Something a little different from me this month – 4 ‘young adult’ classification books. I have developed a bit of a curiosity about these books lately, after becoming addicted to watching book review and haul videos on youtube. I figured that these books would be relatively quick and simple reads, and would help me push the 50 Book Challenge tally along quite easily. As always, hit me with your book suggestions for next month. Some of the best books I’ve read so far have been from all of your suggestions!

Recent Reads

I am well on track with the 50 Book Challenge this year, and I’m quite pleased with my progress so far. I am 10 books in to the challenge, and have quite a few good books lined up over the next couple of weeks (including school texts) so it’s all running pretty smoothly. As with my first ‘recent reads‘ post earlier this year, here are 4 small reviews of some of the books I’ve read during the challenge so far.

The Forest Of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan
I was initially drawn to it’s book due to the fact that it’s subject matter contained a post apocalyptic world infested with zombies. Stories that involve zombies (whether film or book) have always intrigued me, so I was quite excited about this book before reading it. I had been warned by various reviews that the female protagonist Mary was quite annoying and that wasn’t too far from the truth. Having said that, I was happy to put Mary’s personality and the annoying ‘young adult’ love triangle aside due to the more interesting aspects of the story (read: zombies). The village that Mary resides in is surrounded by fences that stand between humans and ‘the unconsecrated’. One day this fence is breached and Mary has to venture into the forest to try and find safety in another village. I enjoyed this book, it was a quick and interesting read and I am currently reading book 2 in the series, The Dead Tossed Waves.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
This book was quite a stumbling block for me. For some reason I really struggled to get involved in the first half of the story, despite it being an interesting and well written book. The story moves between three different timelines and a contains large collection of characters which made it hard at times to follow the flow of the story. Once I forced myself to sit down and really try to read a decent chunk of the story I was quite captivated and ended up finishing the second half of the book in a couple of days after struggling with the first half for over a week. I enjoyed it, and particularly liked Kate Morton’s style of writing. I’d be interested in checking out some of her other work in the future.

Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien
This was yet another of my high school texts that I recently felt the urge to re-read. The story revolves around a young girl who is doing her best to survive in a post-apocalyptic world following a nuclear war. The style of writing was slightly old fashioned, due to the fact that the book was written and published in the 1970’s, but I still found the story and themes to be really interesting. I know this subject matter isn’t for everyone, but if you’re interested in the whole post-apocalyptic theme like I am, this book might be for you. It was a quick and easy read and I managed to finish it in a couple of days.

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Ahh, Narnia. I plan on re-reading the entire Chronicles of Narnia series this year, and on re-reading the Magician’s Nephew for the upteenth time I was reminded once again of how magical C.S. Lewis’ writing style is. Despite the writing style being somewhat old fashioned, Lewis’ humour and wit is still relevant and I actually laughed out loud a couple of times while reading this book. The magic of Narnia never really dies for me, and I will openly admit to being a huge geek and getting super excited when Aslan first made his appearance in the story. Yes, I’m sad. Who cares. Narnia is awesome.

As always, hit me with your book suggestions if you’ve got them!


It’s that time again! As always any future book recommendations will be taken on board and automatically added to my Book Depository wishlist, so let me know if you can think of anything I might like. Also, if you’d like to keep track of what I’ve been reading lately you can do so on the handy ‘Book List 2011‘ reference page. What are you reading right now? Would I like it? Does it contain zombies?


It’s the beginning of the month which means book buying time! As I worked book buying into my budget, I figured it would be a good idea to have a specific time to buy new books, and what better time than the start of the month to replenish my already overflowing ‘to read’ shelf. It’s a mixed bunch this month, with a good old post-apocalyptic classic (Z for Zachariah), the book that helped my friend convert to vegetarianism (Consider The Lobster and Other Essays), and two reader book suggestions (The Woman in Black & The City of Falling Angels). Thank you to those who have suggested books for me to read, keep them coming because they all go on my Book Depository wishlist to be purchased in the future.

Goal #5 Progress

The fifth goal in my 101 things to do in 1001 days project is to read all of the books on the Time Magazine Top 100 Books list. I’ve been working on this list for a little while now, but have fallen by the wayside a little bit in choosing these books when deciding what to read next. I’ve gone through the list and bolded the titles that I’ve already read. I’m going to try to work some of the unread titles into my upcoming reading list so that I can catch up…

    The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
    All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
    American Pastoral by Philip Roth
    An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
    Animal Farm by George Orwell
    Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara
    Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
    The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
    At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien
    Atonement by Ian McEwan
    Beloved by Toni Morrison
    The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
    The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
    The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
    Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
    Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
    The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
    Call It Sleep by Henry Roth
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
    The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
    The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
    A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
    The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
    Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
    A Death in the Family by James Agee
    The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
    Deliverance by James Dickey
    Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone
    Falconer by John Cheever
    The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
    The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
    Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
    Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
    The Heart is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
    The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
    Herzog by Saul Bellow
    Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
    A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
    I, Claudius by Robert Graves
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
    Light in August by William Faulkner
    The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Loving by Henry Green
    Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
    The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
    Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
    Money by Martin Amis
    The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
    Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
    Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
    Native Son by Richard Wright
    Neuromancer by William Gibson
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    1984 by George Orwell
    On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
    The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski
    Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
    A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
    Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
    Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
    Possession by A.S. Byatt
    The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
    Rabbit, Run by John Updike
    Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
    The Recognitions by William Gaddis
    Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
    Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
    The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
    Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
    The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
    The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
    The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carre
    The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
    Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
    Ubik by Philip K. Dick
    Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
    Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
    Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
    White Noise by Don DeLillo
    White Teeth by Zadie Smith
    Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

How many of these books have you read? Any suggestions as to which I should start with first?