As of today, here is what I’ve read from the prompts for this year’s The 52 Book Club. I’m enjoying this challenge as it’s as flexible as you need to be; some people in the Facebook group have completed it already, others have barely started.
To avoid buying books, I’m trying to choose from titles on my shelves already, (including the kindle). If I get stuck, then borrowing from the library first; while keeping my fingers crossed for a second-hand version; or using an audible credit, before buying a new book.
Which works ok, until you listen to a book and can’t imagine living without it in your house. See Bono and Chloé Hayden; even Jean Rhys has made me re-read Jane Eyre again on the kindle, and I’ve decided I now need a physical copy of Jane at home.
I’m also trying to fit my Book Club book selections into the prompts where I can, Mrs Benson’s Beetle as an example. Managing to borrow a copy from the library – triple tick / Venn diagram crossover!
Here are the books I can firmly say meet the prompts and I’ve finished.
- Book with a subtitle – The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning – How to Free Yourself and your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, Margareta Magnusson
- Title starting with the letter “H” – How Proust Can Change Your Life, Alain de Botton
- Under 200 pages – Motel Chronicles & Hawk Moon, Sam Shepherd
- A book about secrets – Miss Benson’s Beetle, Rachel Joyce
- By a Caribbean author – Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
- Typographic cover – 12 Week Year, Brian P Moran
- A second-hand book – Accident, Danielle Steel
- A body-positive message – Different, Not Less, Chloé Hayden
- An alliterative title – I am, I am, I am, Maggie O’Farrell
- Has an epilogue – A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
- Sends you down a rabbit hole – Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, Bono
- Published by Macmillan – A Wrinkle In Time, Madeleine L’Engle
- A book “everyone” has read – Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
On the pile to read, selected from prompts, but not got to them:
- Title starting with the letter “G” – A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
- A city or country name in the title – A Passage to India, EM Forster
- Newbery Medal Winner – Holes, Louis Sachar
- Includes a funeral – Delusions of Grandma, Carrie Fisher
- An author with a same name as you – Australia Day, Stan Grant
- A book you meant to read last year – Who Am I, Again? Lenny Henry
- Published in 2023 – I’m not as Well as I Thought I Was, Ruby Wax
Some additional books I’ve read, but I haven’t looked if they fit the prompts yet:
- Various and multitudinal audio versions of Agatha Christie. I’m not going to link them (as you can find them easily enough), I’ve read most if not all of her books at some point. I said to Mum the other day, I ought to go on Mastermind about them. And Then There Were None, The Body in the Library, At Bertram’s Hotel, Cat Among the Pigeons, The Hollow, Death in the Clouds, Death on the Nile, Evil Under The Sun, Dead Man’s Folly.
- ADHD 2.0, Edward M. Hallowell, John J. Ratey – this is such a good book to explain ADHD, I’ve brought it and sent it on to others.
- The Craft of Scene Writing, Jim Mercurio
On the way over the past 6ish weeks of reading almost daily, I’ve reminded myself how great it is, laughing and crying along with the story. I’ve cut down on doom-scrolling, I’ve also got to the gym at least twice each week, sinus infection notwithstanding.
My favourites so far;
- Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance. Was NOT ready for this book. I love Rohinton Mistry’s Family Matters and have had A Fine Balance on my shelf for ages. It was beautiful, brutal and broke my heart. It also reinforced how much I love reading books about India. I’ve no idea where that has came from, but it’s a continent I return to time and again through books.
- Alain de Botton’s How Proust Can Save Your Life. I love how de Botton writes at the best of times, this was the most glorious of times. de Botton shares vignettes from Marcel Proust’s life, with excerpts from letters and books, ‘How to choose a good doctor, ‘How to enjoy a holiday’ each chapter is grouped into topics and is delightful. It couldn’t have been written by someone who didn’t love and intimately know their subject. Can’t recommend it highly enough.