Saturday, 9 January 2010

A Personal Challenge in the Public Domain

I have decided to sign up to the 2010 Reading Challenge, to read 100 books in a year. You can find details here.

At first this sounded like no problem; after all, I read all the time.

Well, no, actually, I don't. I like to think that I do, and I certainly did in my pre-motherhood life, but now reading is a luxury that happens only in snatched moments. The pile of 'to read' books has grown and grown over the last couple of years.

And actually, 100 books in a year realistically means two books a week. I don't think I managed even half that in 2009, which means that this really will be a challenge.

So I will make time to read this year. Proper time. Consciously sitting down to read and trying not to feel guilty about it. And not just when I am on holiday.

I have begun well so far, having already completed Messiah by Boris Starling (I am a sucker for a good crime novel), Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (my book club's next book - interesting, but too much of a boy's book in narrative terms) and a re-reading of Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy which I will be studying with my A-level group when I go back to work next week.

I have also begun Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier, which was a lovely, unexpected Christmas present.

And it means that I will get through some of that enormous outstanding pile. I am particularly looking forward to Audrey Niffenegger's new book as I loved The Time Traveller's Wife, and The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams; I remember reading good reviews of it. I have been meaning to pick up the Gormenghast books by Mervyn Peake for about four years. This year I will!

Any other recommendations gratefully received...


  1. Whoa that's a lot of books!
    My commute was my reading time and I miss it.
    Good luck with the challenge.

  2. I'm so tempted by this but one of my resolutions was to reduce the things I commit to ... and 100 books is a LOT of reading

  3. @Muddling Along Mummy - You're right, and I'm probably being ridiculous. I'm consoling myself with the fact that some of them I will have to read from a teaching point of view - and that makes it not pleasure!

  4. I'd get nowhere near 100 books in a year now I've got kids. But I did read Tana French's Into the Woods last year, and I think that given your other top hits, you'd like that one too. I also read Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk about Kevin which was brilliant but a bit bizarre to read when you have children.

    Good luck. If you read any really good books then let me know!