Tag Archive | TBR Pile Challenge

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes Review

June the first, a bright summer’s evening, a Monday . . .

And into the busy, bustling homes at 66 Star Street slips, unseen, a mysterious visitor. As the couples, flatmates and repentant singletons of No 66 fall in and out of love, clutch at and drop secrets, laugh, cry and simply try to live, no one suspects the visitor patiently waiting in the wings. For soon, really very soon, everything is going to change . . .


Marian Keyes was the first author I really remember getting me into chick lit. I remember at uni reading all her novels, and loving every single one. As her career progressed, I carried on reading, and loving every single one of them.

Which is why it was such a surprise that I bought The Brightest Star in the Sky when it came out, but it sat on my shelf for a few years before I read it. I can’t explain why that is, I cannot understand any logical reason why I would have done that.

In January when I was deciding my 12 books for the TBR Pile Challenge, I knew I had to put this on – oh, how hard for me.

I started reading it, and, predictably, couldn’t put it down. I was enthralled with the characters, I laughed and cried with them. TBSITS is Keyes at her best (does she write anything that isn’t her best? I’ve not read it if she has – and like I said I’ve read everything of hers). It’s not Angels, which to be honest is hard to beat because it’s in my top 5 ever books, but it’s damn good. I’d recommend it to any Keyes fan, or female fiction fan, in fact anyone.

Keyes’ new novel ‘The Mystery of Mercy Close’ is out in September, and I will be there on the day, ready to buy it, and this time, I’ll read it immediately. I cannot wait!

My Next Reading Challenge – The TBR Pile Challenge 2012

I read about this challenge and just knew I had to do it. I’d like to mention who’s blog I found it from, but stupidly I didn’t write it down when I found it when I was surfing on my phone yesterday. Doh! The challenge is hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader (for the 3rd year running – how have I not heard about this before?

When I last counted how many books I had on my shelf, to be read, it was 80. When I last moved at the beginning of the year it had to be more. As you can understand – this is a brilliantly suitable challenge for me.

The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).


1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2011 or later (any book published in the year 2010 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

2.  To be eligible, you must sign-up with Mr. Linky  – link to your list (so create it ahead of time!) and add updated links to each book’s review.  Every listed book must be completed and must be reviewed (doesn’t have to be too fancy) in order to count as completed.

3.  The link you post in the Mr. Linky below must be to your “master list” (see mine below).  This is where you will keep track of your books completed, crossing them out and/or dating them as you go along, and updating the list with the links to each review (so there’s one easy, convenient way to find your list and all your reviews for the challenge).  See THIS LINK for an idea of what I mean.  Your list must be completed by December 31st, 2011.

4. Leave comments on this post as you go along, to update us on your status. Come back here if/when you complete this challenge and leave a comment indicating that you CONQUERED YOUR 2012 TBR LIST!  Every person who successfully reads his/her 12 books and/or alternates (and who provides a working link to their list, which has links to the review locations) will be entered to win a $50 gift card from Amazon.com or The Book Depository!

5. Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable, as long as you have never read the book before and it was published pre-2011!

The problem for me was chosing which of my tbr books to use. In the end it was earlier than I thought, I pretty much just picked the first 14 I found. Here they are (in no particular order):

Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson

A French Affair by Susan Lewis

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Steig Larsson

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

After the Party by Lisa Jewell

The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris

The Little Lady by Hester Browne

The Last Juror by John Grisham

Daniel isn’t Talking by Marti Leimbach

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult

And the 2 Alternatives:

Just Between Us by Cathy Kelly

Members Only by Leonie Fox.

I when I’ve done the Mystery and Suspense Challenge before (2010 and 2011) I didn’t have a plan – I just thought I’d read books when I found them (I didn’t have to state which books I’d read for that one), however that’s left me rushing at the end of December both years to finish. I can’t do this challenge like that because there’s a couple of LONG books in there, and we know how much I want to ‘win’ this challenge.

So, I’ve got a (very rough) plan. I’m going to read the LONG books at the beginning of the year. Then try to read one a month for the rest of the year. I’d actually really like to read all 14, so you never know.

I’m really excited about this. Just wish it was 2012 already so I could crack on with it (although I have the rest of my 2011 reading sorted anyway!).

This page will be my main one for the challenge, then when I review the books I’ll create a link from here to the individual page.

I can’t wait!

**10.1.12 Update – First novel complete – Petit Anglaise – review linked above**

**17.8.12 Update – I’ve now read 5 novels for this challenge, so I’m a bit behind where I should be at this time in the year. I’m even more behind with reviews, I’ve only done 3 out of the 5. Must catch up, on both reading and reviewing**