Tag Archives: read what you have

Book Challenge Update

Oh my, how much can one read when one has a week off?!

The answer: shitloads!

From my original Read-What-I-Have challenge I managed to get 3 books finished, which means I have only 4 more to go in total and then I will have read everything on the list – hooray!

This week I have read The Mill on the Floss, The Woman in White and Ivanhoe. I have also bought a few books, both from a physical bookshop and Amazon. I read The Fat of the Land, Strong, Get Rich Blogging and How to Make a Living with your Writing. AND I managed to get in a couple of e-books and magazines.

Phew!

7 physical books and 2 short e-books is not a bad haul in one week!

I have to say I really enjoyed The Woman in White, I couldn’t put it down, it was so well written. I found it full of suspense and drama and the way it was told from the points of view of different characters (thereby having different narrators) I  thought that was a really modern thing to do (even though it was written in the early 1800s).

Interestingly, even though Ivanhoe was written at around the same time, the language used was very different (even challenging). It is set in Medieval England and has appearances from Richard the Lionheart, A Knight called Ivanhoe, Friar Tuck and even Robin Hood. One downside was as I was reading it all I could see in my mind was an image of those Hollywood films from the 40’s and 50’s where all the costumes were bright and the fight scenes were hilarious (to say nothing of their hairstyles!). And poor Isaac the Jew! He is the untold hero of the story.

The Mill on the Floss was OK, it actually has some really good quotes in, but after spending 3/4 of the book focusing on their childhoods, it was too a sudden and abrupt end, ending as it did. It was OK, just OK.

How to Make a Living with your Writing I ordered from Amazon, it’s a lot tinier than I expected – really thin and that says it all really – not much substance to it. The hints are quite general and vague.

BUT. I really liked Get Rich Blogging by Zoe Griffin. That seemed a bit more practical and helpful for me and I liked the case studies in it, even if they weren’t all in the same ‘niche’ as me (parenting- urgh not yet thanks!). I liked it and it’s one to dip into for inspiration every now and then.

SO. 4 more books to go and then I am free to buy to more (although as you can see, they have already started to creep back in – let’s see if I can’t keep this bookshelf free).

They are:

  1. Vanity Fair
  2. Rob Roy
  3. War and Peace
  4. Anna Karenina

And I can already see that I will hit my target for this year – yay!

But I need a break now, all this reading lately has had one downside.

NO CRAFTING! EEEEEEEEEEK!

No knitting. No crochet. No writing. No nothing. (Apart from baking scones today).

And after a nice relaxing week off work, it’s back to the grind tomorrow 😦

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend, Ellen xx

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Book Challenge Update

This year I set myself the challenge of reading what I had left unread on my shelf (as well as whatever new books may appear from time to time).

I had a small list of 13 (although some are REALLY long books like War and Peace or Vanity Fair). So far I have managed 6, so that’s roughly half. I have been knitting and crocheting like mad, started a new job and what not, so reading has taken a bit of a back burner, although it does come in fits and starts (3 books one week and then none for a month).

I have read the following:

  • The Return of the Native   JANUARY 2017
  • Women in Love   JANUARY 2017
  • The Riddle of the Sands JANUARY 2017
  • 20000 Leagues Under the Sea FEBRUARY 2017
  • Daniel Deronda   APRIL 2017
  • Cross Stitch   MAY 2017
  • Anna Karenina
  • Ivanhoe
  • War and Peace
  • Rob Roy
  • Vanity Fair
  • The Woman in White
  • The Mill on the Floss

(As well as 84 Charing Cross Road, Goodbye Things and a re-read of The Gunslinger).

Cross Stitch (Outlander in the US) by Diana Gabaldon was finished today, it has taken me almost 2 years to read (sorry Lizzie!). It’s about a 1940’s nurse who time travels in Scotland by about 200 years. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, I don’t know why. Maybe because there was so much left unexplained, like what happened to her husband in the present. Maybe there could have been more focus on how she got there and how she gets back and other women who it had happened to (yes, I know you see Geillie but who else?). It was well written and in an easy to read style, but still, I felt something was missing. Maybe I am being overly fussy and pedantic – who me?!!

I think I might read Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood next, yes it’s not on the list, but at only 7 to go, I think I have time for this challenge to be completed this year!

Hmm, need another trip to the library soon I think! Have a Happy Thursday, Ellen x

Books to read

In the past year and a half I have managed to get my reading list down to about half of what it was. I haven’t read much since January but I am getting back in the swing of things now.

I have come across a challenge online which is to read what you have. I have been doing this already as I went through a period about a decade ago of buying up classics when they only cost about £1 or £1.50 each. Penguin used to do them really cheap…not any more alas!

So here is what I have left to do…

  1. ANNA KARENINA
  2. WOMEN IN LOVE
  3. CROSS STITCH
  4. THE WOMAN IN WHITE
  5. WAR AND PEACE
  6. VANITY FAIR
  7. THE MILL ON THE FLOSS
  8. THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE
  9. ROB ROY
  10. IVANHOE
  11. ATONEMENT
  12. DANIEL DERONDA
  13. 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
  14. THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS

As you can see some quite thick volumes here so I wont be narrowing down the list anytime soon. But I have managed a few big ones recently.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens – quite good although there could have been just a little more excitement and more of the romance between Esther and Mr Wood-something (Woodcourt? Woodhouse?) and now I understand the reference to the ‘growlery’ that my friend Lizzie used to talk about years ago

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne – ok again could have been more excitement…and maybe a bit more courage from the narrator

Moby Dick by Herman Melville – for an adventure story there is surprisingly little adventure…it reads more like a textbook in some parts and the ending is rushed. In fact the most exciting part is at the beginning when the hero and the savage share a bed together!! – no funny business except smoking a pipe – not a euphemism there either!

So the last three classics read recently were average in my opinion. But at least I can say I have read them and can tick them off my list – and because I am still on a decluttering drive, once I have enough books to fill a bag I will donate them to a charity shop in a few months. I have already cleared out another shelf on my bookcase although the danger with that is that it becomes a dumping ground for all sorts of crap!

Till next time

Ellen x