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Soffitta1's 2018 Challenge

BookCrossing 2018 Reduce MTBR and Other Challenges

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Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 5:03pm Top

I would like to read keep on reducing the number of TBR books on my shelves. I have also been trying to register books I have had for ages that I intend to bookcross.
Good to be back! Some of the books might be read between now and Christmas, but as I had a spare few minutes, I thought I'd add them all here.

Edited: Jul 22, 5:32am Top

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 11:20pm Top

Jan-Mar 2017

None to read

Dec 9, 2017, 7:36pm Top

Good luck with your 2018 challenge! There are some terrific books in your lists, especially the David Mitchell novels.

Dec 19, 2017, 12:44pm Top

My favorite book in your lists is Unaccustomed Earth. There are some really great short stories in that collection.

Jan 1, 10:39am Top

Thanks! I have tidied this up after reading the final books of the year.

>8 SqueakyChu: I will be bumping that up - I have enjoyed other books by the author.

Edited: Apr 2, 5:02pm Top

A bit of a slow start to the month in terms of reading, I had a lovely time reading and relaxing over the Christmas break, but school is busy.

1. Timetable of Death (Railway Detective Series)
The Railway Detective heads to Derbyshire when a railway company director is found dead in a grave dug for someone else.

2. The Biographer's Tale
Hard to pin this book down into a review, a man becomes the biographer of a biographer, but struggles to find the teller of other people's stories. Strange, but intriguing.

Jan 13, 7:46pm Top

I have to give a plug for Do Not Say We Have Nothing. It is a fantastic book about China, especially the Cultural Revolution and the time around the Tianamen Square uprising.

Jan 14, 5:34am Top

It looks great - I am saving it for half term so I can concentrate on it fully.

Jan 16, 7:52pm Top

>11 gypsysmom: >12 soffitta1: I also loved Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Saving it for a time when you can focus on it fully is a great idea.

Edited: Apr 2, 5:01pm Top

more January reads

3. Nothing ... except my genius
Musings and extracts from the author, good for dipping into.

4. Nocturnes
A rather strange mix of short stories.

5. After the banquet
There is a lot going on in this book, there is a couple at the heart, very much a Jack Spratt and his wife. Kazu is part of modern Japan and drags her traditional husband forward. They clash often, but I am not sure who comes out on top.

6. Living at the End of the World
How people view the end of the world, interesting to dip into.

7. The Old Devils
1980s Wales, a group of not very likeable characters don't like each other much. I am trying to decide if this is not my cup of tea because of the subject or because reading yet another book about old white men on the 1001 list is getting rather tired.

Edited: Apr 2, 5:21pm Top

February reads - work is really busy, but this week's bad weather has enabled me to plan ahead until Easter, so should be back to reading more.

8. At the Edge of the Orchard
I do enjoy reading Chevalier's work and this one did not disappoint. The book takes place in America and focuses on a family of apple growers with a dark past. It is a hard life, especially when Mother Nature is not always on your side.

9. Cousin Rosamund
I didn't realise this was part of a bigger work, but I felt like it could be read on its own. Central to the plot is the marriage of Rosamund, a rather strange arrangement. I am not sure how I feel about the book, there were parts I felt gripped me and others where I couldn't identify with or understand the motivations of the characters.

10. The Third Life of Grange Copeland
A bare and brutal telling of the titular character's life and how it affected those around him. Tough going at times, but an important book in terms of its historical past.

11. He shall Thunder in the Sky
Amelia Peabody and clan have made it to WW1, Ramses' skills are coveted by British intelligence and the Master Criminal is back.

12. Saints of the Shadow Bible (A Rebus Novel)
Rebus' past is catching up with him, this time a present case is linked to possible cover ups by the station he worked at as a young officer. Great return for Rebus.

Mar 4, 8:49pm Top

>15 soffitta1: I guess that's always a bonus of bad weather -- more time for reading and other book-related activities!

Edited: Apr 3, 3:52am Top

Definitely! We also had a DEAR moment - delayed from World Book Day. Drop Everything And Read. It was quite novel reading at work!

13. The Abortionist's Daughter
An abortion doctor is murdered and the case is anything but clear cut. This is a polemic topic and the book tries to show how her job affects those around her. It had a lot more promise than it ultimately delivered, partially due to the unrealistic actions some of the characters make.

14. Spring Tide
A young woman training to be a police officer looks back on an unsolved murder, one her cop father worked on. As she tries to untangle the past, people involved in the case start to pop up. Lots of twists and turns and also a spotlight on Western countries and their practices in extracting natural resources in Africa.

Edited: Apr 3, 4:01am Top

15. Sister Carrie
This wasn't what I expected, I picked it up in a charity shop because I recognised the title from the 1001 list. Dreiser takes us back to Chicago over a century ago and how the working class lived. The central character is a naïve woman who quickly realises she does not want to drudge like her family and is taken up to be a mistress. A rather depressing read, especially in how the characters treat each other, but I found myself turning the pages fairly quickly.

16. Lord of the Silent
Still in the midst of WW1, Amelia Peabody returns to Egypt with her extended family, The Master Criminal takes a more prominent role as Ramses gets caught up again with issues caused by British Intelligence.

Apr 1, 9:21am Top

17. The Golden One
Amelia Peabody mystery, good for commuting.

18. Doctor Faustus
A study of genius and madness. You need to concentrate but worth the read.

19. Unaccustomed Earth
Beautiful set of short stories about Indians living all over the world, especially focusing on the lives of second generation immigrants in the US. When I say beautiful, I mean the writing, but there is a lot of pain in these tales.

20. The little old lady who broke all the rules
Great fun, a group of pensioners decide they'd rather be in prison than an old people's home, so start committing crimes.

Apr 1, 9:28am Top

21. Summertime
A very different biography, this is a fictionalised look at the author's life seen through the lens of other people's interactions with him.

22. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
A girl on the cusp of womanhood is sent from home after doing something wrong. As the book moves on, the author drops in more information about what happened and how the central character can move on. The book did make me want to read on, but it was unsettling, especially reading it as a 21st Century woman. Did the protagonist know what she was doing or was she manipulated by those around her, especially the opposite sex? Read it and decide for yourself.

23. Hausfrau
An unfulfilled expat housewife starts a German course in Switzerland and falls into an affair with a classmate. This is a sad book about a woman who seems to be very lost in the country of her husband, but as the plot develops, you start to wonder when it all started to go wrong.

Apr 1, 9:30am Top

In April, I'd like to read about 5 from my TBR pile, it is holiday time, so should be reading more.

Edited: May 22, 4:27pm Top

April reads

24. The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again!
25. Children of the Storm
26. Do Not Say We Have Nothing
27. The Night Circus

Won't make it to target of 5, but a couple of those were very long!

Missed one!
28. Open Secrets

Apr 26, 9:34pm Top

>22 soffitta1: I really liked Do Not Say We Have Nothing, though it was a challenging read in some ways. What did you think of it?

Apr 30, 2:24pm Top

I loved it, the style was unusual, but I liked how it helped the plot to unfold. There are so many Tiananmen Square books, but not many that follow on past that event.

May 1, 5:50am Top

>22 soffitta1: How did you liked The Night Circus? Did you enjoyed it from the start or the book improved in the second half for you?

May 22, 4:27pm Top

I loved it, I started it on a long journey and got fully immersed in it. I think the lack of distractions helped me get into it, though I do remember a lot of building up in the first section.

Edited: Jul 5, 8:04am Top

Edited: Jul 5, 8:04am Top

38. The Greatcoat
39. Not That Kind of Girl
40. Swann
41. The adventures of Augie March

Didn't make my target of 6 for the month, but I didn't read as much despite being internetless at home!

Jul 1, 3:38pm Top

Nice progress. Your #41 reminded me that it's been a long time since I've read any Saul Bellow. Did you enjoy this one?

Jul 5, 8:03am Top

I did enjoy it, though it did take more concentration than Dangling Man, which I remember gripping me more.

Jul 5, 8:07am Top

I'd like to read 8 this month, holidays have started and I would like to chill out with a (few) good book(s). I have a few railway journeys, so will be able to get stuck into some of those longer books that seem to linger on my shelf.

42. The Finkler Question
43. Roxana The Fortunate Mistress
44. Storyteller's Granddaughter, The

Jul 5, 8:17am Top

Now down to 1 page on Bookcrossing of TBR books from 2016 and 2017.
Can I read 25 books in 6 months?! Yes, but will they be these 25? I am still easily distracted by shiny new books.

Jul 10, 9:50pm Top

>33 soffitta1: That is my problem too. I get very distracted by the latest book-award lists and neglect all the books sitting on my shelves.

Jul 13, 11:46am Top

Glad to hear I'm not the only one! Another issue I have is books in a series, I like to have all, if not most, ready to read.

45. The Story of a New Name
46. Snow White, Blood Red
47. My Brilliant Friend

I have actually read all 4 books from The Neapolitan Novels, but for some reason I had only bookcrossed 2.

Jul 22, 10:12am Top

48. Cloudstreet

Three David Mitchell books read this month, while the stories have characters or family connections in the books, they can be read independently. I enjoyed all three, the first was most like my usual fare, historical fiction with a hint of the other, but it was a good introduction into the other.

49. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet
50. The Bone Clocks
51. Slade House

Jul 31, 1:30pm Top

52. The Improbability of Love
The cover and the title made me think I would not like this book, but actually it was great. The title is the title of a painting, long thought missing, which turns up in a dusty corner of a shop. This is what happens next.

53. The Complete Cosmicomics

11 books read this month, including some biggies. I am still reading At Swim, Two Boys, but with 450 pages to go, I doubt I'll finish it by midnight!

I would hope to read 5 in August, especially as I have picked up a missing book in a series.

Aug 21, 5:34am Top

August reads

54. At Swim, Two Boys
1001 book from Ireland set in the run up to the Easter Rising, a long book, but one that swept me up.

55. The Ground Beneath Her Feet
1001 book, a sweeping book based around two musicians. Took me a while to get into, but the second half moved on.

56. Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas
Volume 3 in Maya Angelou's biographies. Got volume 4 ready to go. What a life!

Aug 31, 1:37pm Top

Two more volumes of Maya Angelou's biographies bring up 5 reads for the month.

57. The Heart Of A Woman
58. All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes

I hope to read 4 next month.

Aug 31, 9:51pm Top

>39 soffitta1: Nice progress for the month!

Edited: Sep 30, 4:50am Top

Thanks! Only 3 read this month.
59. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love - very much enjoyed
60. The Mulatta and Mister Fly - hmmm, found this a chore
61. The true history of the Kelly Gang - page-turning

Sep 30, 9:40pm Top

>41 soffitta1: I found The True History of the Kelly Gang page-turning too. I'd learned later that the novel contained no commas, but I hadn't noticed that at the time of reading.

Oct 1, 5:09pm Top

I didn't notice that too much too either!

Oct 20, 2:47pm Top

62. The Awakening: And Other Stories
I had read the title story before, but it was interesting to read more from the writer - a glimpse into life in Louisiana.
I plan to take another book away with me over half term.


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