TBR Book Tag!

What the heck is a TBR Book Tag?! Huh. Well TBR stands for “To Be Read,” and a TBR Book Tag is like a chain-letter that bloggers “tag” each other with. I’m not sure where or when this tag originated but everyone who participates responds to the same set of questions and then proceeds to “tag” someone else.

Darkowaa from African Book Addict tagged me.
Darkowaa: thanks for nudging me to participate in a TBR Book Tag—I didn’t think I would be grateful to you because I’ve been guiltily submerged beneath a backlog of posts for my blog—maybe this is what I needed to shake off the dust!!

Here goes:

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
I love that this question assumes that I have a pile, because indeed I do. Several as a matter of fact. This is an instance in which I must thank advanced technology for making my life saner because I used to scribble the titles of books that I wanted to read in notebooks, and on random scraps of paper (like the backs of coupons or the subscription cards that fall out of magazines). Now, I ease my mind by logging my titles on goodreads.com.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?
Print – I still love handling books. Besides, I dropped my Kindle in the bathtub about a year ago and haven’t got around to replacing it.

How do you determine which books from your TBR to read next?
Hmm…no true science for this. But here are a few ways that I chose what to read next: deep yearnings; guilt (if something has been on my TBR super long); wanting to participate in discussions about books and authors; and sometimes the attractiveness of a book’s cover art or how the book feels in my hand.

A book that has been on my TBR the longest?
The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

A book you recently added to your TBR?
Dreams In A Time of War: A Childhood Memoir by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Joy-Ann Reid’s Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide.

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
Honestly, this book is on my TBR because I read Nate Marshall’s Blood Percussion earlier this year and admired it. I was anticipating publication of his 2014 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize-winning Wild Hundreds, and when I saw the cover art I had to nod my head in appreciation! The artist’s name is Max Sansing.

Love this cover!
Love this cover!

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
Uhm. I plead the fifth.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for
I’m hardly privvy to knowledge about unpublished books.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. This book was also made into a mini-series that aired on BET.

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you
Emma Donoghue’s ROOM, Assata Shakur’s Assata: An Autobiography.

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read
A pamphlet of speeches by the late Grace Lee Boggs, printed in 1990.
From the “Acknowledgements” page: “This book was prepared with love by: James Boggs, Joseph Eggy, Richard Feldman, John S. Gruchala, Sharon Howell, Freddy Paine and Nkenge Zola.”

How many books are on your TBR shelf?

Who am I tagging? Anyone reading who wants to participate, and more specifically:
Richard at Black Guys Do Read
Rowena at Les Reveries de Rowena
Didi at Brown Girl Reading
Claire at Word by Word
Nadine at Live. Love. Write.
Julie at Chalk the Sun
Margaret at Margaret Serious
Naomi at The Writes of Woman

The ultimate TBR: archival collection from The Johnson Publishing Co. Research Library, now at the Stony Island Arts Bank Reading Room.
The ultimate TBR: archival collection from The Johnson Publishing Co. Research Library, now at the Stony Island Arts Bank Reading Room.

Learn more about the Stony Island Arts Bank.

You’re IT!


  1. I’ll have to figure out that TBR.
    Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes, especially the illustrated version, is outstanding. I love how it was three different titles in three different countries (if we count Quebec as a country) to accommodate three different cultural sensitivities.
    Thanks for visiting my blog and “liking” it. I couldn’t find a place to like yours, but I do.

    1. Merci beaucoup – thank you for visiting and commenting. I didn’t realize there was an illustrated version of The Book of Negroes – I’m going to look for that one. Sorry you couldn’t locate the “like” button on my blog – a technical thingy I’ll have to find a way to fix. I’ve noticed sometimes other folks leave affirmative comments but haven’t “liked” – oh well!

    1. Hi Osondu – are you doing the tag? Yes 287 books TBR is a lot – crazy, I know. It’s probably more representative of at least 200 books that I decided to log into my goodreads account rather than purchasing every book I spy at some bookstore or another that makes me start drooling! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and sharing comments!

  2. Yaay! I’ve finally found time to comment on your responses.
    I agree – handling a book is a special feeling. And if it accidentally falls into the bathtub, it will dry- unlike an e-reader/ Kindle.
    ‘Dreams in a Time of War’ was such a tender read for me this year. I’m sure you would love it! I look forward to reading your thoughts if you decide to review it! Gotta love Ngugi 🙂
    I’m loving the cover art for Wild Hundreds! The guy on the cover looks like Nas – the rapper. I haven’t read Book of Negros or Assata either…you are not alone lol.
    287 on your TBR – I ain’t mad!
    Thanks for participating and tagging others 🙂

    1. Darkowaa – You don’t think 287 is ridiculous? That’s actually the number of books I’ve entered on my goodreads account to keep me from obsessing over every book that looks interesting! My immediate TBR is a smaller number that I may actually get around to reading—a shelf of which is in my bedroom and it pleases me to look at them every day. “Gotta love Ngugi” is right! I like The Wizard of the Crow and it was actually your review of Dreams in a Time of War that added to my enthusiasm to read more of his work.
      I see the resemblance to Nas, too, now you’ve brought that to my attention. I wonder if the artist modeled it from him?

  3. Thanks for tagging me, Leslie! I would also recommend the Lawrence Hill book to you, it’s wonderful. Met him last month and he’s such a nice man, another reason to read him. Also, I love the new blog picture:)

    1. Hi Rowena – Ah, another vote for The Book of Negroes! Did you meet the author at a book-signing or reading? And did he talk at all about how he worked on the book? I’m glad you like the blog picture. My blog is celebrating a one-year anniversary and I’m actually wanting to give it a new look overall, so stay tuned:)

  4. Thanks for the tag! Looks like we have some things in common. Will try to get on it as soon as I can figure out what to answer. lol! I’m working on it as I type. 😉

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