Brontë, Literature, Reviews, Uncategorized

Reading Challenge 2021: The Breakdown

Like everyone else on the planet, my 2021 didn’t exactly go as planned, nor did my reading challenge. Let’s have a look at what I set out to read, and what I actually managed to complete. It was a year in which I discovered my new favourite living author, more Brontë-inspired fiction, and re-discovered my love of time travel. Well, it never actually went away, I just wasn’t able to find too many books I could really throw myself into. Step forward Jodi Taylor and Jasper Fforde.

I set myself a target of 20 new books for the year over on Goodreads, upping this to 25 once I easily surpassed this. It’s fair to say that I’ve smashed this target and I’ve read 64 books so far this year. 

Additionally, I wanted to make 2021 my year of re-reading and return to some old favourites and other novels that have enchanted me over the years. But did I manage it? 

  1. A Book Written by an Author Who Knew the Brontës Not achieved although one is sat on my shelf.
  2. A Piece of Brontë Juvenilia You Haven’t Read Before I’ve ticked this one off with The Keep of the Bridge by Charlotte Brontë.
  3. A Piece of Non-Brontë Juvenilia I’ve achieved this with the Wonderful The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown.
  4. A Piece of Brontë-Inspired Fiction I managed quite a few of these: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, Ill Will by Michael Stewart, The Secret Gondal Society by Judy Lunsford. I also read and reviewed Death of a School Girl by Joanna Campbell Slan. I’m also going to include The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori as it’s set in Haworth. Finally, I’m including The Nothing Girl by Jodi Taylor. Read it and see why.
  5. An Agatha Christie Book That Does Not Feature Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. I read the wonderful Absent in the Spring as well as the murder mysteries Sparkling Cyanide and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
  6. A Book Published in the Year You Were Born Not achieved
  7. A Book With a One Word Title Not achieved.
  8. A Book With a Person’s Name in the Title I’ve actually managed quite a few of these: the non-fiction Agatha Christie’s Poirot by Mark Aldridge and Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad by Bee Rowlatt as well as the fictional The Eyre Affair; Ill Will; the wonderful The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner; Maddy Alone and Maddy Again by Pamela Brown; Mrs McGinty’s Dead and Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie; and Jane in Love by Rachel Givney. There is also Jodi Taylor’s short story, Joy to the World as well as Sam Bowring’s Scharlette Doesn’t Matter and Goes Time-Travelling and its sequel, Scharlette Kills 99% of Germs.
  9. A Book With a Place in the Title I suppose I could technically include Poppy Field by Michael Morpurgo as I didn’t state it had to be a place name. I can also include Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad and The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori as well as The Chancery Lane Conspiracy by Joan Lingard.
  10. A Book Published in 2021 I’ve read a few of these: Long Shadows, Saving Time, and Another Time, Another Place, all by Jodi Taylor, Have we Met? by Camille Baker, and Scharlette Kills 99% of Germs.
  11. BONUS – Listen to an Audiobook I’ve loved listening to audiobooks this year. Highlights include The Jane Austen Society; Pride and Prejudice; Jane Eyre; The Nothing Girl; The Time Police series and some of the Chronicles of St. Mary’s short stories. 

And here are the books I wanted to revisit. I’ve made bold the ones I’ve re-read/listened to. In addition to the list below I’ve also read the amazing A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr and Matilda by Roald Dahl.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  5. Villette by Charlotte Brontë
  6. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  7. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  8. Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
  9. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  10. The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith
  11. BONUS – Ubik by Philp K. Dick

Finally, here is a list of the 64 titles I have read this year.

  1. Agatha Christie’s Poirot by Mark Aldridge – ★★★☆☆
  2. Poppy Field by Michael Morpurgo – ★★★★☆
  3. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde – ★★★★☆
  4. Ill Will by Michael Stewart – ★★★★☆
  5. Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad: The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship
    by Bee Rowlatt and May Witwit – ★★☆☆☆
  6. The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner – ★★★★☆
  7. The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown – ★★★★★
  8. Maddy Alone by Pamela Brown – ★★★★☆
  9. Mrs McGinty’s Dead by Agatha Christie – ★★★★☆
  10. A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh – ★★★☆☆
  11. Puttering About in a Small Land by Philip K. Dick – ★★★☆☆
  12. Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh – ★★★☆☆
  13. Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie – ★★★★☆
  14. The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori by Robert Barnard – ★★★☆☆
  15. The Harlequin Tea Set: A Short Story by Agatha Christie – ★★★★☆
  16. The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett – ★★☆☆☆
  17. Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan – ★★★☆☆
  18. After the Funeral by Agatha Christie – ★★★★☆
  19. Absent in the Spring by Agatha Christie (Mary Westmacott) – ★★★★★
  20. Two Wrongs by Mel McGrath – ★☆☆☆☆
  21. The Hollow by Agatha Christie – ★★★☆☆
  22. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie – ★★★★☆
  23. Have We Met? by Camille Baker – ★★★☆☆
  24. Jane in Love by Rachel Givney – ★★★★☆
  25. The Secret Gondal Society by Judy Lunsford – ★★★☆☆
  26. Golden Pavements by Pamela Brown – ★★★★☆
  27. Blue Door Venture by Pamela Brown – ★★★★☆
  28. The Portrait by Antoine Laurain – ★★★★☆
  29. The Eleventh Orphan by Joan Lingard – ★★★★☆
  30. The Chancery Lane Conspiracy by Joan Lingard – ★★★★☆
  31. The Stolen Sister by Joan Lingard – ★★★★☆
  32. A Pinch of Magic by Michelle Harrison – ★★★☆☆
  33. Doing Time by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  34. Hard Time by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  35. Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  36. A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  37. A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  38. A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor – ★★★☆☆
  39. No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  40. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  41. Lies, Damned Lies, and History by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  42. And the Rest is History by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  43. The Long and Short of It by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  44. An Argumentation of Historians by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  45. Hope for the Best by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  46. Why Is Nothing Ever Simple? A Short Story by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  47. Plan for the Worst by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  48. The Ordeal of the Haunted Room: A Short Story by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  49. Another Time, Another Place by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  50. Saving Time by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  51. The Nothing Girl by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  52. The Something Girl by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  53. Joy to the World: A Short Story by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  54. White Silence by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  55. Long Story Short by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  56. A Bachelor Establishment by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  57. Dark Light by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★☆
  58. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde – ★★★★☆
  59. Long Shadows by Jodi Taylor – ★★★★★
  60. Maddy Again by Pamela Brown – ★★★★☆
  61. Scharlette Doesn’t Matter and Goes Time-Travelling by Sam Bowring – ★★★★☆
  62. Scharlette Kills 99% of Germs by Sam Bowring – ★★★★☆
  63. Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde – ★★★★☆
  64. The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde – ★★★★☆

In Loving Memory of Bob the Bichon (2007-2019)

A lover of life, the Brontës, and Haworth who knows that I’m just going to write because I can’t help it.

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By Nicola F. a.k.a. The Brontë Babe. 

Thanks for reading. I’d love it if you stopped by The Journal of Juvenilia Studies where you can read my essay, “Autobiography, Wish-Fulfilment, and Juvenilia. The ‘Fractured Self’ in Charlotte Brontë’s Paracosmic Counterworld”.

Tales of the Genii (edited by myself) is now available from The Crow Emporium – click here to buy.

Please do not copy, share, or use the images from this post without seeking permission first.

kofi

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