pm

>31 gypsysmom: I've not seen anything about a movie either.

nov. 17, 2019, 4:51 pm

I'm finally making some progress (although I doubt I will read all the books I wanted to this year). I have now finished another ABC book A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson. I thought it was a little to unreal for my tastes; I guess I hoped for something that would mirror real life. Nonetheless it was interesting enough to keep my attention and I was struck by the fact that Kashgar is in the region where the Chinese government is imprisoning thousands of Muslims presently.

nov. 29, 2019, 9:44 pm

>34 gypsysmom: That looks like an interesting book. The region is one that I wish I knew more about.

des. 25, 2019, 1:06 pm

I have finished two more ABC books.
The Apothecary Rose by Candace Robb was not as good as I was hoping it would be. It's a mystery set in York in England during 1363 and 1364 and I was hoping it would fill the gap that was left when Ariana Franklin died and didn't finish the Mistress of the Art of Death series. Sadly it was not as good as that series but it whiled away some hours spent travelling.
I did enjoy Hard Truth by Nevada Barr quite a lot. It is set in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado which is a park I have visited several times. Fortunately I didn't meet any psychopaths on my trips.

des. 28, 2019, 8:52 pm

Got another ABC book read. Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer was a release for the 2018 Canada Days Challenge. megami-no-ushi released it in Waterton and it was still in the free library of the Waterton post office when we went there weeks later. And now I have finally read it. megami-no-ushi released all three books of the Quintaglio series there but I only picked up the first one because I was only releasing one there. She told me at the time that I should have gotten all three and now I'm kicking myself for not doing so. I have the third book in the series that I picked up at some used book sale but I don't have #2. There is one copy in the Winnipeg Public Library so if I can't find one I'll take it out. It would be nice to have all three to leave together as megami-no-ushi did. After all the Canada Days Release Challenge is only 6 months away!

des. 31, 2019, 4:03 pm

And to finish off the year I read the delightful children's book Summerland by Michael Chabon which I bought in 2009.

As far as my yearly goals:
I read 11 books out of the 12 ABC books that I acquired in 2018, so missed that goal by 1 (but I did also listen to one audiobook from another BookCrosser)
I read 2 out of the 4 books that people loaned me in 2018 (but I did read 1 loan that came my way in 2019)
I only read 5 of the 13 oldest books on my TBR pile
I only read 6 of the 13 books that I received as gifts (but I did read 2 gifts from 2019)
I only read 1 of the 5 books on the CBC list of 100 Books that make you proud to be Canadian.

I also read 9 other books from the TBR so I took 34 books off the shelf. Of course I added 29 others during the year so I've only really reduced the total by 5. But that is 5 in the right direction. And no-one gave me books this holiday season so that helps.

See you all in 2020. Many thanks to mathgirl40 for keeping this going.

gen. 2, 2020, 9:24 am

>38 gypsysmom: You're very welcome and good luck for 2020!