Advanced search

50 Book Challenge 2015 Part Five

(1000 Posts)
southeastdweller Tue 01-Sep-15 07:45:47

Thread five 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, third thread here, and fourth thread here.

Happy reading smile

DinosaursRoar Tue 01-Sep-15 08:28:22

thanks for the new thread, just checking in, am currently reading The Princess Bride - have never read it and when I asked RL friends for their favourite books, 3 people mentioned it who also mentioned other books I've enjoyed, so figured I'd give it a go. Sort of remember the film from the 80s, but not enough to know what's coming next.

BestIsWest Tue 01-Sep-15 09:06:31

southeast you are in for a treat if you've never read Bill Bryson before. I am envious that you'll get to read them for the first time. If I am sad or unwell I always turn to him for comfort reading.

His language books are also worth a read.

tumbletumble Tue 01-Sep-15 09:11:57

Thanks southeast. Here's my list for the new thread (my favourites in bold):

1. The Children's Book by AS Byatt
2. Us by David Nicholls
3. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
4. Daughter by Jane Shemilt
5. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
6. On The Left Side of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
7. The Wrong Knickers: a Decade of Chaos by Bryony Gordon
8. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
9. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
10. Judgement Day by Penelope Lively
11. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
12. Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie
13. Aftermath: on Marriage and Separation by Rachel Cusk
14. A Mother's Story by Amanda Prowse
15. Confessions of a Sociopath by ME Thomas
16. Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
17 I'll Have What She's Having by Rebecca Harrington
18. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
19. The History Boys by Alan Bennett
20. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
21. Balancing Act by Joanna Trollope
22. What Maisie Knew by Henry James
23. Pear Shaped: The Funniest Book So Far this Year About Brain Cancer by Adam Blain
24. The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
25. The First Fifteen Live of Harry August by Claire North
26. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
27. The Martian by Andy Weir
28. Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
29. Julia and Julie: my Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell
30. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
31. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
32. Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
33. The Children Act by Ian McEwan
34. Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
35. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
36. An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
37. The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
38. The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
39. Dead Babies and Seaside Towns by Alice Jolly
40. The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
41. Alex's Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos

Lilaclily Tue 01-Sep-15 09:13:14

Thanks for the new thread flowers

tumbletumble Tue 01-Sep-15 09:13:23

I'm a Bill Bryson fan too! My favourite is The Lost Continent.

tessiegirl Tue 01-Sep-15 11:56:45

Sorry to hear your sad news Best flowerssad

Pleased to say I Let You Go has picked up and I am about halfway through. I know nothing about this book apart from the blurb so have absolutely no idea how it will end...normally you can't help but hear little snippets from others so this makes a very interesting change! smile

Sonnet Tue 01-Sep-15 14:09:19

So sorry to hear your news Best sad. I hope reading brings you some comfort.

I have only ever read Notes From a Small Island by Bryson and remember it well despite it being "years ago" - any other recommendations?

Book 47 - The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan Another one of my 50p charity shop finds that has been on my bookshelf for a year!

A ship sinks following a fire on board, and 39 desperate passengers find themselves squashed on board a lifeboat clearly not suitable for holding that many people. The race for survival is on narrated by Grace.

The book is described as "unputdownable" and "haunting" but I did not find it so. I did not find any of the characters particularly likeable including Grace.

I really have to begin my Book Group September book - The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani. It is really not appealing to me….

JoylessFucker Tue 01-Sep-15 14:13:01

Best I am sorry to hear your sad news flowers Can I ask whether you've read Bill Bryson's book on Shakespeare? Its the only one I've read and I found it so very disappointing, I've not tried any others.

Book 46: A Brief History of Seven Killings - Marlon James. Booker long-listed novel about events around the attempted assasination of Bob Marley in 1976. Big (700 page) novel of Jamaica in the 70s & 80s, told from a variety of "voices". Lots of violence, drugs, misogyny, male ego & patois, with the really good writing being the female characters. For me it was a nearly novel - nearly great that is - but ultimately too rambling, too much stream of consciousness narrative, and told by too many voices not all of whom contributed to the story.

My full review:

Sonnet Tue 01-Sep-15 14:25:51

Just posting my entire list to date this year as I lost track after book 16 earlier this year. Bold type denotes those I really enjoyed and would recommend.

Book 1 - Tintagel Rising by Ardyth Hughes.
Book 2 – Love Nina by (book club)
book 3 White Knights by Ann Cleeves
Book 4 The Lamp of the Wicked by Phil Rickman.
Book 5 Prayer of the Night Shepherd by Phil Rickman
Book 6 The Smile of a Ghost by Phil Rickman
Book 7 The Sober Revolution
Book 8: Black Dog by Stephen Booth
Book 9 "The Miniaturalist by Jessie Burton. (book club)
Book 10:Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
Book 11: The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark (book Club choice)
Book 12: The remains of an altar by Phil Rickman
Book 13 - The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Book 14: The Little House by Philippa Gregory
Book 15 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
16: the moonstone by Wilkie Collins (book club choice)
No particular order – just when I remember them:
17 The Storyteller – Jodie Picoult
18 The Childrens Act (Book Club – my choice!)
19 Elizabeth is Missing (Book Club)
20 The Night Watch – Sarah Walters
21 Behind The Scenes at the Museum
22 Life After Life (A re-read for Book Club)
23 The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
24 Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie
25 The Fabric of Sin – Merrily Watkins– Phil Rickman
26 The Remains of An Alter – merrily Watkins– Phil Rickman
27 The Secrets of Pain – Merrily Watkins – Phil Rickman
28 The Magus of Hay - Merrily Watkins – Phil Rickman
29 The Rise of Darkness – Susan Hill
30 The Vows of Silence – Susan Hill
31 Night after night – Phil Rickman
32 The Ice Twins – S. K Tremayne
33 Norah Webster – Colm Toibin
34 Us – David Nichols
35 *The Bone Clocks*– David Mitchell
36 Red Riding 1974 – David Peace
37 The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
38 The House of Susan Lulham – Phil Rickman
39 Just One Dammed Thing After Another – Jodi Taylor
40 Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
41 The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
42 Northanger Abbey – Val McDermid
43 Mud, Muck & Murder - Ann Granger
44 The Undertaking – Audrey Magee
45 Wish You Were Here – Catherine Alliott
46 The Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver
47 The Lifeboat – Charlotte Rogan

Sonnet Tue 01-Sep-15 14:32:05

a great review on your blog Joyless

Ellisisland Tue 01-Sep-15 14:52:53

Thanks for the new thread

35. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Really enjoyed this. It took me a few chapters to get into but I loved the language of it. I highly recommend the movie Capote with Phillip Seymour Hoffman that is about the writing of this book. I watched it straight after finishing the book and really enjoyed the movie.

36. Arrow of Sherwood by Lauren Johnson
I LOVED this book! My favourite read of the year so far. It is the story of Robin Hood but the author is a historian and the research really shows through. A lot of the characters in the novel are based on real families in Nottingham at the time the legends are based and this Robin is less of an archer (barely mentioned in fact) and instead a man trying to work within laws and getting frustrated with bureaucracy so finds himself in the position of being a rebel when that was not his intention. The last few chapters I was reading so fast to find out what happened then when I finished I immediately re read them to make sure I hadn't missed anything! A great story with familiar characters but all told in a new and original way. Really can't recommend this one enough. The reviews on Amazon are great as well if anyone fancies it.

Next up are The Girl in the Spiders Web, the new story in the Millenium series and just got an email from Mumsnet saying I won a copy of Purity by Jonathan Franzen so will make sure to read that before the web chat smile

Happy first of September everyone ! I still feel like I am going back to school even though I'm 32 and haven't set foot in a school in a long time! Even bought myself a new notebook for work today grin

Ellisisland Tue 01-Sep-15 14:55:21

Joyless the Bryson book on Shakespeare is definitely not his best. My personal favourite of his is the one on Australia called Down Under. I remember getting the tube to work and having to stop reading as I was laughing so much people were looking at me!

BestIsWest Tue 01-Sep-15 16:15:43

Joyless' I have read it yes, as ellissaid, it's not his best. I love his travel writing best, then his history. Down under is brilliant although Notes From a Small Island is my favourite.

AtticusPlatypus Tue 01-Sep-15 17:59:03

So sorry to hear your news Best, thinking of you.

Here's my full list, I'm a bit behind with my reviews - have moved country as well as having a baby in the last three months, the combination of which has, quite frankly, nearly done me in - but will update properly soon.

Favourites in bold, disappointments in italics, as usual...

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;
44. The Versions of Us - Laura Barnett;
45. So You’ve been Publicly Shamed - Jon Ronson;
46. Swimming to Antarctica – Lynne Cox;
47. Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller;
48. The Vagenda – Holly Baxter & Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett;
49. The Hive – Gill Hornby;
50. Ariel – Sylvia Plath;
51. Wonder – R.J. Palacio;
52. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – E. Lockhart;
53. My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante;
54. The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton;
55. Vermeer to Eternity – Anthony Horowitz;
56. The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin;
57. The True Deceiver – Tove Jansson;
58. The Wrong Knickers – Briony Gordon;
59. After Me Comes The Flood – Sarah Perry;
60. The Pupil – Caro Fraser;
61. Judicial Whispers – Caro Fraser.

So jealous of South and her Bill Bryson treat to come. Agree that the Shakespeare one is one of his weaker ones. My favourites are, 'Mother Tongue' and, 'Made in America' (the language books) and also, 'A Walk in the Woods' and, 'The Lost Continent.'

DuchessofMalfi Tue 01-Sep-15 18:23:29

Thanks for the new thread, southeast smile

Bringing my list over, with favourites highlighted, and dislikes in italic.

1. Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things - Paula Byrne
2. Do No Harm: Stories of life, death and brain surgery - Henry Marsh
3. When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
4. The Icdeberg: A Memoir - Marion Coutts
5. The Wild Places - Robert Macfarlane
6. Holloway - Robert Macfarlane
7. Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
8. Academy Street - Mary Costello
9. H is for Hawk - Helen Macdonald
10. Silt - Robert Macfarlane
11. Miss Pettigrew lives for a day - Winifred Watson
12. Us - David Nicholls
13. My Family and other Superheroes - Jonathan Edwards
14. Elizabeth is Missing - Emma Healey
15. Reboot with Joe - Juice Diet - Joe Cross
16. Lancaster and York: The Wars of the Roses - Alison Weir
17. The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
18. The Old Ways - Robert Macfarlane
19. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
20. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Trail - Cheryl Strayed
21. History of the Rain - Niall Williams
22. Sea Change - The Summer Voyage from East to West Scotland of the Anassa - Mairi Hedderwick
23. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
24. The Ladies of Grace Adieu - Susanna Clarke
25. The Spirit Level - Seamus Heaney
26. The Book of Strange New Things - Michel Faber
27. Arctic Summer - Damon Galgut
28. Where Angels Fear To Tread - E M Forster
29. Nocturnes - Kazuo Ishiguro
30. The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro
31. A Room With A View - E M Forster
32. The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith
33. Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party - Alexander McCall Smith
34. Sisters of Treason - Elizabeth Fremantle
35. Maurice - E M Forster
36. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
37. Strange Library - Haruki Murakami
38. The Laying on of Hands - Alan Bennett
39. More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops - Jen Campbell
40. Eeny Meeny - M J Arlidge
41. The House We Grew Up In - Lisa Jewell
42. Sane New World - Ruby Wax
43. Rage Against The Dying - Becky Masterson
44. Landmarks - Robert Macfarlane
45. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - Judith Kerr
46. Life After Life - Kate Atkinson
47. Look Who's Back - Timur Vermes
48. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit - Jeanette Winterson
49. Blood On Snow - Jo Nesbo
50. Walking Home: My Family and other Rambles - Clare Balding
51. The Mitford Girls - Mary S Lovell
52. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
53. Black Swan Green - David Mitchell
54. The Mist in the Mirror - Susan Hill
55. The Artist's Widow - Shena Mackay
56. Black Sheep - Susan Hill
57 Funny Girl - Nick Hornby
58. Waterlog - Roger Deakin
59. A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson
60. Not My Father's Son - Alan Cumming
61. The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simsion
62. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher - Hilary Mantel
63. Dissolution - C J Sansom
64. The King's Speech - Mark Logue
65. Stoner - John Williams
66. Station Eleven - Emily St John Mandel
67. The Psychopath Test - Jon Ronson
68. The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton
69. The Versions of Us - Laura Barnett
70. Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
71. Rubbernecker - Belinda Bauer
72. The American Lover - Rose Tremain
73. You're a Bad Man Mr Gum - Andy Stanton
74. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
75. Fallout - Sadie Jones
76. The Outcast - Sadie Jones
77. Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionnaire - Andy Stanton
78. Mr Gum and the Goblins - Andy Stanton
79. Ghostwritten - David Mitchell
80. Stone Mattress - Margaret Atwood
81. Awful Auntie - David Walliams
82. A Song for Issy Bradley - Carys Bray
83. The Life and Loves of a He Devil - Graham Norton
84. Mr Mac and Me - Esther Freud
85. The Bolds - Julian Clary
86. How to Build a Girl - Caitlin Moran
87. Mr Gum and the Power Crystals - Andy Stanton
88. Meadowland - The Private Life of an English Field - John Lewis-Stempel
89. The Library Book - compiled by Rebecca Gray
90. Demon Dentist - David Walliams
91. Supercat vs the Chip Thief - Jeanne Willis
92. Treachery - S J Parris

AnonymousBird Tue 01-Sep-15 18:51:19

53. Murder Bag by Tony Parsons (audio - loved it)
54. Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe (very enjoyable)
55. The Versions of Us (Very readable, enjoyed this but did get a bit confused between the threads!)
56. The Burning Air (Good page turner, dark, twisting)
57. The Bones of You (Overall ok, but a bit drawn out to it's rather inevitable outcome).

58. Villa America
59. Summertime (audio)

MegBusset Tue 01-Sep-15 20:42:40

Thanks for the new thread! I'm still on book 29 so got some catching up to do!

southeastdweller Tue 01-Sep-15 21:47:46

My updated list - highlights in bold and big disappointments 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
37. Disclaimer - Renée Knight
38. Funny Girl - Nick Hornby
39. Perfect Interview - Max Eggert
40. Outline - Rachel Cusk
41. Never Judge a Book By It’s Cover - Lisa Riley
42. A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson
43. The Go-Between - L.P. Hartley
44. I Let You Go - Clare Mackintosh
45. I Saw a Man - Owen Sheers
46. Why Acting Matters - David Thomson
47. What the is Normal?! - Francesca Martinez
48. Fast Exercise - Dr Michael Mosley and Peta Bee
49. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
50. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
51. The Bolds - Julian Clary
52. The Life and Loves of a He Devil - Graham Norton

Currently trudging through The Green Road, which feels very disjointed so far. Half-way through now so it seems silly to give up.

mmack Tue 01-Sep-15 23:25:07

I'm reading the Green Road as well-I've read about 100 pages so far. I'm finding the parts set in Ireland much more engaging than the New York section. It also reminds me a lot of Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell.

Sonnet Wed 02-Sep-15 07:06:24

Started Meadowland after all the rave reviews on here to read in tandem with my book group read. smile

Sonnet Wed 02-Sep-15 07:07:10

Meant to add - read January and am finding it captivating so far.

Sonnet Wed 02-Sep-15 10:03:11

just picked up 3 more charity books for £1.50 grin

The Children's Book - AS Byatt (read Possession)
Balancing Act - Joanna Trollope (not read one of hers for YEARS!)
A Story For Issy Bradley - Carys Bray (shortlisted for the Costa 2104 first novel award)
Love having lots of books lined up! smile

AtticusPlatypus Wed 02-Sep-15 10:50:56

Amazon has five days of Kindle best sellers for 99p starting today - 'The Help' and 'One Day' are included today, amongst others...

This thread is not accepting new messages.