#fiftybookchallenge 2016

Ridiculously, the easiest so far! I think I got a head start this year which saved me from a couple of months of barely getting through a page. Here we go; the full list, followed by the highlights:

  1. The Sunshine Kid by Harry Baker
  2. The Magician’s Nephew by CS Lewis
  3. The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
  4. The Haunting of Nathaniel Wolfe by Brain Keaney
  5. Every Day by David Levithan
  6. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  7. The Hunted by Alex Shearer
  8. Monster by CJ Skuse
  9. Noggin by John Corey Whaley
  10. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
  11. The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  12. Ein Ganzes Leben by Robert Seethaler
  13. Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
  14. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  15. Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  16. The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett
  17. The Revenant by Michael Punke
  18. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
  19. Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl
  20. Locke and Key by Joe Hill
  21. The Accident by CL Taylor
  22. We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
  23. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  24. High Challenge, Low Threat by Mary Myatt
  25. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  26. The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgewick
  27. Doll by Nicky Singer
  28. A Song for Ella Grey
  29. The Lie Tree by Frances Harding
  30. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  31. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  32. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
  33. Asking for It by Louise O’Neill
  34. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
  35. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
  36. A Little Book of Language by David Crystal
  37. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
  38. Reading Reconsidered by Doug LeMov
  39. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  40. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  41. Feed by MT Anderson
  42. When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
  43. Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
  44. Land by Alec Campbell
  45. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  46. The Girl with all the Gifts by MR Carey
  47. Alice by Christina Henry
  48. Nod by Adrian Barnes
  49. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
  50. The Girls by Lori Lansens
  51. The Moth by Catherine Burns

This year’s lot has definitely been my favourite to date! Although I’m still heavy on the YA fiction (soon to be rectified by Fiona Ritson’s 52books challenge including a couple of classics, eek!), a lot of the reads this year have been recommendations without prior knowledge of the author.

ALL TIME FAVE Burial Rites, Hannah Kent’s debut was a book that I really enjoyed reading. Now I know that sounds obvious but whilst I like the plotlines or ideas behind a story, I very rarely enjoy a book so much that I relish the process itself ( I rush read, a lot!)- this book made me slow down. The main character represents so many aspects and faces of society that the story stayed with me for a long time after reading.

ONE FOR THE BOYS Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. This book sparked so much discussion with male students whilst I was reading it, that we ended up in the middle of a non-fiction lesson using an extract from Chris McCandless’ diary to consider the bravery/naivety of such a boy.

CLASSROOM VALUE Reading Reconsidered by Doug LeMov has completely flipped the way I approach reading within the classroom and ultimately contributed to overhauling reading strategies within the department. LeMov provides an accessible way to teach reading to students, uncovering the mistakes that teachers often make through unknowingly missing out the ‘steps’ to effectively accessing a text. A complete game changer for any teacher.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT Harry Baker is wonderful. Running poetry club last year left me scouring the internet for performance poets and along with Jess Green, George the Poet, Harry’s TED Talk is definitely on my most watched. He’s marvellously endearing and his collection of poetry will warm your heart.

DISAPPOINTMENT Alice by Christina Henry- I am a huge Alice fan and this attempted new take on a ‘what Alice did next’ was painfully slow and incredibly difficult to understand what the eventual point was. If I had been Alice, I would have given up and headed back the way I came by the third chapter, tops.

IF YOU ONLY READ ONE Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. The way that Haig celebrates the ‘weaknesses’ of humanity, along with the incredibly personal voice to his previous self took my breath away and I hope that one day, society will be as honest as he is with the topic of mental health.

If you have any recommendations, please tweet me or find me via Goodreads- I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone! I am happy to chat about anything I’ve read too. I mean it when I say that this year has been a fantastic one for books- there are so many on this list that I could happily pass on to others. Here’s to another wonderful year of reading 🙂


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