50 Book Challenge in 2013. Who's with me?

(992 Posts)
CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Sat 05-Jan-13 16:58:16

Tidying up after Christmas it has come to my attention that I have nearly 100(!!) paperbacks in stacks down the side of my bed waiting to be read. blushblush
I am going to challenge myself to try and read at least 50 of them this year. That's nearly one a week so I am going to have to really apply myself and stop faffing around and doing other things when I could be enjoying a good book.
I wondered if anyone else would like to join me? We can post what we are reading and then post when we have finished each book and what's next.
I know I would love to hear what others are reading and enjoying (or not enjoying) so I can go out and buy more books in a few months time!
My first book of the year is President Down by Terence Strong about spies and terrorists which my dad lent me about a year ago! I'm only about 20 pages in, but so far so good.

CoteDAzur Thu 25-Apr-13 13:49:15

If you know of any other books like Anathem, please let me know.

MegBusset Thu 25-Apr-13 13:55:27

I thought it was actually surprisingly easy to read. Not sure if I loved it quite as much as the Baroque Cycle.

Similar-ish (and similarly challenging) books you might like:
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
Ratner's Star by Don DeLillo

CoteDAzur Thu 25-Apr-13 14:11:49

I loved Foucault's Pendulum.

I read one book by Thomas Pynchon ("Vineland"?) and found his writing style extremely twattish. Is this book much better?

Thanks for the recommendations. I will look up the third one.

CoteDAzur Thu 25-Apr-13 14:12:57

Re Baroque Cycle - I read Quicksilver and found it quite weak after Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Cryptonomicon. If you haven't read these three books, I heartily recommend them.

MegBusset Thu 25-Apr-13 14:35:27

Vineland is very different in style to most of Pynchon's other stuff and quite a few Pynchon fans dislike it (I love it all). If you want a short read that's more characteristic of his stuff then try The Crying Of Lot 49, if you get on with that then go for one of the longer ones (Mason & Dixon and V are my favourites).

I have read the other Stephenson books but many years ago so probably due a revisit.

finished book 14: jojo moyes - the last letter from your lover. it took me just under 3 weeks to read it shock think thats the longest it has ever taken me to read a book. im normally a book every 2-4 days kinda gal!

am diverting from my "system" as i went to the library and got 3 books out blush

so my next 3 are:
15: lynda la plante - the little one (its a quick read so hopefully ill read it in about an hour)
16: lisa jackson - chosen to die (2nd part of my number 13 book and cant wait to read it)
17: j.a. kerley - her last scream (was right in front of me when looking for number 16, so i picked it up without reading what its about)

PerksOfBeingNorthern Sat 27-Apr-13 10:14:22

29.LDC Fitzgerald - Destination Dealey: Kennedy Conspiracy. Interesting idea poorly executed.
30. Torey Hayden - Innocent Foxes. Don't enjoy her novels as much as I do the books of her time in education.
31. Jenny Colgan - Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams. Good, easy-to-read chick lit.
On hunt for next read!

mixedmamameansbusiness Sat 27-Apr-13 10:36:02

Perks- I haven't read any Jenny Colgan for years. She is my chick lit author of choice.

MegBusset Sat 27-Apr-13 10:43:16

11. From Hell - Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell
12. Room - Emma Donoghue
13. Omon Ra - Victor Pelevin
14. The Knife Of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
15. The Ask And The Answer - Patrick Ness
16. Monsters Of Men - Patrick Ness
17. Imperium - Ryszard Kapuscinski
18. Anathem - Neal Stephenson
19. Hideous Kinky - Esther Freud

Loved HK, a light and refreshing read after Anathem.

mumslife Sun 28-Apr-13 08:59:25

24. The Cazalet Chronicals book 2

Finally got through
#20 Bronze summer - Stephen Baxter and
#21 Mrs Robinson's disgrace - Kate Summerscale.
The latter was enjoyable, but I hadn't originally realised it was non-fiction. That's not a criticism of the writing in any way, the narrative was excellently put together, and the story was quite intruiging. We've come a long way with equality for women!

The former - not what I expected. I don't have much experience of SB's books and to be honest, I didn't really enjoy this. It was violent and gory, and none of the characters were very likeable. From the perspective of an interpretation of history, there were some feasible elements, but I won't be reading any more in that series.

I've just got started on #23 The Woman who died a lot - Jasper Fforde. Nice to be reading something light. Liking the sarcastic/obtuse views in there. Not a spoiler, but I particularly liked the concern of one character who said, "Did they ever decide whether it was ethical for those turned to pillars of salt to be ground up for use as winter road grit?"

MrsMaryCooper Sun 28-Apr-13 09:24:16

34 - Rack Ruin & Murder - Ann Granger. Good well plotted murder/mystery.

AnonYonimousBird Sun 28-Apr-13 14:10:31

16 The Book Thief
17 My Cousin Rachel
18 The Happiness Project.
19 The Generation Game.

MegBusset Sun 28-Apr-13 22:54:08

11. From Hell - Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell
12. Room - Emma Donoghue
13. Omon Ra - Victor Pelevin
14. The Knife Of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
15. The Ask And The Answer - Patrick Ness
16. Monsters Of Men - Patrick Ness
17. Imperium - Ryszard Kapuscinski
18. Anathem - Neal Stephenson
19. Hideous Kinky - Esther Freud
20. Through A Glass Darkly - Jostein Gaarder

Through A Glass Darkly was lent by a friend, a sweet little story about a terminally ill girl having conversations with an angel, but lacking real emotional punch.

NicknameTaken Mon 29-Apr-13 16:24:16

44) Contested Will by James Shapiro. A re-read. Good fun - says a lot about the fantasies people project onto Great Writers and Shakespeare in particular.

45) Someone at a Distance, Dorothy Whipple. Borrowed it on the basis of another thread. I like mid-twentieth century women writers. This was rather more sympathetic to the male character than most. Not quite what I expected. I liked it but am not anointing her a new favourite author.

Currently reading Boxer, Beetle. The first few pages really grabbed me, but I'm less sure now. One review compares it to a Tarantino movie, which seems fair but is not my taste. Will see.

CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Mon 29-Apr-13 20:02:02

Some great recommendations coming through on here! I thought I read a lot but so many on here read so much more, and there are so many books and novels I have never heard of.

I have just finished book 12, so still quite a way behind a lot of you, and now I need to make up some ground to get to 50 by the end of the year. 12 was The Doomsday Key by James Rollins. It was an action adventure with all kinds of topics involved; from Celtic mythology to fungal plagues and GM crops to Catholic saints. A bit far fetched and film scripty in places.

Next is Sphinx by T S Learner. I am expecting more tenuous links connecting ancient myths with goodness-knows-what, but we will see!

MegBusset Tue 30-Apr-13 20:50:37

21. The BFG - Roald Dahl (bedtime story over a couple of weeks with DS1)

tumbletumble Tue 30-Apr-13 21:55:07

No. 15 What Matters in Jane Austen by John Mullan, which made me want to read all my Jane Austens again!

NicknameTaken Wed 01-May-13 09:30:23

Ooh, I enjoyed that one, tumble. Paula Byrne's book Jane Austen: A life in things is good too, as is Jane's Fame by Claire Harman.

greenhill Thu 02-May-13 10:41:04

11. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier. A re-read, I'm staggered at how useless Maxim is: he doesn't help ease his bride into the household routines and someone he actively dislikes (Mrs Danvers) is allowed to gain such a hold over the household that it causes a bad atmosphere that he is oblivious to: most of her fears and social gaucheness would have been solved if they'd stopped in London on the way back from their honeymoon and got her a proper trousseau. He is so wrapped up in himself that the second Mrs de Winter has no idea what he is thinking about and is not the man she thought she married. It is very atmospheric, especially in terms of people looking and acting their parts and the horror that rises from Mrs de Winter thinking she has the wrong script and costume on.

tumbletumble Thu 02-May-13 13:32:53

Thanks for the suggestions Nickname.

Greenhill, that's next on my list! Not a re-read for me though.

Finished no.16, Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, which slightly to my surprise I really enjoyed.

Now reading Rachel's Holiday.

DuchessofMalfi Thu 02-May-13 16:44:23

Finished Book 34 - Five Run Away Together (Famous Five Book 3) by Enid Blyton (DD's bedtime story grin). Perhaps not quite as enjoyable as the first two, but still good.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is surprisingly good, isn't it tumble? I wouldn't be in any hurry to take parenting advice from Amy Chua, but I didn't think she was all that bad!

NicknameTaken Fri 03-May-13 11:37:02

Re Amy Chua, she did seem quite human after all, didn't she? A bit more self-awareness and humour than expected, and you do sense that it's about ensuring her dds can be all they can be, and not just how they reflect on her. She does acknowledge in the end that some children benefit from this style and others don't.

There's something to be said for pushing children past a "blockage", for example when learning a musical instrument, so that they learn the satisfaction of doing a hard thing. Some victories are all the sweeter for being hard-won.

That said, in practice I'm one of the wimpy kind of mothers who says "Don't do it if you don't want to". But she's made me thing twice about whether that's always the right thing.

tumbletumble Fri 03-May-13 12:55:53

Yes I agree, she has a very different parenting style to mine, but she does seem to have a sense of humour and made some very interesting points about the reasoning behind her methods.

Iaintdunnuffink Fri 03-May-13 22:55:44

I got an email today saying I had by e-reader for a year, these are the books in my library I read.

Young Adult books

1 - 3 The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and The Answer, Monsters of Men - Patrick Ness
4 - 6 Hunger Games books
7 A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness.
8. Holes
9. Trash
10. Doodling - Jonathan Gold
11. The Declaration

Adult

12 -13 Game of Thrones, Clash of Kings
14. The Devil Dancers - T Thurai
15. The Garden of Evening Mists
16. The Hundred Year Old Man ....
17. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
18. Ragnarok The End of Gods - A S Byatt
19. Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan
20. Are We Nearly There Yet? A Families 8,000 miles Mile Car Journey.

21. Pets in a Pickle - Malcolm Welshman. The only SHIT one, it was very bad.

I really haven't read that much during the last year, less iPad whilst watching tv and more going to bed with a book is needed.

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