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50 Book Challenge 2018 Part Four

(293 Posts)
southeastdweller Mon 12-Mar-18 08:37:38

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

The challenge is to read fifty books (or more!) in 2018, 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, the second one here and the third one here.

How're you getting on so far?

CoteDAzur Mon 12-Mar-18 09:41:13

Thank you for the shiny new thread, southeast smile

The Janissary Tree (Yashim the Ottoman Detective Book 1) by Jason Goodwin is £1.49 on the Kindle. I recommended this on here and it was enjoyed by those who read it.

SatsukiKusakabe Mon 12-Mar-18 10:02:04

Thanks south. Moving across my list, highlights in bold:

1. I Love Dick by Chris Kraus
2. The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy
3.Game of Thrones 1 by George R R Martin
4. The Nix by Nathan Hill
5. This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson
6. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
7. Mariana by Monica Dickens
8. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
9. A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
10. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
11. You Play The Girl by Carina Chocano
12. Heartstone by CJ Sansom
13. Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman
14. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
15. The Happy Prisoner by Monica Dickens

I have just finished:

16. The Wild Other by Clover Stroud

This is a memoir about a life lived with horses, in the back yard, on the road, off road, trotting along safely under the supervision of a beloved, horse-loving mother, and, later, galloping as close to the wind as possible after that mother has a life changing riding accident that suffuses her life with tragedy. This accident, which leaves her mother alive, but severely brain damaged and requiring full time nursing for the next 20 years, marks the point at which Stroud’s life turns from contented country childhood to chaotic adulthood, as she lives often recklessly trying to simultaneously forget her pain and remember her mother, who is lost to her, but for whom she cannot grieve. It is very difficult to judge a memoir such as this; it is painfully honest and raw and affecting, having a sense of the necessity of getting it all down. It is a love letter to horses and her complex relationship with them -they bring peace to her life, even as they have been the means of destroying that peace. Most of all it is a love letter to her mother, and as such cannot be faulted. I did however find the writing style rather perfunctory, and while it was interesting to read about her time trading horses in Ireland, and working on a ranch in Texas, I wasn’t as interested in reading so much about the drugs and sexual encounters that continually punctuate the story, though I understand her being compelled to include them. Though there is a sense of carelessness and danger to her life, she has a large supportive network of family and friends with money and connections, a degree from Oxford, a mortgage free house, so when she talks of her bank card being refused or living from day to day with travellers, one is aware that this is a choice she is making, and there is very much a safety net that is ready to catch her, when she is ready to stop falling. Stroud views her childhood before the accident as idyllic, but there were drugs, and sex with the (adult) lodger that her mother placed in her bedroom at 15, that suggests at the very least that her life was always leading her to search for a connection to the wild other, even before tragedy struck. Stroud is however unblinking in facing the truth of her life and experiences, and writes movingly about family, the search for home, the need for adventure, and the bravery required to live and to love and overall I enjoyed reading it.

TheTurnOfTheScrew Mon 12-Mar-18 10:07:45

Thanks as ever, South!

Bringing my list over:

1. The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale
2. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
3. The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry
4. What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe
5. Death in the Clouds but Agatha Christie
6. The Road Home by Rose Tremain
7. 21st Century Yokel by Tom Cox
8. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
9. Murder At The Vicarage by Agatha Christie
10. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
11. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Currently midway through Keep On Keeping On by Alan Bennett. I loved the diaries, but the essays, sermons and other writings are less interesting, so I've slowed right down.

Toomuchsplother Mon 12-Mar-18 10:42:47

Bringing my list across. Bold are my highlights , italics for the stinkers.
1. Golden Hill - Francis Spufford
2. How to measure a cow - Margaret Forster
*3.*A History of Britain in 21 Women- Jenni Murray *
4. Home Going - Yaa Gyasi*
5. The reader on the 6.27
6. Fire and Fury - Inside the Trump White House - Michael Wolff
**7. Sugar Money - Jane Harris
8. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë**
9. The Book of Eleanor - Pamela Kaufman
10. The Victoria Letters - The Heart and Mind of a Young Queen - Helen Rappaport
11. A place called Winter - Patrick Gale
*12. Fingers in the Sparkle Jar - Chris Packham
13. Amy and Isabelle - Elizabeth Strout
14. Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson*
15. Brooklyn - Colm Tóibín
16. Night waking - Sarah Moss
17. How to stop Brexit - Nick Clegg
*18. Life after Life - Kate Atkinson
19. A thousand acres - Jane Smiley
20. A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson*
21. Birdcage Walk - Helen Dunmore
22. All quiet on the western front - Erich Maria Remarque
23. Gut Symmetries - Jeanette Winterson
24. Fall down 7 times get up 8 - Naoki Higashida
25. The girl with the Dragon Tattoo- Stieg Larsson
*26. Priestdaddy - Patricia Lockwood
27. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar*
28. The more you ignore me - Jo Brand
29. The Reservoir Tapes - Jon McGregor
30. The bone clocks - David Mitchell
31. Unless - Carol Shields
32. The Co-op's got bananas - Hunter Davies
33. The Witch Finder's Sister - Beth Underdown
34. Burial Rites - Hannah Kent
35. A Very English Scandal - John Preston
36. Jane Austen at Home - Lucy Worsley
37. When you disappeared- John Marrs
38. The Wolf Border - Sarah Hall
39. Moon Tiger - Penelope Lively
40. Sacrilege - S J Parris
41. Perfect - Rachel Joyce
42. The Night Rainbow - Claire King
*43. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
44. The Passion - Jeanette Winterson *
45. Lady of the English - Elizabeth Chadwick

CoffeeOrSleep Mon 12-Mar-18 10:53:14

Just marking a place to get this on my "I'm on" list, will be back later! X

Piggywaspushed Mon 12-Mar-18 12:04:26

Place marking too. Hoping to get my reading mojo back this week...

Piggywaspushed Mon 12-Mar-18 12:05:33

What do the s signify *splother ??

SatsukiKusakabe Mon 12-Mar-18 12:29:58

I figured it was where the holding didn’t work?

SatsukiKusakabe Mon 12-Mar-18 12:30:22


Toomuchsplother Mon 12-Mar-18 12:35:43

Yes bolding fail!

IrisAtwood Mon 12-Mar-18 13:00:14

9. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. This has rave reviews and has topped the NYT booklist recently. It is the story of four siblings who visit a fortune teller who tells each of them the date of their death.Each section of the book after this deals with each sibling’s life following this event, but despite being well written and engaging the novel as a whole felt formulaic. Each sibling has a different conflict to deal with and each is a different and stereotypical personality. The young gay man in San Francisco, the rebellious, creative woman trying to juggle motherhood with her ambition, the sensible brother with a solid marriage and career, the isolated, rigid, controlling virgin working in academia. They did not really come alive for me and read very much as character sketch exercises produced for a creative writing MA. I wasn’t convinced by the ending either which also felt contrived.The issues explored were interesting though and it has given me a lot to think about in terms of life, death, relationships and how to live a good life.

EmGee Mon 12-Mar-18 13:09:39

Afternoon everyone. Currently reading The Way Things Were by Lisa Wingate. Will review when finish and bring list over.

HoundOfTheBasketballs Mon 12-Mar-18 13:10:32

Just marking my place on the new thread, thank you southeast.
I will bring my list over when I finish my current book.

Tarahumara Mon 12-Mar-18 13:29:40

Place marking on new thread smile

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Mon 12-Mar-18 14:15:02

I have lost track of my list so I can't bring it over!

38. Victory of Eagles
39. Tongues of Serpents
40. Crucible of Gold, Naomi Novik's Temeraire series.

I've been on a roll but I'm starting to flag a bit now. The series has moved all over the world - Laurence and Temeraire went from Australia to Peru to Brazil, followed by Japan and China and back to Russia in the latest one (nearly finished book 8). I'm getting a bit tired of the whistle-stop tour of the world! It's starting to read like Novik was challenged to consider how society might have developed around dragons and decided to devote a book to each continent. I will finish the series but I'll be quite glad to move on to something else! Possibly devouring the entire of a series detracts from my enjoyment - maybe they'd be better spaced out.

CakeBeTheFoodOfLove Mon 12-Mar-18 14:29:26

I don't understand how someone could have read 45 books since the beginning of the year - that's madness!

BellBookandCandle Mon 12-Mar-18 16:30:55

Here's my list.....think I'm about on target. I think it's about 12-14 books a quarter to make the 50. Not sure I'll get there, we'll see!

1.Mythos - Stephen Fry
2.Origin - Dan Brown
3.The Mitford Murders - Jessica Fellowes
4.Paris - Edward Rutherford
5.The Four Quartets - T S Eliot
6.The Magus of Hay - Phil Rickman
7.Innocent Traitor - Alison Weir
8.The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood (audio R4)
9.Land Rover: The story of the car that conquered the world - Ben Fogle
10.The Good Terrorist - Doris Lessing (audio R4)

Have got Station Eleven on the go at the moment - am undecided about it.

ScribblyGum Mon 12-Mar-18 16:49:28

Bringing list over.

1. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
2. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
3. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
4. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
5. Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward
6. Holding by Graham Norton
7. Restoration by Rose Tremain
8. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
9. Dave Gorman vs The Rest of the World by Dave Gorman
10. Over the Moon by Imtiaz Dharker
11. Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar
12. Educating Rita by Willy Russell
13. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
14. The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
15. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
16. The Prince's Chambermaid by Sharon Kendrick
17. Assasin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
18. Under the Skin by Michel Faber
19. Sugar Money by Jane Harris
20. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
21. True Grit by Charles Portis
22. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

ScribblyGum Mon 12-Mar-18 16:58:12

Currently listening to Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon (Rant status: Loading), and reading When I Hit You or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy. Both longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction.

splother how did Reservoir Tapes compare to Reservoir 13?

EatSleepRantRepeat Mon 12-Mar-18 17:10:14

Ooh can I join? I'm on book 17 but that's due to some sick leave I had at the beginning of the year.

My favourite book so far has been The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, which is a book about genetic science but really accessible to non-scientists (like me!). It has some shocking detail on how black Americans were treated by the medical profession from 1950s onwards.

Getting Off by Erica Garza was also good - stinkers include The Stand by Stephen King (too long and too many sub plots) and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks (I just didn't care what happened to the characters).

Is anyone on goodreads? I find their reading challenge and app very useful

BestIsWest Mon 12-Mar-18 17:12:01

Marking place. I need to compile my list properly. Thanks South

Toomuchsplother Mon 12-Mar-18 17:20:36

Cake chronic insomnia, husband who works away in the week, and watching very very little TV is how I have got to 45 books.

Scribbly it obviously not so long but it's very similar in style and content. It has the same homely, natural feel of watching real life grow and develop. It's well written and McGregor manages to make small things interesting and compelling.

FiveGoMadInDorset Mon 12-Mar-18 17:20:38

Thank you for the new thread

My list so far

1 Old Filth by Jane Gardam
2 Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
3 The One From the Other by Philip Kerr
4 D is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton
5 The Last Hours by Minette Walters
6 Summertime And All the Cats Are Bored by Phillipe Georget
7 The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude
8 Eleanor Elephant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
9 One Shot by Lee Child
10 A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh
11 The Hard Way by Lee Child
12 Roesanna by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

Currently ploughing my way through The Thorn Birds, a lot longer than I remember and The Pier and Other Stories by Mark Haddon which is less of a plough

FiveGoMadInDorset Mon 12-Mar-18 17:21:33

I missed one

13 The Disappeared by Kristina Ohlsson

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