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About chesilbeach

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    Conqueror of Mount TBR

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  1. Claire's Book List 2018

    June stats: Books read: 14 Pages read: 3941 Authors: Female 7, Male 7 Fiction: 8 Non-fiction: 6 Format: Hardback 4, Paperback 7, Kindle 3, Audiobook 0 Been an excellent month. Favourites are easy this month - non-fiction is The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, fiction is A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood. That brings my total books read this year to a nice round 100. Have been online much less recently hence the lack of reviews and posts here, but also the increased reading! As we're halfway through the year, here are my year to date stats too: Books read: 100 Pages read: 32493 Authors: Female 69, Male 31 Fiction: 78 Non-fiction: 22 Format: Hardback 18, Paperback 45, Kindle 28, Audiobook 9 Round Robin challenge: 9 Waterstones Children's Book Prize challenge: 12
  2. Claire's Book List 2018

    Oh, that is interesting. Thanks for letting me know. I'd not spotted that there was no naturalist on the panel, in fact, looking at the panel, it's two television presenters, a book buyer and a business man - not much expert opinion in there. The prize is actually nature and travel, so I can see how the two television presenters can cover those areas, but two business people does seem to be pushing it a bit, despite their personal interests in the subject. They might as well ask you or me! Such as shame that A Shadow Above hasn't even been longlisted.
  3. Health and Fitness

    After this post, I had a few things going on that meant I didn't keep up with the swimming, but a couple of weeks ago, I ventured back into the pool, and I've managed seven swims in two weeks and my fitness had not deteriorated much, so after my first return to swimming of only 24 lengths, I'm back up to 32 already. Now I'm getting back into a routine, I'm going to add a couple of lengths to each swim, and aiming for a total of 50 lengths per session eventually. I'm still alternating between front crawl and breast stroke, and don't need to stop for a breather too often either. I'm also thinking of moving from the slow lane to the medium lane as my speed is picking up too.
  4. How many books have you read this year?

    For a variety of reasons, I've had more free time this year than for a long time, and I can't deny, I've been escaping into books for a lot of it. I finished book 92 this morning. I know it's a lot more than a lot of people here read, but it's been my saviour for the last year.
  5. What's Up in June? - 2018

    Had a day out at the seaside today - chips for lunch, ice-cream to follow and then spent £2 and half an hour in the amusement arcade on the 2p drop machine, from which I won a key ring and 20 tickets! Just like being a kid again
  6. Your Book Activity - June 2018

    I've finished six books so far this month (some were already in progress before the start of the month, so not as many as it sounds ): A Shadow Above by Joe Shute - brilliant, absolutely loved it (gutted it hasn't made the Wainwright longlist) The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - re-read for book group The End We Start From by Megan Hunter - unusual style but enjoyable Heartburn by Nora Ephron - funny, but a bit sad too, although gorgeous new edition from Virago to celebrate their 40th anniversary The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson - quick, fun middle grade read. I love a good heist story! Reader, I Married Him by Tracy Chevalier (Editor) - collection of short stories inspired by Jane Eyre. Mixed bag, most very good, a couple excellent, and a couple I either disliked or have forgotten. I've been buying the books from the 2018 longlist for the Wainwright Prize for the best UK nature and travel writing which was announced this week. Of the thirteen books on the list, I've already read six and owned one more (which I'm reading now), so my forward planning has paid off, and I've bought another five this week already, with one left to get which wasn't in stock otherwise I'd probably have bought that one too! Seven books to read over the next two months is eminently more achievable than the whole list which is what I've tried to do for the last couple of years.
  7. Claire's Book List 2018

    Like you, I thought A Shadow Above was fantastic, and I was surprised not to see it on the list so I checked the submission rules and it was eligible for the award this year. I honestly can’t see why it wouldn’t make the list unless it wasn’t submitted by the publisher? They don’t have any other books on the longlist and I can’t see any limitations on the number of books they can submit (as in they might have had to chose between a number of books), so I’m at a loss as to why it isn’t there. Although I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read so far, I’d pick this one above at least three others so far, if not all.
  8. Claire's Book List 2018

    The Wainwright Prize longlisted books were announced yesterday. I've updated my challenge post with the list. My attempts at trying to guess the longlist have been pretty good, and I've already read six of the books on the list. This year, they've extended the list to thirteen books, so that means I've got seven to read before the prize winner is announced in August.
  9. Claire's Book List 2018

    May stats: Books read: 16 Pages read: 5969 Authors: Female 7, Male 9 Fiction: 13 Non-fiction: 3 Format: Hardback 2, Paperback 6, Kindle 7, Audiobook 1 Round Robin challenge: 2 Had a bit of a dip in the middle of the month due to life throwing me a curve ball, but back on track now, and enjoying my reading afresh.
  10. Round Robin Challenge 2018

    I've also read Touch Not The Cat (loved it) and Middlesex (loved it) from the challenges to me list, and Miss Hargreaves (loved it) from the challenges by me list, but haven't written reviews for them yet. I must try and catch up with some reviews soon! I'm currently reading To Serve Them All My Days from the challenges to me list and it's so good, I'm rationing myself to a chapter a day so that I don't rush through it without savouring it. That brings my totals up to having completed 7/9 of the books I was challenged to read, and 2/9 of the books I challenged others to read.
  11. Round Robin Challenge 2018

    These are copied from my blog: First up, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The story is told by sixteen-year-old Starr, who lives in a black neighbourhood but goes to school in the suburbs. After gunfire breaks out at the party she's gone to, her old friend Khalil gives her a lift home, but they are stopped by a policeman, who shoots Khalil dead. What follows is how Starr, the only witness to the shooting, has to deal with her two separate lives at home and at school, alongside trying to do the right thing to get justice for Khalil. Clearly inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, this is a totally compelling YA story, that puts you in the middle of Starr's life and the prejudice she must face, the dilemmas where she must chose between her two different social situations, and what she can do to make a difference. I found it hard to put down the book, and it gives you a very comprehensive insight into a black community, gangs and the impact of drug culture on the poorest areas of the US, and why there has become a need for BLM and other activism in society today. Not a comfortable read, but an important one, and proves how books allow you into a world that you can't experience first hand, and allow you to put yourself in someone else's shoes. The next was The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and I found it difficult to put into words my feelings. I’d initially bought the book on sale on Kindle but when I started to read it, I kept finding my mind wandering, so I decided I’d try the audiobook instead but unfortunately that wasn’t much better either. I found I couldn’t engage with the characters and kept losing track of where I was in the story and going back a few minutes (or more) and listening again. I think it was because the writing felt like an external experience of what the characters were going through, instead of being there with them. I felt a remoteness from the story that I couldn’t get over, and unfortunately, I only really kept going because it was on my Round Robin challenge list. I was disappointed in myself for not enjoying the book more, as I often enjoy books set in Indian, and am fascinated with the multitude of different perspectives you can have and the variety of society and stories that huge sub-continent and its history has to offer, but unfortunately, this book was not for me.
  12. What's the weather like?

    I've just driven through a torrential downpour with lots of standing water even on the motorway. It doesn't seem to have reached home yet, but it sounds like it might just be arriving now. Batten down the hatches!
  13. Your Book Activity - May 2018

    Finished The Dun Cow Rib and enjoyed it, but maybe not as much as some of the reviews that have praised it to the hilt, but a solid 4/5. Also read a couple of children's books - The Wild Robot (good) and Tin (better than I'd expected - I bought it on a whim, then decided I probably wasn't going to enjoy it for no apparent reason, but ended up liking it). Now reading Swell by Jenny Landreth and started A Shadow Above by Joe Shute today, which I'm absolutely loving already!
  14. What's the weather like?

    Lots of rain storms over the last few days, but it's been a bit cooler too, so around the 17/18ºC mark most of the day. I love it when it rains and it's warm enough not to have to wear a coat and just carry an umbrella.
  15. Janet's Log - Stardate 2018

    The Silent Companions sounds really good. I've picked it up a few times, but I thought it might be too close to horror for me, but maybe I'd be okay if you didn't find it scary. I'll have a ponder about it