Saturday, 5 April 2008

The 50 Book Challenge

I tried to post a reply to a community I frequent, but after 5 edits I decided that perhaps I should transfer here... once the verbal diarrhoea starts, Immodium will not stop it! This post will be a work in progress, and I'll have to keep finding and editing it.

Friend E (yes, she who fancies Gazza) told me about the 50 Book Challenge, whereby members must read at least 50 books in 2008. What a great idea! I have never bothered to keep a tally of the books I read, I just know I read a lot. So much so, that Friend E and Friend D have recently suspended my book buying privileges after discovering I had bought 40-odd books this month alone. I have mentioned in previous posts my leanings towards bibliomania, perhaps this post will be enough to convince a psychiatrist that I am in need of help. If so, my name ees Ramóna, and I live een Espagna!

While I do read a lot, my tastes are quite indiscriminate. I'm just as likely to be reading the latest chick-lit as the latest book-club must-have. I'll read Bronté and I'll read Blyton. If I'm stuck at my mum's house, I'll even pick up her Mills and Boon, although I have to admit to flicking past the pages of throbbing manhoods and heaving bosoms (yawn). My preferences lean strongly toward fantasty fiction, with dragons and magic and castles, but I also like the grittier stuff, like Cornwell or King.

Oh! And I should add that my reading reflects my life. The more stress in my life, the more "froth" I read. When things are calmer, I read more thought-provoking books. It may be an indication of the times that I have read "The Twins at St. Claire's" this week, and have already mentioned reading "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator" this year. I love children's books, and certain books transcend the generation gap, and appeal to old and young alike - Philip Pullman's Dark Material's trilogy, for example, or the incomparable Potter books.

I also re-read everything. Disposing of books is close to sacrilege, and they all have to stay with me, until the foundations of my house groan and plead for mercy. I have books I must have read twenty times or more. When a book is in a series, I have to read the entire series every time a book is released. That isn't so bad with Jean Auel who has taken two decades to write a six-book series about her Earth Children, but is a bit of a problem with the more prolific, like Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. Especially now she has enlisted her son Todd, and there is a new book every year. There are over 20 books about Pern, and I read them all every time I buy a new Pernese story. I can quote some of it now, and could probably use Pern as my specialist subject on Mastermind.

Reading 50 books is no challenge, but I am taking up the gauntlet to keep a tally of my reading. The list will be incomplete from January to April, but here are the books I can remember... oh, and can I mention that I may have addictive leanings but Thing One is far worse. She has read over 25 books this month alone, including the entire Lemony Snicket series...

1) Northern Lights (Philip Pullman)
2) The Subtle Knife (Philip Pullman)
3) The Amber Spyglass (Philip Pullman)
4) The Shakespeare Secret (J. L Carrell)*
5) Mort (Terry Pratchett)
6) Reaper Man (Terry Pratchett)
7) Moving Pictures (Terry Pratchett)
8) Remember Me (Sophie Kinsella)
9) Eragon (Christopher Paolini)
10) Eldest (Christopher Paolini)*
11) Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
12) Mercy (Jodi Picoult)
13) Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Roald Dahl)
14) The Twins at St. Claire's (Enid Blyton)
15) Dragonsblood (T McCaffrey)
16) Dragon Harper (A & T McCaffrey)
17) Mammoth Hunters (Jean Auel)
18) Plains of Passage (Jean Auel)
19) Shelters of Stone (Jean Auel)

*Not finished, still reading

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