2018, Reading Challenge

It’s Sherlock Holmes Day!

Today is Sherlock Holmes Day; According to this source, today is the 5th Sherlock Holmes Day after the event was created as a mini event run by Gaia Online, a forum and gaming site celebrating the wonderful Air Arthur Conan Doyle’s birth date.

Sherlock Holmes by Josh Hood

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the man himself, said that the character was originally based on a real man, Mr Joseph Bell, who was a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh and for whom he had worked for as an assistant. He, like Holmes, was able to draw complex and surprising conclusions based solely on minute observations which made excellent reading, along with the relationship between his friend and confident, Dr Watson and arch nemesis, Moriarty.

The first Holmes book was published in 1887 and continued until the authors death nearly 40 years later.  A complete list of the books (and stories) is below – how many have you read?

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • “A Scandal in Bohemia”
  • “The Red-Headed League”
  • “A Case of Identity”
  • “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”
  • “The Five Orange Pips”
  • “The Man with the Twisted Lip”
  • “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”
  • “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”
  • “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb”
  • “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor”
  • “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet”
  • “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”

 

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

  • “Silver Blaze”
  • “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”
  • “The Adventure of the Yellow Face”
  • “The Adventure of the Stockbroker’s Clerk”
  • “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott”
  • “The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual”
  • “The Adventure of the Reigate Puzzle”
  • “The Adventure of the Crooked Man”
  • “The Adventure of the Resident Patient”
  • “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter”
  • “The Adventure of the Naval Treaty”
  • “The Adventure of the Final Problem”

 

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

  • “The Adventure of the Empty House”
  • “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”
  • “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”
  • “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”
  • “The Adventure of the Priory School”
  • “The Adventure of Black Peter”
  • “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton”
  • “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”
  • “The Adventure of the Three Students”
  • “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez”
  • “The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter”
  • “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange”
  • “The Adventure of the Second Stain”

 

His Last Bow (a.k.a The Reminiscence of Sherlock Holmes)

  • “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”
  • “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”
  • “The Adventure of the Red Circle”
  • “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans”
  • “The Adventure of the Dying Detective”
  • “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax”
  • “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”
  • “His Last Bow”

 

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

  • “The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone”
  • “The Problem of Thor Bridge”
  • “The Adventure of the Creeping Man”
  • “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire”
  • “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs”
  • “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client”
  • “The Adventure of the Three Gables”
  • “The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier”
  • “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane”
  • “The Adventure of the Retired Colourman”
  • “The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger”
  • “The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place”

 

Sherlock Holmes Novels

 

As yo know, I love me a bit of a challenge and so I thought I would do a mid-year one to celebrate this wonderful character who also happens to be one of my Dad’s favourites!  I am going to read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories between now and next ‘Sherlock Holmes Day’ .. Wednesday 22nd May 2019 – care to join me?

I have already got 3 books on my shelves (The Adventures, The Return and The Memoirs) and I’m pretty sure my dad has 2 different copies of a complete compendium so will be snaffling that when I can too. I also recently downloaded the new-ish Stephen Fry Audiobook – its 72hrs long but has absolutely everything so will be a useful thing to have in my back pocket!

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Reading Challenge

My #Borrowathon TBR

#Borrowathon, Round 4 is starting tonight at midnight and I am planning to take part. I say planning because I actually have a lot of books to read for review at the moment as well as having some out of the library!

#Borrowathon is a week long read-a-thon that encourages participants to borrow books in any means necessary, but with a heavy emphasis on using your local library. Created by Riley (@rmfickfack and fiveleveninety), this round takes place from midnight wherever you are on 20 May to 11.59pm on 27 May 2018. There are 6 challenges that you can complete too, as well as plans for a live discussion and catchup and sprints along the way.

I took part in a previous version of this (I can’t remember which round) but it was good fun and so when I heard it was back, I started planning right away!

So my potential reading list is below – I doubt I will have enough time to read all of these but will give it a good go!  I can hit all of the challenges except 3 .. unless I can find someone that tells me that one of the books listed is their favourite!

 

Will you be taking part in #Borrowathon? Do you make use of your local library?

2018, Reading Challenge, Short Story

“Deal Me In!” Short Story Reading Challenge!

So as you know, I love setting myself challenges and I try to do this do extend myself into unchartered territory and to try new things (such as reading Les Mis)!

Another thing that I don’t have a huge amount of experience with is short stories.  I mean I have read many short stories, but not in any specific way and also not as part of a collection, so when I saw this challenge, I thought it would be a great way to experience more.

The details from the site:

What is the goal of the challenge?

To read 52 short stories in 2018 (that’s only one per week)

What is the purpose?

To have FUN and to be exposed to new authors and stories and maybe get in the habit of reading a short story a week.

What do I need?

1) Access to at least fifty-two short stories
2) A deck of cards
3) An average of perhaps as little as just thirty minutes of reading time each week

So, as previously stated, I don’t own many collections of short stories so may have to rely on some of the resources the challenge owner Jay kindly posted for us.

I think I will probably post monthly to update the stories that I have read and make it a ‘Last Saturday of the Month’ – Short Story Saturday thing .. but time will tell!

Either way, here is my list for 2018!

♦♦♦Diamonds♦♦♦

For Christmas, my brother got me “Uncommon Type” by Tom Hanks.  I have been wanting to read this for a long time and so look forward to being able to spread this out over time as I think I will love them!  There are 13 stories in the book with 3 additional pieces that are newspaper cuttings, which will not be included

♦A♦ – Three Exhausting Weeks

♦2♦ – Christmas Eve

♦3♦ – A Junket in the City of Light

♦4♦ – Welcome to Mars

♦5♦ – A Month on Greene Street

♦6♦ – Alan Bean Plus Four

♦7♦– Who’s Who?

♦8♦ – A Special Weekend

♦9♦ – These are the Meditations of my Heart

♦10♦ – The Past is Important To Us

♦J♦ – Stay With Us

♦Q♦ – Go See Costas

♦K♦ –  Steve Wong is Perfect

♠♠♠Spades♠♠♠

When I started reading Book Blogs and watching BookTube Videos, I quickly came across Jen Campbell who wrote “The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night“. There are only 12 stories in this book so I am leaving one as a ‘Wild Card’ which means that when I pick it, I can go in search of a story to read ‘off the cuff’ or one recommended by YOU!

♠A♠ – Animals

♠2♠ – Jacob

♠3♠ – Plum Pie, Zombie Tree, Yellow Bee, Purple Monster

♠4♠ – In the Dark

♠5♠ – Margaret and Mary and the End of the World

♠6♠ – Little Deaths

♠7♠ – The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night

♠8♠ –  Pebbles

♠9♠ –  ** WILD CARD **

♠10♠ – Aunt Libby’s Coffin Hotel

♠J♠ –  Sea Devils

♠Q♠ – Human Satellites

♠K♠ – Bright White Hearts

♥♥♥Hearts♥♥♥

I love Jeffrey Archer’s writing and I have had “To Cut a Long Story Short” on my TBR shelf for some time so now is the time I can have a crack at it!  There are actually 15 stories in this collection so a couple will spill over into the ‘Clubs’ category .. which will be a mixture of all sorts of things!

(* = Based on a true story)

♥A♥– Death Speaks

♥2♥ – The Expert Witness*

♥3♥ – The Endgame

♥4♥ – The Letter

♥5♥ – Crime Pays*

♥6♥ – Chalk & Cheese

♥7♥ – A Change of Heart*

♥8♥ – Too Many Coincidences*

♥9♥ – Love at First Sight*

♥10♥ – Both Sides Against the Middle*

♥J♥ –  A Weekend to Remember*

♥Q♥ –  Something for Nothing*

♥K♥ – Other Blighters’ Efforts

♣♣♣Clubs♣♣♣

For me, this category is going to be a bit of a mixture; some from Jeffrey Archer (JA), some from “The Seven Deadly Sins: A Celebration of Virtue & Vice” by various authors (7DS) and some found on the internet.

(* = Based on a true story)

♣A♣ – The Reclining Woman* – JA

♣2♣ – The Grass is Always Greener – JA

♣3♣ – Sloth by Tod McEwan (7DS)

♣4♣ – Wrath by John Sutherland (7DS)

♣5♣ –  Envy by Ali Smith (7DS)

♣6♣ –  Gluttony by Martin Rowson (7DS)

♣7♣ – ** WILD CARD **

♣8♣ – Greed by Dylan Evans (7DS)

♣9♣ – Lust by David Flusfeder (7DS)

♣10♣ – Vanity by Nicola Barker (7DS)

♣J♣ – I’ll Be Waiting by Raymond Chandler (here)

♣Q♣ – I Go Adventuring by Helen Keller (here)

♣K♣ – Death in the SchoolRoom. by Walt Whitman (here)

 

So there you have it .. tune in throughout the year to see how I am getting on, and why not get involved yourself?!

2018, Reading Challenge, TBR

2018 Beat the Backlist

OK, so I think we probably all have a bit of a TBR and I am no different!  I am really bad for buying bilks and never getting around to them.  There are several Book Challenges that take place throughout the year that help to cut your TBR’s down and I am taking part in a couple of them, including this one.

 

 

I thought I would use this one to cut down on the amount of ‘should have read this by now’ and ‘next in series’ books I have on my list.  I have initially selected 13 – one ‘new’ book for each month and a re-read.  I am not sure of the rules so will double check but may add more to this lust as the year goes on as I am pretty sure that I have forgotten some and also by reading these books, some will trigger another series book to add as well!

The books I have on my list at this time are:

  1. “Along Came a Spider” by James Patterson – this is a re-read as I try to catch up with the author!
  2. “Shadow of Night” by Deborah Harkness – I started this a while ago – too long ago to remember it is will start it again. If I finish it, the third of the series will be added to this list!
  3. “Sepulchre” by Kate Moss – I read the first in the series when it first came out and LOVED it but never got around to reading the second – again I also have the third to add to this list!
  4. “Northern Lights” by Philip Pullman – I know this is the first in the series but I added this as it is abut time I read it!  I currently don’t have the other books in the series.
  5. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins – OK not a series but a books that I should have read by now, especially as it’s exactly the right kind of book for me!
  6. “Lifeblood” by Gena Showalter – I tried this series out on a whim and loved it and have been meaning to pick up the second, but just never got around to it!
  7. “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them: Screenplay” by J.K Rowling – I know .. I call myself a Harry Potter fan and I haven’t read this yet. Ugh.
  8. “The Slaughter Man” by Tony Parsons – Discovered this series last year and loved the first book so immediately bought the second … and did nothing with it!
  9. “Moon Over Soho” by Ben Aaronovitch – I read the first book a while ago now and the author has since released quite a few more. Can’t decide if I need to re-read the first ..
  10. “Angelopolis” by Danielle Trussoni – I ADORED the first in the series and bought the second immediately and never read it. I think I probably will read the first book again, mostly as I know I loved it and probably need to remind myself anyway!
  11. “Running Blind” by Lee Child – I have read quite a few Jack Reacher books but this is one that I never read so it’s about time I read it, especially as I am working my way through them all again!
  12. “Sins of the Father” by Jeffrey Archer – I’ve always liked him as an author but only discovered this series in 2017 when I heard the first one in Audible with the wonderful Roger Allam. Looking forward to reading this one!
  13. “Crocodile Tears” by Anthony Horowitz – I made real headway in the series in 2017 and so want to keep the momentum going and get towards the end of the series!

If you are reading this at some point int he future, you may want to take a look at my ‘Beat the Backlist’ Good Reads list to see how different it it ..!

Have you got a massive TBR list that need attention? What theme would you give it or would you just read the ones that have been on there the longest?

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2018, Reading Challenge, TBR

Les Misérables Chapter-a-Day Read-along

So one thing that you will quickly learn about me is that I love a challenge!  I cannot promise that I will complete them all in the time that I am meant to but as I mostly use them as a way to chose my next book, stretch my habits or just to read along with other people, I don’t think it matters too much!

I have never seen the Les Misérables show and got abut 40 mins into the most recent film before turning it off. Following that, I wondered if I could like the book and when I saw it on Radio 4 Extra as a Drama over a few hours, I gave it a go… and loved it!

So with that in mind, I wanted to give this challenge a go.  I found it whilst randomly looking for new and exciting reading challenges for 2018 and loved the idea of it – the chance to pace myself over the year as well as read it along with others seemed a great idea to me and so I immediately downloaded the reading schedule and bought the most recent translation of the book on my kindle .. and so am ready to get going!

I think that I will update my progress on a monthly basis – it may end up in my monthly roundup posts unless I decide something different!

I am really looking forward to seeing if I enjoy this and if it makes me want to give the film a second go .. and to see the stage show!

Have you ever read Les Misérables? What about reading a book a chapter a day for a whole year? Any tips?!

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2018, Reading Challenge

2018 Review Writing Challenge

One thing that I need to get better at is writing reviews.  I am terrible for being a perfectionist but really I haven’t had to write any for so long that it’s no wonder that I am out of practice!  I plan to get better at it and one way that I can help myself is to write more of them!

I found this challenge whilst stumbling around the net and thought it was perfect for me – I am not sure that I can commit to writing 100 reviews but would love to think I could .. I think I will start this one at 24 for this first year – 2 a month. I feel that is reasonable and means that I don’t have to write a review for every single book I read .. although I would love to think I will do lots more!

 

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