Sunday Salon: Mavis Staples, Non-fiction November, Dakota and the TBR Dare

It’s quite cold this morning for the second day in a row.  We’ve even turned the heat on.  Friday we had a day of rain, real rain, the kind you need an umbrella for. Puddles formed.

This qualifies as winter weather in the Bay Area; this year, we’re all very happy to see it arrive.

Thursday night we braved the weather to travel to Berkeley to see Mavis Staples who was performing at Cal.  We had a marvelous time.   Though she is nearing her 80’s, Ms. Staples can still turn out her trademark growl and rock the house.  For you youngsters in the audience who might not know Ms Staples here’s  a clip from a recent performance. ;-).


Before the show C.J. and wandered around Telegraph Ave. which I’m pleased to say, in spite of some upgrading,  is still basically the same as it was back in the 1970’s when my  parents first let me go there with my friends Peter and Craig because it had a good comic book store.

The comic book store is gone, as is Cody’s Books, but Moe’s Bookstore along with Shakespeare’s are both still there, Blondie’s still sells cheap slices, there’s still an old-school head-shop open for business, the poster store, the t-shirt store and the hat store are still there, the street is still dirty with a bit of the old smell in the air and there are still political activists of all sorts selling buttons and bumper stickers on the sidewalks.  C.J. and I each bought two books. We had a great time.

I’ve joined Non-fiction November, hosted by Lu at Regular Rumination.  My goal was to spend all of November reading the non-fiction in my TBR pile–that’s 14 books.  I figures I could make something of a push and really make a dent in my TBR pile before my annual book buying binge in preparation for 2015’s TBR Dare.

Of course, both of the books I bought Thursday night were non-fiction, but  yesterday I picked up the new Booker Prize winner, The Narrow Road to the Deep North at Bookshop Benicia,my local bookstore.   My local library doesn’t have the book yet; I know, that’s a rationalization.  They’ll probably have it in a week or two, but I like to support my local bookshop.

Buy from a real bookshop once in a while, everyone.  Every time you do, an angel gets it’s library card.

You may have noticed me mentioning the TBR Dare above.  I’ve been thinking about it lately  It’s always been closely linked with Dakota, in my mind at least, since it featured a picture of her last year.  Dakota is still doing pretty well.  We’ve stopped counting weeks since she got her lymphoma diagnosis.  We were told eight weeks at most, but  that was back in August.  So we’re counting months.  She’s entering number four.  She’s slowed down noticeably, and her temper is much shorter with the other dogs, but she shows no signs of pain at all.

So, I’m thinking another round of the TBR Dare in her honor may be in store.  This would be the fifth year.  (I skipped the TBR Triple Dare and went straight to the Triple Dog Dare last year.)  I was planning on doing it myself anyway because it’s become something of a habit, like Lent, and I really enjoy it.

Ftbr dareor you youngsters out there who may not have heard of the TBR Dare before, it works like this.  😉  The Dare is to read only from your TBR pile from New Year’s Day to April Fool’s Day.  You can still buy books, but you can’t read them unless you owned them, had them on order or on reserve at your local library as of midnight, December 31st.  I do allow exceptions for book clubs and basically whatever you want to make an exception for.  It’s all very loose.

There are people who have participated in all four years of the TBR Dare, including Gaskella who made button with the first three images in it used above. Thanks.

I’ll start putting together a page and a linky later this month.

It seems like this new blog of mine has me going through all the new book blog phases again.  This is the sign-up for lots of challenges phase.

It’s kind of fun.

I can’t wait for the finally gets hundreds of views a day phase to begin.


18 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Mavis Staples, Non-fiction November, Dakota and the TBR Dare

  1. The weather is everywhere then. Here in Illinois it actually snowed on Halloween. Crazy and crappy. I’m already missing warm weather.

  2. I had to laugh a bit at your last statement. I go through joining phases as well…but really sometimes it’s more fun when you’re actively blogging WITH other people, doing these challenges and such. I’m looking forward to non-fiction november as well and I might even do the Dare. Except for in February which is devoted to graphics/comics.

    Enjoy the weather! We are finally chilly here in Dallas, too. Seems so cold after it being nearly record highs last week (in the 90s!).

  3. I’m so pleased that Dakota is still doing OK – long may it continue!

    I’m afraid I can’t participate in your dare as there is nothing better than buying a new book and reading it straight away. I like mixing the old and new so, although I admire your plan, it isn’t something I’d enjoy doing. Good luck though!

  4. I participated in the TBR Dare last year and enjoyed it very much. I think I will participate again, I have lots and lots of books I own right now that I want to read in 2015. I won’t make a definite decision at this point.

  5. Of COURSE I’ll do the Dare again. I was planning on it even before you just confirmed you were hosting it again. Like you said, it’s become a bit of a habit and I enjoy it. Keeps my TBR list in check!

  6. I was just thinking, “I wonder if James will issue another Dare” – and hoping so, as I look at my TBR shelves. Of course I am in as well! I know that if I tried to do this on my own, I wouldn’t make it through the first month. So will this be the Triple Dare, then?

    And thanks for the updates on Dakota. I’m glad she’s hanging in there.

  7. I’m not sure which “dare” this will be. It’s the sixth one so it should be the triple dog dare if we follow strict school-yard rules about this. But since last year I skipped ahead to the triple dog dare, I may go back to just ‘The TBR Dare.’

    Who knew these things could be so complicate?

  8. I think this is the first I have heard of the TBR Dare. But I am SO IN, with exceptions, probably. I might do a Kindle-only version of the Dare, with your permission. I buy books for my Kindle and then promptly forget about them. I bet I have enough for a lifetime of TBR Dares.

    And, just out of curiosity, when does the “hundreds of views a day” phase begin? Because I’m still waiting on that one myself.

    1. You do whatever you want with the TBR Dare as long as you have fun with it.

      I was getting 300 to 500 views a day on my old blog, Ready When You Are, C.B. before it all went south on me. It took three or four years though. I think you have to build up an archive of reviews, at some point you start popping up on search engines often enough. It can take a long time, though.

  9. I’m so glad you’ll host it again James – thanks for that link! Of course I’d love to take part – You’ll have to let me have an exclusion for any new book reviews I commit to for my side project Shiny New Books + book group – but I’ll make it totally from my TBR on my own blog. How about that?!!

    1. I’m happy to have people participate at any level they like and with any exclusions they need to make. As long as everyone has fun with it.

      I really liked the three in one picture you made, too. Thanks.

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