Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Fall Reading Challenge 2010. Update.

Back at the beginning of October I joined in with a Southern Daydreamers Fall Reading Challenge and I'm back today to let you know how I got on.

This was my original list:

Tales Of Passion, Tales Of Woe - Sandra Gulland. (Book 2 in the Josephine Trilogy). No.
The White Queen - Phillipa Gregory. (Elizabeth Woodville -17th century Queen of England) Yes.
A thoroughly good read, and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series "The Red Queen", which DH bought me for Christmas.
Getting Out of The House - Isla Dewar. Yes.
A so-so coming of age book, didn't thrill me but it passed an hour or two.
breaking her fall - Stephen Goodwin. Yes.
A difficult one for me this, the main character didn't "grab me" and I found the subject matter a little disturbing. Perhaps because I'm not a parent?
Mercy - Jodi Picoult. No.
Just Between Us - Cathy Kelly. No.
the Return - Victoria Hislop. Yes, recommend.
A very interesting book, set in two time periods going back & forth throughout the narrative, I style that I don't normally enjoy. To my shame I knew nothing at all about 1930's Spain and the Civil War before opening this book. From Amazon
"Beneath the majestic towers of the Alhambra, Granada’s cobbled streets resonate with music and secrets. Sonia Cameron knows nothing of the city’s shocking past; she is here to dance. But in a quiet café, a chance conversation and an intriguing collection of old photographs draw her into the extraordinary tale of Spain’s devastating civil war.

Seventy years earlier, the café is home to the close-knit Ramírez family. In 1936, an army coup led by Franco shatters the country’s fragile peace, and in the heart of Granada the family witnesses the worst atrocities of conflict. Divided by politics and tragedy, everyone must take a side, fighting a personal battle as Spain rips itself apart."

The Killing Floor & 61 Hours - Lee Child. What do you think?
DH is sitting on the couch, beside me as I blog, reading "Worth Dying For", which  he snaffled from under the tree before I could!

Wild Comfort - Kathleen Dean Moore. No.
A Taste of My Life - Raymond Blanc. Sort of, recommend for foodies.
I'm keeping this book on my bedside table to dip in and out of. I'm enjoying reading about his early years in France learning culinary skills from Maman Blanc and to love a "potager" and all it's bounty, from Papa Blanc. Raymond Blanc is a strong protaganist of seasonal cooking and of course named his famous Oxfordshire hotel "Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons" . I would love to dine in the Restaurant at the Manoir one day.

Well, I managed 6 out of 11, not bad I suppose.

But I did read some others that weren't on the list.
I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of The Help by Katheryn Stockett, many months after most of you read it I know, but wow, what a great book.
Well worth the wait and I highly recommend that you read it too, if you haven't already.
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg was another book which I enjoyed in the run up to Christmas, I suppose it should  have been on the original list, since I reread it every year in December!

DH surprised me with the new Fannie Flagg book for Christmas, I didn't even know there was a new Fannie Flagg!

"I still Dream About You" and the heroine's name is Maggie!
From Amazon:
Meet Maggie Fortenberry. To others, her life seems pretty much perfect – she’s beautiful, charming and successful, just as you’d expect of a former Miss Alabama. But, in fact, Maggie is perfectly miserable. By now she should have been living in one of the elegant houses on Red Mountain with the adoring husband and 2.5 children. Instead, she makes a living selling that dream to others – through her estate agency Red Mountain Realty, where lately business has been going from bad to worse. But just as Maggie is about to give up hope, she comes up with the perfect plan. And that’s when strange things start happening. As Maggie finds herself catapulted into one surprising discovery after another, she learns valuable lessons about the nature of friendship, the challenges of modern life and the dangers of impossible dreams. She also learns that everybody, dead or alive, has at least one little secret . . .
I Still Dream About You is a delectable romp of a novel. Part murder mystery, part feel-good comedy, it bursts with the Southern charm and good, old-fashioned wisdom that have become Fannie Flagg’s hallmark worldwide.

Two other books that I received for Christmas were the new Jilly Cooper "Jump" and "One Day" by David Nicholls, so if Susan issues another Reading Challenge for Spring 2011 I'll have plenty of books to join in with.
I'd love to hear about the books you've been reading this season and the new ones that Santa left under the tree for you.
Just jot them down in a comment below.


  1. Thank you, Thank you for this post! I LOVE to know what other people are reading and how they FELT about a book. Sometimes I would like to just have the AUTHOR sit in front of me and SCOLD them. All the ingredients were there but they just didn't simmer it to blend... I felt this way about the LACE READER, I LOVED the idea(I'm an antique "Lace-aholic"), SO I was SO excited to read that book and "I'll call it a between the lines book"... I NEEDED MORE! I want her to write a sequel and connect all those dots(sorry to get carried away).If I just don't like a book it doesn't bother me, BUT, when I can see the flaws, THAT BOTHERS ME!!! I LOVE Fanny Flagg(I will definitely be getting those books you recommended)...Thank you for the tips, and have a wonderful week...
    Hugs to you, Donna

  2. I wish this had been a 'reading' year for me, as I had intended it to be, but I barely read my magazines. This year I truly plan to get to all the books I have waiting on my shelves!

    I'd love to pick up the Fannie Flagg book.


  3. We have similar taste - I loved The White Queen and last year's Fannie Flagg - I'll have to look for the new one!
    I've enjoyed Any Known Blood by Lawrence Hill, and for Christmas received Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins and Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle. I'd hoped for The Help, but I'll have to find it myself, I guess!

  4. Maggie, thanks for sharing these recommendations. I loved the Josephine trilogy. Sorry you didn't get to the second and third. I've read most of Phillipa Gregory's though haven't read the White Queen or the Red Queen. Guess I need to get those on my list. I plan to get myself reading again this year. I've had a long dry spell. It seems either I stitch or I read. I need to ration my time so that I get a little of both as part of my day.
    Enjoy the reads beside that cozy fire!
    Hugs to you, dear friend. ~ Sarah

  5. There are two books sitting on the shelf waiting to be sent to you, 'The Red Queen' and 'Worth Dying For' - now Santa has beaten me to it ! They do have one thing in common as far as I am concerned, they were enjoyable but for me not their respective authors best work.
    I loved the Raymond Blanc book, but his 'empire' is not far from my home so easy to imagine the scenes, and my sister was married at The Manoir, truly worth a visit.
    I am enjoying The Return very much and am interested to find out more about the period.
    A kind friend sent me a couple of John Sandford books which I liked,not Reacher, but god all the same. I'll forward them.
    I can recommend 'At Elizabeth David's Table: Her Very Best Everyday Recipes' a nice combination of her writing and recipes ( I particularly suggest the Onion Tart as a good recipe)

    Happy reading in 2011 !

  6. This year i plan to craft less and read more ... i miss reading ... your list is a great starting point for me, i will have to look for some of those books ...


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