Tag Archives: TBR Double Dare

Thoughts on the TBR Double Dare

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I’ve read five books from my TBR Double Dare pile, which is great, of course, but what I’ve read has caused me to think about all the other books crammed around the house and how long some of them have been crammed around the house.

You see, with the exception of Drusilla Modjeska’s Stravinsky’s Lunch, the books I nominated for the TBR Double Dare are all relatively recent acquisitions, occurring within the last couple of years, mainly from BookMooch.  There are other books around the house that have been with me for much longer – in some cases, almost twenty years or so.

While I’m pleased to have knocked a few intended books off my list, I feel as though I could take this reading challenge a bit deeper.  In other words, figure out which books have been around the longest and either read ‘em or ditch ‘em according to my level of interest in ‘em.

Three examples:

The Confessions of Aubrey Beardsley by Donald S. Olson

 According to the docket still in this book, I bought it from the Electric Shadows Bookshop in Canberra on 28 February 1995 for the princely sum of $32.90.  I liked the idea of this book – a dramatization of the life of artist Aubrey Beardsley – but I could never find a way into it when I tried to read it.  Am I interested now?  A bit.

Betrayals by Charles Palliser

Charles Palliser’s Betrayals has been with me as long as the Donald S. Olson.  I’m put off by the reference to Italo Calvino on the back, who I’ve always thought of as a tricksy post-modernist and while I appreciate tricksy post-modernism, I’m currently more in love with plot and highlighting historical injustices towards women.  Am I interested in this one today?  Not much.

Immortality by Milan Kundera

This last was a present from my dad in 1993 – he inscribed it for me.  I used to like Kundera’s work, particularly The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.  I think I just never got round to reading this one.  Do I want to read it still?  Yes.

It’s only a vague thought at present but I feel as though continuing on with the TBR Double Dare after April and focusing on books like those I’ve mentioned could make a very real and valuable contribution to my TBR pile.  While making me feel incredibly virtuous in the process.

Hmm, worth a thought.  There’s nothing quite like feeling virtuous.

And we’re away in the TBR Double Dare

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Well, I’ve read my first book for the year and one which was earmarked for the TBR Double Dare: One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes, a gently drifting book about the deprivations and changes affecting life in post-war Britain.  I’m not sure if I’ll review it but it was very pleasant read if a little slow, offering many insights into how the middle class dealt with the social effects wrought by WW2, the most significant being the changes to their daily lives caused by the almost complete lack of servants.  Without Nanny to look after the children, for instance, it fell to mother to pick up the reins and their is some doubt about her suitability.  Hmm, perhaps I will write about it in depth at some stage because there really are some great insights which I’d like to record, particularly in relation to the changing roles of women.

As to my next read, I’m not quite sure what to do because four of the library books I reserved have come in all at once.  I may sacrifice a couple because the loan period is 3-6 weeks depending on whether or not someone else wants them, but the one I think I’d like to read next is Lev Grossman’s The Magician King, a continuation of his first book, The Magicians, which I very much enjoyed.  The Magicians subverted a number of fantasy cliches in an intelligent way and I expect the same from The Magician King; I’m also keen to hang out with a group of characters with whom I’m already familiar.  So perhaps it will be my next read.  But things change on a whim around here so until I’ve actually started it, who knows?