50 Book Challenge 2016 Part Three(995 Posts)
Thread three of the 50 Book Challenge for this year.
The challenge is to read fifty books (or more!) in 2016, though reading fifty isn't mandatory. Any type of book can count, it's not too late to join, and please try to let us all know your thoughts on what you've read.
First thread of 2016 is here and second thread here.
How're you getting on so far?
Rubbish on the non-fiction goal I'd set for myself: 25 of the 50. So far have managed 1 of...16. Um. Wondering if actually, a lot of non-fiction is stuff I tend to dip into, rather than read cover to cover (which makes it less suitable for the challenge as you only count finished books).
On the other hand, I seem to be reading a few more books outside my normal rut which is great.
14. Divergent Veronica Roth.
Similar to Hunger Games.
15. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen Lois McMaster Bujold.
Likely to appeal to Vorkosigan completists. Definitely not a good book to start with.
16. Night Waking Sarah Moss.
Recommended on the thread about books that have a realistic portrayal of life with small children. Loved it!
Marking place. Glad you enjoyed Call The Midwife, Quog. I thought they were fascinating books.
Hi again. Thanks, South. Nearly finished my next one so see you soon!
Place marking, thanks southeast
Nearly halfway through Narrow Road to the Deep North. It's ok, still not liking all that much, but into it.
25. The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert. I really enjoyed this. It's a typical haunted house mystery. No particularly original ideas (family moves into spooky looking old house, start experiencing weird unexplainable events, the people in the village gasp in surprise when they hear where the family is living, family finds out house has a terrible history, you know the sort of thing!) but I thought it was well written and it kept me gripped.
Not sure what I'll be reading next - was talking about Dickens on the old thread so maybe one of those!
22. Tales of the Unexpected, Kiss Kiss, Over to You, Switch Bitch, Someone Like You & My Uncle Oswald, Roald Dahl. Pretty mixed bag. I wasn't massively taken by Tales of the Unexpected - when you read 40 of them in a row, you start to expect the twists! As I said on the previous thread, the misogyny in some of them, particularly Switch Bitch, is shocking. And yet, I liked the ones about his war experiences, and I liked all the Champion of the World ones about 2 men in a filling station in rural Englandshire trying to fix dog races or poaching pheasants. And then there was My Uncle Oswald. This was a lot more like the Dahl I knew, but with sex thrown in. A lot of sex. Oswald is described as a champion fornicator, and his adventures made me laugh out loud. Funnily enough, this last novella was the only one to feature a well-rounded female character, even if she was a nymphomaniac. She was also smart, funny and very self-possessed. Anyway, the whole Oswald section was a bit like Flashman with the historical bits taken out. I enjoyed it, despite the premise that all women are gagging for a good sound rogering.
Finally finished Thrive on Friday. As I said in previous posts, I wanted to like its life advice but it was all just a bit too spiritual and middle class.
Still listening my way through Victoria - A Life but the title is a bit of a misnomer, it's much more about the context and politics than her personal life. Which is disappointing as I also have The Victorians by the same author on this year's list.
Have also started 9. The Other Mitford - Pamela's Story by Diana Alexander. I'm something of a Mitford obsessive and have read most books in print about them. So this qualifies as a light read for me, especially as I'm four chapters in and haven't learned anything new yet.
Place marking. Started Wolf Hall but yet to really get in to it. Will report back soon.
Satsuki you mean you want me to just do something, without procrastinating or anything? You don't get to be a proper procrastinator without reading a few books in the middle. Which reminds me, I must look for a book about procrastination.
Glad you liked Tonke Dragt Blue, I'm Dutch and adore her. Out teacher used to read to us and the whole class was totally captivated by this book. She's written some pretty good sci-fi as well but not sure if that ever got translated.
In the meantime I've finished 11. The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin. Very short, story about two brothers down on their luck. Drink, poverty, love and loss. Good, not great.
Husband is reading the Harry Bosch books and have picked up Black Ice from him, the second HB. So far so good.
After taking ages to read Nicholas Nicholas in January I have managed to catch up abit.
2. Howards End - M.Forester - hate to say this but I Preferred the film. The characters were very hard to place in my mind when reading the book. Loved the storyline though.
3. Alfred the Great - Justin Pollard - really enjoyed this, not a king I knew anything about, in fact I didn't know much about the anglo-saxons or Vikings. Quite interested in this period now.
4. A High Wind in Jamaica - Richard Hughes - Victorian children get taken aboard a pirate ship on their way from Jamaica to England. Silly me thought this was going to be a child adventure story, instead it was really dark! Parts like sexual relations had to be hinted at due to the time period it was written in. Liked it though and this would make a fab bookclub read.
5. With Your Crooked Heart - Helen Dunmore - About a women and her relationship between two brothers, one of which she is married to. Quite a quick read and overall an enjoyable read.
Berlin by Rory Maclean
This one took nearly a week, so a slow read for me! It’s a kind of biography of the city of Berlin and was absolutely fascinating. Each chapter depicts a different moment in Berlin’s history, through a focus on an individual, through a medieval poet, to Goebbels, to Bowie, to the fall of the Wall, to clubland. For me, it worked best once it reached the twentieth century, but that’s because I’m less interested in the period before that, so I knew more about the people/moments/ideas depicted in the latter chapters. It’s very cleverly done and has made me yearn for Berlin even more!
Princess Bride 99p on Kindle daily deals.
Thanks for the new thread!
8 The Little Red Chairs, Edna O'Brien
Was reading this on the last thread so mentioned it then (and sorry for the repetition!), but I've finished it now and can highly recommend it.
I don't want to say too much about it as the element of surprise is quite important, but a mysterious man, possibly eastern European, comes to a small Irish town/village and sets up as a healer. People fall for him in different ways. Who is he, though?
This novel takes you to some very very dark places. The characters are vivid and original and the writing is generally excellent, although occasionally someone who isn't Irish uses a structure that sounds like an Irish person and jars a bit; and the way it uses commas wrongly and badly has been mildly irritating me throughout.
But it's fascinating and singular overall, and very thought-provoking.
Am now on The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge and am enjoying it immensely.
I fancy the new Julie Myerson next, if anyone has anything to say about that one?
Nice to see the love on the previous threads for Martin Millar. His series on Kalix, the Scottish werewolf girl obsessed with The Runaways, is just fabulous.
2016 reads so far:
(1) The Winter Children - Lulu Taylor (a Mumsnet freebie)
(2) Hollow City: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs (second in the series)
(3) The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affiar - Joel Dicker
(4) Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan (half way through)
Hi 50-bookers I'm currently on book 13, The Wild Places by MN fave and outdoor-loving woman's crumpet, Robert Macfarlane
9. Authority by Jeff VanderMeer
This was an odd one. A so-called sequel to weird and brilliant Annihilation, this book took place in the same area with some of the same characters, but was all about the new director of the organisation that is supposed to manage Area X. Unfortunately for all of us, he is the most boring character an author has ever dreamt up and keeps meandering for most of the book about his paper clips, files, etc. The author doesn't seem to have any understanding of what the director of any organisation would do on a daily basis, and frankly we just don't care about his childhood, his mum, and whatever the hell he thinks he can inflict on unsuspecting readers just because we liked the first book. Total disappointment.
Thanks for the new thread, Southeast
Bringing my list over
1. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
2. The Exploits of Moominpapa by Tove Jansson
3. The Blackhouse by Peter May
4. Overcoming Chronic Fatigue: A Self Help Guide using CBT by Mary Burgess and Trudie Chalder (aka teaching your grandmother to suck eggs
5. Disclaimer by Renee Knight
6. The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
6.5 The Tales of Max Carrados by Ernest Bramah
7. Sweet Caress by William Boyd
8. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
9. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo
10. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
11. Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams
11.5 Mrs Zant and the Ghost by Wilkie Collins
12. Mystery in White by J Jefferson Farjeon
13. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
14. Matilda by Roald Dahl
15. Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth
Currently reading Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth
10. High Heat by Lee Child
A John Reacher novella, where he is 16 and not only brings a mob boss to justice but also gets laid in a car and helps catch famous serial killer Son of Sam. A bit of dick-lit never hurt a 50-Booker
Just marking my place. Still making my way through To Kill a Mockingbird
Place marking - thanks for the new thread Southeast
I feel like I've fallen horribly behind, but I think that's because I've not been able to carve out the time to read and I'm missing it horribly. Goodreads says I'm on target but I'm fed up with bastard life getting in the way of my living!
Book 7: The Marrying of Chani Kaufman - Eve Harris. Story of a young bride-to-be in the North London strict Jewish community, alongside the story of the Rabbi's wife who is preparing her for marriage. Lots of doom & gloom about the life available (to women in particular) in this community, along with a bit of ooooo errrr-ing at some of the rituals which may or may not be common knowledge. Can't say I'd recommend it, even as a sorbet read.
Book 8: Our Turn to Eat - Michaela Wrong. Story of Kenya and corruption, focussing on John Gothingo who worked within the government trying to uncover and bring those involved to justice, but who ended up realising it went all the way to the top and having to flee the country. Wrong provides detailed background of the economic situation, tribal allegiances and the complexities of the corruption scandal(s). This is a fascinating story of a part of Africa that always appeared to have avoided the failings of the rest of the continent. It lost pace when the story moved from John Gothingo and onto background, but is still well worth a read.
Now time for me to go & catch up on the end of the last thread ...
Place marking, thank you. Have started War and Peace (13 chapters in; 2%) so I suspect I might not be seen again until thread seven...
My list so far with highlights in bold:
1. Untold Stories - Alan Bennett
2. Levels of Life - Julian Barnes
3. A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled - Ruby Wax
4. An Awfully Big Adventure - Beryl Bainbridge
5. Case Histories - Kate Atkinson
6. The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k - Sarah Knight
7. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
Currently reading A Man Called Ove and The Good Liar.
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