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50 Book Challenge 2016 Part Four

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southeastdweller Fri 25-Mar-16 10:17:21

Thread four 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, second thread here and third thread here.

How're you getting on so far?

ChessieFL Fri 25-Mar-16 10:24:27

48. City of Strangers by Louise Millar.

This was ok. A woman finds a dead man in her flat when she comes back from honeymoon, then three months later finds a note. She decides to go halfway round Europe to find out who he was. I didn't believe that anyone would do that. The last few pages of the book were good but the rest was a bit slow moving and I could easily put it down. I've enjoyed her others but was a bit disappointed with this.

Thanks, South.

I've slowed down, because I'm reading a volume that's got 4 novels in (Hitchhikers' Guide) as well as a couple of non-fiction books at the same time. On holiday now though, so should catch up with myself soon!

CoteDAzur Fri 25-Mar-16 10:56:34

Wow, 4th thread in March! 50-Bookers are on fire this year grin

Muskey Fri 25-Mar-16 11:01:51

Twirling around in the new spacious thread

Quogwinkle Fri 25-Mar-16 11:41:17

Checking into the new thread. Thanks, Southeast smile.

I read The Shock of the Fall last year. Nice enough quick read but not really that memorable. Definitely worth a shot at 99p.

Have a good Easter everyone.

tumbletumble Fri 25-Mar-16 11:44:45

Place marking on the new thread. Happy Easter all!

SatsukiKusakabe Fri 25-Mar-16 12:43:31

Thanks for the new thread southeast <gets comfy with a book>

I've just got Where'd You Go Bernadette?* for 99p in the kindle sale, fancied something lighthearted after my last stint in WWII. Anybody read?

After that I might start April with The Luminaries which I've had for some time, might be time for another long one.

slightlyglitterbrained Fri 25-Mar-16 13:05:33

27. The Terracotta Bride, Zen Cho.
Picked this up as I loved The Sorceror To The Crown (Regency fantasy with dragons, a young black magician who recently became the first African Sorceror Royal, an ambitious and unprincipled young orphan with more magical ability than is proper for a young lady.)

I enjoyed this one too, though it's quite a different feel - the protagonist is a young woman who died in a car accident, and was dismayed to wake up in a Chinese afterlife. Then her husband brings home a third wife, an automaton made of terracotta.

CoteDAzur Fri 25-Mar-16 14:02:42

Satsuki - I really enjoyed The Luminaries. It was very well-written, smooth despite its intricate patterns, like an exquisite silk scarf smile . It's hard to believe that it was written by a 28-year-old woman.

MargotsDevil Fri 25-Mar-16 14:02:58

Finally moved on to book 4... Will update once I'm done!

slightlyglitterbrained Fri 25-Mar-16 14:24:31

Oops, meant to add that last book is actually just a novella - 55 pages. So was going to count that and Forest of Memory together. Forest of Memory, by Mary Robinette Kowal is an SF novella set in a future world where people are pretty much constantly connected to the net. Except for the protagonist, who was kidnapped by a man she met in the woods and dropped off the net for a whole 3 days.

BestIsWest Fri 25-Mar-16 17:45:38

Thread no 4 already, wow.

Happy Easter everyone.

23. Cold in The Earth - Aline Templeton. Police procedural set in Scotland during the Foot and Mouth crisis. Good strong female lead.

24. In Your Prime - India Knight. About being a woman of a certain age with some nuggets of sense and some quite moving writing about her feelings when her father had Alzheimer's.

I seem to be starting but not finishing a lot of books at the moment.

Booklover123 Fri 25-Mar-16 18:26:17

12 Greengates, a Persephone book, always excellent, story of a retired couple, the Baldwins, set in 1925, contemplating moving to a brand new house in the country. Amazingly then, Stanmore was considered rural!
13 Virago,s I,m not Complaining byRuth Adam, set in1925, in Notts, Madgebis a primary school teacher, set in a poverty stricken town with health and unemployment problems. The teachers had similar stresses of those today!A good read!
14 The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop. Loved The Island, hated The Return, not made my mind up about this one yet!

wiltingfast Fri 25-Mar-16 18:30:24

Wow shiny new thread smile great chats being had this year, really enjoying it.

Satsuk I picked up Bernadette too but haven't started it yet. Might go for it next.

I have been trying to read Jerusalem but I am afraid Provencal was right and it is terrible sad I suppose it is trying to cover an enormous period but he just tears along, it's like reading a readers digest of important moments! Not even the Jesus section has been that engaging. And boy wars were vicious. So disappointed. Ive left it for now but might go back and read the modern section in a bit. Maybe he gets more analytical and less potted later on
>faint hope<

guthriegirl Fri 25-Mar-16 19:55:22

Ha ha Remus! Who doesn't love a wanking vicar??? I'm still undecided about the book as a whole. I felt as if I was missing reading the better story. Bea's story was much more compelling ( if a little omega manish!). Anyway starting The Green Road by Anne Enright. Hoping for better.

I could happily live the remainder of my days without the need to encounter another wanking vicar, or another Michel Faber book.

Waawo Fri 25-Mar-16 22:26:49

Checking in on this thread after missing thread three entirely (have caught up now though.)

Have been busy getting ready for a house move as well as extremely busy at work so something had to give, the something was time on the internet not reading! I've been reading books which I don't want to move again, so most of these recent reads are books that have been on the shelf for an age.

Updating my list:

17. The Girl from Cardigan by Leslie Norris - gentle, thoughtful short story collection, which I bought only because I used to live in Cardigan. Most of the stories have a poignant small-town feel; it reminded me of why I left.

18. Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson by Douglas R. Dechow (ed) - semi-professional, geek interest only. Ted Nelson was an early pioneer of connected data (long before the World Wide Web as we know it now) and is also a passionate advocate of teaching people how to not only use, but make, new technology. This book is a series of papers from a conference that commemorated his work.

19. The Last Llanelli Train by Robert Lewis - brilliant first novel, Bristol set noir, hopeless lives bumping into one another. Highly recommended.

20. Pack up your Troubles by Pam Weaver - easy to read WWII set in West Sussex, nurse in training figures out family feud and disturbing abuse angle; I read this because my mum passed it on to me and I figured I should at least be able to say a few words about it when I gave it back ;)

21. Keyes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics by Nicholas Wapshott - excellent mini biographies of Keynes and Hayek by the device of comparing their theories and telling the story of how they (and their work) intersected over the years. Highly recommended.

22. Isidore: A Novel about the Comte de Lautreamont by Jeremy Reed - somewhat poetic take on the coming of age story; this seemed a lot more meaningful in my memory (I first read in my twenties) than now, which perhaps says more about me than the book.

23. The Complete Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby - a series of Hornby's columns from The Believer magazine in which he describes what books he's been buying and more importantly reading over the months. Funny, irreverent - but doesn't help a burgeoning tbr pile as there are recommendations a-plenty!

24. Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan - counter-culture classic that I first read when I was in high-school. It's a book of strange images, very much influenced by the Monty Python way of thinking.

25. You Don't Speak Welsh by Sandi Thomas - a tale of trying to learn the basics of Welsh in four extremely intensive weeks. The language lessons could apply to any language; the author's obvious love of Wales (and Dafydd Iwan!) shines through.

Phew, 25 down, half way to my target smile

And carrying my previous list over to this thread:

16. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
15. World War One: History in an Hour by Rupert Colley
14. The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
13. Things Can Only Get Feta by Marjory McGinn
12. Under the Dome by Stephen King
11. South: The Story of Shackleton's 1914-1917 Expedition by Ernest Shackleton
10. Going Corporate: A Geek's Guide
09. Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts
08. Life by Keith Richards
07. Touching the Clouds by Bonnie Leon
06. Austerity Britain: 1945-51 by David Kynaston
05. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
04. The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
03. Fighter Pilot by Colin Strong
02. Propellorhead by Anthony Woodward
01. Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg

whitewineandchocolate Sat 26-Mar-16 08:53:04

Satsuki I've read Where'd you go to *Bernadette and enjoyed. Lightweight, humorous easy read.

SatsukiKusakabe Sat 26-Mar-16 11:09:30

Thanks cote, I took a look at the first few pages of The Luminaries to check out the style after reading your comment and have ended up about 10% in and engrossed grin

Also had started Bernadette wilting and whitewine and am enjoying that too! very easy to read bits of when I don't have as much time as it's epistolary style.

ChillieJeanie Sat 26-Mar-16 11:57:49

Only Lovers, you asked on the previous thread about my thoughts on The Heretics and Rory Clements. I think her's a good writer and the stories are well told. I like the fact that William Shakespeare, as John's brother, pops up a fair amount as well. The only thing I'm not sure about is how much some of the Queen's servants seem to be allowed to get away with, although it might be that this is historically accurate. Peopl almost seem to be able to kill or main on a whim and there's no come back. There's a character called Richard Topcliffe, for instance, who was genuinely one of Elizabeth's investigators and torturers, and while a quick look at Wikipedia suggests some of what he is involved with in the books is certainly based on what he actually did it still seems almost unbelieveable to me that he wasn't reined in. This is a man who had a torture chamber in his own home, never mind his use of the ones in the Tower and Bridewell Prison. I suppose it's the truth of the time, but it is all very unpleasant. Very violent time.

I think S.J. Parris and certainly C.J. Sansom are better writers, but Clements is pretty good in his own right.

Since I'm here, my list for the year currently stands at:

1. The Return of the Discontinued Man by Mark Hodder
2. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
3. The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
4. The Inner Guide Meditation by Edwin C. Steinbrecher
5. Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz
6. Worlds of Arthur by Guy Halsal
7. Celtic Tree Magic by Danu Forest
8. Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square by William Sutton
9. Where Witchcraft Lives by Doreen Valiente
10. The Mangle Street Murders by MRC Kasasian
11. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle
12. The Quest for the Wicker Man by various writers
13. Britain BC by Francis Pryor
14. Inquisition by Alfredo Colitto
15. Stonehenge by Mike Parker Pearson
16. Prince by Rory Clements
17. Ever After by Kim Harrison
18. Britain AD by Francis Pryor
19. The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison
20. The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison
21. Johnson's Life of London by Boris Johnson
22. The Curse of the House of Foskett by MRC Kasasian
23. Traitor by Rory Clements
24. The Heretics by Rory Clements

ChillieJeanie Sat 26-Mar-16 16:55:40

Filthy weather today, so I've been curled up in a chair, reading.

25. A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow

In the Alaskan widerness a park ranger, Mark Miller, has disappeared. He has been missing for six weeks, and while it is assumed he froze to death in a snowstorm the FBI is on the case as a favour to Miller's father, a US congressman. So investigator Ken Dahl was sent in and hasn't been seen for two weeks. Kate Shugak, former cop, tribal native, and local resident, is asked to investigate by her old boss.

This is a debut novella really, it's pretty short. I would say it's okay, but there's a lot of explanation of the landscape and history of the national park area that is useful, since I don't know anything much about Alaska, but which acts as a drag on the story a bit. It was only a couple of pounds in Sainsbury's though so I might pick up another in the series if I'm feeling stuck for something to read, but I wouldn't necessarily seek it out.

Greymalkin Sat 26-Mar-16 18:35:01

Just signing in smile

ladydepp Sat 26-Mar-16 18:56:22

Signing in too, thanks for new thread!

I enjoyed Where'd you go Bernadette, funny and light.

Just finishing a Jeeves and Wooster and also have recently got stuck into Pillars of the Earth, another giant book that has been sitting on my shelf for a while. About 200 pages in and really enjoying it!

Have read the 1st 2 Hitchhikers Guide ones and am half way through the third, but finding it all rather wearing now. Do I want to carry on?

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