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50 Book Challenge 2017 Part Three

(994 Posts)
southeastdweller Mon 06-Feb-17 08:00:08

Welcome to the third thread of the 50 Book Challenge for this year.

The challenge is to read fifty books (or more!) in 2017, 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.

The first thread of the year is here and the second one here.

southeastdweller Mon 06-Feb-17 08:28:06

I've only read one Dickens book (A Christmas Carol) and quite enjoyed that but feel that I couldn't handle a longer book of his with his very descriptive style. I may give Great Expectations a go soon, though, just to find out.

AstrantiaMajor Mon 06-Feb-17 08:30:31

I have just finished Magpie Murders which was good fun. Reading (and struggling with) The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

Iwantacampervan Mon 06-Feb-17 08:47:29

7. 'Agatha Raisin and the Perfect Paragon' M C Beaton
8. 'Leap In' Alexandra Heminsley

I need to get going with a couple of 'heavier books' so my rate of reading will slow down.

BestIsWest Mon 06-Feb-17 09:01:15

Checking in. Thanks Southeast

CheerfulMuddler Mon 06-Feb-17 09:16:07

David Copperfield is my favourite Dickens, although it is long, rambling and sentimental. I think Great Expectations is his 'best' (that I've read). Pip annoyed me too much for me to love it

ChessieFL Mon 06-Feb-17 09:47:36

Just checking in. I've read Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and most of the Christmas stories. I loved GE and enjoyed OT. Christmas stories a mixed bag - Christmas Carol good, others not so much!

frenchfancy Mon 06-Feb-17 09:53:47

Thanks for the new thread.

8. The Accidental Life Of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander

Bought because it was cheap on kindle. I can imagine the main character posting on MN several times during this book "I've just met the most amazing man but I'm still grieving for my dead Fiancée WWYD?" and "My DF invited me to France on holiday with him and his kids but keeps going out to the bar and leaving me with his DCs and the nanny - AIBU to want to go home?"

I got through it, there is a deeper message but saying what it is would be a spoiler - which kind of negates the positive message the book could have. I'm debating whether it is 2 or 3 stars, so 2.5 I guess. Don't bother unless you are bored and have nothing else to read.

MommaGee Mon 06-Feb-17 10:25:14

Ooh I want to join. So far this year I've read Neil Gaimans The Sleeper and The Spindle (sleeping beauty reworking) - worth it for the art work alone!! Lazily working through collection of short stories by Stephen King and one by Gaiman.
Need to read Small Talk on how to get my son to speak!

EverySongbirdSays Mon 06-Feb-17 10:30:12

Checking in, and moving my list over :

1) A Concise Chinese - English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
2) The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
3) NW by Zadie Smith
4) Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk
5) Saturday by Ian McEwan
6) The Road by Cormac McCarthy

boldlygoingsomewhere Mon 06-Feb-17 10:40:21

11. Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims - Toby Clements
Set during the Wars of the Roses and follows the lives of an apostate nun and apostate monk who are thrown together by the upheaval of the war. I liked the way it focussed on ordinary people and the impact on their lives with the main players (Earl of Warwick, Edward IV) appearing on the periphery.
The violence and harshness of the age was captured well and I enjoyed the human dimension and how the author reflected on the effects on ordinary people. The inequality of the time is highlighted well - justice is in short supply if you are powerless or on the wrong side.

There were a few question marks for me regarding the main female character and how she has to adapt to her vastly changed circumstances. There were hints that she had been found out at various points but these were never really explored and just dropped by the author. Frustrating as I felt it left a gap in understanding but perhaps this is resolved in the next book.

I also find Dickens hard-going. I like some of his work but in general I wish he would get to the point quicker! I have loved the adaptions to tv of Bleak House and Little Dorrit though.

SatsukiKusakabe Mon 06-Feb-17 11:05:42

Checking in, thanks southeast. Great Expectations isn't long. Tale of Two cities turned it around for me, cried at the end and appreciated all the doubling, even in the language. David Copperfield has some great bits in it. I think Oliver Twist is a good story actually, and not too long winded, if you can keep the songs out of your head, the Nancy/Bill/Fagin stuff especially. I have Our Mutual Friend to attempt this year.

Welcome mommagee smile

Tarahumara Mon 06-Feb-17 11:12:44

Checking in on the new thread - thanks southeast

CoteDAzur Mon 06-Feb-17 11:23:41

Thanks for the shiny new thread, Southeast smile

bibliomania Mon 06-Feb-17 11:25:26

11. Weatherland: Writers & Artists Under English Skies, by Alexandra Harris

Posted about this on the last thread - really enjoyed it. Some bits appealed more than others - the Romantics and their stormy squalls felt over-familiar, but the lachrymose Victorians and their mossy fern banks are always fun. I'm not going to be the first reviewer to point to the glory of her final words: "then, for just a moment, I saw an octopus dancing over the graves".

It was probably a good thing that it was a library book and I wanted to return it, because I can see that you'd get a bit bogged down if you didn't take it at a run. But overall, I loved it.

RMC123 Mon 06-Feb-17 12:11:02

Checking in!

JoylessFucker Mon 06-Feb-17 13:04:03

Welcome new thread and thanks for the kind words on the previous threads you lovely lot flowers

My list so far:
1. The Skeleton Cupboard: stories from a clinical psychologist by Tanya Byron
2. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
3. Where the Eagle Landed: Mystery of the German Invasion of Britain, 1940 by Peter Haining
4. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
5. A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
6. The Great St Mary’s Day Out & My Name is Markham by Jodi Taylor

Latest read & book 7 is Golden Hill by Francis Spufford. Unexpectedly, I had the opportunity to read this pretty much all day yesterday and what a page turner it was too. Wonderful scene-setting of New York in the 1700s. I enjoyed it very much, so long as we stayed in the POV of the central character. The last chapter - which wasn't - was odd and unnecessary, and almost spoiled the book as a whole for me.

wiltingfast Mon 06-Feb-17 13:17:49

checking in smile

FortunaMajor Mon 06-Feb-17 14:31:09

16. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Centres on the lives of black housemaids in 1960s USA against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. I enjoyed it and think it's worth a read. It ended on a very different note to what I expected. However, it felt a little too rose tinted nostalgic. It's made me want to find something a bit more authentic.

Wex Mon 06-Feb-17 15:01:26

I dropped off the last thread grin
6.Those we Left Behind by Stuart Neville
It’s a long time since I was so gripped by a book that I was kept up reading into the night.
The first I have read by this author who I discovered via Adrian McKinty another writer of Belfast based crime fiction.
Set in Belfast it’s a dark, disturbing crime /psychological thriller. My usual preferred crime fiction style injects a little humour into the proceedings but not here. Detective Serena Flanagan is haunted by a child killer she helped convict ten years earlier. He is released along with his brother and she is confronted with them both again.

HappyFlappy Mon 06-Feb-17 15:04:57

Just marking my place on this new thread.

Hoped to finish Anna Karenina tomorrow, but I am out for "woo" evening tonight so won't get any rating done.

EmGee Mon 06-Feb-17 16:08:30

Marking place. Am getting a bit bored of Love, Nina. It's all a bit same-y now. Not sure I will get it finished so might put it on hold and grab a nice bit of fiction then go back to it.

HandsomeDevil Mon 06-Feb-17 16:10:29

checking in
going to start Swing Time later although I;m not sure it will be my cup of tea...

mogloveseggs Mon 06-Feb-17 16:15:12

New thread and I've only read two books blush
Everything has got in the way this past few weeks but I'm on with Joanna Trollope's the choir now.
Discovered a book token too so am going back to the other thread to find something different to buy for a change smile

Cedar03 Mon 06-Feb-17 16:24:52

Dickens does have a wordy style but he has some fantastic characters and some great stories. I've enjoyed Our Mutual Friend, Martin Chuzzlewit, Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House and Tale of Two Cities. Of the Christmas stories I've only managed to read A Christmas Carol. The other ones in the book I've got just left me cold.

I studied Great Expectations for GCSE and it put me off I think. Didn't really like the ending at the time and it's interesting because had a different ending. I can't remember now whether he changed the ending or whether he wanted to change it.

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