30 before 30: Challenge 1, Reading List.
This year I have challenged myself, as part of my 30 before 30, to read all the books I own but have never read. Below, I’ve listed each book and included a bit of context as to why they are on my shelf unread! I’ll be reviewing them as I go both on here and on Instagram.
Find the full 30 before 30 blog post below:
The below were all Christmas presents this year. As you can tell, I’m a big Agatha Christie fan.
- Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie.
- Endless Night by Agatha Christie.
- Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie.
- The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie.
- The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie.
- Victorian Murderesses by Mary S. Hartman.
Other recent acquisitions:
- Daemon Voices: Essays on Storytelling by Philip Pullman.
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.
(Yes, another one!)
- The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey.
- Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier.
- The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier.
I didn’t buy this one, it was leant to me by my mum towards the end of last year (and was originally my Grandma’s). Never the less new to the shelf. Daphne du Maurier is another of my favourite authors, Rebecca is my favourite book of all time.
- Word Perfect by Susie Dent.
I bought it last year when I started writing but have been waiting for the 1st of Jan to start reading it as it features a word for every day of the year.
- Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy: Raising and Training a Happy Puppy by Steve Mann.
Better get to the end of this one sharpish!
- The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson.
I’m a bit obsessed with Psychopaths at the moment after listening to audiobook versions of “Surrounded by Psychopaths” by Thomas Erikson and “The Psychopath Whisper” By Kent Kiehl. I’m secretly trying to pseudo-diagnose everyone I know. Beware psychopaths, I’m on to you!
- The Ickabog by J.K Rowling.
Also a massive J.K fan (who isn’t) so bought this latest one as soon as it was released. I’ve been a bit scared to read it just incase it doesn’t live up to my 90’s child expectations of a J.K Rowling fairytale.
Not so recent buys (but nether the less unread):
- London Stories by Various Authors (Edited by Jerry White).
Bought this years ago because the cover was pretty, haven’t looked at it since.
- A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R Martin.
I read all of the game of thrones novels (in surprisingly quick succession considering how long they all are) a few years ago. I bought this as a sort of temporary replacement for the long-awaited final book in the series, “The Winds of Winter”. (Only to realise that it obviously wouldn’t be quite as satisfying).
- The Book of Dave by Will Self.
- The Bat by Jo Nesbo.
- The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett.
I did my degree in Theology and wrote my dissertation about witches. I love all things magic and witchcraft, so there are quite a few of these, both fiction and factual:
- Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction by Malcolm Gaskill.
- A Little Bit of Runes: An Introduction to Norse Divination by Cassandra Eason.
- The Witches: Salem, 1692 A History by Stacy Schiff.
- Witches: James I and the English Witch-Hunts by Tracy Borman.
- Religion and the Decline of Magic by Keith Thomas.
- The Familiars by Stacey Halls.
- A Large Gin and Slim at the Black Gate Inn by Tracy Whitwell.
This is actually an indie-published book by one of my parents’ neighbours. I’m currently about halfway through.
- Between Two Worlds by Malcolm Gaskill.
- Old World New World: The Story of Britain and America by Kathleen Burk.
The last two are not strictly witchcraft or magic related but are related in terms of context, particularly when it comes to the Salem witch hunts. This was the subject of my dissertation’s (6 or 7 years ago now!).
Young adult/ children’s fiction:
I write mainly young adult fantasy fiction, so I also read a lot of young adult and children’s fantasy fiction. Figures:
- The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
- The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson.
- The Witcher: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski.
- The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman.
- The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman.
The Northern Lights was one of my favourite books as a child, it’s such a shame that I didn’t read the last two books of the series when I was younger! However, a few years ago, I bought a copy of the whole trilogy in one publication.
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.
I’ve actually read most of this already. I have a bit of a habit of getting distracted with the next new shiny book a couple of chapters before the end of the one I’m currently reading. Inevitably, those last few chapters end up being abandoned.
- Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb.
I read the first book in this series, Assassin’s Apprentice,” and really enjoyed it. So much so that I ordered the next in the series immediately on finishing the first, I just never read it!
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.
I’ve started reading this so many times over the years and have never made it past the first few pages. Other classics on the shelf that I haven’t made it through yet include:
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
- The Children of Men by P.D James.
- The Odyssey by Homer.
Here come all the surplus holiday reads:
- Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough.
- He Said She Said by Erin Kelly.
- Mine by J.L Butler.
- Into the Water by Paula Hawkins.
- The Missing Wife by Sheila O’Flanagan.
- I am Missing by Tim Weaver.
- The Circle by Dave Eggers.
- The Binding by Bridget Collins.
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.
I’ve read ‘The Handmaids Tale’ and actually really hated it, but my mum gave me this insisting that it’s not quite as harrowing as the first in the series. Others recommended or gifted (usually by my parents) include:
- The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan.
- The Good People by Hannah Kent.
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.
- One Summer America 1927 by Bill Bryson.
- Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
Excited to read this one. It’s been recommended to me, time and time again.
The Tudors are another childhood infatuation that has continued into my adult life. I love reading historical or historical fiction, particularly about the untold women’s stories of the age:
- The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir.
- Elizabeth’s Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen by Tracy Borman.
- The Kingmakers Daughter by Philippa Gregory.
- The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory.
- The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory.
- She Wolves: The Notorious Queens of England by Elizabeth Norton.
I’m not particularly into feminist fiction, but it did go through a bit of a boom in popularity a couple of summers ago, and I ended up with these on my shelf:
- Vox by Christina Dalcher.
- The Power by Naomi Alderman.
Books with TV/ film adaptations:
There are quite a few in this list that I picked up after watching the TV or film adaptation, but for one reason or another didn’t end up reading:
- SS-GB by Len Deighton.
- The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins.
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
- Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty.
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman.
One of my all-time favourite films! I bought the book as I thought it was about time I read the original.
These are all books that I actually bought for my boyfriend. He hasn’t read them yet, and I feel someone should!:
- Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright & Bradley Hope.
- Chernobyl by Serhii Plokhy.
- Forces of Nature by Brian Cox.
And finally, more of the started but yet unfinished:
- The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken (Anonymous Author).
I bought this one after reading ‘This is Going to Hurt’ by Adam Kay, thinking it would be similar (fun anecdotal snippets of real case). I started reading it last year and found it a bit of a slog (I’ve read the first 3 chapters). Although there are examples of cases in it, it’s more of an in-depth look at the British legal system and its problems. Despite being written to be accessible to us common folk, I found it very wordy. Not particularly looking forward to picking this one up again.
- Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay.
I read most of this last Christmas but had to stop because it was making me queasy. One to read lying down, I think.
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
Yet another book that I abandoned halfway through. I really enjoyed the first half but found the second half started to slow in pace. It is, however, one of those books that I always think “I really should finish reading that!”.
- Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.
95% of the way through this one. The only reason I haven’t finished it is merely that it is such a weighty book, I didn’t want to take it away with me when I only had about 30 pages left! When I got back from wherever I was heading, I forgot all about reading the ending.
So 75 books in total (a satisfyingly round number!), and 49 weeks to read them. Follow me on Instagram for updates and reviews as the year goes on. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you’ve read and enjoyed (or not enjoyed) any of the above or with any tips and tricks, favourite places to read etc. I’d love to hear from you!