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Soffitta1's 13 in 13 Challenge

2013 Category Challenge

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1soffitta1
Edited: Jan 5, 2013, 11:27am Top

I am looking forward to this already! I plan to just read what I want (or have) for the next month or so and then I will start my Challenge on the first of January.

General goals include:
reading from Mount TBR (maybe this is the challenge I will achieve this!)
I have added a ticker to encourage me to read from my TBR piles, I will keep track of the books I read from the first pageof each "pile" as they are on the screen - Bookcrossing TBR, Rattan TBR, Series TBR and 1001 Books TBR from before 2011.



1001 Books
reading series that I have had for a while.

2soffitta1
Edited: Dec 13, 2013, 3:22pm Top

1. 1001 Books COMPLETED



1. Dom Casmurro
2. Gravity's Rainbow
3. What a carve up!
4. They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
5. A Hero of our Time
6. The Corrections
7. Junky
8. Seize the Day
9. Freedom
10. The Marriage Plot
11. Timbuktu
12. She
13. Books do furnish a room

It's hard to pick between the cream of the crop! At the top of the year, Dom Casmurro was well-crafted, so full of saudade. I have enjoyed getting to know a new author Jonathan Franzen as well as revisiting an old favourite Jeffrey Eugenides.

3soffitta1
Edited: Aug 27, 2013, 2:01pm Top

2. Asian Books COMPLETED


1. The Girl Who Played Go
2. Touching Earth
3. In Custody
4. Plain Tales from the Hills
5. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
6. This Earth of Mankind
7. East of the Sun
8. Lizard
9. War Trash
10. Train Man
11. Divisadero
12. (Un)arranged Marriage)
13. A New World

A very strong category, I would say that my top books would have to be The Girl Who Played Go for its story and style, This Earth of Mankind for its setting and War Trash for presenting me with another side to Chinese history. As for the other end of the scale, I think it would be Touching Earth as it wasn't really my kind of book.

4soffitta1
Edited: Nov 30, 2013, 5:42pm Top

3. Series COMPLETED


As ever, I have a stack of series on my TBR pile.

Chocolat series
1. Peaches for Monsieur le Cure the third in the series

Stephanie Plum series
2. Finger Lickin' Fifteen

Thursday Next
4. The Woman Who Died A Lot

Discworld
5. The Fifth Elephant

Dr. Siri Paiboun series
3. Curse of the Pogo Stick Number 5
6. The Merry Misogynist Number 6

Forsyte Saga **1001 Book made up of three books
7. A Man of Property
8. In Chancery
9. To let

Gormengast books
10. Titus Alone
11. Titus Awakes

Kydd series
12. Tenacious

Asterix
13. Asterix and the Pechts

3 book for the 1001 challenge. This is a really mixed bag of books. I didn't read the series I expected, though I have read all the Kydd books I have (though they have been in different categories). I enjoyed The Forsyte Saga, but really I did like getting back in touch with some old favourites - from the world of Chocolat, Dr. Siri Paiboun, Thursday Next and Asterix. Let downs were Finger Lickin' Fifteen, poorly written and really not my cup of tea, and the third and fourth volumes of Gormenghast as they didn't stand up to the first two books.

5soffitta1
Edited: Sep 8, 2013, 3:35am Top

4. Film COMPLETED


1. Psycho
2. On the Black Hill **1001
3. The City of Joy
4. Jude the Obscure **1001
5. Nicholas Nickleby **1001
6. The Black Dahlia ** 1001 Book
7. Hard Times **1001 Book
8. Solaris **1001
9. The African Queen
10. PS, I love You
11. Strangers on a Train
12. Titus Groan **1001
13. Gormenghast **1001

Stand out favourites would have to be Psycho, Strangers on a train and The African Queen , long on my radar and all recommended. Disappointed by the Gormenghast series. Now I look back on the group, a very psychological mix!

8 1001 books read as well as a good number from TBR pile.

6soffitta1
Edited: Aug 26, 2013, 4:01pm Top

5. World Book Night COMPLETED



From the 2012 list:

1. Harlequin
2. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
3. Touching the Void

From the US list
4. I know why the caged bird sings **1001 Book
7. Fahrenheit 451

From the 2013 list:
5. Damage
6. The Secret Scripture
8. The Road Home
9. Last Night another soldier
10. Me before you
11. The Knife of Never Letting Go
12. The Dark Judges
13. Why be happy when you can be normal

Another enjoyable category - not so good for my TBR pile stacks, but good for pushing me to read outside my comfort zone.
I am grateful for being introduced to a new author Maggie O'Farrell, who is one I will definitely keep looking out for. Finally read a couple of classics that had been on my radar - I know why the caged bird sings and Fahrenheit 451 - both of which were thought-provoking for very different reasons. The Road Home was another book that I connected with, very topical, too. As for my final read, it was a pleasure to read more from Jeanette Winterson
The other end of the scale, I didn't really get on too well with The knife of letting go - to be fair I am not its target audience - and The Dark Judges is not my cup of tea.

1x 1001 Book

7soffitta1
Edited: Dec 13, 2013, 3:23pm Top

6. Crime, mystery and thriller COMPLETED



1. Murder in the Dark
2. The Calcutta Chromosome
3. Death Comes to Pemberley
4. The New York Trilogy **1001
5. Caleb Williams **1001
6. The Abduction of Sita
7. Blueeyedboy
8. The Eye of Jade
9. The Athenian Murders
10. A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
11. A Bali Conspiracy most foul
12. Little Face **World Book Night
13. The Chosen One

Just realised I had counted a book in two categories!

2 1001 books, some of my favourite authors (Amitav Ghosh and Margaret Atwood) and a new series discovered with Inspector Singh, I will definitely look out for more. Another strong category, I would say. Reading Death comes to Pemberley was great fun, revisiting and seeing another side to a very familiar world. The premise of The Athenian Murders was very clever, really page-turning, never quite sure where it was going. Last up, and so freshest in my mind was Little Face, very psychological, indeed I would say that would sum up most of these books.

8soffitta1
Edited: Oct 31, 2013, 4:31pm Top

7. History COMPLETED


Fiction
1. Knowledge of Angels
6. Mistress of my Fate
7. Now and Then
8. An Instance of the Fingerpost
9. Baltasar and Blimunda **1001 Book
10. The Sense of an Ending **1001 Book
12. Changeling
13. A Proper Education for Girls

Non-Fiction
2. The Speckled People
4. Facundo **1001 Book (or is it fiction!)
5. Female Chauvinist Pigs
11. My Private China **Early Reviewers Programme

Natural History
3. Quando os elefantes Choram

3 1001 books, an awful lot of new books - not part of the plan! Knowledge of Angels was a book that made me think, but I would say my top two were Baltasar and Blimunda - because I have wanted to read this for so long and I am a big Saramago fan - and The Sense of an Ending - which was just so well-written. Maybe because it is freshest, but a special mention has to go to A Proper Education for Girls. As for the non-fiction, Quando os elefantes choram was just so interesting.

9soffitta1
Edited: Dec 16, 2013, 3:09pm Top

8. Olympic Challenge COMPLETED


I am trying to read a book from every Olympic nation.

1. Hideous Kinky **1001, Morocco
2. The Snowman Norway
3. Summer in Baden Baden **1001, Belarus
4. Making the world legible - Cote d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovakia
5. Prisoner of Love Palestine
6. Right of Passage Senegal, the Maldives
7. So you want to live on an island Cayman Islands
8. The Granta Book of the African Short Story Guinea, Cameroon
9. The Last Will of Testament of Senhor da Silva Araujo Cape Verde
10. Solomon Time Solomon Islands
11. The Derk Isle Belgium
12. The Global Soul Picked this up at Manningtree station, while the book isn't set in a new country for me, there is a chapter on the Olympic Games.
13. Madiba Magic Various African folktales

A real mix of books in a category I was not sure I would finish. Last up was a great read, Madiba Magic, I love to read fairy tales and traditional stories, so was excited to see this in a charity shop. Strange that it should be now that I was reading it. I think I have found a kindred spirit in The Global Soul, I discovered another great writer in Leonid Tsypkin and revisited an old friend in The Derk Isle

**2 1001 books.

10soffitta1
Edited: Dec 18, 2013, 2:32pm Top

9. Rulers COMPLETED

I really enjoyed this book when I read it a couple of years ago, thought it would be fitting here.

1. First Lady
2. The Middle Kingdom
3. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana: An Illustrated Novel
4. Mary Queen of Scots 1
5. Mary Queen of Scots part 2
6. The Customs of the Kingdoms of India (Penguin Great Journeys)
7. Twenty Four Hours in the Life of a Woman: AND The Royal Game (The Royal Game is a 1001 book)
8. La Regenta **1001 Book, actually a graded reader version for students of Spanish.
9. The King's pleasure
10. Empire of Sand
11. Command
12. The Admiral's daughter
13. Wife to Charles II

2 1001 books
A rather mixed bag of books, I am interested in history so this category was easy to fill. I really liked Stefan Zweig's work. The other standout book would have to be The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana.

11soffitta1
Edited: Oct 18, 2013, 3:47pm Top

10. The Sea COMPLETED

books related to the sea, I have a stack of these on my shelves.

1. Monkfish Moon
2. The Sea **1001
3. Rivers of London
4. Waterland **1001
5. The Drowned World **1001 Book
10. The Shape of Water
11.The Summer Book **1001 Book
12. Three men in a boat

Kydd series by Julian Stockwin
6. Kydd
7. Artemis
8. Seaflower
9. Mutiny
13. Quarterdeck

4 from the 1001 list and I am happy to have read 5 from the Kydd series, a series I have had for 5 years! Top reads would have to be The Summer Book, Waterland and The Sea as the writing was just in a different league. Rivers of London and The Shape of Water were both entertaining first entries in new series for me, and I really did enjoy Jerome K Jerome's book - laugh out loud funny. I would have to say no duds.

12soffitta1
Edited: Dec 23, 2013, 11:31am Top

11. Road Trip COMPLETED



Inspired by one of Katrinat's categories in 2011 The idea is that each book comes from a country bordering the previous one, e.g. a book set in Spain followed by one set in Portugal.


Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

1. Sahara Begins and ends in Gibraltar, taking the reader around the Sahara:
Gibraltar - Morocco - Western Sahara - Mauritania - Senegal - Mali - Niger - Algeria - Libya - Tunisia - Algeria - Gibraltar
2. The Seamstress - Spain - Morocco - Spain - Portugal - Spain
3. Down and out in Paris and London France (and the U.K.)
4. Miss Garnet's Angel Italy
5. The Song of Achilles Greece
6. Birds without Wings Turkey
7. The Road to Oxiana (Italy - ) Cyprus - Israel - Syria - Iraq - Iran - Afghanistan - Pakistan (- India)
8. Animal's People India
9. 20 Fragments of a ravenous youth China
10. The Sorrow of War Vietnam
11. The King's Last Song Cambodia
12. The Story of Lon Thailand
13. Little Hut of leaping fishes Malaysia

No 1001 books, but a few that I have had for a while. I enjoyed The Seamstress, which is due to start on Spanish TV soon as well as Birds without Wings and The King's Last Song. The Sorrow of war was interesting as it told the other side of Vietnam, so rarely told.

13soffitta1
Edited: Sep 15, 2013, 4:36am Top

12. Women Writers COMPLETED


With a sub-category of Orange January / July


Read in January
1. The Mammoth Cheese
2. The Colour **1001 Book
3. Paradise
4. Beyond Black
5. Scottsboro

Read in July:
11. The Septembers in Shiraz

Non-Orange Prize books
6. Jazz **1001 Book
7. Minding Frankie
8. With a Delicate Air
9. The Hand that first held mine
10. The Opposite House
12. Lilian's Story
13. The Female Quixote October 1001 group readalong **1001

A real mix of books, from the lighter to the tough going. I really enjoyed The Colour, introducing me to a new author; but also being stretched by Scottsboro, Paradise and Lilian's story.
Disappointed with Beyond Black - more because of the subject matter, which did not grab me.
2 1001 Books.

14soffitta1
Edited: Nov 6, 2013, 2:43pm Top

13. Group Reads COMPLETED


A Dance to the Music of Time 1 volume per month, I have some volumes, but will have to find the others.

1. A Question of Upbringing January **1001
4. A Buyer's Market (arrived in April) February **1001
5. The Acceptance World (arrived in April) March **1001
7. Casanova's Chinese Restaurant May **1001
10. The Kindly ones **1001
11. The Valley of Bones *1001
12. The Soldier's Art *1001
13. The Military Philosophers *1001

Others read
2. A Maggot for Fowles February, **1001 Book
3. A Confederacy of Dunces March, **1001, readalong in the 1001 Group
6. 1Q84 1001 group readalong **1001 Book
8. Fathers and Sons **1001
9. The Bell Iris Murdoch year long readalong of her work, 1001 Book

OK so this was a bit of a sneaky way to get my 1001 book rate up, but really it helped me pick up some of those books that had been around for a while. I have really enjoyed A Dance to the Music of Time - I would say it is a bit like a slow burner, not in terms of pace, but that it gathers momentum as you get to know the narrator and the other characters. Cracking open the next book is like getting together with a group of old friends and catching up. Powell's given us an intimate glimpse at life at the time, the names behind the statistics.
As for the others, I really enjoyed the style of A Maggot and 1Q84, though the latter ran out of steam a bit by the end. I think I would have to say that The Bell was one that will stay with me, from a great writer.

15soffitta1
Oct 25, 2012, 9:33am Top

and a just in case space

16DeltaQueen50
Oct 25, 2012, 2:09pm Top

Hi Soffitta, here's hoping you get a lot of TBR's read off the shelves! Your categories look great, the Road Trip looks like fun, and I'll be following along as usual.

17PawsforThought
Oct 25, 2012, 2:12pm Top

Hi and welcome! Looking forward to reading more about your categories and the books you pick. Especially "The Sea" as I'm right in the middle of a category like that myself at the moment.

18-Eva-
Oct 25, 2012, 4:49pm Top

Lots of great categories - I'm sensing upcoming book bullets!! I've seen somebody over in the Reading Globally-group who is reading by neighboring countries and I sometimes get a reminder that I need to brush up on my geography when he lists two countries back to back and I had no idea they were neighbors... I really should be doing a proper Read-Around-The-World myself, if only to learn the world map once and for all! :)

19PawsforThought
Oct 25, 2012, 5:04pm Top

I wish I had had LT when I was in high school. I was (an am) a real geography nerd and could rattle off every country in the world, the capitols and major geographical features (rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.) I would have been over the moon about an idea like reading around the world - neighbouring country to neighbouring country.

20lkernagh
Oct 25, 2012, 11:12pm Top

Hi Soffitta, great to see you back for another of category reading in 2013! The road trip category intrigues me enough I may attempt some form of it for next year.... not like I am already planning for 2014 or anything like that ..... ;-)

21soffitta1
Oct 26, 2012, 7:41am Top

Thanks for the welcomes!

I like the road trip category, it is very satisfying to get books to slot together, and helps you get to know a region. As it is 13 books, I am not sure where I'll start - maybe go from Africa into Asia? LT really helps with tags, that's how I checked my books' locations last time, it also reminds you of the great books you already have TBR.

re 20 - Oh you know that you are! Aren't we all?!

22mamzel
Oct 26, 2012, 12:00pm Top

Glad to see a category dedicated to World Book Night. That's a great way to pay tribute to the authors who participate.

23soffitta1
Oct 26, 2012, 12:54pm Top

I have had this category for the last two challenges - it is such a great event. I gave books out in 2011, but I wasn't in the U.K. for this year's event. I have also got to know new authors and picked up books I would never have read and really enjoyed them. An example is Let the right one in. I have 3 left from this year to find and read, so might expand this to the American list, though it might be harder to get some of the titles.

24katrinasreads
Nov 12, 2012, 9:23am Top

Good to see a familiar face on here, I hope to actually get somewhere with my list this time!

25soffitta1
Nov 14, 2012, 12:48pm Top

Nice to see you back! I'm sure I'll be reading books you've passed on to me or recommended. Good luck with your list, I imagine it will have a stack of 1001 books on it, like mine.

26katrinasreads
Nov 14, 2012, 5:15pm Top

Yeah as many 1001 books as I can fit in!

27wonderlake
Dec 10, 2012, 6:58am Top

I never knew that other countries did World Book Night! (I'm in the UK) I find it really interesting that different countries have different lists, and have also found that it gets me to read books that I might never have considered - this year I read How I Live Now which I enjoyed ... and I also got a copy of The Damned Utd which I didn't finish LOL

28PawsforThought
Dec 10, 2012, 12:24pm Top

I love the idea of World Book Night but haven't been able to take part in it as I always seem to either be working, travelling or lying sick in bed when that day comes along.

29soffitta1
Dec 30, 2012, 2:07pm Top

I also enjoyed How I Live Now, The Damned Utd wasn't really my cup of tea, but entertained me on holiday. It is a great idea, I have the new list so am already sourcing books!

I am getting ready for 1st January, first book up will be Harlequin, on the 2012 WBN list.

30cammykitty
Dec 31, 2012, 9:44pm Top

It looks good. I love the Road Trip category. I've been picking a region each year, but obviously it's going to take me years to cross from North America to South America!!! A road trip sounds tempting.

31soffitta1
Jan 2, 2013, 5:17pm Top

I think that category will have to wait a while, I am posting some books to Spain, but I don't think I will be able to sort out a route until the summer.

I have read my first 2 books:

1. Harlequin
A World Book Night 2012, the first in the series by Bernard Cornwell (the writer of Sharpe). This time the action takes place in the 1300s, with England still divided between the Norman elite and the English speakers. It is also at the start of the 100 Year War between England and France, Cornwell really takes the reader back to that time through the detail and the vivid battle scenes. The main character is Thomas, the son of a Norman priest murdered by French raiders. He is a gifted archer and is on the path of revenge. If you want a gung-ho tale filled with battles, close calls and tales of honour, then this is the book for you. I will steal the rest of the series from my Dad at some point.

2. Dom Casmurro
A 1001 book from the Brazilian writer. The titular narrator tells his life story, from the conflict between being in love and fulfilling his mother's promise that he would be a priest. The narrator interrupts the text to give the reader asides, even to advise certain readers not to continue or to comment on how he will improve the text for the next edition. For me, this added to the charm of the book, which captures a long-gone time in Brazil as well as the feeling of "saudade". Worthy of its place on the 1001 list.

32soffitta1
Jan 3, 2013, 1:37pm Top

3. Monkfish Moon
A set of short stories by a Sri Lankan writer, with each story giving you a different insight into life there. I have read 2 books by Romesh Gunesekera, and even in these short stories you can see the attention to detail in the characters. I enjoyed the stories and look forward to reading more of his work.

33soffitta1
Jan 3, 2013, 5:17pm Top

4. First Lady
A wronged politician's wife decides not to kick out her cheating husband, rather she channels her thirst for revenge into political ambition. Her goal is to turn her outside chance of a husband into the leader of the opposition and then to get him into number 10. Entertaining look into the underbelly of British politics - which seems to be driven more by the spouses than the politicians themselves.

First book off the first page of Bookcrossing TBR pile!

34christina_reads
Jan 3, 2013, 5:29pm Top

@ 33 -- Sounds very Macbeth-ian.

35lkernagh
Jan 4, 2013, 11:32pm Top

I need another series to try and read like I need a hole in the head but I have to say Harlequin (aka The Archer's Tale) is probably worth adding to my reading list, especially as I haven't read much of that time period and I do like Cornwell's Sharpe series.

36soffitta1
Jan 5, 2013, 11:19am Top

Re 34 - Macbeth-ian is the perfect description!

Re 35 - Like you, I haven't read much from that time period, but as in the Sharpe series, there is enough background info to keep the reader filled in. I also have Stormchild on my TBR pile, another of his books.

5. Knowledge of Angels
Another long-term TBR, set on a fictional island (similar to Mallorca) in the time of the Inquisition. The quiet life of the islanders is upset by two people, the first is a wolf-child and the second is a man who fell from a boat. Both of these people provoke religious discussion, is a child born with a knowledge of God? Is there a God? I thought the book was well written, and the arguments brought up by the author are thought-provoking.

6. Psycho
I had already seen the film, but that did not spoil the book, which is told from different points of view. This adds to the tension of the book, as the author slowly reveals what has happened.

37soffitta1
Jan 6, 2013, 11:18am Top

7. On the Black Hill
A 1001 book I've had since 2011. I have read In Patagonia and was curious to see how his fiction holds up to his travel books. Set on a farm in the Welsh countryside, the book follows the life of twins Benjamin and Lewis from their parents meeting each other to their death. A very Spartan life at times, Chatwin shows how the world around them is changing, even if the twins' father is resisting it.

8. Murder in the Dark
A set of short stories and prose poems from one of my favourite authors. Good for dipping in to.

38soffitta1
Jan 8, 2013, 4:03pm Top

9. Sahara
I thought it was fitting to start my Road Trip category with a road trip book. I am a big Michael Palin fan, and this book doesn't disappoint. Written ten years ago, the territory the book covers has changed in manny ways - not least Libya - indeed the original journey took place in the time just before and after 9/11. Palin balances information with human interaction, which makes the book very readable, which is a good thing when your plane is stuck on the tarmac for two hours because of fog in Madrid.

39clfisha
Jan 8, 2013, 4:19pm Top

2hrs! Yikes.

40virginiahomeschooler
Jan 8, 2013, 4:33pm Top

I've just discovered this thread, and I'm very intrigued by your categories. I especially like the Road Trip idea.

41soffitta1
Edited: Jan 9, 2013, 5:29am Top

At least it was an early flight, so we all just slept!

As I said above, the Road Trip was an idea I lifted from Katrinat, it is fun trying to slot in books and I'm never quite sure where I'll end up!

10. The Girl Who Played Go
I really liked this, the narrative is split between a Japanese officer and a Chinese school girl in Manchuria. Through the narrative, Shan Sa shows us life at the time, a period of great uncertainty as the Japanese-supported state of Manchuria becomes the start of war between Japan and China.

From 1st page of Rattan TBR pile.

42thornton37814
Jan 10, 2013, 7:00pm Top

10 books already! Wow!

43soffitta1
Jan 11, 2013, 4:43am Top

Now I am back at work (I'm a teacher), the numbers will start to slow down!

44soffitta1
Jan 12, 2013, 4:24am Top

11. Hard Times
From page one of my Bookcrossing TBR pile. (3)

45katrinasreads
Jan 13, 2013, 5:34am Top

Hard Times is a big old book to tick off of the shelf.

46soffitta1
Jan 13, 2013, 8:47am Top

Not too bad actually, a couple of hundred pages. Not too many annoying or unnecessary characters, I do have Nicholas Nickleby on standby - a tome of a book!

47PawsforThought
Edited: Jan 13, 2013, 9:24am Top

46. I loved Nicholas Nickleby. It's absolutely hilarious at times and really brutal in others (and often both in combination). It's one of my favourite Dickens novels.

48soffitta1
Edited: Jan 13, 2013, 11:47am Top

Good to hear a good report, I have struggled with some of his books (Bleak House and David Copperfield), the biggest problem being that you can tell they were originally written in episodes.

12. The Calcutta Chromosome
I am a huge fan of Ghosh, and this did not disappoint, though it is rather out there in comparison to the other books of his that I have read. The book is based around the mystery that connects a missing co-worker and an almost too convenient step forward in research into Malaria at the end of the 19th Century. The narrative moves between different players, driving the plot, but also drip-feeding the reader with information. I enjoyed the book, as ever Ghosh gives us well-drawn characters and I did invest in the mystery.

From 1st page of my Bookcrossing TBR pile (4)

49soffitta1
Jan 16, 2013, 5:25am Top

13. The Mammoth Cheese
My first Orange Prize book for the month - from 2005's shortlist.

Review to come.

50bookwormjules
Jan 16, 2013, 6:06am Top

Just found your thread - you have some great categories here, and some similar to my own, so I'll have to keep an eye out for some books to add to the TBR list. Good luck.

51soffitta1
Jan 16, 2013, 5:13pm Top

Thanks! Always happy to help people add to their TBR pile!!

52lkernagh
Jan 17, 2013, 8:35pm Top

Adding The Calcutta Chromosome to my reading list and I am looking forward to seeing your review for The Mammoth Cheese. I thought Holman did a good job with her book The Dress Lodger, but The Mammoth Cheese seems to be completely off my radar screen until now.

53soffitta1
Jan 18, 2013, 3:41am Top

13 - The Mammoth Cheese mini review

I enjoyed it, it looked like it would be light reading, but actually there is a lot going on. It is a small town that is struggling a bit with the modern world. There is a woman pregnant with 11 babies after fertility treatment and the media are all over the town. There is also a women with a small dairy farm worrying that she will lose her farm due to debts. She hopes that the presidential candidate she's campaigning for will be kind to small farmers.

I suppose the book is about family issues, growing up, politicians, relationships and life in a small town. I would recommend it.

14. The Colour
Tremain takes us to New Zealand, far from Norfolk, where the main characters are from. Joseph has a dark secret, one that has forced him to leave his native East Anglia for the other side of the road. He buys land and builds a house on it for his mother, Lillian, and his wife, Harriet. His mother struggles to adapt to life in a house with few home comforts, and as winter sets in, the three will be sorely tested. Harriet has walked into marriage with her eyes open, wanting to escape her life as a governess, she yearns for something new, but is frustrated by her husband's lack of openness. When Joseph finds gold in the creek near the house, he becomes infused with gold fever, adding yet more pressure on the recently arrived immigrants.

I really got drawn in by this book, the writing is very good, the scene is well set and I liked the shift in focus between sections.

54bookwormjules
Jan 18, 2013, 6:00am Top

I read The Colour - but I didn't like it at all.

55lkernagh
Jan 18, 2013, 11:20pm Top

Great - Thanks!

56soffitta1
Jan 19, 2013, 12:34pm Top

re bookwormjules - can I ask why? Sometimes I am in the right place and time for a book and I just really get gripped by it. At the moment I am reading Paradise and I am enjoying it much more than Beloved, which I was really disappointed by.

57soffitta1
Jan 20, 2013, 8:05am Top

15. Paradise
My third Orange Prize book, this one was on the short-list. I need to have a think about my review, I did like the book, but there was a lot going on in it that I need to process.

58soffitta1
Jan 20, 2013, 1:26pm Top

15. Paradise

3rd Orange Prize book (on short list) thoughts to come.

59bookwormjules
Jan 22, 2013, 5:54am Top

From the writing style, to the story it's self and some of the authors disgusting descriptions one of the one characters likes - it wasn't for me.

60soffitta1
Jan 23, 2013, 5:31am Top

Writing style is very important, it really affects your reading of the text. I've just had a strange experience with Beyond Black, I liked the writing style, indeed it was all that kept me going as the subject matter didn't do it for me. For a book to be great, for me, I need a good balance of a writing style I like, characters I like (or hate with glee!) and a good plot.

16. Beyond Black

4th Orange Prize Book (short list)

61TinaV95
Jan 23, 2013, 7:25pm Top

Beyond Black is in my TBR stack. I've heard lots of negative and mixed reviews on it...

62soffitta1
Jan 24, 2013, 5:51am Top

I think it's the topic, as I said above I liked the writing styles she used, the characters, but I'm not interested in spirits. To be honest, I had had it for a long time, it came in a pack of 10 books, and I only read it as I keep thinking of getting Wolf Hall and the added push of it being an Orange shortlisted book.

63soffitta1
Jan 25, 2013, 2:56pm Top

17. Scottsboro
Based on the true story of 9 black men sentenced to death because on the false testimony of two white women. The book is told through the eyes of a female reporter who gets close to those involved in the trial as well as through those of one of the women, Ruby. Well-written, Feldman gets into the heart of the case, following it from the day of the fateful train ride to 40 years later. Highly recommended.

5th Orange Prize Book (shortlist)

64soffitta1
Jan 26, 2013, 6:18am Top

18. A Question of Upbringing

Book 1 in Dance to the Music of Time (12 books, but I will be counting each volume as I read it as they were published separately).

This, the first book, covers the last years at public school, a summer spent in France before heading to university. I read volume 4 a few years ago, so I knew I'd like the writing style - observational and witty. The book covers a period of time when people change so much, friendships that are so important at school start to dissolve as those involve diverge on their different paths in life. I intend to read more parts this year.

65soffitta1
Edited: Jan 27, 2013, 2:43pm Top

19. Touching Earth
A book of two very different halves, the first introduces the players, as the chapters tell us, and the second shows us their spiralling drug use. I had already read The Rice Mother, and this book is a completely different book, so much so that the writer herself warns prospective readers of this at the beginning of the book.
The first part is a much lighter read, telling us how the characters get to know each other, one character at a time. They are an eclectic mix - Balinese twins, a tortured Irish girl, a hairdresser, an Italian housewife all caught up in the web of a beautiful blonde spider, Ricky Delgado. The second part is much more frenetic, the narrators chop and change quickly as they get more and more hooked on cocaine.

This is not for the faint-hearted, not a book I would have picked up if I had properly read the synopsis, but I am glad that I read it.

From page 1 of Rattan TBR pile.

66soffitta1
Jan 27, 2013, 2:32pm Top

20. Death comes to Pemberley
It has been wet and miserable most of the day, so couldn't resist curling up with my alpaca wool shawl and some Austen-inspired fiction.

The premise is that Lydia arrives at Pemberley some 6 years after Elizabeth's marriage to Darcy shouting that her husband is dead. For fans of Pride and Prejudice, it is clear thatP.D. James is one too, she weaves in elements of the original book to give the background the same texture, there are also many of the same characters, though the focus is on Elizabeth and Darcy. Understandably from a writer of James' literary background, there is a lot of detail in the narration of the criminal case - the inquest and trial especially - this gives different slant to the sequel.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, it did not fall down where other sequels have by messing with Elizabeth and Darcy's relationships, something that fans will never forgive! It did entertain me, and I did enjoy seeing how the James would tie the narrative up.

67lkernagh
Jan 27, 2013, 8:20pm Top

Seriously, I am reading P&P right now and was wondering if there were any other books out there with some of the P&P characters and look what I find on your thread... ;-)

I have seen some negative reviews for Death comes to Pemberley but as one that has never read any of PD James' works, I think this one is worth taking a closer look at.

68soffitta1
Jan 28, 2013, 4:30am Top

I imagine the negative reviews are for the change in tone, the book is not the love story that is Pride and Prejudice, rather there is a lot more of a crime book in it. I saw a review that commented on the language, and I would agree that, at times, the book is more modern than the original text.

69mamzel
Jan 28, 2013, 12:39pm Top

Lori, I wouldn't guess that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies would be what you're looking for, is it?

70soffitta1
Jan 28, 2013, 4:32pm Top

I thought that was funny - I got it at a book exchange while travelling. I would never have bought it, but it did make me giggle out loud (making people give me strange looks!), the scene with Catherine and Elizabeth fighting to the death is a highlight! If P&P is your favourite book, and it is somehow sacred for you, then you would hate it.

71lkernagh
Jan 28, 2013, 7:47pm Top

> 69 - No, you are correct, P&P with zombies wasn't quite what I was looking for in my hunt for more books with characters from P&P....;-)

72soffitta1
Jan 29, 2013, 5:42am Top

I read two books by Emma Tennant, and I found Pemberley OK (though looking back I may have been generous with 3 stars), but An Unequal Marriage just annoyed me. I did like the first two books in Pamela Aidan's A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series much better. The friend who lent me the books didn't like the second book which gives a big nod to Northanger Abbey, and she didn't like the gothic overtones.

73soffitta1
Jan 30, 2013, 4:01pm Top

21. The Middle Kingdom
I have had this for too long! I bought it after reading two of her other books, this one goes between China and the U.S.

Thoughts to come.

From page 1 of Rattan

74soffitta1
Edited: Feb 3, 2013, 4:12pm Top

JAN ROUND-UP

1001 books
5 read in January, on target for the year so far.

from TBR piles
6 read in January, I'm happy with that.

Best
So hard to choose, I'd rather split the awards into the following:
The Best New Author - Rose Tremain, I have another of her books ready to read for the challenge.
The Best Why Did I Wait So Long - a tie between The Girl who Played Go and The Middle Kingdom, two very different books connected to each other by location, both had good story telling and characters.
The Best 1001 is not being awarded as I enjoyed all of them (including the Dickens!

Worst
Beyond Black just not my cup of tea at all.

75soffitta1
Feb 3, 2013, 4:00pm Top

22. Gravity's Rainbow
What a crazy book!

From page 1 of Bookcrossing TBR. (7)

76katrinasreads
Feb 4, 2013, 8:44am Top

I keep meaning to retry this book, I just couldn't get into it. Maybe later in the year I will.

77bookwormjules
Feb 5, 2013, 6:16am Top

Looks like you had a good January hopefully February is a good month too.

78soffitta1
Feb 7, 2013, 10:07am Top

re 76. As I said, really crazy! I can send it back to you, if you´d like to try again.

re 77 - looking good so far, and a long weekend starting tomorrow!

23. `What a Carve Up!
Great, really enjoyed this strange history of a British family.

79katrinasreads
Feb 9, 2013, 5:09pm Top

I have another copy of it so will try again at some point, thanks

80soffitta1
Feb 11, 2013, 4:01am Top

No probs, hope yours has notes! There is a lot of German thrown in (although if you just looked up some rocket vocab, you'd be sorted).

24. Long weekend reading:
City of Joy
page 1 of Bookcrossing (8)

25. The Sea

26. In Custody
page 1 of Bookcrossing (9)

27. Hideous Kinky

I have bought myself Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure for the journey home. Perfect to lose myself in.

81soffitta1
Edited: Feb 27, 2013, 2:46am Top

28. Peaches for Monsieur le Cure

29. Plain Tales of the Hills
I've been reading this in short bursts over the last few weeks.
(page 1 of Bookcrossing (10)

Today is Carnival, I have to get myself organised before heading over to the academy for the party we put on for the primary school kids. This year I am going as Kung Fu Panda!

82lkernagh
Feb 12, 2013, 11:39am Top

Kung Fu Panda sounds like a fun costume for the party for the kids!

83soffitta1
Feb 13, 2013, 5:31pm Top

Very easy costume - I saw a panda hat with paws coming off the ends of the scarf in Claire's Accessories and the rest was in my wardrobe. They got it immediately, which was nice.

30. The Vanishing of Esme Lennox
Thought this was great! Didn't want to put it down.

I will be filling in mini reviews over the weekend, but I should really be getting to bed as I have to get up early for class tomorrow.

84cammykitty
Feb 13, 2013, 10:54pm Top

Carnival!!! I hope you had a blast.

85soffitta1
Feb 14, 2013, 1:37am Top

I did, the party for our younger students was fun, though in Brussels I saw no evidence of Carnival. I did have fun reading / watching films in English / eating Belgian fries / waffles / chocolate!

31. They shoot horses, don't they?
Hmmm got stuck right in, which meant I had a late night finishing it. A short book, but a lot in there.

86cammykitty
Feb 14, 2013, 3:26am Top

Yummy! & They Shoot Horses, don't they? goes on the WL. I just checked the book page, and the first review listed goes on about Camus and existentialism. ???

87RidgewayGirl
Feb 14, 2013, 10:04am Top

I'm looking forward to seeing what you thought about the O'Farrell book. I loved After You'd Gone so much that I've been reluctant to read anymore by her. Does that make sense?

88cammykitty
Feb 15, 2013, 11:21pm Top

@87 That does make sense. I was into a series that I knew the author was getting permission to write the next book one book at a time. I read the third one against my better judgement and refused to read the 4th because I knew she was going to screw up the characters I loved so much.

89soffitta1
Edited: Feb 16, 2013, 5:32am Top

Re 87 - absolutely! I really enjoyed the book, and a colleague has just given me another of hers to read and I am going to leave it for a while, as I don't want to be disappointed. I couldn't put The Vanishing of Esme Lennox down, there was so much about it that just clicked with me - the narrative from different points of view, a slow revelation of what had really happened and the characters.

re 88 - There is nothing worse than a second book tarnishing the memory of the first. I have just read the third in the Chocolat series, and I am glad I had had a gap between reading this and the first two. I reread Chocolat before reading The Lollipop Shoes, and felt that it wasn't up to the first book, reading it pretty much straight after, but I thought the last book was up to the form of the first, or maybe I didn't let the other books colour my reading as much as I did before.

90soffitta1
Feb 18, 2013, 5:43am Top

32. Jude the Obscure

33. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

thoughts to com, I ended up being busier on Sunday than I expected.

91soffitta1
Feb 22, 2013, 8:02am Top

34. A Maggot

Finished A Maggot this morning (actually this afternoon according to English, but here in Spain 1p.m. is still morning!) . The book is very much in a similar style to A French Lieutenant's Woman, with the writer giving us detailed background information and the social context of the book, as well as adding his two pence. With each section, the rug is pulled out from under your feet, with new testimonies contradicting what you had previously been told. I found it interesting, it was easier to read than The Magus as there were clear divisions, but I would recommend setting aside chunks of time to get into it.

92soffitta1
Feb 24, 2013, 4:32am Top

35. Strangers on a Train
I remember seeing the film years ago, and as I saw Hitchcock a couple of weeks ago, I thought it was good timing.

2 men meet on a train, both with impediments in their life. For Guy, it is his wife, estranged for years, she finally wants a divorce as she is pregnant by another man, for Bruno, it is his father who is holding the purse strings and his mother back. Bruno has obsessed about killing his father for a long time, but knowing he would be the prime suspect, makes Guy a proposal: to swap murders. Guy thinks that it is the drink talking, but Bruno has already snared him in a trap he cannot escape from. Tense, psychological and a good read.

93soffitta1
Feb 24, 2013, 2:04pm Top

36. Touching the Void
The true story of Joe and Simon and their climbing expedition in the Andes. On their descent, Joe falls and Simon is left with the awful dilemma of cutting the rope or not. Well-written, mainly from the point of view of Joe, though there are a few episodes seen through Simon's eyes.
Fittingly read in sub zero Avila, it's even snowing here!

94RidgewayGirl
Feb 24, 2013, 2:11pm Top

Touching the Void is good, isn't it? The movie is also worth seeing, if only to see the places described.

95soffitta1
Feb 24, 2013, 2:26pm Top

I'm really curious to see the film, I thought Joe Simpson's narration was gripping, and very fair. I've heard good things about the director, and it's great that it was a documentary.

96RidgewayGirl
Feb 24, 2013, 2:45pm Top

I'm amazed at the will to survive. I'd be laying down to wait for death under much easier conditions than Simpson endured. I like that they remained friends, despite the criticism lobbed at Yates afterwards. This is an entirely different situation than when climbers pass dying people because saving them would jeopardize their chances of making the summit.

97soffitta1
Feb 26, 2013, 4:11pm Top

I would too, how did he get that extra strength - just enough to make it to the campsite?

37. A Hero of our time
too sleepy to write a report, but it is a shame that this author died so young with such promise.

98soffitta1
Edited: Feb 27, 2013, 2:54am Top

38. The Pillow Book
I have been dipping into this over the month, this is a series of anecdotes, musings and diary entries written in the 10th Century at court in Japan. I found it fascinating, though you can only read small chunks at a time because it is useful to read the extensive end-notes. Everything is here, from petty jealousies to the perfect man, poetic exchanges to seasonal customs and masses on the clothing and how you should dress. This is a real gem, not only a glimpse into a world long gone, but also into the thoughts and musings of a woman of the time.

from Page 1 of Bookcrossing (11)

99psutto
Feb 27, 2013, 4:55am Top

glad you enjoyed that, its on my challenge this year

100clfisha
Feb 27, 2013, 3:46pm Top

Oh I thought The Pillow Book was wonderful. You are right though, one to dip into.

101bookwormjules
Feb 28, 2013, 6:18am Top

A Maggot may be worh a look into, and odd title for a book. But, I'm willing to give Fowles another try.

102soffitta1
Mar 1, 2013, 10:52am Top

I have had a dipping-into-book for the last two months, and enjoyed it, so I think I'll continue with that this month with Mary Queen of Scots.

re 101 - It is an odd title, but becomes clear at the end, as I said though, give yourself a real chance to get stuck in.

103soffitta1
Edited: Mar 2, 2013, 12:48pm Top

FEB ROUND-UP

I had a really good month of reading, no duffers and a variety of books read.

1001 books
8 read in February, so setting myself up nicely to reach my target of 52 this year.

from TBR piles
5 read in February, good progress, though I will find I'll be making little difference to Mount TBR stats as I start to run out of my own books in Spain.

Best
The Best New Author - Maggie O'Farrell: I read The Vanishing of Esme Lennox and really liked the style, luckily a colleague had another of hers on her shelves at home.
The Best Why Did I Wait - The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana - such an unusual book, and what book lover doesn't love books about books!
The Best Dipping into book - The Pillow Book - a pleasure to read.
The Best 1001 - I really liked What a carve up!, just didn't want to put it down, I also would highly recommend They shoot horses, don't they?, good terse writing, but also because of the links with The Jungle, which I read recently.

104soffitta1
Mar 1, 2013, 10:57am Top

39. This Earth of Mankind
First in the Buru Quartet. I really liked this, great writing as well as bringing up many issues brought about because of colonialism. Need to get my hands on the next volume - they have it in Spanish in the library.

105soffitta1
Mar 2, 2013, 9:27am Top

40. The Snowman
Number 7 in the Harry Hole series, this is the only one I've read though, and that wasn't a problem. When another mother goes missing, Hole starts to see the links between other unsolved disappearances.
It was page-turning enough, though I had worked out a couple of the key plot twists fairly early on.

106bookwormjules
Mar 6, 2013, 6:04am Top

Looks like you had a good February! Hope March is a good reading month for you too.

107soffitta1
Edited: Mar 14, 2013, 5:59pm Top

Thanks!

41. New York Trilogy

42. A Confederacy of Dunces

From pre-2011 1001 TBR pile (12)
43. East of the Sun

108katrinasreads
Mar 14, 2013, 8:27am Top

I can do Easter for Jazz if you have the time, I have 2 weeks off of school then so plenty of time to read it.

109soffitta1
Mar 14, 2013, 5:46pm Top

That sounds cool, I can't wait for the holidays, students are getting restless! Just need to get through a stack of reports first.

110cammykitty
Mar 14, 2013, 10:28pm Top

I remember hearing about The Pillow Book when I was in college. It does sound fascinating, but definitely a bit at a time sort of book. I'm sure it's super gossipy. ;)

111katrinasreads
Mar 15, 2013, 3:19pm Top

I can't wa.it for the holidays as I'm getting restless! Excellent

112soffitta1
Mar 17, 2013, 4:02pm Top

re 110 - it is very gossipy, a bit bitchy at times, perfect bedtime reading!

re 111 - just 2 and a half more classes of reports and then I can start planning fun end of term lessons.

113soffitta1
Edited: Apr 6, 2013, 4:04am Top

44. I know why the caged bird sings

45. The Corrections
Loved it!!

From Page 1 of BX TBR (13)

114RidgewayGirl
Mar 18, 2013, 9:08pm Top

Even the scene involving Chip and the chaise longue?

115soffitta1
Mar 19, 2013, 6:36am Top

Hmm - no there were some bits I'd like to scrub from my imagination! But, I liked the style and the way it all hung together.

116soffitta1
Mar 23, 2013, 5:45am Top

46. Rivers of London
1st in a series, a young policeman who finds out about a magical world living along side the London he already knows.
Entertaining, I think I'll look out more in the series.

47. Mary Queen of Scots Part 1
Taking us from the birth of Mary to Lochleven Castle. Well-written, lots of facts, but never dry.

48. Damage
A train wreck from page 1. A dangerous mix of lust, manipulation and forbidden fruit.

In the final rush before Easter, so I hope I'll get time later to come back and put more thoughts.

117AHS-Wolfy
Mar 23, 2013, 9:22am Top

Glad you enjoyed Rivers of London. I've read the three books in the series so far and think it's going along nicely.

118soffitta1
Mar 23, 2013, 3:35pm Top

A friend gave it to me, with a hearty recommendation, and I'm glad as I'm not sure I would have picked it up in a bookshop.

119soffitta1
Mar 24, 2013, 4:11am Top

49. The Secret Scripture
Rather similar to The Vanishing of Esme Lennox in subject matter, but different book in style. I enjoyed it a lot, if you can enjoy a book about a woman who was put in a mental asylum despite not being mad.

120soffitta1
Mar 28, 2013, 5:37am Top

50. The Seamstress
Given to me by a friend, I couldn't resist reading it before my TBR pile. Starting in the turbulent final days of the Republic, before the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, this is the story of Siri. Living in Madrid with her mother, working with her for Donha Manuela, Siri is another hard-working, young seamstress. She's engaged to be married to a good man, but her world is turned upside down by a handsome stranger, changing the track of her life and leading her to Morocco.

Entertaining, enough twists and turns to keep you reading, perfect for snatched moments at a busy end of term.

121soffitta1
Mar 29, 2013, 5:27am Top

51. Finger Lickin' Fifteen
Picked it up at a hostel as it looked fun, which was I wanted after a busy end of term. Can't say I'll be looking for more in the series, as it is not really my kind of mystery.

123soffitta1
Edited: Apr 6, 2013, 4:04am Top

54. Lizard
A collection of short stories, I really like this author, I've now read 2 books and want to find more.

From Page 1 of BX TBR (14)

124katrinasreads
Apr 2, 2013, 11:56am Top

#54 I love Banana Yoshimoto, a great writer

125soffitta1
Apr 6, 2013, 4:06am Top

55. Seize the Day

My first Bellow

126soffitta1
Apr 6, 2013, 9:15am Top

PS finally started Jazz

127RidgewayGirl
Apr 6, 2013, 9:38am Top

I'll be very interested in what you think of the Bellow. I've been told to read him.

128katrinasreads
Apr 7, 2013, 2:12pm Top

#126 Me and reading are not getting on so well at the moment, I hope you enjoy it sorry I'm not reading along at the moment. I'm going to try IQ84 as everyone keeps saying it's a book you just can't put down and hope my reading mojo returns.

129soffitta1
Apr 8, 2013, 5:42pm Top

I have just ordered 1Q84 - it's this month's readalong with the 1001 group. I am reading very slowly as I have my sister and her wee ones staying with me. I have just got 2 packets of 1001 books though, so better get a move on!

130katrinasreads
Apr 9, 2013, 6:05am Top

I'm reading it as part of the read-a-long too. Starts really well so hopefully it'll keep me hooked.

131soffitta1
Apr 13, 2013, 6:27pm Top

re Saul Bellow
I liked the style, following a character closely over a short period of time, getting inside their head to see their thinking. I'd definitely look for more of his work, as a reader you can be more objective than the characters.

56. A Buyer's Market
More anecdotes from the writer.

132soffitta1
Apr 14, 2013, 12:36pm Top

57. Jazz
Read in a rather disjointed way over a busy Easter period, but think that this might be my favourite Toni Morrison yet!

134soffitta1
Apr 18, 2013, 10:03am Top

135soffitta1
Apr 19, 2013, 1:23pm Top

60. Fahrenheit 451
Finished my last book at work, and grabbed another off the shelf. As I am also reading 1Q84, this seemed appropriate.
Recommended.

136LittleTaiko
Apr 19, 2013, 9:40pm Top

What did you think ofFarenheit 451? I just finished it a few days ago and really enjoyed it.

137soffitta1
Apr 20, 2013, 4:22am Top

I was gripped from page 1, I can't believe it took me so long to get round to it. It is one of the best books I have read so far this year - well-written, strong characters and plenty to think about.

138soffitta1
Apr 21, 2013, 1:30pm Top

61. 1Q84
I can't believe that such a big book went so quickly! I really enjoyed this.

139Bjace
Apr 21, 2013, 8:57pm Top

I'm glad to hear that about the Murakami. It's on my TBR list for later in the year.

140soffitta1
Apr 22, 2013, 3:02am Top

I thought I'd break it up into the three volumes, to make it more manageable, but actually I just kept wanting to read on. Very interesting plot, you just have to know how it will all end.

62. The Curse of the Pogo Stick
Number 5 in the highly entertaining Dr. Siri series, perfect for sitting in the sunshine in the park with an ice cream.

141rabbitprincess
Apr 22, 2013, 5:44pm Top

And a great title, too! :)

142soffitta1
Apr 23, 2013, 6:26am Top

He does have great titles for the series, very tongue-in-cheek.

143soffitta1
Apr 23, 2013, 2:20pm Top

63. Miss Garnet's Angel
Another long-term TBR, very enjoyable.

144soffitta1
Apr 25, 2013, 10:52am Top

64. The Woman who died a lot
Number 7 in the series, looking forward to number 8.

145RidgewayGirl
Apr 25, 2013, 11:23am Top

I have Miss Garnet's Angel on my TBR.

146soffitta1
Apr 25, 2013, 6:04pm Top

I liked it, I didn't pick it up for a while because I read Beyond Black from the same batch of books and really didn't enjoy it. Reading the back, I was worried that the book would be too ethereal, but actually it was a well-crafted read. Not many characters in the book, but more depth for it.

147katrinasreads
Edited: Apr 27, 2013, 7:23am Top

Jazz: I must get around to this still!
I read Farenheit 451 earlier in the year and really enjoyed the opening but was disappointed by the ending. Ray Bradbury seems to have written a very strange mixtures of styles and genres.

148.Monkey.
Apr 27, 2013, 7:44am Top

>147 katrinasreads: What in the world was disappointing about the ending?

149soffitta1
Apr 27, 2013, 10:04am Top

65. Freedom
My second Jonathan Franzen of the Challenge, one that my brother gave me. Another big book that didn't take long to read (600 pages), a real family saga, fighting for individuality and wondering if common ground can ever be found. With the families also being split along ideological grounds, seeing domestic and global politics twist and turn with the plot was also interesting for me. Recommended.

150aliciamay
Apr 28, 2013, 1:20am Top

Oh good - I'm planning on reading Freedom in June. Did you like it better than The Corrections?

151soffitta1
Apr 28, 2013, 4:10am Top

I liked both, so I'd say even more. I think because, ultimately, I liked the characters more.

152RidgewayGirl
Apr 28, 2013, 10:05am Top

I liked The Corrections a lot more, which is not to say that I didn't think that Freedom wasn't very good. I did think that there was a bit of preaching going on in Freedom, and while I agreed about many of the things Franzen was saying, I dislike being lectured to. And the cat thing was silly.

But the beginning of the novel is brilliant and the entire thing is hard to put down.

153soffitta1
Edited: May 12, 2013, 2:03pm Top

Certainly a lot of preaching, though I was able to read it "at a distance", maybe because I am a Brit, and so not directly involved in some of the issues (though many of the scandals hit us,too), and read more into the relationships. The reactionary nature of kids towards their parents, never wanting to be like them, yet some how ending up like them. As for the cats - I agree, rather silly, as if he had lost it. Needless to say, the book didn't end up where I thought it would.

66. Caleb Williams
A servant with an exemplary master discovers a secret that leads them both into a ever more desperate situation, where only one outcome seems possible - the ruination of one or the other.
A 1001 book, and I can see why. At times, it seemed a bit much, but too contrived, but reading the notes and appendices (which included notes written by the author) you could see what he was striving to achieve. Certainly the criticism of the society of the time and its justice system warrants reading it in itself, especially the passages in the prison.

(pre 2011 TBR 1001 book - 15)

154soffitta1
Apr 30, 2013, 6:26am Top

67. Minding Frankie
A Maeve Binchy that I bought in a charity shop for my sister, and which she gave back to me to read in Spain.
A bit of comfort reading, characters that I remembered from previous books and, of course, her own writing style. Life on a small street in Dublin is changed forever by two arrivals, the first is cousin Emily from the States and the second is the titular Frankie, a baby.

More to come, better not be late for class - especially as I am the teacher!

155soffitta1
Edited: May 5, 2013, 3:10pm Top

68. The Abduction of Sita

69. The Fifth Elephant
One of the books on the BBC's Big Read list, and snaffled at work to read on a train journey north.

70. The Road Home
Really good, the second book I have read by the author this year, and I'll be looking out for more.

Will type up my notes when I get home.

156soffitta1
Edited: May 5, 2013, 3:10pm Top

71. Waterland
72. War Trash
73. With a Delicate Air

Just back from a weekend away, got notes, but need time to type.

157lkernagh
May 5, 2013, 7:50pm Top

I will be very curious to see what you think of Waterland. That one caught my eye based on my very quick glance at the book page.

158soffitta1
May 8, 2013, 9:09am Top

I hope to get time this weekend - I´ll be in Avila, so no excuse!

74. blueeyedboy
creepy, but page-turning

159soffitta1
May 11, 2013, 2:34pm Top

75. Casanova's Chinese Restaurant

Thoughts to come.

160soffitta1
May 12, 2013, 1:51pm Top

72. War Trash
I am a big fan of Ha Jin's work, and this book does not disappoint.

The book covers a different side to life in the PRC, that of those soldiers who fought in the Korean War. Yuan is a young Nationalist cadet who is sent to Korea by the Communists to fight the South Koreans and their American allies. Woefully ill-equipped, many Chinese are taken prisoner, so most of the action takes place in the P.O.W. camps. The prisoners live on a precarious cliff as those higher up argue as to what is to be done with the P.O.W.'s on both sides. The atrocities of war are all too realistic, with young, inexperienced troops sent into battle lacking the necessary equipment. Victory at any cost.

The inner workings of camp life are well-described, especially the cultural and ideological clash between the Americans and the Chinese prisoners. This is clearest in the wake of the camp commandant, which his soldiers take as a personal attack on his beloved superior, but which Yuan remarks that if the tables were turned would be seen as an attack on China. The struggle between the individual and the collective is strong, Yuan is not an ideological man, but he knows that the only way to get back to his mother and fiancee is to fall in with the Communists. The prisoners, both the North Koreans and Chinese, are caught between the rival political factions. Many don't know want to go back, especially as their being captured will be seen as a total failure. This reminds me of my Grandfather telling us about prisoner negotiations at the end of WW2 - getting British boys back, but knowing that the fate of those being sent back to the East would be bleak.

As a reader, it was Yuan's openness that made me keep turning pages. He weighed up both sides, found both wanting, but didn't lose sight on his ultimate objective of getting home.

161soffitta1
May 12, 2013, 2:33pm Top

71. Waterland
Not my first book by the author, I read Last Orders wile travelling a few years ago, but I had forgotten his roundabout, yet entertaining, way of spinning a yarn.

Set in the Fens, the characters are as much tied to the land, the titular Waterland. Like the water in its springy earth, the Fens seem to move, retract and then burst their banks as the try to get back to their previous untamed state.

The book has 3 threads. The first is that of a history teacher, Crick, being given his marching orders, partly for his unorthodox teaching methods and partly because of an incident in his personal life. In his classes, he tells the students about the other two threads - the history of his family in the Fens and the death of a childhood friend, both of which have contributed to the current state of events.

Price, a clever boy in Crick's class, questions the relevance of history in a world which has a bleak, if any, future. Written in the early '80s, it is a fear that my own generation dismissed with the fall of the Iron Curtain, only for it to have reared its head again in the wake of 9/11 and the current economic crisis.

The impression you get of the Fens is that of a fierce, resistant people. Resistant to those who tried to tame the waters, independent from the world outside until it strategic position and the source of man power were discovered by the powers that be. I suppose you could argue nature versus nurture, but how can you separate the two when both seem to be governed by the Fens? Most of all, though, there is a feeling of guilt that pervades in its pages - for what has happened, whether it could have been prevented. Absent mothers and madness are two other recurring notes.

Highly recommended.

162soffitta1
Edited: May 13, 2013, 2:29am Top

76. The Customs of the Kingdoms of India (Penguin Great Journeys)
A snippet of Marco Polo's trip to the East.

163soffitta1
May 15, 2013, 8:15am Top

77. The Speckled People
Proof that life is stranger than fiction.

164soffitta1
May 16, 2013, 5:41pm Top

78. Fathers and Sons
A very interesting read, luckily in my bag as I waited in the hospital for a check-up - 2 hours late!

165soffitta1
May 27, 2013, 1:12am Top

79. Quando os Elefantes Choram
Finally read this - kept putting it off as it is written in Portuguese, but so interesting.

80. The Bell
I really like Iris Murdoch - such layers to her work.

166soffitta1
May 27, 2013, 5:22pm Top

81. The Drowned World
Picked up at a hostel book exchange - one I'd been looking for.

167soffitta1
Jun 1, 2013, 4:25am Top

82. Nicholas Nickleby
Finally finished this, I have had a busy month and Dickens is too easy for me to put down. OK, but I'm not really a fan.

168-Eva-
Jun 1, 2013, 9:38pm Top

I read The Road Home this year too and enjoyed it a lot - interesting take on the immigration story.

169soffitta1
Jun 2, 2013, 7:08am Top

A face to put to the immigration stats in the papers, I have passed my copy on.

83. Facundo
Very interesting, a bloodthirsty biography.

170soffitta1
Jun 5, 2013, 4:34pm Top

84. Female Chauvinist Pigs
Picked up at a hostel, interesting read.

171soffitta1
Jun 6, 2013, 7:03am Top

172soffitta1
Jun 9, 2013, 8:58am Top

86. The Merry Misogynist
Book 6 in the Dr. Siri series, still as entertaining as the first book!

173soffitta1
Jun 9, 2013, 12:42pm Top

87. The Black Dahlia
To read on the plane, very gripping.

175soffitta1
Jun 14, 2013, 2:15pm Top

89. Me Before You

90. Song of Achilles

176LittleTaiko
Jun 14, 2013, 3:23pm Top

I loved Me Before You! It made me think about various issues regarding life and death which I was not really expecting when I picked up the book.

177soffitta1
Jun 17, 2013, 12:50am Top

I'm really glad I read it, though I reckon I never would have if it hadn't been a World Book Night book. The cover is dreadful and the title! I think she managed to show the different sides to the story well, without resorting to clichés.

91. The Marriage Plot
Just great. I have less than a week here to go in Spain, and I hope this thread will then become more than just a list.

178soffitta1
Jun 20, 2013, 1:33am Top

92. Mistress of my Fate
Entertaining, not the best-written book and you did know where it would end up, but just what I wanted between bouts of packing and cleaning.

179katrinasreads
Jun 20, 2013, 4:53pm Top

Good luck with the move, you off anywhere exciting?

180soffitta1
Jun 21, 2013, 4:57am Top

Coming home - I am starting a PGCE in London in September. It'll be sad to leave Spain, but I am really looking forward to my new challenge.

181soffitta1
Jun 21, 2013, 8:05pm Top

93. Now and Then
Slow burner, good read.

182RidgewayGirl
Jun 21, 2013, 9:41pm Top

Oh, London is a wonderful city! You'll never even notice how gray the skies stay.

I'm glad you're enjoying The Marriage Plot and I'm looking forward to reading what you thought of it. I loved it so much.

183lkernagh
Jun 22, 2013, 3:14am Top

Getting caught up and saw the mention that you will be moving to London.... how exciting! Will this be a permanent move or is it a fixed term move. Good luck with the move and with the PGCE!

184soffitta1
Jun 22, 2013, 4:21am Top

Not sure, I have a strange language combination - Spanish and German (and Portuguese) and most of the courses were for French / Spanish or French / German. It is also gives me the best opportunities for placements with both languages. At the moment it is for a year, then I'll look for a Newly Qualified Teacher post, which could be anywhere in England. I'm quite excited, I lived in North London briefly as a kid, but have only seen it through the eyes of a commuter or a tourist.

185clfisha
Jun 23, 2013, 8:59am Top

Oh good luck, I have never lived in London so jealous. Have fun!

186-Eva-
Jun 23, 2013, 3:59pm Top

Have a great time in London - I'll second what RidgewayGirl said, you'll not notice the grey skies!

187soffitta1
Jun 25, 2013, 4:49pm Top

Thanks! Just want to get started now!

94. An Instance of the Fingerpost

188mamzel
Jun 25, 2013, 11:49pm Top

I have that in one of the piles on the floor. Did you like it?

189soffitta1
Edited: Jun 26, 2013, 3:04pm Top

Yes! I liked the style - 4 versions of the same story, each "correcting" or adding to the previous version - really my cup of tea. There is lots of historical detail, from spy games to love stories, from matters of honour to religion. I'd really recommend it, it is a tome of a book, but I found myself getting through it quickly.

95. Train Man
Great stuff - from a bookbox and what a gem! This is the story of a romance between a geek and a girl he meets on the train. Very nervous, his first real go at dating, he asks for help online from his friends. What we have here are the posts - with his messages, the advice and comments from his online friends and followers. There is also a lot of "message art" - making moomins out of punctuation for one!

(16 - from page one of Bookcrossing)

190katrinasreads
Edited: Jun 27, 2013, 9:12am Top

Pure madness! I don't think any sane person would want to be a teacher! That said despite really looking forward to the summer holidays, I am alreay getting excited about my new teaching groups, my new displays and new stationary :)

Good luck

191soffitta1
Edited: Jun 27, 2013, 2:29pm Top

There are times when I question my choice!! Well, I hope my week of observing goes OK - I start on Wednesday.

96. Timbuktu
A quick read for the train. A dog's point of view.

(17. From page 1 of Bookcrossing)

192soffitta1
Jul 1, 2013, 4:17am Top

193soffitta1
Jul 1, 2013, 5:20pm Top

194soffitta1
Jul 4, 2013, 3:16am Top

99. The Septembers of Shiraz

A book that delivered a lot more than I expected. I liked the multi-narrated story, giving as it did a very different view of Iran at the time.

195soffitta1
Jul 5, 2013, 5:29am Top

100. The Knife of Never Letting Go
First in a YA trilogy. Set on a new world, Todd is the last boy in the settlement. With days left until he reaches manhood, his world is turned on its head when he discovers something strange.

Not a bad read, rather page-turning. It was one of this year's World Book Night books, which is why I picked it up. I can't say I'll be looking out the rest of the books, not because I hated it, but because I no longer in the target age bracket! Last year, they had Noughts and Crosses which I thought was better, maybe because the story was more fleshed out. Here that would be difficult without spoiling the story.

196mamzel
Jul 5, 2013, 8:56pm Top

I liked the talking dog. "Poo, Todd. Gotta poo!"

197soffitta1
Jul 6, 2013, 4:29pm Top

That's true - he didn't mention food as much as I am sure mine would!

198soffitta1
Jul 8, 2013, 11:33am Top

101. She
I read King Solomon's Mines a couple of years ago and wanted to see how this would measure up. A very strange book, very mystical.

199clfisha
Jul 10, 2013, 6:21am Top

I still have that one on my tbr.. must get round to reading it!

200soffitta1
Edited: Jul 11, 2013, 9:34am Top

It won't take long, very quick read, just very strange!

102. Lilian's Story

(No. 18 - from page 1 of Bookcrossing)

201soffitta1
Jul 14, 2013, 12:54pm Top

103. Summer in Baden Baden

A 1001 gem.

202soffitta1
Jul 18, 2013, 3:18am Top

104. Baltasar and Blimunda
Loved it.

203Yells
Jul 18, 2013, 11:46am Top

202 - I really have to get started on that one...

204soffitta1
Jul 21, 2013, 4:51am Top

There is a lot going on - the building of a cathedral, a woman with second sight, a love story as well as comments on religion. I did like it, I read half of it a few years ago in Portuguese, but ran out of time. I found it slow going as there was a lot of specific building vocabulary. The writing style takes a bit of getting used to, as he skips between narrators and direct speech with a lack of punctuation.
I just regret not making it to Mafra when I lived in Portugal, but I hope to go back to do this.

105. Kydd
The first in a naval series. The first book sees a young Kydd being press-ganged into service and his learning the ropes. While there was a lot of technical jargon as Kydd was learning his place, the pace is rather quick - with a mix of peace and wartime situations. I got the impression that this was setting the series up, there were quite a few areas that weren't completely explored.

(no. 19 1st page on BX)

205soffitta1
Jul 21, 2013, 12:40pm Top

106. Divisadero
Multi-layered book by the author of The English Patient. There are different stories happening at once - the stories of the two sisters and the not much older farmhand, and later of a French writer that one of the sisters is researching. I was never sure where the book was going, but that didn't stop me wanting to find out.
Recommended.

206soffitta1
Jul 21, 2013, 4:51pm Top

107. Making the World Legible
A selection of extracts of translated works from the Writers in Translation programme. A couple I had already read the full book, but I have added a number to my wishlist.

207soffitta1
Jul 23, 2013, 5:36am Top

108. Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman and The Royal Game
2 short novellas, the second is a 1001 book. Enjoyed them both - the writing style, the depth of character and the stories themselves.

208soffitta1
Jul 25, 2013, 1:46pm Top

109. Artemis
Number 2 in the Kydd series, this time the action takes Kydd and Renzi far from home towards the East. Entertaining.

(no. 20, from page 1 of Bookcrossing)

209soffitta1
Edited: Jul 27, 2013, 3:30pm Top

110. Seaflower
Fancied a bit of a break from Prisoner of Love, so decided to continue with the Kydd series. Kydd and Renzi are in a new vessel, off to the Caribbean where prize money, skirmishes and time in the colonies await them.

(No. 21 from page 1 of Bookcrossing)

210soffitta1
Aug 1, 2013, 6:39am Top

111. The Man of Property
Book 1 of The Forsyte Saga, I thought I'd get a head start for the readalong. I have 7 of the 10 books that make up The Forsyte Chronicles, given to me by Mum. I enjoyed this a lot, a slice of English life of the time. Luckily there is a family tree to make sense of the clan.

211soffitta1
Edited: Aug 3, 2013, 6:05am Top

112. The Eye of Jade
Rather quick mystery, first in a series and the author was clearly setting up the background. Beijing private eye with a complicated past. There is potential here.

212soffitta1
Aug 5, 2013, 1:20pm Top

113. In Chancery
Book 2 in the Forsyte Saga and I'm still really enjoying it. This second book has really clearly drawn the two sides of the family and their attitude to life and their fellow man. I am rather fond of Jolyon, but dislike his cousin Soames more with each page. Humanity versus property

213soffitta1
Aug 6, 2013, 4:47pm Top

114. The Athenian Murders
And now for something completely different! A murder mystery where the translator gets involved. Page-turning, multi-layered.

214rabbitprincess
Aug 6, 2013, 6:30pm Top

Hm I think The Athenian Murders was on my TBR list precisely because of the translator. Glad to hear it is a page-turner :)

215soffitta1
Aug 6, 2013, 6:34pm Top

Pretty much read it in a day, between boring bits with paperwork.

216soffitta1
Aug 9, 2013, 3:24am Top

115. To Let
The third book in The Forsyte Saga.

Looking forward to the second trilogy.

217soffitta1
Aug 10, 2013, 1:27pm Top

116. A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
Very enjoyable, first in a new series for me.

218mamzel
Aug 10, 2013, 3:31pm Top

I love the idea that he travels throughout SE Asia. I have ordered the first one on my Kindle. Thanks for the recommendation.

219soffitta1
Edited: Aug 11, 2013, 2:58am Top

Next one is in Indonesia, I've got it on my shelf calling to me!

Mini review:
Inspector Singh travels from Singapore to it's very different neighbour to help deal with a case involving a Singaporean citizen. The case is high profile - the murder of a timber tycoon and his ex-model wife is the prime suspect.
There's a lot here - two countries with much in common yet differ wildly, corrupt vs maverick cops, environmental issues, family drama with a well-drawn backdrop.
Good characters, I look forward to seeing more of the inspector, as well as a multi-layered plot.
Recommended.

220AHS-Wolfy
Aug 11, 2013, 2:51am Top

I've had the first in the seris sat on my tbr shelves for a while and it's never really moved that close to being my next read. Looks like I'll have to change that and give it a try sometime soon.

221soffitta1
Edited: Aug 12, 2013, 8:49am Top

117. (Un)arranged Marriage
Manny is a teenager from Leicester - a big Liverpool fan, enjoys hanging out with his best mate Ady, bright but skives off school and gets into trouble. However, Manny's life is very different from a lot of his classmates. He comes from a traditional Punjabi family who have a very fixed idea of his upbringing and future. His brothers and sisters were married young, the marriages being arranged by their parents and education is not seen as important. Manny is caught between two worlds - the domestic Punjabi sphere where he has no control over his life and the multi-cultural outside sphere where he goes to school, hangs out with his best friend Ady and has his eyes on a girl.

Manny narrates the novel, in the voice of a teenager, a useful tool as his naivety gives Rai the opportunity to explain the ins and outs of the situation. The book isn't clean cut - choices have to be made and there are characters that have chosen different paths, some are happy and some aren't. I would recommend this for teens, the plot is too simplistic to be more than just interesting for adult readers.

222soffitta1
Aug 13, 2013, 6:39am Top

118. A Bali conspiracy most foul
The second in an entertaining series. Inspector Singh is sent to Bali in the aftermath of a terrorist bombing only to end up working on a murder case hidden by bomb blast.

223soffitta1
Aug 18, 2013, 11:19am Top

119. The Dark Judges

Not really my cup of tea, but quite a quick read.

224soffitta1
Aug 20, 2013, 4:49am Top

120. Prisoner of Love
I passed over this at the charity shop because of the title on the spine, but when it turned out the books were 2 for 1, I went back to look at the shelves more carefully and saw this was not a romance.
I've taken a while to read this, a series of memories of a time spent with the Palestinians in the '70s and '80s. Not an easy read, it jumps around time and anecdotes, but also not easy because of the material and the confusing history behind the region and its tangled present.
I'll be processing this one for a while.

225soffitta1
Edited: Aug 21, 2013, 5:14pm Top

121. A new world by Amit Chaudhuri - touchstones not working for book.

A good read, as Jayojit returns to his home town of Calcutta with his young son Bonny in the wake of a complicated divorce. Very introspective, with flashes of how other characters are feeling, but I got really sucked into the narrative. Ex-pat Jayojit at times falls between the two cultures (Indian and American), with his parents struggling to adjust to life after his father was an Admiral - with all the status and extras that came with that.

(no. 22 from page 1 of Bookcrossing)

226soffitta1
Edited: Aug 26, 2013, 4:05pm Top

2. Asian Books COMPLETED


1. The Girl Who Played Go
2. Touching Earth
3. In Custody
4. Plain Tales from the Hills
5. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
6. This Earth of Mankind
7. East of the Sun
8. Lizard
9. War Trash
10. Train Man
11. Divisadero
12. (Un)arranged Marriage)
13. A New World

A very strong category, I would say that my top books would have to be The Girl Who Played Go for its story and style, This Earth of Mankind for its setting and War Trash for presenting me with another side to Chinese history. As for the other end of the scale, I think it would be Touching Earth as it wasn't really my kind of book.

227lkernagh
Aug 21, 2013, 9:34pm Top

Congratulations on completing your Asian books category!

228soffitta1
Edited: Aug 22, 2013, 5:09am Top

Thanks! It's always a good category, I am really interested in Asia and have a ton of books that will make sure that this will be in my challenges for years to come.

122. The African Queen
Finally got round to reading this, I sent it off in a bookbox without having time to read it and it came back in a different bookbox. Easy reading, the story of an unlikely pair - the sister of a missionary and the skipper of a ramshackle boat - and a plan to help the war effort by taking out the German's only boat in the region.

I've never seen the film, but look forward to finding it to compare.

(No. 23 on page 1 of Bookcrossing)

229rabbitprincess
Aug 22, 2013, 5:39pm Top

That was a great book. Hope you enjoy the movie -- Bogie and Hepburn play off each other well.

230soffitta1
Edited: Aug 25, 2013, 8:15am Top

I imagine they would - two strong personalities.

123. Mutiny
Number 4 in the Kydd series, Kydd is caught up in the real life mutiny events at the end of the 18th Century. Still enjoying the series, lots of nautical detail with a sailor's life more the focus than a fixed narrative.

(No. 23 on the 1st page of Bookcrossing)

231soffitta1
Aug 25, 2013, 8:20am Top

124. PS, I love you
Fancied something lighter and ended staying up to finish it.

Holly is trying to deal with life after the death of her husband, Gerry. She's really struggling until she opens the first in a series of letters he wrote to her before he died to help her through her first year of widowhood.

Much better than the chocolate box film version. Not my normal fare, but came in a bookbox so thought I'd try it and actually thought it covered the topic quite well.

232Yells
Aug 25, 2013, 9:06am Top

I bawled through the movie and the book (yes, I am a huge sap). The book did a much better job at explaining Holly and she came to terms with everything. But the movie had Gerard Butler....

233lkernagh
Aug 25, 2013, 6:58pm Top

I have enjoyed the two Ahern books I have read so far. Just might need to add this one to the reading list so I can then sit down and watch Gerard Butler... I mean the movie! ;-)

234-Eva-
Edited: Aug 25, 2013, 10:48pm Top

->231 soffitta1:
I read that too fast - I thought it said the book came in a chocolate box... Like I needed any incentive to pick up a book, or a box of chocolates for that matter. :)

235soffitta1
Aug 26, 2013, 4:12am Top

re 233 - Not sure if you are a Gray's Anatomy fan, but it also has the actor who played Denny in it. A wintry Sunday film, I'd say.

Re 234 - I wish!!! (I am the same!)

125. Why be normal when you can be happy
Really pleased to have found this, I had already read Oranges are not the only Fruit and was curious to see how much was "true". She is a writer that just shouts at you to get your attention, and seeing her own journey was definitely worth the wait.

Recommended.

236RidgewayGirl
Aug 26, 2013, 10:35am Top

I'd never read any Winterson before Why Be Normal When You Could Be Happy. I'm eager to do so now. What a book that was!

237soffitta1
Aug 26, 2013, 4:02pm Top

I've read Oranges are not the only fruit and Sexing the Cherry - would recommend both.

238soffitta1
Aug 26, 2013, 4:04pm Top

5. World Book Night COMPLETED



From the 2012 list:

1. Harlequin
2. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
3. Touching the Void

From the US list
4. I know why the caged bird sings **1001 Book
7. Fahrenheit 451

From the 2013 list:
5. Damage
6. The Secret Scripture
8. The Road Home
9. Last Night another soldier
10. Me before you
11. The Knife of Never Letting Go
12. The Dark Judges
13. Why be happy when you can be normal

Another enjoyable category - not so good for my TBR pile stacks, but good for pushing me to read outside my comfort zone.
I am grateful for being introduced to a new author Maggie O'Farrell, who is one I will definitely keep looking out for. Finally read a couple of classics that had been on my radar - I know why the caged bird sings and Fahrenheit 451 - both of which were thought-provoking for very different reasons. The Road Home was another book that I connected with, very topical, too. As for my final read, it was a pleasure to read more from Jeanette Winterson
The other end of the scale, I didn't really get on too well with The knife of letting go - to be fair I am not its target audience - and The Dark Judges is not my cup of tea.

1x 1001 Book

239rabbitprincess
Aug 26, 2013, 6:08pm Top

Hurray, another category completed! Nice work :)

240-Eva-
Aug 26, 2013, 6:26pm Top

Congrats on completed category!! That's a great category, btw, considering the vast genres and topics that come up.

241soffitta1
Aug 27, 2013, 4:14am Top

I'll be keeping it for next year - I need to find 2 more of this year's books, there are a stack on the American list that I haven't got or read. And, of course, there will be a new crop for the 23rd of April 2014!

242-Eva-
Aug 27, 2013, 12:33pm Top

Right, you get a top-up every year with a new batch - even better! I'm putting it on my "potential categories for 2015 challenge" list. :)

243clfisha
Aug 27, 2013, 3:26pm Top

Congrats on the category completion! I keep meaning to read Why be normal when you can be happy, glad to hear its good!

244soffitta1
Aug 29, 2013, 3:09am Top

Thanks!

126. The Shape of Water
The first in an Italian detective series, enjoyable, made the train ride fly by.

127. The Sense of an Ending
Fantastic - this is a new addition to the 1001 Books list, and I can see why. The narrator tells his story, his own personal history, but one that is revised from his memory and retelling of it when new information comes to light.

245soffitta1
Sep 1, 2013, 8:16am Top

128. Titus Groan
I'm behind in the readalong, took me a while to get into this as I have been quite busy. Once I got going, it was actually a quick read.
I enjoyed it.

246LittleTaiko
Sep 6, 2013, 8:54pm Top

247bookwormjules
Sep 7, 2013, 9:20am Top

I enjoyed The Sense of Ending to a certain extent, it had a lot of philosophical thought, and I see why it's on the 1001 books list now, but it wasn't a book I loved, and by the end of reading it, I was happy to be done with it. Just wasn't my book.

248soffitta1
Sep 7, 2013, 11:09am Top

I was gripped, but I can see how it could be one of those books. I found the main character easy to identify with, not that my life has ever gone to the extremes of the book, but there were many episodes that struck a chord.

129. Gormenghast
This, on the other hand, left me cold at times. There were similarities with Dickens - frustrating plot asides, names that, once a character started to annoy me, began to grate, and leaving too much unnecessary description when I wanted to get back to Steerpike and his taking over the world. Could be a case of wrong book, wrong time, but I found I was more interested in book 1.

249RidgewayGirl
Sep 7, 2013, 11:20am Top

Oh, but isn't Steerpike the best character ever?

250soffitta1
Sep 8, 2013, 2:59am Top

I really enjoyed his wickedness and his plots.

251soffitta1
Edited: Sep 8, 2013, 3:37am Top

4. Film COMPLETED


1. Psycho
2. On the Black Hill **1001
3. The City of Joy
4. Jude the Obscure **1001
5. Nicholas Nickleby **1001
6. The Black Dahlia ** 1001 Book
7. Hard Times **1001 Book
8. Solaris **1001
9. The African Queen
10. PS, I love You
11. Strangers on a Train
12. Titus Groan **1001
13. Gormenghast **1001

Stand out favourites would have to be Psycho, Strangers on a train and The African Queen , long on my radar and all recommended. Disappointed by the Gormenghast series. Now I look back on the group, a very psychological mix!

8 1001 books read as well as a good number from TBR pile.

252-Eva-
Sep 8, 2013, 3:54pm Top

Congrats on finished category!

253soffitta1
Sep 8, 2013, 4:26pm Top

Thanks! I'll definitely keep this category on for next year.

130. Right of Passage
Bought in a charity shop because it looked interesting, and what a find! A series of articles written by a FT writer based on his travels, but grouped in a coherent way. Good for dipping into, for a different look at places you know as well as a glimpse at places on your wishlist.

254soffitta1
Sep 12, 2013, 3:53am Top

131. Birds without wings
By the writer of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, this is an epic novel set at the end of the Ottoman Empire, with the main plot driven by the people in a small village in what today is Turkey. The village was a microcosm of what happened in many places. Different ethnic and religious groups have coexisted for years, the different families have intermarried, they speak Turkish, but those who write use the Greek script. Even religious lines are blurred as Mary is prayed to by help by many of the villagers. As the Great War begins, life changes irrevocably, with the no going back point at Turkey's independence.
Beautifully written, good plot with historical context. Highly recommended.

255soffitta1
Edited: Sep 14, 2013, 2:40pm Top

132. The Road to Oxiana
Great travel read. Published in 1937 it is a snapshot of a world long gone, as a 21st Century reader, there are sad reminders about how the world was about to be torn apart as well as great changes in more recent times in that region.
Byron is humourous, doesn't take himself too seriously, but knows what he wants to see and is often frustrated by officials.

A quote or two to show you what I mean.
"I wish I were rich enough to endow a prize for the sensible traveller: £10,00 for the first man to cover Marco Polo's outward route reading three fresh books a week, and another £10,000 if he drinks a bottle of wine a day as well. That man might tell one something about the journey."
"Every morning I take a two-horse cab to the shrine of Khoja Rabi, where I sit and draw, at peace with the world, as long as the short winter days allow. It was built in 1621 by Shah Abbas, and stands in a garden outside the town. The gay tiles, turquoise, lapis, violet and yellow, have a singular melancholy among the bare trees and empty beds a-flutter with dead leaves. It suits my mood."

(No. 24 from page 1 of Bookcrossing)

256soffitta1
Sep 15, 2013, 4:35am Top

133. The Female Quixote
Very entertaining satire, Arabella who has been brought up on a diet of Romances, thinks all men are in love with her and lives her life according to the chivalry code.

257soffitta1
Sep 15, 2013, 4:36am Top

12. Women Writers COMPLETED


With a sub-category of Orange January / July


Read in January
1. The Mammoth Cheese
2. The Colour **1001 Book
3. Paradise
4. Beyond Black
5. Scottsboro

Read in July:
11. The Septembers in Shiraz

Non-Orange Prize books
6. Jazz **1001 Book
7. Minding Frankie
8. With a Delicate Air
9. The Hand that first held mine
10. The Opposite House
12. Lilian's Story
13. The Female Quixote October 1001 group readalong **1001

A real mix of books, from the lighter to the tough going. I really enjoyed The Colour, introducing me to a new author; but also being stretched by Scottsboro, Paradise and Lilian's story.
Disappointed with Beyond Black - more because of the subject matter, which did not grab me.
2 1001 Books.

258lkernagh
Sep 15, 2013, 11:11am Top

Congratulations on another category completed!

259christina_reads
Sep 16, 2013, 10:43am Top

@ 256 -- Glad to see your comments on The Female Quixote! I've been wanting to read that one for a while and recently downloaded it to my Nook. Hopefully I'll get to it soon!

260soffitta1
Edited: Sep 17, 2013, 2:27pm Top

Thanks! Another good category, and some good new authors for me.

The Female Quixote was such a quick read in the end and has even inspired me to continue start reading Don Quijote again!

134. The kindly ones
I hadn't fancied this, but then picked it up yesterday and it was like meeting up with an old friend. Now WW2 is coming, more changes to come.

261soffitta1
Sep 18, 2013, 12:56pm Top

262soffitta1
Sep 28, 2013, 4:19am Top

136. The Valley of Bones
Book 7 in A Dance to the Music of Time

Not much personal reading time now, my course involves so much reading.

263soffitta1
Sep 28, 2013, 5:42pm Top

264soffitta1
Sep 29, 2013, 4:05pm Top

138. Three men in a boat
Very amusing.

265soffitta1
Oct 3, 2013, 3:21am Top

266soffitta1
Oct 4, 2013, 7:23am Top

267soffitta1
Edited: Oct 4, 2013, 9:56am Top

6. Crime, mystery and thriller COMPLETED



1. Murder in the Dark
2. The Calcutta Chromosome
3. Death Comes to Pemberley
4. Strangers on a Train
5. The New York Trilogy **1001
6. Caleb Williams **1001
7. The Abduction of Sita
8. Blueeyedboy
9. The Eye of Jade
10. The Athenian Murders
11. A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
12. A Bali Conspiracy most foul
13. Little Face **World Book Night

2 1001 books, some of my favourite authors (Amitav Ghosh and Margaret Atwood) and a new series discovered with Inspector Singh, I will definitely look out for more. Another strong category, I would say. Reading Death comes to Pemberley was great fun, revisiting and seeing another side to a very familiar world. The premise of The Athenian Murders was very clever, really page-turning, never quite sure where it was going. Last up, and so freshest in my mind was Little Face, very psychological, indeed I would say that would sum up most of these books.

268rabbitprincess
Oct 4, 2013, 5:12pm Top

Hurray for another category completed! I think I have The Athenian Murders on my TBR; glad to hear it's interesting!

269soffitta1
Oct 6, 2013, 9:06am Top

Thank you! It'll make a great winter read, curl up and get engrossed.

141. 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth
I got this after a talk by the author at Colchester Library, part of the Essex Book drive a few years ago. Written in short episodes, the fragments of the title, about a young Chinese girl from the provinces trying to make it in the film industry in Beijing.
Very engaging, snapshots of a different world.

(no. 25 off page 1 of Rattan)

270soffitta1
Oct 8, 2013, 6:08am Top

142. The sorrow of war

143. La regenta

Finished the first last night, the other side of the Vietnam war, from the eyes of a North Korean soldier. Tough reading, with the war tainting everyone's life.
I started and finished La Regenta on the train, big delays today, nearly 2 hours late and sitting on the floor the whole way. Scandal arising from boredom in a Northern Spanish city. Fatalistic.

271soffitta1
Oct 11, 2013, 2:48pm Top

144. Changeling
Entertaining YA.

272soffitta1
Edited: Oct 12, 2013, 4:10pm Top

145. So you want to live on an island
Well, not if thee author lives there. With so many ! In the book, I felt like I was being shouted at.

(No. 26, from page 1 of Bookcrossing)

273soffitta1
Oct 16, 2013, 1:37pm Top

146. Titus Alone
Third in the Gormenghast saga, the plot has really moved on.

274soffitta1
Oct 16, 2013, 5:47pm Top

147. The king's pleasure
Katharine of Aragon's life, starting with living on the move during the reconquista, through her marriages to Arthur and Henry until her death.
From Katharine's point of view, mainly, with the machinations of life at court.

275soffitta1
Edited: Oct 18, 2013, 3:33pm Top

148. Quarterdeck
Now Kydd is moving to North America, just as America was trying to set up their navy. Now Kydd is on the up, but is finding the leap from below to above deck rather difficult. He is no longer one of the men, but neither is he a gentleman officer. Britain and France are fighting, and the Americans are not happy about being dragged in.

(No. 27 from page 1 on Bookcrossing)

276soffitta1
Oct 18, 2013, 3:48pm Top

10. The Sea COMPLETED

books related to the sea, I have a stack of these on my shelves.

1. Monkfish Moon
2. The Sea **1001
3. Rivers of London
4. Waterland **1001
5. The Drowned World **1001 Book
10. The Shape of Water
11.The Summer Book **1001 Book
12. Three men in a boat

Kydd series by Julian Stockwin
6. Kydd
7. Artemis
8. Seaflower
9. Mutiny
13. Quarterdeck

4 from the 1001 list and I am happy to have read 5 from the Kydd series, a series I have had for 5 years! Top reads would have to be The Summer Book, Waterland and The Sea as the writing was just in a different league. Rivers of London and The Shape of Water were both entertaining first entries in new series for me, and I really did enjoy Jerome K Jerome's book - laugh out loud funny. I would have to say no duds.

277rabbitprincess
Oct 18, 2013, 5:51pm Top

Rivers of London is such a fun series! Glad to hear that this was a successful category for you :)

278soffitta1
Oct 19, 2013, 5:30am Top

A friend of mine passed Rivers of London to me and I devoured it in one sitting. I will be looking out for more.

279soffitta1
Oct 21, 2013, 3:51pm Top

149. The Soldier's Art
The war becomes more real in this, the 8th book in A Dance to the Music of Time.

280soffitta1
Oct 21, 2013, 4:07pm Top

Oops - just realised I had Strangers on a train in two different categories! I will keep it in Film, but need to find another for Crime.

281soffitta1
Oct 22, 2013, 1:46pm Top

150. Titus Awakes
OK, interesting for the fragment he left, but the writing was not up to the same standard and I would say this is really for die hard fans.

282soffitta1
Oct 24, 2013, 2:43pm Top

Gave up on first book today - Even Thai Girls Cry. The writing was poor and the story didn't grab me.

283soffitta1
Edited: Oct 28, 2013, 12:13pm Top

151. The King's Last Song
Set in Cambodia. Good writing and good plot. Highly recommended.

152. empire of sand
A thriller with Lawrence of Arabia at its heart, good train read.

284soffitta1
Oct 28, 2013, 10:41am Top

153. The Granta Book of the African Short Story
Another interesting collection, with stories from the length and breadth of Africa as well as some looking at emigration. Recommended.

285soffitta1
Edited: Oct 31, 2013, 5:45pm Top

154. A Proper Education for Girls
Two sisters grow up in a rather strange household run by their collector father, surrounded by weird and wonderful exhibits. As the book starts, the sisters have been separated, with Lillian in India with her missionary husband, leaving her twin, Alice, to cope by herself. It's a tale of two girls whose unusual upbringing has given them strong, more independent characters than was expected by the society of the time. A lot of the drama and humour in the book comes from the clash between the girls and their father. I really enjoyed this, good characters, good story. I liked the way the plot alternated between the sisters, sometimes giving you hints at where it was heading, but only in the next part did you get the whole story.

155. Tenacious
Kydd is about to meet the man of the time - Nelson. The plot moves to the Mediterranean as Bonaparte continues to flex his muscles. Entertaining read for my commute.

(No. 28 on 1st page of Bookcrossing)

286soffitta1
Oct 31, 2013, 4:32pm Top

7. History COMPLETED


Fiction
1. Knowledge of Angels
6. Mistress of my Fate
7. Now and Then
8. An Instance of the Fingerpost
9. Baltasar and Blimunda **1001 Book
10. The Sense of an Ending **1001 Book
12. Changeling
13. A Proper Education for Girls

Non-Fiction
2. The Speckled People
4. Facundo **1001 Book (or is it fiction!)
5. Female Chauvinist Pigs
11. My Private China **Early Reviewers Programme

Natural History
3. Quando os elefantes Choram

3 1001 books, an awful lot of new books - not part of the plan! Knowledge of Angels was a book that made me think, but I would say my top two were Baltasar and Blimunda - because I have wanted to read this for so long and I am a big Saramago fan - and The Sense of an Ending - which was just so well-written. Maybe because it is freshest, but a special mention has to go to A Proper Education for Girls. As for the non-fiction, Quando os elefantes choram was just so interesting.

287DeltaQueen50
Oct 31, 2013, 4:32pm Top

I read A Proper Education for Girls a couple of years ago and remember finding it a very interesting story that I enjoyed a lot. I see she has another novel, Bleakly Hall, I will have to add that to my library list.

288soffitta1
Oct 31, 2013, 5:14pm Top

I just saw that on Amazon, I am also going to wishlist it. Maybe Father Christmas will leave me a copy!

289soffitta1
Nov 2, 2013, 4:13am Top

156. The Last Will of Testament of Senhor da Silva Araujo

I had completely forgotten that I had signed up for this book set in Cape Verde for my Olympic Challenge. It is a short book, the story of a man who has a surprise to share in his will, a will that takes the form of a collection of over 300 pages. The book itself looks at these pages, more of a memoir than a will, and follows his story and that of those he left behind trying to make sense of it all. It is a sad book in many ways, no one truly knew the titular Senhor, so many parts of his life were hidden from public view, and so there is a real feeling of missed opportunities, both on the part of Araujo and his family.

Recommended.

290christina_reads
Nov 3, 2013, 9:07am Top

Wow, a book set in Cape Verde! I'll have to keep that in mind for various global reading challenges. :)

291soffitta1
Nov 5, 2013, 1:12pm Top

It is getting hard to find books now, so I jumped at the chance to read this one.

157. The Military Philosophers
Vol. 9 and there is more about the secret service side of WW2 and the foreign allies.

292RidgewayGirl
Nov 6, 2013, 4:18am Top

I have A Proper Education for Girls around here somewhere, I'll have to get to it soon. I'd forgotten that I had that and I have no idea why I picked up a copy.

Titus Awakes is on my wish list, although having not very much enjoyed Titus Alone, after having adored the first two books, I think I'll just let it stay there without trying to find a copy.

293soffitta1
Nov 6, 2013, 1:27pm Top

To be honest - I would probably leave it. Yes, it was nice to read another fragment of his work, but the rest wasn't his. Maybe it would have been better to have left it alone.

294soffitta1
Nov 6, 2013, 2:50pm Top

13. Group Reads COMPLETED


A Dance to the Music of Time 1 volume per month, I have some volumes, but will have to find the others.

1. A Question of Upbringing January **1001
4. A Buyer's Market (arrived in April) February **1001
5. The Acceptance World (arrived in April) March **1001
7. Casanova's Chinese Restaurant May **1001
10. The Kindly ones **1001
11. The Valley of Bones *1001
12. The Soldier's Art *1001
13. The Military Philosophers *1001

Others read
2. A Maggot for Fowles February, **1001 Book
3. A Confederacy of Dunces March, **1001, readalong in the 1001 Group
6. 1Q84 1001 group readalong **1001 Book
8. Fathers and Sons **1001
9. The Bell Iris Murdoch year long readalong of her work, 1001 Book

OK so this was a bit of a sneaky way to get my 1001 book rate up, but really it helped me pick up some of those books that had been around for a while. I have really enjoyed A Dance to the Music of Time - I would say it is a bit like a slow burner, not in terms of pace, but that it gathers momentum as you get to know the narrator and the other characters. Cracking open the next book is like getting together with a group of old friends and catching up. Powell's given us an intimate glimpse at life at the time, the names behind the statistics.
As for the others, I really enjoyed the style of A Maggot and 1Q84, though the latter ran out of steam a bit by the end. I think I would have to say that The Bell was one that will stay with me, from a great writer.

295soffitta1
Nov 8, 2013, 1:15pm Top

158. Solomon Time
Another book for my Olympic Challenge. Entertaining tead about a British teacher who talkshis way into a spell in the islands.

296soffitta1
Nov 13, 2013, 2:51pm Top

159. Command
Now Kydd gets his own boat, but the seas take him to new parts.

(No. 30 from page 1 of bookcrossing)

297soffitta1
Edited: Nov 15, 2013, 3:13am Top

160. The Chosen One
Just what I needed, a fast paced thriller to escape from lesson planning. Maggie Costello is back and once more in the middle of a srorm as the newly elected president is hit by scandal.

298soffitta1
Nov 22, 2013, 4:29pm Top

161. Only 13
Not a well-written book by any means and not my normal fare. This was passed on to me by a friend who visits Thailand a lot and was bought by her there. This is the life of Lon from her early childhood in Northern Thailand to life as a prostitute in the cities, before heading to Europe. This is baldly told, often repetitive in its writing, but this a story that unfortunately is not an isolated case. As you read of her first steps on the road to becoming a prostitute, you can't but help thinking about your own childhood. While many things will not surprise you, I was wondering when Lon would reach her breaking point, how much can one girl endure.

299soffitta1
Nov 28, 2013, 5:28pm Top

162. The Admiral's Daughter
Kydd is still in Britain and looking for a ship. He is in luck when his old berth becomes available. No overseas deployment, rather Kydd is on the scent of smugglers. Affairs of the heart, undercover work and the day-to-day running of a book.

300soffitta1
Nov 30, 2013, 5:45pm Top

163. Asterix and the Pechts
I have sneaked a read of this on its way to my brother (part of his Christmas present). This is a newly commissioned book set in Scotland and was simultaneously published in Scots (the version I read), English, Gaelic and, of course, French. Rather fun, lots of Scottish traditions and myths are added in to the plot.

301soffitta1
Nov 30, 2013, 5:46pm Top

3. Series COMPLETED


As ever, I have a stack of series on my TBR pile.

Chocolat series
1. Peaches for Monsieur le Cure the third in the series

Stephanie Plum series
2. Finger Lickin' Fifteen

Thursday Next
4. The Woman Who Died A Lot

Discworld
5. The Fifth Elephant

Dr. Siri Paiboun series
3. Curse of the Pogo Stick Number 5
6. The Merry Misogynist Number 6

Forsyte Saga **1001 Book made up of three books
7. A Man of Property
8. In Chancery
9. To let

Gormengast books
10. Titus Alone
11. Titus Awakes

Kydd series
12. Tenacious

Asterix
13. Asterix and the Pechts

3 book for the 1001 challenge. This is a really mixed bag of books. I didn't read the series I expected, though I have read all the Kydd books I have (though they have been in different categories). I enjoyed The Forsyte Saga, but really I did like getting back in touch with some old favourites - from the world of Chocolat, Dr. Siri Paiboun, Thursday Next and Asterix. Let downs were Finger Lickin' Fifteen, poorly written and really not my cup of tea, and the third and fourth volumes of Gormenghast as they didn't stand up to the first two books.

302rabbitprincess
Nov 30, 2013, 10:10pm Top

Whoa, the Asterix comic was published in Scots AND Gaelic? I want both versions! It sounds like a lot of fun :)

303RidgewayGirl
Dec 1, 2013, 4:05am Top

My son has just gotten into Asterix and while we were in Paris the metro has lots of advertising for Asterix and the Picts. It made him nuts, in that he does not read French. We have since had to get both the German and English versions.

304soffitta1
Dec 1, 2013, 5:35am Top

They are very recent publications, I also have The Derk Isle in Scots (also translated into Gaelic). It's really fun for me, I am a Scot, but only really my Granny spoke Scots at times around me. She would refer to anything a little bit rude (in her eyes!) in Scots.

I got the books for my big brother and his wife, I also got the Asterix in French. We also have copies in Spanish of Tintin and Asterix. It's a great way of learning language as you have great visuals.

My wee brother has a comic version of The Hobbit in German - it's brilliant!

305soffitta1
Dec 1, 2013, 3:48pm Top

164. The Derk Isle
Another fun adventure, this time taking Tintin to Scotland.

306-Eva-
Edited: Dec 13, 2013, 11:50pm Top

I thought Asterix and the Picts was great. I was a bit wary of the newbies, but they did well.

307soffitta1
Dec 11, 2013, 2:30pm Top

It makes me want to go back and read more!

165. Global Soul
A book I just picked up and what a find! The writer is as the title suggest - a global soul. I really engaged with this book, like the author, I have lived all over and gravitate towards others like me. It is a series of articles with a global slant - The Olympic Games, Toronto as a world city as well as more personal reflections. I will look out for more of his work.

166. Books do furnish a room
Book 10 in A Dance to the Music of Time
Back amongst friends, a few new characters, but also some of the old ones popping up. The nostalgia is certainly growing, especially with a chance meeting with the old school master.

308RidgewayGirl
Dec 13, 2013, 2:08am Top

I really like Pico Iyer's books, but I have yet to read Global Soul. My favorite, although it's quite old, is Video Night in Kathmandu.

309soffitta1
Edited: Dec 16, 2013, 3:16pm Top

1. 1001 Books COMPLETED



1. Dom Casmurro
2. Gravity's Rainbow
3. What a carve up!
4. They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
5. A Hero of our Time
6. The Corrections
7. Junky
8. Seize the Day
9. Freedom
10. The Marriage Plot
11. Timbuktu
12. She
13. Books do furnish a room

It's hard to pick between the cream of the crop! At the top of the year, Dom Casmurro was well-crafted, so full of saudade. I have enjoyed getting to know a new author Jonathan Franzen as well as revisiting an old favourite Jeffrey Eugenides.

310soffitta1
Dec 14, 2013, 4:07am Top

Thanks for the recommendation, Ridgewaygirl, I will add that to my list! I just really liked the style.

311soffitta1
Dec 16, 2013, 3:14pm Top

167. Madiba Magic
A collection of stories from all over Africa chosen by Mandela himself. A poignant time to read them.

312soffitta1
Dec 16, 2013, 3:15pm Top

8. Olympic Challenge COMPLETED


I am trying to read a book from every Olympic nation.

1. Hideous Kinky **1001, Morocco
2. The Snowman Norway
3. Summer in Baden Baden **1001, Belarus
4. Making the world legible - Cote d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovakia
5. Prisoner of Love Palestine
6. Right of Passage Senegal, the Maldives
7. So you want to live on an island Cayman Islands
8. The Granta Book of the African Short Story Guinea, Cameroon
9. The Last Will of Testament of Senhor da Silva Araujo Cape Verde
10. Solomon Time Solomon Islands
11. The Derk Isle Belgium
12. The Global Soul Picked this up at Manningtree station, while the book isn't set in a new country for me, there is a chapter on the Olympic Games.
13. Madiba Magic Various African folktales

A real mix of books in a category I was not sure I would finish. Last up was a great read, Madiba Magic, I love to read fairy tales and traditional stories, so was excited to see this in a charity shop. Strange that it should be now that I was reading it. I think I have found a kindred spirit in The Global Soul, I discovered another great writer in Leonid Tsypkin and revisited an old friend in The Derk Isle

**2 1001 books.

313lkernagh
Dec 16, 2013, 8:34pm Top

Congratulations on completing your Olympic challenge!

314soffitta1
Dec 18, 2013, 2:35pm Top

168. Wife to Charles II
Rather slow, but I wanted to read the history out of curiosity.

315soffitta1
Dec 18, 2013, 2:37pm Top

9. Rulers COMPLETED

I really enjoyed this book when I read it a couple of years ago, thought it would be fitting here.

1. First Lady
2. The Middle Kingdom
3. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana: An Illustrated Novel
4. Mary Queen of Scots 1
5. Mary Queen of Scots part 2
6. The Customs of the Kingdoms of India (Penguin Great Journeys)
7. Twenty Four Hours in the Life of a Woman: AND The Royal Game (The Royal Game is a 1001 book)
8. La Regenta **1001 Book, actually a graded reader version for students of Spanish.
9. The King's pleasure
10. Empire of Sand
11. Command
12. The Admiral's daughter
13. Wife to Charles II

2 1001 books
A rather mixed bag of books, I am interested in history so this category was easy to fill. I really liked Stefan Zweig's work. The other standout book would have to be The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana.

316soffitta1
Dec 23, 2013, 11:38am Top

169. Little Hut of Leaping Fishes
The last one, interesting backdrop - China at the end of the 19th Century as foreign powers were trying to get their slice of the action. At times, the writing was a bit laboured, needed some more editing, but not a bad book to finish the challenge with.

317soffitta1
Edited: Dec 28, 2013, 4:26pm Top

11. Road Trip COMPLETED



Inspired by one of Katrinat's categories in 2011 The idea is that each book comes from a country bordering the previous one, e.g. a book set in Spain followed by one set in Portugal.


Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com

1. Sahara Begins and ends in Gibraltar, taking the reader around the Sahara:
Gibraltar - Morocco - Western Sahara - Mauritania - Senegal - Mali - Niger - Algeria - Libya - Tunisia - Algeria - Gibraltar
2. The Seamstress - Spain - Morocco - Spain - Portugal - Spain
3. Down and out in Paris and London France (and the U.K.)
4. Miss Garnet's Angel Italy
5. The Song of Achilles Greece
6. Birds without Wings Turkey
7. The Road to Oxiana (Italy - ) Cyprus - Israel - Syria - Iraq - Iran - Afghanistan - Pakistan (- India)
8. Animal's People India
9. 20 Fragments of a ravenous youth China
10. The Sorrow of War Vietnam
11. The King's Last Song Cambodia
12. The Story of Lon Thailand
13. Little Hut of leaping fishes Malaysia

No 1001 books, but a few that I have had for a while. I enjoyed The Seamstress, which is due to start on Spanish TV soon as well as Birds without Wings and The King's Last Song. The Sorrow of war was interesting as it told the other side of Vietnam, so rarely told.

318soffitta1
Dec 23, 2013, 11:45am Top

I can't believe I am done! I have not really had much time to read recently, already got my next books lined up for the 14 in 14 Challenge.

319Yells
Dec 23, 2013, 12:15pm Top

Congrats!

320soffitta1
Dec 23, 2013, 2:16pm Top

Thanks!

321rabbitprincess
Dec 23, 2013, 3:47pm Top

Woo hoo! Congratulations on finishing!

322hailelib
Dec 23, 2013, 5:25pm Top

Interesting road trip.

323lkernagh
Dec 23, 2013, 9:34pm Top

Congratulations! What a great road trip your challenge was!

324clfisha
Dec 24, 2013, 3:56am Top

Congrats!

325soffitta1
Dec 24, 2013, 4:06am Top

Thanks! It was fun as always, though I was worried I wouldn't get finished!

326DeltaQueen50
Dec 24, 2013, 12:55pm Top

Congratulations on completing your 2013 Challenge!

327soffitta1
Dec 24, 2013, 2:54pm Top

Thanks!

328AHS-Wolfy
Dec 24, 2013, 3:01pm Top

Congrats on completing your challenge!

329paruline
Dec 26, 2013, 9:47am Top

Yeah, completed challenge! Well done!

Group: 2013 Category Challenge

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