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Personal Challenges - 2014 > Camille's 2014 Reading Challenge [Completed]

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message 1: by Camille (last edited Jan 04, 2015 04:38AM) (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Hello everyone.

The idea behind setting myself this challenge as a New Year resolution was that my "To-Be-Read" was ever growing. So I decided I would limit the number of books I buy to no more than 2 or 3 a month, hopefully none. But I can't resist the £1 books from the charity shop :)
So, my goal is to read at least 3 books a month so I can reach 36 by the end of the year. I tried to be as realistic as possible, as work takes up a great deal of time! I find out I can read more than I thought if I really want to, so I will be going over 36. It'll be interesting to see how many books I can actually read in a year.

I speak both French and English, you will find books in both languages.

Anyway, here is what I have read so far!

1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 2. The Ladies' Paradise (Les Rougon-Macquart, #11) by Émile Zola 3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1) by Ransom Riggs 4. Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #2) by Ransom Riggs 5. An American Bride in Kabul by Phyllis Chesler 6. Ruta's Closet by Keith Morgan 7. The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey 8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 9. The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1) by Paullina Simons
10. The Howling Miller  by Arto Paasilinna 11. Beyond the Heather Hills (Little House The Martha Years, #4) by Melissa Wiley 12. Tatiana and Alexander (The Bronze Horseman, #2) by Paullina Simons 13. Little House by Boston Bay (Little House The Charlotte Years, #1) by Melissa Wiley 14. Nanny Knows Best The History of the British Nanny by Katherine Holden 15. The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3) by Paullina Simons 16. Bad History How We Got the Past Wrong by Emma Marriott 17. The Red Scarf by Kate Furnivall
18. Tsubaki by Aki Shimazaki 19. Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics) by Robert Chandler 20. Sapphire Skies by Belinda Alexandra 21. Hamaguri by Aki Shimazaki 22. Tsubame by Aki Shimazaki 23. Wasurenagusa by Aki Shimazaki 24. Hotaru by Aki Shimazaki 25. La Mesure du Temps by Bernard Melguen
26. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell 27. Wish Me Luck by Margaret Dickinson 28. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters 29. The Help by Kathryn Stockett 30. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell 31. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald 32. A Small Part of History by Peggy Elliott 33. Aprons and Silver Spoons The Heartwarming Memoirs of a 1930s Scullery Maid by Mollie Moran
34. The Master of Ballantrae A Winter's Tale by Robert Louis Stevenson 35. Inside the Whale by Jennie Rooney 36. Escape from Camp 14 One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden 37. West of the Wall by Marcia Preston 38. Holes (Holes, #1) by Louis Sachar 39. The Complete Maus (Maus, #1-2) by Art Spiegelman 40. Mary Boleyn The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir 41. Small Steps by Louis Sachar
42. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith 43. Z A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler 44. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman 45. The Worlds Smallest Unicorn and Other Stories by Shena Mackay 46. Empress Dowager Cixi The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang 47. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham 48. Habibi by Craig Thompson 49. Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette by Madame Campan
50. Strangers Have the Best Candy by Margaret Meps Schulte 51. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 52. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame 53. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman 54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger 55. Strike for a Kingdom by Menna Gallie 56. The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2) by Arthur Conan Doyle 57. Dawn of the Belle Epoque The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends by Mary McAuliffe
58. The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec 59. Le Maître et Marguerite by Mikhail Bulgakov 60. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan 61. Après La Rafle by Joseph Weismann 62. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1) by L. Frank Baum 63. Heat And Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala 64. Maggie A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane 65. The Pearl by John Steinbeck
66. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys 67. Laura Ingalls Wilder A Writer's Life by Pamela Smith Hill 68. The Unknown Unknown Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted by Mark Forsyth 69. Tisha The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness by Robert Specht 70. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 71. Pattern of Shadows by Judith Barrow 72. Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez 73. Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery
74. Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2) by L.M. Montgomery 75. Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3) by L.M. Montgomery 76. Oranges & Sunshine by Margaret Humphreys 77. The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier 78. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer 79. Not So Quiet... by Helen Zenna Smith 80. Je n'ai pas interrogé les morts by David P. Boder 81. Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
82. The Siege by Helen Dunmore 83. Nothing to Envy Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick 84. Anne of Windy Willows (Anne of Green Gables, #4) by L.M. Montgomery 85. The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak 86. Anne's House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables, #5) by L.M. Montgomery

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Alphabet Soup Challenge

A- An American Bride in Kabul
B- The Bronze Horseman
C- Crossing the Border (short story)
D- The Day of the Triffids
E- Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
F- The 5th Wave
G- The Great Gatsby
H- Hollow City
I- Inside the Whale
J- Je n'ai pas interrogé les morts
K-
L- The Ladies' Paradise
M- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
N- Nanny Knows Best: The History of the British Nanny
O- The Ocean at the End of the Lane
P- The Pearl
Q-
R- Ruta's Closet
S- The Summer Garden
T- Tatiana and Alexander
U- The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted
V- The Valley of Amazement
W- War and Peace
X-
Y-
Z- Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

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I'd Like To Buy A Vowel Challenge

No As- The Wind in the Willows
No Es- To Kill A Mockingbird
No Is- The Ocean at the End of the Lane
No Os- Après La Rafle
No Us- Franny and Zooey
No Ys- Heat and Dust


message 2: by Kassandra, Book Stalker (new)

Kassandra | 1737 comments Mod
Camille, best of luck in your challenge to get through your TBR! I think a lot of us (on the site) are guilty of buying books when we shouldn't. That's why we're a little (a lot!) obsessed!

Enjoy your reading, you have some very interesting choices there that I can't wait to hear about.


message 3: by Faye, The Dickens Junkie (new)

Faye | 1499 comments Mod
Great looking list! It looks like you could almost double your goal and still achieve it!

I love that you're reading in more than one language, too. I'm trying to reach a point with French where I can read French literature, but thus far I've only managed children's books, heh.


message 4: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Thank you for your comments :-)

@Iasa: I did enjoy The Night Watch. I gave it 4/5. It was my first LGBT read (I would think it qualifies as LGBT as most of the characters are homosexual). I actually never knew about it until I started reading, I picked it up because I love historical fiction.
It is well-written and detailed, and you really get how it felt to live during the war. The drama between the characters did annoy me a little bit sometimes, but overall I would recommend you give it a try.

@Faye: I still read children's books, they're good! But you just have to take little steps. If you ever want some ideas of what you could read in French, I'd love to help you.


Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎ (kiwi_fruit) | 805 comments Good luck with your challenge Camille, you've got a great selection


message 6: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Thanks, Kiwi.

31. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald The Beautiful and Damned

Absolutely loved it, even if the characters annoyed me greatly in the same way the characters in Wuthering Heights annoy me. You just want to tell them to get on with it! It is beautifully written.


message 9: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments First post updated with my summer challenge.

My personal aim for this summer is to read 3 history books to catch up on all my unread history books. It's easier for me to read non-fiction when I'm off as I need more time to process what I read. Being a teacher, I am fortunate enough to have quite a bit of time off during the summer.


message 10: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 34. The Master of Ballantrae A Winter's Tale by Robert Louis Stevenson The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter's Tale

It was an okay read, but not my favourite. I feel better having read another classic, though!


message 11: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 35. Inside the Whale by Jennie Rooney Inside the Whale

One to go! :-)


message 12: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Camille, I love your choice of books. I enjoy reading most WWII fiction, and my husband will read anything set in Ireland or Scotland, so you have pleased us both today!


message 13: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments I love WWII fiction too. Gladto help ☺


message 14: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 36. Escape from Camp 14 One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

This was a very good, shocking read. Very interesting.

I have finished my reading challenge for the year!
I have just bumped up the number to 50 to see what I can do :-)


message 15: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Thanks, Iasa ☺


message 16: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 37. West of the Wall by Marcia Preston West of the Wall

3/5
It was interesting, but I got a bit annoyed by the obvious American writing.


message 17: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 38. Holes (Holes, #1) by Louis Sachar Holes

I read this book as a child and have always remembered it. It was as awesome rereading as reading it the first time :)


Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎ (kiwi_fruit) | 805 comments I agree Camille, Holes is such a great book


message 19: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Camille wrote: "36. Escape from Camp 14 One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden[book:Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom..."

Congratulations on your great progress, Camille.


message 20: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Thank you ☺


message 21: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 39. The Complete Maus (Maus, #1-2) by Art Spiegelman The Complete Maus

This was amazing. A must read!


message 22: by Holly, That Geeky One (new)

Holly (hollycoulson) | 1977 comments Mod
Camille, that is amazing reading!


message 23: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Aww, thanks, Holly!


message 24: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 40. Mary Boleyn The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings

A bit disappointing but interesting nonetheless. It's the first book for my "Read 3 history books challenge".


message 25: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 41. Small Steps by Louis Sachar Small Steps

A nice, quick read.


message 26: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 42. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith I Capture the Castle

I absolutely loved it!


message 27: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 43. Z A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

A nice little read to get me back on track. It was very interesting.


message 28: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 44. Saving Ceecee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

A bit disappointing.


Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎ (kiwi_fruit) | 805 comments Hi Camille, I would be interested to know your views on Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, it's also on my tbr and I confess I was looking forward to reading it.


message 30: by Camille (last edited Aug 04, 2014 11:53PM) (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Hi Kiwi. I gave it 3/5. I know my sister loved it and gave it 4 stars, but quite a few things bothered me in the book.

Here is a copy of my review:

If you're looking for a nice, cutesy, fast read,you'll enjoy this book.

Although it annoyed me a lot after a while, I still wanted to finish it - I tend to have no patience for books which annoy me. It's probably what I would call a feel-good summer read.

However, a lot of things annoyed me after Camille dies (it does feel strange writing such a sentence with my name in it!!).
- Camille is "crazy". I did like how it was described from the child's point of view. What bothers me though is that her mental illness is never really explained or properly used as an issue to be developed throughout the novel. Most characters are also a bit nuts in their own way, which I think diminishes the importance of Camille's struggles. What was the point of creating a character suffering from mental illness to just drop the subject matter later on?
- CeeCee is not believable as a 12-year-old. The way she behaves and people behave towards her ranges from a 5-year-old to a young adult. Sometimes I had to remind myself she was 12.
- There are way too many coincidences in the book for happy endings for all the story lines. Seriously, no one is that lucky in life.
- Where are the men in the story?? Every male character is a piece of thrash. The only decent guy is dead and has no purpose whatsoever in the story. I find this a bit disturbing.
- The last thing that I found extremely annoying was all the stupid feel-good sermons and quotes about how to get better when you're feeling down. Please, pass me a bucket...


I got this book from the library. I didn't mind borrowing in and reading it, but I would not reread and I would have been disappointed had I bought it. So, if you can get it for free (or have already bought it), I would say maybe go for it and see what you think. It is not a terrible book, it's just that once I noticed all the issues I mentioned, I got more and more annoyed after each page.


message 31: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 45. The Worlds Smallest Unicorn and Other Stories by Shena Mackay


Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎ (kiwi_fruit) | 805 comments Camille wrote: If you're looking for a nice, cutesy, fast read..."

Thanks Camille for your honest review


message 33: by Camille (last edited Aug 23, 2014 01:22AM) (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments You're welcome.

46. Empress Dowager Cixi The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

This is the second book for my history challenge. I am supposed to have read 3 by Monday, but it won't happen. The way I see it, it's better to have read 2 than 0!


message 34: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 47. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham The Day of the Triffids

I am currently reading The Woman in White and struggling through it. So I decided to pick a short, easy read for a bit of a break. It's not usually my type of book, but I loved it! It also complete D for the Alphabet Soup Challenge.


message 35: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 48. Habibi by Craig Thompson Habibi


message 36: by Camille (last edited Aug 31, 2014 10:03AM) (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 49. Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette by Madame Campan Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette
50. Strangers Have the Best Candy by Margaret Meps Schulte Strangers Have the Best Candy

I am now officially at 50 books so far this year!


message 37: by Kassandra, Book Stalker (new)

Kassandra | 1737 comments Mod
Congrats on hitting 50 Camille!


message 38: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Thank you :-)

51. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird

I have finally read this novel and it is definitely one of my favourite books ever! I absolutely loved it!


message 39: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 52. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows

Such a lovely little story :)
I watched the Disney adaptation as a child (it's a pretty good one, to be honest) and have always wanted to read the book. I'm glad I did, I loved it.


message 40: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) | 1551 comments Camille wrote: "52. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth GrahameThe Wind in the Willows

Such a lovely little story :)
I watched the Disney adaptation as a child (it's a pretty good one, to be honest..."


This year was my first time reading The Wind in the willows too with Peter Pan and they were both pretty good reads and loved the Disney adaptation too.


message 41: by Camille (last edited Sep 03, 2014 12:03PM) (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Oh, I think it's the first time I hear someone tell me they know of the Disney adaptation!! I thought no one in the world but me and my siblings knew it hehe (The Wind in the Willows, that is!). I haven't read Peter Pan yet, but I want to.


message 42: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) | 1551 comments Camille wrote: "Oh, I think it's the first time I hear someone tell me they know of the Disney adaptation!! I thought no o e in the worl but me and my siblings new it hehe (The Wind in the Willows, that is!). I ha..."

Awesome Camille! Yeah I read Peter Pan this year after I read the dark version of it by Brom called The Child Thief and he told me the uncut original version of Peter Pan inspired him to write the Child Thief and Peter Pan is much darker than the Disney version.


message 43: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments The Child Thief sounds great!
Everything is darker than the Disney adaptation. The first time I read The Little Mermaid, which is already pretty grim as an animated film, I was a bit traumatised...


message 44: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) | 1551 comments Thanks Camille! Def check it out. The artwork he did in it was great and it was a pretty good book Brom wrote.


message 45: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments 53. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I could not put it down!


message 46: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) | 1551 comments Ocean at the end of the lane was pretty good. I read it last year and enjoyed it.


message 47: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Camille wrote: "49. Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette by Madame Campan Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette
50. Strangers Have the Best Candy by Margaret Meps Schulte[book:Stra..."


Good for you, Camille! Woot woot!


message 48: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (sleepykitty) | 129 comments Wind in the Willows was a nice film from what I remember as a kid. Sometimes I think it's best not to read after a movie, but I've been making a point to read as many as I can before they come out. Speaking of kids movies, Secret if NIMH is what traumatized me as a kid. Nightmares. *shudder*


message 49: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) | 1551 comments Lindsay wrote: "Wind in the Willows was a nice film from what I remember as a kid. Sometimes I think it's best not to read after a movie, but I've been making a point to read as many as I can before they come out...."

Secret of NIMH is a pretty good animated film and the book is better.


message 50: by Camille (new)

Camille (camillesbookishadventures) | 862 comments Readathon September 2014

54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger Franny and Zooey


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