Just talk: I read 20 books!

I finished reading Steelstriker today, sequel to Skyhunter and now I have read 20 books this year! I like ending the year on round numbers :stuck_out_tongue: Maybe it’s not a hundred, but it’s the highest count I’ve had in a long while for novels. And one of them was over 850 pages.

I count this as a good win.

Also, most of the books were really good books, so that was nice. So…yeah, that’s it :stuck_out_tongue: I just wanted to make an entire thread for this major bookish accomplishment of mine. Oh, and I started TikTok kind of (@ foxwood_reads if you’re interested).

How’s everyone doing? :wink:


Very nice!

The longest book I read this year was just under 750 pages. I used to smash fantasy door-stoppers one after another when I was younger. Now it’s a massive chore. I choke at anything above 600 pages. Been getting into 100 - 200 page novels lately.

I’m at 30 books and counting this year. All of my library holds came in suddenly so I’m trying to figure out which titles I wanna prioritise.


Alright I suppose.

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I downloaded Yonder, the cooler Wattpad app, and am not impressed by the limited collection.

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According to Goodreads, the longest book I read this year was 5,272 pages, but that was the complete Claymore manga. ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯

The shortest book, conversely, was 24 pages.


Same here. The long ones feel so brutal :weary:


I usually average between 30-50 books per year, this year I’ll come in at around 35, so a bit less than average :grin:


That’s still pretty good though.

How was the reading year? Any good books?
Any bad books? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Tell me the best 3 books you’ve read, and the worst 3 books you’ve read :wink:

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So, tell me, what are some awesome books you’ve read this year? And what are some of the worst ones? :stuck_out_tongue: And if you’ve got time, why were they horrible (without spoilers)?

Oooh, the best three are easy. Omg lurve! (ღ˘ᴗ˘ღ) :heavy_heart_exclamation:애! :heart:

A Confederacy of Dunces
Normal People
Sea of Tranquility

The worst three are a little harder. There are so many to choose from. I hated so many books that other people love. I hated The Alchemist, I hated The Prophet, I hated The Sheltering Sky and The Sorrows of Young Werther. I hated Spring by Ali Smith. But if I had to pick the absolute worst, it would be these:

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Leaves of Grass
The Epic of Gilgamesh


I read 3 books… the longest was 375 pages lol


Here are the five best books in no particular order.

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

This book gripped me like nothing else this year. It follows the lives and doings of a pastor’s family in 1970s America. A large chunk of it occurs in one night. These characters are so distinct, and the language switches to aid the different viewpoints (the soul-searching pastor, the unhappy manic mother, the moral hippy elder son, the socialite teen daughter, the erudite drug-addict younger son). Their goals all link to one another, and they have to navigate through the secrets, tensions and power structures within the family. And wider, they question morality, religion, and their place in a changing America amid the Vietnam war and ongoing racial tensions.

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

Tholukuthi this book was wild! Not just because all the characters were animals but also because it really happened. It recounts the downfall of Mugabe’s reign, the coup d’état, the corruption, hypocrisy and the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe post 2017. Tholukuthi it’s at both hilarious and deeply troubling. The most inventive book I’ve read this year — Bulawayo is a true original who plays with language and narrative in a wonderful and engrossing way. Unputdownable. (Tholukuthi is an expression used throughout the book)

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

Romeo & Juliet but make it gay and traumatic. In fair Glasgow, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny between Catholics and Protestants, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean, and people speak in Scots indeed, from forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-cross’d lovers find comfort in each other from their abusive working-class households. It’s beautiful, and surprisingly humorous.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

Part murder-mystery, part animal rights & conservation manifesto, part astrology encyclopaedia. It’s radical. It’s visceral. It’s urgent. It’s powerful — so much so that when this book came out, Tokarczuk was labelled an ‘eco-terrorist’. Does it incite violence? No. I, the most radical of all the radicals, didn’t want to blow up that damn pipe I’ve been meaning to blow up for a while. Instead I broke down and cried at the beauty and horror of life when she talks about it in a passage. It made me think, it made rethink some of the choices I’ve been making lately. Janina is one of my favourite characters ever, she’s unapologetic, she stands her ground, she gets things done.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In true GGM fashion, it’s not a straightforward love story. Fermina and Florentino remain apart for most of the book. They live separate lives, keeping each other in the distant periphery. What struck me deep is the musings on getting older, how affection and love transforms, how people change, how love perceived as so all-encompassing when you’re young is in actuality very silly. The language is ever-poetic, there’s an aura of romance, the setting and the language are almost characters in their own right. I’m really smug that I convinced my therapist to read it because I kept bringing it up in sessions.

I don’t want to talk about the actual worst book I read. Here are some disappointing ones instead.

The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty

I didn’t know what I was expecting to be honest. There was a lot of hype around it. There still is a lot of hype around it, it keeps appearing on best-of-year lists, and it was shortlisted for the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize (UK) and won the National Book Award (US), which is a big deal for a debut author.

My gripe with it is the ‘debut author-ness’ of it all. It reads like someone’s MFA workshop draft, too many big sociological ideas crammed into a discombobulated narrative that follows the worst characters. It’s about de-industrialisation, dying towns, cheap apartment complexes, shitty neighbours, abusive teachers, city planning, mommy issues, random saints, bizarre out-of-body experiences, animal cruelty… and the point? A self-indulgent spiel about capitalism that is a thinly-veiled allegory for sex abuse? It’s a lot.

I beg to ask this book the questions that everybody needs to ask themselves before writing a novel. Why should this story exist? Why should people care? Why should it be told in a novel? Why should you (Tess Gunty) be the one to tell this story? Why why why? At least the MFA taught Tess Gunty to write pretty sentences.

Legacies by L.E Modesitt Jr (spoilers but I’d argue it’s genre conventions and also literally nobody cares about this book and goodluck tryna find it in print if you do)

I picked this book up because I was craving good ol’ sword and sorcery fantasy with those cheesy book covers. I went to the charity shops to find one, and lo! There it was. All six books with weird covers. I bought two, planning to return to get the rest if I liked it enough.

What I got was the most boring drawl of military fantasy with a pathetic main character, and worse side characters. It took a while to get the story going, the main character Billybob needed to grow up on a farm and talk to sheep (what is it with these farmboys?) and find the sorry love of his life before anything happened. Blah blah. And when the story got going? It was a confusing mess of army strategising, battles, schoolyard bullying, Billybob being the best soldier that’s ever walked the earth ever and whatnot. I didn’t care if the troops died, I didn’t care if Billybob was captured, I didn’t care about the awful antagonist who died uneventfully. All I cared about was whether Billybob’s annoying granddad would die. And Mr. Modesitt Jr wouldn’t even give me that pleasure.

I make it sound more egregious than it is. It was fine. It was pretty standard. I just don’t care for fantasy anymore. This book cemented it. At least my money went to save cats :cat:


Manga is bizarre because it is usually split into several volumes, and a picture can be worth a thousand words, so page count can be difficult to calculate.


Tess Gunt might have to go to the hospital after that severe burn you just gave her.

Rabbit Hutch sounds like if I made my dream journal into a literary novel.


If you hated The Epic of Gilgamesh, would you enjoy the story of Osiris more?

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:exploding_head: :flushed:

It might even be safe to say that you read twenty-one books since that’s like two average-sized books there. :rofl:

But otherwise, congrats on that! :partying_face:

I finally finished my eighteenth book for the year, and I have quite a few days off of work (I go back to work this upcoming Tuesday (the 27th), then I get Wednesday off because I work between Thursday to Saturday. But then I get the New Year off (the first and second) and then a full two-day weekend after working for four days (and I say this because I’ll have to work the following Saturday, the 14th, afterward). So I’m gonna be starting a new book and hopefully get it finished before the first, and if not, at least right after. :sweat_smile:

OOOH. Now I gotta go look for you! :3


I’ll have to check my goodreads account…
I finished “The Expanse” series which is definitely worth a read, and started the Wheel of Time and it’s seems pretty good so far. Also finished the witcher series which is a must miss unless you like being bored by a professional bore :joy:
But the best book of the year was : Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky


I knew it. I should’ve gotten this one when it was on sale.

Is this the one by Paulo Coelho?


Between the three, what was the best one?