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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Why did it take me so long to discover this book!?
I have to admit, the first chapter was one of the most tedious chapters I’ve read during this 100 book challenge. I was ready to give it the flick. Then a word here and there piqued my interest… there was a deep mystery, albeit so slightly mentioned, and from that page on I was hooked.
This one was spooky! Similar to Wuthering Heights, this one kept me awake at night wondering if the noises outside my window were in fact coming from a vampire. It may sound crazy, but while I was reading this book, it seemed to consume me and my real-world thoughts, and everywhere I looked I saw things that reminded me of the book.
My third Austen book (but only my second ‘official count’ for the 100 book challenge) was Persuasion. I didn’t have high hopes, considering I found Pride and Prejudice such a struggle and I was getting very little sleep thanks to my two, albeit adorable, ratbags.
I’d bought Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion from MacLeans and knew I needed to tackle one of them. So of course I chose the latter, being the one with the fewer pages.
Finally an Austen girl I can relate to!
Wuthering Heights, the song, is the soundtrack of my early childhood. My mother would pull the Kate Bush record from its sleeve and put it on the player, then dance around the loungeroom in all her glory.
Wuthering Heights, the book, I knew nothing about. But guess what song was stuck in my head for the entire 52 days it took me to read it?