2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Hello everyone, and an especially big Hello to all my new followers! Welcome and thank you for joining me.

So it is usually around this time of year that I review how my reading challenge is going and to be honest it is usually going better than this. My aim this year was to read 70 books and usually this would be quite easy for me but it would appear not so this year as I am now 8 books behind! I only usually do the Goodreads yearly challenge as I don’t usually do very well with other challenges. I tried a summer one last year and failed massively so I just avoid other challenges even if I do love the idea of them.

Now just after Christmas I had a reading slump which obviously did not set me up well for the year and ever since I have been playing catch up and to be honest falling behind. Studying has also impacted as I have been doing lots of reading but not of entire books and I have also been reading a lot of journals and articles.

So what shall I do?

Firstly, I could read lots of small books and make up the total quite quickly, being as I have quite a few of the Penguin Little Black Books series left to read then this is a tempting proposition.

Secondly, I could admit defeat and lower my target, but I hate admitting defeat! This is also a downfall with me because I will read a book I’m not enjoying to the end because I won’t be beaten, but invariably I regret this at the end of the book and realise that the book has actually beaten me.

So which shall I choose?

Well at the moment I’m going to stick to my target and try to read some smaller books as I have been reading quite a few massive books recently. I will review my target again in September as I really hope to get more reading done over the summer.

Fingers crossed I get there.

Please drop me a comment with any advice you may have to hit my reading goal! How are you doing with your reading goals and challenges?

Happy Reading!

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2020 Aims

Finally, I managed to sit down and think of my plan for 2020.

The first thing I have to consider is the extreme amount of reading my Masters is taking up. I am thoroughly enjoying it but it is taking its toll on my reading time so I have decided to take this into serious consideration on my reading plans for 2020.

My first thing I have decided to read some of my old favourites or books I have always wanted to reread and give a second chance. I started this year by starting to read Emma by Jane Austen. I first read this book in 2002 and hated it but now I can’t put it down. Also because of the amount of studying and work I am doing I always like the comfort of a reread, it is like a warm blanket that comforts and helps me through the day.

I have set my Goodreads goal as 70 books but I am not entirely sure how attainable that is. Fingers crossed I manage it. I have also decided to not take on any reading challenges this year because I just do not like being so confined to a certain list and never complete the list.

I have also decided to try and seriously curb my book buying this year as I have now got a lot of books on my TBR pile, in fact I have many piles all over my house and my parents’ so I think it is high time I got reading. So I might set myself a rule of reading 10 books before I buy one. I say might because I know I will not have the will power to resist a pretty book!

All in all 2020 is all about working hard on my Masters and getting the best mark I can and using reading as my way to relax. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!

 

Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Reflection

Summer is officially over so I thought it high time to reflect on my Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge. Sadly I did not complete it but I did learn a few things. Here is the result.

Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K Rowling

The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Short and sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Wheel of format:- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Past love:- Matilda by Roald Dahl

Armchair Traveler:- A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

 

First of all I spent way too much time on a book I really regret reading which was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, I really wish I had just stopped reading it because I did not enjoy it and wasted a great deal of my free time reading a book I found tiresome. This is a lesson I keep telling myself to learn from but sadly I don’t, maybe this time I will.

The second thing I learned was I hated having a reading list! I want to read these books eventually and I had options but I found myself regretting the choices and wanting to read other books which I did and so did not complete the challenge in the allotted time. I think from now on I will avoid challenges and just choose whatever I want to read when I want because I really did not enjoy the challenge. I loved choosing the books but not feeling like I had to read them.

However, doing the challenge has taken a few books off my enormous TBR list, so it wasn’t all bad.

 

What does everyone think of reading challenges? Yes or No? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy reading.

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Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Update 3

Hello my fellow Book Dragons!

Well as I’m accelerating towards my deadline of 21st September it is looking less and less likely that I will complete the challenge in the time limit. However, I do intend on finishing all the books on the list this year because it will make my TBR list smaller as they have been sat on the list for a very long time. If I had not been so distracted by other books I might have got further.

So here is the list so far. As usual the crossed out books are also links to the reviews.

Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K Rowling

The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Short and sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Wheel of format:- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Past love:- Matilda by Roald Dahl

Armchair Traveler:- A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

 

Anyway, I will keep trying to get a few more ticked off before the deadline.

Happy reading.

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Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Update 2

Another update and as you will see still not much progress made. However, over the last few weeks I have been busy writing my first assignment for my Diet and Nutrition Level 3 Diploma and this evening I am pleased to report that I have passed! Now to complete the second and final assignment. Fingers crossed it goes well.

I am still reading The Goldfinch and I am enjoying it but I do find it very long winded at times and frustrating, I am looking forward to seeing how it ends.

So here is the list, the crossed out books are also links to take you to the reviews.

 

Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K Rowling

The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Short and sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Wheel of format:- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Past love:- Matilda by Roald Dahl

Armchair Traveler:- A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

 

I hope everyone who is also doing challenges is getting on better than myself.

Happy Reading.

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Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Update

I thought it was high time for an update on the reading challenge, and all I can say is Oh dear!

I am very far behind and it is not because I haven’t been reading, it is because I have been distracted by other books! I must be more focused!

So here is the list with the books I have read crossed out, if you click on the crossed out book it will take you to the book review.

Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K Rowling

The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Short and sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Wheel of format:- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Past love:- Matilda by Roald Dahl

Armchair Traveler:- A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

 

As you can see only two down so far, I am currently trying to finish The Goldfinch.

Wish me luck! If anybody has any advice on how to complete a reading challenge and not get completely distracted by other books please feel free to drop me a comment.

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Summer Reading Challenge: The Final List

Here it is, the final list that I am attempting read this summer. I plan on finishing all of these books by the 23rd September 2019!

Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

The Book is better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Short and Sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

What of format:- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

New Voices:- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Past Love:- Matilda by Roald Dahl

Armchair Traveler:- A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

 

Happy Reading!

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Summer Reading Challenge: Armchair Traveler

FINAL CHOICE TIME!

Yes! I have finally come to the end of deciding my final summer reading challenge list.

This final prompt is Armchair Traveler: Read a book set in a destination you want to visit.

To decide this, I first chose three of the destinations I most want to visit.

First on the list is:

Russia

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The Brothers Karamasov is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving the “wicked and sentimental” Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his three sons―the impulsive and sensual Dmitri; the coldly rational Ivan; and the healthy, red-cheeked young novice Alyosha. Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the whole of Russian life, is social and spiritual striving, in what was both the golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.

This award-winning translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky remains true to the verbal
inventiveness of Dostoevsky’s prose, preserving the multiple voices, the humor, and the surprising modernity of the original. It is an achievement worthy of Dostoevsky’s last and greatest novel.

I absolutely love Russian literature and this has been on my TBR list for a very long time.

 

Italy

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“But you do,” he went on, not waiting for contradiction. “You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you, and no other word expresses it …”

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her, until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George.

Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?

This isn’t on my TBR list currently but even if I do not choose it for the challenge I will add it to the TBR list.

 

Egypt

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The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: ‘I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.’ Yet in this exotic setting, nothing is ever quite what it seems…

 

I would love to go for a trip on the Nile and see Egypt. 

 

 

 

Choices, choices I’m not entirely sure what I will choose.

Any advice would be most welcome.

Happy reading

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Summer Reading Challenge: New Voices

The list so far:-

Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

The Book is better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Short and sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Wheel of format:- Twelfth Night

 

The next prompt is New Voices:- Read a debut novel.

I’m rather excited about this prompt as it hopefully means I discover a new author.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

 

 

This has been sat on my bookshelf for a very long time and it would be good to read. 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

 

 

 

Another book that has been on my TBR list for a very long time.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

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Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s debut novel is a modern classic that has been read and loved worldwide. Equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama, it is the story of an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevokably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.

A completely new one for me that I do not own but would happily buy and read.

 

So those are my three options to choose from. I really want to read all three so it will be a hard choice. Any advice will be a big help.

Happy Reading

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Summer Reading Challenge: In the friend zone.

I am very behind on this list so far but tomorrow I will start reading the books I have already decided on.

The List so far:-

Good as Gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling

The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Short and Sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

On the Bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Actually Want to Read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

 

The next prompt for the list is In the friend zone: Read a book that a friend has recommended.

So as usual I have a few options to consider. The first contender is a book recommended to me by my husband.

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

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When newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge, what greets her is far from the life of wealth and privilege she was expecting . . .

When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But with her husband dead just weeks after their marriage, her new servants resentful, and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure–a silent companion–that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. The residents of The Bridge are terrified of the figure, but Elsie tries to shrug this off as simple superstition–that is, until she notices the figure’s eyes following her.

A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, this is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect–much like the silent companions themselves.

 

The next book was recommended to me by my best friend Charlotte.

Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes

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One of the classics of English children’s literature, and one of the earliest books written specifically for boys, this novel’s steady popularity has given it an influence well beyond the upper middle-class world that it describes. It tells a story central to an understanding of Victorian life, but its freshness helps to distinguish it from the narrow schoolboy adventures that it later inspired. The book includes an introduction and notes by Andrew Sanders.

 

 

 

 

The final option was recommended to me by a friend and a student.

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

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Pulitzer Prize winner and American master Anne Tyler brings us an inspired, witty and irresistible contemporary take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.

Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

 

So these are the options, if you have any thoughts or recommendations please drop me a comment.

Happy reading!

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