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Genre Challenge 2011-12 > Susan's Genre Challenge 2011-2012-2013

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message 1: by Susan (last edited Apr 24, 2011 03:08PM) (new)

Susan JANUARY:- HISTORICAL.

According to Queenie. By Beryl Bainbridge. According to Queeney by Beryl Bainbridge

Finished 20.1.11.
This was a strange book. It tells the story of the later years of Samuel Johnson, after he has suffered a mental breakdown.
It is at times humorous, and gives an insight into a brilliant man, who also seems to have been somewhat childish and self centred when it came to his need for attention, especially from the women in his life!
The book tells the story from different perspectives,as it happens, and then as remembered by Queenie, the daughter of a woman who befriends Johnson,and helps him recover from his breakdown.
The versions are strangely different, reflecting what people chose to remember, I think, rather what was reality. An interesting book.


message 2: by Susan (last edited Feb 26, 2011 07:30AM) (new)

Susan FEBRUARY:- CRIME/DETECTIVE.


The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle .
Finished 26.2.2011.

Another very enjoyable read, but for me not quite as good as A Study in Scarlet.
This is the second of the Sherlock Holmes Stories, I like the way the author expands on the relationship between Holmes and Watson, and includes developments in their personal lives.
In this book Watson meets his future wife, and a good mystery and murder are solved.


message 3: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2760 comments Good choice.


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan Have just finished The Clue of the Twisted Candle The Clue of the Twisted Candle by Edgar Wallace by Edgar Wallace, which was wonderfully old fashioned and British, and has fitted nicely into this months genre challenge.


message 5: by Susan (last edited Apr 11, 2011 01:18AM) (new)

Susan MARCH:- CLASSICS.

I've chosen Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada Alone in Berlin (Penguin Modern Classics) by Hans Fallada , I hope I am right in thinking that this is a Classic, I'm not a 100% sure if it does actually fit into this Genre! Finished this book 6.3.2011.

I would definatly recommend this book. Although I knew it would be a harrowing story, and very likely end badly, I found it compulsive reading. It's still hard to believe these things actually happened, I found myself in tears several times, the stories of these people, in part based on actual events, were profoundly moving.


message 6: by Susan (last edited Apr 09, 2011 01:13PM) (new)

Susan APRIL-BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

I'm reading The Hare with Amber Eyes

This is a wonderful book....it started out as being interesting and informative, and just got better and better! A Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal


message 7: by Susan (last edited May 28, 2011 04:18PM) (new)

Susan MAY-SCIENCE FICTION/DYSTOPIAN

I'm going to read The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells.

The Invisible Man (Paperback) by H.G. Wells .

I usually like H.G.Wells, but I really didn't enjoy this book much, it actually seemed a bit silly!


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan JUNE - FANTASY

I've just started Stardust Stardust by Neil Gaiman by Neil Gaiman


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan I've finished Stardust by Neil Gaiman , and thoroughly enjoyed it....but....although I can't believe I'm going to say this, I liked the movie better.
I felt as if there was more to the movie, and that you got to know the characters better.
Maybe Fantasy stories do need to be as long as Lord of The Rings, so that the reader can become more immersed in the world the writer is creating....I wasn't ready for this book to end, and wanted more!
Having said that, I shall definatly read more from this author.


message 10: by Susan (last edited Jul 28, 2011 12:20AM) (new)

Susan JULY..YOUNG ADULT

I've decided to go with another Neil Gaiman book for this month's challenge, and have chosen.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I have been intrigued by this book for a while, and was not disappointed one bit.
Bod is such a great character, and the story is both quirky and absorbing, and the setting atmospheric.
If your looking for something a bit different I can definatly recommend this.


message 11: by Susan (last edited Jul 31, 2011 10:49AM) (new)

Susan AUGUST..COMEDY/HUMOUR

I've chosen Life and Laughing My Story by Michael McIntyre Life and Laughing: My Story by Michael McIntyre.
This was recommended to me by my Daughter, she and I both love this comedian, so I hope the book is as funny as his shows.


message 12: by Susan (last edited Aug 18, 2011 03:15AM) (new)

Susan I've just finished Life and Laughing My Story by Michael McIntyre , and although I mostly enjoyed it, it didn't come across as funny as I had hoped it to be, and to be honest, I found that the last third of the book dragged slightly.
The first few chapters were very funny, and it was interesting to read how difficult it was for such an obviously talented comedian to become successful in such a competitive industry.
I love watching Micheal McIntyre perform....I think the ideal format for this book would be as an audio book read by himself....I think it would then be brilliant.


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan I've just finishedAn Evening of Long Goodbyes An Evening of Long Goodbyes by Paul Murray by Paul Murray, for this month's Genre Challenge....it was brilliant....I read his other book
Skippy Dies earlier this year....also brilliant....and now can't wait until he publishes another!


message 14: by Susan (last edited Sep 20, 2011 02:40PM) (new)

Susan SEPTEMBER..MAGICAL REALISM

I chose American Gods American Gods by Neil Gaiman by Neil Gaiman, for this months challenge.

I loved this book and gave it five stars....it has to be one of the best, and most unusual books I've ever read, and I'm truly sorry that it's finished.
This is the third book by this author I've read recently, and by far the best, and I'll be reading more of his work very soon.


message 15: by Susan (last edited Jan 13, 2012 05:03AM) (new)

Susan OCTOBER..GOTHIC/HORROR

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole The Castle of Otranto (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) by Horace Walpole .

This book was written in 1764, so I'm not surprised how tame and unsophisticated it seems, very melodramatic and full of dastardly deeds.
It was ok, but if someone was to ask me to recommend a gothic novel, my suggestion would definatly be The Mysteries of Udolpho
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe by Ann Radcliffe. I thought that was brilliant.


message 16: by Susan (last edited Jan 13, 2012 05:03AM) (new)

Susan NOVEMBER..SPY/ESPIONAGE

The Constant Gardener by John le Carré The Constant Gardener by John le Carré

I gave this book 5 stars.....i thought everything about it was brilliant....the story, the writing, the characters and the settings....and also the heartbreaking message it gave about the struggle for survival faced by so many African people....well worth reading.


message 17: by Susan (last edited Jan 13, 2012 05:03AM) (new)

Susan DECEMBER..SHORT STORIES

The Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

I know these were read to me when I was a child, but I've enjoyed re-reading them....great fun.....especially at this time of year. The Just So Stories (Collector's Library) by Rudyard Kipling


message 18: by Susan (last edited Feb 01, 2012 05:03AM) (new)

Susan JANUARY 2012..NON FICTION

Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin

I'm reading this a couple of chapters at a time, and really enjoying it....I'm learning things about Dickens that I certainly had non idea about....fascinating...


message 19: by Susan (last edited Jul 25, 2012 09:47AM) (new)

Susan FEBRUARY 2012.TRAVEL
. A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor

I've had this on my shelf for a while, so here is a good reason to dust it off and read it!

I liked the first half of this book, but found the second half a struggle, and admit to skipping chunks of it....I may go back and re- read those bits....but then maybe not!


message 20: by Susan (last edited Mar 26, 2012 09:17PM) (new)

Susan MARCH 2012..ROMANCE
..Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

This book was given to me.....not my normal sort of thing, but it fitted in for this month's genre.
There are several different stories/romances going on here, all centered around a row of beach huts....it was a pleasant book, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would, a bit predictable, but nicely written.


message 21: by Susan (last edited Jul 25, 2012 09:52AM) (new)

Susan APRIL 2012 Psychiatry/Madness

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb 4*

I found the subject matter of this book a little difficult at times, but the book was definatly worth the effort to read it, the writing was very good, and many of the characters memorable.
It was both very sad, and very uplifting.


message 22: by Susan (last edited Jul 25, 2012 09:51AM) (new)

Susan MAY 2012 War

A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry 5+*

I thought this was a wonderful book, one of the best WW One books I've read.
The writing was brilliant, as were the characterisations....I found myself in tears several times....I would definatly recommend this book.


message 23: by Susan (last edited Jul 25, 2012 09:51AM) (new)

Susan JUNE 2012 Western

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt 3*


message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan JULY 2012 Poetry

Ballistics by Billy Collins 5*

This was a re-read for me, but a very enjoyable one....I discovered this poet last year and really like his work.


message 25: by Susan (last edited Aug 21, 2012 01:31PM) (new)

Susan AUGUST 2012 Gay/Lesbian

The Absolutist by John Boyne

This was a very good book, which was frighteningly descriptive at times, and also very moving and sad....looking at the horrors of WWI from the angle of a young man who is not only trying to cope with the nightmare of the trenches, but also with being rejected by his family and friends because of his homosexuality.


message 26: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 265 comments Susan wrote: "I've finished Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and thoroughly enjoyed it....but....although I can't believe I'm going to say this, I liked the movie better.
I felt as if there was more to the movie, and that ..."


Actually agree, I liked the book but the movie is better.


message 27: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 743 comments Susan wrote: "AUGUST 2012 Gay/Lesbian

The Absolutist by John Boyne

This was a very good book, which was frighteningly descriptive at times, and also very moving and sad....looking at the horrors of WWI from t..."


This is another one that I really want to read!


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan It was good, Angela....I've just finished another of his books, The House Of Special Purpose, which was also well worth reading.


message 29: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 743 comments Susan wrote: "It was good, Angela....I've just finished another of his books, The House Of Special Purpose, which was also well worth reading."

Another to add to my list!!


message 30: by Mayara (new)

Mayara | 4 comments What's the September challenge?


message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan September is Chemical Fiction, which is drug related.


message 32: by Mayara (new)

Mayara | 4 comments cool!!!!!!!!!!


message 33: by Mayara (new)

Mayara | 4 comments does on the road count, or should I read crack up? =)


message 34: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments On the Road by Jack Kerouac seems a good choice to me, plenty of drink and drugs involved in that trip!


message 35: by Susan (new)

Susan SEPTEMBER 2012 Chemical Fiction

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier 4*

Historical fiction, mixed with drug induced time travel made this book an unusual and very interesting read, which I can definatly recommend.


message 36: by Angela (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 743 comments Susan wrote: "SEPTEMBER 2012 Chemical Fiction

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier 4*

Historical fiction, mixed with drug induced time travel made this book an unusual and very interesting read, which ..."


So glad you enjoyed this, Susan. It's my favourite Daphne du Maurier book and I'll be re-reading it for my genre challenge....eventually!


message 37: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2760 comments Glad you enjoyed the House on the Strand, Susan. I have read it a few times and always enjoy. It's quite a novel premise and well-written.


message 38: by Susan (new)

Susan I was very good, Bill.I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others.

One of the things that struck me about it, was how modern it seemed to be, compared to her other work.
I've always somehow thought of her books in the same way as, say, a Jane Austin novel, but she is of course a completely different era....sho died in 1969, which isn't all that long ago.

She interests me, and I intend to buy Daphne du Maurier by
Margaret Forster, who is another writer I admire.


message 39: by Angela (last edited Sep 28, 2012 04:52AM) (new)

Angela (bookangel2) | 743 comments Hi Susan
I read the Margaret Forster book a while ago; very interesting. So pleased you liked The House on the Strand; I still haven't got to my re-reading of it, but look forward to it!


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan Angela....I'm pleased to hear the biography is interesting, I feel I don't read enough non fiction, and this one appealed to me.


message 41: by Susan (new)

Susan OCTOBER....2012.....SELF HELP

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

Perhaps not Self Help in the strictest sense, but definatly helpful in an inspirational way.


message 42: by Susan (new)

Susan And that's this challenged finished....I've enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to starting the new genre challenge in the new year.


message 43: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Well done!!

I want to read the new Mitch Albon too, sounds like you enjoyed it?


message 44: by Susan (new)

Susan I did enjoy it, Em....it really gave me food for thought.
Not my favourite of his books though, I think that would have to be Have a Little Faith: The Story of a Last Request


message 45: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments I remember that a few years ago for reading group someone suggested Five people you meet in heaven. I was a bit sniffy about it but then found myself on a bus desperately trying not to burst into floods of tears as I finished it , learnt my lesson not to be so snobbish as I really enjoyed it !


message 46: by Susan (new)

Susan There is definatly something about his writing that strikes a chord, and I rather like his straightforward style.


message 47: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I agree with you, I like his style too. Find him very readable.


message 48: by Susan (last edited Nov 27, 2012 12:18PM) (new)

Susan NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 ''''CHRISTMAS''''

1. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
A lovely, very 'short' short story that was totally predictable, but very sweet and quite moving.


message 49: by Susan (new)

Susan Christmas 2.

The Christmas Angel by Abbie Farwell Brown

Another free download from the Guttenberg Project, this is a rather dated, simple but pleasant story that was obviously heavily influenced by Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol.


message 50: by Susan (new)

Susan Christmas 3.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Brilliant......


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