35. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (100 book challenge)

A few chapters in to Bridget Jones’s Diary I was feeling a little bored. After recently reading the complex and multi-layered novels of Confederacy of Dunces, Rebecca and Dracula, Bridget Jones seemed all to simple and predictable.

A few more chapters in I was hooked and had to quickly eat my words. This book was fun to read.

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34. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole (100 book challenge)

Have I ever read a book as perfect as this one? I think not.

Every single page of this story was enjoyable to read. I had never heard of this book before seeing it on the 100 Book Challenge list, so I had no idea of what to expect. The bizarre title and inconspicuous author name gave me no clues either. So I just opened the book and began to read.

Confederacy of dunces cover

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33. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown (100 book challenge)

Cringe.

So I have to admit I enjoyed reading this book. I enjoyed reading it 10 years ago on holiday to Thailand and I enjoyed reading it now. So why am I cringing as I type?

The Da Vinci Code is fun to read. It’s an adventure puzzle book for grown-ups. It has you, the reader, cracking the codes just minutes before the main characters work them out. At first, it made me feel super smart, but when I actually thought about it… that’s when my opinion of this book shifted.

Da Vinci Code cover

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32. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (100 book challenge)

When I started this 100 book challenge in 2014 with my son just 11 months old, I kinda hoped that we’d be reading the kids books together… And yes, Roald Dahl has made that dream a reality.

At the library one day, this book literally (and literarily?) jumped out at us. We took it home and I started reading it to my 5 year old, then I later realised that it was a book on my list!

Charlie Choc

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31. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold (100 book challenge)

This book took me four days to read. Every waking minute during those four days I was obsessed with getting back to the book. When I finally read that last page I was relieved: I could go back  onto focusing my daily life again.

But would I recommend you read this book? I’m not sure.

Lovely Bones cover

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Top ten books loved by my 5 year old

What difference a year makes! Last year the list was full of picture books and junior non-fiction. This year we’ve made a sudden change to a) chapter books that we read before bed over a number of weeks, sometimes months, or b) books my son reads himself. And it’s a whole new and exciting world!

It’s amazing what 6 months of school can do. Our boy who wasn’t interested in reading anything other than his own name is now reads absolutely everything. And I mean everything. From sign-posts and cereal boxes to TV captions and toothpaste tubes… if it has a word on it, my 5 year old will be right there sounding out each of the l-l-l-e-e-t-t-t-er-er-er-s… letters!

Treehouse

1. The 26-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

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Top ten books loved by my (other) 2 year old

Our little girl is two! It feels like it should be a lot older than that because 1) she certainly makes her presence known, and 2) we can’t imagine a life without her.

A year ago I listed her top ten books and I’m thrilled that her obsession with books has continued. She’s an active little thing, and reading seems to be the only way we can keep her still. When I sit on the lounge she snuggles in so closely, and hangs off every word.

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1. Peppa Goes Ice Skating by Ladybird

Ahhhh, Peppa Pig. Where do I start?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s no wonder it’s a popular TV show. Easy storylines. Short, 5-minute episodes. But since the introduction of brilliant, modern shows like Bluey, I’m starting to get sick of the whole ‘Daddy Pig is hopeless’ and ‘girls-do-this-and-boys-do-that’ attitudes that seem to plague every Pig episode.

My daughter, of course, thinks Peppa is amazing. And you don’t argue with a 2-year old.

Peppa Goes Ice Skating is one of her favourite books and it’s actually quite enjoyable to read. My daughter likes to check that Miss Rabbit is handing out the right skates for Daddy, Mummy, Peppa and George, and enjoys running her fingers over the loopy trail Peppa has left in the in the ice.

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