2014 TBR Pile Challenge

I'm signing up for Adam's TBR Pile Challenge for next year. For all two of you who've never heard of the challenge, this means that in 2014 I will aim to read and review twelve books that have been in my TBR pile for a long, looong time. I am allowed to list two alternatives, just in case some of the books from my list turn out to be too unbearable to finish. Here's my list, but promise not to laugh at me for not having read some of these sooner - just know that I could have put Lord of the Flies and The Scarlet Letter in there as well. My list went through several versions, but in the end I decided to only stick with new-to-me authors (with the exception of Tolstoy).

I will be updating this post with links to the reviews as I go, so keep an eye on this space if you'd like to know how it's going.
  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
  2. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh 
  5. The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  6. If This Is A Man by Primo Levi
  7. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  8. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
  9. White Noise by Don DeLillo
  10. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  11. Germinal by Emile Zola
  12. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Back-up options: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.



  1. Germinal is one of my best reads from this year - so good! I'm also a bit fan of Haruki Murakami and love Kafka on the Shore. I think I also had Middlesex for my TBR Pile Challenge for the next year.

    Good luck!

    1. I'd planned to read Germinal this year, but never got around to it. We need to discuss Middlesex next year, if we both end up reading it :) Happy 2014, Riv!

    2. Yes! I hope we both get to Middlesex next year.

      Thank you Claudia, I wish you a lovely new year too!

    3. I really need to read Middlesex. I can't believe I haven't yet.

      And hurrah for Germinal! :D

    4. It's basically impossible for me at this point to see any book by Zola and not think of your blog :) I have high hopes for Germinal.

  2. There are some huge, important books in that list! I'm sorry to say I haven't read any of them although I wrote an essay on Brideshead Revisited film adaptation (can it count, please?).

    Best of luck with the challenge!

    1. Thanks, Elena. We can compare notes on movie vs. book after I read Brideshead :)

  3. That is such a list. I need to read most of them. Good luck! I hope you complete the challenge and love every book

  4. Some serious reading there:-) It took me over a year to read War and Peace. good luck with the challenge.

    1. Yeah, I'm a bit anxious about War & Peace, but we'll see. Thanks for dropping by :)

  5. Great list! Have fun reading!

  6. Wow you've got some heavy hitters on your list!
    I'm part way through Germinal myself (but it's on my epad which I don't enjoy reading on, so I'm not making a lot of progress).

    Loved, loved Brideshead & Color Purple. The Caged Bird & Eyes/God are also amazing reads. As is Primo Levi - wow! You really have some great reading ahead of you this year.

    Good luck