I Spy TBR Challenge

I spotted this recently on Ex Urbanis and it was too fun to pass up. (I believe the meme started on YouTube, but I’ve been unable to trace the chain back to the very beginning.) There are 20 categories; for each one choose at least one title or cover that fits in some way.

I decided to limit myself to books on my to-read shelves, but had to cheat for two categories and pick books I’ve already read. Some were so easy I could have picked out at least 5–10 books that fit the bill, while others were quite a challenge.

The idea is to gather up all the books within five minutes, but because I had to go up and down the stairs and survey shelves in multiple rooms it took me just over 15! See how fast you can find something for each prompt.




Weapon – This one was really tough, since I don’t read crime fiction. But I finally managed to find a surgeon’s memoir with a scalpel on the cover.

Animal – I could easily have found 15+ for this one, thanks to my husband’s nature books, but I stuck with fiction.


Something You Read

Body of Water

Product of Fire – Another really difficult one, so I cheated with this May Sarton memoir I’ve already read.



Clothing – Another cheat of sorts: all I could find was the cover of Bill Bryson’s memoir, which I’ve already read.

Family Member

Time of Day


Paranormal Being



Color – Another one I could have amassed tons for. (Partially cut off is Ernest Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa.)

Celestial Body

Something that Grows

25 responses

  1. This is great! I’ve spied several of my favourite books in your selection, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elizabeth Hay and Howard Norman, I presume? I desperately want to read them. (The only problem being that I also desperately want to read about another 100 of the several hundred books that are on my bedside table, my shelves and my Kindle!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Spot on! Also Direct Red, The Cellist of Sarajevo and new favourite – Brother. It does sometime feel like being a hamster on a wheel trying to keep up doesn’t it!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Great to have your stamp of approval on Direct Red and The Cellist of Saravejo. A lot of your favourite reads seem to be Canadian, or is that just a coincidence based on what I’ve posted? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably coincidence although given how many books I’ve added to my list thanks to Naomi’s ConsumedByInk blog, perhaps not!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. White Oleander ❤❤❤


    1. A book I’ve been meaning to read for YEARS!


      1. Omg do it!! So much 90 teenage girl angst

        Liked by 1 person

  3. OK! I’ll play! Watch out for my post mid-week. It’s hard though….some of the ones I thought would be no problem, like ‘number’ were really tricky. I DO read crime, but it was no help at all, and my choice is actually a bit of a cop out. A fun challenge, which has moved some unread books up the list

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hooray, glad I could tempt someone! I had a lot of fun gathering up a pile of books to photograph, though there was no way I was ever going to do it in 5 minutes.


      1. I’ve been stymied. I don’t know why, but my computer won’t upload my pictures of books. I’ll give it another whirl.


  4. This looks like fun! I loved White Oleander and Crow Lake, though read both aeons ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fun, but time consuming. I’ll leave you to it!


    1. Well, it’s only *supposed* to take 5 minutes. But I took 15 over it.


  6. This looks like so much fun (though I’d be remiss to attempt it in 5 minutes). I’m going to give it a go this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What fun! And some of those books look very enticing. I shall try very hard to resist; I’ve managed it so far having seen a few of these around. But I’ll look forward to Margaret’s version later in the week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] seen this on a few different sites (ExUrbanis, Bookish Beck, Books, Please to name just three) and found it interesting, challenging, and (on those sites) an […]


  9. This was fun! A few I’ve read there, too.

    I used to do a thing in BookCrossing called Never Judge a Book by its Cover, where each week you released books with a Thing on the cover. My friend Gill and I used to raid the local charity shops if we had nothing in “stock”. I remember much hilarity “That’s a gun,” “No, it’s not … is it?”.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve read several of these: Late Nights on Air and People of the Book were particularly enjoyable.

    I’m glad you found this fun to do – as did I. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Fantastic! What great prompts and some fab choices there.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This looks like fun! I loved seeing what you chose. I haven’t done a post like this in a while…hmm…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tag, you’re it! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. […] spotted this recently on Bookish Beck, who spotted it on Ex Urbanis, who spotted it on Cleopatra Loves […]


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