Tag Archives: book challenge

20 Books of Summer – Month 1 Update

I’m taking part in the 20 Books of Summer Challenge. It’s exactly what you think: try to read 20 books over June, July and August. I like this challenge because it’s jut a bit more than I normally read, and I have my long summer holiday to help!

I also find it amusing that I can not stick to the intended plan. I set out at the beginning what I think I’d like to read, then it goes off track quite quickly.

So how am I doing after month 1? I finished 6 books plus read a third of The Iliad, so that’s perfectly on track. Two of the books were quite short, but that’s ok.

Here’s the original list, ones I’ve read in red, links to reviews at the end. Books not on the original list are just tagged onto the end.

  1. Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi (review)
  2. Still Me – Jojo Moyes
  3. Conclave – Robert Harris
  4. Sarah – J.T. Leroy
  5. Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley – Charlotte Gordon
  6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
  7. How Do You Like Me Now? – Holly Bourne
  8. The Pisces – Melissa Broder
  9. How Not to be a Boy – Robert Webb
  10.  Things a Bright Girl Can Do – Sally Nicholls
  11. The Iliad – Homer
  12. Story – Robert McKee (review)
  13. How To Stop Time – Matt Haig (review)
  14. 2666 – Roberto Bolano
  15.  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  16. The Dark Dark – Samantha Hunt
  17. Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life – Helen Czerski
  18. The Dark Road to Mercy – Wiley Cash
  19. My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
  20. The Mother of All Questions – Rebecca Solnit
  21. Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates (review)
  22. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf (review)
  23. Little Black Book – Otegha Uwagba (review)

I realise I’m writing this halfway through July, and so really I’ve already read 3 more books! Shhhhh those will be in the next update!

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20 Books of Summer Challenge 2018

I’m going to take part in the 20 books of summer challenge again this year. The aim is to try and read 20 books in June, July and August. It’s slightly more than I normally read, but I do have a summer holiday to fill with exciting books. The challenge was created by Cathy at 746 Books. You can find other people taking part in the challenge at that link too.

I also enjoy this challenge for the slightly ridiculous reason that I enjoy seeing just how badly I can predict what I will read. I like planning out what to read, and than really find I can’t stick to it. Maybe this year will be different! Here is a link to the results of last years challenge. I did alright considering I had a rough Summer personally, and read 19 books.

This year for 20 Books of Summer I will Read:

  1. Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi. Just started it and it’s for book club.
  2. Still Me – Jojo Moyes. Another one for book club. See my review of After You to see how highly anticipated this is.
  3. Conclave – Robert Harris. Book club again. I’m only in two book clubs, I swear.
  4. Sarah – J.T. Leroy. A friend recommended this so I will read it soon, so I can judge him.
  5. Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley – Charlotte Gordon. A friend lent me this ages ago, and I have loved what I’ve read so far. I just think it’s size has intimidated me. It’s quite a beast.
  6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman. I’ve got a copy. I just haven’t got round to it yet, but it sounds ace and I really want to get to it!
  7. How Do You Like Me Now? – Holly Bourne. As above!
  8. The Pisces – Melissa Broder. This book sounds amazing. “The Pisces is about a heartbroken PhD student who over one summer falls in dangerous, ecstatic love with a merman” Erm… yes!
  9. How Not to be a Boy – Robert Webb. Have heard lots of good things about this one, and I couldn’t go three months without reading something about gender.
  10.  Things a Bright Girl Can Do – Sally Nicholls. I’ve read half already and I need to finish it!

 

I’m quite confident I’ll get through those, now the second half of the list is purely speculative fiction:

11. The Iliad – Homer. hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha. Yes, this summer I will read The Iliad.

12. Story – Robert McKee. Fairly confident I will read this because I was lent this by a friend who I’m seeing in a couple of weeks, so I need to read it and give it back!

13. How To Stop Time – Matt Haig. Again, I have a copy waiting to be read.

14. 2666 – Roberto Bolano. Yes, this is the summer I will read this gigantic book.

15. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou. A classic I feel I should have read already.

16. The Dark Dark – Samantha Hunt. Short stories that sound a-fricken-mazing.

17. Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life – Helen Czerski. I’ve not been reading enough science books and so I need to add at least one to this list. I love the premise of this one.

18. The Dark Road to Mercy – Wiley Cash. Recommended by my favourite book recommending friend! So it’s bound to be good.

19. My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante. I feel so out of touch having not read this yet!

20. The Mother of All Questions – Rebecca Solnit. Got to get some Solnit on this list. I’m savouring her books, but I’m also in danger of just never reading them!

20bookssummer

here are 15 of the books – 5 are on my kindle

I’m going to enjoy seeing how accurate this ends up!

**update** Since writing this blog post, I decided I actually am going to read the Iliad this summer. I only need to read six pages a day and that is very achievable. So welcome to my SUMMER CHALLENGE SIDE PROJECT: read the Iliad at last.

iliad

6 pages a day will do it. 

 

2018 Reading Goals

Well look what I found languishing in my drafts folder! My reading goals that I thought about and typed up and never posted. So here goes! and because it’s actually already March, I already know I’m not doing so well on some of these. But here they are as written at the very start of the year:

My 2018 goals can be summed up by:

Read what I want. Read diversely.

To expand on this a little bit:

  • Don’t try to plan too far ahead and embrace reading what I feel like reading. So no restrictive reading lists. They don’t work for me. This means I need to be careful with requesting NetGalley books. I try to make sure there’s a good amount of time between dates the books are published, and I must make sure I really want to read it. It’s also helpful to have quite a long time between requesting  book and the date it’s published so I don’t feel pressured to read it when I don’t really feel like it.

 

  • Read diversely. By this I mean read men and women,. Read books written by LGBTQ+ authors, and books with LGBTQ+ characters. Read books by BAME authors. Read books written by authors from different parts of the world. Read more translations. Read more genres. I’m hoping the PopSugar challenge lists will help with some of these goals.

 

  • Read at least 75 books. I read 65 this year. I think I can do better.

 

  • Read books I already own and try not to buy more (though inevitably I will, I will just try and minimise it). Here are the scary stats:
    • unread books on my shelves today( I know this will be too low because a load of my books are still hidden away waiting to go on my shelves after decorating. They are mostly reference books, but there’s bound to be some fiction hidden in there) : 201
    • unread kindle books: 178
    • unlistened to audio books: 11
    • total TBR: 390
  • yes that is an obscene amount of books.

 

  • Read at least one book that’s over 1000 pages. 2666 by Roberto Bolano has been on my bookshelves unread for about ten years. Maybe this year is its year.

 

  • Read some authors I have wanted to read for ages, but haven’t got round to. This could be so many! Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Roberto Bolano, Virginia Woolf, any Bronte.. and so many more.

 

  • Read the Iliad. This is primarily to start helping me with answering quiz questions in an online quiz league I’m in. 😀

 

  • Not strictly a book reading goal, but a related one. I’ve signed up to do a short introductory course in creative writing. I’ve never done anything like this since secondary school – I’ve been all maths and physics in my education after school!

 

That’s all I can think of right now. Think I can manage all of these in 2018!

 

Review of my 2017 Reading Challenge

Hahahahahahahahahaha I can not stick to a reading list, and actually I’m OK with that. I don’t want to ever have to stick to a long, rigid reading list.

I planned last year to read as many books from The Rory Gilmore Reading List as I could manage. I started this challenge enthused after watching the entire of Gilmore Girls, over a couple of months in Summer,  in preparation for the new episodes they had made (and ready to attend my friends watching party when they were released). I was impressed with the bookishness of Rory and I also knew I wanted to get back into reading after quite a few years of not finding the time for it, so finding a reading list of books she read on the show was motivating.

I started off well, but read fewer books from the list each month. I know I will still dip back into the list from time to time when choosing new books to read, because a lot of the books from the list have been absolute favourites of mine. I also had a problem with the list being very restrictive. It’s largely white, American or European, authors, and I want to read more diversely than that. I also got side tracked (rightly!) by a lot of newer books that obviously weren’t going to be on that list.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson with this year long challenge: don’t try and be so restrictive with what I read! Also, it’s probably worth noting that I own copies of at least 21 of the books I haven’t read from this list! So I will definitely still read a few of them 🙂

Here is the full list, with the ones I had already read in red, the ones I read last year in pink:

  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  •  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
  • Brick Lane by Monica Ali  
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood  
  • Emma by Jane Austen  
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen 
  • Oracle Night by Paul Auster  
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (review)
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin (review)
  • The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Fat Land : How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
  • Cousin Bette by Honore De Balzac
  • Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia De Burgos by Julia De Burgos
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant  
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky 
  • An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  • The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn 
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco  
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
  • Time and Again by Jack Finney
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  • A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding  
  • Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
  • My Life in Orange by Tim Guest
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Rescuing Patty Hearst by Virginia Holman
  • A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
  • The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (review)
  • Songbook by Nick Hornby
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo  
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
  • The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  • Nervous System by Jan Lars Jensen  
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (review)
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (review)
  • On The Road by Jack Kerouac
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd 
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • Extravagance by Gary Krist
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson 
  • The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
  • The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
  • Small Island by Andrea Levy
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  • A Month Of Sundays by Julie Mars
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Property by Valerie Martin
  • The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
  • The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus         
  • Quattrocento by James McKean
  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller  
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison (review)
  • Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger  
  • How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
  • 1984 by George Orwell 
  • When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (review)
  • Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath  
  • Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  • The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • Empire Falls by Richard Russo
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (review)
  • Sybil by Flora Schreiber
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (review)
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (review)
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (review)
  • Unless by Carol Shields
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (review)
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
  • Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut (review)
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • Night by Elie Wiesel (review)
  • The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde  
  • The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Old School by Tobias Wolff
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 

This year I’m attempting the PopSugar Challenge. This involves trying to fit what I read into different categories and so is much less restrictive!

 

Popsugar reading challenge 2018

The POPSUGAR reading challenge is a really popular list of prompts to follow as a yearly challenge with your reading. The 2018 list contains 40 prompts and then there is an advanced list with 10 additional prompts. I’ve been nudged into making this list by reading a planned list on the Dear Reader blog.

I’m notoriously bad at planning what I’m going to read, so I’ll be happy to deviate fully from this list! and I’ll just swap in books that fit each prompt as I read them. I’m going to use my huge backlog of books I own, but haven’t read to populate the list now. I should note I have the additional challenge that all my books are still packed away! So I can’t just browse my shelves to see what I already have. I predict I’ll change at least 75% of these plans!

Any one else going to try the challenge?

Here are my planned books:

A book made into a movie you’ve already seen: The Girl With All the Gifts – M. R. Carey

True crime: Gomorrah – Roberto Saviano

The next book in a series you started: The Looking Glass War – John le Carre

A book involving a heist: Artemis – Andy Weir

Nordic noir: Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Hoeg

A novel based on a real person: The Hours – Michael Cunningham

A book set in a country that fascinates you: Pachinko – Min Jin Lee

A book with a time of day in the title: The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

A book about a villain or antihero: Lolita – Vladimir Nabakov

A book about death or grief: Staring at the Sun – Irvin D. Yalom

A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym: The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist: The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

A book that is also a stage play or musical: The Color Purple – Alice Walker

A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you: Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

A book about feminism: Feminist Fight Club – Jessica Bennett

A book about mental health: Still Alice – Lisa Genova

A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift: Holding Up the Universe – Jennifer Niven

A book by two authors: Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

A book about or involving a sport: Seabiscuit – Laura Hillenbrand

A book by a local author: Fell – Jenn Ashworth

A book with your favourite colour in the title: Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A book with alliteration in the title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo

A book about time travel: The Time Machine – H. G. Wells

A book with a weather element in the title: Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

A book set at sea: Moby-Dick – Herman Melville

A book with an animal in the title: Bee Season – Myla Goldberg

A book set on a different planet: Ancillary Sword – Ann Leckie

A book with song lyrics in the title: Lonely Boy (Tales From a Sex Pistol) – Steve Jones

A book about or set on Halloween: The Halloween Tree – Ray Bradbury

A book with characters who are twins: The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

A book mentioned in another book: Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (Matilda)

A book from a celebrity book club: The Girls – Lisa Jewell (Richard and Judy book club)

A childhood classic you’ve never read: Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

A book that’s published in 2018: How Do You Like Me Now? – Holly Bourne

A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner: Wild – Cheryl Strayed

A book set in the decade you were born: The Fortress of Solitude – Jonathan Lethem

A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to: Swing Time – Zadie Smith

A book with an ugly cover: The Mother of All Questions – Rebecca Solnit

A book that involves a bookstore or library: The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Your favourite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges:  4 3 2 1 – Paul Auster (an audiobook)

and the advanced list:

A best seller from the year you graduated high school: The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

A cyberpunk book: Neuromancer – William Gibson

A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place: I’m watching you members of the public! to be filled in as I spot something

A book tied to your ancestry: After t’Blackpool Lights – A poetry anthology written by my Grandma’s writing group.

A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title: In Watermelon Sugar – Richard Brautigan

An allegory: Lord of the Flies – William Golding

A book by an author with the same first or last name as you: My Story – Marilyn Monroe

A microhistory: Longitude – Dava Sobel

A book about a problem facing society today: The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: The Complete Maus – Art Spiegelman

Book challenge 2017 update

Wow! This is not going well! I am learning that I can’t plan my reading very in advance. Too much amazing new shiny stuff catches my eye. Still, I’m reading lots, and I won’t feel bad for reading what I feel like 😀

The idea behind this reading challenge is detailed here. I read one book off the list over the last three months! Holidays On Ice – David Sedaris. I still want to read more of them – and have copies of quite a few waiting on my bookshelves.

Wonder if I can beat my record over the next three months and maybe read two more? 😀

Here’s the updated list.

  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  •  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
  • Brick Lane by Monica Ali  
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood  
  • Emma by Jane Austen  
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen 
  • Oracle Night by Paul Auster  
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (review)
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov  
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin (review)
  • The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Fat Land : How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
  • Cousin Bette by Honore De Balzac
  • Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia De Burgos by Julia De Burgos
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant  
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky  
  • An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  • The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn 
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco  
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
  • Time and Again by Jack Finney
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  
  • A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding  
  • Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
  • My Life in Orange by Tim Guest
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon 
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Rescuing Patty Hearst by Virginia Holman
  • A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
  • The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (review)
  • Songbook by Nick Hornby
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo  
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
  • The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  • Nervous System by Jan Lars Jensen  
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (review)
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (review)
  • On The Road by Jack Kerouac
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd 
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • Extravagance by Gary Krist
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson 
  • The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
  • The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
  • Small Island by Andrea Levy
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  • A Month Of Sundays by Julie Mars
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel 
  • Property by Valerie Martin
  • The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
  • The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus         
  • Quattrocento by James McKean
  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller  
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison (review)
  • Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger  
  • How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
  • 1984 by George Orwell 
  • When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (review)
  • Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath  
  • Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  • The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • Empire Falls by Richard Russo
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (review)
  • Sybil by Flora Schreiber
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (review)
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (review)
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (review)
  • Unless by Carol Shields
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (review)
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
  • Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut (review)
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • Night by Elie Wiesel (review)
  • The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde  
  • The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Old School by Tobias Wolff
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Summer Book Challenge wrap up! #20booksofsummer

How did I do?

I struggled to get through my books in August, but almost managed it – getting up to nineteen books altogether. I was totally on track, but I had a close family bereavement at the end of July and this has been very difficult to deal with. So I’m really very happy with how I got on overall. I thought about squeezing in a really short book on the last day, but I just didn’t have the energy. I’m also a few books behind with my reviews, but I’m sure I’ll get back on track soon.

Throughout this challenge I’ve definitely had it reinforced to me that I can not plan what I will read very far in advance! There is just no point. I need to read what I feel like reading at the time.

Here’s my list of twenty books I originally planned to read, with the books I actually read in red. Any that were in addition to the original list of 20 are added beyond book twenty. So I ended up reading twelve that weren’t on my original list, and only seven I planned to back in May.

  1. The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry (review)
  2. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng (review)
  3. Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor (review)
  4. the Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
  5. Hope in the Dark – Rebecca Solnit
  6. Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit (review)
  7. Nobody Told Me – Holly McNish
  8. Dear Fatty – Dawn French
  9. Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood
  10. The Power – Naomi Alderman (review)
  11. The Lottery (and other stories) – Shirley Jackson
  12. Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  13. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot
  14. The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  15. A Quiet Storm – Rachel Howzell Hall
  16. How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran
  17. The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  18. The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave (review)
  19. Wonder – RJ Palacio
  20. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  21. Queen of Spades – Michael Shou-Yung Shum
  22. Living the Dream – Lauren Berry (review)
  23. Inferior – Angela Saini (review)
  24. Holidays On Ice – David Sedaris (review)
  25. The Unseen – Roy Jacobsen (review)
  26. Nasty Women – 404Ink (review)
  27. All Grown Up – Jami Attenberg (review)
  28. Anger Is An Energy – John Lydon (review)
  29. The Seed Collectors – Scarlett Thomas (review)
  30. How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne (review)
  31. Lincoln In The Bardo – George Saunders (review)
  32. The Beautiful Bureaucrat – Helen Philips

I’ve really enjoyed this challenge. It’s motivated me to get through a few more books than I otherwise might have. I’m sure I’ll do something similar next year!