2012 TBR Pile Challenge – Final Stretch!


As we head into the final few days of 2012, I wanted to post briefly about the challenge and peoples’ progress, including my own.  Unfortunately, it looks like I’m only going to get through 11 of the 12 books I need in order to “Win.”  That’s still a win for me, though, as it’s 11 books that had been sitting on my shelves for ages that I’ve finally read!  I enjoyed most of them, too.

Here are the 10 that I’ve finished (I’m working on #11, Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway, right now):

1. Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo (Completed 5/18/2012)

2. Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway (Currently Reading)

3. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Completed 3/1/2012)

4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Completed 2/5/2012)

7. Nova Express by William S. Burroughs (Completed 1/21/2012)

8. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Completed 1/25/2012)

9. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (Completed 12/22/2012)

10. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Completed 1/12/2012)

11. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (Completed 2/24/2012)

12. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut (Completed 2/12/2012)

Alt 2. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (Completed 7/26/2012)

We do have some folks who have commented on the master post indicating that they are finished – outstanding!  Once the year ends and the 2013 challenge begins, I will be going back to check final lists & reviews, and all those who did finish and who met the challenge specifications will be entered to win the $50 Gift Card (Amazon or The Book Depository). 

Current Completers:

Jenny from Jenny & Kelly Read Books

Kelly from Jenny & Kelly Read Books

Laura at Devouring Texts

Karen of Books and Chocolate

Melissa of Avid Reader’s Musings

Bev at My Reader’s Block

Debbie at ExUrbanis

Avid Series Reader


A Hot Cup of Pleasure

Reading 2011 (And Beyond)

Rob at Loose Logic


So, we had 123 people sign-up for the 2012 challenge and, so far, 12 have reported as being finished. Oh, boy!   That’s certainly good odds for the prize!

 If you’re out there and you’ve finished your challenge, be sure to go back to the master post and leave a comment letting us know (or feel free to leave a comment on this post, too). 

If you didn’t finish – what kind of progress did you make?  1 of 12?  6 of 12?  Even reading one book is a step in the right direction, so if you gave it a shot – good for you!  Come back and join us in 2013 for another go!

I actually very much enjoyed almost all of these books, so it’s a shame that I had left them sitting on my shelves for so long. But that’s what this challenge is for!  Many of these (Gone With the Wind, The Woman in White, Cannery Row, and The Handmaid’s Tale) actually ended up being some of my favorite reads of the year – and maybe even of all time! 

Which books from your list did you love?  Which ones did you hate?  Looking forward to any in 2013?

30 Comments on “2012 TBR Pile Challenge – Final Stretch!

  1. I’m so excited about actually completing this challenge. Some of these books have been taunting me from my shelves for the better part of a decade. You really picked some excellent ones for your list and I’m not surprised they became favorites!


    • I know! I don’t know why I always buy these books and let them sit there. Okay, well, I do know why – I buy an insane amount of books, because I’m a bibliophile, but then I just don’t have time to read them all. So, it is what it is. At least I’ll have plenty to do when I retire in 35 years! Haha. I’ve been pretty lucky with my list over the past few years, though. I’m hoping 2013 turns out to be just as swell.


  2. I didn’t finish but I came close. I read ten of the 12 books I signed up for. I started 2 but didn’t complete them (Bleak House and Catch-22). The ones I didn’t get to were Daniel Deronda by George Eliot and Ghostwritten by David Mitchell. I guess I’ll add them to next year’s list. I really enjoyed this challenge! Some of my favorite reads: Room, Pump Six, The Count of Monte Cristo,The Report, and Blackbird House.


    • Ah, you had an excellent list, too! I also started Catch-22 but didn’t get too far into it before setting it down. I haven’t tried Bleak House, yet, but I do enjoy Dickens. I think the next of his that I want to read are Our Mutual Friend (which was on my 2012 list but not attempted) and also The Old Curiosity Shop. I hear good thigns about Daniel Deronda – and I do like George Eliot, so I hope you get to that one in 2013! Good luck! 🙂


  3. I’m actually very excited about next year’s run – what a very productive idea! I’m very happy about your progress! Good luck to everyone else and well done to those who took part this year.


  4. Looking back over my list from last year, I was surprised to discover that I actually read three of the titles, and started two, which is better than I’d thought. I’m avoiding year-long challenges this coming year, but it is tempting to try this one again….hmmm…maybe I’ll change my mind!


  5. Only 5 people to 123? I can’t believe it!!
    We have a lot to do in 2013, I see! 😉

    I’m looking forward to starting the new year’s challenges!!


  6. Adam, I did leave a link to my completed list on the original page a few days ago but I don’t see my name in the 5 “completers”. Did I not qualify? Reviews not detailed enough? ???


    • Hi, Debbie – Sorry! I misread your previous comment (thought you hadn’t WRITTEN reviews – noticed you were just referring to individual links). You’re listed, now! 🙂


  7. Great job everyone. I didn’t participate, but like to look at everyone’s progress.

    I am going to check out, THE HANDMAID’S TALE, THE WOMAN IN WHITE, and PLAYER PIANO.

    Thanks for your post.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog


  8. I have one left and if I do not get sucked into Skyrim. I will have it done today tomorrow.


  9. I’m aiming to finish! I’ve got two more books to write up and I’m on track to get ’em done. Don’t give up on me yet! 🙂


  10. YAY! You can add my name to the list up there, cause I finished!! Wheee!

    As for what I loved and hated from my list this year… ooh. That’s a good question. I must admit that I mostly picked what I thought would be “easy reads” because I knew that 2012 was going to be hectic (we moved across the country in May, so I knew when I made my list that I would have that to deal with… since then, we’ve moved *again* and had some other challenges along the way, sooo… you know. Just one of those years.)

    All this to say… I liked most of my books and, more importantly, I did have a feeling of being happy to *finally* be reading them as I read each one. Very satisfying! I was super happy to finally read The Venetian’s Wife and Historic San Francisco, The Four Spirits was better than I thought it would be, and The Art of Happiness kind of wore on me, but was a worthwhile read.

    All right… off to unpack my TBR books and make my list for 2013! Thanks again, Adam!


    • That review on the Wonder Woman book was awesome. Actually made me interested in learning more about Wonder Woman… which has just never been an interest of mine, ever. Although, I do want to see the movie. Now even moreso. 🙂


  11. I did it, I am done. Time to look at the list for next year and see what one to start on first.


    • Great! Let me know when that last review goes up so I can link-your list in this post & get you entered in the giveaway! 🙂


  12. Pingback: Shelf of Doom Redux (2013 TBR Pile Challenge)

  13. I ended up having a lot of really long books on my list, so I was happy I made it through. I would say that Karl Marlantes’ Matterhorn was amazing. I wanted to read The Best and The Brightest as sort of a Vietnam pairing, but turned out one was enough for m

    I was impressed with almost all of my non-fiction choices. Both The Warmth of Other Suns and We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We will be Killed with Our Families were astounding.

    My big disappointment was Cutting for Stone, which I found a little boring and overly long. Yet so many people loved it!


  14. I failed the 2012 challenge, only reading 2 out of 12, but it was my first time and first real challenge, so now I know what I’m doing and am signing up to try again in 2013! The two I read and reviewed were Cutting for Stone and Snow, both pretty long and ones I’d been meaning to tackle for a while. Both worth reading, I thought, but agree with Jenny in an above comment that Cutting for Stone could have been edited down a bit.
    Thanks for running the challenge and for all the work you put into it!


  15. I managed to complete this challenge just last night, reading 12/12 – unfortunately I didn’t get to my alternates, but they’ll top the 2013 list. I love this challenge, it really helps me focus on the books that I have been meaning to read for ages. Looking forward to posting my 2013 list later today! Thanks for hosting this again and now I have to check out your reviews – I loved the Woman in White and I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts! 🙂 Oh, my challenge post is here: http://reading2011.blogspot.com/2011/12/tbr-pile-challenge-2012.html


  16. I only read 10. I was feeling down about it, but then I read what you said, that’s 10 more than I had at the beginning of the year. More of a problem really is that I haven’t finished reviewing them all – in fact I’ve only done half of them. Oops.
    I’m going to do again this year, and I WILL complete it, although I won’t be adding all 4 of the books I didn’t read, just one, then get some more!
    Well done those that did complete, and thanks again for holding this challenge, I really enjoyed it.


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