50 Book Challenge in 2013. Who's with me?(992 Posts)
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.
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.
I've just rediscovered a regency romance series I loved in my teens - the Six Sisters books (Minerva, The Taming of Annabelle, Daphne, Diana the Huntress, Deirdre and Desire, Frederica in Fashion). When I first read them, they were by Marion Chesney, but they have been re-issued under her other pen-name, M C Beaton. I haven't got on with M C Beaton's Agatha Raisin books, but I'm enjoying her old Marion Chesney ones. Back in the days when I'd never even kissed a boy, these reassured me that I might rather like the experience....
Nickname, I really enjoyed Wife in the North too. I thought she was a really strong woman and I love her writing style - witty and honest about the challenges she faced without being over-sentimental. I went straight on to that book after her book A Year of Doing Good. That is also excellent and I'm a sucker for reading about people trying to complete year-long challenges, but it doesn't have quite the personal resonance of Wife in the North. That took me right back to how hard things can be with a young baby.
Just finished book 7: Sovereign by C. J. Sansom - I love this series of books about a lawyer in the time of Henry VIII. Annoyingly I realised a little way into it that I have actually read it before, but it's too good to stop reading on that account so finished it anyway, even though I was trying to cut back on rereading this year.
For Book 8 I'm going for The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths. Never read any books by this author before but it was recommended on another MN book thread and sounded good.
19. How to be a woman - another reread. Must stop doing that!
Nothing wrong with rereading! It can mean entering a different relationship with a book. No point in having endless first dates with never a second date.
After a break from The Lodger while I got distracted by other books, I have returned to it and racing towards the end. It's very speculative about Shakespeare - did he have a tendresse for his racy French landlady? - but it does recreate very vividly the London he knew - social anxiety about immigration, tavern brawls, prostitution etc.
Next up is the Paula Byrne book on Jane Austen.
Haven't checked back but I have 9 done so far.
Harry Potter no 1
The mysterious affair at styles (Poirot)
The uncommon reader
The tenant of Wildfell Hall
Call the midwife
Murder on the Links (Poirot)
The Poirot books are tiny but they are a lovely little diversion.
Book 10 ~ "Park Road NW11" by Anna Maslin, a very thin book in more ways than one. I could not manage to care about a rich girl meeting a rich man, set in the 1960s but could have been the 1920s. The best part was the Virginia Woolf quotation on the cover.
Book 11~"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, having never read anything by this writer but seeing his name so frequently on best selling/favourite author lists thought I would give him a try. A bit 'wooow' for my taste, and did not pass the Bechdel test either!
Contrary to my expectations I really enjoyed 19th Wife. The subject matter hadn't really appealed - Latter Day Saints, polygamy, religious extremism. But it was great, written in a fresh, immediate voice, with a bit of mystery thrown in for good measure.
Book 23: The Incendiary's Trail by James McCreet.
I enjoyed Wife In the North too, so I have her latest on my to read list.
I finished book 6 yesterday - The Guilty One, which I enjoyed. Now on to Separate Lives by Kathryn Flett.
Despite liking Wife in the North, I'm not in a rush to read her latest one about all the good deeds. A J Jacobs has put me off the whole do-something-for-a-year genre.
Enjoying the Paula Byrne book on Jane Austen. Funny to think that some of her father's library was probably purchased with money earned from the opium trade.
20. Consequences - Penelope Lively
I have loved every second of this book.
I love Penelope Lively! Have you read The Photograph? It's one of my all time favourite books.
Nickname I'm shocked - off to have a look at that book on Amazon right now
4. No 4 Danse Macabre - Stephen King 7.5/10
Reading 11.22.63 made me fall back in love with Stephen King and this (a non-fiction book about horror fiction and films) cemented the feeling that I reckon he's seems a really erudite fascination character (if somewhat tortured). But I got bogged down in a certain section, hence it took me 2 weeks to read.
5. Absolute Power - David Baldacci 7/10
Enjoyable trash - I needed some literary 'fast food'.
6. The Generation Game - Sophie Duffy 7.5/10
Took a punt on this book because it was about someone's life who was born in 1967 - just a year before me. And it was a real nostalgic trip, really well written with characters I came to care about.
My curiosity has finally gotten the better of me and I am now reading Gone Girl (only several months after everyone else!)
Aargh, I mean born in 1965, a year before me [jeez and I'm really feeling it today ]
Duchess, I think the author is occasionally straining for OMG! angles on Jane Austen, but it's a useful counter to all those demure portrayals - nice to see the mischief emphasized.
I'm going to look out for that one at the library Nickname. Looks interesting. I thought I recognised the author's name - she wrote another book I read a few years ago - Perdita (Mary Robinson), about one of George IV's mistresses. It was a bit wordy at times, but on the whole enjoyable.
Have you read Claire Tomalin's biography of Jane Austen? It's also on my tbr list.
Yes, I read the Claire Tomalin bio - in terms of events, there is a fair amount of overlap with this and the Paula Byrne book, but Tomalin presents in a chronological order while Byrne hops about depending on what she's interested in. Both approaches have their merits.
Wow well done to those already past book 20!
Here are mine so far:
1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
2. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
3. The Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada
4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
6. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
7. The Unliekly Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
8. Matilda by Roald Dahl
9. The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell
Just started number 10 today.
Just finished book 10!
1. Edge Of The Orison - Iain Sinclair
2. The Year 1000 - Robert Lacey
3. The Clay Machine Gun - Victor Pelevin
4. V For Vendetta - Alan Moore & David Lloyd
5. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
6. A History Of England Vol 1: Foundation - Peter Ackroyd
7. The Death Of Grass - John Christopher
8. The Finkler Question - Howard Jacobson
9. The Hand That First Held Mine - Maggie O'Farrell
10. A History Of England Vol 2: Tudors - Peter Ackroyd
To add to the confusion, I've namechanged since my last posting.
I've now finished No.11 Point of Origin - Patricia Cornwell. I've not read the Kay Scarpetta books in order and I had made an assumption from one which appeared to be incorrect, so was a bit confused when I first got started (don't want to give anything away). There was a horrible and unexpected twist.
No. 12 was Lee Mack's autobiography - Mack the Life. I really enjoyed it. Not hilarious, and not a sob story, but some real laugh out loud moments and he came across as a very grounded bloke.
No 13 was Charlie Brooker's latest offering, "I can make you hate". I love his ramblings. I gasped, I tutted, I sniggered, I spat tea out of my nose.
No. 14 was Terry Pratchetts "A blink of the screen". I'd forgotten I bought this with a voucher a while ago. It's a collection of short stories and tales mostly associated with Discworld. Easy to see how he's developed, embellished and refined over the years. He's still one of my top authors.
Now on No. 15, David Mitchell (comedian) autobiography "Backstory". So far, so good.
I've read the Claire Tomalin biography and enjoyed it. I got 'What Matters in Jane Austen' by John Mullan as a Christmas present, so I'm looking forward to that too.
I'm also quite a fan of Lee Mack so I might have to add his autobiography to my list - which is getting far too long as a result of this thread!!
tumble, I really enjoyed the John Mullan book too. And "Jane's Fame" is very enjoyable as well. Hmm, didn't realize I had such a fixation on books about JA.
Mrs Cosmopilite I'm reading David Mitchell's autobiography at the moment too . I've got about 100 pages to go, and it's getting better. I thought the early chapters were a little patchy, but I like the way he writes and he comes across as a genuinely nice person, not the posh bloke he gets portrayed as on tv (he makes it quite clear he really isn't). Enjoying it a lot more now.
Oh and I want to read Lee Mack's autobiography too I should stop reading this thread as my tbr list is starting to get out of control.
Will do a tot up of the books I've read and come back with a list. I know it's going to look quite a lot because I've included some audio books too.
Right, here's my list so far:-
1. Is it Just Me? - Miranda Hart
2. Henry VIII's Wives - Julie Webster
3. The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey
4. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
5. Four Children and It - Jacqueline Wilson
6. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (audio book)
7. Wonder - R J Palacio
8. Sightlines - Kathleen Jamie
9. A Cupboard Full of Coats - Yvvette Edwards (audio book)
10. George's Marvellous Medicine - Roald Dahl
11. Moominland Midwinter - Tove Jansson
12. Under Milk Wood - Dylan Thomas (audio book)
13. The Hundred Year Old Man - Jonas Jonasson
14. 1227 QI Facts
15. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
16. A Winter Book - Tove Jansson
17. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
18. The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett (audio book)
19. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
20. Down and Out in Paris and London - George Orwell (audio book)
Nearing the end of books 21 and 22 hopefully in the next couple of days.
I really enjoyed DM's autobiography apart from the chapter where he links to everyone that he knew through Footlights and showed exactly what a closed shop tv/ radio humour was: all the directors, producers, writers and engineers know each other. If you didn't go to Cambridge or do the Edinburgh Fringe, it takes a lot longer to get noticed.
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