#24 – Read all the BBC Top 100 books: Progress update
Although I’ve been rather busy lately working on some of the more active 40 before 40 challenges, reading the BBC Top 100 books is quietly ticking along in the background. There’s always a book on the go, even if it’s just a few pages read at bedtime (and trust me, with some of these, all I do want to read is a page or two at bedtime!). It’s nearly six months since I last gave you a progress update and I’ve read a further seven books since then, taking my total to 82 read. I’m definitely winning (and basically maintaining my one-a-month average reading rate).
The most recent tranche has been:
A Tale of Two Cities: an interesting read. Typical Dickens in offering engaging and clearly identified characters but a lot thinner than most of his tomes and therefore an easier read and faster paced. I enjoyed it.
Artemis Fowl – I’m not a fan of sci-fi as a genre so I was probably always going to struggle with this. The key character is an anti-hero (think evil genius intent on world domination) and I have to say my sympathies came down completely on the side of his enemies. I liked their characters a lot more than I liked him. And it’s a bit difficult to like a book when you detest the main character!
Treasure Island – a bit like Swallows and Amazons, I’m not sure how I managed not to read this as a child but now that I have I was enchanted by it. A lovely bit of escapism. A well paced story which I wanted to keep reading. Improbable, but fun.
Crime and Punishment – oh my goodness. Another one from the (in my opinion) boring Russian canon. Dreary, repetitive, a complete lack of action, plot or likeable characters. Frankly I was praying he’d be punished sooner!
Wind in the Willows – Although I’ve never read it, I thought I knew quite a bit about this story. Turns out the various TV and film adaptations I’ve seen (as usual) have left quite a bit out and used quite a lot of poetic licence for the rest of it. Far from being an entertaining, likeable and comical character I actually found Toad materialistic, selfish and terribly tedious. I spent most of the book wanting to give him a slap!
One Hundred Years of Solitude – frankly, shoot me now. It seemed like it took 100 years to read, all the characters had the same names and were totally indistinguishable so it just went round, and round, and round in circles of domestic detail. Not recommended.
The Shell Seekers – at last, a book where I wanted to keep turning the pages. I engaged with and liked the key character, which meant I cared about her story. This was a lovely, if somewhat bittersweet, novel and a beautiful read.
And that’ s where I’m up to at the moment. 18 books go, 30 months left. The pile of unread books on my bedside table is growing larger as I acquire them from the library and charity shops but this challenge is starting to look achievable…