50 Book Challenge 2014 Part 3

(1000 Posts)
Southeastdweller Sun 01-Jun-14 10:31:45

Thread 3 of the 50 book challenge. Here are the previous threads...

The idea is to read 50 books in 2014 (or more!)

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/adult_fiction/1951735-50-Book-Challenge-2014

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/adult_fiction/2000991-50-Book-Challenge-2014-Part-2?

Best1sWest Mon 02-Jun-14 21:37:30

Hello all, been very slow and not reading much lately due to sore eyes.

36. Colour, A Journey Through The Paintbox by Victoria Finlay. A recommendation from another thread by SpottieDottie.

It's a combination of travelogue and history behind the colours artists use. Fascinating to read the stories behind such names as rose madder, burnt umber, French ultramarine etc. Full of anecdotes as well. There's a fascinating chapter where the author goes to Afghanistan in 2001 to visit the lapis lazuli mines. Really enjoyed it.

Hi everyone smile

Cote invited me to join this thread after seeing my 'scary books' thread, so I'd love to. I haven't read much for about 8 years, I have a DS who's 7 which says it all really I guess.

Anyhow, I decided to try the '52 Challenge' someone told me about, even if I didn't think I could read a book a week, but so far it's going wonderfully. I have used a lot of recommendations on various threads on here, and here is my current list for this year:

1. The Associate - James Patterson
2. The Double Comfort Safari Club - Alexander McCall Smith
3. The Bronze Horseman - Paullina Simons
4. Tatiana and Alexander - Paullina Simons
5. One moment, One morning - Sarah Rayner
6. Shift - Hugh Howie
7. Dust - Hugh Howie
8. The Summer Garden - Paullina Simons
9. The Light Between Oceans - M.L.Steadman
10. The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year - Sue Townsend. I hated this with a passion, and will never recommend it.
11. The 100 Year Old Man... - Jonas Jonasson
12. A walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
13. The Last Runaway - Tracey Chevalier
14. e - Matt Beaumont
15. The Racketeer - John Grisham
16. Life Expectancy - Dean Koontz
17. A Fall of Moondust - Arthur C Clarke
18. Shades of Grey - Jasper FFord
19. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
20. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
21. Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
22. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
23. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
24. Behind the Scenes at the Museum - Kate Atkinson
25. The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
26. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
27. She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
28. The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
29. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
30. The Book Thief - Marcus Zusac
31. The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey

Just starting 32: Outpost by Adam Baker, my first scary one as all the others have been very 'safe' books.

I'm really enjoying reading everyone else's lists as well.

juneybean Mon 02-Jun-14 21:58:48

Yikes thanks for making the new thread I completely lost off with reading lately!

Will update with my reads so far later

In enjoying seeing everyone's full lists!

Book 40 For A Few Demons More by Kim Harrison

Following on from the fourth in the series, this one deals with the on-going search of the werewolves and, apparently, demons for the statue stolen by Rachel's ex-boyfriend. Plenty of witches, vampires, werewolves, demons, pixies, and elves, with a fair amount of sex and violence thrown in for good measure.

On to book six in the series next. Once that and book seven are done I might go back to a bit of historical fiction, although the most recent in the Merrily Watkins series by Phil Rickman will be out in paperback on Thursday so it might be that one instead.

Cheboludo Mon 02-Jun-14 22:29:37

skinmysunshine I think I might've fallen in a wee bit love with Pasquale grin I did want to shake Burton for taking so much money off poor Pasquale, although I guess he was too drunk to realise the whole time.

TodaysAGoodDay Welcome! I'm a newbie to this thread too, having just started this year. What I've realised through recording all the books I've read this year is how quickly books slip my mind. I really wish I'd kept a record over the years.

Sorry, Cote - Just seen your question: I got a bit lost/bored by the long, long sections of stuff on Dystopia because I haven't read the book you're on about and so couldn't attach all the long comments to anything.

I've read, 'Dr Sleep' and imho it is not Dystopian because it is clearly our world, with added supernatural elements, rather than the imagined society which I think is necessary for a true Dystopian novel.

Book 60 - Another Edmund Crispin, 'Buried For Pleasure'. I really enjoyed it but they are getting a bit samey now. Need more fiction, as am still not fancying non-fiction, but only have one more Crispin awaiting me, and a stack of non-fiction.

CoteDAzur Mon 02-Jun-14 22:34:07

"I've read, 'Dr Sleep' and imho it is not Dystopian because it is clearly our world, with added supernatural elements, rather than the imagined society which I think is necessary for a true Dystopian novel."

Exactly. Thank you smile

Phew - I passed! grin

But I still stand by my earlier argument!

CoteDAzur Mon 02-Jun-14 22:35:39

What was your earlier argument? That my posts are long and boring? grin

Well, since everyone is doing lists for the new thread (and I have a suspicion I may have miscounted)...

January
1. The Secret History of the World Jonathan Black
2. Sherlock Holmes: The Will of the Dead George Mann
3. The Black Country Alex Grecian
4. The Language of Flowers Vanessa Diffenbaugh
5. Death on the Nile Agatha Christie
6. A Most Wanted Man John le Carre
7. The Casebook of Newbury and Hobbes George Mann
8 Wool Hugh Howey
9. Ghosts of War George Mann
10. A Cat, a Hat, and a Piece of String Joanne Harris

February
11. The Mists of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley
12. Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
13. The Murder at the Vicarage Agatha Christie
14. Never Go Back Lee Child

March
15. The Witch Hunter Bernard Knight
16. 59 Seconds Richard Wiseman
17. Pagan Britain Ronald Hutton
18. The Reader Bernhard Schlink
19. Let It Bleed Ian Rankin
20. The Complaints Ian Rankin
21. Mindfulness Mark Williams & Danny Penman
22. Cross and Burn Val McDermid

April
23. Divergent Veronica Roth
24. Insurgent Veronica Roth
25. Allegiant Veronica Roth
26. Quirkology Richard Wiseman
27. Mortal Causes Ian Rankin
28. Natural Magic Doreen Valiente
29. The End of the Wasp Season Denise Mina
30. The Hanging Garden Ian Rankin

May
31. Broken Homes Ben Aaronovitch
32. The Celtic Realms Myles Dillon & Nora Chadwick
33. The Book of Unholy Mischief Elle Newmark
34. The English Monster Lloyd Shepherd
35. Heresy SJ Parris
36. Dead Witch Walking Kim Harrison
37. The Good, the Bad and the Undead Kim Harrison
38. Every Which Way But Dead Kim Harrison
39. A fistful of Charms Kim Harrison

June
40. For a Few Demons More Kim Harrison

No - that every book can be considered dystopian because nobody's life is perfect! But I forgive you. wink

CoteDAzur Mon 02-Jun-14 22:47:52

Oi! That was MY comment!

CoteDAzur Sun 01-Jun-14 10:06:49
Well, I think we can all agree that the world is imperfect and always was so every single book ever written would be dystopian by that definition.

I know - and I argued against it (and was right!). smile

Nessalina Mon 02-Jun-14 22:54:52

Hi, I've not been on since thread one, but I've been keeping count, so here's my list to date:

50 book challenge

1) The Partner - John Grisham
2) The Story Teller - Jodi Picoult
3) The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt
4) The Thirteen Problems - Agatha Christie
5) The Carrier - Sophie Hannah
6) Hercule Poirot's Christmas - Agatha Christie
7) The Listerdale Mystery - Agatha Christie
8) The Shining - Stephen King
9) Doctor Sleep - Stephen King
10) The Time of the Ghost - Dianne Wynn Jones
11) Take a Look at me Now - Miranda Dickson
12) The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
13) What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty
14) The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith
15) The Courage Tree - Diane Chamberlain
16) The Husband's Secret -
Liane Moriarty
17) The Perfect Retreat - Kate Forster
18) The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
19) The Long Walk - Steven King
20) Summers Child - Diane Chamberlain
21) When You Walked Back Into My Life - Hilary Boyd
22) The Secret History - Donna Tartt

Top five so far (in no particular order)...
Doctor Sleep
The Goldfinch
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
What Alice Forgot
The Secret History

Incidentally, I've not read Lexicon, but I heard an interesting thing on University Challenge the other day. Margaret Atwood coined the word 'Ustopian' in discussion about whether her own novels are SF or 'dystopian'. It essentially means a combo of utopia and dystopia, because she felt like each one contained the latent parts of the other, ie. no fictional future could be wholly good or bad, there's always a human element lifting it up or dragging it back.

Ugh - that is why I am increasingly annoyed by Margaret Atwood.

Nessalina Mon 02-Jun-14 22:58:23

Wednesday - the first three of the Vampire chronicles are probably three of my all time favourites, but it goes waaaay downhill from there sad
I vaguely enjoyed The Tale of the Body Thief, but I don't think I ever finished Memnoch the Devil, and I tried many times! As far as I'm concerned, it's an awesome trilogy, and that's that - if you're not enjoying, give up now!

Sonnet Mon 02-Jun-14 23:14:29

Just checking in - still on book 29 - I am a Pilgrim.
My kindle broke and today I got a new one. I have spent all
Evening downloading content. The most irritating thing is that whenever I had seen a good book on here or had one recommended in RL I downloaded a sample so I am now feeling very cross that I have lost them all....

DuchessofMalfi Tue 03-Jun-14 08:10:14

Updating with my list of books read so far this year:-

1. The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith
2. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls - David Sedaris
3. May We Be Forgiven - A M Homes
4. Ratburger - David Walliams
5. Takedown Twenty - Janet Evanovich
6. The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
7. Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
8. Apple Tree Yard - Louise Doughty
9. The Cellist of Sarajevo - Steven Galloway
10. The Six Wives of Henry VIII - Alison Weir
11. Into the Darkest Corner - Elizabeth Haynes
12. Love, Nina - Nina Stibbe
13. The Pedant in the Kitchen - Julian Barnes
14. The Song of Lunch - Christopher Reid (poetry)
15. Sisterland - Curtis Sittenfeld
16. The Mammy - Brendan O'Carroll
17. Nonsense - Christopher Reid (poetry)
18. Kiss Me First - Lottie Moggach
19. The Love Object (short stories) - Edna O'Brien
20. The Story of Before - Susan Stairs
21. The Hare with Amber Eyes - Edmund De Waal
22. The Good Thief's Guide to Berlin - Chris Ewan
23. Mad About the Boy - Helen Fielding
24. Harvest - Jim Crace
25. Lady Audley's Secret - Mary Elizabeth Braddon
26. Restoration - Rose Tremain
27. A Scattering (poetry) - Christopher Reid
28. The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz
29. Just What Kind of Mother Are You? - Paula Daly
30. Jigs and Reels - Joanne Harris
31. A Commonplace Killing - Sian Busby
32. Queen's Gambit - Elizabeth Fremantle
33. Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris
34. One Night in Winter - Simon Sebag Montefiore
35. Big Girl Panties - Stephanie Evanovich (awful, dire rubbish)
36. Alys, Always - Harriet Lane
37. The Sea - John Banvile
38. On The Beach - Nevil Shute
39. The Wild Things - Dave Eggers
40. A Life Like Other People's - Alan Bennett
41. Merivel - Rose Tremain
42. The Marrying of Chani Kaufman - Eve Harris
43. The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker
44. Twelve Years a Slave - Solomon Northup
45. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell
46. Brighton Rock - Graham Greene
47. And The Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini
48. The Lie - Helen Dunmore
49. Heartbreak Hotel - Deborah Moggach

Am aiming for 100 books this year (fingers crossed) smile

Eeks, sorry for the long boring posts on dystopia! It's been a long time since I had a good debate about a book and I got a bit carried away.

I take your point about Dr Sleep (though I haven't read it so can't compare) and I can see how that might apply to "Lexicon", but I maintain that the novel has a strong dystopian element to it.

Which novel shall we debate next? wink

Nessalina thank you smile I enjoyed the first and third more than the second, and really enjoyed The Tale of The Body Thief. I think I've got to a turning point with Memnoch and am quite enjoying it now. Though if he mentions Dora's menses once more, I may set fire to him. I think my problem with them is that there are huge sections where nothing happens and the discussion is repetitive and a bit dull.

Duchess I'd say you're well on track for 100.

CoteDAzur Tue 03-Jun-14 08:47:27

Wednesday - I enjoyed our debate re dystopia. We'll properly take over the thread when tumble & others finish Lexicon & we can discuss the book without worrying about spoilers [evil laugh] grin

DuchessofMalfi Tue 03-Jun-14 08:51:34

Providing I stay on track, I should make it to 100 books this year. Last year's tally was around 120 shock. Still no idea how I got there - sounds like I do nothing but sit around reading all day grin and that's definitely not the case (I don't watch much tv, so read a lot in the evenings, and whilst waiting for the DC to come out of after school clubs etc).

Off to get some jobs done right now ....

CoteDAzur Tue 03-Jun-14 08:55:34

" Margaret Atwood coined the word 'Ustopian' in discussion about whether her own novels are SF or 'dystopian'."

Dystopian is a sub-genre of sci-fi. Her dystopian novels are also sci-fi.

"It essentially means a combo of utopia and dystopia"

What? Neither utopia or dystopia, then.

"because she felt like each one contained the latent parts of the other, ie. no fictional future could be wholly good or bad, there's always a human element lifting it up or dragging it back"

Utopia or dystopia doesn't refer to the "human element". It is a literary classification and has nothing to do with whether there are some nice characters in the book hmm

I haven't read any Margaret Atwood. I was going to, but this sort of silliness from an author really puts me off.

Nessalina Tue 03-Jun-14 09:05:42

CoteDAzur - I don't necessarily think she's right, I just thought it was interesting wink

Wednesday - ugh, I'd forgotten about the menses! confused

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