Reading Summary 1 January – 30 June 2008

It’s hard to believe that it’s now July – half the year has gone by in the blink of an eye – or in the time it has taken to read 44 books. The full list is here. This time last year I had read 52 books, so either I’m not reading as much, or as quickly, or the books are longer/more detailed. Anyway, of these 44 books, 36 are fiction and 8 are non-fiction. Month by month totals are:

  • Jan: 7
  • Feb: 9
  • March: 5
  • April: 7
  • May: 7
  • June: 9

Best reads are:

Clicking on the titles takes you to my thoughts on each book.

Overall, so far, the best book has to be Our Longest Days with Half of a Yellow Sun a close second.

I’ve participated in several reading challenges:

Celebrate the Author. The challenge is to read a book each month by an author who celebrates a birthday in that month. From January to May I succeeded and read books by

  • Virginia Woolf –The Death of the Moth and Other Essays – see here
  • Paul Auster – The Book of Illusions – see here
  • Robert Frost – see here
  • Ian Rankin – A Good Hanging – see here
  • Margaret Forster – Keeping the World Away – see here

June’s author was to have been Orhan Pamuk or Thomas Hardy but I didn’t read anything by either of these authors – maybe I’ll catch up in July. July’s author is either Alexander Dumas or Joanne Harris. I have a feeling it will be Joanne Harris as I have both Chocolat and The Lollipop Shoes, which I have been meaning to read for ages.

The Chunkster Challenge. This challenge is to read at least 4 books of over 450 pages. So far I’ve read three:

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (584 pages) See here.
  • Winter In Madrid, C J Sansom (530 pages) See here.
  • Revelation by C J Sansom (546 pages). See here.

I’m also aiming to read:

  • The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (598 pages)
  • The Needle in the Blood by Sarah Bower (575 pages)
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (529 pages) 

Heart of a Child Challenge. The challenge is to read 3 to 6 books by July 14, 2008 that you discovered, loved or adored as a child. So far I’ve read two – Mr Blossom’s Shop by Barbara Euphan Todd, see here and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, see here. I’ll be reading one of these in the next two weeks to complete the challenge.

  • What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next by Susan Coolidge
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri and Heidi Grows Up and Heidi’s Children by Charles Tritten
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
  • The Gloriet Tower by Eileen Meyler 

What’s In a Name Challenge. This challenge ends in December and is to read one book in each of the categories. So far I’ve read three out of the six as follows:

  • A book with a colour in the title: Half a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – see here
  • A book with an animal in its title: The Tenderness of Wolves, Stef Penney
  • A book with a first name in its title: Daniel Isn’t Talking, Marti Leimbach – see here
  • A book with a place in its title: Winter in Madrid, C J Sansom – see here
  • A book with a weather event in its title: Snow, Orhan Pamuk
  • A book with a plant in its title: Gem Squash Tokoloshe, Rachel Zadok

Soup’s On Challenge. Challenge is to select six cookbooks to read (enough to give an overview of the book) and make at least one of the recipes. See here. So far I’ve read After Work – see here and Toast by Nigel Slater – see here.

Once Upon a Time Challenge. This challenge ended in June. I didn’t manage to complete it and only read John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids – see here.

The Pulitzer Project. This is an open ended project. The goal is to read all 81 books that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. This year I’ve read The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, the winner in 1994 – see here.

4 thoughts on “Reading Summary 1 January – 30 June 2008

  1. It really is scary how quickly the year is going isn’t it? And it’s nice to meet someone else who counts the passing months in books read. 35 in my case, about the same as last year. You have some very interesting challenges going. Three of mine are finishing around now, leaving me with just two. Me being me I’m sorely tempted to hunt around for more! LOL.


  2. Cath, my reading is very spasmodic at the moment and I’m always tempted by the challenges, but don’t always manage to finish them!


  3. I’m not sure I want to take a look at my goals and how well I’ve done. I did that a bit earlier and I wasn’t quite on course–but that’s okay. I highly recommend Chocolat–it’s one of my favorite books. I still need to read The Lollipop Shoes, though.


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