Sunday, April 30, 2017

Books and Reading, April 2017


At the start of the year, I set a few reading goals, with the overall aim of trying to make my way through books I've had for a while and haven't read, and trying not to acquire too many new books. The goals were:
  1. Read at least 100 books in 2017 (approximately 2 per week; hopefully I can accomplish this)
  2. Buy/acquire fewer books each month than I remove from my TBR shelf/list
  3. Read or otherwise get rid of at least 1 of the books I've had since before 2015 (there were 4 on the list at the start of the year) and at least three of the books I  bought during 2015 (12 on the list)
They are (fairly) reasonable goals, which shouldn't stress me too much.

In January:  books read: 8; list reduced by: 2; pre-2015 reduction: 0; pre-2016 reduction: 1
In February: books read: 12; list reduced by: 11; pre-2015 reduction: 0; pre-2016 reduction: 1
In March: books read: 8; list increased by: 1;  pre-2015 reduction: 0; pre-2016 reduction: 0.

Here's what happened in April:
  • I read four titles from my list, more or less (didn't read all of two of them, but I read as much as I'm going to before getting rid of them) (The Adventures & Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (this is a single book with two volumes in it, so it counts as two books read but only as one removed from the list); The Little Old Lady Who Broke all the Rules by Catarina Ingleman Sanders, The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - I read this many many years ago, as a child, but honestly, remember almost nothing of it at all)
  • I read part of one of the books on my list, but didn't really get into it (American Rust by Philip Meyer)
  • I read one book from my cousin's stash in Florida (Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan)
  • I left a book from my list at my cousin's place in Florida, as I decided I wasn't going to read it (Trespass by Rose Tremain) 
  • I read one book loaned to me by a friend (Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgewick)
  • I read two books already owned by someone else in our house (The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Numbers by Rachel Ward)
  • I read, possibly re-read, but I don't remember it a book in Donna Leon's Brunetti series, which I am re-reading my way through, filling in any gaps as I go along (A Venetian Reckoning)
  • I bought six books in the enormous Waterstones in Piccadilly Circus (Olivia's fault, she dragged me in kicking and screaming)...
  • I took a book home from my cousin's stash in Florida (Mr Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston)
  • I bought a book in the $1 section of a used book store in Florida (The Book Borrower by Alice Mattison)
  • I went into a bunch of charity shops with Sarah (who is also terrible for my book habit - it's all my kids' fault!) and bought, yes, some more books. (Six. Yes, I'm a terrible person. But at least I'm supporting charity, right? And technically one of these books came from Waterstones, but who's counting.)

April goal progress:
  1. books read: 10 of 72 books 
  2. books removed from list: 6; books added:14 ; net result +8
  3. books read/removed from list from before 2015: 1 of 4;  from before 2016: 3 of 10

Here's the updated list of Books to Read in 2017.  There were 46 books at the beginning of January, and now there are 41 (but a lot of them are different!).
  1. Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor (charity shop, April 2017)
  2. Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky (charity shop, October 2016)
  3. Elizabeth Aston, Mr Darcy's Daughters (from Taffy's house in Florida, April 2017)
  4. Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom (Waterstones Wimbledon, February 2017)
  5. Susan Barker, The Incarnations (charity shop, July 2016)
  6. Philip Baruth, The Brothers Boswell (Waterstones Canterbury bargain bin, July 2015)
  7. Mikhail Bulgokov, The Master and Margarita (charity shop, April 2017)
  8. Jessie Burton, The Muse (Waitrose, January 2017)
  9. Joanna Cannon, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (Mother's Day 2017)
  10. Tracy Chevalier, At the Edge of the Orchard  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  11. Chris Cleave, Everyone Brave is Forgiven (Mother's Day, 2017)
  12. Wilkie Collins, The Haunted Hotel (birthday present, November 2015)
  13. Anthony Doerr, About Grace (Waterstones Piccadilly, July 2016)
  14. Ford Maddox Ford, Parade's End (Nov 2012 - birthday present - bought after the BBC adaptation - but I knew I wouldn't read it straight away as I wanted to let time pass from the adaptation.  Enough time has probably passed now...) *
  15. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (would be a re-read, bought shortly after his death - spring 2014 - as I was reminded how much I enjoyed it and I didn't seem to own a copy - think my old one fell apart, probably...) *
  16. Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (2014)*
  17. Kate Grenville, The Lieutenant (charity shop, December 2015)
  18. Mark Haddon (Introduction), Experiences at the Edge of Consciousness (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  19. Antonia Hodgkin, The Devil in the Marshalsea (charity shop, May 2016)
  20. John Irving, Avenue of Mysteries  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  21. Lynn Knight, The Button Box  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  22. Alexander MacColl Smith, Emma (charity shop, April 2017)
  23. Neil MacGregor, Germany: Memories of  a Nation (birthday present, Nov 2016)
  24. Rebecca MacKenzie, In a Land of Paper Gods (Christmas Present, 2016)
  25. Alice Mattison, The Book Borrower (Used Book Depot, Vero Beach, April 2017)
  26. Elizabeth McKenzie, The Portable Veblen (Mother's Day, 2017)
  27. Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (charity table, Wetland Centre, May 2015)
  28. Kiran Millweed Hargrave, The Girl of Ink and Stars (Waterstones Wimbledon, April 2017)
  29. Alice Munro, Runaway (Waterstones Piccadilly, March 2016)
  30. Patrick Ness, More than This  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  31. Flannery O'Connor, Complete Stories (charity shop, December 2015)
  32. Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero (charity shop , April 2017)
  33. Orhan Pamuk. A Strangeness in Mind (Christmas present 2016)
  34. Natasha Pulley, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (Waterstones Wimbledon, December 2016)
  35. Elizabeth Redfern, The Music of the Spheres  (charity shop, December 2015)
  36. Anna Richards, Little Gods (pound shop, November 2016)
  37. Julia Rochester, The House at the Edge of the World (charity shop, April 2017)
  38. Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram (Abe Books, July 2016)
  39. Marcus Sedgewick, The Foreshadowing  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  40. Jane Smiley, Some Luck (Waterstones Reading, October 2015)
  41. M L Stedman, The Light Between Oceans (Waterstones Wimbledon, December 2016)

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