2016 Reading Challenge

Last year I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 75 books. I do not think I have ever read so many books in a year and I was so pleased with myself for achieving my target; even if I did have a manic push towards the end of the year where I panic read a couple of novellas and children books (which does still count!).

I have always been interested in reading the Classics and compiling lists of To-Read Books based on ‘100 Books You Must Read Before you Die’ articles. I do admit that I am somewhat of a book snob. I think it is important that everyone reads at least five books in a year, and that at least one of those should be a good one. Everyone’s opinion on what constitutes a ‘Good Book’ is very different. For me this would be a Classic, work written by an established and accomplished writer, or a book that has won an award. Most importantly, it must be well written. Life is too short to read badly written books with a confused plot-line or bad syntax.

A lot of Classics are massive, books so big and lengthy that you could use them as a weapon. In the past I have read ‘Gone with the Wind’, ‘The Three Musketeers’ and ‘Anna Karenina’, two of them I loved and the other one proved a real struggle. These were pretty big books, but the size of a book should not be a factor in whether it should be read or not. Whilst bigger books indeed take longer to read, as long as it is a good one, it should not really matter.

 
For Christmas Santa brought me ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Les Miserables’, and I am so excited to get stuck into both of them. A few years ago I received a copy of ‘Vanity Fair’ which is also of considerable size. With these three weighty tomes sitting on my bookshelf I have decided that this year instead of setting myself a higher reading challenge what I would do is read these three novels and then, at least, twenty two more.

 
I am so excited to start my new challenge and I shall be posting my progress along the way. I’m anticipating a slight struggle somewhere along the line, but I am determined that I will finish all three no matter what!

 
Books Read in 2015
• Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings: An American Controversy – Annette Gordon-Reed
• Ten Billion – Stephon Emmott
• Up from Slavery – Booker T. Washington
• Revolution – Russell Brand
• The Woman Under the Ground – Megan Taylor
• Hard Choices – Hillary Clinton
• Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey
• Honeydew – Edith Pearlman
• Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
• Nights with Uncle Remus – Joel Chandler Harris
• Animal Farm – George Orwell
• Lillian on Life – Alison Jean Lester
• The Crow Road – Iain Banks
• Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
• Absalom! Absalom! – William Faulkner
• The Clansman – Thomas Dixon Jr.
• The Third Reich in History and Memory – Richard J. Evans
• A Perfectly Good Family – Lionel Shriver
• Olalla – Robert Louis Stevenson
• 1984 – George Orwell
• The Beautiful Cassandra – Jane Austen
• Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
• Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
• The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
• Moranthology – Caitlin Moran
• The Tell-Tale Heart – Edgar Allan Poe
• The Accidental Apprentice – Vikas Swarup
• Filth – Irvine Welsh
• Beloved – Toni Morrison
• We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
• The End of History and the Last Man – Francis Fukuyama
• The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
• The Princess Diaries: Royal Wedding – Meg Cabot
• The Bookseller of Kabul – Asne Seierstad
• Making the Future – Noam Chomsky
• The Road to Wigan Pier – George Orwell
• Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
• Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café – Fannie Flagg
• Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
• Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier
• Michael Ball – Willie Robertson
• Bel Canto – Ann Patchett
• A Diary from Dixie – Mary Boykin Chestnut
• The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
• Sunset Song – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
• The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss
• Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham
• The Pursuit of Italy – David Gilmour
• How to be Both – Ali Smith
• Down Under – Bill Bryson
• The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton
• Return of a King – William Dalrymple
• Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
• Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
• Interesting Times: A Twentieth Century Life – Eric Hobsbawm
• Horrible Histories: The USA – Terry Deary
• A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
• The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and Three Quarters – Sue Townsend
• List of the Lost – Morrissey
• The Lost Tudor Princess – Alison Weir
• Dream a Little Dream – Giovanna Fletcher
• Notes From a Small Island – Bill Bryson
• Down and Out in Paris and London – George Orwell
• Mog’s Christmas Calamity – Judith Kerr
• The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
• Porno – Irvine Welsh
• Philomena – Martin Sixsmith
• How the Whale Became and Other Stories – Ted Hughes
• The Death of Danny Daggers – Hadyn Wilks
• Boyfriend by Christmas – Jenny Stallard
• Ted Hughes: An Unauthorised Life – Jonathan Bate
• Slumdog Millionaire – Vikas Swarup
• Mary Poppins – P. L. Travers
• Christmas with Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher
• The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq – Emma Sky

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One thought on “2016 Reading Challenge

  1. I agree, classics are a must. They reveal so much history of the time they were created in. They might be long but the writing style back then is something that you can’t get away from…very attractive and elegant.
    I wish you good luck and congratulations on achieving your last year’s reading challenge.

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