Category Archives: 100 book challenge

36. Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy (100 book challenge)

I thoroughly enjoyed this one too!

As I progress through this 100 Book Challenge I’m loving books more and more. Am I becoming the more discerning reader? Perhaps. I find I’m worrying less about how many pages I have to go and I simply enjoy the ride.

Far from the Madding Crowd was full of love- and hate-able characters, countryside that felt like home (my parents were born in England and so many of my family’s stories involve adventures in the south), and short, engaging chapters where there’s always something happening.

far from the madding crowd book cover

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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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30. Emma – Jane Austen (100 book challenge)

It takes me about half a book of Austen before I start enjoying it. That first half is always such a struggle. I’m constantly looking at the page numbers and monitoring whether I’m a tenth through, a fifth through, a third through…

And then, just when I’m thinking I can’t possibly go on, something takes over. I am connected to each of the characters, I understand what drives them, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Emma cover

I wasn’t particularly drawn to Emma herself – she is the classic 19th century English woman, and somewhat annoying with her matchmaking – but the characters who surround her are brilliant. It always amazes me how I can read about people from the early 1800s and can immediately think of someone I know who has the exact same characteristics. Technology has changed so much over time… but it hasn’t done anything to change human nature.

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