The Book Challenge 2011 – Lows and Highs

2011 has come to a close, and The Book Challenge has rumbled on apace.  Having spent all of 2010 pushing myself as hard as I could to get things read, I decided very early on that I was going to be much less selective about what I read – if I wanted to read a book that was only fifty pages long, then I would, and not feel bad about counting it afterwards.  And of course, the big difference for this year, was that I decided I was not going to actively try to reach one hundred books.  Once it had been achieved, I needed a step back, and have at times enjoyed my reading a little more.

As I did last year, I shall try and give a few highs and lows of the year, this time with a little bit of a look at what will be coming up for me in terms of reading for 2012.


Wrestling Autobiographies  I am making it a bit of an aim to read all of the various wrestling autobiographies out there – I know a lot of you find it sad, but I like it, okay!  Unfortunately, after reading some gems in the first couple of years of the challenge, I read this year the incredibly disappointing third autobiography from Mick Foley, and Cross Rhodes by Goldust, which goes down as possibly the worst thing I have ever read.  Not a vintage year.

Mock the Week  I feel bad listing this again, as Annette who bought it for me came and apologised for getting me a rubbish book.  I will reiterate, that I just love reading, and having the odd bad book is good for appreciating the good ones, and also because writing reviews of bad books is fun.  And this really was a bad book.

Flying Solo Having spent my victorious year blogging alongside Bob, it has been sad being the only one blogging regularly – especially seeing as due to his sadness at being vanquished by me last year, Bob went on a bit of a book drought for the first few months of the year.  All of this looks set to change now however, as Alex has her blog running, Matt is starting a book challenge of his own, and Rob is returning to New York for a few weeks and thinks he may be persuaded to revive his own blog of his travels out there.


Hits To my utmost surprise, my little blog here gets what I consider to be a pretty good number of hits.  Compared to my rarely updated Alex Writes Things blog, which currently sits on nearly 200 visits in a year, in the past two years, this site has had around 25,000 hits.  I am pretty proud of that, so if you are someone I don’t know who does read this blog, then give me a shout, I’d love to hear from you.  And if you do know me, then please feel free to do so anyway.  Now if only I could work out how to set up the ad revenue thing on the site…

GRRM Finally finishing A Dance With Dragons I have made no secret of my love for George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, and after a wait of six years, we finally got the fifth book in the series done.  This was a perfect excuse to read the rest of the series, and whilst the fact that they are all massive hasn’t helped my total for the year, and the fifth book itself was somewhat a disappointment, I am pretty chuffed that we finally got to read it.

Terry Pratchett and Peter V Brett These two are the new series this year that I have really enjoyed.  Pratchett is someone I had not really gotten into before – I had read his first Discworld novel, but no further – but I am so glad I am started on them now, and following several recommendations, I decided to read Brett’s The Painted Man – a brilliant book that I am massively looking forward to finishing the series for now.

Simon Garfield Garfield has been somewhat my revelation author this year.  From reading The Wrestling I decided to read Mauve and enjoyed both of them a lot.  He has some other books on particularly weird subjects which I hope to read in the near future as well.

The Future

Well, I will still be blogging all of the books I read (I hear you all sigh in relief). And whilst I don’t intend to do the one hundred challenge again this year, I have a tentative plan to simply try to beat this year’s score.  But what will I be reading?

Well, the first thing that I am going to do is to read all of my Christmas books – perhaps noticing my pile of approximately seven hundred books in my To Be Read pile (no, I am actually not exaggerating) I only received four books this Christmas – and get them blogged.  My other aims for this year include finishing the Hitchhikers Guide books, getting a few more plays under the belt, start a couple of new series, and read some new authors – I have never read any Dickens for example, and should rectify that.

Any recommendations, please do throw them my way – I received a beautiful book journal for Christmas, and shall be logging suggestions in there as I receive them.  And if you have any inclination to join me in this blogging malarkey, please jump on board.  It really is a lot of fun.

2 thoughts on “The Book Challenge 2011 – Lows and Highs

  1. I started reading your blog sometime in 2011, looking for recommendations for my reading, which I list on my blog too. Simon Garfield sounds really interesting, and I tried to buy one of his books before Xmas (Xmas Eve actually) but Waterstones didn't have any.

    Looking forward to whatever you choose for 2012 (except plays and wrestling, but hey! you can't please everyone)

    cheers, Lola

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