Wednesday 6 January 2016

Reading Challenge 2015

What an interesting challenge. I have managed to read at least one book from each category though many of them can be listed under several points (the number in brackets indicates how many of my books fell under that category. Where I haven't fulfilled the challenge, there usually is a reason and I've explained it under that number.

1.    A book with more than 500 pages (20)
Mantel, Hilary "Wolf Hall" - 2009
2.    A classic romance (6)
Dickens, Charles "Little Dorrit" - 1857
3.    A book that became a movie (21)
Hugo, Victor "Les Misérables" (dto.) - 1862
4.    A book published this year (10)
Ghosh, Amitav "Flood of Fire" (Ibis Trilogy #3) - 2015
5.    A book with a number in the title (3)
Setterfield, Diane "The Thirteenth Tale" - 2006
6.    A book written by someone under 30 (5)
Patchett, Ann "The Patron Saint of Liars" - 1992
7.    A book with nonhuman characters (12)
Paull, Laline "The Bees" - 2014
8.    A funny book (14)
Bryson, Bill "The Road to Little Dribbling: more Notes from a Small Island" - 2015
9.    A book by a female author (42)
Lawson, Mary "Road Ends" - 2013
10.    A mystery or thriller (9)
Oates, Joyce Carol "The Sacrifice" - 2015
11.    A book with a one-word title (11)
Brontë, Charlotte "Villette" - 1853
12.    A book of short stories (3)
Lahiri, Jhumpa "Interpreter of Maladies" - 1999
13.    A book set in a different country
I did not know what a "different country" meant in my case, a country different from my home country or any of those that I've lived in before, a country different from the originator of this challenge (US), so I chose a book by an author who travelled around the world.
McCarthy, Pete "The Road to McCarthy: Around the World in Search of Ireland" - 2002
14.    A nonfiction book (20)
Coory, Kasey "Pious Evil. Condemn not my Children" - 2014
15.    A popular author's first book (6)
Eco, Umberto "The Name of the Rose" (Il nome della rosa) – 1980
16.    A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet (19)
Dickens, Charles "Hard Times" - 1854
17.    A book a friend recommended (25)
Fowler, Christopher "Hell Train" - 2011
18.    A Pulitzer Prize-winning book (3)
Doerr, Anthony "All the Light We Cannot See" - 2014
19.    A book based on a true story (26)
Zweig, Stefanie "Nowhere in Africa" (Nirgendwo in Afrika) - 1995
20.    A book at the bottom of your to-read list (20)
Shteyngart, Gary "Absurdistan" - 2006
21.    A book your mom loves (8)
My mum used to read totally different books from mine but I think she would have really enjoyed this one:
Scott, Mary "The White Elephant" - 1959
22.    A book that scares you (5)
I'm not a reader of ghost stories. Real life events scare me a lot more than zombies and vampires.
Yousafzai, Malala; Lamb, Christina "I am Malala. The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban" - 2013
23.    A book more than 100 years old (10)
Virgil "The Aeneid" (Aeneid lat..) - 29-19 BC
24.    A book based entirely on its cover (1)
Clayton, Meg Waite "The Wednesday Sisters" - 2008
25.    A book you were supposed to read in school but didn't
There is no way I can read a book for this task because I did read all the books I was supposed to read. Reading was my favourite and I didn't get that many books, so I read anything I could get my hands on.
26.    A memoir (11)
Kerkeling, Hape "I'm off then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago" (Ich bin dann mal weg. Meine Reise auf dem Jakobsweg) - 2006
27.    A book you can finish in a day (22)
Delacourt, Grégoire "La liste de mes envies" (The list of my desires/My Wish List/Alle meine Wünsche) - 2012
28.    A book with antonyms in the title (3)
Gaskell, Elizabeth "North and South" – 1854/55
29.    A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit (12)
Scott, Mary "Pippa in Paradise" - 1955
30.    A book that came out the year you were born (1)
Scott, Mary "Families are Fun" - 1957
31.    A book with bad reviews (3)
I am sure I can find bad reviews about every single one of the novels I read but I just found a few when researching for the links.
Roberts, Gregory David "Shantaram" - 2003
32.    A trilogy (12)
Smiley, Jane "Some Luck (Last Hundred Years: A Family Saga #1)" - 2014
33.    A book from your childhood (2)
Follett, Ken "Edge of Eternity" - 2014
34.    A book with a love triangle (18)
Hawkins, Paula "The Girl on the Train" - 2015
35.    A book set in the future (1)
Matheson, Richard "I am Legend" - 1954
36.    A book set in high school (3)
Levithan, David "Every Day" - 2012
37.    A book with a colour in the title (3)
Tyler, Anne "A Spool of Blue Thread" - 2015
38.    A book that made you cry (4)
I don't really cry easily and none of the books I considered for this part of the challenge really made me cry but the content was quite shocking.
Lamb, Wally "We are water" - 2013
39.    A book with magic (3)
Funke, Cornelia "Inkheart" (Tintenherz) - 2003
40.    A graphic novel (1)
Ferri, Jean-Yves; Didier Conrad, Didier "Asterix and the Missing Scroll" (Le Papyrus de César) - 2015
41.    A book by an author you've never read before (44)
Azevedo, Francisco "Once Upon a Time in Rio" (O Arroz de Palma) - 2008
42.    A book you own but have never read (11)
Eliade, Mircea "Marriage in Heaven" (Nuntă în cer) - 1938
43.    A book that takes place in your hometown (2)
Not too far from it/well, the closest I could get:
Mann, Thomas "Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family" (Buddenbrooks) - 1901
44.    A book that was originally written in a different language (26)
Same as with the different countries (see # 13 above), I read books in many different countries, so I chose a book that was written in a language I don't speak.
Murakami, Haruki "Norwegian Wood" - 1987
45.    A book set during Christmas (8)
Lahiri, Jhumpa "The Namesake" - 2003
46.    A book written by an author with your same initials (1)
Moore, Michael "Stupid White Men" - 2001
47.    A play (1)
Shakespeare, William "Hamlet" - 1599-1602
48.    A banned book
I am sure one of the books I read must have been banned somewhere but I did not check it every time, I must admit.
49.    A book based on or turned into a TV show (3)
Bryson, Bill "Notes from a Small Island" - 1995
50.    A book you started but never finished
I finished all my books this year and didn't think I should start reading one I wouldn't enjoy just to be able to put it on the list. ;)


  1. Great list, I've read some of them and some of them are on my TBR list. I gave my husband The Road to Little Dribbling and I'll read it after him.

    1. I hope he likes it. If he liked "Notes from a Small Island, he will also love this.

      Happy Reading,

  2. I did the challenge as well, although I haven't quite finished, so it was very interesting to compare your list with mine. For "A banned book" I read "Huckleberry Finn", which I last read when I was a child. I appreciated it a lot more this time! It's been banned in various American libraries and schools because of its frequent use of the word "nigger", which is certainly very shocking these days, but it's ridiculous not to see the word in its historical context. It's very obvious if you read the book that Mark Twain was totally sympathetic to plight of the black slaves, but often he expresses this in a very indirect way through the voice of Huck Finn. Apparently this is too subtle for some readers!

    I had more difficulty finding a book with bad reviews. I didn't want to read a really bad book! In the end I chose "Shirley" by Charlotte Bronte, which disappointed a lot of the reviewers when it came out, since it wasn't a second "Jane Eyre". And the book certainly has its weaknesses, but it's still of interest, unlike "The Cricket on the Hearth", which I read under the mistaken impression that it was a Christmas story (it isn't really, and it's not terribly interesting either).

    1. I don't think it matters how early we finish a challenge as long as we try to find more interesting literature to read. So, I always see these challenges as an inspiration to take on different kind of books that I might not have read otherwise, sort of like in a book club.

      I totally agree with you re. the banned books, I heard the rewrite "Uncle Tom's Cabin" for similar reasons as they banned "Huckleberry Finn" which is really stupid, they are history, they show what people thought at a certain time and we should teach children about history, otherwise it will repeat itself and some things will never die out.

      I have not read "Shirley", shall put that on my wishlist. I read "Villette" last year and quite enjoyed that. And I think you will find a bad review for almost every book you read, there is always someone who dislikes it. Very rarely did we have a book in the book club that everybody liked. Such is life, We all have different tastes and a different attitude towards certain subjects at various stages of my life.

      But you have encouraged me to reread "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn", will just have to finish Mark Twain's "An Innocent Abroad" first. ;)

      I had a first glance at your list and thought it was very interesting. Thanks for your comments,


    2. I have read Shirley in the meantime (after only seven years, LOL) and totally agree with you.