In my last post I wrote about the troubles of having too many books to read. I also posted recently about using a book jar, something which I have, and am able to use – but haven’t yet, because really I haven’t needed to. Really it’s there just in case I need it. But frankly it isn’t helping me to work through my TBR. Ah, the TBR. The thing that book bloggers both love and loathe. Our To Be Read list (often a physical heap) is something that gets us happy and excited, but also make us nervous, and can sometimes be overwhelming.

So what is TBR20? It’s basically a way to cut through the TBR, and I think it’s fantastic. It was created by blogger Eva Stalker, who tweets and posts about it regularly. A lot of bloggers I follow mention it often enough for me to have considered doing it. And now I’m gonna!

The premise is: in order to help you work through your TBR, you pledge/actively decide to read 20 books from it before you buy any more. Simple enough, but not buying books is hard. Not any at all?? Not even one? Nope. Doing the TBR20 puts an embargo on book purchases and forces you to pay attention to the books you have, some of which might have been waiting weeks and months (or years…) to be read. Which is just silly and pointless.

So which books do I choose for the list? The only way to do this was to sit and stare at my unread books, look at them all over and over until my boyfriend gave me a funny look, cut out a few, add a few, take away more… and finally manage to wittle the list down to 20. And here they are in all their glory:


My apologies for the slightly crappy photo. The books on the left are:

  • Havisham by Ronald Frame
  • Freud’s Sister by Goce Smilevski
  • The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell
  • Red Room: Short Stories Inspired by the Brontes
  • The Ecliptic by Benjamin Wood
  • Girl at War by Sara Novic
  • Tracks by Robyn Davidson
  • The Blue Tattoo by Margot Mifflin
  • The Ladies of the House by Molly McGrann

And the books on the right are:

  • Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss
  • The Inheritors by William Golding
  • Nagasaki by Eric Faye
  • The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov
  • Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
  • Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall
  • Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death by Otto Dov Kulka
  • Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • The Vatican Cellars by Andre Gide
  • Nothing Holds Back the Night by Delphine de Vigan

I’ve included the proofs I currently need to read (Girl at War, Ladies of the House, The Ecliptic) as well as several books I’ve been meaning to read for a long (long) time. I’m currently just under halfway through A Clash of Kings, so this project will start once I finish that, so… mid March I expect. I will be posting my reviews as well as my thoughts on the process as I go along. Wish me luck!! Anyone else done/doing the TBR20? The #TBR20 hashtag on Twitter is the perfect way to join in!

17 thoughts on “#TBR20”

  1. Good luck! And what a nice selection of books! I have Chasing the King of Hearts on my TBR too!


    1. Thank you! I’ve had my copy for a while and haven’t had the impetus to pick it up, though I think I’ll enjoy it – so now I will finally read it!


    1. I’ve read about half of THiaLH, but had to leave it in order to read books for uni… in 2008. So I really should pick it up again! I loved The Member of the Wedding and Reflections in a Golden Eye, so I think I’ll love it.


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