50 Book Challenge 2018 Part Six
southeastdweller · 05/06/2018 08:12
Welcome to the sixth 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, the third one here, the fourth one here, and the fifth one here.
How're you getting on so far?
ChessieFL · 29/07/2018 19:59
How We Eat With Our Eyes And Think With Our Stomachs by Melanie Muhl
Easy to read collection of essays about various psychological things that affect how and what we eat (e.g we eat faster and eat more when there’s faster music playing). Nothing particularly ground breaking but quite interesting.
In The Dark by Cara Hunter
A woman and child are found in the cellar of an old man with the onset of dementia. He has no idea who they are and she’s not talking. I really enjoyed this, thought it was a really good story and I had no idea what the twist was going to be.
How It All Began by Penelope Lively
This tracks the stories of all those who are affected when an elderly lady is mugged. This was nice with likeable characters and was well written.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
I read this before watching the adaptation that’s currently on TV. I loved the tense humid atmosphere, but it’s very dark and the themes won’t appeal to everyone.
CoteDAzur · 29/07/2018 20:58
The Innocent (Will Robie #1) by David Baldacci
This was a pretty good beach read although the first couple of pages made me go with all the cringeworthy descriptions of Will Robie, the CIA assassin whose muscles are "chiseled" etc. The plot wasn't too obvious and the protagonist not too stupid (Jack Reacher, I'm looking at you).
I ended up quite enjoying it so will continue with the series.
CheerfulMuddler · 29/07/2018 21:41
Goodbye Stranger Rebecca Stead
Rather lovely teen novel about three young teenagers in New York, dealing with friendship, betrayal, first boyfriends, family breakdown, growing up etc. Very much Judy Bloom territory with smart phones and feminism.
It's been a busy, exhausting couple of weeks in the Muddler household, and I've been struggling to pull together the brain to read, so this was a joy. She's won a Newbery Medal and a Guardian Children's Book Prize, and can really write, and the story is told with real kindness and compassion, without minimising anything the characters go through.
Highly recommended for any 10-12-year-olds in your life.
YesILikeItToo · 29/07/2018 23:39
I bought Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane during a reading session in the Botanics with my child - we’d gone there with our books and I unexpectedly finished mine. A forced gift shop choice.
It’s a little random for me, but checking in tonight I’m just thinking about how this is a great quality in the thread - just quite how varied people’s reading lists are. Shaped by many factors, and full of interest.
I’ll report back on the book when I’m done - another feature of the thread is the accountability, this is a prime example of a book that I might have got about half way through and found that, while I was enjoying it, it hadn’t hooked me to finish. And having a responsibility to everyone’s reading lists I certainly will now finish and be glad of it.
Dottierichardson · 29/07/2018 23:44
Sadik haven’t read the Ann Leckie yet but my OH just finished the series and Biblio thanks for the Mick Herron recommendation, my OH read and enjoyed this too.
65. The Crossway by Guy Stagg – published 2018. Reviewed and recommended by Biblio earlier in the thread, so I’ll just make some brief comments. There was a lot to like in this account of Stagg’s (agnostic) pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. The way he related his journey to dealing with the aftermath of depression reminded me slightly of Richard Mabey’s excellent Nature Cure, although Mabey’s journey was more of an inward one. The early sections of Stagg’s walk were a nostalgic experience for me. They provoked memories of walking/hitching from London across Europe, particularly the trip across the mountains in snow. I agree with Biblio that there were a number of places where the intermingling of the historical with Stagg's immediate experiences doesn't come off. These often dry renditions are awkwardly juxtaposed with Stagg's more intimate confessional tones. Yet other sections worked really well; I particularly enjoyed the coverage of Turkey and Cyprus, and it was a surprise to find Stagg meeting with Alev Scott (I read her Turkish Awakening a while ago) almost as if I’d bumped into an old friend unexpectedly.
ChessieFL · 30/07/2018 08:07
Bad Twins by Rebecca Chance
A bit of summer froth! Rich people behaving not very nicely to each other and having sex in between.
TooExtraImmatureCheddar · 30/07/2018 10:31
The Chalet School and Rosalie, Elinor M Brent-Dyer
Leave It To Psmith, PG Wodehouse
Psmith encounters Blandings - two Wodehouse series combine here. I haven't read much of either, which I hope to rectify at some stage! I do like this - Psmith is an insouciant, charming eccentric who confuses all he meets yet manages to come out on top. He is hired to steal Lady Constance Keeble's priceless necklace for her husband and it all goes downhill from there.
YuleABUnREASTIEable · 30/07/2018 12:17
Not been on for a while as bit of a reading stagnation still with dd now on holiday. Finally finished the scapegoat by Daphne dumarier . The chat about Rebecca on here recently made me try my 5th novel I’ve read of hers, sadly my least favourite so far :( . The premise was good, the start and the end was good but it just felt a bit tedious at times, I couldn’t dip in and out of it, I needed a bit of time to get into it which I don’t have with dd around. The premise was 2 men meet in a bar in France and they appear to be identical. One (Jean) is in a lot of difficulty with his family and money and when the other (John) is sleeping he swaps their clothes etc and leaves him to swap identities. Could imagine it being a good adaptation to TV.
bibliomania · 30/07/2018 14:11
Cote, for something sciency (non-fiction), A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, by Adam Rutherford is a book about genetics that is funny and surprising.
Dottie, glad my recommendations weren't duds! In return, I read Linda Grant's I Murdered My Library, which I enjoyed. Also the latest two books in Jodi Taylor's St Mary's series about time-travelling historians, And the Rest is History and An Argumentation of Historians, which was perfect holiday reading.
Piggywaspushed · 30/07/2018 16:16
Just picked up a copy of Bookworm in Waterstones. Got home and found it to be a signed copy , so quite chuffed with that!
Tarahumara · 30/07/2018 16:51
I was just thinking that I fancied a name change, so I tried to change to Tsundoku in honour of this thread, but it's already in use! Is it one of you lot? Own up!
Dottierichardson · 30/07/2018 16:54
Tara whoever it is, they haven't posted yet!
ChessieFL · 30/07/2018 17:00
That was lucky Piggy!
124. Autumn by Ali Smith
I really can’t decide how I feel about this book. It’s the first of hers I’ve read. I found the style a little disconcerting at first, and found it hard to work out whether someone was speaking or thinking, or whether it was a dream or a flashback. I was also surprised, given how many literary awards it has won or been shortlisted for, how quick and easy it was to read - I read it in just a few hours today. I liked the characters and the relationship between them. I’m not sure I would rate it as highly as all the awards suggest, but then I often read prize winning books and wonder what all the fuss is about - clearly I’m too stupid to understand these books at the level everyone else seems to! I can’t say I loved this book but I’ll probably look out for Winter. Not sure I would rush to read lots of her work though.
StitchesInTime · 30/07/2018 17:48
Not me, Tarahumara!
TheTurnOfTheScrew · 30/07/2018 20:09
31. Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott
The present-day town of Rotherweird has been socially and politically cut off from the rest of the UK since Tudor times, when it acted as a place of exile for a group of unusually gifted children. It has been forbidden by stature to study the history of Rotherweird, and the town is rarely visited by outsiders. Two such outsiders arrive at the same time, both very different, and begin to unearth the secrets that have been kept for 400 years.
I don't often read fantasy, but this was gently funny and not too obsessed with the details and cleverness of the world it creates. The story was paced and intriguing. Felt slightly similar in tone to Rivers of London (which I didn't like), but was more successful and believable within the structures of the world created. Some of the many characters were a bit superficially drawn and probably could have been axed without detriment to the story, but overall I rather liked it.
CoteDAzur · 30/07/2018 22:05
Thanks for the rec, biblio
PepeLePew · 30/07/2018 22:27
Cote, some great recommendations here for non fiction. I'd really recommend the Carlo Rovelli book on physics, and also I Contain Multitudes and The Big Short (or indeed any Michael Lewis. I also loved The Happiness Project a while back though I am not sure I would call it brainy.
PepeLePew · 30/07/2018 22:28
YuleABUnREASTIEable · 31/07/2018 06:35
Chessie I read autumn and felt exactly the same as you!
Just finished the girl before by jp delaney . Was a quick read wasn’t exactly high calibrate literacy. The story had an ending that I found a let down and the whole thing, although very easy to romp through, wasn’t overly gripping. All about two women who lived at the same stark architect designed house and both had a relationship with said architect at different times and how the first met a sticky ending and who caused it.
ChillieJeanie · 31/07/2018 06:49
TheTurnOfTheScrew I really enjoyed Rotherweird as well, although I had been in two minds about it for a long time before eventually picking it up in the library. I'm currently waiting for one of the libraries in my county to get a copy of the sequel Wyntertide.
Sadik · 31/07/2018 07:41
Thanks for the Rotherweird recommendation Turn and Chillie - I've looked at it a couple of times. It's not in our library system annoyingly, can't decide whether it's the sort of thing that would read OK on my phone or not (was happy reading The Night Circus on the phone for example, but sometimes I find rather dense books where I want to flip back & forth tricky). Maybe I just need to splash out & buy it on real paper!
ScribblyGum · 31/07/2018 10:27
Need to do a big update but am afeared of doing a giant post due to sketchy nature of German campsite WiFi.
Have just finished The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers which one this year's historical fiction award the name of which I cannot remember.
It's 99p on kindle. About the C18th Yorkshire coin clippers. It's very masculine, violent and full of organic and heartfelt Yorkshire swearing, some written phonetically which adds to the pleasure. Not a perfect holiday read but I still enjoyed it.
Now onto The three body problem.
ScribblyGum · 31/07/2018 10:28
Won not one. Durr
Piggywaspushed · 31/07/2018 11:50
Book number 53 Unbeleivable by American election reporter Katy Tur.
DS1 has to read at least two books about the US election this summer so I am now reading one of them, while he reads If Only They Didn't Speak English
This book was interesting, if a bit overly American in its references, tone and style (I realise it is an American book ! But she lived in London for ages and pissed me off by being in Scotland reporting on Trump and referring blithely to 'England voting to leave the EU!)
My family on all sides are American. This includes gay, transgender Democrats, Bernie Sanders fans, Green voters, old fashioned Republicans and homophobic, Mexican Trump supporters (really) so it is fascinating to me. I am a bit fed up of the recent swathe of programmes 'investigating' Trump's America (looking at you, Ed Balls) showing Trump supporters as decent, hard working, not at all racist or homophobic , reasonable people. This book is an antidote to that : the section on the t shirts Trump supportors had printed and put on sale is genuinely shocking. And the way Americans view the press, encouraged by Trump, is awful. I guess it is quite a biased book ; Tur clealry has no admiration for Trump's ways. I skimmed through the chapter about her own parents and the bits about being a journalist - interesting enough, but Trump is a fascinating enough beats without all that padding! It's a quick read notwithstanding. Don't think my BIL will be reading it any time soon. He thinks Trump walks on water.
Piggywaspushed · 31/07/2018 11:52
I can spell unbelievable btw : just can't type it....
I hate Windows 10. Not as much as Donald Trump but getting there.
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