Monday, 28 October 2013

Two months left in 2013... *shocked look*

The year is already winding down, amazing as that seems, so while the puppies are entertaining themselves by eating all the twigs and pine cones that have blown into the backyard the past couple of days, I thought I'd take a look at what I might like to read to finish off the year. Just as an aside, I had chosen a total of 80 books to read as part of my overall goodreads challenge and I'm happy to say I've completed 81 as of today. Maybe next year I'll increase by another 5. Time will tell. :0)

Overall so far, it's been a pretty good year. For my Reading Group 12 + 2 challenge, I've completed 11 of the 14 and overall enjoyed them all. My favourites of this challenge so far have been Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, Case Histories by Kate Atkinson and Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks, a classic, a mystery and a SciFi novel. I still have 3 to read, but only need one to complete the challenge. I hope to read at least two of them; The Far Country by Nevil Shute and Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend by Susan Orlean. I fear that Lady Chatterley's Lover will have to wait until next year. As to next year, well, I haven't given this challenge too much thought, but I can think of a couple at least; Parade's End by Ford Maddox Ford, one classic; Goliath  by Scott Westerfield, maybe Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh and Is it Just Me? by Miranda Hart. Unless I go in a completely different direction, I'd like to continue with a few classics, a mystery or two and maybe a SciFi or so. We'll see as Dec approaches.

At the moment, I'm in the process of finishing a genre challenge book for October, horror for the Halloween month. The book is The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert. I had enjoyed the TV series a few months ago and the book is as good so far. It was a slow burn, but it's moving along nicely now, excellent horror/ ghost story. The other book I'm trying to finish by end month is Circus by Alistair MacLean. He has been my focus author this month and so far I've enjoyed South by Java Head and Night Without End, both excellent well-paced stories, one a war book, the second a pure thriller. Circus isn't quite as good as the first two, but still an entertaining, page-turning story in the thriller mode.

Focus Authors - I've enjoyed this challenge very much, that being focusing on a particular author each month as part of my reading selections. I've featured either specific series, like John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books and Jane Haddam's Gregor Demarkian mysteries, as well, just books by favourite authors that have either deserved a re-read or were new to me; authors such as Philip K. Dick and Alistair MacLean. I still have two authors to focus on for the rest of the year, November will be Ian Rankin, of the Rebus mysteries and December will feature Ellis Peters, author of the Cadfael mysteries. I have read various books in both series, but I hope to catch up somewhat, with at least two if not three from each series. I've been reading the Rankin books in order, so the next three in the series are Dead Souls, Set in Darkness and The Falls. I haven't followed the Cadfael books in order, but now that I have most of the collection, I'll work my way from the earliest of those I haven't read.. Next three in line for me are #1 A Morbid Taste for Bones, #3 Monk's Hood and #4 St Peter's Fair. Looking forward to these. Taking a look at 2014, these are some authors I'd like to add to my focus challenge... Donna Leon's Inspector Brunetti books (I've read a few and enjoyed very much so far), James Hawkins' Inspector Bliss books and Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks books, to name a few..

Alphabetical Mystery Authors - Over the past two years, I've managed to read a mystery by various mystery writers, working my way up from A. This year I've made it to the letter H, my last book being An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris, a Harper Connelly mystery, which has become a favourite of mine. I'd like to continue with the letter H and read at least 2 more authors before year end.. The next two on the list will be Death on Demand by Carolyn Hart (or maybe Death in Paradise) and Blood Hunt by Jack Harvey. So many H's. Of the books in this challenge I've enjoyed the most include The Killing at Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham and Marnie by Winston Graham. I'll continue with this challenge. If I only read the two above this year, I'll start 2014 off with James Hawkins, Mo Hayder and Patricia Highsmith. I hope to get out of the H's next year. This year, so far, I have managed to read 14 books in this challenge.

Anyway, there you have it. I think with that, I've left myself some room for other books until the end of the year, especially if I can manage about 7 or 8 books a month. *fingers crossed* There are other challenges that are still being done, the Time Traveller Challenge. We're in the 1500's and I plan to read Revelation by CJ Sansom for that. We'll have two more genre challenges before year end, November at the moment looks to be Espionage, so I may dig out a John le Carre for that and who knows what December will bring.

Anyway folks, still have to do some laundry and see what destruction the puppies are causing. Keep on reading!!

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