2012 Reading Challenge Update

By Wednesday, June 27, 2012

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my new year’s resolutions was to read some of the books lying around my house that I hadn’t read yet. I came up with 12 specific books – one per month – which I was determined to read before the end of 2012. For that list, click here.

I am very happy to report that I only have four books left to read on the list, and we’re not even half way through the year!

The four books left are:

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

I was given this book by my mother for Christmas 2009. It’s a Heather’s Pick and the winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize – so it’s pretty famous and critically-acclaimed. Three summers ago I got about halfway through, lost interest, and haven’t been able to pick it up since. It’s a heavy read (tons of characters and a family tree you need to refer to regularly), but I am determined to finish it. It’s about Tudor England (my obsession from the age of 10-18 – I literally have an entire bookshelf of English history books at my parent’s house and a British monarchy map on my bedroom wall) and I know the era very well, which helps. What doesn’t help is that it’s almost 600 pages… and daunting.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

Another Heather’s Pick, I actually bought this for my girlfriend Mary Anne for her birthday and then went back and bought it for myself (once it went on sale). I found the synopsis interesting – it’s set in World War II and about two women (one in the USA and one in London) and what happens when a letter isn’t delivered. I am still looking forward to reading it.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

When I first started Julia’s Unputdownable Book Club in September 2010, all the girls introduced themselves and named their favourite book. Alex Terrana and a few other girls said The Book Thief, which I had never heard of. Recently I picked it up, interested to see what the fuss was about.  It’s also a WWII novel (do you sense a pattern here?) and is set in Nazi Germany. Narrated by death itself, it tells the story of a little girl whose foster parents hide a Jew in their home. And obviously she steals books, which I totally would have been doing if I’d lived during WWII. The author is also Australian, which is great since my aunt who lives there shares my love of reading.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Last but not least, this is an epic novel my mother read on her honeymoon. She has been bugging me to read it my entire life. She lent me the very copy she traveled with 33 years ago, and it’s been sitting on my shelf for a few years. It’s very long (almost 600 pages), so I’ve been intimidated by it. In short, it’s about a family in the early 1900s sheep industry, but there’s an intense love story twisted in. I will get around to this one eventually… but probably not for a while. It can’t possibly be harder to read than Wolf Hall! Oh, and it’s by another Australian author. Very cool.

Have you read any of these books? If so, comment below and tell me what you think!


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