Reading down the library list

Some of my favourite bloggers are doing the Reading Down the House, thanks to Dar suggesting it at An Exacting Life (and her latest update here).  Fiona at Declutter is also on board, and I’m sure I’ve missed a few others.  The idea is to set a shortlist of books already owned to get read this year!

I bowed out of the challenge, as I only have two french books in my home I’ve not read, and… I’m not game to stumble through them!

However, I thought I’d let you know about my library list, and which books I’ve read (or did not read!)

Over the holidays, I took out four book:

Screw Business as Usual, Richard Branson

This book I read all the way through, but my overall impression was that it was disjointed.  The book seems to flit all over the place, talking about Branson’s companies’ initiatives, but also other great companies out there, looking at HIV health and the environment and and and.  I think Branson has done well from his previous books, and perhaps thought this book would maintain the momentum, although he does seem genuinely engaged in making the most of his fortune to help others.  His view is that business needs to be involved in solving the world’s issues, and with innovation and well thought out plans, it can be win win.  I do encourage this point of view, I just wish the book had flowed a little better.


1000 years of annoying the French, Stephen Clarke

This book arrived at my library with in the Large Text format designed for those with impaired sight.  The size of the weighty tome intimidated me (which is why Richard skipped the queue).  I did about 80 pages into, but I was still in the days where the French were in England, and the English in France, and everything was still counties or provenances, which is a little tricky to my modern geographic knowledge.  I think I should probably have skipped along to the last 100 years or so, but when I realised my three weeks was up on the loan, I was pretty sure I was unlikely to get through it with a renewal.  I called it a day only part way through.  (I thank Mochimac at SaveSpendSplurge for the recommendation)



Filthy Lucre Joseph Heath

I think both Dar and Fiona have read this book, but sadly, it just went over my head.  I liked the premise of the book, but when I started reading it, I found it hard to keep going.  I got bogged down in incentives!?  I think I get even less pages through this than 1000 years AND I’d already renewed it once already.
Nope, no time to waste on books that don’t draw me in (I like to blame the writer, rather than my feeble inattentive shrinking brain!)


The Street Sweeper Elliot Perlman

On Sunday, I decided to start the last of my book pile, having grown bored with the above two.  Well, did I make a good dent in one day reading this book.  I took to the balcony (with the overpowering smell of Bokashi compost juice I added to water for my ailing lemon tree that I got for my housewarming).  Even with the smell, the breeze kept me there, and I finally got to where the characters start to converge into one story.  I don’t like to guess where stories are going, but I hope they touch a little more on the WWII references, as much as I know they’ll continue with the Civil Rights movement and oppression of African Americans.

There you go – after a long time since my last book review Tuesday, there’s a snappy round up (ok 1 round up and 3 partial round ups!) of the books I’m working through on my library list.  Only 19 more to go (and 84 previous loans, which goes back to Jan 2012).

9 Replies to “Reading down the library list”

  1. Thanks for the link! yes, Filthy Lucre is hard going! I was tempted to bail many times but I read it just before the elections…I felt like I "should" read some economic theory. I really enjoyed it in the end. I've read one Branson book and really enjoyed it. I think he has ADHD…might be why the book is a but disjointed yet full of energy!

    I've nearly finished your French books and will return soon! (I hope you haven't need them…I will get them back if you do!) The Sorbonne one is excellent!

    1. Branson definitely has ADHD and he'd admit it too I think, so that might explain the book better!

      Please, keep the French books as long as they are useful to you – I don't use them at all, and I know they are safe and sound. No hurry, I promise.

      Yeah, Filthy Lucre was just too much for my night time reading – good on you for persevering!

      1. Thanks, Sarah. I'll try my best to keep working on the French books so I can get them back soon! They're really outstanding…but lol I have to actually *work* at them!

  2. I don't have any patience with library books that don't grab me right away – there is too much else to read in the world to waste time on things you don't like! I found Filthy Lucre a hard read but I am an economics buff so I kept going. Just don't ask me to summarize any of the concepts, LOL!

    1. Hahaha I knew I'd have your support for bailing on books, even if you managed to get through it. Now that I have a holocaust book, I'm ploughing through at a rate of knots!

  3. I can't even imagine how long that 1000 years book must've been – it's nearly 700 pages with regular size print, haha 😉 I don't think my to-read list will ever get shorter . . I add to it quicker than I read books from it.

    1. Oh well there you go – it's big even in normal size printing, I feel better now! I have sort of stopped adding books for a while, just to get it under control, but with all the reviews I read online, it won't last long. I used to read the paper to get inspired, but no longer get a hard copy so it's not the same. In that regard, I'm thankful for great readers of books being bloggers!

  4. Street Sweeper is an epic, isn't it? I struggle with these style of books where everyone is somehow linked and it all comes together in the end. Too much coincidence and too contrived. That said, I was engaged by this novel.

    Wish I only had a couple of unread books in my house. I am always tempted to buy and borrow more books than I have time to read.

    1. I am LOVING Street Sweeper, though I do agree it can be a little contrived to tie them all together in the end. I often think 'everything in a story is there for a reason, so what's the reason for this or that', and in some regards then I can guess the plot. I don't like losing the 'surprise' of the story though.

      Almost all the books in my parents house is read by them too – so I suppose I get it from them. Books get devoured!

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