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Bryan reads 120 books in 2018

100 books in 2018 challenge

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Jan 2, 7:46am Top

My 9th year of reading at least 100 books, and 7th year in Librarything 100 book challenges. Managed 112 books last year and plan to get to 120 this time.
I read a range of books - modern fiction, classics, fantasy, some nonfiction.
Have plenty of my own books that have been sitting on the shelves for years, need to get serious and read 30 or so.
Am also in the Big Fat Book Challenge, books of 600 pages or more, read 14 last year.

May we all have a great year of reading in 2018 !

Jan 2, 10:55am Top

Welcome back, Bryan.

Best wishes for 2018.

Jan 2, 7:32pm Top

Thanks James, may 2018 be a healthy, happy year with plenty of reading !

Jan 2, 7:40pm Top

Welcome back!

Jan 2, 9:20pm Top

Thanks Jen, and thanks for setting up the group, happy reading !

Jan 3, 3:15pm Top

1. The Passage of Love by Alex Miller.

Alex Miller's new novel, "The Passage of Love is Miller's own story brilliantly cast in the mould of fiction."
"Filled with wry humour, incisive observation and rare wisdom, Miller brilliantly solves the challenge of merging memoir and the novel."
I agree with these reviews, great story and of course beautifully written.

Jan 3, 3:29pm Top

2. The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

One of my challenges this year is to read all of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets, this makes 11 read so far, not sure why The Tempest is regarded as a great play, seemed average to me ?

Jan 3, 5:00pm Top

>7 bryanoz: I have been thinking about reading the whole of Shakespeare’s work too. I read The Tempest at university a long time ago. It always struck me as a bit like Shakespeare’s ‘White Album’!

Jan 3, 5:03pm Top

Reading the whole of Shakespeare in a year is more than I want to tackle, but I do want to read more Shakespeare this year.

Jan 4, 6:00am Top

I quite enjoy The Tempest, but I was on hand for all rehearsals when my dad directed it with high schoolers. I was 10 or 11 and just loved it. I think it's one that is much harder to appreciate in text.

Looking forward to following your reading again! I need to re-read Shakespeare myself.

Jan 4, 4:11pm Top

>6 bryanoz: I've just found Miller's Conditions of Faith on my shelf. It's been there for 7 years! Will give it a go in the hope that it measures up to The Passage of Love.

Jan 4, 8:48pm Top

#8#9 James and John it seems that reading (and appreciating) the Shakespeare canon is a right of passage into claiming to be a serious reader of literature, so I'm in ! I count 37 plays plus the Sonnets, and have read 11 up to now so 27 in a year is acheivable.
Have read Romeo, Hamlet (brilliant), Macbeth, King Lear, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelth Night, Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, and the Tempest, next up Antony and Cleo.
A confession ; I have been using the No Fear editions, which give the original script and the 'updated' text, so that I better understand them !

Jan 4, 8:51pm Top

#10 Meredith I am sure you are quite right that seeing the plays performed, and no doubt being involved for rehearsals would deepen the experience, I'll get around to watching those that I enjoyed reading sometime.
Enjoyed your reading as well, hope 2018 is a good year for you.

Edited: Jan 4, 9:02pm Top

#11 Hi Pam, I haven't read Conditions of Faith and trust it is a good read, have read and enjoyed Autumn Laing, Lovesong, Journey to the Stone Country, Coal Creek, and The Passage of Love.
Will be interested to see how you go with Conditions, and will read it if you like it, no pressure !

Jan 5, 3:04am Top

No worries!

Jan 5, 2:12pm Top

#12 - I've only read 5 Shakespeare plays - Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet (both multiple times, including at school 35 years ago), Hamlet, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. Must read more.

But I am well read in other canonical English literature - 14/15 major Dickens novels, and 3.25 (or so)/6 Jane Austen novels.

Jan 5, 6:57pm Top

Hi John, my reading in classic lit was mainly due to coming across The Novel 100 by Daniel S. Burt, a Professor who ranks the 100 best novels in his opinion. I had only read about 5 on the list so decided to start with number 1 and read through. Took me some years, some brilliant novels, many ok to good, and a few I hated. Dickens and Austen are well represented, although I don't get what many love about Austen, think I lack the gene !?

Jan 8, 8:19pm Top

3. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

Another classic I have finally gotten around to reading, and a powerful story based on the author's own experiences in the First World War. Any pretense of heroics is absent here as the waste of human lives and sheer absurdity of war is made startlingly clear.

Jan 14, 10:53pm Top

4. All Because of You by Isobel Blackthorn.

This is a short story collection of 'tales of refuge and hope' fron an Australian writer, I wasn't particularly enamored with it but I am not the target audience.

Jan 17, 2:06am Top

This year I *really* need to get to All Quiet on the Western Front.

Jan 17, 7:08am Top

Meredith, I’m sure you will enjoy it, another similar ‘war’ novel I have enjoyed was Journey to the End of Night if you haven’t read it already.

Jan 18, 12:48am Top

Celine makes me think of Michel Houllebecq - some similarity in their attitude? Fearless and independent. They don't censor themselves.

Jan 20, 7:05pm Top

Pam, Houllebecq certainly doesn't censor himself, reminds me of William Burroughs.

5. The Unholy Consult by R. Scott Bakker.

The much anticipated final volume in the Second Apocalypse Cycle. Wrapping up a complicated and long running saga would not be an easy task but I feel Bakker has done a pretty good job.
I won't go into the story but Bakker writes the most philosophical epic fantasy I have read, maybe the Malazan Books of the Fallen come close to its scope.
Hope he continues to write about this fascinating world he has created.

Jan 31, 6:35am Top

6. Sagaland by Richard Fidler and Kari Gislason.

Engaging account of the author's journey to Iceland, to investigate Kari's heritage, explore the island and the icelandic sagas.

Feb 8, 5:19pm Top

7. Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson.

Ever since loving Life After Life I decided to read all of Kate Atkinson's novels, this is my 4th and her 2nd.
Enjoyed this enchanting story of a girl growing up in the 60s with a dysfunctional family and the mysterious Arden forest.

Feb 9, 9:00pm Top

8. Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson.

Great fun as Bill, an American who has been living in England for many years does a tour of the island before he and family returns to the US.
Many humorous situations as he reflects on the British way of life and bemoans how things are changing for the worse.

Feb 10, 1:06am Top

9. The Aeneid by Virgil.

The epic story of Aeneas' travels and wars to settle in Italy and begin the Roman Empire is very readable with Robert Fagles' translation.

Feb 11, 4:45am Top

10. About Grace by Anthony Doerr.

Doerr's first novel and suggested by someone in our book club after we all thoroughly enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See.
David Winkler dreams of things that come true when he is awake. However knowing what is going to happen turns out not be a gift, and many problems ensue.
Something felt forced in this novel and I can only rate it as ok.

Feb 12, 4:07am Top

11. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend.

The first in an upcoming series and a very enjoyable child/teen fantasy. Some hype - "magical debut", "vibrant world building", and "real heart" - I agree with all of it !

Feb 16, 6:31pm Top

12. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute.

Engaging love story spanning London, Malaya in the Second World War, and outback Australia.

Feb 18, 5:01pm Top

>12 bryanoz:

One of my very favorites!

Feb 18, 8:04pm Top

> I haven't read that - the only Nevil Shute book I've read is On the Beach, which is one of those books that changed my whole worldview. I'm adding A Town Like Alice to the TBR pile!

Feb 19, 12:27am Top

>30 bryanoz:
>32 jfetting:

I liked both of those.
Another one of his l love is Pied piper.

Feb 19, 12:30am Top

Oh, and yet another huge favorite is Trustee from the toolroom
Shute is actually a great storyteller!

Feb 19, 6:00pm Top

Thanks Nancy and Jen, more books on the To Be Read pile :( !

Feb 19, 6:19pm Top

13. The Wonderling by Mira Bartok.

Thoroughly enjoyed this charming story of Arthur, a fox-like being with one ear, who is unfortunately living at The Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. He finds an inventive friend and adventure soon follows.
Lovely story with great imagination, highly recommended.

Edited: Feb 20, 12:54am Top

14. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

A pleasant enough story showing that us grumpy older men can have some redeeming features !

And that is January's reads listed, I am better at reading than reviewing :)

Feb 20, 4:22am Top

Hi Bryan! We are in the same BFB group. I have this on my TBR pile and I've noticed people either loved it or hated it; but sounds lukewarm for you?

Feb 20, 6:15pm Top

Hi Tess, Ove was an ok read for me, plenty of readers recommend it so why not give it a try, I'll be interested to know your thoughts. Good luck with the BFBs !

Feb 20, 6:23pm Top

15. Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart.

Third volume in the Kopp sisters series, based on true stories of American women's experiences in 1916.
Challenging the traditional roles of women in society with fun and adventure thrown in, these are recommended, the first book is Girl Waits With Gun.

Feb 21, 5:37am Top

16. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.

This is an unusual 'experimental' novel that won the Man Booker Prize in 2017.
Based on the real-life tragedy of the death of Abraham Lincoln's son, this is a touching account of a father's mourning, while the son is bizarrely suspended in the Bardo with many other characters...

Feb 21, 11:03am Top

>41 bryanoz: We must have a lot of the same books on deck, that is also on my TBR pile!

Feb 21, 5:41pm Top

I really need to get to Girl Waits With Gun. I love the story of the Kopp sisters but often forget those books are based on them!

Feb 21, 5:44pm Top

>41 bryanoz: It's in my pile too.

Feb 21, 5:54pm Top

Hi Tess, if your TBR pile is of similar dimensions to mine then you have my deepest sympathies !

Hi Meredith, you will love Girl Waits With Gun and the sequels, I guarantee it !

Hi Pam, it is a different read and I will interested to see what you make of it.

Feb 21, 6:03pm Top

17. Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare.

Enjoyed this famous tragedy as Mark Antony is torn between duty and love, as is the beguiling Cleopatra.

Will have to see a performance of this one day.

18. Love Has Forgotten No One by Gary Renard.

Feb 25, 4:49am Top

19. Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.

Enjoyed the classics "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Tell-Tale Heart", also the satirical "The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq." and others. Plenty of stories and the poems I didn't think much of.

Feb 25, 5:57pm Top

20. Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery.

Of course a classic children's book that everyone else has read, a nice story.

Feb 26, 1:40am Top

21. Extinctions, by Josephine Wilson.

Won the Miles Franklin Literary Award for 2017, read this 2 weeks ago and cannot remember much of the story so that is probably not a good sign.
More to follow.

Feb 28, 4:49am Top

22. My Life With Bob, by Pamela Paul.

Bob is Pamela Paul's Book of Books, a record of all the books she has read since her teens.

I am sure anyone who keeps lists of their reads will enjoy Pamela's journey in life and reading.

Mar 2, 5:43am Top

23. Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson.

Atkinson ventures into the crime genre with the first Jackson Brodie novel, Kate Atkinson fans will have already read this and the others, a successful TV series followed (which I haven't seen), enjoyed this.

Mar 5, 5:02pm Top

24. The Bone Witch, by Rin Chupeco.

"Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living."

In a world of monsters and witches, Tea finds out her gift is death magic, a powerful but misunderstood ability. Fortunately she is found and trained by an older, wiser Death Witch.

Very much enjoyed this darkly imaginative teen fantasy, the second in the series The Heart Forger to be published soon and I will be reading it.

Mar 6, 8:45pm Top

25. Forge of Darkness, by Steven Erikson.

Following the 10 volume epic fantasy saga The Malazan Books of the Fallen, Forge of Darkness begins the Kharkanas Trilogy, predating the Malazan story by many millenia.

Simply, if you enjoyed the Malazan world you will enjoy this !

Mar 6, 9:10pm Top

26. Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare.

Comedy and romance, the indomitable Beatrice is a new favourite character !

Mar 7, 6:37am Top

27. Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons.

Parody of the joys of farm life, good fun.

Mar 7, 7:09pm Top

>54 bryanoz: I love that one. Beatrice is a superstar.

Mar 8, 5:01pm Top

Agreed Jennifer.

28. The Giver, by Lois Lowry.

Very good teen (and adult) dystopian novel, all seems organised and pleasant until we get a hint of what underlies this convenient society.

29. Spirit Junkie, by Gabrielle Bernstein.

Mar 8, 6:12pm Top

>55 bryanoz: This one is an old favourite. Glad you liked it.

Mar 9, 9:12pm Top

Cheers Pam !

30. The Complete Short Stories, by Franz Kafka.

While not approaching the scope and depth of The Trial or The Castle, Kafka's stories are always going to range from odd to bizarre. His well known The Metamorphosis is included :
"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."

Mar 11, 7:37am Top

31. A Long Way From Home, by Peter Carey.

Peter Carey's last novel Amnesia I thought was very underwhelming, the new A Long Way from Home is much better.
Using the 1954 Redex Trial race that went around Australia, Carey takes us on a sometimes nostalgic, often confronting tour of 1950's Australia.
Earlier Carey novels I have enjoyed ; Bliss (first novel published in 1981), Illywhacker, The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith (very underrated IMO), and True History of the Kelly Gang.

Edited: Mar 11, 7:50pm Top

32. The Grave's a Fine and Private Place, by Alan Bradley.

The ninth and newest Flavia De Luce novel and for the legions of us that have followed her exploits since The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, an absolute delight.

The blurb : "In the wake of an unthinkable family tragedy, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is struggling to fill her empty days. For a needed escape, Dogger, the loyal family servant, suggests a boating trip for Flavia and her two older sisters. As their punt drifts past the church where a notorious vicar had recently dispatched three of his female parishioners by spiking their communion wine with cyanide, Flavia, an expert chemist with a passion for poisons, is ecstatic. Suddenly something grazes her fingers as she dangles them in the water. She clamps down on the object, imagining herself Ernest Hemingway battling a marlin, and pulls up what she expects will be a giant fish. But in Flavia’s grip is something far better: a human head, attached to a human body. If anything could take Flavia’s mind off sorrow, it is solving a murder—although one that may lead the young sleuth to an early grave."

Books read listing up to date !

Mar 13, 6:31pm Top

33. Coriolanus, by William Shakespeare.

A lesser known Shakespearian tragedy, Coriolanus is a great Roman warrior, but with his inevitable move into politics, problems arise.

Mar 18, 4:53am Top

34. Fall of Light, by Steven Erikson.

The 2nd of Erikson's Kharkanas trilogy, and a slower, more philosophical approach than Forge of Darkness.

The less action/more introspective nature of the story has proven to be less popular, so much that Erikson has decided to put the next Kharkanas book on hold and begin a new trilogy based on the Karsa Orlong character from the Malazan series. I for one hope he returns to Kharkanas and finishes this series of events which investigate the Malazan world origins.

For all of the epicness and struggles of the Malazan world, I enjoy Erikson's lesser characters, often there to provide a lighter side to the story, such as Kruppe, Sergeant Hellian, Hetan and many others.

In the Kharnakas stories I have appreciated the sisters Envy, Malice, and Spite, soldiers Prazek and Dathenar, and the compelling Lasa Rook.

Apr 12, 7:34pm Top

Haven't been here for a while, have been reading of course...

35. Soonish, by Kelly & Zach Weinersmith.

Entertaining look at ten new technologies and their possible influence on our future.

36. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Nice classic.

37. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa.

Disturbing but intriguing story of a Jewish family fleeing Germany on the S.S.St. Louis, heading for Cuba.

Apr 18, 4:01am Top

38. Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland, okay.

39. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, okay.

40. Henry V by William Shakespeare, enjoyed this, I have been putting off reading the Histories, thinking they would be stuffy and boring, but plenty of interest in this play.

Apr 20, 8:59pm Top

41. Taboo by Kim Scott. Confronting but necessary.

42. Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges. Imaginative short stories.

Apr 25, 8:14am Top

43. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson.

Second of the Jackson Brodie books, didn't enjoy as much as the first but still a solid read.

44. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry.

A companion book to The Giver, added a little to the Giver world but nowhere near as good as the first story.

Apr 26, 5:40am Top

45. The First Collected Tales of Bauchelain & Korbal Broach by Steven Erikson.

Three shorter Malazan stories involving the mysterious Bauchelain & Korbal, wherever they go chaos soon ensues.

Apr 26, 5:43am Top

46. Richard III by William Shakespeare.

Great fun as the arch villian Richard sets his sights on the top job !

Apr 26, 5:51am Top

47. Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson.

Third instalment in the Stormlight Archive which is destined to take 10 volumes.

First The Way of Kings very good, second Words of Radiance ok, third Oathbringer just ok.
Hope this saga improves...

Apr 26, 6:43am Top

>46 bryanoz: I'm trying to read my way through Shakespeare.....about 1 each quarter. I've spent 2 years in the comedies (which I don't really care for) and have previously read Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Winter's Tale. I'm itching to read the histories.

Apr 26, 9:21pm Top

Hi Tess, I'm concentrating on the Bard this year, trying to read the plays I haven't yet. I count 37 plays plus the Sonnets so plenty to go.
As I've noted the Histories I have read - Henry V and Richard the III have been unexpectedly good so looking forward to more.
Have The Merchant of Venice and Cymbeline ready to go, good luck with your Shakespeare challenge !
PS, which has been your favourite so far ?

Apr 27, 4:34am Top

>72 bryanoz: I love Richard III. He is one of the great theatrical villains. There is a marvellous moment in the Laurence Olivier film. Just after Richard has siezed the crown, he holds his hand out to one of his sidekicks (I think it was Buckingham). Just as Buckingham stoops to kiss the royal hand, Olivier dropped his arm down very low so Buckingham had to fall to his hands and knees.
I also enjoyed Henry IV Part I, which is almost a comedy in many ways with Falstaff at his glorious best (- he seems a slightly more melancholic figure in Part II).

Edited: Apr 27, 8:58am Top

>72 bryanoz: My favorite so far is Julius Caesar and Macbeth. I've read a multitude of comedies, but they are seem to be the same to me: All's Well that Ends Well, Loves Labour Lost, Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice and The Winter's Tale. Of the comedies I think I liked The Winter's Tale the best. I've read Cymbeline and I did like it--not sure if it's a comedy or a tragedy or a romance!

Apr 27, 8:33pm Top

>73 Eyejaybee: Eyejaybee I'll find that film, thanks for the idea. I have Henry IV parts 1,2,3 coming up soon. I gather he wrote them in part 2,3,1 order, wonder if they should be read 2,3,1 or 1,2,3 ?

>74 tess_schoolmarm: Tess I agree that the comedies are not so memorable, have enjoyed Hamlet and probably Macbeth the most. Cymbeline was his last tragedy I think.

Apr 28, 8:52am Top

48. Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion & Anne Buist. Underwhelming.

49. The Faraway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton. Children's classic, old fashioned but good fun.

Apr 28, 9:14pm Top

50. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.

"But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit."

"All that glisters is not gold."

"If you prick us do we not bleed?.."

"The quality of mercy is not strained,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."

May 11, 10:48pm Top

51. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters.

Enjoyed this novel of people trying to survive and find love in London during and just after World War II.

May 13, 8:59am Top

52. Cymbeline by William Shakespeare.

A later and lesser known tragedy...
"The game is up."
"Golden lads and girls all must, as chimney-sweepers, come to dust"...cue 4th Flavia DeLuce novel !

That's 18 plays read out of 37 plays and the sonnets.

May 16, 10:01pm Top

53. The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare.

"Every why has a wherefore."
"I to the world am like a drop of water."

An early play based on the confusion of twins, found it difficult to follow and unmemorable.

May 18, 4:09pm Top

>80 bryanoz: Were you, by any chance, reading it rather than watching it?

May 19, 2:30am Top

I was reading it, is there a performance/recording you would recommend ?

May 19, 11:44am Top

>80 bryanoz: I found most of the comedies unmemorable; in fact, after reading most of them they all were the same. I think for Shakespeare, especially the comedies, you need to see it !

May 20, 3:42pm Top

>82 bryanoz: Alas, the realization that the Comedy of Errors might not actually be a total waste after all (I didn't think much of it when I read it, either), came to me while I was watching a "Shakespeare in the Park" production of it.

So, not only no video to recommend... I'm not even sure I can recommend it AS video. I mean, if Dromio isn't tripping over your feet as he tries to hide behind the fat lady in the row in front of you... is it even the same show?

(Nowadays, I would probably be the fat lady he is trying to hide behind.) :)

I suspect that almost any production would prove to be less confusing than just the text, however. When you can actually see the people running here and there, it's just so much easier to keep track of what is going on. It's a very physical play.

May 20, 6:30pm Top

My library has a dvd of the Shakespeare's Globe production of The Comedy of Errors, so have reserved it, hopefully will enhance my experience of the play, thanks LShelby !

May 21, 7:01pm Top

54. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.

Children's fantasy classic, interesting.

May 23, 2:58am Top

55. The Starlit Wood by D. Parisien & N.Wolfe eds.

Eighteen fairy tales updated, this collection of short stories includes some of my favourite authors - Margo Lanagan, Garth Nix, Theodora Goss, Sofia Samatar, and others.
I enjoyed "Seasons of Glass and Iron" by Amal El-Mohtar, "Penny For a Match, Mister ?" by Garth Nix,
"The Briar and the Rose" by Marjorie Liu, and "The Other Thea" by Theodora Goss.

Jun 7, 11:01pm Top

57. Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence.

Following on from Red Sister, Grey Sister is the middle book in the Book of the Ancestor trilogy. Gifted Nona grey is settled at the Convent and in her training, but everything is about to be turned upside down.
I really enjoy Lawrence's fantasy writing and am enjoying this series. He also doesn't take long to write his novels which is nice !

Jun 9, 7:47am Top

58. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco.

Sequel to the excellent The Bone Witch, I didn't get into this one as much, there was more story and character development but I missed the random chaos of the first book when Tea unwittingly raised the dead !?

Jun 9, 12:17pm Top

>89 bryanoz:

Put in a request for Red sister at the library.
Thanks for the tip!

Jun 9, 11:49pm Top

Hi Nancy, I also enjoyed his 'Red Queen's War' trilogy, beginning with Prince of Fools.
Happy reading !

Edited: Jun 9, 11:56pm Top

59. Richard II by William Shakespeare.

"The ripest fruit first falls."

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me."

Edited: Jun 23, 5:47am Top

60. Force of Nature by Jane Harper.

Another book club book but I was underwhelmed by this Australian crime novel; premise, characters, and events seemed contrived to me.
Her first novel The Dry was better in my opinion.

Jun 23, 5:44am Top

61. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset.

Set in 14th century Norway, the story follows Kristin's life from infancy to old age. At 1146 pages this is a saga and the reader certainly learns much of the Norwegian lifestyle of that time.
The story is so well written (and translated) that the reader is quickly caught up in Kristin's life of joy, tragedy, love, and doubt.

Jun 23, 5:48am Top

62. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Been sitting on the shelf for some years, a classic fantasy and good read.

Jun 23, 5:55am Top

63. Henry IV, Part One by William Shakespeare.

"the life of time is short;
To spend that shortness basely were too long".

Jun 23, 10:02am Top

>97 bryanoz: One I must get to!

Jun 23, 10:47am Top

>97 bryanoz: My favourite among Shakespeare’s plays, I think (should that be ‘methinks’?).

Jun 24, 5:10am Top

64. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

Not the most ardent Austen fan but enjoyed this one !

Jun 24, 5:11am Top

65. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.

Children's classic, fun read.

Jun 24, 5:43am Top

>101 bryanoz: Pippi, loved her as a child!

Jun 25, 4:37am Top

She is a rebel !

Jun 25, 4:49am Top

66. King Rat by China Mieville.

Enjoy Mieville's weird fantasy so now to read those I haven't yet, beginning with his first novel.

An ok story but little sign of the monumental Perdido Street Station to come !

Jun 25, 4:58am Top

>66 bryanoz: I have a King Rat to read, but mine is by James Clavell and is book #3 in the Asian series.

Jul 2, 12:26am Top

Hi tess, very different stories I think !

67. Henry IV, Part Two by William Shakespeare.

"Since all is well, keep it so: wake not a sleeping wolf."

"We are time's subjects, and time bids begone."

"Away you scullion ! You rampallion ! You fustilarian ! I'll tickle your catastrophe !"

Jul 3, 12:19pm Top

>106 bryanoz: I really must get to Henry IV!

Jul 3, 7:37pm Top

I enjoyed them tess, especially meeting the self-proclaimed great Sir John Falstaff, a classic anti-hero !

Jul 4, 8:03am Top

68. The Crying Place by Lia Hills.

Book club read, an Australian story of a young man whose best friend dies suddenly just after living in a remote Indigenous community. Ok read.

Jul 4, 8:10am Top

69. The Only Story by Julian Barnes.

"Would you rather the more, and suffer the more ; or love the less and suffer the less ?"

A good question and opening sentence of this novel. Reminiscent of his The Sense of an Ending this is a solid literate story and enjoyable read.

Jul 5, 7:11am Top

70. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov.

Classic science fiction, interesting ideas.

Edited: Jul 6, 9:09pm Top

71. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

Classic story, good fun.

Jul 6, 9:19pm Top

72. Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare.

"They do not love that do not show their love."

"That man that hath a tongue, I say is no man,
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman."

"O Heaven, were man
But constant, he were perfect."

and my favourite.."You, minion, are too saucy."

Jul 8, 10:18pm Top

73. Shadow and Claw by Gene Wolfe.

Another of those fantasy series that I have been meaning to read forever, and glad I have started.

This is a gothic, weirdish story set far in the future. Severian is an apprentice torturer who messes up big time and is exiled to a far off post...

Jul 9, 10:51pm Top

74. Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare's first tragedy and quite a nasty one.

"Oh why should nature build so foul a den,
Unless the gods delight in tragedies."

"Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand.
Blood and revenge are hammering in my heart."

"Come and take choice of all my library
and so beguile thy sorrow." !!!

Jul 11, 9:24pm Top

75. Tales From the Thousand and One Nights.

Jul 14, 10:43pm Top

76. Sword and Citadel by Gene Wolfe.

Severian's saga continues, and like the first books there is a weird edge to these stories that I enjoy.

Jul 14, 10:49pm Top

77. The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare.

"Is this nothing ?
Why then the world and all that's in't is nothing."

"The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades when speaking fails."

"Ha, ha ! What a fool honesty is."

Exit, pursued by a bear. Stage direction that must be tricky to organise !

Jul 14, 11:35pm Top

>118 bryanoz: I saw this performed at the New Shakespeare Theatre in London in 2003. I'm of course a native English speaker. I could barely understand a word they said.....they had such heavy British accents and spoke so fast it might as well have been a foreign language! My friend and I went to the little bookstore within the theatre at intermission and bought a copy of the book; thinking we would follow along. However, when the lights went down, it was too dark to see! Alas, we read the script at a later date

Jul 16, 12:40am Top

Hi Tess, seeing the play live without a rewind button or not being able to go back over the script would make understanding difficult.

Jul 16, 12:42am Top

78. What the Hell Did I Just Read by David Wong.

Great fun as David, John and Amy desperately try to stop the apocalypse and save us all !

Jul 18, 8:01pm Top

I'm impressed by all the Shakespeare! I keep meaning to get through them all some day. In a perfect world, I could read one and then go see it live.

Jul 18, 8:53pm Top

Impressed by the Shakespeare as well, and also by the Wolfe--that series is practically the Shakespeare of science fiction!

Jul 19, 4:25am Top

Following my declaration in #9, I have failed thus far this year to read any more Shakespeare, but still aim to do so.

Jul 21, 10:05pm Top

Thanks Jennifer and Roni, my aim was to finish reading the Shakespeares by year's end, 12 plays plus the sonnets to go. Have enjoyed much of them although still haven't watched any of them...must get onto that, I promised LShelby I would find a performance of The Comedy of Errors and one is on the way.

Roni I have meant to read the Wolfes for years, very glad I finally have, and holidays meant I could take time to really connect with the story. I see he has written further in Severian's world and I'll find them in good time. I remember really enjoying his Free Live Free and must reread that soon. Have you read them ?

Hi John, it is not too late to start, I enjoyed Richard III and Henry V if you haven't encountered them.

Jul 21, 10:09pm Top

79. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy.

Enjoyable classic, not quite a Tess of the D'Urbervilles but still an engaging story of mid 1800s English village life.

Jul 21, 10:16pm Top

>126 bryanoz: I like anything Hardy. The only one I haven't read is The Return of the Native, which is on my e-reader.

Jul 23, 3:08am Top

Tess, that's one I haven't read either, will be interested in your review, cheers

Jul 26, 12:36am Top

80. I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.

A book club read and I did not enjoy it. Crime thriller that I found completely unbelievable, the writing so heavy handed, and nearly 900 pages as well :(

Jul 26, 5:44am Top

81. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk.

Enjoyed this children's novel set in 1940s rural USA. Great read !

Jul 28, 9:04pm Top

82. The First Part of Henry the Sixth by William Shakespeare.

"I have heard it said, unbidden guests
Are often welcomest when they are gone."

"Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends."

"Here on my knee I beg mortality,
Rather than life preserved with infamy."

"To be a queen in bondage is more vile
Than is a slave in base servility."

Aug 1, 11:53pm Top

>130 bryanoz:

I think l’ll like Wolf hollow too!

Aug 2, 7:55pm Top

Hi Nancy, I'm sure you will like Wolf Hollow, my friend who recommended it had read her Beyond the Bright Sea and really enjoyed it, I'll get it from the library soon and let you know !

Aug 2, 8:31pm Top

83. Marsh and Me by Martine Murray.

Shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia Younger Readers Award, a coming-of-age story of a sensitive boy meeting a mysterious girl, and steps outside his comfort zone to find out about this fierce but enchanting girl. OK read.

Aug 3, 2:43am Top

84. The Second Part of Henry the Sixth by William Shakespeare.

"Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep."

"For where thou art, there is the world itself,
With every several pleasure in the world:
And where thou art not, desolation."

"Small things make base men proud."

"Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school." !!!

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." !!!!

Aug 4, 8:44am Top

85. The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst.

Booker Prize winner that I have had sitting around for years and finally got to.
Well written story of a young gay English man in 1980s Thatcher England who spends much of his thinking about, setting up, and being involved in sexual activities.
Between consenting adults this is all well and good, not my favourite thing to read about though...

Aug 4, 8:52am Top

86. The Elephant by Peter Carnavas.

Another shortlisted CBCA book for younger readers, Olive's father is very sad, and she sees the sadness as a huge grey elephant following him and weighing him down. With the help of her Grandad she is determined to help her dad be rid of the elephant.
An engaging story of grief/depression and how such anyone can help.

Aug 10, 5:25am Top

87. The Science of Discworld II. The Globe by Terry Pratchett.

I am an avid Pratchett/ Discworld fan and I have realised that there is still some Pratchett's I haven't read. The 2nd (now read), 3rd and 4th Science of Discworld books, and the final 2 in the Long Earth series.
Of course anything Sir Terry touched was genius so these are/will be great reads !

Aug 10, 6:04am Top

88. The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth by William Shakespeare.

"Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust ?
And, live we how we can, yet die we must."

"O, tiger's heart, wrapt in a woman's hide !"

"The smallest worm will turn being trodden on."

Nine plays and the sonnets to go, next up is the comedy Love's Labour's Lost.

Aug 13, 1:46am Top

89. Svaha by Charles de Lint.

Had this sitting on the shelf for many years and good to get it read; somewhat different to de Lint's usual Urban fantasy stories, this is a post-apocalyptic, Native American fantasy, ok.

Aug 14, 7:19am Top

90. The Shop at Hooper's Bend by Emily Rodda.

Another shortlisted CBCA novel for younger readers, a satisfying read.

Aug 15, 3:22pm Top

I read the first three in the Long Earth series, but just wasn't enjoying it much. That third book (or potentially it was the second, it's been years, but I think it was the third) felt like it only existed to set up a later book. I'll be curious to see what you think if you read the last two.

Aug 16, 5:50am Top

I didn't enjoy them that much either Meredith but read them I will, in honour of Sir Pterry.

Aug 16, 6:13am Top

91. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

Enjoyed this fantasy novel in which two very different characters that are surviving in a corrupt society inevitably come together and "find that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire."
Will be reading the sequel A Torch Against the Night.

Aug 16, 6:10pm Top

Book reviews getting worse by the week...

Aug 17, 6:52am Top

92. Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare.

"Let us once lose our oaths to find ourselves,
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths."

"Never durst a poet touch a pen to write
Until his ink was tempered with love's sighs."

Aug 19, 2:45pm Top

>143 bryanoz: Ha, my devotion to authors doesn't go that far (I mean, it went far enough that I gave the series three chances).

Aug 20, 8:26am Top

You are quite right Meredith, and the 4th and 5th books are probably worse again, but....

Aug 20, 8:34am Top

93. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.

Another novel that has been on the shelf for years, nice to get it read, and a nice story of two couples who meet in the depression years and grow together through life's challenges and joys to the seventies.

Aug 20, 8:49am Top

94. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.

Enjoyed this intriguing, quirky novel based on the Blackwood sisters Constance and Mary Katherine who survived a family poisoning six years ago. We gradually find out what happened and it fits in perfectly with the whole weirdness - great fun !

Aug 26, 6:39am Top

Aug 28, 7:38pm Top

96. Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk.

Really enjoyed her debut novel Wolf Hollow, her second novel starts slowly but gradually builds into an enlightening tale of a mysterious girl's determined search for her identity.
Recommended !

Aug 28, 7:49pm Top

97. King John by William Shakespeare.

"Be great in act, as you have been in thought."

Aug 29, 5:01am Top

>153 bryanoz:. What were your views of this play? It is one of Shakespeare's less well known plays, and seems to be performed only very rarely.

I own a battered copy of the Arden edition which I have been promising myself finally o read for ages, but still haven't got around to it yet.

Aug 29, 7:48am Top

James, I found King John to be a more subtle play than the better known histories such as Richard III or Henry V.
John is portrayed as a soft character whose right to be king is challenged, and his tendency to listen to others is seen to be weakness. I felt some empathy for King John and his efforts to do the job, and I think a careful reading/listening to any of Shakespeare's plays will illuminate aspects of our own characters and lives.
Look forward to your thoughts after reading the play.

Sep 2, 6:59pm Top

98. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch.

Humorous urban fantasy, first in a series, an ok read, not sure if I will read the others.

Sep 3, 6:33pm Top

99. The Beauties by Anton Chekhov.

Some of Chekhov's well known short stories, interesting snap shots of 19th century Russian life.

Sep 8, 10:10pm Top

100. Maybe by Morris Gleitzman.

Latest book in the Once series by Morris Gleitzman, after Once, Then, Now, After, and Soon.

Set in 1946 Poland, Felix is a boy who always sees the best of things and is caught in a difficult time and place.

The series begins with Once, 1943 Poland, and Felix is a Jewish boy who is trying to find his missing parents.
A highly recommended series as Gleitzman manages to balance humour with the awefulness of Felix's situation. A school I work at has Once and Then as class novels for year 6/7s (12-13 year olds) and though it is confronting, all the students are totally engaged with the story.

Sep 9, 3:02am Top

>158 bryanoz: Loved that series!

Sep 9, 7:42am Top

Cheers Tess !

101. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare.

"Why, then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open."

"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late."

"I think the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that's in me should set hell on fire."
(A rather corpulent Falstaff !!)

Sep 10, 4:51am Top

102. Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki.

Time to be rid of much clutter...

Sep 13, 6:34am Top

103. City of Saints & Madmen by Jeff Vandermeer.

This is a large, rambling collection of stories, reports, glossary, etc., all to do with the mysterious city of Ambergris. Lots of interest for me here with surprises, weirdness, humor, and intrigue.

Sep 13, 8:50pm Top

Congrats on reaching 100!!

Edited: Sep 14, 8:23am Top

Well done on reaching your century, with so much of the year still left, too.

Sep 14, 2:25am Top

Congratulations! Plenty of time for another 20.

Sep 14, 8:10pm Top

Thanks Jen, James, and Pam. Good luck with your reading !!

Sep 14, 8:13pm Top

104. Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser.

Heard that this was a humerous, possibly Pratchettesque series, didn't do much for me, no need to read the rest.

Sep 18, 7:14am Top

105. From Anxiety to Love by Corinne Zupko.

106. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir.

Enjoyed Tahir's first An Ember in the Ashes, this is the sequel. Somehow it didn't quite grab me like the first, not sure if I will read the next.

Sep 20, 8:07am Top

107. So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernieres.

De Bernieres' latest novel, and a sequel of The Dust That Falls From Dreams, his 2015 novel. The characters try to find some semblance of meaning to their lives after the Great War, written with De Bernieres' unerring ability to bring his characters to life.

Sep 20, 8:30am Top

108. The Bullet Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan.

Enjoyed this steampunk, alternative history fantasy with the fascinating and resourceful main character Elizabeth Barnabus. Just found out there are more novels in The Gas-Lit Empire series so will be buying them !

Sep 20, 8:47am Top

109. Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare takes an alternative look at the Trojan War in this tragedy.

"The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue !"

"But you are wise,
Or else you love not, for to be wise and love
Exceeds man's might ; that dwells with gods above."

Sep 22, 3:02am Top

110. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry.

Really enjoyed his Days Without End so tried this one.

"The mental hospital where psychiatrist Dr Grene works is about to shut down, and he sets about investigating the history of his patient Roseanne. She was committed there as a young woman and now - her records lost - is nearing her hundreth birthday. At the same time, Roseanne is looking back on the tragedies and passions of her life through a secret journal : her turbulent childhood in rural 1930s Ireland, and the subsequent marriage which she believed would finally bring her happiness."

This is a touching, troubling, but always engaging story that I recommend !

Sep 23, 6:49pm Top

>172 bryanoz: On my list it goes! Also, read so much Shakespeare in 2016-2017 and none this year---need to get back to you!

Sep 25, 7:48pm Top

Hi Tess, everyone in our book club liked The Secret Scripture so that's a good sign !

This is my year to read all of Shakespeare's works that I hadn't read so far, it has been enjoyable to come across plenty of quotes that are commonly used in our language. Plenty of interesting characters and humour as well.
About to begin All's Well That Ends Well, four plays and the sonnets to go after that !

Sep 28, 11:55am Top

>158 bryanoz: The Morris Gleitzman series sounds interesting.

>168 bryanoz: I wasn't really convinced by An Ember in the Ashes or A Torch Against the Night, but am still somewhat considering reading the third. It's interesting to have a less popular view of those kinds of YA hits, I find. Only now I see there's a fourth book planned as well, so I'll probably leave it.

Sep 28, 8:52pm Top

I liked Ember in the ashes but thought the second one had way too much cruelty and violence. I was sorry l read it and won’t be reading the others.

Sep 28, 10:53pm Top

Hi Meredith, the Once audiobook is narrated by the author, very good !

Nancy and Meredith, I'll probably give the next Tahir book a miss, there is so much great fantasy to read...happy reading !

Sep 30, 7:24am Top

111. Area X by Jeff VanderMeer.

This is the Southern reach trilogy Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance in one volume ; I read them in one volume so they count as a Big Fat Book !

Some decades ago a large area of the south eastern United States became cut off behind an almost impenetrable barrier. This is Area X, a mysterious place into which several expeditions are sent and either don't return, or are never the same again. Annihilation begins as the twelfth expedition, four women with various roles head in to Area X.

This is new weird fiction so anything can happen but it probably won't be what you expect !

Oct 9, 8:23pm Top

112. The Choke by Sofie Laguna.

A book club read, and a tough one. Justine is a ten tear old girl living in country Australia in the 1970s, with a very difficult and abusive life but she is determined to survive. Amidst the struggles and pain, the beauty of true friendship in the unlikeliest of places, and fighting for what you love shines through.

Oct 12, 6:28am Top

113. Space Opera by Cathrynne Valente.

This is a hilarious over the top romp as Hitchhiker's Guide meets Eurovision, great fun !

Oct 12, 6:43am Top

114. All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare.

"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."

"No legacy is so rich as honesty."

"A heaven on Earth I have won by wooing thee."

Oct 13, 8:50pm Top

115. Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton.

Peter Hamilton is well known for his sweeping scifi sagas, but this is a stand alone novel, although in true Hamilton form Great North Road is over 1000 pages.
Set in the 2100s, this is half detective story, half alien killing soldiers in a bizarre wilderness.
Long, often slow( bordering on tedious at times), but sill satisfying overall, an ok read.

Group: 100 books in 2018 challenge

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