2018 Book Challenge


I enjoyed last year’s book challenge so much, and it really re-invigorated my love of reading, so I have decided to do it all again this year!

Last year I managed a total of 45 books (including some non-challenge entries) and I’m not sure whether or not I’ll achieve the same this year, but who knows?

The official list my dad and I are using is here, and I’ll be adding to this list as I go along.

Category: A book set on a different planet

Book 1: Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

This was a great read (technically I read it over the Christmas holidays before 2018 started, but it didn’t fit into any of last year’s categories so I am counting it here!).

Also technically it’s not actually set on a different planet, although it’s set on several fictional planets inside a virtual reality video game….

It was a great and easy read – littered with 80’s pop culture references and an interesting enough plot to keep me turning the pages. I imagine it would be far more interesting to those who are more familiar with 80’s computer games and Dungeons and Dragons players.

Category: A book set at sea

Book 2: The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

This was chosen as a) I keep meaning to read some Hemingway, and b) I’m finally going on holiday to Cuba after many years planning to do so, and wanted to get a flavour of it!

I really enjoyed this book, it was short and intense, but very rich and moving. A great read, although the scenes with the sharks did nothing to calm my nerves about swimming in the sea while I’m there!

(Also totally unplanned but it seems the first two books I chose for this year were both written by an Ernest!)

Category: A childhood classic you’ve never read

Book 3: An Ordinary Princess – M. M. Kaye

No idea if this was a classic, but it caught my eye and I rather liked it. A quick and easy read, and one I may purchase at some point to read to my own children!

Category: A book you meant to read in 2017, but didn’t get to

Book 4: I am, I am, I am, – Maggie O’Farrell

After really enjoying last year’s book “This must be the place” by Maggie O’Farrell, I was really keen to read this one, especially after a friend read an excerpt in the paper and said it looked really good. I was keen to read it last year, but as it was a new release, I had to wait around 3 months for it to be available at the library, and therefore didn’t get to it in 2017.

It finally got to be my turn at the library on Saturday, and after picking it up I simply DEVOURED it over the weekend – it was BRILLIANT and fascinating and un-put-downable.

I highly recommend it – it’s a memoir of her life, told very unconventionally through 17 brushes with death (not unlike my blog post from 2016 on “Things that have tried to kill me“). It rather makes me want to try and expand on my blog post and write my own story in a similar way, a chapter for each event, but sadly it would seem a bit copy-cat, even if I had the idea before the book came out!

Anyway, I utterly loved it, and was gripped the whole way through.

Category: A bool with characters that are twins

Book 5: My life next door – Huntley Fitzpatrick

This was a fun, adolescent love story, though slightly odd at the end.

Category: A book from a celebrity book club

Book 6: The weight of silence – Heather Gudenkauf

This was a good, easy thriller, 2 little girls go missing in the woods, and I liked how each chapter was told by a different character so you got a number of different perspectives on the story. Quick to read, and fairly compelling, I enjoyed it a lot.

It’s not quite a celebrity book club, but it had a sticker on it from a tv book club, so I went with that!

Category: A book about mental health

Book 7: I’d die for you and other stories – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This was a case of judging a book by it’s cover. I spotted this in a bookstore and was struck by how beautiful the cover was, and immediately bought it. I liked The Great Gatsby, and figured I should read some of his other works. A few of these stories were good, but a lot were fairly mediocre – I suspect it’s because they were unfinished and unpublished, either because the writer wasn’t done with them, or because they weren’t all that good. A few of the stories I skipped altogether as they were too fragmented.

Overall it was a bit of a slog to read, and I wouldn’t recommend it, even though I do still love the cover….

Category: A book with the time of day in the title

Book 8: The Bay at Midnight – Diane Chamberlain

Oddly, I also have an issue with the cover on this one – none of the characters are as young as the cover picture suggests, making it quite misleading (the youngest character is 8, and the main one is 12).

That said this one was another quick and easy mystery type genre. Not especially noteworthy but an easy read. It was a bit “meh”.

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