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: 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: Past Love

I am slowly getting to the end of the list!

I am thoroughly enjoying reading the books but can not wait to go on holiday and really get into my reading.

The next prompt Past Love: reread a book you loved when you were younger.

This prompt was easy because I asked my big sister what book I loved reading when younger and she told me she remembered reading this book with me. This book is the beloved children’s story Matilda by Roald Dahl. 

I must admit I am very excited to read this book again. Thank you big sister for your excellent suggestion. Big sister is also a fellow blogger if you wanted to check out her blog follow the link Woolly Wednesday.

 

Here is my much read beloved copy of Matilda. I’d better be careful because it is starting to fall apart.

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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: Wheel of format

It is time for another book choice to add to the reading list!

I must admit I am rather worried about this prompt as it will take me out of my comfort zone. I know leaving your comfort zone is a good thing occasionally but it still worries me.

Wheel of format: Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read in (graphic novel, poetry, a play, an audiobook, etc)

So what shall I choose?

Firstly, I will discard the audiobook idea as I really do not get on with audiobooks. I am reading poetry weekly so that is off the list. So I think I will stick with graphic novels and plays as my choices.

Graphic novel options:-

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‘The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.’ With those words, millions of readers were introduced to Stephen King’s Roland ‘ an implacable gunslinger in search of the enigmatic Dark Tower, powering his way through a dangerous land filled with ancient technology and deadly magic. Now, in a comic book personally overseen by King himself, Roland’s past is revealed! Sumptuously drawn by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove, adapted by long-time Stephen King expert, Robin Furth (author of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: A Concordance), and scripted by New York Times Bestseller Peter David, this series delves in depth into Roland’s origins ‘ the perfect introduction to this incredibly realized world; while long-time fans will thrill to adventures merely hinted at in the novels. Be there for the very beginning of a modern classic of fantasy literature!

I actually own this one so that would be an easy choice. I read graphic novels when I did Media Studies for A Level but I didn’t study this one so I’m not entirely sure why I own it.

 

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Following the decimation of Mega-City One during Chaos Day, Judges from other ‘friendly’ Justice Departments have been brought in to strengthen the ranks and help maintain law and order on the streets. Amongst the newcomers is Fintan Joyce – son of a former Emerald Isle Judge, who teamed up with Judge Dredd in one of the most fondly remembered Dredd stories. Exploiting the Big Meg’s weakened state, several groups have risen up against the Judges, including the Goblin King’s Undercity army and a mutant group lead by the monstrous Thorn, who have been attacking Cursed Earth outposts. If things couldn’t get any worse, Dredd has fallen foul of Brit-Cit and they want him in prison or on a slab… Have the odds finally stacked up enough to spell the end of Mega-City One’s greatest lawman?

I have always been fan of Judge Dredd so this is very tempting.

 

Play options:-

I think I will consider all the plays by William Shakespeare other than the ones I have already read and they are not many.

The ones not on the list are:-

Macbeth

Romeo and Juliet

The Tempest

The Taming of the Shrew

Hamlet

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Lots of plays to choose from!

 

Lots of possible choices to mull over for this one. Any advice would be gratefully received.

 

Happy reading!

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Summer Reading Challenge: It takes two

Happy Saturday!

It is time for another Summer Reading Challenge decision. This prompt is It takes two: read a coauthored book.

This should be interesting for me as I have only ever read one coauthored book before, hopefully I will find some I like.

Google has had to help me with todays suggestions.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

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In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze.

If they are awakened, and the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place.

The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.

Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?

I remember when this book first came out and I was intrigued by it. I had completely forgotten it was coauthored.

 

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

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August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

Looks like an intriguing read and it will be interesting to read a book set in Christmas in the summer.

 

These are the only books I could find that interested me. Perhaps I just do not like the idea of coauthored books.

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 Geisha by Arthur Golden

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

 

The list is growing and the first book I have started is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood.

Happy reading.

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Summer Reading Challenge: Not From Around Here

Another instalment of the Summer Reading Challenge. I am slowly getting a list assembled and I am really looking forward to reading all these new books over the summer.

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

 

The next prompt is Not from around here:- Read a book set in a different culture from your own. This one I must admit I am rather struggling with but I have tried to come up with a few ideas.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

 

 

 

 

 

A strong contender as I do enjoy the work of Khaled Hosseini.

 

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.

In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.

 

 

A returner to the line up as this has already been on the list of possibles. Maybe it is a sign to definitely read the book.

 

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

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The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

 

 

 

This has been highly recommended to me by several family members so I do believe I should give it a read.

 

I’m sticking with just the three options. If anybody has any recommendations please drop me a message.

Happy reading.

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