Sunday, December 4, 2011

50 Book Challenge

A crushing failure. I have not read more than 10 pages of a book in the last 3 months.I just can't seem to get reading mojo on, and let's face it, it's not likely to hit hard enough in the next few weeks for me to suddenly devour 27 books and get to 50. I am declaring now that I failed at this challenge for 2011. However, in 2012, I'll be going around again, so watch this space. For now, these are the last dregs I've been carrying around in a hopefully pathetic little list on my phone...

21. Bad Haircut - Tom Perrotta. The last of my Tom Perrotta books, and his first. And worst. It was... okay. A group of loosely connected stories about an angsty teenage boy that seem to have been written by an angsty teenage boy.

22. Miracle Cure - Harlan Coben. Extremely dated book about a bunch of people involved in seeking a cure for AIDS being murdered. Stupidest twist ending ever. AVOID.

23. Little Children - Tom Perrotta. Okay, so this is the last of my Tom Perrotta books. This is one of his more recent 'grown up' novels, about a bored stay-at-home mother who has an affair with a bored stay-at-home father. There's a paedophile who has just moved back into the neighbourhood to give everyone something to do as well. Basically, it's about the banality and small-mindedness of suburbia, and when I say it like that it sounds awful, but it's actually pretty good. I tried to watch the movie though, and that was awful. 

Books I started but have not finished for whatever reason:
Eating Animals. It's in my desk drawer at work. I've read about two chapters.
Compacts and Cosmetics. Next to my bed, I read it when I wake up in the night and can't get back to sleep. It's really interesting, and I'm about half way through it. Written by Madeleine Marsh, who was featured in the Lisa Eldridge videos about vintage makeup a few months ago. If you haven't seen them, I highly recommend them, they're fascinating. You can watch the first one here and the second one here.
The Lucky Country. In my work bag, for those times when I'm sitting around a doctor's office or something. I've read about two or three chapters.
The Fall. Sitting on a shelf at my desk at work. After the awesomeness that was The Strain, this book is unbearably tedious. I've read about a third of it. 
Catching Fire. I enjoyed The Hunger Games quite a lot (and I'm not someone who generally likes YA), but I just couldn't get into this. THG seems like it was originally a standalone story and then someone somewhere saw the snowball effect of Twilight and Harry Potter and thought cha-ching! This seems tacked on and unnecessary, and it takes FOREVER to go anywhere. In fact, it still hadn't gone anywhere when I gave up, which was about 1/3 of the way in.
Last Night In Twisted River. John Irving used to be my favourite author, and he wrote my all time favourite book, but I don't think I have the attention span for his rambling anymore. I read one chapter of this (in my defence, it's a really long chapter), and put it down, intending to come back to it. I can't quite make myself pick it up again.
We Need To Talk About Kevin. I slogged through about a third of this before I couldn't stand another word. Insufferably pretentious wankfest. I probably would have loved it as a teenager.
The Post-Birthday World. I bought this at the same time as WNTTAK, which is why I own two books by this author. Again, I read about a third and couldn't bear any more of it. It's a Sliding Doors 'what if' alternate lives kind of thing, but there is nothing interesting about the characters and the story is just fancied-up chick lit.

So, I'm calling it for the year. Come January 1, I'll be back in the challenge. If you did the 50 book challenge this year, tell me whether you made it or not. Feel free to gloat, I'm tough - I can take it.... *cry*...


  1. I failed big time, read about 5-6 of the SookieStackhouse books, abandoned them because I got bored, read 2-3 of the game of thrones books, loving them but a bit long and ramblesome at times, read a few other books but I'm guessing my max this year was 15-16 books - pathetic!!! Next year I'll try harder :P

  2. It just wasn't a year for reading, I guess.

  3. I wanted to read about 40 books this year and I have also failed. I go through phases of loving reading and then becoming sick of it. Will try for 40 next year!

  4. I've done 46 and am reading 47 now, so I'm feeling a bit happy with myself (sorry). That said, I haven't exactly been reading Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. I've also put Game of Thrones aside because I want to do the 50 for the year and it's too bloody long to attempt at the end!

  5. Tara, I'm the same. There will be periods where I'm just madly reading in every spare moment and then a couple of months where I can't seem to be bothered with anything.

    Natalie, you smug git! YOU SHALL RUE THE DAY! ;-)

  6. I can't wait to be done school and read for fun and read things written by my own contemporaries. So, do you buy or borrow your books? I love buying pretty new volumes from the fancy bookstore but tend to get a lot more from the secondhand stores. And strangely enough, I haven't crossed the threshhold of a public library in years.

  7. I buy my books new - I'm not a fan of libraries because I have germophobic leanings and I don't like the idea of touching a book that 50 other people probably read in the toilet. And the same with secondhand books - plus I HATE the smell of old books.

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