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Tackling the TBR [36]: July 2018

tackling the TBR

It’s once again time for my favorite feature: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organized method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first.
&
Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.


Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.

Here’s what mine looks like:

July 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

I actually met a few of my lofty goals in June, devouring 9 of the unreachable 18 titles I put on my list. This month is thankfully a lot more focused between new releases and series continuations. About half of them are books I own, so that moves forward my Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge (my #1 priority). I also have myself into a pretty comfortable reading schedule at the moment, which is really enabling me to fly through some of these titles. <-that always gets me wondering about quantity vs quality though. I love being able to read a ton of titles per month, but anytime I feel like I’m just reading for the sake of completion rather than enjoyment, I either slow down my pace or consider abandoning the book. Do any of you struggle with finding that balance? After all, what’s the point in reading all the things if you’re not enjoying yourself?

Have a great July! :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [35]: June 2018

tackling the TBR

It’s once again time for my favorite feature: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organized method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first.
&
Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.


Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.

Here’s what mine looks like:

June 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

I don’t have a very concise reading list this month (clearly). I’m in the middle of a massive personal library reorganization, trying to prep for my Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge (it’s currently linked to my ongoing tracker on Goodreads, but I’ll be putting together a feature on here within the next couple weeks). Basically, I have too many books that have jumped up into “high priority” status so, instead of picking a focus like I should, I’m just going to set lofty goals and fail to achieve them. :P Right now I’m torn between kicking off this new challenge and trying to maintain my Incomplete Series Challenge. I think I’m going to wrap up a bunch of series this month, which will free me up to dig into my collection going forward.

  • In the top row are books I’ve already started reading, along with ones on deck for my Incomplete Series Challenge.
  • In the middle row are ARC commitments, along with a few buddy reads I’ve signed up for.
  • In the bottom row are books I’ve selected as starting points for my Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge (Scott!! I know, I know, I changed my mind again on Demon Apostle. I’m going through a book crisis and can’t make up my mind what I want to do).

The titles that immediately jump out at me are Empire of Ashes and the two Murderbot books – I’m stoked to dive into those. I’m also excited to finally have the Word and the Void by Brooks in the lineup because they were recommended to me YEARS ago by a friend (thanks, Jonathan!! I’m finally reading them). I recently watched the two seasons of Shannara and, issues with the execution of the show aside (the second season was much better), the overall concept and ideas kind of reinivigorated my enthusiasm to get back to that series. Word and the Void is first in the chronological reading order, so here goes nothing.

Do you have any reading priorities or challenges you’re tackling this summer? I’d love to hear your game plan! :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [34]: May 2018

tackling the TBR

It’s once again time for my favorite feature: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organized method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first.
&
Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.


Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.

Here’s what mine looks like:

May 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

Last month I finished 9/10 books on my list!!! I’m not quite as optimistic about May, but that’s okay because I’m thrilled with my lineup. Half of these titles are scheduled Buddy Reads over at my Goodreads group and I’ll admit to feeling a little “overbooked” (bwahaha) even thought they’re BRs I’ve been looking forward to. Garden of Stones is the official book club pick for the group and I decided I wanted to get back into participating. Reading outside my set TBR is sometimes difficult for my OCD, but it seems worth it because I’ve found so many amazing reads that I probably would’ve have picked up otherwise if not for a book club (specfic, anyway. You won’t find me anywhere near a non-fiction or classics book club lol). Other than that, I’m looking forward to finally making progress with Malazan – I’m determined to keep going this time. I’m even more excited for Unclean Spirits written by M.L.N. Hanover, which is a pen name for Daniel Abraham – aka 1/2 of James S.A. Corey. This is the only series by his brilliance I haven’t tried yet and I’m stoked. :)

Do any of you ever feel overwhelmed at a reading schedule? How do you deal? :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [33]: April 2018

tackling the TBR

It’s once again time for my favorite feature: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organized method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first.
&
Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.


Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you. <-November 2017 I’m trying something new and reading them in a specific, carefully pre-determined order. <-Going back to how I was doing it before.

Here’s what mine looks like:

April 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

Due to some unfortunate medical issues, I’m only just now getting into the swing of things for April. Even so, I feel directionless without my trusted TBR Tackler shelf, so getting it set up feels good for my soul. I read 8/10 books from last month’s lineup and have already made decent headway with these titles. I’ve been working so hard on my Incomplete Series Challenge over at Fantasy Buddy Reads that at one point last month I was down to just 9 open series (from 129 about a year and a half ago). I’m excited this month to start cashing in some new series credits I “earned” while completing the challenge. My next focus (which I’ll probably start including an update for) is the Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge which means I finally have the opportunity to dig into some of the potentially awesome books that have been sharing space with me for 10+ years. The goal is to streamline my library down to just the books I’ve read and loved (and a manageable TBR section).

What books are you tackling this month? Are the any from my list I need to read ASAP?!! :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [32]: March 2018

tackling the TBR

It’s once again time for my favorite feature: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organized method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first.
&
Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.


Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you. <-November 2017 I’m trying something new and reading them in a specific, carefully pre-determined order. <-Going back to how I was doing it before.

Here’s what mine looks like:

March 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

My new strategy of reading high-priority books in a carefully pre-determined order is … not working. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the highly structured nature of the system that let me down (I actually liked not having the pressure of choosing my next reads), but the sporadic availably of most of the books. Because I was reliant on library checkouts for at least 75% of my titles, that means I was at the mercy of those in line ahead of me (where they would either keep the books the max time, or return them early… either way they screwed up my system constantly). I’m the type of personality that if I set my mind to a system, I want to stick to it perfectly. So after the 5th or 6th book I had to start out of order, I realized the only way I could get this to work was if I was only reading owned books… not going to happen. Not to mention many of my titles were for Buddy Reads, which start on specific dates. Long story short, I’m back to setting my list for high priorities and reading them as they become available. :D I’m very excited for Nyxia Unleashed, so between that and finishing out the Unhewn Throne series, March has a lot to look forward to.  


Niki’s Incomplete Series Challenge [Via Fantasy Buddy Reads]

Niki’s February 2018 Progress Update:

Series Finished: 2
Darkest Mercy – Melissa Marr
The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories – Rae Carson

Series Brought UTD: 2
Spectacle – Rachel Vincent
Child of a Mad God – R.A. Salvatore

Series Progressed: 5
The Providence of Fire – Brian Staveley
Tricked – Kevin Hearne
The Demon Spirit – R.A. Salvatore
Teckla – Steven Brust
Dime Store Magic – Kelley Armstrong

New Series Started: 1
Child of a Mad God – R.A. Salvatore
Dayfall – Michael David Ares

Abandoned: 1
Dayfall – Michael David Ares

YTD Totals:
Finished Series: 3
Up To Date Series: 5
Series Progressed: 10
New Series Started: 3
Abandoned: 2

Because I’ve been focused on my goal of getting under 20 open series (by July 2018, which I slaughtered), I’m now sitting pretty with 15 open series (not counting the UTD stuff). My next goal is to get under 10. :)


What books are you Tackling this month? Even if you don’t specifically use my system, feel free to share your versions of how you manage your TBR pile (and the links to your posts if applicable) in the comments. :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [31]: February 2018

tackling the TBR

It’s once again time for my favorite feature: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organized method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first.
&
Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.


Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you. <-November 2017 I’m trying something new and reading them in a specific, carefully pre-determined order.

Here’s what mine looks like:

February 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

My new strategy of reading high-priority books in a carefully pre-determined order is definitely working for me. As long as I continue to prioritize the best books first, I can jump into the next book on my list with confidence (and zero lag time). I’m now rotating books within 5 series, and throwing in ARCs or impulse reads in the 6th spot to keep things interesting (the 6th spot is also where I’m tacking my slightly lower priority books). I have a detailed “schedule” of books laid out on this Goodreads Bookshelf, and it delights me to no end to see all the TBR books from each series in a solid line down the page (it’s also really fun to see the books move up the list as I complete them… I’m such a nerd). Anyway, the book I’m currently most excited to get to on this list is Spectacle by Rachel Vincent. :) 


Niki’s Incomplete Series Challenge [Via Fantasy Buddy Reads]

Niki’s January 2018 Progress Update:

Series Finished: 1
Naamah’s Blessing – Jacqueline Carey

Series Brought UTD: 3
Magic Binds – Ilona Andrews
Burn Bright – Patricia Briggs
Persepolis Rising – James S.A. Corey

Series Progressed: 5
Lady of Misrule – T.A. Pratt
Radiant Shadows – Melissa Marr
Dragon Hunters – Marc Turner
High Rhulain – Brian Jacques
The Shadow Rising – Robert Jordan

New Series Started: 1
Menagerie – Rachel Vincent

Abandoned: 1
Lady of Misrule [8/10] – T.A. Pratt

YTD Totals:
Finished Series: 1
Up To Date Series: 3
Series Progressed: 5
New Series Started: 1
Abandoned: 1

Because I’ve been focused on my goal of getting under 20 open series (by July 2018, which I slaughtered), I’m now sitting pretty with 16 open series (not counting the UTD stuff). My next goal is to get under 10. :)


What books are you Tackling this month? Even if you don’t specifically use my system, feel free to share your versions of how you manage your TBR pile (and the links to your posts if applicable) in the comments. :)

by Niki Hawkes