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THE BRAND NEW 2024 50 BOOK CHALLENGE

(600 Posts)
TerriBull Mon 01-Jan-24 06:49:34

Good Morning and a Happy New Year to all.

Well here it is on this new year's day, the brand new 50 book challenge and hope that all our regular posters will continue to contribute and anyone new who enjoys their books will consider joining us.

For the benefit of anyone who isn't familiar with this thread, I will run through my introductory spiel. Firstly I would like to point out that if you are someone who thinks that you wouldn't read 50 books in a year but would still be interested in joining in, don't let that number put you off, do come here and join us anyway, particularly if you think you would enjoy ongoing discussions about books which is the essence of this book challenge. This is a thread that I filched from MN, over there they have two threads running concurrently, one for 50 books a year and one for 25. Our reading community here on GN is relatively small so I think it's preferable to keep us as one group allowing for the fact that we all read at different rates, given time constraints or whatever else we have going on in our lives.

The choice of books you opt for is entirely up to you, anything is permissible, fiction, non fiction and I would particularly like to stress your reading material doesn't have to be a novel if you want to opt for something factual, biographies, memoirs, even a children's book if you want to revisit a childhood favourite maybe, audio/Audible. Again how you post is down to you, merely list your books, maybe a brief description, or feel free to waffle on, I do, particularly if I've been enthused about a book I've read. Sometimes we interject and comment on other posters choices, more often than not agreeing with their opinions, and taking up recommendations, occasionally interjecting with our own dislike of maybe one they have favoured, but always with a view of agreeing to disagree. Books as with most other forms of entertainment are subjective and will of course divide opinions as well.

I hope I have outlined all the relevant points for anyone who is contemplating joining us and I would like to wish everyone a happy year's reading and all the best for 2024.

TerriBull Mon 01-Jan-24 06:59:02

My opening book for the year is The Bee Sting - Paul Murray, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, I think it was expected to win, but didn't. Quite a long one at 650 pages, I'm 50 pages in and enjoying it so far.

On Audible I'm listening to My Name is Barbra and it is! Barbra Streisand's auto biography. I did get it out of the library, weighs a ton at nearly 1000 pages, well she's had a long and eventful life. However, for various reasons, I didn't make great inroads into it in the time allotted and being a new best seller it wasn't renewable, so back it went! now I'm listening to her instead.

Greyduster Mon 01-Jan-24 08:32:50

I am kicking off the new year with two of a stack of books I received for Christmas. One is How We Fish by Paul Whitehouse and John Bailey. A slightly self congratulatory spin off from the tv series, but informative and amusing if you’re into fishing. The second is “Surfacing” a book of essays by Kathleen Jamie. Her wonderful descriptive writing really draws you in.

J52 Mon 01-Jan-24 08:59:16

Happy New year to fellow readers. Thank you TerriBull for the thread. I’m joining in for the first time, although I do belong to a book club and share books round with friends. Last year I read some really interesting books that others recommended, so I’m keen to widen my reading material.
At the moment, I’ve just started The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont.

Sparklefizz Mon 01-Jan-24 09:28:24

Thank you for this new thread TerriBull and Happy New Year to everyone.

I'm starting off 2024 with Tom Lake by Ann Patchett which was recommended by someone last year (sorry, I don't recall who it was, but thank you! smile ) I'm really enjoying it.

Maggierose Mon 01-Jan-24 09:36:03

I’m reading, A Case of Knives by Candia Mc William. I remember enjoying her books when first published. It’s beautifully written but all the characters are horrible.

rubysong Mon 01-Jan-24 10:21:18

Hi, I'm starting the year with Bill Bryson's 'The road to Little Dribbling', a follow up to 'Notes from a small island'.

Jaxjacky Mon 01-Jan-24 10:22:38

I’m reading The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith, aka J K Rowling. I’m enjoying it and have read all the previous ones.

keepcalmandcavachon Mon 01-Jan-24 11:14:47

Revisiting The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner. Have re read a few 'long lost friends' recently, nice to still feel the magic. Also Death comes to Pemberley which has yet to capture me a few chapters in!

AliBeeee Mon 01-Jan-24 11:52:28

Happy new year everyone and thanks to TerriBull for the new thread.
Like Greyduster I am going to start the year with two books I received for Christmas, both ones I requested.

One is Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker. I really enjoyed his book We Begin At the End, so thought I’d give this a go. It’s about a 3 year old who goes missing in a small community. I have just read the first chapter and thought it seemed familiar, though I am sure I haven’t read it.

The other is The Out Trail by Mary Roberts Rinehart. It’s a collection of 7 tales about her travels in the American west 100 years ago. She was a well known writer considered by some as the American Agatha Christie.

BigBertha1 Mon 01-Jan-24 12:17:59

I'm starting the year with a Christmas gift of Judy Dench's conversation on Shakespeare which I hinted to my sister I would like. So far I'm on Macbeth. This is a link to a book I have just finished Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow fascinating insight into the world of coding and computer games.

I am a third of the way through TRUST by Hernan Diaz fascinating so far about a hugely rich but reclusive man and his financial market activities during the 1920's. His philanthropic wife suffers from mania but I wont tell you any more at this point other than this Pulitzer Prize winner (2023) is beautifully written and worthy of a good read.

TerriBull Mon 01-Jan-24 12:31:17

Big Bertha, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow was a Christmas gift along with the one I'm reading now, not what I'd usually choose but I gather it is fascinating.

I read Trust, I enjoyed it initially but ultimately found it disappointing and having loved Demon Copperhead joint winner with it of The Pulitzer Prize was somewhat underwhelmed, I think I expected more, Demon Copperhead was my outstanding book of last year.

Sara1954 Mon 01-Jan-24 12:43:02

Thankyou TerriBull, and Happy New Year to all you book readers.
I’m starting the year with Yellow Face, it was thrust into my hands by a very enthusiastic Waterstones employee, it’s okay so far, but I’m not very far in, I’ll update when I finish.

TerriBull Mon 01-Jan-24 12:49:32

I liked Yellowface Sarah yes update us when you finish it. We have such a Waterstones employee in my town, does that very thing thrusting a book at cusomers with a "you won't read anything better than this" a couple have been awfulgrin I think they may get special training in that particular sales technique. Anyway I won't fall for it again!

SueDonim Mon 01-Jan-24 12:55:07

Thank you for that warm introduction to 2024’s books, Terribull. I love going between this ‘library’ and Soop’s ‘Kitchen’ threads.

I’m reading something that’s been on my Kindle for too long, Rachael Joyce’s The Music Shop. It’s very sweet, to see in the New Year.

HousePlantQueen Mon 01-Jan-24 13:08:22

Good morning all, happy new year, and thank you for starting the 2024 book thread. I look forward to picking up recommendations, especially for books which I wouldn't usually pick. I am currently reading Her Last Request by Mari Hannah, a new author to me (picked up in my local hospice book shop). Thoroughly enjoying it, and delighted to find that she has written quite a few more.

TerriBull Mon 01-Jan-24 13:19:53

SueDonim

Thank you for that warm introduction to 2024’s books, Terribull. I love going between this ‘library’ and Soop’s ‘Kitchen’ threads.

I’m reading something that’s been on my Kindle for too long, Rachael Joyce’s The Music Shop. It’s very sweet, to see in the New Year.

Thank you Sue that's nice to know.

Maggierose Mon 01-Jan-24 13:32:02

I started Demon Copperhead after I got it for Christmas last year. I found it hard going and put it aside meaning to go back to it. I never did; a friend of mine went into a rant about how dare the author write about something she couldn’t experience and how it was inauthentic and exploitative it was and although I believe writers should be able to write about anything, it rather tainted it for me.

Maggierose Mon 01-Jan-24 13:32:49

Excuse bad grammar 🙄

Juno56 Mon 01-Jan-24 13:37:13

Happy New Year everyone and thank you TerriBull for the new thread. I have started the year with You and Me, Always a book by Jill Mansell, the queen of chick lit. I'm only a few chapters in but already know how the three female characters' relationships will work out. However, it is a lovely undemanding read.

Freya5 Mon 01-Jan-24 13:39:41

rubysong

Hi, I'm starting the year with Bill Bryson's 'The road to Little Dribbling', a follow up to 'Notes from a small island'.

I hope you enjoy it as I did. It made me laugh too.

TerriBull Mon 01-Jan-24 14:06:23

Maggierose

I started Demon Copperhead after I got it for Christmas last year. I found it hard going and put it aside meaning to go back to it. I never did; a friend of mine went into a rant about how dare the author write about something she couldn’t experience and how it was inauthentic and exploitative it was and although I believe writers should be able to write about anything, it rather tainted it for me.

I don't think I can agree with your friend Maggierose, whilst Dickens' father I believe spent some time in Marshalsea Debtor's Prison, Dickens himself didn't live in abject poverty but still managed to write and highlight the appalling conditions a huge proportion of the population lived in during those times. Barbara Kingsolver, lives in the Appalachians where Demon Copperfield is set, a deprived area of the United States, the general consensus is that her writing is well observed particularly as it draws a parallel between the poverty of Dickens time and that in a US beleaguered by the current day opiate crises.

Honestly if you took the one must "live it to understand it" to its logical conclusion Tolstoy, for example, wouldn't have written Anna Karenina or War and Peace, I think its a bit of a daft premise quite honestly.

Bridie22 Mon 01-Jan-24 14:15:22

First book of the year just started, The Real Happy Valley by Alice Vinten...true stories from Yorkshires front line policewoman...

eGJ Mon 01-Jan-24 14:19:56

I have begun with A Spy Alone the first book by Charles Beaumont. Think John Le Carre brought right up to 2022! Slow start, but gripping as the story unfolds. Don’t want to finish it, but I’m so hooked, I may do just that today!

Susan56 Mon 01-Jan-24 14:23:28

I started reading The Edge by David Baldacci but then realised it is the second in a series so am now reading the first in the series The 6.20 Man