2020 reading challenge

1 of 50: the cuckoo’s calling by Robert Galbraith. Finished 4/1/20. A re-read of this first detective novel for JK Rowling. Enjoyed it more the second time round when I wasn’t so hungry for the plot. A satisfying detective novel.

2 of 50: Don’t Let Go by Harlen Coban. Too American for me to relate fully to. An action thriller and detective mystery that moves along quickly, but is too far fetched to ring true. Not bad going to finish this for 8 January though.

3 of 50: Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald. Ticked off the list of books I meant to get around to from my ipad library. If only I liked any of the characters … finished 16 January.

4 of 50: Y is for yesterday by Sue Grafton. The last in the alphabet murders before the author’s death. Have enjoyed them all. Finished 22 January.

5 of 50: This poison will remain by Fred Vargas. Enjoyed returning to the weird world the author creates for her offbeat detective. Reminds me of Maigret and Sherlock Holmes. The unrealistic plot and eccentric characters don’t really matter. However I don’t love these books as much now as I did when first discovered. Finished 31 January.

6 of 50: The Killer In The Choir by Simon Brett. A short, light murder mystery. Fun and forgettable. Finished 2 February.

7 of 50: North Korea journal by Michael Palin. A light read designed to accompany a channel 5 documentary I haven’t yet seen. Palin’s usual wit and ‘voice’ shines through an otherwise forgettable little read. Finished 4 February

8, 9 and 10 of 50: The Windermere Witness, Ambleside Alibi and Coniston Case by Rebecca Tope. Classic murder mysteries with amateur sleuths set in present day. Finished 12 February.

11 of 50: The Huntress by Kate Quinn. A library borrow made on impulse. A post war Nazi hunt I found hard to get in to. Unfinished.

12 of 50: CBT for Dummies. A library selection as part of my psychology course. Interesting to dip in to. Not really a read through. Unf8nished.

13 of 50: when life gives you lemons by Fiona Gibson. chick lit or mummy novel. Easy read a sort of mills and boon for our age. Ok.

14 of 50:The Break by Marian Keyes. Unfortunately hot on the heels of a similar quirky book about mid life crises … too similar but would otherwise have laughed more at Keyes’ wit. Unfinished.

15 of 50: The Vinyl Detective by Andrew Cartmel. Easy read, have dropped into the middle of a series about a music loving drop out and his quirky friends who have fallen in to being detectives. If I shared his love of jazz would be a better read.

16 of 50: Strangers by C L Taylor, a thriller that links strangers …

17 of 50: Amsterdam by Ian McEwan. Bleak tale, well written. If you liked On Chesil Beach this is good for you.

18 of 50: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. Excellent. Grumpy old man is redeemed in humorous, end of life review story.

19 of 50: The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse. Not my usual read but glad I persevered. An acceptable ghostly mystery. Finished 18 may

20 of 50: Blind Side by James Patterson. Formulaic thriller, familiar cop hero. Ok. Finished 27 May

21 of 50 The Tattoo thief by Alison Belshaw. Last of my pre lockdown library books. A police procedural, thriller with the world of Brighton tattoo parlours as the setting. Finished 16 June

22 of 50 The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith aka jk Rowling. The 2nd of the Strike detective novels. Good pace but the weirdly complex plot and eccentric characters with their extreme names made it tough going to finish.

23 of 50 The girl in the spiders web. Has taken over where stig Larson’s trilogy ended. Good writing but set in a world of AI and full of computing technology that got in the way of the plot. Also found the perpetual dark tone of the book hard going

24 of 50 , The Emotional Life of the brain by Richard Davidson. This is a cheat being a 12 page synopsis of the book through the Headway app but I made myself read it even though it was tough going. A good free daily read (I won’t count any others in here)

25 of 50: A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles. Excellent tale, memorable character and well seeded with learning. Best of the year.

26 of 50: Normal People by Sally Rooney. Not my usual sort of book but despite the absence of plot a really good read. Even the famous sex scenes well written. Wished it was a longer book.

27 of 50: Becoming by Michelle Obama. Gave up on a well written but predictable biography. I know how her story goes and it is a tiny bit preachy.

28 of 50: Where The Crawdads Sings by Delia Owens. Can you judge a book both good and bad? Characters so extreme almost cartoonish. Time jumping back and forth for the first half too confusing. Condensing of forty years after the trial to the end unbalancing. And yet, once I got into it, a good read – I think.

29 of 50: rules of civility by amor towles. Because of the era it is set in and the attitude of the ‘heroine’ reminds me of The Dud Avocado’, one of my faves. But this turns out to be more like f Scott Fitzgerald. Enjoyed it but not as much as his first (above).

30 of 50: the Thursday murder club by richard Osman. Pressured by the social media and media hype to buy. Made me smile from page one evoking a version of my mum’s retirement village.

31 of 50: exceptionally weird by Kate atkinson. Another challenging read with intertwined stories and characters. Plot leaps about.

Worth downloading? Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. Heartburn by Nora Ephron. Razor Girl by Carl Hiassen. Towards the end of the morning by Michael Frayn. Queen Lucia by EF Benson.