Thursday, January 12, 2012


Okay, okay, it's been a while - I'm sorry! Will try to do better this year, honest.

Anyways... in 2011 I set myself a challenge having fallen into the habit of mostly re-reading what I call 'comfort reads', those familiar well loved tales that still manage to move you after umpteen times yet have that reassuringness that comes with knowing the ultimate outcome. Sometimes we just need to know there is a happy ending.

So, my challenge to myself was to read at least 52 books in 2011. These were to be predominantly books that were new to me, to include several non-fiction books, genres that I don't normally read, literature classics - both modern and not so. So using the BBC Big Read books list as a springboard for what to look for in the library and on various friends shelves, I set forth into the year keeping track of what I read on a facebook 'note' which gave me the added incentive to stick to my goals as progress was public (not that anyone read it after the initial posting I'm sure!).

What is more, I succeded! Which probably has to be the first time I've ever seen a New Years' Resolution through to the end of the year! 58 books - admittedly including several childrens' books & the Asterix books I found on my new bedroom shelves but also including some rather weighty tomes. Historical fiction featured rather heavily I realise looking back which is hardly a new genre for me but the setting of many of them was - I've learned a lot of American history in the last 12 months! There are some really random entries on the list - usually what came to hand when I realised it was bedtime and I'd finished the previous book without lining up a successor...

So, 2012 is here and with it the same challenge - Sebastian Faulkes 'Birdsong' is on the 100 books list I was using to start with and is usually there in the library when I go but so far I've been avoiding it as I always seem to find it when I've just read another war book and really fancy something more lighthearted. However it is the first book on the list that I haven't read already (coming in at #13). The next at #20 is War and Peace, but that might just have to stay unread a bit longer I think! There are 36 books in the first 100 that I haven't read so plenty to keep me busy that is for sure. However with the latest Clan of the Cave Bear book to read and Sally Nicholl's new book All Fall Down due to arrive in March I'm not limiting myself to 2003 and before titles that is for sure.

So, for the record - here is what I read in 2011. * means I still haven't finished it, italics means it was a re-read.

Jan - March 2011

1. Always Coming Home - Ursula K Le Guin

2. *The New Natural Alternatives to HRT - Marilyn Glenville

3. A Demanding and Uncertain Adventure - Rosemary Morrow (Backhouse Lecture 2011)

4. Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett

5. Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett

6. Feet of Clay - Terry Pratchett

7. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams

8. Vox - Nicholson Baker

9. Lud-in-the-Mist - Hope Mirrlees

April - June 2011

10. Ivanhoe - Walter Scott

11. Dreams of My Father - Barak Obama

12. Quaker Origins, Worship & Identity: Reflections from Kenya - Donald B. Thomas

13. A Breath of Snow and Ashes - Diana Gabaldon

14. Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

15. Odd One Out - Monica McInerney

16. Best House in the School - Dorita Fairlie

17. The Lake of Tears - Emily Rodda

18. Anybody Out There? - Marian Keyes

19. Asterix in Britain - Goscinny & Uderzo

20. Asterix the Legionary - Goscinny & Uderzo

21. Asterix in Spain - Goscinny & Uderzo

22. The Mansions of the Gods - Goscinny & Uderzo

23. Kiwi Dragon - Bill Willmott (Quaker lecture 2009)

24. Atonement - Ian MacEwan (decided I had read this before after all!)

25. Changing the Prison System - Tony Taylor (Quaker lecture 2011)

26. The City of Rats - Emily Rodda

27. Dragongirl - Todd McCaffery

28. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade - Diana Gabaldon

29. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne

30. Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett

31. Whitehorn Woods - Maeve Binchy

July - September 2011

32. Ancestors of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley & Diana L Paxson

33. Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman

34. The Sacrifice Stone - Elizabeth Harris

35. * A Testament of Devotion - Thomas R. Kelly

36. Tilly Trotter - Catherine Cookson

37. The Village Cricket Match - A.G. MacDonell

38. Magic by the Lake - Edward Eager

39. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

40. Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

October - December 2011

41. For One More Day - Mitch Albom

42. The Quilter's Kitchen - Jennifer Chaverini

43. Thanks For the Memories - Cecelia Ahern

44. Full Circle - Jill Sumner

45. Dragonheart - Todd McCaffrey

46. Lord John and the Hand of Devils - Diana Gabaldon

47. Cats in May - Doreen Tovey

48. The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám - translated by Edward Fitzgerald

49. Kiwi Moon - Gavin Bishop

50. Spells - Emily Gravett

51. The Travelling Restaurant - Barbara Else

52. Me and Gus - F. Anthony & F. Jackson

53. Dragon's Kin - Anne McCaffery & Todd McCaffery

54. Dragon's Fire - Anne McCaffery & Todd McCaffery

55. Madame Bouvary - Gustave Flaubert

56. The Day of the Storm - Rosamunde Pilcher

57. Another View - Rosamunde Pilcher

58. Sleeping Tiger - Rosamunde Pilcher

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read War and Peace in installments from - getting a couple of installments a day made it all a bit more manageable!