Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Books and Reading, May 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 theory.

In January:  books read: 8; list reduced by: 2; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In February: books read: 12; list reduced by: 11; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In March: books read: 8; list increased by: 1;  pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 0
In April: books read: 10; list increased by: 8; pre-2015 reduction: 1; 2015 reduction: 3

So, was May any different?:
  • I read one book already owned by someone in the house (Chaplin & Company by Mave Fellows)
  • I read four books from my list (The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgkin, Some Luck by Jane Smiley, The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins, The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville), three of which were bought/acquired in 2015, which is great, as I wanted to read/remove at least 3 from 2015, and with these ones, have managed 8 so far. 
  • I read four books which were in the house but not on my list (Dead in the Water by Ann Granger, Real Murders, A Bone to Pick & Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris)
  • I re-read five books which I already owned (The Burning LampThe Heroine's Sister and The Belchamber Scandal by Frances Murray, The Chocolate Cobweb by Charlotte Armstrong, The Tightrope Walker by Dorothy Gilman)
  • I bought one book from Abe Books on recommendation from my cousin (The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills) and one because it was the second in a trilogy where I enjoyed the first (Early Warning by Jane Smiley)
  • I bought 4 books (three are part of a set and came together) from The Book People to help make an order up to the price of free shipping. I've actually read them all already in May (the Charlaine Harris), but they wouldn't have gone on the list because crime fiction doesn't, usually. (It's my list, I can play by my rules, even if they are a bit odd!) The other, I was attracted to because of the title (The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet)

May goal progress:
  1. books read: 14 of 62 books 
  2. books removed from list: 4; books added: 3 ; net result -1
  3. books read/removed from list from before 2015: 0 of 3;  from 2015: 3 of 7

Here's the updated list of Books to Read in 2017.  There were 46 books at the beginning of January, and now there are 40 (but a lot of them are different! (Books acquired in 2017 underlined)).
  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. Becky Chambers, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (Book People, May 2017)
  11. Tracy Chevalier, At the Edge of the Orchard  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  12. Chris Cleave, Everyone Brave is Forgiven (Mother's Day, 2017)
  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. Mark Haddon (Introduction), Experiences at the Edge of Consciousness (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  18. John Irving, Avenue of Mysteries  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  19. Lynn Knight, The Button Box  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  20. Alexander MacColl Smith, Emma (charity shop, April 2017)
  21. Neil MacGregor, Germany: Memories of  a Nation (birthday present, Nov 2016)
  22. Rebecca MacKenzie, In a Land of Paper Gods (Christmas Present, 2016)
  23. Alice Mattison, The Book Borrower (Used Book Depot, Vero Beach, April 2017)
  24. Elizabeth McKenzie, The Portable Veblen (Mother's Day, 2017)
  25. Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (charity table, Wetland Centre, May 2015)
  26. Magnus Mills, The Restraint of Beasts (Abe Books, May 2017)
  27. Kiran Millweed Hargrave, The Girl of Ink and Stars (Waterstones Wimbledon, April 2017)
  28. Alice Munro, Runaway (Waterstones Piccadilly, March 2016)
  29. Patrick Ness, More than This  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  30. Flannery O'Connor, Complete Stories (charity shop, December 2015)
  31. Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero (charity shop , April 2017)
  32. Orhan Pamuk. A Strangeness in Mind (Christmas present 2016)
  33. Natasha Pulley, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (Waterstones Wimbledon, December 2016)
  34. Elizabeth Redfern, The Music of the Spheres  (charity shop, December 2015)
  35. Anna Richards, Little Gods (pound shop, November 2016)
  36. Julia Rochester, The House at the Edge of the World (charity shop, April 2017)
  37. Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram (Abe Books, July 2016)
  38. Marcus Sedgewick, The Foreshadowing  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  39. Jane Smiley, Early Warning (Abe Books, May 2017)
  40. M L Stedman, The Light Between Oceans (Waterstones Wimbledon, December 2016)

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