26 books – almost

At the beginning of the year, I blogged about a list of 26 books to read this year. I’ve read lots more than 26, but didn’t quite manage everything on this particular list.

  1. A book you own but haven’t read
    This one was supposed to be The Affair: The Case of Alfred Dreyfus by Jean-Denis Bredin. I bought it at least two decades ago but never read it, then this year I read a fictionalized account of these events and found it so interesting I decided to read this strictly non-fictional account also. Reading it on and off in between other books, I’ve read about 400 pages but have almost another 150 pages to go.
  2. A book that was made into a movie
    The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols
  3. A book you pick solely because of the cover
    Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Rita Mae Brown (unfortunately I did not find the story as engaging as the cover)
  4. A book your friend loves
    I don’t know specific books my friends love, but I did try reading some books by Jodi Picoult, an author whose books a good friend told me she really likes. After two books I decided I did not want to read more.
  5. A book published this year
    The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce (published last year in Britain but this year in the U.S.)
  6. A book by an author you’ve never read before
    Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin and some Tito Amato books by Beverle Graves Myers
  7. A book by an author you love
    I read two books that fall into this category, Saint Thomas by Dean Koontz, and As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley.
  8. A book at the bottom of your “to be read” pile
    no idea which book this would be – I have literal piles of books here and there, as well as those neatly shelved in bookshelves, and other titles I don’t own but have thought about reading
  9. A book with a color in the title
    All three books of the Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier: Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, and Emerald Green.
  10. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
    M. C. Beaton’s mystery series featuring Hamish Macbeth is set in Scotland. I don’t know that I could say I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland, but it is certainly among the places I would enjoy visiting, along with the rest of Great Britain.
  11. A book you started but never finished
    There are quite a few of these. But I didn’t finish any this year that I had started before the year began. I may, however, have added to the list of those started but never finished…
  12. A book with a lion. Or a witch. Or a wardrobe
    The Ridge by Michael Koryta has a lion, along with a lot of other big cats. The lion doesn’t play a major role (less than the black cougar), but the big cat preserve as a whole features prominently. Emerald Green (of the Ruby Red trilogy) by Kerstin Gier) includes a wardrobe with particular significance to time traveler Gwyneth Shepherd.
  13. A book with a female heroine
    Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo not only has a female heroine, but specifically a “gun-toting, cursing, female chief of police.”
  14. A book set in the summer
    Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton
  15. A book of poems
    Does Poetry for Cats by Henry Beard count? It’s a short, very entertaining volume of poems with feline themes, each in the style of some well-known poet. You can get an idea of what it’s like from some of the titles:
    “Vet, Be Not Proud”
    “She Walks in Booties”
    “Do Not Go Peaceable to that Damned Vet”
    The ones based on poems I’m familiar with are all that much more enjoyable, but the rest are good too.
    I also tried to read a more serious book of poetry, a collection of all Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry and some of his prose. I got through most of the poetry but didn’t quite finish before the book was due back at the library.
  16. A book you learned about because of this challenge
    Nope – didn’t learn about any that way
  17. A book that will make you smarter
    I don’t think books make you smarter, but I certainly did learn from some books I read.
  18. A book with a blue cover
    Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
  19. A book you were supposed to read in school. But didn’t.
    No, none of those – I was a very diligent student. I didn’t read all of them as thoroughly as I  might have, but I read them all.
  20. A book “everyone” but you has read
    Again, no ideas for this one
  21. A book with a great first line
    If I had all the books I’ve read this year in front of me, I’m sure I’d find some with great first lines. But books like that generally have so many good lines that by the time I’m done that’s not what I remember about them.
  22. A book with pictures
    Poetry for Cats has pictures. Can I count it twice? I also am in the middle of reading Asterix und die Normannen by René Goscinny (Astérix et les Normands in the original French) to practice my German, but it is slow going because I stop so often to look up a word in the German-English dictionary. The pictures definitely help, and I’d probably have a good idea of the story even without looking up unfamiliar words, but the idea is to learn more German, so I look up a lot of words.
  23. A book from the library
    Where to begin? Almost all of the books I read are from the library. A few I haven’t written separate blog posts about or listed under other categories here are King and Maxwell by David Baldacci, Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud, and The King’s Deception by Steve Berry
  24. A book you loved … read it again!
    I started reading The Little World of Don Camillo by Giovannino Guareschi, which I read over and over as a girl. I don’t think I finished rereading it, though.
  25. A book that is more than 10 years old
    Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
  26. A book based on a true story
    An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

I’ve seen a new book-reading challenge on Facebook for 2016. Tomorrow I’ll do a post on that, though I think I’ll enlarge on the list.

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