An Unofficial TBR Pile Challenge

As part of my Reading the Unread Year I was going to sign up for The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by, but while I was ill I forgot there was a date deadline for signing up. And I missed it! But I’d selected 12 books and 2 alternatives (so there are substitutes in case I can’t finish something), and written my first post – I even set up a separate page on the sidebar, so I can track my progress and link to my posts! So, although I’ve missed the cut-off point I’m going to keep an eye yon what other people are reading, and follow my original plan – with my own unofficial 2018 TBR Pile Challenge!

With one exception, my 12 books are all Viragos, which may not surprise those who know me – I cannot resist those old green spines, so when I see them I buy them, which means I have amassed quite stash, many of which are unread. As I’ve observed before, books should be read, not left on shelves, so this seems an ideal opportunity to put things right.

I did consider establishing some kind of system to select the books – chronological in order of Virago publication. or chronological in order in order of original publication (one book from every decade perhaps), or alphabetical… But in the end I simply used a lucky dip method and picked them more or less at random, though i’ve tried to choose various styles, nationalities and periods. I’ve also tried to sepatate them from other book challenges since the aim is to whittle away at the TBR pile, and there’s no point doubling up.

Anyway, my final list is:

Poor Cow, Nell Dunn

The Golden Arrow, Mary Webb

Yononimo, Tillie Olsen

Surfacing, Margaret Atwood

The Getting of Wisdom, Henry Handel Richardson

The New House, Lettice Cooper

LC, Susan Daitch

The Three Miss Kings, Ada Cambridge

Illyrian Spring, Ann Bridge

As Far as Jane’s Grandmother’s, Edith Olivier

Daddy Was A Numbers Runner, Louise Meriwether

Seducers in Ecuador & The Heir, Vita Sackville-West


William, EH Young

After the Death of Don Juan, Sylvia Townsend Warner