Reading Challenge #2 Complete!

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OK, so maaaan did I ever low-ball my goal for challenge #2. 35 books? Total?! When I set this goal, 35 books looked impossible, but apparently, I’m just reading like crazy right now (thank you *very* much audiobooks!)

You can check out the first part of the challenge here: Reading Challenge #1 Complete!

So what did I read to bring my total to 35?

25. Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers – Grant Naylor
26. Jakob Kayne #1: La Isabela – Sylvain Runberg
27. Star Wars: Master and Apprentice – Claudia Gray
28. Making Money – Terry Pratchett
29. Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday – Laura Ellen Anderson
30. Star Wars: Dooku: Jedi Lost – Cavan Scott
31. Star Wars: Darth Plagueis – James Luceno
32. Just One Damned Thing After Another – Jodi Taylor
33. The Inimitable Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse
34. Red Dwarf : Better Than Life – Grant Naylor
35. Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown – Joe Schreiber

Best book of the lot I reckon was probably Star Wars: Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray. A brilliant book in its own right, but the audiobook production was superb. I mean, Johnathon Davis is a wonderful narrator, and he even does the voices!

My current reads are:

Alien Covenant: Origins – Alan Dean Foster
Unseen Academicals – Terry Pratchett
Pyramids – Terry Pratchett

Next challenge:

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If you’re keeping score, that’s another 15 books I need to read by the end of the year, which quite frankly seems pretty much laughable now. But saying that, I am moving out for the first time in the next few months so who knows how much reading I’ll get done after that.

 

Reading Challenge #1 Complete!

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Despite a majorly slow start to the year, I have managed to complete my first reading challenge of the year! 24 books in total!!

I couldn’t have done this without the revelation that audiobooks and absolutely the bee’s knees, the cat’s pyjamas and the dog’s whatsits! I listen to them all the time now, and it’s been brilliant. I’m particularly loving the Star Wars audiobooks as the production value is awesome, what with sound effects, background music and some mostly spot-on impersonations of well-loved characters.

So without further ado, here is the full list of books I’ve read for this challenge:

1. Descendant of the Crane – Joan He
2. The Light Fantastic – Terry Pratchett
3. The Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett
4. Monstrous Regiment – Terry Pratchett
5. Equal Rites – Terry Pratchett
6. A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett
7. Mort – Terry Pratchett
8 Going Postal – Terry Pratchett
9. Kids Write Jokes – Various
10. Business Cat: Hostile Takeovers – Tom Fonder
11. Rolled & Told Vol. 1 – E. L. Thomas
12. Thud! – Terry Pratchett
13. Sourcery – Terry Pratchett
14. The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Book Cartoons – Various
15. Tamamo the Fox Maiden and Other Asian Stories – Various
16. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
17. Wintersmith – Terry Pratchett
18. Little Witches: Magic in Concord – Leigh Dragoon
19. Darkwood – Gabby Hutchinson Crouch
20. Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett
21. Emiline: Knight in Training – Kimberli Johnson
22. The Very First Damn Thing: A Short Story – Jodi Taylor
23. Star Wars: Tarkin – James Luceno
24. Star Wars: Ashoka – E. K. Johnston

You may notice there are a lot of Terry Pratchett books included in this list. I’m trying to finish the series on my kindle, and restart the series on audiobook. What can I say, I adore the Discworld.

My favourite book in this list was probably Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno. You can find a quick review of this book here!

Next up on my reading list:

1. Star Wars: Dooku, Jedi Lost – Cavan Scott
2. Just One Damn Thing After Another – Jodi Taylor
3. Pyramids – Terry Pratchett
4. Making Money – Terry Pratchett

Next target is set at 35 books! Can I get there before my birthday? (17th July) Who knows!

Weekly Roundup

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About my week

This week was very busy, and a little depressing. But most importantly it was the start of NaNoWriMo 2018! I’m pleased to say I’ve managed to keep my word count so far, and the story seems like it will be a lot of fun. I’m excited!

 

This weeks reading

This week I’ve been reading (links to Goodreads)

This weeks posts

New acquisitions

Books added to the collection this week (links to Goodreads)

Nothing this week.

 

Soundtrack to the week

3 songs that had me hooked this week (Links to YouTube)

Announcement! 2019 Reading Challenge Category Reveal!!!

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That’s right you beautiful somebodies. The big day is here, the wait is finally over. The categories are being revealed so you can go out and stockpile your books ready for next year.

Before anything else, a request. Please, please, PLEASE spread this about, I’d love for people to get involved. Share it anywhere you like (as long as you link it back here, or to @RagdollReads on twitter). If you or somebody you know decides to take up the challenge, let me know. Now back to what you came here for.

The reading challenge is in three parts. Light ReadingRegular and Serious Book Dragon editions.

cooltext30352622618610012 categories – one book for each category. (Plus a special WILDCARD category for the holidays)

That’s one book per month, and one bonus book for the holiday season.

Follow this link for the full write-up: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Light Edition)

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Track your progress with this nifty, downloadable chart: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge – Light Chart PDF

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24 categories – one book for each category. (Plus a special WILDCARD category for the holidays)

That’s one book every two weeks. Or two books per month if you prefer. Or roughly 0.00204918 books every 45 minutes if you want to be completely absurd about it! (I think!)

Follow this link for the full write-up: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Regular Edition)

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Track your progress with this nifty, downloadable chart: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge Chart PDF

 

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52 basic categories

4 ‘free read’ categories

3 ‘Wildcard’ categories

That’s 59 books for those of you who can’t be bothered to work it out. 1 read a week, plus a few extras thrown in. Finish this, and you can consider yourself a Serious Book-Dragon!

Follow this link for the full write-up: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Serious Book-Dragon Edition)

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Track your progress with this nifty, downloadable chart: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge – Serious Book Dragon Edition PDF

Please enjoy the challenge. I hope you’ll spread it around (remember to tag me here or @RagdollReads on twitter). Enjoy your reading ❤ Much love all!!!

 

 

Announcement: 2019 Reading Challenge!!

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That’s right you beautiful somebodies (especially the beautiful somebody who has been checking back pretty much every day for this news, I super love you), in 5 sweet, sweet days, I will be revealing the categories for the official Ragdoll Reads 2019 Reading Challenge!!

In case you don’t know about the challenge, here are some deets!

There are three levels;

  • Lite Reading
  • Regular
  • Serious Book Dragon

The level you choose will depend on how many books you think you can manage.

The Lite Reading edition contains 12 categories plus a special bonus category. That’s a book a month, and one for luck!

The Regular edition contains 24 categories plus a special bonus category.

The Serious Book Dragon edition contains a whopping 52 categories, 4 ‘free reads’ and a super special bonus category.

The editions build on each other, so if you completed the Lite Reading challenge, you would have completed half the categories from the Regular edition. You see? Fun!

I would loooove it if people got on board with this, and if you do plan on doing the challenge, please let me know in the comments or hit me up on twitter (@RagdollReads)!

Reading Challenge Complete (#3)

OK, so far this year I’ve actually completed FIVE reading challenges:

  • 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge by MeHawkins.com (#1) – see the write up here: Reading Challenge Complete (#1)
  • 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge by MeHawkins.com (#2) – see the write up here: Reading Challenge Complete (#2)
  • 52 books read in total
  • 80 books read in total, and finally
  • 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge by MeHawkins.com (#3) which you are now reading about!

The 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge was from a book blog I found – mehawkins.com18 unique categories. Doing this challenge actually inspired my to write my own challenges for next year (and the Around the World 2018 Reading Challenge you can try out already!!)

So here is the rundown of my progress through the challenge. (Please note: I read these in no particular order)

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Graphic and content from mehawkins.com

The 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge (Run #3)

A book published in 2018.

ButtonAn Argumentation of Historians by Jodi Taylor (2018)

Think ‘Female Indiana Jones’ + Time Travel and you’re pretty close to the premise of this book. A real fun read.

See the full review here: Book Review: An Argumentation of Historians (Jodi Taylor)

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book published the year you were born.

ButtonMattimeo by Brian Jacques (1990)

Book 3 in the Redwall series. The young mouse, Mattimeo and his friends are captured by an evil fox, and must be rescued. Exciting fantasy for young and old.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A classic book or a book published over 100 years ago.

ButtonThe Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (1874)

Four men and a dog find themselves stranded on a deserted island after a mishap with a hot air balloon. This is the story of how they survived.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book that you’ve started before and never finished.

ButtonRing for Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (1953)

The continuing hilarious adventures of everybody’s favourite valet, Jeeves..

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book you should have read in school, but didn’t.

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)

Another short story collection, featuring the worlds most famous detective duo.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A Book you’ve already read – time for a re-read!

ButtonStonehenge by Bernard Cornwell (1999)

A tale of war, betrayal, murder and temples. An epic novel worked around the building of stonehenge.

Rating: 5/5

 

A book that you’ve put off reading.

ButtonThe Stonehenge Legacy by Sam Christer (2010)

An ancient cult, and a murderous conspiracy. Can Gideon expose the cult that murdered his father, or will they get to him too!?

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A banned book.

Button1984 by George Orwell (1949)

“Orwell’s nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality.” (Goodreads)

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book by an author you’ve never read.

ButtonFoundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett (2018)

Sancia is offered the job of a lifetime – steal one item for more money than she could ever hope to see in her lifetime. She takes the chance, and then her world falls apart.

See the full review here: Book Review: Foundryside (Robert Jackson Bennett)

Rating: Exceptional (Book of the Month August 2018)

 

A popular author’s first book.

ButtonThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900)

“Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.” (Newspaper clipping…do I really need to tell you what this is about?)

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book turned movie you’ve seen but haven’t read.

ButtonThe Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)

A group of boys are trapped in a colossal maze, filled with murderous machines. One day, a girl is dumped in their midst and then everything goes wrong, fast!

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book turned TV show you’ve seen but haven’t read.

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Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie (2012)

 If you like the whole “Sleepy little town has more murders than small countries” genre, and you like priests you’ll probably like this book.

See the full review here: Book Review: The Grantchester Mysteries – Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (James Runcie)

Rating: 5/5 Buttons (Book of the Month May 2018)

 

A funny book.

ButtonThe Pirates! In an Adventure with Romantics by Gideon Defoe (2012)

The Pirates head off on a quest to find a lost manuscript on how to woo the ladies, with Lord Byron, Percy and Mary Shelly in toe. Hilarity ensues.

See the full review here: Series Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with… (Gideon Defoe)

Rating: Exceptional (Series)

 

A book that will make you smarter.

ButtonMindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana (1992)

A useful guide to the practice of Vipassana (insight) meditation.

See the full review here: Book Review: Mindfulness in Plain English (Bhante Henepola Gunaratana)

Rating: 4/5 buttons

 

An award-winning book.

ButtonAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman (2001)

A book about Gods, their dwindling power and the coming war. This book is cleverly crafted, brilliantly written and endlessly entertaining. Once again Gaiman delivers a cracking read! A must have for fans of fantasy and myths.

See the full review here: Book Review: American Gods (Neil Gaiman)

Rating: Exceptional

 

A book based on a true story.

ButtonDragon Teeth by Michael Crichton (2017)

A team of pioneering paleontologists set out to discover new and interesting fossils. But William Johnson gets separated from the group and is left to fend for himself in the wilds of the west.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book chosen for you by a friend.

ButtonBuddhist Meditation by Kamalashila (2013)

This book is a great guide for any meditation practitioner – from the absolute beginner to the more advanced users

See the full review here: Book Review: Buddhist Meditation: Tranquility, Imagination and Insight (Kamalashila)

Rating: 4.5/5 Buttons

 

A book set during Christmas.

ButtonThe Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder (1992)

A sort of backwards look at the history of Christianity…also a kidnapping…this book made me insanely irritated.

See the full review here: Kwik Review: The Christmas Mystery (Jostein Gaarder)

Rating: 1/5 Buttons

 

So there we have it. Badass Books Reading Challenge #3 is complete. I’m only 8 books away from completing  Reading Challenge: Around the World 2018, and 16 books away from 100 books total, which I reckon I should manage by the end of the month.

Last thing before I go:

Top 3 of the Challenge:

You gotta pick a top three, so here are mine (Drum roll please):

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You should go out and read these books immediately!!

Finally, a big thank you to mehawkins.com for writing the reading challenge in the first place.

Reading Challenge Complete (#2)

Technically speaking, that’s three reading challenges complete so far this year. 52 total books and two different runs of the Badass Books Reading Challenge detailed here.

The 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge was from a book blog I found – mehawkins.com18 unique categories. Doing this challenge actually inspired my to write my own challenges for next year (and the Around the World 2018 Reading Challenge you can try out already!!)

So here is the rundown of my progress through the challenge. (Please note: I read these in no particular order)

Pinterest-Graphic-1
Graphic and content from mehawkins.com

The 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge (Run #2)

A book published in 2018.

ButtonHead On by John Scalzi(2018)

Another fast paced science fiction crime/conspiracy novel. Scalzi’s work makes for excellent reading.

See the full review here: Book Review: Head On (John Scalzi)

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book published the year you were born.

ButtonGood Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (1990)

Two of my absolute favourite authors writing a book about the end of the world. What could be finer? Funny, clever and entertaining.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A classic book or a book published over 100 years ago.

ButtonRound the Moon by Jules Verne (1865)

After being blasted into orbit around the moon in Journey to the Moon, our intrepid heroes find themselves stuck – never to hit the moon, never to fall back to Earth. To orbit until their death. It sounds far more dull than it actually is.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book that you’ve started before and never finished.

ButtonThief of Time by Terry Pratchett (2001)

“The construction of the world’s first truly accurate clock starts a race against, well, time, for Lu Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd. Because it will stop time. And that will only be the start of everyone’s problems.” (from Goodreads). Probably my least favourite Pratchett book – it’s telling that I remember so little that I had to steal a summary rather than write my own – I may owe it a re-read.

Rating: 2/5 Buttons
A book you should have read in school, but didn’t.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arther Conan Doyle (1902)

After the suspicious death of land-owner, Holmes and Watson must solve the case of the mysterious devil-dog that has been reported to curse the Baskerville family, before the last of the great line meets a grizzly end. One of my favourite Holmes stories.

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A Book you’ve already read – time for a re-read!

ButtonThe Pirates! In an Adventure with Napoleon by Gideon Defoe (2004)

This story finds the Pirate Captain giving up piracy and going to become a beekeeper on the island of Corsica, which he bought from the dastardly Black Bellamy. But PC’s dreams are shattered with the arrival of Napoleon, which sees the pair become locked in a battle for supremacy – and popularity – over the Island and it’s inhabitants.

See the full review here: Series Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with… (Gideon Defoe)

Rating: Exceptional (Series)

 

A book that you’ve put off reading.

ButtonThe Bodhisattva Ideal by Sangharakshita (2000)

A brief introduction into what it means to be a Bodhisattva – someone who strives to attain enlightenment for all beings . A fascinating read. Don’t read this unless you have at least some idea about Buddhism beforehand.

Rating: 4.5/5 Buttons

See the full review here: Book Review: Bodhisattva Ideal: Wisdom and Compassion in Buddhism (Sangharakshita)

 

A banned book.

ButtonAnimal Farm by George Orwell (1945)

The animals take over the farmyard in the interests of seizing the means of production so they can all live a better life. Until the pigs take over. A weird, but enjoyable read.

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book by an author you’ve never read.

ButtonElla Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

The very strange tale of the land of Nollop, where words are treasured and linguists are deified. A weird but brilliant look into the world of religious totalitarianism. A word lovers dream (or indeed nightmare).

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

See the full review here: Book Review: Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters (Mark Dunn)

 

A popular author’s first book.

ButtonThe Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (1950)

A collection of tales about the colonization of Mars. I tried SO hard to like this book. Bits of it were interesting but mostly it just bored me. If you’re not a serious Sci-fi fan, give it a miss.

Rating: 2/5 Buttons

 

A book turned movie you’ve seen but haven’t read.

ButtonAround the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne (1872)

Phileas Fogg sets off on an impossible journey, in order to win a wager. A delightful tale of round the world travel in the shortest possible time. Well worth a read.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book turned TV show you’ve seen but haven’t read.

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Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (1864)

When an ancient clue, written in runes, is discovered and translated a journey is made to discover what lies beneath the Earth’s surface. A tale of peril and adventures – fanciful and wonderful.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A funny book.

ButtonThe Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists by Gideon Defoe (2006)

The Pirates – for reasons that escape me – find themselves in London and have to solve a mystery involving the Opera, and see’s the Pirate Captain mistaken for Karl Marx, and become a Philosopher himself. Probably my least favourite of the series – it’s a great book, but the story doesn’t stand out in my mind as well as the rest.

See the full review here: Series Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with… (Gideon Defoe)

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book that will make you smarter.

ButtonThe Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Nanh (1998)

This book is a basic introduction to the foundations of Buddhism, taught from the point of view of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Absolutely recommended. This is definitely one of the most important books I have ever read.

See the full review here: Book Review: The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Rating: Exceptional (Book of the Month June 2018)

 

An award-winning book.

ButtonThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)

The unlikely, and indeed impossible, tale of Arthur Dent – sole survivor of the destruction of Earth. What can you do when you discover your best friends an alien, your planet has been destroyed to make an interstellar bypass and you’ll never get a decent cup of tea ever again? Hilarious – one of my all time favourite books.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book based on a true story.

ButtonBuddha by Osamu Tezuka (1972)

This is the first book on a graphic novel series detailing the events of the life of the Buddha. It’s interesting, but I can’t help but feel that if you didn’t already know the story you would be completely lost almost immediately.

Rating: 4.5/5 Buttons

 

A book chosen for you by a friend.

ButtonPirate Lattitudes by Michael Crichton (2009)

Most of the story was really good, and with a few small changes could have been amazing. Still recommended. It’s exciting and entertaining and a little bit racist which is super annoying.

See the full review here: Book Review: Pirate Lattitudes (Michael Crichton)

Rating: 3.5/5 Buttons

 

A book set during Christmas.

ButtonLost Christmas by David Logan (2011)

This is the story of the boy whose life falls apart on Christmas eve. The book reads like that list of ‘really bad metaphors’ that surfaces on the net every now and then – and I LOVE it.

See the full review here: Kwik Review: Lost Christmas (David Logan)

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

 

So there we have it. Badass Books Reading Challenge #2 is complete. Only a handful of books left to read before I make run #3 and the second total books challenge (80 books).

Last thing before I go:

Top 3 of the Challenge:

You gotta pick a top three, so here are mine (Drum roll please):

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You should go out and read these books immediately!!

Finally, a big thank you to mehawkins.com for writing the reading challenge in the first place and getting me reading again!

Reading Challenge Complete (#1)

Progress has been made – it’s getting towards the end of June and I’m 2 – that’s right – TWO reading challenges down already. It’s a good year for reading.

First I completed challenge #452 books in a year. But I’m not about to pointlessly list 52 books, if you’re that desperate to know what I read you can check my challenge page on Goodreads.

I will talk about #1 though.

Reading challenge #1 was from a book blog I found – mehawkins.com. It was titled, 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge18 unique categories. Doing this challenge actually inspired my to write my own challenges for next year (and the Around the World 2018 Reading Challenge you can try out already!!)

So here is the rundown of my progress through the challenge. (Please note: I read these in no particular order)

Pinterest-Graphic-1
Graphic and content from mehawkins.com

The 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge

 

A book published in 2018.

ButtonChildren of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (2018)

Fantastic magic and fantasy read. Well written, engaging and really exciting. Left me wanting so much more.

See the full review here: Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)

Rating: Exceptional (Book of the Month, April 2018)

 

A book published the year you were born.

ButtonJurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1990)

Who are you kidding, you know what Jurassic Park is about – and if you don’t, it’s about dinosaurs and being chased and possibly eaten by dinosaurs. What more could you possibly want. I loved it. Definitely one of the top reads of the challenge.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A classic book or a book published over 100 years ago.

ButtonFrom Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne (1865)

American artillery makers find themselves bored after the war. Not content with the theory of making big guns, they set out to make the biggest gun ever –  a gun that will launch a shell to the moon! It was great to see some really old science fiction, and how it differs from modern stuff·

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book that you’ve started before and never finished.

ButtonA Guide to the Bodhisattvas by Vessantara (2008)

An introduction to some of the key bodhisattvas. Very descriptive and detailed, if a bit heavy going at times.

Rating: 3.5/5 Buttons
A book you should have read in school, but didn’t.

ButtonA Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)

The first collection of Sherlock Holmes novels. I like the Holmes stories. They aren’t necessarily the most exciting books in the world, or the most clever or beautifully written, but they are fun and that’s worth something on its own.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A Book you’ve already read – time for a re-read!

ButtonThe Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe (2004)

The first book in ‘The Pirates!’ series. This story follows the pirates as the try to solve a mystery and find some serious gold in the midst of London. This book is just pure and funny. It’s silly and doesn’t take itself to seriously, and it’s about pirates. It’s everything I want in a book. It’s just a lovely, fun read.

See the full review here: Series Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with… (Gideon Defoe)

Rating: Exceptional (Series)

 

A book that you’ve put off reading.

ButtonTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (1869)

The tales of Captain Nemo and his submarine, Nautilus. This book is a round-the-world trip of adventures. It’s fairly dated at times, but if you like classic books and you like adventure stories as I do, then you can’t go far wrong.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A banned book.

ButtonFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)

In a world where books and readers are burned without a care, it takes a brave soul to keep reading alive. An interesting read that has left almost nothing in my memory to assure me I actually read it. Take from that what you will.

Rating: 3.5/5 Buttons

 

A book by an author you’ve never read.

ButtonFive Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne (1863)

3 men set off on an adventure to cross Africa in a balloon. The book is exciting, interesting and exceedingly racist. It is very “of it’s time”. But if you can see your way past that particular element, the story itself is very enjoyable, full of peril and thrills.

Rating: 4.5/5 Buttons

 

A popular author’s first book.

Button10 Years in an Open Necked Shirt by Dr. John Cooper Clarke (1983)

I’m not 100% sure whether this is a first book, or a popular author, but it’s the only book of his I could find evidence of and I like him so I read it. It’s a collection of poems – I don’t do poetry as a rule, but i quite like JCC – unfortunately performance poetry does not translate so well into written poetry and quite a lot of the magic was lost.

Rating: 3/5 Buttons

 

A book turned movie you’ve seen but haven’t read.

ButtonThe Lost World by Michael Crichton (1995)

Another book all about dinosaurs, and being chased and possibly eaten by dinosaurs. Once again, Crichton’s writing style is – how should I put it – weird, but very readable, exciting and enjoyable. Another ‘top read’ contender.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book turned TV show you’ve seen but haven’t read.

ButtonThe World of Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse (1981)

This wasn’t written in 1981, just this collection of stories was released in a nice big omnibus. It’s great fun. The collection is a series of long and short comedic tales all centered around Blandings Castle. Wodehouse writes excellent comedy and I enjoyed it immensely.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A funny book.

ButtonThe Pirates! In an Adventure with Moby Dick by Gideon Defoe (2005)

This is the second book in ‘The Pirates!’ series. This one has the pirates attempting to capture Moby Dick in order to collect a reward with which to pay for the expensive new boat the Pirate Captain was suckered into buying. It is hilarious and silly.

See the full review here: Series Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with… (Gideon Defoe)

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book that will make you smarter.

ButtonCoding Unlocked: Scratch and Python: the basic by Hywel Carver (2015)

This book is a fun introduction to computer coding aimed at children, but suitable for anybody who wants to try it out. It focuses on using Scratch to teach basic coding concepts, and then Python to do ‘proper’ text-based coding. It’s a lot of fun and by the end of it you’ll have made a couple of really simple games.

See the full review here: Book Review: Coding Unlocked: Scratch and Python: the basics (Hywel Carver)

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

An award-winning book.

ButtonThe Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (2007)

This was a pretty good detective story with some exciting elements but I thought it pretty much died out towards the end, which was fairly disappointing.

See the full review here: Book Review: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (Michael Chabon)

Rating: 3.5/5 Buttons

 

A book based on a true story.

ButtonPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2003)

An autobiographical graphic novel. I don’t like biographies, auto or otherwise, but I do like graphic novels, especially the ‘alternative’ (as in, not superheroes) ones (although I love superheroes too). Someone recommended this book while I was studying my degree as a bit of an insight into the Iranian Revolution, and it was a very interesting read. I recommend it, but only if you like the medium of graphic novels.

Rating: 4.5/5 Buttons

 

A book chosen for you by a friend.

ButtonNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (2017)

In this book, Neil Gaiman retells a selection of Norse myths in his own style. The book was better than good, but less than excellent. I enjoyed it, and it was a pleasure to read some mythology aimed at someone other than children and academics – I’m not on a mission to find similar books about other pantheons and cultures.

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book set during Christmas.

ButtonHogfather by Terry Pratchett (1996)

It’s Hogswatch Eve on the Discworld and the Hogfather is on his rounds – or at least something like the Hogfather. A hilarious tale of how to kill a God, and the real meaning of Hogswatch! I’ve never read a Pratchett book I didn’t like so perhaps I’m biased, but still…

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

So that’s what I read for this challenge. I’m most of the way through a second and third run of this Badass Books Reading Challenge, so hopefully I’ll finish both before the end of the year.

This was the first time I’ve ever done a reading challenge like this and succeeded. I’ve done X number of books a few times, and they’ve been OK, but the last time I tried with specific categories I got stuck real quick and gave up.

It was a real good experience for me – I read a lot of things I’ve been meaning to read, things that have been on my shelf for ages that I’ve never got around to before. I also read some things I never would have picked up in the past which was fun too. It was a lot of fun.

Last things before I go:

Top 3 of the Challenge:

You gotta pick a top three, so here are mine (Drum roll please):

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You should go out and read these books immediately!!

Finally, a big thank you to mehawkins.com for writing the reading challenge in the first place and getting me reading again!

Reading Challenge: Around the World 2018

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We are mid-way through the year, the sun is shining (although I don’t encourage that sort of thing) and there is a whole world of books just waiting – begging – to be read.

I’ve already started writing the official Ragdoll Reads Reading Challenges for next year, but that seems like such a long way away and there is so much reading to be done. Hence this super special reading challenge, just for you special somebodies who have stumbled upon my humble blog.

The challenge is seven to ten books long, so it should be manageable for most people.

So let’s crack on the with Ragdoll Reads ‘Around the World Reading Challenge 2018!!!

Warning!! Completing this challenge may expand your mind.

Around the World:

First, pick a location:

Africa

Asia

Antarctica / At Sea*

Australia/Oceania

Europe

North America

South America

Think about the author, the story or the characters. Perhaps your author is from a country in Asia, or the story is about a town in some part of Africa, maybe the main character in the book is from Australia – fairly simple.

*This one seemed prohibitively difficult as just Antarctica, so I added At Sea for ease of use.

Then pick a category:

Author From The Same Continent

Author or Story based in a Developing Nation*

LGBTQIA+ Author, characters or themes

Female Author

P.O.C Author

Pick any of these five categories – they should be fairly self explanatory. These categories will be applied to our location choices and hopefully narrow down our choices a bit. Also, they should help us find authors from demographics we might miss out on normally. You can use any category for any continent, you don’t have to use them all.

*within the continent you picked. If you aren’t sure which countries count as ‘developing’, click here for a link to the United Nations classifications.

Then pick a book that fits both!!

For example:

Asia + Female Author = Wandering Son by Shimura Takako (Japan)

Africa + Developing Nation = Links by Nuruddin Farah (Somalia)

When you’ve finished one, move on to the next continent until you’ve read one from all seven!!

If you finish those and still want more, here are some bonus locations. Pick a bonus location and a category, find a book and read it.

Bonus Locations:

At Sea

In Space

A Made Up Land

You can download a neat little chart (.pdf) so you can keep track of your progress!

Ragdoll Reads Around the World Reading Challenge 2018

So there is is, the Ragdoll Reads Around the World Reading Challenge 2018. I really hope you enjoy it – it’s definitely worth doing!!

If you feel like giving this challenge a go, leave me a comment below. If you’re feeling really lovely, share it with your friends – the more the merrier. Oh, and if you find something really amazing let me know so I can give it a read!!

Have fun somebodies!! Find some excellent books.

<3<3<3

Coming Soon(ish)!! – Watch this space!!

Coming soon – a reading challenge for all.

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Will you take the challenge? 24 individual categories plus a special bonus wildcard category for the holidays!

Sound overwhelming? Perhaps you don’t read much yet, or you don’t have much time. Maybe you read slowly, or just feel like something a little simpler! HAVE NO FEAR! At ragdollreads.co.uk, we’ve got your back! We made a 12 category (plus smaller, but just as special wildcard) challenge JUST FOR YOU!!

Whatever your level, we want to get you reading! So stay tuned, and get ready to take the plunge into reading next year!