Falling Forward: A Girl & Her Lists

101 in 1001: June Update

Posted by in 101 in 1001, Books, Projects

Completed in June: 4

55. Read all Augusten Burrows books
I finally completed this one by reading Sellevision on the plane out to Portugal. I must admit, I really like Augusten’s style but his books do tend to get a bit samey – they’re all (with the except of Sellevision which is fiction) autobiographies of different points of his life. Very dry, very funny but when you read two or three in a short space of time they tend to merge into one a bit.

80. Paint my toenails more often
I’m going to mark this one as done. They aren’t always pristine but I do remember to paint them every month or so which is a vast increase on what I was doing before. It’s nice to have pretty feet!

43. cycle 5km at the gym once a week for three months. [8/12]
Confession: I didn’t complete this one, exactly. But I did 8 weeks in a row and then I did the 30 Day Shred so I’m going to let myself off because I was exercising, just not on the bike. It’s my list and I’m not doing three more months of this, thanks.

44. Try a new dish once a week for three months [8/12]
The same goes with this one. We tried 8 new things and then got waylaid by parties and holidays. But I think 8 new meals isn’t a bad acheivement. I actually did this once before when I was in Cornwall and got 5 weeks done, so technically I completed it with a rather large gap inbetween…*

This actually means I’ve ticked off all of my ‘Short Term Achievements‘ now which is pretty funny considering I started this list two years ago, ha.

I really don’t know how many more of these I’m going to be able to complete. Five or six maybe but there are definitely some that I won’t. I don’t think I’ve done too badly considering I wrote this list when I was at a completely different point in my life – I’ve managed to get the bulk of it done. Does that mean I qualify for some kind of prize? W

*Yeah, I wouldn’t buy that either but I’m going to stick to it!
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July Challenge

Posted by in Books, Projects

I read 20 books in June. Which is a bit ridiculous but also pretty nice. I’m only 15 books away from hitting my original 100 books target, so it looks like I’ll have to up it a bit!

I tend to read books on my Kindle whilst I’m at work and I took it to Portugal to save on luggage space so I’ve managed to amass a rather large stack of library books at home, languishing in the corner. It wouldn’t be so bad but I keep thinking of new stuff I want to reserve and adding more to the list. Oops.

I need to get these books read and back to the library before they lynch me so July is going to be Library Books Only Month. The rules are as follows:

* I can only read books from the library (Duh)
* I’m not allowed to add any new books to my reserve list or check out any new books until I’ve cleared 50% of the list

I currently have:

  1. The mystery of the strange messages by Enid Blyton
  2. Meltdown by Ben Elton
  3. Double Cross by Malorie Blackman
  4. In Search of the Missing Eyelash by Karen Mcleod
  5. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell
  6. The Distance Between Us by Maggie O’Farrell
  7. An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin [book group]
  8. The Scarlett Letter: A Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne [book group]
  9. I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
  10. The Almost Moon by Alice Seobold
  11. The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht [book group]
  12. The Importance of Being A Bachelor by Mike Gayle
  13. Zero History by William Gibson
  14. X-Men:First Class by Jeff Parker [graphic novel]

Eep. Three of those are book group books so I’ll be concentrating on them first. Four of them are classed as children’s or young adult so I’m hoping they won’t take long to read either and one is a graphic novel which I’ll be able to zip through in a lunchtime probably. Hopefully by the time August the 1st rolls around I’ll have finished them all but July is going to be a pretty busy month in terms of events and parties so we’ll have to see. I’ll let you know how I get on :)

Books! 2011 – June Update

Posted by in Books, Projects

Read in June: 20
66. RR: Wish You Were Here – Mike Gayle
67. NEW: My Lover’s Lover – Maggie O’Farrell [Book Group]
68. NEW: When God Was A Rabbit – Sarah Winman [Book Group]
69. NEW: Constance Breakwater & Her Beautiful Museumhood – Giles Booth
70. NEW: The Minority Report – Philip K. Dick
71. NEW: Shit My Dad Says – Justin Halpern
72. NEW: Mystic River – Dennis Lehane [Book Group]
73. NEW: Unlucky In Death – Dan Dillard
74. NEW: The End Of Mr. Y – Scarlett Thomas
75. RR: The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
76. NEW: Wolverine Weapon X: Adamantium Men – Jason Aaron [Graphic Novel]
77. NEW: You Better Not Cry – Augusten Burroughs
78. NEW: Sellevision – Augusten Burroughs
79. NEW: 13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson
80. NEW: God Bless You, Mr Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut
81. NEW:  Hear The Wind Sing – Haruki Murakami
82. NEW: Pinball, 1973 – Haruki Murakami
83. NEW: Too Close For Comfort (Knight & Culverhouse) – Adam Croft
84. NEW: Admit One: My Life In Film – Emmett James
85. NEW: Water For Elephants – Sara Gruen

Favourite book read this month:
I know everyone has been raving about Water For Elephants so I’m sorry to hop on that bandwagon but I really enjoyed it. Not so much for the love story but more for just the insight into the travelling circus. Sara Gruen did an incredible job of bringing the big top to life and I commend her for it. I also really liked The End of Mr. Y which I picked up after my BFF raved about it on GoodReads*. A really interesting, intriguing book about travelling into the mind. Not recommended for anyone that ever worked on lab mice tho. When God Was A Rabbit was enjoyable but I don’t think it lived up to the hype it seemed to receive. Also Shit My Dad Says was good for a giggle on a long coach ride down to London.

Least favourite book read this month:
By far and away my least favourite book this month was Too Close For Comfort (Knight & Culverhouse) by Adam Croft. I don’t want to slate it because it was free on Amazon for the Kindle and I think it was self published but I really, really didn’t enjoy it. (Although apparently neither did the author) The plot meandered from weird to ridiculous – the ‘twist’ at the end was completely unbelievable (but sadly not in a good way) and I feel like it tried to tick too many genre boxes at once. I’m not sure if any book can manage to be humorous, gruesome, surprising, gritty and dramatic but this one certainly didn’t manage it. I found the characters were ill developed and seemed to make odd out of character decisions (how many detectives do you know that would willingly drink drive? & how many lawyers do you know that would ask you out for dinner instead of your insurance details when you crash into their car during said drink driving?) Perhaps if it had been a longer book with more time to flesh out the characters this would have been less jarring but as it was it just didn’t seem very plausible. This appears to be a series but I doubt I’ll be downloading any more unless someone I know really enjoys them. Sorry Adam!

I read: 18 new books in June and 2 re-reads, bring my life list wish of reading 1000 new books up to: 78/1000.

*I’m always happy to make new friends on GoodReads so if you have an account and want to add me feel free :)

30 Day BC – Day 21 : The Book That Made You Look At Life In A Different Way

Posted by in 30 Day Challenges, Books, Projects

Tuesdays With Morrie helped me to be more tolerant, I think. The Diving Bell & The Butterflymade me more grateful for the little things we take for granted. (Cliché, but true!).  The Raw Shark Texts, The Unbearable Lightness of Being  and The End Of Mr. Y opened my mind more to science and philosophy, always welcome and always fun, if a little difficult to get my head around sometimes.

There are so many books that have shaped and moulded my personality and knowledge. Books written by foreign authors like Haruki Murakami and Augusten Burroughs that give me insights into what living in a different country might be like.

It’s one of the main reasons I love reading, I think. To be able to gain knowledge, learn new words and expressions, to understand things in a different or better way. I’m such a knowledge geek, but hey. At least it’s better than being a Star Wars fan, right?*

I don’t read a lot of non fiction books – although I’ll read Bill Bryson and some autobiographical stuff. I think I should try and change that. There’s a whole world of information out there just begging to be learnt. Anyone want to give me any good recommendations of what to start with first?

 

 

 

*I jest, I jest! You can love Star Wars all you want. Just don’t expect me too ;)
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30 Day BC – Day 22 : A Book You Wish Was Real Life

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Q and I are flying out to Portugal today to celebrate my birthday and our Anniversary on Monday. (Yes, we got together on my birthday. This way he always remembers ;) ). I’ve scheduled a few posts to run whilst we’re away so that you don’t miss me too much. I know, I know. I’m thoughtful like that…

-

Er, Harry Potter? Any of the X-Men comics? Anything that can make it alright for me to be a massive geek is absolutely fine by me.

I’d love it if Susie’s version of Heaven from The Lovely Bones could exist, but I don’t think I’d want the rest of the book to be reality. I’d love to live in the Dark Tower series for a while but I’m not sure I could cope with their world for too long.

It would probably also be fun to live in Jasper Fforde’s BookWorld – getting to jump between books and hang out with literary fiction would be fine by me.

Like I said. Massive geek. You’re not going to tell anyone, right?

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30 Day BC – Day 20 : The Saddest Or Most Emotive Book You Have Read

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The Time Traveller’s Wife definitely comes under this category. I’m pretty sure I’ve cried every time I’ve read it, because it’s full of emotion and I’m a complete sucker for a love story. (A lot of my favourite books are coming under so many of these categories that I feel like I’m repeating myself. Clearly I need to read more diverse books, heh).

I haven’t read it for quite a while but I’m going to throw in Watership Down. The film scared me when I was a kid and the book was even more heartbreaking. Those poor rabbits…

Thinking about it, I don’t think I actually read a lot of sad books. Certainly not the chick-lit sad books or the ‘childhood trauma’ stories that seem to saturate the book aisles of the supermarkets. I read A Child Called IT by Dave Pelzer and the follow on books but there are so many of them now I can imagine (sadly, I suppose) that the stories start to blend into one.

I’m not entirely sure I’m missing out by skipping this genre but there are probably a few gems that I’d enjoy if I could sift through the detritus to get to them. Any recommendations?

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30 Day BC – Day 19 : The Most Romantic Book You Have Ever Read

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The Time Traveler’s Wife, obviously. There is something spine tingling about the way that the love story of Henry and Clare unfolds across the pages. Every time I think about this book I just want to read it again. I can imagine The Notebook is also pretty romantic (if it’s anything like the film) but I haven’t read it so I can’t really judge.

I don’t really tend to read epic romance stories, especially the “classics” like Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice. I don’t know why, I love romance as much as the next girl (luckily for me Q is quite romantic, heh) but I never seem to pick up books that portray it.

Does anyone have any recommendations on things I’m missing out on?

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30 Day BC – Day 18 : A Book You Have That Belongs To Someone Else

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bill  derren

 A Short History of Nearly Everythingby Bill Bryson and Tricks of the Mindby Derren Brown. Both this books belong to Aaron and I’ve had them forever. Years, probably. I haven’t got around to reading them yet either, which is pretty shameful. I enjoyed all the other Bill Bryson books I’ve read so I’m not sure why I’m struggling so much with this one.

I’ve also got Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett from The Cowboy that I borrowed to finish my ‘read all of Terry Pratchett’s books’ item that I had on my 101 in 1001 days challenge. Technically all of Q’s books are now mine too, ha. Win!

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30 Day BC – Day 17 : The Most Over Hyped Book You Have Ever Read

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The books that I didn’t like fall into this category – and it’s probably part of the reason I didn’t like them. You’re probably sick of me banging on about JD Salinger tho so I’m going to go with Twilight.

twilight

My god was this book insanely hyped. I didn’t hate it – and I did go out and buy the other ones – but…it’s just a book about mormons and chastity thinly disguised as a book about vampires, you know? I quite liked them; as throw away, young adult reads. But as the best young adult novels of all time? No. Move along.

Breaking Dawn especially bothered me for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. Stephenie Meyer just didn’t end it well enough for me and I came away disappointed. Worth reading? Sure, if you think you like that sort of thing. But worth all the hype that it got and still gets? No. I don’t think so.

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30 Day BC – Day 16 : A Book That’s A Guilty Pleasure

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Ha! I think most of my ‘read’ list from this year is a guilty pleasure, to be honest. Anything by a renowned ‘chick lit’ author makes me feel like I should be reading something more highbrow (but I quite enjoy them), anything by a children’s author makes me feel like I should be expanding my mind more (but they’re so fun!) and anything with a Richard and Judy Summer read sticker makes me feel like a sheep (but they’re popular for a reason).

Reading Enid Blyton and Judy Blume now I’m 28 is a guilty pleasure. Reading The End of Mr. Y  whilst I was supposed to be finishing Mystic River for the book club is a guilty pleasure. Sometimes just the act of reading itself, when I should be emptying the dishwasher or doing the laundry feels like a guilty pleasure. But you know what? That suits me just fine.

I enjoy my guilty pleasures. Which I guess perhaps makes them less guilty? Chick Lit reader and proud. Now where’s Confessions of a Shopaholic?

 

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