Summer Reading Challenge: The Book is Better

Well it is back to planning my books for the reading challenge. I have decided I’m going to try not to read books I have read before but go for all new reads.

I have chosen The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling for the first prompt Good as Gold. 

The prompt I have to work with next is The Book is Better: Read a book that is being adapted for film or TV this year.

So I have been having a little look around and have come up with a few options to mull over. They are as follows:-

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

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Hamburg, 1946. Thousands remain displaced in what is now the British Occupied Zone. Charged with overseeing the rebuilding of this devastated city and the de-Nazification of its defeated people, Colonel Lewis Morgan is requisitioned a fine house on the banks of the Elbe, where he will be joined by his grieving wife, Rachael, and only remaining son, Edmund.

But rather than force its owners, a German widower and his traumatized daughter, to leave their home, Lewis insists that the two families live together. In this charged and claustrophobic atmosphere all must confront their true selves as enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.

 

Where’s You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

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When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces–which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where’d You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother.

 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

 

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

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Roy is a conman living in a small English town, about to pull off his final con. He is going to meet and woo a beautiful woman and slip away with her life savings. But who is the man behind the con? What has he had to do to survive a life of lies? And who has had to pay the price?

When Roy meets a wealthy widow online, he can hardly believe his luck. Just like Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley, Roy is a man who lives to deceive—and everything about Betty suggests she’s an easy mark. He’s confident that his scheme to swindle her will be a success. After all, he’s done this before.

Sure enough, Betty soon lets Roy move into her beautiful home, seemingly blind to the web of lies he’s woven around her. But who is Roy, really? Spanning almost a century, this stunning and suspenseful feat of storytelling interweaves the present with the past. As the clock turns back and the years fall away, long-hidden secrets are forced into the light. Some things can never be forgotten. Or forgiven.

 

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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The novel is set during World War II, from 1942 to 1944. It mainly follows the life of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Most of the events in the book occur while the fictional 256th Squadron is based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy. The novel looks into the experiences of Yossarian and the other airmen in the camp, who attempt to maintain their sanity while fulfilling their service requirements so that they may return home.

 

 

 

So these are my options to mull over and decide what I would like to choose, to be honest I want to read them all and have put them on my TBR list but I need to choose one for my challenge.

Any help would be most welcome, please feel free to let me know your preferences.

Happy reading.

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Summer Reading Challenge: Good as Gold

Hello everyone.

I hope you all had a wonderful bank holiday weekend.

I am now trying to work out what books to read for my first ever reading challenge The Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Beginner level and today I am looking at the prompt Good as Gold. This means a book that has won the Goodreads Choice Award, so I have had a look at the options and come up with two winners that take my fancy. I have discarded the winners that I have already read because I want to read new books. I must admit every year I vote in the choice awards and my choices have never won. I also find not many of the books I read are nominated, perhaps I just don’t read the right books.

2012 Winner

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When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

 

2013 Winner

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So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari – as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named – is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

 

These are the two books I have chosen out of the winners and now I just have to decide which one to go for. I own ‘The Casual Vacancy’ so that is one advantage but I don’t mind buying ‘And The Mountains Echoed’. I love both authors but I am a bit worried about ‘And The Mountains Echoed’ as Khaled Hosseini can be a rather sad read and I’m not sure I want to be crying whilst on holiday. 

I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the two books, as I would love to have some help with my choice.

Happy reading!

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100 Books Scratch Off Bucket List

I mentioned at Christmas that my best friend bought me the 100 Books Scratch Off Bucket List and I decided that I would start reading the books on there that I have not read before. Anyway the list has been sat looking at me since Christmas and I still haven’t made a start on reading some of the books off the list.

So I thought I would make a few lists and enlist you my fellow readers to help me decide on which book to read next.

Here is what the poster looks like

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Firstly, the books I have already read:-

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  3. The Complete Art of War by Sun Tzu
  4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  7. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  8. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  9. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  10. Harry Potter (Series) by J. K. Rowling
  11. The Picture of Dorain Gray by Oscar Wilde
  12.  The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  13. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  14. The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  15. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  16. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  17. A Game of Thrones (Series) by George R. R. Martin
  18. MacBeth by William Shakespeare
  19. The Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) by J. R. R. Tolkien
  20. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  21. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  22. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
  23. Winnie the Pooh (Complete Collection) By A. A. Milne
  24. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  25. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  26. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  27. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  28. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  29. Watership Down by Richard Adam
  30. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  31. Bird Song by Sebastian Faulks
  32. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  33. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

 

Books I have not read (the ones I own are in blue):-

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  2. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  3. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  4. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  5. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  6. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  7. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  8. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  9. The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
  10. Naughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  11. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  12. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  13. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  14. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  15. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  16. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  17. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
  18. The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson
  19. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  20. His Dark Materials (Trilogy) By Philip Pullman
  21. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  22. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  23. Ulysees by James Joyce
  24. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
  25. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  26. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  27. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  28. Wild Swans by Jung Chang
  29. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
  30. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  31. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  32. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  33. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
  34. Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner
  35. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  36. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  37. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  38. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  39. Notes From A Small Island by Bill Bryson
  40. A History of Venice by John Julius Norwich
  41. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
  42. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  43. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
  44. Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally
  45. London Fields by Martin Amis
  46. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  47. My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
  48. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
  49. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  50. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  51. The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
  52. Gladys Aylward the Little Woman by Gladys Aylward
  53. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  54. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
  55. Dissolution by C. J. Sansom
  56. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  57. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  58. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  59. The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
  60. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  61. The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  62. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  63. Misery by Stephen King
  64. The Odyssey by Homer
  65. Tell No One by Harlan Coben
  66. Moby – Dick by Herman Melville
  67. Middlemarch by George Eliot

 

So out of the books on the list that I have not read and own which do you think I should read next? Whichever book is the most popular I will read next. Thank you in advance for your choices.

Happy reading.

Lady Book Dragon.