Snail’s creep

book collection

We’re nearly halfway through November, and the end of the year is within touching distance. It’s nearly time to start taking stock of how my 2016 goals are progressing (as I’ve already done, back in July). Taking my author alphabet challenge I find I’m just five short of completion, with O, Q, U, X and Y yet to come. The good news is that I’ve lined up some books to cover three of these — Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, Xenophon’s The Persian Expedition and some short stories edited by Jessica Yates — though I’ve yet to decide on who to choose for U or Q.

Authors read in 2016 (L: library copy and indicates recycled)

Continue reading “Snail’s creep”


Literally challenged: marching forward

It’s nearly the end of March and I reckon it’s virtually time for an update on that 2015 Reading Challenge. For newcomers, this is my attempt to use a Goodreads list of fifty-two cues to help push me out of my literary comfort zone. By the end of March, with a little over twelve weeks gone, I should have completed twelve books at the rate of one per week. And that is indeed the case: four titles since my last update at the end of February.

So what are the categories that I’ve got through this time? With Penelope Lively’s A Stitch in Time I opted for the simple expedient of tagging it as by a female author. The fact that a significant proportion of the books I read are by female authors anyway makes this category rather spurious, but I have to admit that I couldn’t find another appropriate pigeonhole. Much easier to pigeonhole was Terry Pratchett’s Mort as this was perfect as a novel with a one-word title.

The next two books happened to be by Diana Wynne Jones. The Pinhoe Egg I classified as unread book by a favourite author. Now this isn’t strictly true as I’ve actually read it a few years ago; but I’d mostly skim-read it before and to my current way of thinking skim-reading is like gobbling down food without really tasting it. This time I savoured every bit, all the better to appreciate it and of course convey its essence to you, dear reader. The second helping of Jones was her editing of Hidden Turnings, a collection of tales by some of her favourite authors of the 1980s. This smorgasbord conveniently slotted into the challenge menu as a book of short stories.

I know that other bloggers were attracted by the notion of this Reading Challenge. Were you one of these? If so, how are you getting on with it? Are you keeping up? Or have you fallen by the wayside?