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50 Book Challenge 2015 Part 4(992 Posts)
Thread four of the 50 Book Challenge for this year.
The challenge is to read fifty books (or more!) in 2015, though reading fifty isn't mandatory. It's still not too late to join, any type of book can count, and please try to let us all know your thoughts on what you've read.
First thread of the year here, second thread here, and third thread here.
38. Religion and the Decline of Magic by Keith Thomas
This one occupied me for most of May - it's a classic of its kind, examining the reasons behind the flourishing of popular magic in the 16th and 17th centuries, and its subsequent decline. And clocking in at 800 pages it's fairly comprehensive. Thomas covers the removal of ecclesiastical magic from the medieval Church as it moved into the Reformation, astrology, witchcraft, omens and prophecies, magical healing, etc. Extremely interesting read.
I'll move my full list over to the new thread later on.
My list so far - highlights in bold and the seriously disappointing in italics:
1. Overcoming Depression - Paul Gilbert
2. Stoner - John Williams
3. Easy Microsoft Excel 2010
4. Dress Your Family in Corduroy And Denim - David Sedaris
5. Word 2010 in Easy Steps
6. Watch Me - Anjelica Huston
7. A Single Man - Christopher Isherwood
8. A Taste of Honey - Shelagh Delaney
9. Curtain Call - Anthony Quinn
10. The Stepford Wives - Ira Levin
11. The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
12. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
13. The Illuminations - Andrew O'Hagan
14. This Boy - Alan Johnson
15. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
16. Interlude - Rupert Smith
17. Clever Girl - Tessa Hadley
18. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
19. Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath The Skin - Andrew Wilson
20. People - Alan Bennett
21. The Fast Diet (revised) - Mimi Spencer & Dr Michael Moseley
22. Reasons to Stay Alive - Matt Haig
23. The Laying On Of Hands - Alan Bennett
24. How to be Both - Ali Smith
25. Family Life - Akhil Sharma
26. Not Quite Nice - Celia Imrie
27. The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
28. The History Boys - Alan Bennett
29. So You've Been Publicly Shamed - Jon Ronson
30. Amsterdam - Ian McEwan
31. We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
32. After the Crash - Michel Bussi
33. God Help the Child - Toni Morrison
34. Losing It - Helen Lederer
35. Life After Life - Kate Atkinson
36. Naked at the Albert Hall - Tracey Thorn
Here's my list to date. As usual favourites are in bold and disappointments in italics. No baby just yet, still waiting and feeling ever more enormous...
1. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn;
2. Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found - Cheryl Strayed;
3. Late Fragments: Everything I Want to Tell You (About this Magnificent Life) - Kate Gross;
4. We are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler;
5. Life After Life - Kate Atkinson;
6. How to be a Woman - Caitlin Moran;
7. The State We're In - Adele Parks;
8. The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Richard Flanagan;
9. The Children Act - Ian McEwan;
10. We Should All be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie;
11. Elizabeth is Missing - Emma Healey;
12. The Girl on The Train - Paula Hawkins;
13. H is for Hawk - Helen Macdonald;
14. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway;
15. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou;
16. Animal Farm - George Orwell;
17. The Letter - Kathryn Hughes;
18. Elephant Moon - John Sweeney;
19. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee;
20. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion;
21. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro;
22. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - John le Carre;
23. Do No Harm - Henry Marsh;
24. The Diary of a Nobody - G. & W. Grossmith;
25. We Were Liars - E. Lockhart;
26. Where Angels Fear to Tread - E.M. Forster;
27. Hope in a Ballet Shoe - Michaela and Elaine de Prince;
28. Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald;
29. Mission Mongolia - David Treanor;
30. The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simsion;
31. Sane New World - Ruby Wax;
32. The L-Shaped Room - Lynne Reid Banks;
33. The Crucible - Arthur Miller;
34. The Shadow Year - Hannah Richell;
35. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath;
36. The Hours - Michael Cunningham;
37. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf;
38. The Thirty-Nine Steps - John Buchan;
39. The Guest Cat - Takashi Hiraide;
40. The Diary of a Provincial Lady - E.M. Delafield;
41. A Week in Paris - Rachel Hore;
42. The Fault in our Stars - John Green;
43. A Visit from the Good Squad - Jennifer Egan.
And I'm currently reading...
44. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett.
I'm currently reading Americanah, and my list from the year so far is:
1. The Strangling on the Stage, Simon Brett
2. The Shock of the Fall, Nathan Filier
3. Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, M. C. Beaton
4. The Secret Place, Tana French
5. The Sleep Room, F. R Tallis
6. Dissolution, C. J Sansom (Reread)
7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8 part 1
8. The Nature of Monsters, Clare Clark
9. The Paying Guest, Sarah Waters
10. The Unwelcomed Child, Virginia Andrews
11. I Think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that, Ben Goldacre
12. The Kill Call, Stephen Booth
13. The Debutante, Kathleen Tessaro
14. Revival, Stephen King
15. The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion
16. Farmageddon, Philip Lymbery and Isabel Dakeshott
17. The Cookbook Collector, Allegra Goodman
18. The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee
19. Rupture, Simon Lelic
20. The Apothecary's Daughter, Charlotte Betts
21. Smiler's Fair, Rebecca Levene
22. World War Z, Max Brooks
23. Dawn of the Dumb, Charlie Brooker
24. The Misbegotten, Katherine Webb
25. By the Pricking of my Thumbs, Agatha Christie
26. Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch
27. The Giver, Lois Lowry
28. Northanger Abbey, Val McDermid
29. The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver
30. The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane
31. Keep Quiet, Lisa Scottoline
32. The Vanished Ones, Donato Carrini
33. Mr Mercedes, Stephen King
34. The White Devil, Justin Evans
35. Her, Harriet Lane
36. Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
37. I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
38. The Flavours of Love, Dorothy Koomson
39. Meditation on Murder, Robert Thorogood
40. Cold Vengeance, Preston & Child
41. South Riding, Winifred Holtby
42. Just What Kind of Mother are You, Paula Daly
43. Thinking About it only Makes it Worse, David Mitchell
44. Nyctophobia, Christopher Fowler
45. Gentle Giant, Wendy Robinson
46. Homeland, Clare Francis
47. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
48. A Place of Safety, Caroline Graham
49. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan
50. Trick or Treatment: Alternative Medicine on Trial, Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst
51. Elizabeth is Missing, Emma Healey
52. The Axeman's Jazz, Ray Celestin
Oh bugger, the underlined books are meant to be in italics. Whoops.
ShakeItOff2000 - my favourite Steinbeck book is The Grapes of Wraith, read that after East of Eden and although I loved East of Eden I preferred The Grapes of Wraith.
My List so far for this year:
1 The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
2 The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
3 The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
4 Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
5 The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
6 The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
7 Lamentation by CJ Sansom
8 The Brain's Way of Healing by Norman Doidge
9 All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
10 Martyr by Rory Clements
11 Never Let Me Go by Kazio Ishiguro
12 The Children Act by Ian McEwan
13 Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
14 Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
15 The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self Control by Walter Mischel
16 Atonement by Ian McEwan
17 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
18 Demelza (Poldark) by Winston Graham
19 My Philosophy for Successful Living by Jim Rohn
20 Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
21 (Reread Never Let Me Go for course I am doing)
Now reading The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell which is excellent. And rereading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with DD for bedtime.
Highlights in bold - My favourite of the year surprised - Never Let Me Go has become one of my favourite books I've ever read.
Hurrah, shiny new thread!
I am far too lazy to type out my full list but my favourite books of the year so far have been:
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
This Thing of Darkness – Harry Thompson
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke
Station Eleven – Emily St John Mandell
The Greengage Summer – Rumer Godden
The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters
Ariel – Sylvia Plath
And 45. Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
I really loved this graphic novel about an Iranian childhood. It was beautifully drawn and very touching and insightful. I didn’t realise there was a second part, so I will try and get my hands on it. I would really recommend this.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks to an all absorbing gardening project followed by a holiday, it's been a while since I posted on here, so I'll start off by offering crossed fingers and toes to all those enduring tests/medical attention. I sincerely hope that you all get the best possible results/treatment.
#27. Romany & Tom - Ben Watt - I read this on the basis of a recommendation on a previous incarnation of this thread. It is basically about the author's relationship with his elderly parents, and their relationship between each other. It came across as an honest and affectionate portrayal which also managed to convey some of the frustrations of familial relationships. I really enjoyed this one.
#28. Cuckoo: Cheating by Nature - Nick Davies - Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. This is about the cuckoo and the birds it dupes with its eggs, and the evolutionary race between the two to create tricks/defences to aid/deter the parasitical laying of eggs by cuckoos. Such a gentle, interesting book, even though I am not a birdwatcher. I think I want to adopt the author to be an additional grandfather to my children and to tell them stories from nature . . .
#29. The Hungry Tide - Amitav Ghosh - Two outsiders travel to the flood plains of India. One is an American oceanographer of Bangladeshi extraction, the other a successful Indian businessman. I found this book quite coldly intellectual and verbose.
#30. The Shepherd's Life - James Rebanks - A combination of family history and portrayal of the life of the sheep farmer in the Lake District. I feel quite ambivalent towards this book. I loved sections of it, but was also alienated by the author's contempt for ways of life other than his own.
Doh - also forgot about what I'll now call #31. Last Night in Montreal - Emily St John Mandell - a young girl has a nomadic life following her abduction, which she maintains as a young adult, impacting on those around her. I wanted to like this much more than I did, but felt it had too much of an air of teenage melodrama around it.
Yay! new thread
So far this year...
1 The Crimson Petal & the White by Michel Faber
2 The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery
3 Risky Business by Amy Andrews
4 Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon
5 Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
6 Countdown City by Ben H Winters
7 The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters
8 World of Trouble by Ben H Winters
9 World War Z by Max Brooks
10 American Gods by Neil Gaiman
11 Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
12 When I Met You by Jenna Forte
13 Sovereign by CJ Sansom
14 The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
15 John Dies at the End by David Wong
16 Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
17 The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett
18 Longbourn by Jo Baker
19 The Martian by Andy Weir
20 H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
21 Operation Mincemeat by Ben McIntyre
22 The Barbarians at the Gate by Byran Burrough & John Heylar
23 Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
24 The Humans by Matt Haig
25 Hyperion by Dan Simmons
26 The Children Act by Ian McEwan
27 The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes; I enjoyed this, it is a light read, explores depression and I think the writer has suffered herself in this regard so I was interested to read a book written from the point of view of someone suffering and coping with it. It never truly plumbs the depths however and retains a lighthearted humorous feel throughout. Might go back and read some of her earlier stuff, it's been years.
Still plodding through Us. Can't wait to finish it....
I knew I'd forgotten a couple!
22 The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory (I didn't enjoy this as much as her others but maybe it was the subject.)
23 Suite Francaise - this is another highlight for me, and so sad that the author died before she could complete her epic novel.
So far this year I have been trying to experiment and try different authors and more literary fiction with my comfort reads in between. I think my reading preferences have changed as I didn't enjoy the CJ Sansom book or Philippa Gregory wheas I was enthralled by Never Let Me Go and Atonement. I feel I am going through a rites of passage with my reading and always so appreciative of all the posters on these threads who share their reading so that I can add books to my reading list.
Hello everyone - I haven't posted on here for absolutely ages! Thank you for all the congrats re my pregnancy I am still reading The Girl on the Train. It has taken me a while to get into it but I am starting to want to keep reading it a bit more so perhaps it is growing on me?!!!
Ooh new thread !
Has anyone read Rebecca Coleman
The Kingdom of childhood
It's reviewed as 'the most controversial novel of the year ' but I find it hard going & didn't really like the characters
It's about a teacher having an affair with her sons best friend
Anyway that was my no 49! Challenge nearly completed
So far this year I have read the following:
1.The Martian - Andy Weir
2.Unravelling Oliver - Liz Nugent
3.The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett
4.The Dinner - Herman Koch
5.Christmas at Thornton - Lynn Marie Hulsman
6.The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein
7.The Thief of Time - Terry Pratchett
8.Stoner - John Williams
9.The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Flier
10.A Crack in Everything - Ruth Francis Long
11.Storm Front - Jim Butcher
12.The Night Watch - Terry Pratchett
13.Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
14.The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
15.Soul Music - Terry Pratchett
16.A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett
17.Wintersmith – Terry Pratchett
18.I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett
19.The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
20.Snow White Must Die - Nele Neuhas
21.The Darkest Part of The Forest - Holly Black
22.Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
23.Monstrous Regiment - Terry Pratchett
24.The Monk Who Vanished - Peter Tremayne
25.I Am Legend - Richard Mathiesen
I am currently reading The Stranger - Harlan Coben, The Goldfinch - Donna Tart and listening to The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.
Esio - it doesn't get any better - found the female character highly irritating, boy underdeveloped and it all seemed highly unlikely. I didn't enjoy it at all.
Bringing my list over :
1. Spares - Michael Marshall Smith
2. The Istanbul Puzzle - Laurence O'Bryan
3. Last Man Standing: Tales From Tinseltown - Sir Roger Moore
4. [Re]Awakenings, an anthology of new Speculative Fiction
5. The Martian - Andy Weir
6. Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery - Henry Marsh
7. A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre
8. Ashes of the Earth: A Mystery of Post-Apocalyptic America - Eliot Pattison
9. Alan Turing: The Enigma - Andrew Hodges
10. Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer
11. Flowers For Algernon - Daniel Keyes
12. Running Wild - J G Ballard
13. Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
14: Holy Machine - Chris Beckett
15. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
17. Climbing High: A Woman's Account of Surviving the Everest Tragedy - Lene Gammelgaard
18. My Inventions by Nikola Tesla
The absolute pile of stinking garbage called John Dies At The End - Who Cares
20. The Master And Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
21. The Three-Body Problem - Liu Cixin (author) and Ken Liu (translator)
22. Methuselah's Children - Robert Heinlein
23. The Children Act - Ian McEwan
24. A Wanted Man - Lee Child
25. The Explorer - James Smythe
26. The Girl On The Train - Paula Hawkins
27. Old Man's War - John Scalzi
28. Blindsight - Peter Watts
29. Land Of The Blind - Barbara Nadel
30. Red Rising - Pierce Brown
31. Golden Son - Pierce Brown
32. The King In Yellow - Robert W Chambers
Marking place now, and reminding myself that I'm currently on number 72, another Philip Kerr but not as good as the other two I've just read. Also reading another early detective thing and a huge history book, so they ought to keep me quiet for a while!
Will bring my list over tomorrow when I have finished my current book, Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming, which I have really enjoyed so far.
Just had to abandon a book, which I hardly ever do - Dominion by C J Sansom. Just couldn't get into the story - bored.
The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks is £1.42 on the Kindle.
"Summertime" by Vanessa Lafaye - set in 1930 Florida Keys. Fantastic descriptions, love, segregation, aftermath of WWI and how returning soldiers were treated.
"euphoria" by Lily King. Based on the life of a female anthropologist in 1930s New Guinea. Interesting reading, unusual setting, realistic characters.
"perfect" by Rachel Joyce. Set in 1972 and 30 years later, the life of two friends, damaged and changed by a moment in time in their past. Slow paced but you stop and think and feel for them all.
oh, about to go to bed, but placemarking and will be back with the list tomorrow!
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