50 Book Challenge 2015 (part 1)

I was in two minds about whether I wanted to participate in a reading challenge this year, especially one with such a high book count. The reason I decided to bite the bullet and join in again for 2015, is mainly because I have so much holiday time owing to me this year. One of my favourite things to do while on holiday is read, and I think this will help motivate me to make the most of my free reading time this year. I’m currently on holidays, and have spent quite a lot of time reading. So much so, that I’m already ahead in my reading challenge. Very exciting! Here’s what I’ve read this year so far –

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (8/10) – It took me a little while to get stuck into this book, but once I did I really enjoyed it. J.K. Rowling has a knack for creating characters with real warmth and depth, and writing under Robert Galbraith has definitely not robbed her of that skill. If you like a good murder mystery and enjoy reading books that instantly transport you (in your mind’s eye, of course) to London, I would suggest picking this up.

The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin (3/10) – This was my first book club book for 2015, and I listened to it on Audible (audiobooks are great if you have a long commute to/from work like I do, and you’ve already listened to Taylor Swift’s album so many times that you now you kind of hate it). I think I had expectations of this book that weren’t fulfilled, because it really disappointed me. I’m fine with books remaining open-ended, if it seems that there was some purpose to the story as a whole, but this just didn’t do it for me. Despite this, I’m still excited to discuss it at our next book club meeting, especially after discovering that it’s based on a true story.

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead (5/10) – Em over at Em For Marvelous mentioned this book in a post last year, and it sounded quite interesting so I added it to my Goodreads to-read list. I had a chance to pick it up at my local library at the beginning of the year, and I got stuck into it right away. I actually found it really hard to get invested in this story, which is something that seems to happen when plots span a long timeline, and the story jumps back and forth every few chapters. I did, however, really enjoy the ballet element of this book. So much so that I had a strong urge to watch Black Swan again (which is still a great movie, if you’re wondering).

The Raft by S. A. Bodeen (2/10) – I really didn’t have very high expectations for this book, I knew it would be a quick and easy YA read and in that regard I wasn’t disappointed. I love a good ‘castaway’ style story, and this was good in that regard. Everything else about it was pretty average, and way too many animals died for my liking.

The Merciless by Danielle Vega (7/10) – I really enjoyed this book. I remember Kimberley saying she really enjoyed it when she read it last year, and now I know why. This is YA done really well. None of the characters are annoying, the story flows well, and there is something of a resolution at the end of the book. I was picturing this whole story playing out in my mind while reading it, and I feel like it’d make for a really good movie or TV series. Is this going to be a series of books? It should be. I’m so lazy, I should probably google it myself. I’d suggest picking this up if you’re in the mood for a well written but easy YA read. Also if you like your books slightly on the creepy side.

8 Thoughts on “50 Book Challenge 2015 (part 1)

  1. Ooh, The Cuckoo’s Calling has been on my list for a while but have yet to muster up the courage to tackle it. I loved Harry Potter so much as a child and while I know she can’t keep expanding that story forever, I was so disappointed by A Casual Vacancy. Although I think it might have been the subject matter, it was a bit of a Pick’N’Mix of the most serious and traumatic subjects you could find. Have you read it?

    Anyway, after that rant (sorry haha) I’ve heard The Cuckoo’s Calling is not bad and they’re making a film of it as well! So I’ll give it a go 🙂

    • Jessica on February 4, 2015 at 9:39 am said:

      I haven’t read The Casual Vacancy yet (despite having it on my bookshelf for quite a while now), mostly because I’ve heard from a few people that it’s a bit of a slog to read! I’ll have to pick it up sometime this year and see how I feel about it!

  2. good work! I’m currently trying to finish up Middlesex, which is a book a started a couple years ago and got too busy to finish. You inspired me to start it up again since I remember you mentioning that you loved it.

  3. I enjoyed The Cuckoo’s Calling – it had charm – but The Silkworm was actually better than the first book. JKR’s writing style is just rather pleasant to read, isn’t it? Good balance of dialogue, description and pacing for the most part.

    • Jessica on February 6, 2015 at 10:46 am said:

      The Silkwork is definitely on my list of books to pick up this year, I’ve heard from a few people that it’s actually better than the first! I love her style of writing, I find myself falling into the book and getting carried away. I love it!

  4. The Merciless and Cukoo’s calling sound like alright reads, I made the decision to lower my standards and try to read 12 books instead of 50 LOL

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