2008 Books

Earlier I wrote about the best books I’ve read in 2008. Here are some statistics of my reading this year. In total I’ve read 95 books, made up of:

  • Fiction = 80, including 1 audiobook
  • Non fiction = 15, including 8 memoirs/autobiographies/biographies.

Of these 50 were written by female authors and 45 by male authors, and 44 of these authors were new-to-me.

  • 5 were re-reads
  • 55 were my own books
  • 39 were borrowed
  • 1 was an e-book

For the full list of books see here.

I joined 8 Challenges, most of which I didn’t finish. So next year I’ve decided not to join so many. This year’s challenges were:

  • Celebrate the Author – completed 7 months out of 12
  • Chunkster – completed
  • Heart of a Child – not completed
  • Once Upon a Time – not completed
  • Pullitzer Prize for Fiction – ongoing
  • R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) – not completed
  • Soup’s On – on going
  • What’s In a Name – completed

Coming up next my top ten Crime Fiction books of 2008.

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.

Books Read in 2008

Clicking on the highlighted titles takes you to my posts on the books

  1. The Photograph, Penelope Lively
  2. The Man in the Picture, Susan Hill
  3. I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
  4. The Owl Service, Alan Garner ‘“ a re-read
  5. The Christmas Train, David Baldacci
  6. The Magician’™s Assistant, Ann Patchett
  7. Winter in Madrid, C J Sansom
  8. Mr Blossom’™s Shop, Barbara Euphan Todd
  9. The Book of Illusions, Paul Auster
  10. The Moon and Sixpence, W Somerset Maugham
  11. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  12. The Ropemaker, Peter Dickinson
  13. Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs, Jeremy Mercer
  14. The Illusionist, Jennifer Johnston
  15. Hearts and Minds, Rosy Thornton
  16. A God Divided, Christopher Catherwood
  17. The Death of the Moth & Other Essays, Virginia Woolf also see here
  18. Two Caravans, Marina Lewycka
  19. Daniel Isn’™t Talking, Marti Leimbach
  20. Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimananda Adichie
  21. Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders, Gyles Brandreth
  22. Consequences, Penelope Lively
  23. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  24. Revelation, C J Sansom
  25. Giving Up the Ghost, Hilary Mantel
  26. Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen
  27. Travels in the Scriptorium, Paul Auster
  28. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
  29. The Death of Dalziel, Reginald Hill
  30. A Good Hanging and other stories, Ian Rankin
  31. The Maytrees, Annie Dillard
  32. The Chrysalids, John Wyndham