Book Smash

I have a Goodreads account and this year I decided to take part in the reading challenge.

I set myself what I thought was a decent challenge of 100 books to read in 2017. And then promptly smashed through it at the end of April, so I increased it to 250 books.

Some info on my reading habits:

  • I read mostly romance, fantasy and sci-fi with some chic-lit and comedy thrown in.
  • My average book in 2016 was 232 pages.
  • My average reading time per book is 2-3 days.
  • Although on the weekend I can read 2-4 books in 2 days.
  • I read on the Kindle app on my phone (and now on my iPad since I had the screen replaced).
  • I read pretty much everywhere, at the bus stop, waiting for the rice to cook, waiting for the bath to run, in the line at the grocery store, at the park while the kids play, if I have a minute here or there I am reading.
  • I do NOT read on the bus (major motion sickness) or in the bath (major klutz).
  • I’ve been known to read right through the night and go to work without sleeping.
  • Because of my voracious reading habits I tend to use BookBub to find free or really cheap books from Amazon.
  • Even though most of my books come free, I am more than happy to purchase an entire series or other books by an author (at full price) if I enjoy the freebie.
  • I also try and leave reviews wherever I can.
  • I am part of a 7000+ member secret (or not so secret) book club on Facebook.
  • I also review books for the member authors of the above book club.

All that being said, I am going to go back to putting up book reviews on my blog so keep your eyes peeled for some interesting reads.

Books I have not read…

…and don’t intend to read either!

A few of these lists were floating around the other day, lists of books people pretend they have read.

I found this one on Buzzfeed and thought it would be interesting to see if I have actually read any of them, and if not, would I pretend to have read them? (Spoiler: If I haven’t read it I’m not going to lie about it).

  1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – Yes
  2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – No (I didn’t even watch the movie)
  3. The Bible – Parts
  4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville – Yes
  5. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – No
  6. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – No
  7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – No
  8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – No
  9. 1984 by George Orwell – Yes
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – No (Don’t look so aghast!)
  11. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Definitely not
  12. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson – No
  13. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert – No
  14. The Odyssey by Homer – Yes
  15. Ulysses by James Joyce – No
  16. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Yes (One of my favourites)
  17. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – No
  18. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – No
  19. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – No
  20. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – No
  21. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – No
  22. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky – No

So, I’ve read 4 out of 22 (not including the partial bits of the Bible).  

Does the fact I have not ready these books make me uneducated? No. Does it make me less? No. Do I feel the need to lie about reading them? No.

Some of them I would rather stick needles in my eyes than read. Some of them I might possibly think of reading at some stage, maybe, probably, if I was really bored. None of them make me want to download them to my Kindle right now.

outside a dog

The fact is, I read a lot. It may not be intellectual classics but its reading. I read romance, fantasy, sci-fi, suspense, sagas. I read and that’s what counts.

Anyone want to chime in about the books on the list they have/haven’t/lied about reading?



2nd play date – Success

You may recall the somewhat awkward and heartbreaking 1st play date we had a week or so ago.

Well, Faith had another friend over today and it went so much better. I think I was more relaxed since I knew what to expect. Aaron also took on the roll of bossy mcboss mentor and got the girls playing with a ball and also teaching them some karate moves.

I even read them a story!  In Hebrew!

We have just bought a set of bookshelves from friends who are relocating to the States and I could finally unpack the last of our boxes. All the books! So while the kids were playing I was unpacking and I came across Not A Box by Antoinette Portis. Its a very simple story about using your imagination, and as I found out, quite easy to translate into Hebrew as I went. The kids loved it.

not a box

After the book, the kids took all the empty boxes and created a carnival game, Aaron wrote ‘points’ on each box and they placed them at different heights and then took turns throwing the ball into them to get the most points. Definitely not just a box.

I fed them supper before Faiths friend had to go home and both girls didn’t want the play date to end. I consider that a great success!


Exclusive Books Recommends

I received the March list of recommended books from {Exclus1ves} the other day.

I think I may have to add a few of these to my {Goodreads challenge}!

I am particularly keen to read The Little Old Lady who Broke all the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg.

Here is the blurb:

An incredibly quirky, humorous and warm-hearted story about growing old disgracefully – and breaking all the rules along the way.  79-year-old Martha Anderson, with the aid of her Zimmer frame, attempts to rob a bank. She’s not past it yet and intends to fund her way to a much more exciting lifestyle. Except all that the cashier can see is a little old lady. So Martha is bundled into a cab and sent back to her atrocious care home. But Martha and her four old friends – otherwise known as the Senior League – are tired of all the rules imposed upon them and decide to rebel. And that’s when the adventure really takes off . . .

It sounds like so much fun!

little old lady

A few others on the list are:

Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

How do you read?

Julia over at Unwritten posted this meme and I thought I would give it a bash 🙂

How do you organise your books?

Oh hell, seriously? I try and keep fiction and non-fiction apart, I try keep books by the same author together and books in a series together, I also have an issue getting rid of books so at the moment my books are an utter mess because there just isnt enough space for all of them.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

Both, I just love to read 🙂

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

Whenever and wherever I can.  I love my new Kindle that I got for my birthday, its small enough to pop in my hand bag so I can read wherever I am.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can
you read more than one at a time?

I would love to be able to read more than one book at a time but I just cant, I tend to loose myself in a book and I just cant concentrate on more than one at a time.

What is the last book you bought?

Hmmmmmm, the last book I bought was a fairytale book as a birthday present for one of the kids friends.  For myself, I bought The Dragon Who Loved Me by G.A. Aiken, book 5 in a series of books about, you guessed it, dragons.

What are you currently reading?

Witches Under Way (Book 2 in the Witchlight series) by Debora Geary.  Its a spin off series from her A Modern Witch series which I have read.  These are also the first books that have been shared via Kindle with me.  You have a few days to accept the loaned book and once you accept it you have 2 weeks to read them in.  I heart Kindle!

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

If I am near my computer then yes, if not I try to remember to check when I have access to my computer.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

I pretty much snack all the time, so yes, I snack when I read.  Its usually whatever is handy.

Books, books and more books…

Sally posted a today about books and asked how many on the list we had read.  So here is my list.  the ones in bold are the ones I have read so far, the ones in red are the books I would like to read quite soon.


1. Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice
2. Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird
3. JRR Tolkien – Lord Of The Rings
4. Jodi Picoult – My Sister’s Keeper
5. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga
6. JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone
7. Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveler’s Wife
8. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
9. George Orwell – 1984
10. Raymond E. Feist – Magician
11. Khaled Hosseini – A Thousand Splendid Suns
12. Paullina Simons – Bronze Horsemen
13. Gregory David Roberts – Shantaram (never finished it, found it very boring but got just over halfway)
14. Margaret Mitchell – Gone With The Wind
15. Bryce Courtenay – Power of One
16. Dan Brown – The Da Vinci Code
17. Dan Brown – Angels & Demons
18. Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist
19. Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre
20. Tim Winton – Cloud Street
21. Khaled Hosseini – The Kite Runner
22. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights
23. Arthur Golden – Memoirs of Geisha
24. LM Montgomery – Anne Of Green Gables
25. Joseph Heller – Catch-22
26. Elizabeth Gilbert – Eat Pray Love
27. Niv Mass Market Bible With Bible Guide – International Bible Society Staff and International Bible Society
28. JRR Tolkien – The Hobbit
29. Yann Martel – Life of Pi
30. AB Facey – Fortunate Life
31. Douglas Adams – The Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
32. Lewis Carroll – Alice In Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass
33. Diana Gabaldon – Cross Stich
34. Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance
35. David Pelzar – A Child Called It
36. Li Cunxin – Mao’s Last Dancer
37. John Marsden – Tomorrow, When The War Began
38. Frank McCourt – Angela’s Ashes
39. Frank Herbert – Dune
40. JD Salinger – A Catcher In The Rye
41. F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
42. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years Of Solitude
43. Bryce Courtenay – April Fool’s Day
44. Ken Follet – Pillars Of The Earth
45. Patrick Suskind – Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer
46. Matthew Reilly – Ice Station
47. Carlos Ruiz Zafon – The Shadow Of The Wind
48. Stephen Hawking – A Brief History Of Time
49. Christopher Paolini – Eragon
50. Louisa May Alcott – Little Women
51. Mitch Albom – Tuesdays With Morrie
52. Jane Austen – Persuasion
53. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
54. Ian McEwan – Atonement
55. Leo Tolstory – Anna Karenina
56. George Orwell – Animal Farm
57. Anthony Burgess – A Clockwork Orange
58. Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince
59. Roald Dahl – Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
60. CS Lewis – The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
61. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Love In The Time Of Cholera
62. Bill Bryson – A Short History Of Nearly Everything
63. Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime And Punishment
64. Anthony Bourke – Lion Called Christian
65. Arundhati Roy – The God Of Small Things
66. Paullina Simons – Tully
67. John Grisham – A Time To Kill
68. John Grogan – Marley & Me
69. Vikram Seth – A Suitable Boy
70. Alexandre Dumas – Count Of Monte Cristo
71. Neil Gaiman – American Gods
72. Cormac McCarthy – The Road
73. Aldous Huxley – Brave New World
74. Brendan Shanahan – In Turkey I Am Beautiful: Between Chaos And Madness In A Strange Land
75. Tim Winton – Breath
76. Bryce Courtenay – Jessica
77. Graeme Base – Animalia
78. Donna Tartt – The Secret History
79. Mario Puzo – The Godfather
80. Anne Rice – Interview With The Vampire
81. Steig Larrson – The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo
82. Stephen King – Stand
83. Helen Fielding – Bridget Jones’ Diary
84. Eckhart Tolle – New Earth
85. Matthew Reilly – Seven Ancient Wonders
86. Jung Chang – Wild Swans
87. Nicholas Sparks – The Notebook
88. Bret Easton Ellis – American Psycho
89. David Eddings – Belgariad Vol. 1: Pawn Of Prophecy; Queen Of Sorcery; Magician’s Gambit
90. Louis De Bernieres – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
91. Melina Marchetta – Looking For Alibrandi
92. Celia Ahern – PS I Love You
93. John Irving – A Prayer For Owen Meany
94. Colleen McCullough – The Thorn Birds
95. John Kennedy Toole – A Confederacy Of Dunces
96. Terry Pratchett – Good Omens
97. Hunter S. Thompson – Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
98. Joanne Harris – Chocolat
99. William Goldman – Princess Bride
100. Charles Dickens – Great Expectations

I have read 25 of the above… not sure Im too happy about that, definitely need to read more!


1.The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
2.The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
3. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
5. The Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
6. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
7. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
8. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
9. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
10. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
11. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
12. Spud – John van de Ruit
13. The Power of One – Bryce Courtenay
14. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
15. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
16. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
17. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
18. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
19. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
20. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
21. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
22. Disgrace – J. M. Coetzee
23. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
24. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
25. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
26. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
27. Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
28. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
29. Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton
30. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
31. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
32. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon
33. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
34. Atonement – Ian McEwan
35. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
36. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
37. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
38. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
39. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
40. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
41. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
42. I Know This Much is True – Wally Lamb
43. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
44. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
45. War And Peace – Leo Tolstoy
46. Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M. Auel
47. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
48. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
49. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
50. Possession – A. S. Byatt
51. Perfume – Patrick Suskind
52. The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
53. Chocolat – Joanne Harris
54. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith
55. Q & A – Vikas Swarup
56. Dune – Frank Herbert
57. Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
58. Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
59. River God – Wilbur Smith
60. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
61. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
62. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
63. Mort – Terry Pratchett
64. Crime and Punishment – Feodor Dostoyevsky
65. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
66. East of Eden – John Steinbeck
67. The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco ( reading at the moment)
68. The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
69. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
70. The Prince of Tides – Pat Conroy
71. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
72. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
73. The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx
74. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
75. Animal Farm – George Orwell
76. The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
77. Watership Down – Richard Adams
78. Magician – Raymond E Feist
79. Middlemarch – George Eliot
80. The Day of the Jackal – Frederick Forsyth
81. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
82. The Magus – John Fowles
83.The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
84. Agaat – Marlene van Niekerk
85. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
86. The Shell Seekers – Rosamunde Pilcher
87. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
88. The Beach House – James Patterson
89. Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
90. Kringe in ‘n Bos – Dalene Matthee
91. The World according to Garp – John Irving
92. Northen Lights – Phillip Pullman
93. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
94. Shades – Marguerite Poland
95. Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer
96. Fiela se kind – Dalene Matthee
97. Story of an African Farm – Olive Schreiner
98. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
99. The Magic Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton
100. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
101. Winnie-the-Pooh – A.A. Milne

29 from this list, better but still not great.

I am an avid reader, I enjoy losing myself in the world created by the writer.  I can read an average sized novel in a weekend if I am enjoying it.

I must admit that lately I feel that I dont have the time to read.  Perhaps I should read a chapter or two in bed instead of playing backgammon or Bejeweled on my iPod…

What books have you read on the lists above?