Archive for the ‘2012 challenge’ Category

I think it is all nice and dandy to explore and read new books, to map the uncharted territories of books soon to be published, but ultimately there comes a time when you want to submerge yourself into a trusted classic that many generations read before you.

So I started to search and kind of evaluate the ‘best novels lists’ and as you can imagine, there is plenty of them out there.  The one limitation I found in most of them was that the books were very Anglo-American centered. Where are all those great Russian, French or Spanish novels? What about South America or Asia? I just wanted more wide-spread choices and so I kept searching.

In the end I realized that no matter what I do, one list isn’t going to get the job done. And I ended up with accumulation of top five ones :D as I feel that each of them brings something different to the table.

Now that I shortlisted my lists, I ended up with a burning question – How do I tackle this? The obvious two solutions have both advantages and serious limitations.

1) I merge them in one list – on the plus side, this removes any duplicates; on the minus side, it kind of destroys the soul of the lists and turns them into one slightly big pot full of books without any taste or texture.

2) I leave the lists as they are – on the plus side, I can pick any list, scroll through it and pick what I fancy; on the minus side – I will need to tick off all the duplicates on the rest of the lists once the book is finished.

I have thought about this for past few weeks and was trying to figure out what to do and decided for the second option. I still don’t think I found the right solution but this is as neat solution as it gets.

So here are my top five:

  1. The Top 100 Books of All Time (Guardian)
  2. 100 Best Novels – The Board’s List (Modern Library)
  3. 100 Best Novels – The Reader’s List (Modern Library)
  4. Raddcliffe’s Rival 100 Best Novels List (Modern Library)
  5. 110 Best Books: The Perfect Library (Telegraph)

Now, there is no time limit to this, it is just something to dip into when I feel like it.

Do you follow a list? And if so, which one and why?

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I so wanted to post this post at the beginning of the month but things got slightly out of hand, so here we go…

After the May fiasco, I can proudly present you the list of the books I read in June. I know that the aim was to finish the books I already started reading in previous months, but I also had other commitments so I split it half and half. :)

The List:

  1. The Slap: A Novel by Christos Tsiolkas
  2. Westsiders by Tom Finn
  3. The Spider King’s Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo
  4. Before I go to Sleep by J S Watson

The first two books are the ‘finish-ups’, Onuzo’s book was for fun and Watson’s book was for my book club. I also started my reading for the Coursera course that is starting later this month so I shall write update about this one as well so watch this space. :D

Also in terms of my 2012 challenge – I am ten books behind! But fear not, I still have plenty of holiday ahead so I shall aim to play catch-up. ;) How was your reading month?

Happy reading everyone!


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Oh dear, it is the time to admit that May was bit of disastrous month for my reading. Nope, don’t worry, I am not going to list any reasons and definitely not any excuses! I shall just stick to the fact that I read just two books! Yep, just two!

So this is basically my virtual walk of shame and I can only hope that this isn’t going to be repeated any time soon.

So the winners in the category ‘Read in May’ are:

  1. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
  2. Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa

My aim for June is to finish as many books as possible from the ‘already started reading in previous months’ pile. Some books in this pile need just the final push (just like The Slap – see my review below) some need considerably more time spent with them, so stop talking and start working :)

Happy reading people, I know I am going to do plenty of that!


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It’s the time again to take the stock of my reading over the past month. Well, to be honest with you, it wasn’t as productive month as I wanted it to be. But I will not let this get me down and I shall focus on the reading pile that is facing me this month.

So just to recap, in April I managed to read:

  1. And They Called Her Spider (A Bartleby and James Adventure) by Michael Coorlim
  2. Virals by Kathy Reichs
  3. Have a Nice Weekend by Ian Ellis
  4. Legitimate Issues by Cassandra DeBrown

What more, I haven’t made much progress on the Winter at Monte Casino and The Memory of Love. So now my 2012 Challenge says that I red 9 books out of 50 and I am still 7 books behind my target. I guess this is going to be busy Bank holiday Monday :)

As always, all the reviews to follow.

May this May remain mainly made up of quality book reads :)

Happy reading folks.


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2012 Challenge

As you can see I am new to blogging so recently I was looking at quite a few blogs just to pick up some good ideas. Of course, most of these blogs are ‘book blogs’. I know, what a surprise! lol Anyway, as I was flipping through them and I realised that quite a few bloggers enjoy various reading challenges. I started to think about this and because I am naturally competitive person I thought I would give it a go. Not only because of challenging myself but also to keep track and count of the books I read and going to read this year. Now, there are plenty of different reading challenges out there and as I was updating my profile at Goodreads I realised that I could join their 2012 challenge. It was really simple, you just pledge there how many books you aim to read in 2012 – I thought 50 is nice number to start with. There are lots of people going for 75 but I thought that 75 might be quite a stretch for me, maybe next year… Then, when you finish a book, you add it to your bookshelf (if it isn’t there already), put there a date when you finished the book and voilà it updates your challenge status automatically. :)

And it also tells you how many books you are behind… Me? Currently 7! :( I guess it is time to stop messing about and do some serious reading. I also need to do some serious blogging as I have another three reviews that I should have written up already. Yes, I know, I was ill, but no excuses, I need to put everything back on track! So, starting from tomorrow, I shall put two hours a day aside for reading (that doesn’t include reading on the way to and from work) and I shall update my blog at least once a week. I think weekends would work best for the updates. I guess this turned out to more than one challenge but that’s fine by me.

Happy reading everyone.


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