Books,  Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I am fully aware that we are hurtling into mid-February (although I scheduled this (get me being organised) so I wrote it on the 2/3 of Feb, which although still makes me late means that I had the idea earlier…if that makes sense) but due to the fact that I claim to be a reader and I went from reading two books (usually) in a week to reading none and now when I do read I do so in short bursts and have stopped taking the time to actually sit down and read (I spend more time aimlessly scrolling on Tumblr instead).

Speaking of Tumblr though, I did stick this on there in December and tagged it as ‘2015 goals’, so my intention has always been there, but I was reminded of its existence when I came across it on Thistles and Whistles blog. So now that I have it as a point of reference, I am actually going to attempt it. I may or may not write reviews of them as I read them, we’ll see, and if I do they will follow some kind of structure. Maybe on the last Wednesday of the month I will collate them and give short reviews of multiple books at once (yes, I am figuring this out as I type and writing a more coherent version of my thoughts right now). Anyway this is the direct link to this wonderful little (can 52 books be considered little…will I even achieve that? Who knows) reading challenge (actually it may not be 52 because you can totally kill two birds with one stone in some of these, so I will do just that, I am good at finding minor loopholes…).

I haven’t decided by on all the books that I am gonna read, but I have an idea for some, and I will mark them off from this list as I go so that I can mark my progress and see how far off the mark I am as the year goes. (Red are the ones that I have added to after I posted this on the 17/02/15, Green is what I added throughout March and those that are crossed out are ones that I have finished. N/A means as of 24/05/2015 I had no book for the categories and decided to stick with the many others that I have on the list.)

book challenge

1) A book with more than 500 pages – The Secret History, Donna Tartt (I have been reading this book since June 2014 and kept putting off reading it in favour of shorter books, so I imagine I am gonna have to restart this)

2) A classic romance – Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen (it’s time I feel)

3) A book that became a movie – The Book Thief, Markus Zusack.

4) A book published this year – All I Know Now, Carrie Hope Fletcher. (So that won’t happen until at least the summer) I pre-ordered this book so I will read it in May most likely.

5) A book with a number in the title – Ooooohhhhh either Catch 22, Joseph Heller or 1984, George Orwell (both I keep saying I need to read but have never gotten around to)

6) A book written by someone under 30 – Divergent, Veronica Roth. The Bone Season works for this one as well, I mention it at bit later. But that’s the one. 

7) A book with nonhuman characters – Gotta be Animal Farm, George Orwell right? (again another book I keep saying that I need to read but haven’t yet) (they are nonhuman as well right, I have always been under the impression that they were, let me know if I’m wrong though and I will change this one)

8) A funny book – What classifies as a funny book…? Is it actively funny or just one that made me laugh…I don’t have this one yet clearly. So, I have had a little think about it and I might read Yes, Please, Amy Poehler.

9) A book by a female author – This is not an instance where I am sticking with the two birds one stone thing because I love, love reading books by female authors and want to read as many as possible, so I don’t have one for this one either yet. But I am sure one will crop up soon,but feel free to suggest them if you want, I’ll definitely consider them. The Help, Kathryn Stockett, keep meaning to read it, haven’t got around to yet. Loved the film, imagine I will love the book as well. Changed to The Night CircusErin Morgenstern.

10) A mystery or thriller – Can I count The Secret History here. That’s a mystery I feel. Or maybe another Gillian Flynn one, they are usually thrillers right? Neither of these are really my genre, open to suggestions though. See 28.

11) A book with a one word title – I conveniently (although it was requested) received a little bundle of Neil Gaiman books for my birthday from my best friend not that long ago, because there was a severe lack of him in my life, and one them has a one word title. So Neverwhere. Okay, so I bought a new book for this one because I am trying to make it through my list of books that I have always meant to read but never got around to doing so and there are 52 categories here so for some I am not gonna double them up. So new book for this one is ChokeChuck Palahniuk.

12) A book of short stories – Neil Gaiman has some of them, so I shall continue the immersion into his worlds with this one as well. I mention this later but I am knocking together two in one, My True Love Gave to MeVarious authors.

13) A book set in a different countryLife of Pi, Yann Martel, because yes I am counting the sea as a country. As well as Canada and India which are in fact actual countries. (I am almost finished with this one, so soon I will be one book down!)

14) A non-fiction book – Ooooohhh this is gonna have to take some thinking. I am not a huge non-fiction reader. Tina Fey/Amy Poehler’s books are counting here I’ve decided. AIKN has been done and dusted for this one, but the others will come along with it.

15) A popular author’s first book – How the heck are we defining popular here…? Anyway, based on the fact that so many people are talking about Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, my answer will be Attachments, Rainbow Rowell because I was gonna use this for another answer as I happened upon this review of it and added it onto my list. And with a quick Google search I learnt that it is also her first book, so I super excited to get stuck into this one.

16) A book from an author you love but haven’t read yet – See above. This was the other one that I was talking about…I might also read Landline for this one as well, seems like a good time to absorb all the Rainbow Rowell available to me.

17) A book a friend recommended – Ummmm, I can’t think of one off the top of my head. Not one that I haven’t already read anyway. I am sure one will crop up, my best friend is a reader as well and we talk about books a lot. A lot of the books I am adding (especially recently) are from people I follow on Tumblr, I notice a lot of books and stuff and a lot of them pique my interest and then I select the ones that I think I would enjoy the most, so I have kind of done this already in many ways. (Stephanie Perkins trilogy and The Night Circus are just some examples for this)

18) A Pulitzer Prize winning book – Okay so I had to Google this, and The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt was the first book that came up (obviously), so that’s it.

19) A book based on a true story – Get back to me on this one, I tend to avoid these as well for whatever reason, so I just need to find a good one. The Diary of Anne Frank.

20) A book at the bottom of your to-read list – The Crying Lot of 49, Thomas Pynchon. I had to read this in a week for uni back in May last year and if it wasn’t obvious I didn’t finish. It is so convoluted that it needs more than 6 days to fully get to grips with it. I guess I am finally gonna give it the time.

21) A book your mum loves – She doesn’t read…and a lot of the books that she does love I have probably already read…I don’t have one for this, I don’t think I’m gonna get one either. Unless I read a book about running, which could potentially cross off the non-fiction one as well. We’ll see. Get back to me. (N/A)

22) A book that scares you – As in intimidates you or actually scares you like a horror film is? If it’s the latter then I guess I am finally gonna have to hit up some Stephen King. If it’s the former then Tinker Tailor Solider Spy. (I just realised that I am gonna have to be the one to define that, well at least I have given myself options.) I am going with TTSS.

23) A book more than 100 years old – Maybe something else by Jane Austen, I really should read more of her, I have always had a soft spot for her writing. Emma.

24) A book based entirely on its cover – Gonna have to get back to this one, bit up in the air. Again I thought about it and The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion has a cover that has always drawn me in, I have just never bought it so far, I have next to no clue what it is about but the fact that there is a lobster there intrigues me.

25) A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t – So, so many. I didn’t always quite make it to the two books a week thing, so I have a lot of unfinished books. Here it is gonna have to be Moby Dick, Herman Melville. Even Matlida has read it and I will not be outdone by a fictitious 8 year old, despite the fact that she is also kind of my idol.

26) A memoir – Probably gonna be Bossypants, Tina Fey.

27) A book you can finish in a day – Honestly I think if you give me a whole Sunday and I don’t get distracted I could get Attachments done in a day. But I may find another one. Okay, so as of today (10/3/15) I finished Anna the French Kiss in 25 hours which is just outside of a day (obviously), so I may get that down to an actual day, but for now that is my book…Lola and The Boy Next Door, finished in 5 hours. Done!

28) A book with antonyms in the title – Not gonna lie I just Googled this and out of the ones I found I am gonna go with Cold Tea on a Hot Day, Curtis Ann Matlock. I’ve changed my mind, Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein, which may also count as my thriller as well.

29) A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit – My brain initially went to any book set in New York, then I remembered that I have actually been there now. So maybe something set in California or something. Have to look into that and actually pay attention to location, because I don’t tend to do that. Okay so The Rosie Project was set in Melbourne and I have always wanted to go Australia (but honestly the idea of all that travel makes me feel nauseous at the moment, I am not a great flyer, the trip back from Orlando last summer was a true test for me.) Aaannnnd bonus New York, which even though I have visited is definitely the top of my list of places to go back to.

30) A book that came out the year you were born – Again I Googled, and the first one that came up was The Giver, Lois Lowry, which is good because that is also on the list of books that I want to read.

31) A book with bad reviews – Currently undecided. Right, this is how I am approaching this, books that had bad reviews when they were first released and are now considered classics in many respects now. (I googled this to be honest, but really life is too short to intentionally read books that are on the whole getting bad reviews). So, I am thinking On the RoadJack Kerouac because if I walk past that book one more time and um and ah about buying it I will get angry at myself. Reading this book has been about 4/5 years in the making.

32) A trilogy – The Divergent trilogy probably, because I know it is complete. Again, I changed my mind. I started reading Anna and the French Kiss today, Stephanie Perkins and because all three of those books are slightly interconnected from what I can gather and I am burning through this first book I am choosing that trilogy instead. Divergent’s time will come though.

33) A book from your childhood – I might take a walk back down Roald Dahl memory lane. James and the Giant Peach, it is buried somewhere in that thing in my room that I call a bookshelf, but is in reality just all my books amassed in one big, semi-organised pile.

34) A book with a love triangle – I was about to say that I dislike love triangles,and while that is true I encounter them a LOT so I am sure I will come across one over the course of the year. Okay this may be considered cheating buuutttttt, Never Let Me GoKazuo Ishiguro is my book of choice for this one. I don’t know if it’s technically a love triangle, but it’s been on my to-read list for months, so now seems as good a time as any to read it. I was not joking when I said that I hate love triangles on the whole, some ways of approaching it are tired and what not, and it dawned on me that I have read one with a love triangle and that is Anna and the French Kiss so I am not cheating like I was trying to do with NLMG, it is a fully fledged, kinda obvious love triangle. And I will read Ishiguro one day.

35) A book set in the future – Still figuring this one out. Figured it out, Goodreads and the description tell me that The Bone SeasonSamantha Shannon is set in 2059, so that’s the one.

36) A book set in high school – There are loads out there I imagine. I am sure I will find one in the next 11 months. Isla and the Happily Ever AfterStephanie Perkins is set during senior year, so there you go.

37) A book with a colour in the title – I honestly have never paid that much attention to colours in titles, but I will have to start now. Red Dragon is my book of choice for this one.

38) A book that made you cry – I very much doubt this will happen. But if you have recommendations for tearjerkers I will accept them. It didn’t make me cry but The Book Thief sure knows how to make a person feel things…damn.

39) A book with magic – I’ll let you know. I have two books left in The Mortal Instruments series, Cassandra Clare, so the next one in that. There’s technically magic in them…The Night Circus is my new answer for this

40) A graphic novel – Gonna have a raid of my brother’s room and try and find one. (N/A)

41) A book by an author you’ve never read before – I am gonna finish The Maze Runner, James Dashner. While I’m at it, I might also tack on Post OfficeCharles Bukowski on here, because I am in the middle of reading it. So I will defo have one for this one, if not two.

42) A book you own but have never read – Oh gosh there are so many so in this case, Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (I have tried to read it but then I went and started uni again and it got pushed to the back-burner)

43) A book that takes place in your hometown – I am a Londoner, you would think it wouldn’t be that hard to think of one and yet I am struggling…Is The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith set in London? Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman is set in my stomping ground. Right I’m changing this…again because the year is running away with me and I am cheating (doubling up) more than ever. So because I have read The Bone Season already (amending this on 2/9/15) and as it is technically, partially at least a little bit set in London I am using that one.

44)  A book that was originally written in a different languageThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson.

45) A book set during Christmas – When it comes to December I will tell you because I am not thinking about this in February, I turned an episode of The Simpsons over earlier because there was some Christmas undertones to the first thirty seconds. My True Love Gave to Me but seriously not until December time.

46) A book written by an author with your same initials – I apparently have the worst initials in the world when it comes to authors names. So I will do some searching and hopefully come up with something. (N/A)

47) A play – So many options. Maybe something Oscar Wilde though because need more of his work in my life.

48) A banned book – Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H Lawrence was banned back in the day right?

49) A book based on or turned into a TV show – I might go Red Dragon, Thomas Harris. And oh this crosses the colour one off as well! Tweaked this one slightly to The Picture of Dorian Gray, who is a character in Penny Dreadful so it kind of counts if you ask me.

50) A book you started but never finished – One Day, David Nichols your day has come.

So that’s it, this became a lot more wordy than I anticipated. But now I have goals and book titles and things to work with and the chance to make progress.

Now this could be a big number today; Parentheses count: 27, (this count goes up every time I edit this post, it makes me almost regret the whole counting thing.) not as bad as I thought. See you on Sunday!

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