Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

2018 Plans > Chinook’s 2018 Plan

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message 1: by Chinook (last edited Nov 09, 2017 08:31PM) (new)

Chinook | 639 comments I think my aim is to do them in order, which will be a challenge as I’m mostly trying to read library books.


1. A book with the letters A, T & Y in the title
My Name Is Lucy Barton
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story
The Day of the Triffids

2. A book from the first 10 books added to your To Be Read list
Flowers in the Attic
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
A Clockwork Orange
The Wide Window
Flowers for Algernon
Cold Comfort Farm
A People's History of the United States
Gone with the Wind

3. A book from the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards (link)

4. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #1 Earth (in title, cover, content, setting, author...)
Bones of the Earth
Things That Happened Before the Earthquake
Dinner at the Center of the Earth
A Wizard of Earthsea

5. A book about or inspired by real events
The Invention of Wings
Burial Rites
Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath
Caleb's Crossing
Loving Frank

6. A book originally written in a language other than English
The Queue
Beartown or other by him
The Trial or other by him

7. A gothic novel
The Monk
The Phantom of the Opera
Northanger Abbey

8. An "own voices" book*
Reservation Blues or other by him
Here Comes the Sun
On the Edge of Gone
Everything I Never Told You
The Sun Is Also a Star
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood
Piecing Me Together
Dreamland Burning
When Dimple Met Rishi
El Deafo
Behold the Dreamers

9. A book with a body part in the title (heart, bones, teeth, skin, blood, etc)
White Teeth
Breath, Eyes, Memory
The Heart
Head On - if I read Lock In this year?
Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World
Lost Memory of Skin
Joe Gould's Teeth
Their Eyes Were Watching God
The Heart of the Matter

10. An author's debut book (their first book to be published)
The God of Small Things
Girl at War
The Sunlit Night
Interpreter of Maladies
Binary Star
The Pickwick Papers
Among the Ten Thousand Things
I Capture the Castle
You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
Purple Hibiscus

11. A literary fiction
Interpreter of Maladies
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
The Wasp Factory
Sula or something by her

12. A book set in Africa or South America
King Solomon's Mines
Akata Witch
The Feast of the Goat
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

13. A book with a plot centered around a secret (forbidden love, spies, secret societies, etc)
Gone Girl
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
The Husband's Secret
Secret Daughter
The Secret Zoo
The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945
The Secret Scripture
A Secret Rage
A Secret Kept
The Secret Chord
The Secret Keepers

14. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #2 Fire
Little Fires Everywhere
Pale Fire
Home Fire
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894
The Bonfire of the Vanities
Memory of Fire
The Moon and the Bonfire
Under Fire

15. A book with an unique format/writing structure
If on a Winter's Night a Traveller
How to Be Both
Dept. of Speculation
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters
A Clockwork Orange

16. A narrative nonfiction
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age Story
Men We Reaped
One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
Ordinary Light

17. A book you expect to make you laugh
Terry Pratchett
My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands
Three Men in a Boat

18. A book with a location in the title
The House on Mango Street
One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment
Motherless Brooklyn
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Cold Comfort Farm
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

19. A book nominated for the Edgar Award or by a Grand master author (books & authors)
The Sympathizer
Invisible City
In the Woods
The Bottoms
The Last Policeman
Red Sparrow
Under the Harrow
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer
The Wicked Girls
The Shining
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Graham Greene
John le Carré

20. A book rated 5 stars by at least one of your friends - Katie
A Rogue by Any Other Name
The Princess and the Pony
Of Mice and Men
The Goose Girl
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Nights at the Circus
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Another Brooklyn
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

21. A book written in first person perspective
Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
A Great and Terrible Beauty
Everything, Everything
Geek Love
American Psycho
The Invisible Man
All Quiet on the Western Front
The F-Word

22. A book you have high expectations or hope for
The Marriage Plot
Elizabeth Costello
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
The Art of Fielding
Half of a Yellow Sun
A Visit from the Goon Squad
The Kindly Ones
A Gate at the Stairs
The Elegance of the Hedgehog

23. A medical or legal thriller
Burning Road
The Plague Tales
Darwin's Radio
Mistress of the Art of Death
The Genius Plague

24. A book with a map
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

25. A book with an antagonist/villain point of view
Snow, Glass, Apples
Six of Crows
American Psycho
Darkly Dreaming Dexter

26. A book with a text only cover
Sex and World Peace
Dark Matter
Me Before You

27. A book about surviving a hardship (war, famine, major disasters, serious illness, etc)
The Women in the Castle
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps
A Girl Named Disaster
How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why

28. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #3 Water
River of Teeth
The Sea, the Sea
The Sea
A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story
We Are WaterThe North Water
The Water Knife
The Chronology of Water

29. A book with a "Clue" weapon on the cover or title (lead pipe, revolver, rope, candlestick, dagger, wrench)
First Among Sequels
Give a Girl a Knife
The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Gun Seller
French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew

30. A short book
Bartleby the Scrivener
The Sense of an Ending
A Room of One's Own

31. A book set in a country you'd like to visit but have never been to
Burger's Daughter
Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. The Impossible Task. The Incredible Journey
The Memory Code: The Secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and Other Ancient Monuments
Enchanted Islands
Up to This Pointe
The Neruda Case

32. An alternate history book
United States of Japan
Underground Airlines
The Man in the High Castle

message 2: by Chinook (last edited Nov 09, 2017 08:59PM) (new)

Chinook | 639 comments I’m also trying to read through the 1001 List. If anyone has suggestions for books from the list for any of the prompts, I’d love to hear them.

33.A book connected (title, cover, content) to a word "born" in the same year as you (link)
Gap year: And We're Off
Dramedy: Spoonbenders, Optimists Die First
Gender identity disorder: Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes
Gene-splicing: The Gene: An Intimate History

34. A suggestion from the AtY 2018 polls, that didn't win but was polarizing or a close-call (link)
Nobel Prize winner:
Advanced technology:
The arts:

35. A book featuring a murder
This Is Our Story
Agatha Christie
Louise Penny

36. A book published in the last 3 years (2016, 2017, 2018) by an author you haven't read before
The Gene: An Intimate History
A Hundred Thousand Worlds
Ninefox Gambit
Dark Matter
Salt to the Sea

37. A Women's Prize for Fiction winner or nominee
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
The Song of Achilles
Stay with Me
Half of a Yellow Sun
The Essex Serpent
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
A Little Life
A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing
State of Wonder

38. A science book or a science fiction book
A Closed and Common Orbit
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story

39. A book with a form of punctuation in the title
Hello, Sunshine
Cat's Eye
Sophie's Choice
Rabbit, Run

40. A book from Amazon's 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime list
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
The Right Stuff
All the President's Men
Cutting for Stone
Breath, Eyes, Memory
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
The Year of Magical Thinking
Invisible Man

41. A book by an author with the same first and last initials
Susan Sontag, Stacy Schiff, Germaine Greer, Colin Cotterill, Graham Greene, Bill Bryson, Melissa Mayer, Ken Kesey, Philip Pullman, Rick Riordan, Rainbow Rowell

42. A book that takes place on, in, or underwater
The Lightkeepers
The Drowned World
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

43. A book with a title that is a whole sentence
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Death Comes for the Archbishop
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Go Tell It on the Mountain
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

44. A ghost story
Lincoln in the Bardo
The Woman in Black
The Turn of the Screw

45. A book that intimidates/ scares you
War and Peace
Infinite Jest
A Brief History of Time

46. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #4 Air
The Wind in the Willows
Around the World in Eighty Days
The Shadow of the Wind

47. A book where the main character (or author) is of a different ethnic origin, religion, or sexual identity than your own
Will Grayson, Will Grayson

48. A book related to one of the 7 deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, sloth)
King Leopold's Ghost
The Ugly Renaissance: Sex, Greed, Violence and Depravity in an Age of Beauty
The Interestings
The Tides Of Lust
The Wrath and the Dawn
The Grapes of Wrath

49. A book from one of the Goodreads Best Books of the Month lists
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
We Were Liars
Goodbye, Vitamin

50. A book with a warm atmosphere (centered on family, friendship, love or summer)
In The Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time
Jenny Colgan

51. An award-winning short story or short story collection
Interpreter of Maladies
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

52. A book published in 2018 - TBT

message 3: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments From the 1001 list, maybe:

14. (Fire) The Bonfire of the Vanities, Crossfire, Memory of Fire, The Moon and the Bonfire, Pale Fire, Under Fire
15. (Unique writing style) If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, A Clockwork Orange
18. (Location in the title - I've played pretty fast and loose with the definition of location) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Animal Farm, Brave New World, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Cold Comfort Farm, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Garden Party, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Kafka on the Shore, Middlemarch, The Old Man and the Sea, Slaughterhouse-Five, A Tale of Two Cities, Wuthering Heights (there are a bunch for this one, this is just from the books I've read from the list)
19. (Edgar award or Grand Master author) Rebecca, The Shining, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, lots by Graham Greene, a few by John le Carré
21. (First person perspective) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Rebecca, To Kill a Mockingbird, American Psycho, The Color Purple, All Quiet on the Western Front (actually there are a bunch - I used this thread on Reddit for my research on this one.

(I'll come back later! But hopefully this helps with a few prompts.)

message 4: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Thanks! That’s a great set of suggestions!

message 5: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments I'm working on that list too, so I have it all in a spreadsheet. :) I finally hit 100 from it last month!

message 6: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 704 comments I'm going to have to check out the 1001 list. Is this 1001 books to read before you die? Jody gave excellent suggestions. I took Burial Rights that you have on the inspired by real events and put it in the Women's Prize in fiction section. I selected Wintering for the real events. You can't go wrong with a Toni Morrison book on the literary fiction. I recall liking The Bluest Eye, Sula, and Song for Solomon. I haven't read Beloved yet. Happy list making. Looking forward seeing to your other selections!

message 7: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Yep, that’s the list. I’ve been going through periods of dedication to reading it and periods of not reading a thing from it for years now and I’d like to prioritize it a bit more in the coming year.

message 8: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Tammy - the many choices is due to trying to read in order but using library ebooks only. My plan is to put holds about a month before and then the week of maybe I have a hold and maybe I just have to read what’s available. We shall see.

message 9: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 704 comments Well that is just plum genius. I'm super old school and just check the regular old books out. My library gets my on hold books within a day or two. Heck...I've even checked out the old cd's to listen to some of the books. I like the old timey feel. Kind of like listening to a gramophone...but not really. I really need to stop making everything harder than it needs to be. I love your list and covet all the selections!

message 10: by Chinook (last edited Oct 12, 2017 12:41PM) (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Most of my reading is done while nursing the baby to sleep or in little pockets of time, so I’ve mostly switched to audiobooks and ebooks. I need the light so I can read in the dark and not disturb anyone and reading on my phone, while not ideal, has seriously increased my reading time. Every attempt to read paper books since I had the second baby has ended up failing.

I have three library cards and may be able to get a fourth, so I can put tons of holds on and cross my fingers. I love library ebooks because I also can’t rack up late fines. We go to the library weekly for story time and I can still get fines! So I’m a total ebook convert.

message 11: by Manda (new)

Manda (bookwenchmanda) | 1094 comments Wow! This is amazing! I love all of your ideas. We have a lot of books in common. I am so eager to see which ones you end up reading and what you think of them.

message 12: by Chinook (last edited Oct 12, 2017 12:51PM) (new)

Chinook | 639 comments I think picking just one book for each prompt will be hard - I’m excited about all of them! I do the Pop Sugar and Book Riot Challenges too and am in a group reading the 1001 list that reads an annual read, a read quarterly and two monthly and I hope to join in with as many of those as I can as well- basically if I haven’t read them and I can get them as ebooks. That puts me at reading about 200 books. I’ll be hitting that this year, so I think it’s doable.

Unlike most, I’m hoping the other challenges have some overlapping tasks. I personally still read one unique book for each prompt of each challenge, but I’d love to slot in as many of these as possible.

message 13: by Anna (last edited Oct 12, 2017 01:07PM) (new)

Anna | 977 comments I expect to read Terry Pratchett for the book that makes you laugh too. :)

message 14: by Angie (new)

Angie | 807 comments I like a lot of the books you've got so far. Hiroshima is really good.

message 15: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Terry Pratchett, Agatha Christie and Louise Penny are the series authors I’m trying to make some progress with at the moment.

message 16: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments I’m with you for 2/3 of those! Need to progress on Discworld and Hercule Poirot next year. Hoping for two of each.

message 17: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Manda, I’m going through your list and adding some possibilities to my list, I think!

Also - my name is Amanda - one more commonality!

message 18: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Still a few prompts to look at, but that’s most of it. Some later prompts are emptier because I think earlier options will fit in some of those prompts too.

message 19: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (last edited Oct 14, 2017 05:15AM) (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2472 comments Mod
Chinook wrote: "Most of my reading is done while nursing the baby to sleep or in little pockets of time, so I’ve mostly switched to audiobooks and ebooks. I need the light so I can read in the dark and not disturb..."

LOL, Chinook, tales from mommy-hood :-)
I actually just read a paperback book for the the first time in 7 years :0

I switched to e books around the time I had my babies too, for the same reason, just enough light to read but still dark enough for midnight feedings. I never switched back.

Also, same for me with the library fees. My local libraries get rich off of me, like REALLY rich. I do much better with borrowing from overdrive, but then I end up not taking the girls to the library. I think once they charged me like $70 for a return on late childrens books. So embarrassing.

E books are amazing and my Kindle is so full that sometimes it just doesn't want to work anymore. I need to get a second one. For this years plan though, I tried to add as many physical books that I own as I could. I have a massive collection and I haven't read even 1/3 of them. Its a real problem.

Some from your list that I've read and loved: All The Ugly and Wonderful Things, Gone With the Wind, Interpreter of Maladies!!, Hiroshima, Henrietta Lacks (So Good), The Shining!!, Graceling, Definitely 11/22/63 for alternate history....if I didn't literally just finish it, I would read it again...

Happy reading :-)

message 20: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments Ooh, totally going to ad11/22/63 to my list of options for alternate history - I didn't even think of that!

message 21: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments I got another library card today to try and maximize my chances of getting things as I need them :)

message 22: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (audiogirlbookingit) | 488 comments You have so many good choices of books I have loved!!! ( Beartown, The Art of fielding, a Little life, Aristotle and Dante, 11/22/63) i really hoping there will be a new Rainbow Rowell book for the initial challenge she is my favorite YA author!!!! But she hasn't written anything in a while 😭!!

I was hoping I could steal from your list of map books but u only have one! Lol, I am really struggling with that one!!!

message 23: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments I really want to read The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. I heard about it years ago and I’ve always meant to read it. I will be super disappointed if the library doesn’t have it at the right time!

message 24: by Katie (new)

Katie | 2369 comments I've had The Ghost Map on my tbr for a long time. I'm thinking about it for the map topic.

message 25: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments I’m listening to The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. I love plague-related books.

message 26: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Updated to include the prompt with the words from my birth year.

I will probably read Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates for the based on a real person, since my 1001 group is reading it for Jan-March.

message 27: by Wendy (last edited Nov 21, 2017 11:07AM) (new)

Wendy (wendyneedsbooks) | 210 comments I love your plan, Chinook! you've given me some ideas for mine, too :)

Also I hope you do read Ghost Map--it's really great (well, except for the last chapter which I thought was an odd note to end the book on).

ETA: I was going to ask how you are doing this and popsugar together...are you going to overlap books, or do a different book for all 102 tasks? are you prioritizing one over the other? I'm hoping to do both, and I'm not sure I can finish all 102 different books but it might be fun to try anyway.... :)

message 28: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments My plan is to do both and Book Riot without overlap. So far this year I’ve read 200+, so my hope is I will next year too. Audiobooks have been the key for me.

My aim is to read these in order at a pace of one a week. Pop Sugar the same, but not in any particular order. And Book Riot as they fit in. We shall see.

message 29: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendyneedsbooks) | 210 comments That’s awesome! Maybe I’ll give the non overlap a try. I don’t think I’ll break 80 books this year but with a little push maybe I can get 100 in next year. I also do audio and they are definitely key to maximizing reading time :)

message 30: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 2216 comments I like many of your options!

message 31: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Completely ignoring my list of options, I’m starting week one with The Library at Mount Char.

message 33: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 423 comments 4 books linked by the 4 elements....for air I was thinking you should read (if you haven't already) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Because you know.....Chinook is the name of A Wind 😊

Also the name of a rather large heavy lift helicopter that the Australian Defence Force uses. It has two massive rotors. One on either end of the chopper. Amazing machine. Also something to do with the air for that matter.

message 34: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments And also... the name of my pretend horse when I was a kid. A friend and I had several, all named after winds. It became a jokey nickname for a bit and so I used it when I went online.

message 35: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments I’ve been meaning to read Rothfuss, I just have so many series books going on at the same time right now that I’m trying to avoid starting new ones. That’s what comes of being in a sci-fi/fantasy book club- it feels like every month I’ve started a new series!

message 36: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 423 comments It's a good name :) I like it. Not that it matters but I do. Makes me think of Canada. Never been there but it's at the top of my bucket list. Always interested me. And Canadians are very much like Australians. Except more polite. Closest I've got is New York. It's very expensive to get there from Australia. We went to South America cheaper than we could get to Canada.

Yeah I've only just started on the reading journey again and there is so much I've missed in the last 20 or so years (since I had my own kids and did university courses and had no time for me with babies and Uni). I was always a scifi nut (and still am) but there are sooooo many to choose from. Add to that all the "normal" books and I'm feeling swamped. But I'm getting there slowly. I just read whatever takes my fancy and go for it. That's been a fair bit this week (plus finishing a few from the end of last year).

message 37: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments I lived for ten years in Korea and am kicking myself for not visiting Australia when it was close by. Unfortunately it was so much more expensive than SE Asia, so I always ended up elsewhere. I live in Colorado now, so closer to home but with two little kids we don’t have the money or the patience to drive for two days with them in the car! But I did a train trip from Toronto to Vancouver that I highly recommend if you ever get a chance. Amazing trip.

I feel like I read a lot of trashy fun things but very little of substance and am always trying to catch up on more serious books than vampire romances.

message 38: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 423 comments Australia is very expensive. It's cheaper for us to go to America or England than to travel in our own country. Which is why we've been to America 4 times in the last 5 years. It's cheaper lol There's a tour of Canada that we want to go on. It includes the train in Canada and a lot of touring around as well as a cruise in Alaska.

message 39: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Oh, nice! The furthest north I’ve been was to Churchill, Manitoba to see polar bears. I’d love to go way up North. We talk about moving to Canada, especially if the girls want to become doctors or something. University is way too expensive in the US.

message 40: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 423 comments Sounds like a good plan. And the Healthcare is better. Just like here.

One day I'll get there. And one day I'll get to Colorado too. We try to go somewhere different every time. Well LA (since that's where we have to get into the country so we usually end up at Disneyland) and then somewhere. The first trip was LA, Houston and New York (after a week in Bogata, Colombia). Second was LA, San Fran and. 15hr stopover in Beijing where we got to see the Great Wall and The forbidden city and where Maos tomb is and that. Third was only LA and the fourth was Vegas and LA. We also went to England for a month, New Zealand for a couple of weeks and Cambodia for a week in there as well. Empty nesters now and hubby has an excellent job :) He keeps planning a trip to Osh Kosh air show and then he wants to drive Route 66 back to LA.

Oh well. Better stop raving on. Time to get back to reading. Keep warm while I attempt to keep cool 😎

message 41: by Perri (new)

Perri | 781 comments Jacqueline wrote: "Australia is very expensive. It's cheaper for us to go to America or England than to travel in our own country. Which is why we've been to America 4 times in the last 5 years. It's cheaper lol Ther..."

Why is it so expensive in Australia? Is the same true of NZ? As a family we liked to travel in our camper and stop in National Parks. You could also make a lot of you own meals that way. I guess it depends what you want to see, though. We were never interested in big cites.

message 42: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 639 comments Lots of countries are more expensive to visit than the US - and with a good exchange rate, that sometimes makes sense to go elsewhere. I lived in Scotland for five years and when I went home to Canada, most things had the same price in dollars as in pounds, which with the exchange meant that everything in Canada was half as expensive.

message 43: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 423 comments Travelling around and camping is still pretty cheap. If you ignore the fact that petrol/gas is approximately equivalent to $US6 a gallon. And when you get out into the outback it's closer to $8 or even more. It can be upwards of $2.50 a litre which is around $10 a gallon. And motels are usually $100 a night at least and a powered site is about $50 a night but you can camp where there's no power as well for around $20 in sports grounds and the like. National Parks are getting a bit more organised as well and are making people Book in advance and pay more to stay there.

But we've done that along the east coast and to do the rest of the country you have to buy a proper caravan and take at least 3 months off to get around it. It's really only viable to do it along the east coast or at least the 600km wide strip down the east coast where most of the population of Australia seem to live. Most people don't venture far from the coast. Go over the ranges that run down the coast and you're in the bush and most city people aren't very comfortable in the bush. They don't venture much further than 150 kilometres from the Great Dividing Range and that's usually only as far as the wine growing region.

I live right on the edge of the 600km strip in flat dry cotton growing country. I've done the coast (I'm there right now about 400-500km north of Sydney and 600km from my home) and I live where the desert starts. But travelling 600km for me is normal. I do it all the time. I'm from the bush so it's where I stay. The further we can get away from Sydney the happier we are. Even though I do enjoy a trip down there every now and then. The shopping is better than at home. And they have bookshops. We only have a couple of shops and I have to drive 120km to the nearest town with decent facilities (and then 120km home again dodging kangaroos) and they don't have any bookshops.

We drove from Sydney to Perth once when I was young. Took days to get there and days to get back (and there wasn't much looking around on our journey either because we didn't have time) and we only got to spend 3 days with our friends over there and that took up dads whole vacation time. It was worse than National Lampoons Vacation. At least they had different scenery to look at. The main road across the desert was 317 miles of dirt. It rained on the way back and boy was it scary because we slipped everywhere for over 300 miles. It wasn't a wet weather Road and it was the only one across there. It got tarred about 6 years after we did it. Most of the roads across up north are still dirt.

A lot of people do it when they retire. We have dubbed them "grey nomads". They sell their houses and buy a big 4x4 and a caravan and they leave home and follow the seasons. They travel across the north in winter and go around the south in summer. And they find camping areas that you don't have to pay at but they seem to camp in packs which makes it safer for them in out of the way places. Wolf Creek anyone?

Basically I've done the Great Barrier Reef, the desert, the beautiful eastern coastline and all I have left is the top end (Darwin, Alice Springs, Ayres Rock, Daintree which my mother saw when she and my old Aunt took off to the Northern Territory in my aunts new Honda SUV for months) and the top of the west coast (Kimberly and Broome). So basically it's easier to fly to the really remote places. And possibly it's cheaper too once you factor in fuel and accommodation but it still costs more than going to the US. You can catch the train but that's getting into the realm of being able to fly to the US and back for a couple of weeks for the same money too.

Actually my daughter and I went to Fiji for a wedding for a week in October and it cost more for the two of us for a week than it cost for 3 of us to spend 2 weeks in the US in Vegas and LA. Including all airfares, accommodation, theme parks, food and Elton John and Britney concert tickets in Vegas. Oh and my daughters Sephora and Victorias Secret shopping trips.

When we go to England £1 = $2 approximately so we end up paying double for everything so it's more expensive for us to go there but London and England in general is pretty amazing. Our oldest buildings are lucky to be 200 years old. Theirs are ancient. But it can be cheap actually flying there in the first place. It was only $2000 to fly to LA, Houston, Bogota, Houston, New York, LA to Sydney with 4-7 day stopovers at each. I think the airfare to London was only about $1200 return. Canada is closer to $3000 return. Even though you can fudge it and go through a few hubs in the US and make it cheaper. But it takes more than 40 hours instead of 16 or so. I think getting to Africa from here is cheaper than Canada and it's not cheap.

Ohhh essay 😂

message 44: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 423 comments We're not so much interested in big cities when we travel but we're interested in how different life is. We're not fans of big cities at all. Except New York (and London). My hubby hates cities with a passion but loves New York the same way. It's just easier in the US for us to visit the cities. But they are all so different.

When we went to England we hired a car and drove around the south west area for a few weeks before spending a week in London. We spent every night in a B&B (usually eccentric) and saw much of the countryside. We had no plans except we had to be back in London on a certain date. We wanted to go up into Scotland but we didn't get there.

Ahhh New Zealand. It's only $200 each way for us to get to NZ. We did it a few years ago. Hired a car and drove around the North Island for a few weeks. It's cheaper than holidaying at home too. So beautiful. And Hobbiton was so much fun. After seeing a 5" brown snake in my backyard at home a couple of weeks before I came to the beach (one of the top deadliest snakes in the world along with a heap of others that we see regularly and the rattler and cobra has nothing on it) I'm seriously thinking of moving there. They don't have snakes.

message 45: by Perri (new)

Perri | 781 comments The fuel $ is pricey, but $100 for a motel seems about right. The Grey nomads is interesting. I don't know about selling homes, but we have a boomerang population that migrate to warmer climate-Florida or the southwest for the winter, then come back north in the spring-snow birds.
Just now in the news I read about some Californian tourist in Australia who sprinted ahead and took at wrong turn. Perished in three hours!

message 46: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 423 comments Fuel is very pricey. Especially when we have our own but we have to send it away to be processed now since they closed down all the oil refineries. The thing is the price per barrel is about a third or even a quarter of what it was when we were paying these prices to start with and the fuel price at the bowser hasn't changed much at all even though the oil prices have dropped heaps.

Yeah Grey Nomads. They're sort of like gypsies. Except old. I would say with better caravans but some of the gypsy caravans in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding are pretty fancy lol They slowly work their way north or south sometimes stopping to do some seasonal work to get some extra money to supplement their pensions. And yeah a lot of them do sell up completely to pay for it. No way I'm going on the road when I hit 70 I'm telling you. I do have a house in a cooler mountains area and one at the beach and will be flitting between the two a bit like the ones going to Florida but there's no way I'm turning gypsy.

message 47: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodybell) | 3489 comments Thinking about the Grey Nomads makes me homesick. Then I think about the snakes, and I'm not homesick any more!

message 48: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 423 comments Yeah those bloody snakes do it every time. When I saw the (at least) 5 foot eastern brown beside my back door I made my hubby start to look for jobs in New Zealand. The big hairy spiders aren't nice either. You read all of these stories about cobras and black mambas (or whatever they are) and rattlesnakes and black widow spiders and how bad they are and then read later in life that they're nowhere near as deadly as what we had inside our suburban houses (and yeah I've had snakes inside too) and in our backyards let alone the bush. Apparently black widows are the same as redback heaps of those little buggers. And don't get me started on funnel webs. Got heaps of those as well.
And we won't even start on Drop Bears 😉

message 49: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new)

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2472 comments Mod
Jacqueline wrote: "Yeah those bloody snakes do it every time. When I saw the (at least) 5 foot eastern brown beside my back door I made my hubby start to look for jobs in New Zealand. The big hairy spiders aren't nic..."

Hahahahaha ,I just recently learned about the drop bears :-)
Australia is my dream, but if its that expensive i'll never get there :-(

message 50: by Perri (new)

Perri | 781 comments Got me on drop bears. We're on the look out for Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest.

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