I’ve arrived at another checkpoint in my 2017 reading challenge set by My Reader’s Block blogger Bev, the Mount TBR Challenge. You may remember that this involves reducing the mountain of unread books produced by tsundoku. My task was to achieve the summit of Mont Blanc, that is, to read 24 books from my to-be-read pile. That meant I had to have consumed twelve books by the end of June. Did I achieve this waymarked total?
Yes, but only just. After seven books in the first three months I managed to complete just another five previously unread titles:
Jane Austen: Emma
Joan Aiken: A Bundle of Nerves
Michael Crichton: The Andromeda Strain
Neil Gaiman: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea
Not so impressive a book count but a reasonable spread across genres: one each of a classic, a collection of short stories, some science fiction, a fantasy and a modern classic. And I seem to have kept up a high tally of women writers, as I’d hoped.
If you’re remotely interested I keep a running total here: http://wp.me/P2oNj1-KL. I’ve been rather busy of late — repetiteur for HMS Pinafore rehearsals, piano accompanying for exams, playing keyboard for an orchestral concert, plus house improvements — so apologies for my posts resembling an endangered species!
Bev gave us prompt questions for Checkpoint #2 (here) so my responses are as follows:
1. I’m halfway up Mont Blanc, having consumed twelve books by the end of June, so on course for finally completing 24 tsundoku titles!
2A. Coincidentally, the last two books I read were linked by title, Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, though I didn’t plan it that way. Interesting to compare and contrast the two.
2B. I don’t read an awful lot of hard SF, so Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain (described as a ‘techno-thriller’) was a surprisingly pleasant change. Also, Steve Silberman is an author new to me; his NeuroTribes study of those on the autistic spectrum would not necessarily have been a draw for me except that I’ve recently self-diagnosed as autistic, so the topic was of huge personal interest to me.
2C. Joan Aiken’s short story collection A Bundle of Nerves has been on my shelves the longest, having acquired it sometime in the 1970s. I’m somewhat ashamed that it’s taken me so long to finally get round to reading all of it!