Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime Tag

Hello lovelies!

I’ve seen this tag doing the rounds and it seemed like a fun and easy one to join in with, so thanks to the amazing orangutan librarian for tagging me!

How to Play:

1. Include a link back to Amazon’s official 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime
2. Tag Perfectly Tolerable, the creator of this meme
3. Tag the person who nominated you
4. Copy the list of books and indicate which titles you have read.
5. Tally up your total.
6. Comment on the post you were tagged in and share your total count.
7. Tag five new people and comment on one of their posts to let them know.

Ok, so I’m sorry about the formatting but I’ve highlighted in bold the books that I’ve read…

1984 George Orwell

A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Dave Eggers

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Ishmael Beah

The Bad Beginning Lemony Snicket

A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle

Selected Stories, 1968-1994 Alice Munro

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll

All the President’s Men Bob Woodward

Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir Frank McCourt

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Judy Blume

Bel Canto Ann Patchett

Beloved Toni Morrison

Born to Run Christopher McDougall

Breath, Eyes, Memory Edwidge Danticat

Catch-22 Joseph Heller

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl

Charlotte’s Web E. B White

Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese

Daring Greatly Brené Brown

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney

Dune Frank Herbert

Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson

Gone Girl Gillian Flynn

Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brow

Great Expectations Charles Dickens

Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond Ph.D.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling

In Cold Blood Truman Capote

Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri

Invisible Man Ralph Ellison

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware

Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain

Life After Life Kate Atkinson

Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder

Lolita Vladimir Nabokov

Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Love Medicine Louise Erdrich

Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl

Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris

Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides

Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Michael Lewis

Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham

On the Road Jack Kerouac

Out of Africa Isak Dinesen

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Marjane Satrapi

Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

Silent Spring Rachel Carson

Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

Team of Rivals Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Michael Chabon

The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X

The Book Thief Markus Zusak

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz

The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

The Color of Water James McBride

The Corrections Jonathan Franzen

The Devil in the White City Erik Larson

The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank

The Fault in Our Stars John Green

The Giver Lois Lowry

The Golden Compass Philip Pullman

The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

The House at Pooh Corner A. Milne

The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot

The Liars’ Club Mary Karr

The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan

The Little Prince Houghton Mifflin

The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Lawrence Wright

The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat Oliver Sacks

The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan

The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster

The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver

The Power Broker Robert A. Caro

The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe

The Road Cormac McCarthy

The Secret History Donna Tartt

The Shining Stephen King

The Stranger Albert Camus

The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway

The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle

The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami

The World According to Garp John Irving

The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion

Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand

Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Susann

Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein

Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak

I’ve read 28 books, which is ok considering quite a few of these are kids books (I’m not going to go and find a copy of the Very Hungry Caterpillar) and some hold no interest for me at all (I read 100 Years of Solitude and that was enough to put me off Gabriel Garcia Marquez for life). I also have a pathological fear of “classics” so I tend to do badly on these lists anyway, although I am currently enjoying Les Miserables, so perhaps my tastes are changing in my old age.

I think most of you have done this tag already, but if you haven’t then please feel free to give it a go!

So, are there any surprises on here (I know, I still haven’t read the Handmaid’s Tale). Are any of these books on your TBR? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!

Lucinda x

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Ummm, thanks?

So it seems I’ve reached that magic number of 1337 likes on my blog. What a super weird thing to congratulate me on.

So, ummm, yay me?

I’m slightly suspicious that WordPress has realised they haven’t sent any kind of encouragement to me for quite a while, so now I’ve got a “well done for trying!” badge. Is this the equivalent of a digital wooden spoon award?

Has anyone else had a congratulatory message for a totally random number? Or is it just me?

Les Mis Read Along

I’ve been meaning to read Les Miserables for such a long time, but never managed to get past the first few chapters. So, when I saw the #LesMisReadalong being publicised on the lovely novels and nonfiction blog I couldn’t wait to sign up!

The read along is being hosted by Nick and his blog has a wealth of information about Les Miserables, including historical background, advice on the different versions available and a downloadable reading schedule.

I’ve shamelessly cut and pasted the rules of the read along from Nicks blog to explain how to join in:

How to Participate

1 Get an unabridged copy of Les Misérables. See below for suggested translations/editions.

2 If you have your own blog, write a welcome post explaining why you are joining the read-along and what you hope to gain from it. Include your past experience with Les Mis in any of its forms. Leave a link to your post in the linkup section at the end of this post. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your information in the comments section below.

3 Download the Les Miserables Chapter a Day Reading Schedule 2018.

4 Commit to reading a chapter a day. If you get behind or race ahead, no worries. Life happens. My blog posts will stay on track with the reading schedule, and I would ask that you please respect the reading experience of those who may not know the full story. In other words, no spoilers!

5 Please feel free to post the official Les Misérables Chapter-a-Day Read-along graphic on your website or blog to spread the word.

6 Subscribe to One Catholic Life so you don’t miss any read-along posts throughout the year. You can get updates via email by using the form in the right-hand sidebar or you can subscribe via RSS and read them in your favorite blog reader.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

My Bookish Christmas

Hello lovely readers!

I know it seems like months ago now, but I wanted to share with you all some of the lovely bookish Christmas presents/events/general…stuff that made Xmas 2017 really stand out for me.

Firstly…snow!!!

Yes, despite the fact that we hardly ever get a white Christmas, this year it actually snowed in December – and there was just about enough left by the 25th to make a few festive snowballs out of.

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This put me in the perfect mood to read some Russian fantasy, namely the long awaited (for me, anyway) second instalment of the Winternight Trilogy, The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. I’d got an ARC of this book months beforehand and I’m not sure how I managed to hold off from starting it, but I managed to wait for the perfect weather conditions before getting stuck in.

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I also had fun making some floral wreath arrangements and hanging baskets, both of which reminded me of the cold, wintry forest scenes in the book:

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Speaking of the Winternight trilogy, my bestest friend Juliet bought me these awesome pyjamas that really reminded me of the UK cover of The Bear and the Nightingale:

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And, speaking of presents, here’s my obligatory book haul…

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Just to clarify, that’s Sanshiro by Natsume Soseki, A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor, The Hedgerow Handbook by Adele Nozedar, Tetris by Box Brown and How to Build a Car by Adrian Newey.

Finally, I had two amazing Ladybird branded products gifted to me. In case you don’t know, Ladybird made a huge series of children’s books that I have very fond memories of reading. Juliet (again) bought me this brilliant To Do pad:

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and my boyfriend got me this amazing Ladybird card (which I may have chosen for myself):

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So tell me, what were your favourite bookish gifts or book related events that happened in December? Let me know in the comments!

Anti-Resolutions for 2018

Hello lovely followers,

I see that many of you are being super organised and setting lots of goals for 2018, which all sounds positive and forward thinking and very un-me (I am not a planner). Then I saw that some of you are posting reviews of how much you’ve failed to hit your 2017 targets, and how sad that makes you, and how you must try harder, and I realised that if I start putting metrics around things that I enjoy, I’ll either fail miserably or put loads of unnecessary pressure on myself to hit them. So, in the spirit of my 2018 mantra “Lets All Be Kinder To Each Other”, I’ve decided to go for some anti-resolutions instead…

1. Reading targets
I would like to read lots of books this year. I have no idea how many I got through in 2017 (and I really can’t be bothered to try to work it out), so I’m going with “some”. I’ve got a reading challenge of 24 books which should be easily achievable – and that’s all I’m going to measure myself against. If I get to the end of 2018 and I don’t feel that I’ve read very much, my resolution is to not stress about it.

2. Blogging timescales
I’d like to blog at least twice a week, but I also know that life happens when you least expect it, and that if I don’t blog for a few weeks (or even months) then literally. nothing. happens. Hardly anyone even notices, and they’re all still there when you get back. So, my blogging schedule resolution is to consistently blog when I’m in the mood, but to give myself breaks when necessary.

3. Follower targets
Let’s be honest – have you actually looked at your followers to see how active they are? We all know there’s loads of bloggers who are everywhere when they first start, then they burn themselves out and never blog again. So when people say they have 3000 followers, they don’t really have 3000 people viewing their every post – I’m guessing it’s a tiny proportion of hardcore followers, a small chunk of casual readers, and a load of dormant blogs. So, my follower resolution is to remember that follower counts are essentially meaningless, do not equal quality and don’t make you happy. Instead, I’d like to focus on maintaining friendships with my tiny number of hardcore followers, because they do make me happy and they’re the main reason that I run my blog.

4. Health/fitness/weight targets
I have been the same clothes size since I was a teenager, so I doubt that’s going to change. My resolution for this is to remember that if your body works, you can’t really complain about it. There are far bigger things to worry about.

Happy 2018 everyone!

Happy New Year!

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Hello lovelies,

Happy New Year to you all!

Are you all prepared for 2018? I’ve been planning out my reading/blogging/reviewing schedule and I’ve decided to participate again in the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for the third year running, even though I always get to December with five books left to read. This year I just got completely waylaid by Netgalley requests and also trying to complete the Popsugar Reading Challenge at the same time, so next year I’m focusing more on my TBR and only committing to one reading challenge.

I’ve also got a book haul from Xmas that I’ve got to work my way through, plus some books that I’ve borrowed from friends and family. Plus book that I bought in the sales. Plus books that I bought based on other people’s recommendations. Basically – lots of books. Always.

I hope that you all had a fabulous Christmas and that the New Year brings you all lots of bookish happiness.

Happy reading, as always!

Love, Lucinda x

Reading Challenge Wrap Up

Hello lovelies!

So, with a mere 10 hours to go, I managed to complete both the #read harder 2018 reading challenge and the Popsugar reading challenge 2018. This was after a particularly depressing comment made about a week ago where I realised that I still had two massive books left to read to finish both challenges. So, on the advice of the book blogging community I decided to forego the usual festive tv watching with my family and concentrate on reading instead. 

And I’ve done it. Yay!

I’ve either already reviewed each book, or I will do over the forthcoming weeks, but I thought I’d share a few highlights…

Top five books that I enjoyed the most
Oh, the Princess Bride by William Goldman. I just loved it. Everything about it was wonderful.

Elephant Moon by John Sweeney was a lush, tropical jem of a novel. Very British, very colonial, but still charming and exciting. Plus – baby elephants!

The Roanoak Girls by Amy Engel was a fabulous mixture of sadness, intrigue and suspense that had me hooked from the beginning.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey was brilliant, exciting and was difficult to put down. Despite not being a fan of horror, I absolutely loved this book (possibly because it’s not that scary). It ticked all the boxes for me.

Monstress by Marjorie Liu was an absolutely beautiful graphic novel. I wanted to frame every page and put it on my wall. Definitely one to savour/re-read.

Most surprising novel
Toast by Nigel Slater really shocked me, as I usually can’t stand his cookery programmes. I find there’s something intensely irritating about him. However, his memoir was beautiful, cleverly written and very touching. I fully expected to hate it but I actually really enjoyed it.

Most satisfying book
The Clan of the Cave Bear was a mammoth novel to tackle (and was also one that I left until half way through December to start). Luckily, it was very engaging and I whizzed through it.

Book that was furthest out of my comfort zone
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov was a real test to see through to the end. Some parts made me feel physically sick. I don’t think I would have finished it if it hadn’t been part of the reading challenge – I’m kind of glad that I did though.

Novel that you loved, but no-one else seems to know about
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill was a wonderful book, but I don’t think many bloggers picked up on it. On the face of it, it’s not my thing at all – I suppose it would broadly be defined as romance – but it’s a great story with a magical element that I really enjoyed.

Most challenging category
I really struggled to find a book published by a micropress, but I eventually came across Nasty Women by various authors, a diverse collection of essays about what it’s like to be female in the 21st century. I loved reading about this topic from such different perspectives and would highly recommend it for it’s intersectional perspectives.

Most hilarious novel
The Tent, the Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy is probably the funniest book I’ve ever read. A great recommendation if you’re feeling down and need a little pick me up.

Books that left a lasting impression on me
Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley actually made me get up and go for a jog. It also helped enormously with injuries, technical details about foot placement etc. It’s a great, funny book in it’s own right but it’s also a useful guide to anyone who runs.

Also, I defy anyone to read the poetry of Primo Levi and not be profoundly moved by it. His descriptions of the horror of the holocaust, his struggle to come to terms with what happened but his ultimate acceptance of the situation was actually life changing.

Least favourite books
Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake was just sooooo dull. I didn’t get it at all. I have no idea why people think it’s brilliant.

The Hundred Lives of Lizzie Loveitt by Chelsea Sedoti seems to have been loved by lots of people, but I thought it was total rubbish. I’m probably too old to get it!

The Book of Mirrors by E. O. Chirovia was really badly written, despite having a great opening chapter. Avoid!

Book that introduced me to something new
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie taught me all about the civil war and the founding of Biafra, something that I knew literally nothing about. It’s obviously harrowing, but deeply moving and very engaging.

Book that made me want to read more in the series/from the same author
Again, the Clan of the Cave Bear was super engaging, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Ayla next.

Similarly, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami just keeps getting better. This year I read book two, and I can’t wait to get stuck into book three.

I would have said M.R. Carey, but I did read the subsequent novel to The Girl with all the Gifts (Fellside) and it was a complete let down. I believe there’s a prequel to The Girl with all the Gifts which I might read, but in all honesty the book was so great that I don’t want to ruin it.

So – did any of you complete any reading challenges this year? Do you agree/disagree with my choices? Let me know in the comments!