Bryan reads on in 2019

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Bryan reads on in 2019

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Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 1:15am

Looking forward to another year of reading, hoping to read 120 books or so..

I read modern fiction, classics, fantasy, some children's fiction, not enough nonfiction, spiritual themes..

There is no particular theme for the year but I do want to accomplish these things :

Finish the top 100 fiction books on site - 10 to go, beginning with Paradise, Lost.

Read 15 or more books of 600 pages or more, most of them mine.

Read some more Australian classics, starting with The Harp in the South.

Read the Miles Franklin, Booker, Pulitzer prize winners.

Read some new authors - Joyce Carol Oates, Charles Bukowski, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler.

Read 10 or so of my neglected books that have been languishing on the shelves for years.

Read The Mahabharata and Being and Nothingness.

There is a host of books I would love to reread but with all the new reads it just doesn't happen. Maybe 2020 could be the year of rereads, will ponder that..

Anyway, look forward to following everyone's reading, may we all have happy, healthy, bookish 2019 !

Dec 30, 2018, 7:17pm

Welcome back! I'm looking forward to following your reading and your inspiring/witty comments again in 2019.

Dec 30, 2018, 8:01pm

Hi Bryan.

Best wishes for the New Year. I am looking forward to following your reading again.

Dec 31, 2018, 12:41am

Thanks Jennifer and James, I also enjoy following both of your readings, good luck to us in 2019 !

Dec 31, 2018, 12:57am

Happy New Year, Bryan.

Dec 31, 2018, 1:15am

Happy new year Pam and happy reading !

Jan 1, 2019, 12:18pm

Jan 2, 2019, 6:25am

Looks like lots of good reading coming up here, again. :) Good luck with your reading goals in 2019!

Edited: Jan 2, 2019, 5:25pm

I put a star here to follow your progress. Happy just to tag along for the ride since my only chance of clearing 100 books is to make half of them short stories or poetry collections. (which I do, for chronology, but will keep it in my 50 Book thread)

Have a wonderful year of reading with your insatiable approach to literature! I have stolen tons of ideas from your 2018 collection...

Jan 2, 2019, 12:42am

Thanks wookie and Francine, may we all have a year of reading some great books !

Edited: Jan 5, 2019, 2:01am

Hope you have a great reading year.

I plan to start listening to the new Flavia de Luce the day it is released.

Jan 5, 2019, 2:00am

Happy to see your reading again! I've worked on more re-reads the last couple years, and I think it's been rewarding.

Jan 6, 2019, 7:25am

Hi Zozette, the Flavia de Luce series has been great hasn't it ! Good luck with your reading.

Hi Meredith, yes I will have to fit some rereads in somewhere, if it doesn't happen spontaneously (and it won't !?),
I'll make 2020 my reread year. Have a great 2019 !

Edited: Jan 6, 2019, 1:57am

1. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik.

This is the second of Novik's 'remake of fairy tales' novels, the first was Uprooted, with hints of Beauty and the Beast, an engaging and imaginative story that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The second Spinning Silver is her take on the Rumpelstiltskin story but reimagined and expanded.
I found this story harder to follow and be engaged in, I think due to the multiple narrators, but this adds depth to the story with the different perspectives.
I enjoy these engaging modern fairy tales with strong female characters, recommended.

Jan 8, 2019, 11:19pm

Oh, I was very impressed with Uprooted, and Spinning Silver is currently #1 on my wishlist, after a rave recommendation at my local bookshop.

Edited: Jan 9, 2019, 1:56am

Hope you enjoy it Wookie, there is some great fantasy being written these days !

Edited: Jan 16, 2019, 3:53am

2. Transcription by Kate Atkinson.

I have been a Kate Atkinson fan ever since her Life After Life.
Transcription is her latest novel and is a somewhat traditional spy story interspersed with her typically wry comments on life, love, etc.
In 1940, 18 year old Julie gets a job recording overheard conversations with Nazi sympathisers, and the plot thickens from there.
Not my favourite Atkinson novel but plenty here to enjoy.

Jan 15, 2019, 3:56am

Been away for a week, big reading plans with very underwhelming results !??

Jan 16, 2019, 4:04am

3. Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend.

The first ya novel by the Australian author Nevermoor was a revelation in fantasy, somewhat Potterish but plenty of original and creative ideas.
The sequel Wundersmith continues Morrigan's journey as she grapples with the enormity of her ability.

These ya fantasy novels are a creative and fun read, and recommended.

Edited: Jan 21, 2019, 4:21am

4. The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas.

In 1967 four women scientists invent time travel.
In a fascinating debut novel, the author explores how time travel would change our world, from going back in time to give your younger self some advice, to going to your funeral to see who is there.
To complicate things a time traveller is brutally murdered within the machine....

Edited: Jan 24, 2019, 11:06am

5. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey.

Charlie is a 13 year old boy living in 1970s Australia. His quiet life is suddenly overturned when the town outcast knocks on his window and insists that Charlie help him.
Enjoyed this coming of age page turner.

Edited: Jan 24, 2019, 10:49pm

6. The Recognitions by Wiliam Gaddis.

This is a big, formidable novel that has been sitting on the shelf for years, so it was good to open it and slowly read/work through it.
Gaddis' first novel crackles with ideas and language, and his creativity and humour are a joy.
Perhaps the main theme is one of authenticity ; we meet forgers of art, money, relationships...
I suggest his meaning is deeper and questions us ; who is/has been really authentic, and if we are not being our authentic selves then who are we being and why ?
(Disclaimer : written after a considerable volume of fine wine was quaffed, it has been hot here !)

"-I really prefer books. No matter how bad a book is, it's unique, but people are all so ordinary.

-I think we really like books that make us hate ourselves...

-But...why doesn't someone just write a happy book..."

Jan 22, 2019, 9:45am

Oh, I saw The Psychology of Time Travel at the bookshop the other day, now I'm regretting resisting. :)

Jan 22, 2019, 11:14pm

Knowing your scifi interest wookie, I'll be interested to see your reaction to the story. Mine was a library copy, just saying...

Jan 24, 2019, 3:41am

7. Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami.

Murakami's latest novel and a story reminiscent of his amazing 1Q84.

" a thirty-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself holed up in the mountain home of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When he discovers a strange painting in the attic, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances."

The author's surrealist style means things are weirder than they at first seem, and the reader is soon swept up in a saga that is both strange and entrancing, and a page turner as well !

Edited: Jan 26, 2019, 3:03am

Have begun Bridge of Clay, the new Markus Zusak novel, cannot say it is much of a read 160 pages in...hope it picks up.

Edited: Jan 27, 2019, 2:58pm

I quit bridge of clay at 30 pages.
And I loved both Book thief and I am the messenger.

Jan 27, 2019, 7:18am

I have Bridge of Clay on my Wishlist, I might reconsider it.

Jan 28, 2019, 5:14am

Making a note of Nevermoor/Wundersmith and The Psychology of Time Travel. That's disappointing about Bridge of Clay, definitely interested in that review.

Jan 28, 2019, 10:25am

My book club friend tells me that Bridge of Clay improves and that she couldn't wait to find out what happens, well I'm 335 pages in and apart from some touching moments I am struggling through.

Nancy : you were wise to stop, agree with you re his other novels.

Zozette : I'll be interested to read your thoughts if you get to it.

Meredith : I think you will like Nevermoor and maybe The Psychology of Time Travel, I have The Calculating Stars to read next, a theme of feminist scifi seems to be occuring !

Edited: Feb 2, 2019, 2:15am

8. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak.

After the acclaimed The Book Thief and I am the Messenger, and a long wait comes Bridge of Clay.
What a disappointing read !? The author chose a dearth of description, and short, cutting sentences, I presume to present the story in a particular way. As a consequence I developed very little interest or empathy for the setting and the characters, and apart from a few touching moments disliked the whole experience.
Book club meeting soon, will report back with the consensus..

Edited: Feb 2, 2019, 2:15am

9. Tales From the Inner City by Shaun Tan.

Book club read, and an illustrated, fantasy collection of stories of how animals might exist in big cities. My favourites "The boy was a genius !" and "Bears with lawyers."

Edited: Feb 3, 2019, 10:44am

10. The Science of Discworld III. Darwin's Watch by Terry Pratchett.

On their round world experiment Charles Darwin publishes the wrong book.
In go the Discworld wizards to fix things up, with their usual blundering, bumbling approach, but it all works out.
In these science editions the story is interspersed with a science explanation, this one mainly concerning biology/evolution.

Edited: Feb 25, 2019, 5:45am

11. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal.

A big meteor smashes into the sea just off the eastern US coast, wreaking devastation and impending climate change. This results in a fast tracking of the space program to colonise the moon.
Racism and sexism were firmly entrenched but Elma York and her pilot friends, black and white, see no reason why they wouldn't have the opportunity to go into space.
Enjoyed this alternative history novel, will read the sequel The Fated Sky.

Edited: Feb 25, 2019, 5:35am

12. The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman.

Collection of Neil's speeches, reviews, and other nonfiction writings, thoughtful and of course encouraging of reading and creative writing.

Feb 4, 2019, 9:27pm

13. Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Forgot about this one, the lovely Christine hadn't read this classic before so I read it to her while we drove to Melbourne and back. Still one of my favourites !

Feb 11, 2019, 1:25am

One of my challenges this year is to read from 'The Greatest Books' list, I have ten to read to complete the first hundred on the list :

Paradise, Lost, begin when Mason & Dixon is finished.
Gargantua and Pantagruel, big book
The Flowers of Evil
Fairy Tales, big book
Cousin Bette
A Sentimental Education
Metamorphoses, big book
Decameron, big book

One a month will do...

Feb 15, 2019, 3:25am

Have begun The Golden Tresses of the Dead, Flavia's new adventure...

"She's got 'er nose stuck in a book. Useless, I think it's called, by some woman called Joyce."

Great fun !

Feb 17, 2019, 7:18pm

^^^ Had to chuckle when Mrs Mullet said that. I have really enjoyed all the Flavia books.

Feb 22, 2019, 3:49am

Agreed Zozette, and he keeps them coming, at least one a year.

Feb 25, 2019, 5:57am

14. The Gateless Barrier by Robert Aitken, zen ramblings !

15. Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon.

Seems to me Pynchon has much fun with the characters Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon as they struggle to navigate boats, find their way across country, and survive the natural world and each other.
They are also caught between the processes of science (1760s) and the alternatives presented by the people they meet, country types and natives.
I don't know which parts are accurate and which are fabrications, probably it is all made up but enjoyed this rambling account that doesn't take itself seriously.

Edited: Mar 5, 2019, 9:09am

16. Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys.

An intriguing debut fantasy novel where the sea monsters have been persecuted and sent out in the desert to die. The survivors return to find out about their ancestors and how they can survive.
The sequel is Deep Roots and I'll be reading that too.

Edited: Mar 5, 2019, 9:13am

17. The Outlaw and the Upstart King by rod Duncan.

The new Elizabeth Barnabus novel, introducing a new character Elias. Interesting, but I prefer the Elizabeth (and her brother) of the first three books, the last two instalments haven't been as good.

Edited: Mar 5, 2019, 9:22am

18. The Armoured Saint by Myke Cole.

I hadn't read any Myke Cole but the premise to this series sounded interesting...teen heroin in a medieval, magical world, plus militaristic war engines..

Enjoyed this fantasy novel, the sequel is The Queen of Crows and I am looking forward to following Heloise's next adventure.

Edited: Mar 5, 2019, 9:41am

19. The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley.

"Flavia de Luce, the twelve-year-old chemist and amateur detective, is eager to turn professional. She and her father's valet Dogger, have founded a detective agency, Arthur Dogger & Associates, and unexpectedlly cut into their first case during the revelry at her sister Ophelia's wedding reception."

Flavia's tenth and latest story is an absolute pleasure, fans of the series will have already read and enjoyed it, anyone else find a copy of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and begin to enjoy this delightful series.

Mar 2, 2019, 12:52am

Already way behind on my posting/reviews, but reading is so much better !

Have read 23 books so far, on track more or less....

Edited: Mar 5, 2019, 4:25am

20. The Harp in the South by Ruth Park.

Classic story of a Catholic Irish family that has immigrated to Australia and settled in a poor suburb of Sydney.
Story of hope and difficulties, sparingly told but effective.

Mar 5, 2019, 1:01am

I absolutely adore the Flavia De Luce series - maybe she never grow up, I love her just the way she is.

Mar 5, 2019, 3:41am

Agreed Zozette !

Mar 5, 2019, 4:30am

21. Paradise, Lost by John Milton.

Classic telling of the fall of Adam and Eve.
58th on The Greatest Books list, next one is Faust at 65.

Edited: Apr 13, 2019, 1:35am

24. Preservation by Jock Serong.

An Australian historical fiction novel, based on the wreck of the Sydney Cove in 1797.
Three survivors have walked hundreds of miles through the wilderness and are rescued.
Their stories of what happened are vague and evasive and when Lieutenant Grayling investigates, he gradually realises there is an evil presence involved that may threaten his family and others.

An engaging and unsettling story, enjoyed this.

Mar 17, 2019, 10:03pm

25. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope.

Trollope's searing commentary on society's veneration of the rich, and marrying for status/money rather than love, and an enjoyable read as well.

Mar 18, 2019, 9:30am

26. The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell.

We have been enjoying The Durrells episodes, which are based on Durrell's childhood reminiscences on Corfu.
Delightful series and book !

Mar 18, 2019, 9:46am

27. Reading the World by Ann Morgan.

Realizing that most of her reading was English/American, Ann Morgan decided to spend 2012 reading a book from every country (196).
A list of the books is included but this book is more of a reflection on cultural identity, translation, technology, censorship and much more.
Ann maintains a website 'A Year of Reading the World', well worth a look.
A quick check of my reads shows 56 countries, so a long way to go. Tempting as it is to add another challenge to my collection, I might occasionally track down a country I haven't read from yet. Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are close...

Mar 18, 2019, 12:32am

>56 bryanoz: Do the books have to be written by author from the country, or can they just be set the country?

Mar 19, 2019, 9:02am

>55 bryanoz:. I recently read The Corfu Trilogy and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I had remembered reading My Family and other Animals at school more than forty years ago, and completely hating it (a fate that so many books I read at school also suffered). I was persuaded to give it another chance, and was glad that I did.

Mar 19, 2019, 9:18pm

>57 Zozette: Zozette the books are from authors from that country, not necessarily about the country.

>58 Eyejaybee: Agreed James, those books we suffered through in school are often worth a reread when we are older and wiser.

Mar 19, 2019, 11:07pm

28. Suitcase of Dreams by Tania Blanchard.

Bookclub read and an ok one. This account is based on Tania's grandparents' story, they emigrated from Germany to Australia in the 1950s determined to make new lives. This came with plenty of challenges, opportunities, tragedy, and joys.

Mar 21, 2019, 10:51pm

29. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Written as a tragic play and in two parts, the first published in 1808, the second in 1832.

Faust is the well known character who makes a pact with Mephistopheles (the devil's representative) that for the rest of his life he can have whatever he wants, but after he dies he is Mephistopheles' slave.

The first part is interesting, I found the second part confusing.

65th on The Greatest Books list, next up in The Oresteia, 77th on the list.

Mar 22, 2019, 5:39am

30. The Queen of Crows by Myke Cole.

Second in the Sacred Throne trilogy and following straight on from The Armoured Saint.

After the battle with the devil, Heloise, her war machine and village await the coming of the Order. Should they run, should they fight ?
Unexpected allies emerge but the battle looks hopeless.
Enjoying this series of epic fantasy.

Mar 23, 2019, 1:26am

31. Mean and Lowly Things by Kate Jackson.

Bought this book years ago because I am interested in things reptilian, but it is a poor account of a field trip where not much happens...

Edited: Mar 31, 2019, 10:54am

32. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Delia Owen's first novel and what a wonderful, heartfelt, page turner it is.
Kya Clark is a girl who is abandoned in the marshes but survives... to be continued.

Mar 31, 2019, 10:35am

Behind with posts again...

33. The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay, fun Australian children's book.

34. The Oresteia by Aeschylus, ancient Greek tragedy, 77th on The Greatest Books list.

35. Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys, second in The Innsmouth Legacy, recommended fantasy which places the Cthulhu myth in 1940s America and has us supporting the monster's position.

Edited: Apr 2, 2019, 9:48pm

Just found out that a new edition of Ursula K Le Guin's Always Coming Home has been released, with new chapters and essays, and 840 pages, will be buying and rereading this masterpiece !

Apr 2, 2019, 2:36am

Oh, I think I just took a book bullet with The Innsmouth Legacy!

Apr 3, 2019, 8:20am

The first one was Winter Tide, enjoy !

Apr 13, 2019, 1:29am

37. A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos.

Bought this because it won the 'Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire' Youth award, (which I hoped meant Imaginative Fiction), and glad I did.
Creative French fantasy for teens and older, recommended.

Apr 13, 2019, 1:35am

38. The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong.

Enjoyed his Preservation, 24th read this year, so tried this look at sports stars and their (in some cases) inappropriate behaviour, with corruption thrown in for good measure. OK.

Apr 15, 2019, 12:43am

Edited: May 3, 2019, 12:55am

40. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, new YA fantasy, good.

41. At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien, 1939 classic Irish fiction in Joyce mode, humorous.

42. Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies by Kittie Flanagan, Australian comediene's reflections on life, humorous.

Apr 23, 2019, 8:52am

I plan to read At Swim-Two-Birds this year. I think if it is as half as good as The Third Policeman I will enjoy it.

Apr 24, 2019, 1:26pm

Haven’t read The Third Policeman Zozette, sounds similar to At Swim, onto the TBR slab it goes, thanks !

May 1, 2019, 5:03am

After listening to the BBC adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Guards, Guards, I have decided it has been way too long since I have read Sir Terry's works, so am rereading The Carpet People, followed by his The Dark Side of the Sun, Strata, the gnome trilogy, then the discworld novels.

May 3, 2019, 1:19am

43. Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, fantasy, famous band of warriors these days old, fat, and drunk are
hauled out of retirement to rescue a daughter, good fun.

44. Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais, 1500s classic fiction, satire of society, over 1000 pages, ok.

45. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, based on true love story in appalling circumstances, ok.

Edited: May 6, 2019, 3:02am

46. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, children's Celtic fantasy, enjoyed this.

47. One Hundred Years of Dirt by Rick Morton, book club read, autobiography, looks at damage of poverty and abuse.

48. The Science of Discworld IV. Judgement Day by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen. Part great discworld story, part ok science explanations.

May 8, 2019, 12:54am

49. Last Woman Hanged by Caroline Overington.

Fascinating account of the life, trials, and execution of Louisa Collins, who after her two husbands died suddenly, suspicions were raised. The Crown was convinced that she had poisoned them, and were determined to convict her.
Much more than a 'did she do it ?', a well researched and compassionate take on the lack of equality for women in the 1880s and the determination of many women to fight for Louisa and their status in society.

Edited: May 10, 2019, 7:39am

>79 bryanoz: I read ‘Last Woman Hanged’ last year and I remember that I could not make up my mind if she was guilty or whether it was environmental. I could not see why the authorities were so eager to find her guilty that she had to have four separate trials.

Edited: May 11, 2019, 9:37am

Hi Zozette, I'm not certain she was guilty, maybe of the first murder, but nowhere enough evidence for a conviction. I guess the Crown didn't want women's issues with dubious husbands to connect with the prevalence of rat poison !

May 12, 2019, 10:49am

50. Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton.

A book club read with high expectations and rave reviews, but I was underwhelmed....more to follow.

May 25, 2019, 9:38pm

Interesting about Last Woman Hanged, definitely going on my list.

May 25, 2019, 3:54am

I'll be interested to see what you think Meredith.

May 26, 2019, 4:07am

am again behind on reviews, have read 60 books so far...

51. Normal People by Sally Rooney. Modern love story set in Ireland, interesting in places.

52. Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett. Really enjoyed this inquiry into what wisdom means.

53. Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence. Final book in the Book of the Ancestor trilogy, a satisfying end, I didn't get into this series as much as his Red Queen's War trilogy.

54. The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett. His first published novel and a fun read.

May 28, 2019, 10:59pm

55. The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire. Published in the 1850s, poetry dealing with death, sexuality, and decadence.

56. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff S. Volek and Stephen D. Phinney.

Jun 11, 2019, 10:04am

57. Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee. Good children's read.

58. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Enjoyed this first novel in a lond epic fantasy series.

59. The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett. An early work and not up to his later fiction.

60. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin.

"If you knew the date of your death, how would you choose to live the rest of your life? In the late ’60s in New York’s Lower East Side, word spreads of a psychic who can predict the date a person will die. The four Gold children visit this mysterious seer, unprepared for what they will hear and how this knowledge will define each sibling’s life."
An intriguing premise and a good read.

Jun 15, 2019, 1:46am

61. The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl by Ishbelle Bee. Following on from the crazy but engaging The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath comes the equally creative but weird, fun but quite violent tale of the Butterfly Girl.

62. The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan. Second in the famous Wheel of Time series, and I am right into the story and have The Dragon Reborn sitting close, ready to resume this intriguing saga.

Jun 17, 2019, 11:44am

63. The Uncollected Plays of Shaun Micallef.

Australia's funniest comedian's (in my opinion) most recent book, hilarious !

Jun 25, 2019, 10:07pm

64. The Complete Illustrated Works of Hans Christian Anderson.

Read this for my 'Greatest Books' challenge, plenty of famous stories and many little known.

Jul 4, 2019, 12:17am

65. The Blue Cliff Record trans. by Thomas Cleary, zen Buddhist nonsense.

66. A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne, enjoyed this novel about a nasty, manipulative man who will do anything to be a famous writer.

Jul 6, 2019, 4:15am

67. Dragon's Green by Scarlett Thomas, fun children's fantasy, 1st of series.

68. Mrs Kelly by Grantlee Kieza, well researched biography of Ned Kelly's mother, though most emphasis is on Ned and the Kelly gang.

Jul 7, 2019, 11:02am

69. His Name was Walter by Emily Rodda.

Children's Book Council of Australia short-listed novel and an engaging mystery, recommended.

Jul 8, 2019, 7:55am

70. The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars by Jaclyn Moriarty.

Another Australian Children's Council short listed book, and another fun, imaginative read.

Edited: Jul 9, 2019, 9:27pm

>92 bryanoz: I was slightly disappointed with Mrs Kelly because there was not nearly enough on her as compared to her sons.

Have you read Ned Kelly: Under the Microscope by Craig Cormick? It deals with the forensics used trying to determine which body exhumed from Old Melbourne Gaol was Ned’s.

Jul 9, 2019, 1:13am

I agree Zozette, would have made a quicker read too.

Haven't read Ned Kelly: Under the Microscope, but I did enjoy True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey.

Jul 15, 2019, 10:24am

71. The Folklore of Discworld by Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson.

Edited: Jul 23, 2019, 10:06pm

Aug 4, 2019, 2:46am

73. The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan, third in the Wheel of Time saga, very good so far.

74. Metamorphoses by Ovid, Roman classic.

75. The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard, highly recommended fantasy, just couldn't get into it somehow.

76. Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton, ok, no need to read the rest of the series.

Aug 4, 2019, 3:49am

Oh, you didn't like Boy Swallows Universe! I thought it was marvellous.

I mostly liked The House of Shattered Wings, but it was oddly distancing. I'll probably read on, because I liked the elements a lot.

Aug 5, 2019, 11:50pm

Hi wookie, I thought it was 'over the top' and very unbelievable, but you and many others enjoyed the story so wrong I appear to be :)
I'll be interested to see what you think of the next 'Shattered Wings story, still not sure why it didn't work for me...
Happy reading !

Aug 7, 2019, 10:34am

77. Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac, ok classic, 90th on the greatest books site, 2 to go to finish the first hundred !

78. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, book club read and none of us liked it !?

79. Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng, her first novel and it was excellent !

"Catherine Helstone’s brother, Laon, has disappeared in Arcadia, legendary land of the magical fae. Desperate for news of him, she makes the perilous journey, but once there, she finds herself alone and isolated in the sinister house of Gethsemane. At last there comes news: her beloved brother is riding to be reunited with her soon – but the Queen of the Fae and her insane court are hard on his heels."

Aug 9, 2019, 3:38am

80. Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare, a book club read and a pyschological thriller (not my usual kind of read), ok but I was frustrated with how long the author took to allow the reader more information to begin to understand the situation.

81. Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth, one of those modern classics I didn't read, probably more shocking back in 1969 when it was published.

Aug 12, 2019, 11:50am

82. The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan.

Fourth in the Wheel of Time saga and I am really enjoying the story so far.

The Fires of Heaven is next, at one a month should be completed about this time next year !

Sep 3, 2019, 8:15am

Am nearly finished The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark, and am quite enjoying it.
Part epic fantasy, part sensitive, part humour, will read the rest of the trilogy.

Sep 3, 2019, 8:18am

87. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber, an enjoyable and thought provoking scifi novel.

Sep 8, 2019, 9:45am

88. The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark.

Enjoyed this fantasy story, first of a trilogy. As said above...part epic, part sensitive, part humour !

Sep 9, 2019, 10:46am

89. A History of Loneliness by John Boyne.

Another very good novel from Boyne, this one concerning child abuse in the Catholic Church. A horrible topic but handled carefully, recommended.

Sep 12, 2019, 8:53am

90. The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie.

Leckie's first foray into fantasy and an interesting story. Took me sometime to work what was happening (no surprise here !) but there are two stories told 'in parallel', one from an ancient god's perspective, the other from a young soldier. These different settings give a thoughtful depth to the story, recommended.

Sep 13, 2019, 5:31am

91. Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam.

Light read lent by a book club friend.

Sep 21, 2019, 1:30am

92. Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, published in 1923, one of the pioneer 'psychological' novels, I found it an intriguing read.

Sep 27, 2019, 11:27pm

Really looking forward to The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman released 3rd October.
Also coming is The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss,
new Elliot Perlman Maybe the Horse Will Talk,
The Killing Light by Myke Cole,
new Bill Bryson The Body:a Guide for Occupants.
And recently published...
Kopp Sisters on the March by Amy Stewart,
and of course The Testaments.
Great time to be a reader !!

Oct 3, 2019, 7:38am

93. The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan.

Fifth in the Wheel of Time fantasy series and I am enjoying the characters and the story. One complaint, in this book there is no mention of Perrin or Faile, 2 of my favourite characters, hope they are in Lord of Chaos...

Oct 3, 2019, 7:43am

94. Strata by Terry Pratchett.

My slow reread of the Pratchetts, his earlier works are shallow imitations of his later books so don't start here, still an interesting enough read.

Oct 4, 2019, 5:19pm

95. The Tower of Living and Dying by Anna Smith Spark.

Second in the Empires of Dust trilogy, intriguing characters that I want to follow in The House of Sacrifice.

Oct 14, 2019, 9:17am

96. The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, 13th Cen Italian classic, consists of ten by ten stories on various topics, quite accessible.

97. Reason and Beyond by Darrell Morley Price.

Oct 25, 2019, 9:57am

Been busy working, not as much reading as I would like...

98. The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri, his latest novel, and a compelling read.

99. Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales, Leigh is an Australian journalist who looks at prominent cases of personal tragedy, how people cope and then recover, confronting and inspiring.

Oct 25, 2019, 10:01am

100. The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman.

Second volume of the Book of Dust trilogy, and I am just so grateful that the author has decided to revisit and deepen Lyra's story. Brilliant !

Oct 25, 2019, 12:18am

Congratulations on making it to one hundred, and a great way to get there with The Secret Commonwealth. I have bought it, but am just rereading the original trilogy so as to be match fit for it.

Oct 26, 2019, 12:02pm

Thanks James, you'll enjoy Commonwealth !

Oct 26, 2019, 12:06pm

101. The Lost Man by Jane Harper.

A book club read and our 3rd Harper. In each novel I find a major aspect of the plot to be quite unrealistic so I am not a fan.

Oct 26, 2019, 12:04am

>124 bryanoz: Not a fan either. I've read all three of Jane Harper's books and decided that they are inauthentic, plus I have not forgiven her for naming the villain of The Dry Whitlam.

Oct 27, 2019, 8:52pm

Hi Pam, I had forgotten about the villain’s name and I completely agree, cheers.

Nov 7, 2019, 3:24am

Congratulations on 100, and woot! on the new Pullman being a great read! (I love Lyra too!)

Oh dear, I've been looking forward to The Dry... I'll have to bump it up the pile a bit and see what my take on it is.

Nov 9, 2019, 8:34am

wookie, plenty of people enjoyed The Dry, will be interested to see what you make of it.

102. Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan, 6th in the Wheel of Time series, enjoying the characters and story, next up A Crown of Swords.

103. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, reread for my book club, a powerful look at how the young can be drawn to fundamentalist causes, and the effect on their families.

Nov 19, 2019, 8:38am

109. The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman.

His young adult mystery series, though lacking the brilliance of his fantasy His Dark Materials series, still engaging .

Nov 20, 2019, 9:13am

110. Snow White Learns Witchcraft by Theodora Goss, collection of short stories and poems, very imaginative.

Nov 30, 2019, 3:37am

111. Milkman by Anna Burns, enjoyed this somewhat unusual narrative of an 18 year old Irish woman trying to make sense of her life.

Dec 20, 2019, 5:04am

112. Kopp Sisters on the March by Amy Stewart, latest instalment in the Kopp sisters saga, great fun !

113. Horizon by Barry Lopez.

114. A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan, 7th in the series, the story is slowing down but will keep reading.

Dec 23, 2019, 6:44am

Have begun Erin Morgenstern's new fantasy, The Starless Sea, thoroughly enjoying the story so far.

Fantasy readers will remember her brilliant first novel The Night Circus and rush to read this engaging story !

Dec 27, 2019, 11:38pm

115. Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo.

116. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk.

117. The Institute by Stephen King, interesting enough but not on the level of his classics.

118. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski, first Witcher stories, interesting.

119. The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman.

Dec 28, 2019, 4:27am

120. The House of Sacrifice by Anna Smith Spark, 3rd in the Empires of Dust trilogy, fitting ending to the series, sheer volume of slaughter was a little wearying.

121. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, creative, intriguing, beautiful, weird fantasy; one of my best reads this year !

Am reading/looking at Montress, graphic novel by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, will finish it tomorrow, making my reading this year 122 books at an average of 433 pages, happy with that.

Dec 30, 2019, 11:14am

122. Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda.

And that is all for me this year. I am happy with the total and average page count.

Missed out on some goals - new authors, etc. - but picked up the considerable Robert Jordan fantasy series so that had an effect.

Will try to reread some of my favourites next year.

Well done everyone on achieving or getting near your reading goals, I'll be back next year to read another 120 books or so...

Dec 30, 2019, 11:16am

An impressive year, Bryan, well done. I'm a little behind you on 107. I will finish the book I'm currently reading today and will probably get in a short one later tonight/tomorrow to reach 109.

Edited: Dec 31, 2019, 12:37pm

Wishing you a safe and happy new year. Terrific job to be proud of and carry into another goal-shattering attempt in 2020. I reached 50 novels on the button, and with the addition of short stories, novellas, poetry, non-fiction, etc. my 12 month total was 119. Very pleased overall even with unfinished monsters like War&Peace carried into Jan/Feb/Mar. The new list will be more nudges than targets.

Jan 1, 2020, 6:32am

#140 Thanks John, well done on the 108, I’ve enjoyed reading about your wide range of books read and your considered reviews. Happy new year mate !

Jan 1, 2020, 6:37am

#141 Thanks Francine, and well done on your reading this year. Nice to meet targets but life gets in the way sometimes so no stress is best !
Good luck with War and Peace, I’ll be reread it probably later this year, happy new year !

Jan 1, 2020, 12:05pm

>142 bryanoz: - thanks Bryan, happy new year to you too. I finished the year on 110 in the end, after reading two plays yesterday.