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      Summer Supporter Giveaway   08/31/2020

      Going on a Summer Holiday (Sort Of...)     The summer giveaway for Patreon supporters is finally here and this time we're doing something a little bit different. I want supporters to tell me where you would go on holiday, if you could go anywhere. The winner will receive a bookish prize based on their answer!   Terms and conditions are as usual. Patreon supporters will be automatically entered into the giveaway and selected at random. As we're a little late this year the draw will be held on the second weekend of September. If you aren't currently a supporter but want to be involved in the giveaway you can sign up to support us here:   https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum  
Alexi

Alex's Reading 2018

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Hello and welcome to 2018! 

 

One of my New Year's resolutions is to keep this blog better updated... ;) As a result, not all books will get reviews, not all those with reviews will be full reviews, just whatever I feel like writing and I hope that will help. 

 

In terms of challenges, I am participating in the round robin challenge, and I'm also going to try and tick off a few from my World challenge, US States challenge and the 1001 list, but no set numbers on each - just whatever I feel like!

 

Also... to reduce (slightly) the old TBR. Pretty similar aims to last year, let's see if I can do them this time...! 

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BOOKS READ 2018

JANUARY

 

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons 3/5

Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra 4/5

Christmas Present by Jodi Taylor 4/5

Joyland by Stephen King 3/5 

Heresy by SJ Parris 3.5/5

Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome 3/5

 

FEBRUARY

 

I Believe in Miracles by Daniel Taylor 4/5

The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich 3.5/5 

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe 5/5

 

MARCH

 

A Perfect Silence by Alba Ambert 4/5 

The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell 4/5

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes 3.5/5 

Time and Time Again by Ben Elton 3/5 

 

APRIL

 

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon 4/5

No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor 4/5

Not in your Lifetime: The Assassination of JFK by Anthony Summers 5/5

Reef by Romesh Gunesekera 2/5

 

MAY

 

2 Sides by Rio Ferdinand 3/5

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel 4/5

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie 3.5/5 

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond 5/5

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F Scott Fitzgerald 4/5

 

JUNE

 

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett 5/5

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach 4/5 

Bridget Jones' Baby by Helen Fielding 3/5

 

JULY

 

Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen 4/5 

Indignation by Philip Roth 2/5

 

AUGUST

 

SEPTEMBER

 

OCTOBER

 

NOVEMBER

 

DECEMBER 

 

Edited by Alexi

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TBR A-K 

Ben Aaronovitch - Rivers of London
Douglas Adams - Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Cecilia Ahern - The Marble Collector 
Uwem Akpan – Say You’re One of Them

Frederick Lewis Allen – Only Yesterday

Frederick Lewis Allen – Since Yesterday

Frederick Lewis Allen – The Lords of Creation
Maria Angels Anglada - The Auschwitz Violin

Kate Atkinson - A God in Ruins 

Fredrick Backman – A Man Called Ove
David Baldacci - Absolute Power
Sam Baldwin - For Fukui's Sake

JG Ballard - Empire of the Sun
Nonna Bannister - The Holocaust Diaries

Julian Barnes - The Sense of an Ending 
Anthony Beevor - Stalingrad
Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian – The System
Dennis Bergkamp - Stillness and Speed
H G Bissinger - Friday Night Lights

Malorie Blackman - Noughts and Crosses
Tracy Bloom - No one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday

Judy Blume - Tiger Eyes
Attilio Bolzoni - White Shotgun
Kathryn Bonella- Hotel K
Anthony Bourdain - Kitchen Confidential
Anthony Bourdain - A Cook's Tour
Mark Bowden - Killing Pablo
Tom Bower - No Angel: The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone

Ray Bradbury - Farenheit 451
Rodric Braithwaite - Moscow 1941: A City and it's People at War
Anne Bronte - The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Max Brooks - World War Z
Bill Browder – Red Notice
Helen Bryan - War Brides
Edward Bunker - Mr Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade
Jimmy Burns - La Roja

Jessie Burton – The Miniaturist 

Luca Caioli - Messi
Michael Calvin - The Nowhere Men
Mark Cappell - Run Run Run
Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Noel Cawthorne - Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution

Michael Chabon - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay
Tracy Chevalier - Falling Angels

Lee Child - Killing Floor
Lee Child - The Affair
Noam Chomsky – Occupy

Agatha Christie – Halloween Party

Agatha Christie – Lord Edgware Dies

Agatha Christie – Towards Zero

Agatha Christie – The Sittaford Mystery

Agatha Christie – After the Funeral

Agatha Christie – Appointment with Death

Agatha Christie – Curtain

Agatha Christie – Destination Unknown

Agatha Christie – They Came to Baghdad

Agatha Christie – The Pale Horse

Agatha Christie – Murder in the Mews

Agatha Christie – Taken at the Flood

Agatha Christie – Poirot’s Early Cases

Agatha Christie – Postern of Fate

Agatha Christie – Cards on the Table

Agatha Christie – Crooked House

Agatha Christie – Passenger to Frankfurt

Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie – Cat Among the Pigeons

Agatha Christie – Ordeal by Innocence

Agatha Christie – N or M?

Agatha Christie – Death in the Clouds

Agatha Christie – One, Two, Buckle my Shoe

Agatha Christie – Evil Under the Sun

Agatha Christie – Sparkling Cyanide

Agatha Christie – Dumb Witness

Agatha Christie – The Hollow
Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell 
David Cohen - Bringing them up Royal
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins - Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins - Mockingjay
David Conn - Richer Than God 
Thomas H Cook - The Last Talk with Lola Faye
Susan Coolidge - What Katy Did
George Cooper - The Origin of Financial Crises


Robert Dallek - John F Kennedy: An Unfinished Life
James Dashner –The Maze Runner
Robert Davies - The Man Who Lived at the End of the World
John Deering - Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Force

Barbara Demick – Nothing to Envy
Diana Dempsey - Falling Star
Becky Dennington - Me and the Ugly C

Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Crime and Punishmnent
David James Duncan - The Brothers K
Mark Dunn - Ella Minnow Pea
Steven Dunne - The Reaper

Sam Eastland - Siberian Red

Damien Echols - Life After Death: Eighteen years on Death Row
Helen Edwards and Jenny Lee Smith - My Secret Sister
Nick Edwards - In Stitches
Ben Elton - Two Brothers

Ben Elton – Time and Time Again
Tan Twan Eng - The Gift of Rain


Michel Faber – The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps

Rio Ferdinand - 2 Sides 
Charles Fernyhough - Pieces of Light

Helen Fielding - Bridget Jones' Baby
Joseph Finder - Paranoia
Helen FitzGerald - The Cry
Jonathan Safran Foer - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Ken Follett - Pillars of the Earth
Eric Foner - Give Me Liberty
John Foot - Calcio
Michael Frayn - Skios
Barbara Freethy - Ryan's Return
Dawn French - A Tiny Bit Marvellous

Francis Fukuyama - Political Order and Political Decay

Neil Gaiman - Stardust

Neil Gaiman – Anansi Boys

Neil Gaiman – The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman – Everwhere
Alex Garland - The Beach
Antonio Garrido - The Corpse Reader
Lisa Genova - Still Alice
Tess Gerritsen - The Silent Girl
Tess Gerritsen - Bloodstream

Stella Gibbons - Cold Comfort Farm
George Gissing - The Unclassed 

Guinevere Glasfurd – The Words in my Hand
David Goldblatt - The Game of Our Lives
Alex Grecian - The Black Country
Graham Greene – Brighton Rock
Phillippa Gregory - The Kingmaker's Daughter

 

John Grisham – The Whistler

John Grisham – A Time to Kill
George Grossmith - Diary of a Nobody
Richard Guard - Lost London
Heather Gudenkauf - These Things Hidden
Carla Guelfenbein - The Rest Is Silence
Romesh Gunesekera - Reef


Matt Haig – The Humans
Duncan Hamilton - Provided You Don't Kiss Me
Dashiell Hammett - The Maltese Falcon

Chad Harbach - The Art of Fielding

Jane Harper - The Dry 
Robert Harris - Imperium

Thomas Harris - Red Dragon

Jonathan Harvey – The Secrets We Keep
Nadia Hashimi - The Pearl that Broke its Shell
Ben Hatch - The P45 Diaries

Noah Hawley - The Good Father
Terry Hayes - I am Pilgrim

John Heilemann and Mark Halperin - Double Down
Richard Herley - The Penal Colony

Jason Hewitt – The Dynamite Room 
Howard Hockin - High Stakes

Andrew Hodges – Alan Turing: The Enigma
Steena Holmes - Finding Emma
Ninni Holmqvist - The Unit

A M Homes – May We Be Forgiven

Rafael Honigstein – Das Reboot
Anthony Horowitz- Moriarty
Anthony Horowitz - The House of Silk
John Hoskison – Inside

Victor Hugo - Notre Dame de Paris
Victor Hugo - Les Miserables
Graham Hunter – Barca



Christopher Isherwood – Goodbye to Berlin 
Eowyn Ivey - The Snow Child

Quintin Jardine - Lethal Intent
Liz Jensen - War Crimes for the Home
Lisa Jewell - The House We Grew Up In

Jonas Jonasson - The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Andy Jones – The Two of Us
Owen Jones - The Establishment
Rachel Joyce - Perfect

Ben Judah - This is London 

M R C Kasasian - The Secrets of Gaslight Lane
Andrew Kaufman – Born Weird

Oliver Kay - Forever Young
Carolyn Keene - The Secret of the Old Clock
Lindsey Kelk - I Heart Hollywood
Lindsey Kelk - I Heart London

Hannah Kent - Burial Rites
Simon Kernick – Relentless

Simon Kernick - The Business of Dying
Judith Kerr- When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Yasmina Khadra – What the Day Owes the Night
Stephen King – Joyland
Stephen King – Mr Mercedes
Stephen King – The Stand
Stephen King - IT
Barbara Kingsolver - Flight Behaviour
Ayse Kulin - Last Train to Istanbul

Chris Kyle – American Sniper

Edited by Alexi

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TBR L-Z

Camilla Lackberg - The Ice Princess
Paul Lake - I'm Not Really Here
Erik Larsen – In the Garden of Beasts
Doreen Lawrence - And Still I Rise
Valerie Lawson - Mary Poppins, She Wrote

John Le Carre - Call for the Dead
Debra Lee – Taken

Harper Lee – Go Set a Watchman
Sheri Leigh - Graveyard Games

Sinclair Lewis - Main Street
Eric Lomax - The Railway Man

Jack London - White Fang
Karen Lord - Redemption in Indigo


Samantha Mackintosh - Kisses for Lula
Kevin Maher - The Fields 

Emily St John Mandel – Station Eleven
Nelson Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom
Hilary Mantel - Wolf Hall
Scott Mariani - The Alchemist's Secret
Howard Marks - Mr Nice
Andrew Marr - History of Modern Britain
Andrew Marr - My Trade
Ian Marshall - The Class of 92
Ann M Martin - Kristy's Great Idea
Daniel Martin - Black Tie, White Noise

George R R Martin – A Clash of Kings
George R R Martin – A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow
George R R Martin – A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold
George R R Martin – A Feast for Crows
George R R Martin – A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust
George R R Martin - A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast 
Robert K Massie - Nicholas and Alexandra
Kimberly McCreight - Reconstructing Amelia
Bob McElwain - Free to Die
Katie McGarry - Pushing the Limits
Brian McGilloway - Little Girl Lost
Reg McKay - The Last Godfather

Christina McKenna - The Disenchanted Widow
Philipp Meyer - American Rust

Ben Mezrich - The Accidental Billionaires
Candy Miller - Kalahari Passage
Kimberley Rae Miller - Coming Clean

Pankaj Mishra - Age of Anger 
Brian Moore - Beware of the Dog
Liane Moriarty - What Alice Forgot
Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer - Dear Lupin: Letters to a Wayward Son

JoJo Moyes - Me Before You
Haruki Murakami - 1Q84
Urzula Muskus - Long Bridge out of the Gulags



Jo Nesbo - Nemesis
Jo Nesbo - The Redeemer
Jo Nesbo - Phantom
Jo Nesbo - The Snowman
Jo nesbo - The Devil's Star
Jo Nesbo - The Leopard
Patrick Ness - A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness - The Crane Wife
David Nicholls - Starter for Ten

John Niven – Kill Your Friends
Solomon Northup - 12 Years A Slave

Sean O’Connor - Handsome Brute
Joseph O'Neill - Crime City
Louise O’Neill – Only Ever Yours
Michael Ondaatje - The English Patient

Chuck Palahniuk - Fight Club

S J Parris - Heresy
S J Parris - Treachery
James Patterson - Kiss the Girls
James Patterson - Cat and Mouse
Chris Pavone - The Expats

Chris Pavone – The Accident

Keith A Pearson - The 86 Fix
Stef Penney - The Tenderness of Wolves
Karen Perry – The Boy That Never Was

Sarah Perry - The Essex Serpent

Caryl Phillips - Final Passage 
Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar

Ian Plenderleith - Rock and Roll Soccer
Oliver Potzsch - The Hangman's Daughter

Jeff Ragsdale, David Shields and Michael Logan - Jeff, One Lonely Guy
Ian Rankin - Fleshmarket Close

Arthur Ransome - Swallowdale
Lexi Revellian - Replica
Tom Reynolds - Blood Sweat and Tea

Kate Riordan – The Girl in the Photograph 
Graham Robb - Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris

Benjamin Roberts - Gunshots and Goalposts 
Trevor Roberts – Caught by Cameras 
Veronica Roth – Divergent 
Angus Roxburgh - Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the struggle for Russia
Edward Rutherfurd – Sarum


Dorothy L Sayers – Whose Body
Victor Sebesteyen – 1946: The Making of the Modern World
Tina Seskis - One Step Too Far

Anna Sewell - Black Beauty

Georges Simenon – Pietr the Latvian
Martin Sixsmith - Philomena
Karin Slaughter - Indelible
Christopher Smith - Fifth Avenue
Tom Rob Smith - Child 44

Bradley Somer – Fishbowl
Diana Souhami - Murder at Wrotham Hill
Dana Stabenow - A Cold Day for Murder
Kathryn Stockett - The Help
Harriet Beecher Stowe – Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Mari Strachan - The Earth Hums in B Flat
William Styron - Sophie's Choice

Anthony Summers - Not in your Lifetime 
Antal Szerb - Journey by Moonlight


Donna Tartt - The Goldfinch

Daniel Taylor – I Believe in Miracles
Hunter S Thompson - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Lesley Thomson - The Detective's Daughter
Rosy Thornton - Ninepins
Peter Thurgood - The Stories behind London's Streets

Nicholas Timmins - The Five Giants

Amor Towles - A Gentleman in Moscow
Scott Turow - Reversible Errors
Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread


Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse Five

David Wailing - Fake Kate
Karen Thompson Walker - The Age of Miracles

Sam Warburton - Refuse to be Denied
Mark Ward - Hammered
Mike Ward - Gullhanger
Heather Wardell - Seven Exes is Eight too Many

Sarah Waters - Tipping the Velvet
Sarah Waters – The Paying Guests
Sarah Waters - Fingersmith

S J Watson – Second Life 
Katherine Webb - The Misbegotten
Andy Weir – The Martian
Irvine Welsh - Skagboys
Scott Westerfeld – Pretties
Kate Williams – The Storms of War
Barry Wilner and Ken Rappoport – On the Clock 
Sarah Winman - When God was a Rabbit
David Winner - Brilliant Orange
Scott Wittenberg - The May Day Murders
Christian Wolmar - The Great Railway Revolution
Jennifer Worth - Call the Midwife

Nathan Yates - Beyond Evil
A B Yehoshua - Friendly Fire


Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Angel's Game
Markus Zusak – I Am the Messenger
Stefan Zweig - The Post Office Girl

 

Edited by Alexi

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BOOKS ACQUIRED 2018

 

The Very First Damn Thing by Jodi Taylor

Christmas Present by Jodi Taylor

No Time like the Past by Jodi Taylor 

Munich by Robert Harris 

A Perfect Silence by Alba Ambert

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell

The House by the Lake by Thomas Harding

How Hard Can it Be by Allison Pearson

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F Scott Fitzgerald 

Indignation by Philip Roth

T2: Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

Dead Men’s Trousers by Irvine Welsh

The Unusual Second Life of Thomas Weaver by Shawn Inmon

The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata 

Disney by Rees Quinn

What Could Possibly Go Wrong by Jodi Taylor

Once In A House On Fire by Andrea Ashworth

Fifty Years of Hurt by Henry Winter

Edited by Alexi

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THE ENGLISH COUNTIES CHALLENGE - ALEX'S VERSION

 

One more book to finish so will post some general thoughts here when done. 

 

Books in RED are ones I've read.

 

1. Bedfordshire - My Uncle Silas by H. E. Bates

2. Berkshire - The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

3. Bristol - The Misses Mallett by E. H. Young

4. Buckinghamshire - The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

5. Cambridgeshire - The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers

6. Cheshire - Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

7. City of London - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

8. Cornwall - Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier

9. Cumbria - Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

10. Derbyshire - Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

11. Devon - And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

12. Dorset - Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

13. County Durham - Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

14. East Riding of Yorkshire - South Riding by Winifred Holtby

15. East Sussex - Winnie-The-Pooh by A. A. Milne

16. Essex - The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James

17. Gloucestershire - Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee

18. Greater London* - Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

19. Greater Manchester - North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

20. Hampshire - Watership Down by Richard Adams

21. Herefordshire - On The Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin

22. Hertfordshire - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

23. Isle of Wight - The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham 

24. Kent - The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates

25. Lancashire - Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

26. Leicestershire - The Right to an Answer by Anthony Burgess

27. Lincolnshire - The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

28. Merseyside - An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge

29. Norfolk - The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley

30. North Yorkshire - Dracula by Bram Stoker

31. Northamptonshire - Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

32. Northumberland - The Stars Look Down by A. J. Cronin

33. Nottinghamshire - Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence

34. Oxfordshire - The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

35. Rutland - Set In Stone by Robert Goddard

36. Shropshire - Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse

37. Somerset - Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore

38. South Yorkshire - A Kestral For A Knave by Barry Hines

39. Staffordshire - The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett

40. Suffolk - The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

41. Surrey - Emma by Jane Austen

42. Tyne and Wear - Another World by Pat Barker

43. Warwickshire - Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes

44. West Midlands - Middlemarch by George Eliot

45. West Sussex - Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

46. West Yorkshire - Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

47. Wiltshire - Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

48. Worcestershire - The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

 

Edited by Alexi

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US STATES CHALLENGE

 

Another list! My experience of US literature is alarmingly bad, so this is the list I am working off. Only one (Alabama) is/was a reread

 

Books in RED are ones I have read. 

01. To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee (Alabama)
02. White Fang - Jack London (Alaska)
03. The Bean Trees - Barbara Kingsolver (Arizona)
04. True Grit - Charles Portis (Arkansas)
05. East of Eden - John Steinbeck (California)
06. Plainsong - Kent Haruf (Colorado)
07. Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates (Connecticut)
08. The Saint of Lost Things - Christopher Castellani (Delaware)
09. To Have and Have Not - Ernest Hemingway (Florida)

10. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt (Georgia) 
11. From Here To Eternity - James Jones (Hawaii)
12. Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson (Idaho)
13. The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow (Illinois)
14. The Magnificent Ambersons - Booth Tarkington (Indiana)
15. A Thousand Acres - Jane Smiley (Iowa)

16. The Wizard of Oz - L Frank Baum (Kansas) 
17. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe (Kentucky)
18: Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice (Louisiana)
19. The Cider House Rules - John Irving (Maine)
20. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Anne Tyler (Maryland)
21: Walden - Henry David Thoreau (Massachusetts)
22. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides (Michigan)
23. Main Street - Sinclair Lewis (Minnesota)
24. As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner (Mississippi)
25. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain (Missouri)
26. A River Runs Through It - Norman Maclean (Montana)
27. My Antonia - Willa Cather (Nebraska)
28: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson (Nevada)
29. Peyton Place - Grace Metalious (New Hampshire)
30. Independence Day - Richard Ford (New Jersey)
31. Red Sky at Morning - Richard Bradford (New Mexico)

32. The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton (New York) 
33. Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier (North Carolina)
34. The Round House - Louise Eldrich (North Dakota)
35. The Broom of the System - David Foster Wallace (Ohio)
36. Paradise - Toni Morrison (Oklahoma)

37. Sometimes a Great Notion - Ken Kesey (Oregon) 
38. Rabbit, Run - John Updike (Pennsylvania)
39. The Witches of Eastwick - John Updike (Rhode Island)
40. The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd (South Carolina)
41. Welcome to Hard Times - EL Doctorow (South Dakota)
42. A Death in the Family - James Agee (Tennessee)
43. No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy (Texas)
44. The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff (Utah)
45. Pollyanna - Eleanor H. Porter (Vermont)
46. Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver (Virginia)
47. Snow Falling on Cedars- David Guterson (Washington)
48. Washington DC - Gore Vidal (Washington DC)
49. Shiloh - Phillis Reynolds Naylor (West Virginia)
50. The Art of Fielding - Chad Harbach (Wisconsin)
51. Close Range: Wyoming Stories - E. Annie Proulx (Wyoming)

 

7/51 completed

Edited by Alexi

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ROUND ROBIN CHALLENGE

 

Challenges to me:

 

1. Willoyd - Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb

2. Madeleine - Heresy by S J Parris

3. Karen.d  - The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins

4. Chesilbeach - Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

5. Chaliepud - Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

6. Little Pixie - 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami 

7. Frankie - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

8. More reading time required - Joyland by Stephen King 

9. Ben - The Beach by Alex Garland

 

Challenges by me: 

 

1. Willoyd - The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

2. Madeleine - The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

3. Karen.d - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 

4. Chesilbeach - The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

5. Chaliepud - Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

6. Little Pixie - Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

7. Frankie - Once in a House on Fire by Andrea Ashworth

8. More reading time required - Skagboys by Irvine Welsh

9. Ben - The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig 

Edited by Alexi

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Thread open! Cookies for all. :welcome2:

 

Although after last night we are an alcohol free zone! Happy 2018 everyone.

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Mjam cookies, don't mind if I do.. *eats a cookie*.

 

Happy 2018 to you too Alexi :)!

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Happy new year, Alex! :party:

 

Well done on the English Counties challenge ... only one book to go!  I'm really looking forward to the Round Robin to replace it this year.  I quite like having a challenge that others are doing at the same time, even if we're not all reading the same books.

 

Wishing you a very happy reading year in 2018. :) 

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7 hours ago, Athena said:

Mjam cookies, don't mind if I do.. *eats a cookie*.

 

Happy 2018 to you too Alexi :)!

 

Thanks Athena! 

7 hours ago, chesilbeach said:

Happy new year, Alex! :party:

 

Well done on the English Counties challenge ... only one book to go!  I'm really looking forward to the Round Robin to replace it this year.  I quite like having a challenge that others are doing at the same time, even if we're not all reading the same books.

 

Wishing you a very happy reading year in 2018. :) 

 

Couldnt agree with you more! It’s really nice to be able to compare notes and see how everyone is getting on. I am going to try and read the 14 books - those I have challenged others to as well as those that have been challenged to me. Looking like some crackers in the list! 

19 minutes ago, karen.d said:

:hny:

I hope 2018 has some great reads!

 

And to you! 

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Happy new year! Hope you have a great year of reading. I haven't read most on your TBR list, but I loved Slaughterhouse Five. Best of luck with your challenges :) 

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Happy New Year, Alex :) 

 

Well done on nearly completing the Counties Challenge.  I'm still some way off finishing it.  I did manage to find England England by Julian Barnes in a charity shop, so that'll do for the Isle of Wight, seeing as I've already read The Day of the Triffids twice.  I love the idea of the Round Robin challenge, but I don't really wanted any added reading pressure.  If I'd finished the EC Challenge I'd have loved to have done it.

 

I hope you have a good reading year (and a good year in general) in 2018.  :friends3:

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On 1/2/2018 at 2:15 AM, Lara said:

Happy new year! Hope you have a great year of reading. I haven't read most on your TBR list, but I loved Slaughterhouse Five. Best of luck with your challenges :) 

 

Thank you Lara! 

On 1/2/2018 at 11:15 AM, chaliepud said:

Have a great 2018, Alex! Hope it is a good one. :) 

 

Thank you - same to you :D

On 1/2/2018 at 7:54 PM, Janet said:

Happy New Year, Alex :) 

 

Well done on nearly completing the Counties Challenge.  I'm still some way off finishing it.  I did manage to find England England by Julian Barnes in a charity shop, so that'll do for the Isle of Wight, seeing as I've already read The Day of the Triffids twice.  I love the idea of the Round Robin challenge, but I don't really wanted any added reading pressure.  If I'd finished the EC Challenge I'd have loved to have done it.

 

I hope you have a good reading year (and a good year in general) in 2018.  :friends3:

 

Thanks J! I loved The Day of the Triffids, much to my surprise actually, but like you I have tried to largely read new books for the challenge (I think there was one exception, which I struggle to remember right now... ah yes, Cumbria!). 

 

The round robin challenge proved too intriguing for me to pass up, and looking at my final list (I now have 14 out of 16 books set) it has sufficient variation that I shouldn't get too bogged down - although I inadvertently appear to have challenged several people to door stoppers! So we will see how I get on. 

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Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

 

Synopsis: Winner of the 1933 Femina Vie Heureuse Prize, COLD COMFORT FARM is a wickedly funny portrait of British rural life in the 1930s. Flora Poste, a recently orphaned socialite, moves in with her country relatives, the gloomy Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm, and becomes enmeshed in a web of violent emotions, despair, and scheming, until Flora manages to set things right. (From Goodreads) 

 

Thoughts: I appear to be in the minority here. I wanted to love it, but I couldn't. I left it to the last book of my English Counties challenge hoping to finish on a high, but preferred my second to last one (Mansfield Park) by a considerable distance!

 

I just didn't find it very funny, and I found a lot of the characters to be closer to caricatures than I prefer - even when that is designed for humour. Flora Poste is fun, with her common sense to the nth degree, and Aunt Ada Doom was brilliant. The scene with the counting was my favourite, but elsewhere the book felt like it dragged a bit. 

 

The story was enough to keep me reading, and bizarrely I found myself seriously rooting for Reuben by the end. I liked the book enough to give it a 3, but that is relatively disappointing by the standards of the rest of the challenge. General thoughts on that to follow. 

 

3/5 (I liked it) 

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English Counties Challenge - 48 books in review

 

Well, what a fantastic challenge! I joined to expand my experience of English literature (and bizarrely, it helped me win a pub quiz about a year ago!) and it certainly ticked that box.  But there were so many books I might not otherwise have read that proved an absolute joy. 

 

I reread one (Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome for Cumbria) that I haven't read since childhood but the rest were all new reads. 

 

The best: 

 

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

The Stars Look Down by A J Cronin

The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett

 

(Not necessarily in that order by the way!) 

 

I think my biggest surprise was Mansfield Park. Although I had read and enjoyed P and P and Emma, they took me a while to get through. I raced through MP, with what felt like an eminently easier style. Maybe just getting used to Austen? This felt like a comparatively hidden jem, when considered next to the total fame of the other two novels. 

 

Now must read the other three Austens! 

 

Biggest disappointments:

 

An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge (just awful) 

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawrence 

Another World by Pat Barker (just because of the let down ending)

 

But on the whole, what a list! Consistently good, highly rated books. A resounding success and thanks to fellow participants Claire, Janet and Willoyd! 

Edited by Alexi

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11 hours ago, Alexi said:

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

I enjoyed it more the second time round.  :) (I read it first for this challenge, and then it was chosen for my Book Club).  The BBC adaptation was very good. 

 

Quote

 

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

The Stars Look Down by A J Cronin

The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett

 

Oooh, interesting.  I have read P&P, but not as part of this challenge, and I have yet to read Mansfield Park (and Persuasion, but obviously not as part of this challenge) but I loved all of those books (I think I gave The Old Wives' Tale a 4/5, but now I'm wondering why it didn't get 5!)...

 

Quote

 

An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge (just awful) 

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawrence 

Another World by Pat Barker (just because of the let down ending)

 

... And these are amongst my least favourites.  I totally agree about the ending of Another World!

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Congratulations on finishing! It's a great challenge isn't it?

 

Like Janet, I enjoyed Cold Comfort Farm much more on second reading.  I think it's very much of it's time though - it's only really funny if you've read any of the books that it was spoofing.

 

I enjoyed most of your favourite's list, even if none quite made it on to my favourites list, although I didn't reread P&P for the umpteenth time , but substituted previously unread Howards End (which I loved).  The one exception to this was The Stars Look Down, which was actually my Duffer of the List!  Same with your duffers list - I agreed with most of them (I refused to reread Lady Chatterley's Lover I thought is so awful last time I read, but I did enjoy Lawrence's Sons and Lovers as substitute). My exception here is An Awfully Big Adventure which, whilst again not a favourite, held up well for me.  At least you didn't have to suffer 800 or so pages of it though! :)  If you want to do a compare, my review after finishing is here.

 

I hadn't spotted your US Challenge list before.  Glad to see somebody else giving one a go.  How did you come up with the list you have?  We have quite a lot of points of contact, but there are some obvious differences too (I rejigged mine slightly before the end of the year, so it's a little bit more different than it was). It'll be good to compare notes, although you've started at such a lick I suspect I won't be keeping up!  Good luck with it, anyway.  I hope it provides as much fun for both of us (it's been good so far).

 

 

 

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The quality and the variety of books made it a fantastic challenge - even if we do say so ourselves, given BCF created the list :giggle2: 

 

I enjoyed your review and it’s reminded me of more thoughts too! The Day of the Triffids was possibly my biggest surprise and I thoroughly enjoyed it - raced through it in fact. 

 

Totally agree on the disappointment of Cider with Rosie, and the dirge that was The Well of Loneliness! 

 

As for the US States challenge, I think I started with your list and then began making some changes. That’s also why the list is misleading! Four of the books “ticked off”, I’m searching for alternatives as I read them before the challenge began (New York, Oregon, Georgia and Kansas). 

 

I did the same with South Carolina. The original was The Secret Life of Bees, which I had ticked off, but have now removed in place of another book by the same author - which beats it by my reckoning! - but my completed number stayed the same. 

 

So I haven’t started at quite the advertised lick ;) I’m not sure how many I will read this year but there are a few on the TBR now so let’s see. 

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On 1/6/2018 at 5:59 PM, willoyd said:

 

I hadn't spotted your US Challenge list before.  Glad to see somebody else giving one a go.  How did you come up with the list you have?  We have quite a lot of points of contact, but there are some obvious differences too (I rejigged mine slightly before the end of the year, so it's a little bit more different than it was). It'll be good to compare notes, although you've started at such a lick I suspect I won't be keeping up!  Good luck with it, anyway.  I hope it provides as much fun for both of us (it's been good so far).

 

 

 

 

Following this discussion, I have updated the list to reflect the actual status of the challenge! I have replaced four books and I will now read:

 

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt (Georgia)

The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum (Kansas) 

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey (Oregon) 

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (New York)

 

That takes me down to four out the 51 books completed. It's a really varied and interesting list and I'm looking forward to tackling more of it. A lot of the books on the list I hadn't even heard of before beginning the challenge. 

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