A year of books

A few of the 52!

Mission: read 52 books in one year – COMPLETED!!

I am actually quite surprised that I made it to 52 although I have to admit (and as you will notice from the list below) I did read quite a few children’s books towards the end to help myself catch up. I think at one point this year I was at least 15 books behind where I should have been and consequently I made this project much more stressful for myself towards the end of the year. It has also meant that I didn’t feel as though I could read a lot of books that I wanted to read because I knew they would take me too long and I needed books I could get through quickly. That said, I have stuck to books that have been recommended to me either by friends or by goodreads (the best reading app ever) and tried to go for a few classics, particularly with the children’s books so it still definitely counts!

I realise my blog has been a bit of a shambles. I started off thinking that I would blog all the time and update you on my progress through each book and as you may be able to tell by the long gaps and the reduction in frequency of blog posts over the year, that didn’t happen. I do intend to finish off some belated reviews though so keep your eyes peeled if you are interested in reading a review of any of the books I’ve read this year.

Honestly, I’m really glad I did this 52 books project. It’s given me something to fall back on all year whenever I’ve been a bit lost or looking for something to do. It’s proven to me that I really can read more than I thought and it doesn’t actually require all the time in the world to do it. If I hadn’t taken pretty much all of June off, and if I had kept going at a steady pace all year I probably could have done it without resorting to reading the entire Chronicles of Narnia at the end. But hey, sometimes life does get in the way. This year I’ve gone through 3 different jobs and have lost a beloved grandad who was definitely an inspiration to challenge myself more and to generally try harder (and who actually subscribed to my blog and read it on his ipad, incredibly enough) and also lost a favourite dog who kept going until she physically couldn’t go anymore. It’s been a year that definitely didn’t happen quite as planned and it’s had it’s ups and downs. And I definitely haven’t been as strict with myself as I probably should have been with reading regularly every day but it is still nice to look back at the year and be able to picture where I was, and what I was reading at most times of the year.

Ultimately though, I feel so, so relieved that it’s over. Not that it hasn’t been great, but I can’t wait to settle down to read without any pressure, without constantly thinking ‘read faster’, ‘don’t read that, it’s too long’ or ‘you’re running behind! You shouldn’t be doing anything else other than reading!’. I want to read long books, I want to read more of the Game of Thrones books without getting impatient and frustrated because it’s so long, I even want to read some non-fiction. That’s right, you heard me, non-fiction! I want to be able to sit down and read it without caring how long it takes me to read it. However, will I still be able to do it if I don’t have the motivation of the books project to make me keep reading? Hopefully. Only time will tell. But I really do need to read some books related to my work and I hope that will motivate me to keep pushing myself.

So – the list! Here it is! (You do have to just take my word that I have actually read all of these books and trust me on this although I’m sure I can call on a few witnesses if you don’t believe me.)

1. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
2. A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away by Christopher Brookmyre
3. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
5. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
6. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
7. A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
8. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
9. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
10. Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
11. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
12. The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend
13. The Tales Of Beedle The Bard by J.K. Rowling
14. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
15. Proof by Dick Francis
16. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
17. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green
18. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
19. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
20. Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett
21. The Simplicity of Dementia by Huub Buijssen
22. I Came, I Saw, She Conquered by Alex Boswell
23. Room by Emma Donoghue
24. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
25. History Through Headlines
26. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
27. The Mortal Instruments – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
28. Oh! The Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss
29. Bird Brain by Guy Kennaway
30. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
31. Cold Tom by Sally Prue
32. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
33. Divergent by Veronica Roth
34. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
35. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
36. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
37. 365 Days of Mindfulness by Yvette James
38. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
39. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
40. Understanding Your Borderline Personality Disorder – A Workbook by Chris Healy
41. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
42. The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
43. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
44. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
45. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
46. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
47. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
48. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
49. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
50. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
51. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
52. Animal Farm by George Orwell

Thank you so much to everyone who has lent me books, who has recommended books or who has put up with me when I’ve cut myself off from the world to just sit and read and for when I’ve become very stressed and grumpy doing so. I have so many books still on my shelf to read that you wonderful people have recommended and lent to me (including Dune by Frank Herbert which I went out and bought, and some more Terry Pratchett which I can’t wait to read) and I promise I’ll give your books back to you soon!!

Thank you for reading my blog 🙂 I will still I keep reading and doing some reviews, but probably on goodreads instead of here so feel free to follow me on there! Well, I guess now it’s time to move onwards and upwards to some new resolutions for 2014.

Fiona x

P.S. You know the first thing I did after finishing book 52? I started reading another book. 🙂


About missfionajill

Psychology graduate/self-improvement junkie/moderate bookworm

3 responses to “A year of books

  1. Which book left the biggest impression?

    • That’s a tricky question! I think The 100 Year-Old Man is definitely the one that springs to mind when I think about one that left a lasting impression as a great book that I’d definitely recommend to anyone. Other than that, in terms a lasting impression on daily life, possibly the 365 days of mindfulness book because it always springs to mind whenever I’m feeling stressed or busy. Or maybe The Little Prince because it’s just a short children’s book but it cleverly highlights all the weird habits you get into as a grown up. And lastly probably Wonder because I just loved it and it has such a great message ‘be kinder than necessary’. X

  2. Pingback: It Doesn’t Take Much To Be Extraordinary | Relocationjunkie.com

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