Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Thirty Day Book Challenge - Part One - Days 1 - 10

There have been various of these challenges flying about on Twitter and Facebook (see my responses to the 30 Day Song Challenge here ) but as a self-confessed bibliophile I simply couldn't resist this one and I'm showing remarkable restraint to do it over 30 days and not cheat and jump ahead! Yes Stupidgirl, I'm looking at you with your shiny completed book challenge which can be read as Part One and Part 2 on her fab blog.   You can also read StripyZebra's thoughts on the challenge on her blog

So here goes my first 10 books for this challenge

Day 1: Favourite book - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I have adored this book since I first read it aged 9.  It was the first book I chose to borrow from my new prep-school's little library (this library was so small it fit into an alcove that housed a fire!) and it captured my imagination.  There is nothing not to like about this book, beautiful writing, great characters and a really strong storyline.  Everyone should read this book at least once in their lives!

Day 2: Least favourite book - The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Words cannot express how much I hate this book.  Honestly.  I actually resent the 3 hours of my life I spent reading it.  I thought the writing was dull and lifeless, the characters eminently unlikeable and the plot full of holes.  Obviously I am also avoiding the film at all costs although I suppose the film may have cut out huge chunks of the book which can only be a good thing!

Day 3: A book that makes you laugh out loud - Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

I love all of Bill Bryson's books but this one is absolutely hilarious.  Plus I think it makes for much more entertaining reading given its about "home".  I love the scale of what he set out to do and love the way he records it.  Not a book to read on public transport if you want to retain a modicum of dignity as I guarantee you will be guffawing before the end.

Day 4: A book that makes you cry - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I must admit that I'm a bit of a sap when it comes to books.  I can quite easily cry at an awful lot of books.  I find choosing a sad story and crying at it very, very cathartic. But if I had to choose one book that I can absolutely guarantee will make me cry it is Anne of Green Gables.  There are two passages that set the waterworks going for me; the first is when quiet, unassuming Matthew takes it upon himself to buy Anne a dress with puff sleeves that she has been coveting.  He is so obviously out of his comfort zone yet he buys this dress for his little orphan girl and when she opens it - sob, sob, howl! The other part is where Matthew dies and the descriptions of the different griefs felt by Anne and Marilla - too traumatic for words!

Day 5: A book you wish you could live in - Harry Potter by JK Rowling

I'm going to cheat a bit here and not choose one book per se but rather a series.  I want to live at Hogwarts, it is true! I want the feasts, I want to learn Transfiguration, I want to visit Hogsmeade and I quite fancy trying my hand at Quidditch.  I think I'd be a Slytherin - rather cunning you see (not to mention perfect access to certain Death Eaters....)

Day 6: Favourite young adult book - The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis

I love this book - although starts with a fairly dark situation in terms of two unwanted orphans, it soon develops into a fabulous tale of supernatural beings and the endless fight for good against evil.  Lots of fun.

Day 7: A book you can quote/recite - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I don't care that I'm duplicating.  And although I cannot foresee an occasion where I would be required to recite Jane Eyre, I can quote large quantities of the book simply because I've read it so many times.  "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day....."

Day 8: A book that scares you – The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

This book is frightening simply by deign of that fact that it puts your imagination into overdrive.  Nothing in the book is particularly scary in itself but the combination of seeing strange women, hearing a ghostly horse and carriage and an infants screams all adds to the feeling of impending doom.  This is novella length actually but I simply could not put it down and the author grasps in such a short space what many novelists have failed to do in much longer novels - quite simply how to scare.  Brilliant.

Day 9: A book that makes you sick – Lord of the Flies by William Golding

I very much have a love/hate relationship with this book.  It is such an excellent book and really gripping but the bullying and torture culminating in the death of two boys really upsets me.  I guess this is why this book makes me sick - that in such a short space of time children can become so feral as to deliberately inflict pain and suffering on their peers.  Very, very disturbing.

Day 10: A book that changed your life – St Thomas’ Eve by Jean Plaidy

This book actually belonged to my mother when she was young and my grandmother found it in her loft and gave it to me to read when I was about 10.  I instantly fell in love with the story and the author and since then have been on a mission to collect all Jean Plaidy's
So there we are - days 1 to 10 of the 30 Day Book challenge.  Parts two and three to follow when completed.

What do you think - do you agree/disagree, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. I'm doing it properly too *thumbs nose at Stupidgirl* lol

    I'm just up to day 9 and mine is the same as yours. I had a really horrid encounter with some children that were feral the other day and it made me think of this book.

  2. I'm only up to day 8. I'm blogging mine daily.

    Anne of Green Gables was a definite contender for Day 4 for me. Matthew's death was so very sad.

  3. hey! I saw that DW!!!!!
    Anyway, I love TTW sorry :(

    Lord of the Flies is an amazing book but yes, quite sickening. Good list and nothing less that I would expect from you.

    Def going to read The Woman in Black now


  4. I can't believe I still haven't read The Woman In Black. I love Hill's detective series, I like other stuff. I shall add to my Must Read list and hit myself over the head until I do!