Sunday, 12 August 2012

Slow Publishing and the 2012 BBC top 100 books

 So, a writing buddy of mine has decided to slow publish his book - slow publish? What's that? I'm so glad you asked because it's a very innovative way of creating interest in your novel - you give it away for free but in a modern day Charles Dickens way - installments by email. Clever, eh? 

 Interested? You can sign up here to receive emails which contain small installments of the book, The Soles of My Shoes. Or, you can buy the book in it's glorious entirety here for a real live paperback version and also here for your Kindle - go on, buy it! Support a new author!! 

I have purchased my copy and it is eagerly waiting, impatiently nudging aside the classics and non-fiction titles on my Kindle, waiting to be read alongside a nice cup of tea and a stack of biscuits (or cake. Probably cake. Lemon drizzle as I just received a big bag of lemons fresh off a lemon tree. Delicious).

On the subject of reading, I recently increased the number of books on my Goodreads Challenge from 50 to 60 but seeing as I am now at 49, I think I might increase it to 80. That's a proper challenge. With 20 weeks to go, I think it can be done and I am going to try and fit a few classics in there too so it's not just short or easy to read books (that would be cheating and there's no point in cheating if it's just cheating yourself, is there?) - I'm currently wading through A Tale of Two Cities but I fancy it will be hard going. Looks like The Soles of My Shoes will be read much sooner than anticipated! 

 In fact, my plan is to cross another 17 books off the 2012 BBC top 100 books to read before you die (or 'book'et list - you know, like bucket list... clever, right? RIGHT?) list so that I have read a very respectable 60 out of 100. 

That's not going to be easy as the 57 books I haven't read from that list are mostly classics or modern literary novels that I thought about reading for about, oh, a nanosecond. Anyway, if I manage to get to 60, then I'll have read ten times the amount of titles off that list that your everyday Joe has read (according to the Beeb but I'm not so sure about that. Surely not? Please, surely not). 

If you want to see how many you've read and either be horrified or enormously smug, here's the current list:

 1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings - J R R Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series - J K Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Bible
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - C S Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C S Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - L M Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - A S Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Colour Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E B White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

How many of these have you read? Let me know in the comments (not to sound pathetic but it would be nice to have some interaction here - please, please? Ok, that was pathetic but I'm not taking it back). Join in the challenge of getting to 60 or 75 or even 100 but I can tell you now that I will never get to 100. I cannot bring myself to read the entire bible or Ulysses. Just never gonna happen. And I probably won't ever get through Dune  - have you seen the size of that book - it's probably longer than the bible (but also, I suspect, way better. However, I'm going to have to cheat on this one and just watch the film - it  has Sting and Kyle MacLachlan in it and the really pretty girl from Twin Peaks - how could it possibly be bad?).

 I figure there's at least 5 books I will never actually pick up even to flick through although, having said that, I did manage to plod my way rather painfully through Madame Bovary which I think is quite possibly the most boring book I have ever read. Say what you will about Stephenie Meyer but at least she keeps it entertaining (flame me in the comments if you will but each to their own and all that)...


  1. Thank you! Have you read it yet, have you, have you? When you have, put on a review, yeah? :)

    How's Oz? You've started an exodus - I'm buggering off to Colombia!

  2. Wowsers - Columbia? Are you hitching across?!? Are you there already?? Do you speak Spanish? Shall I stop asking questions now?

    As for your book, read it and loved it - will try to fit in a review this weekend for you. How's the experiment going? Well I hope! xox