Monday, 14 March 2011

Last World Book Night post

Well I've had over a week now to think about all the books I've read during my (insane?) challenge.

I'm not sure what conclusions that I have come to, and my thoughts on the whole WBN project are muddled - I think Sam, and the people who have commented on his blog post sum it up best so head over there for thoughts on that.

My thoughts on my challenge are clearer. I can't say I've loved every moment of the time I've spent reading, I've been repeatedly challenged, disappointed and amazed. My horizons are far wider now than they were back in December, and to my amazement (and family disgust) I've discovered that there is some poetry out there that I like.

I always thought I was a broadminded reader but in forcing myself to read so many varied books I've discovered that while I am broadminded about subject matter when it comes to genre I am a bit of a snob. I do read widely but in a limited manner!

The 25 books chosen were all varied, I think on reflection I am a little disappointed that more fantasy and science fiction didn't make the list but there were a nice mixture of fiction/non fiction and popular/literary titles.

  1. Half of a Yellow Sun
  2. The Reluctant Fundamentalist
  3. A Life Like Other People's
  4. All Quiet on the Western Front
  5. Stuart: A Life Backwards
  6. Dissolution
  7. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
  8. Agent Zigzag
  9. Toast
  10. Rachel's Holiday
  11. The World's Wife
  12. Case Histories
  13. Life of Pi
  14. Cloud Atlas
  15. A Fine Balance
  16. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
  17. Northern Lights
  18. One Day
  19. Seamus Heaney's Selected Poems
  20. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  21. Love in the Time of Cholera
  22. The Blind Assassin
  23. Fingersmith
  24. The Killing Floor
  25. Beloved
I've surprised myself with this list - I certainly never expected the top 2 and I thought I would like some of the bottom placed books a lot more.

It has already been announced that there will be a World Book Night in 2012 and if there is a list of books again I will plan on reading them all - in the mean time all of the books I've been neglecting for the past 3 months are calling, plus the write up of my holiday reading.


  1. Thanks for the link - I think we've dovetailed each other this morning!

    Really interesting to see your final list, particularly as I've not read any of the top 10! (and I think of myself as reasonably well read in modern literature!!!)

    Surprised - and rather pleased - to see One Day so far down the list; it's the first negative thing I've heard about in months!

    Of those I have read, there are none I absolutely love. I gave away Love in the Time of Cholera because of it's opening first line, and had it been book two or three in the His Dark Materials Trilogy rather than Northern Lights I would have chosen that.

    Overall, I rather wish I'd given reading the 25 a go as it would have broadened my reading dramatically. I'm definitely a bit of a snob and while there are lots of genre titles (I hate that phrase) that I'd like to read I tend not to get around to them very often. And while my classics reading is still sketchy I can't see it happening anytime soon.

    Thanks for this post. It's good to be reminded of the gaps in one's reading from time to time.

  2. So Sam - will you be joining me next year and trying to read the whole list?!

    It has been good fun, but at times very frustrating as there have been lots of other things I've wanted to read but haven't had time for.

    Of course now I have the time I can't settle to anything...