My Victory Garden

I saw this idea over at The Beauty of Eclecticism and fell in love with it. She has decided to plant a Victory Garden for books.  The Victory Garden is a place to lay to rest all the books that have intimidated us in the past.  Books that deserve to be read.  Books that we've tried to read and just weren't ready for.  Books that we feel like we ought to read in order to be well-read (like War & Peace or Moby Dick).  Or maybe just books that we tried to read and life just got in the way.  Like her, there are certain books that I've tried to read, but just couldn't for whatever reason and I hate to think that they've beaten me.  So now, here in my Victory Garden, I will keep track of my victories--planting each book in my garden as I conquer it and linking up reviews.

My first book will be planted retroactively.  Back in the spring, I finally conquered Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne.  I read Sterne's Sentimental Journey back in college and loved it.  I picked up Tristram Shandy not long after and let it sit on the shelf.  When I finally tried to read it I got about 50 pages in and just couldn't go any further.  I set it aside.  Fast forward almost 20 years when I met a dear friend who just happens to be an 18th Century scholar and Tristram Shandy fan-boy (don't tell him I called him that).  He told me about his then current research project which involved some themes in Shandy and got me all interested again.  So, I pulled out the book and started reading....and got about 50 pages in and just couldn't go any further.  Fast forward another 5 years (last spring)...determined that I would finally get Shandy off my "to do list," I put him down for Roof Beam Reader's TBR Reading Challenge.  And finished the darn thing!  You can click on the title to see what I thought of Shandy once he was out of my system. 

1. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
3. Dragons of Light by Orson Scott Card (ed)
4. The High Crusade by Poul Anderson
5. That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis (actually the entire space trilogy series)
6. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
7. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
9. Chancellorsville & Gettysburg by General Abner Doubleday
10. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet
11. Prayers to Broken Stones by Dan Simmons
12.The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith (on my shelf since the 1990s)
13. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (a Christmas gift from Mom & Dad in the '80s) 
14. Shakespeare's Planet by Clifford D. Simak [on TBR since 1980s] 
15. Other Times, Other Worlds by John D. MacDonald [on TBR since 1/19/93] 
16. Foundation by Isaac Asimov [on TBR since 1984] (10/4/13) 
17. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick [on TBR since 12/30/11] (1/29/14) 
18. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick [on TBR since late '80s] (2/27/14)
19. India's Love Lyrics by Laurence Hope [on TBR since 6/12/89] (3/4/14)
20. On the Beach by Nevil Shute [on TBR since the 1980s] (7/7/14)
21. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis [on TBR since 1993] (7/20/14) 
22. Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card [on TBR since 1990s] (8/19/14)
23. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy [on TBR since 1980s] (9/21/14)     
24. Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home by James Tiptree, Jr. [on TBR since 6/10/88] (1/2/15)  
25. The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle [on TBR since early 1990s] (4/12/15)
26. Make Death Love Me by Ruth Rendell [on TBR since 12/21/11] (3/1/16)
27. A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear [on TBR since 9/17/11] (3/13/16) 
28. The Third Encounter by Sara Woods [on TBR since at least 2011] (4/1/16) 
29. The Limehouse Text by Will Thomas [on TBR since 6/10/10] (4/13/16) 
30. The Litmore Snatch by Henry Wade [on TBR since 10/1/10] (5/21/16) 
31. The Devil in Bellminster by David Holland [on TBR since 5/10/10] (7/13/16) 
32. A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion by Ron Hansen [on TBR since 6/16/13] (2/18/17)
33. Nero Wolfe of West Thirty-Fifth Street by William S. Baring-Gould [on TBR since 10/16/10] (4/4/17)
34. Decision at Delphi by Helen MacInnes [on TBR since 11/9/12] (5/28/17)
35. The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham [on TBR since at least 2011] (1/1/18)
36. About the Murder of Geraldine Foster by Anthony Abbott [on TBR since 1/10/13] (3/22/18)
37. The Love Songs of Sappho trans by Paul Roche [on TBR since 12/16/10] (5/23/18)
38. Gun in Cheek by Bill Pronzini [on TBR since 7/11/09] (6/27/18)
39. Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin [on TBR since at least 3/5/11 ] (7/22/18)
40. A Summer in the Twenties by Peter Dickinson [on TBR since 5/26/12] (8/2/18)
41. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen [on TBR since at least 2011] (9/18/18)
42. The Man Born to Be King by Dorothy L. Sayers [on TBR since at least 2011--not logged properly] (3/31/19)
43. A Knife in the Back by Bill Crider [on TBR since at least 2011--not logged properly] (4/2/19)
44. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter [on TBR since April 1984] (4/22/19)
45. A Hard Rain by Dean Wesley Smith [on TBR since 12/30/05] (7/31/19)
46. The Noel Coward Murder Case by George Baxt [on TBR since at least 2011--not logged properly when bought] (11/20/19)  
47. In Memory Yet Green by Isaac Asimov [on TBR since 12/31/11] (7/22/20)
48. Dead as a Dodo by Jane Langton [on TBR since 12/6/08] (1/24/20)  
49. Gently in the Sun by Alan Hunter [on TBR since 12/31/11] (4/5/21)
50. Theoretically Dead by Tinker Marks [on TBR since 12/18/10] (5/19/21)
51. The 13th Warrior by Michael Crichton [on TBR since 12/25/11] (5/22/21)
52. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks [on TBR since 8/20/11] (6/4/21)  
53. The Witch of the Low Tide by John Dickson Carr [on TBR since 10/1/10] (9/18/21)