Tuesday, 20 December 2016

You Decide Challenge 2017

A few weeks ago, I set you all a challenge. You were given the opportunity to choose 12 books for me to read through out the next year. I got an overwhelming amount of entries. So I put them into a number generator to pick which books I should read. 
Here are the books chosen by you, for me to read next year. 

January 
The Truth by Terry Pratchett - chosen by Katherine Corr

Summary 
William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld's first newspaper. New printing technology means that words just won't obediently stay nailed down like usual. There's a very real threat of news getting out there.
Now he must cope with the traditional perils of a journalist's life - people who want him dead, a recovering vampire with a suicidal fascination for flash photography, some more people who want him dead in a different way and, worst of all, the man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes.
William just wants to get at THE TRUTH. Unfortunately, everyone else wants to get at William. And it's only the third edition...

February
The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt - chosen by Harry Ballweber

Summary
Owen and Rose are facing serious challenges to their married life of routine and monotony as New York City grows and changes around them. They spend most Sundays apart; while Rose buries herself in crosswords and newspapers, Owen visits gay porn theaters. But when they discover they may lose their apartment and their son, prompted by his new relationship, reveals his homosexuality, their lives cannot continue as they were. Owen and Rose are forced to confront not only their son's revelation but also Owen's latent homosexuality.

March

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier
Chosen by Fiona Hilder

Summary

Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in making Philip his heir, knowing he will treasure his beautiful Cornish estate. But Philip's world is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and then dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances. 
Before long, the new widow - Philip's cousin Rachel - arrives in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, mysterious woman. But could she have masterminded Ambrose's death?

April 
Posession by A.S. Byatt
Chosen by Mary Mayfield 

Summary
Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once a literary detective novel and a triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars investigating the lives of two Victorian poets. Following a trail of letters, journals and poems they uncover a web of passion, deceit and tragedy, and their quest becomes a battle against time.

May 
Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith
Chosen by Kate Beeden

Summary
Isabel lives in Portland, Oregon and works in a library, repairing damaged books. She longs to visit the destinations revealed in their pages. Her daydreams are peopled by memories from her Alaskan childhood, the glaciers that are being lost. Meanwhile, she's just the tiniest bit lonely and lovelorn. The object of her affection, a soldier recently returned from Afghanistan who also works in the basement of the library, seems equally quiet and so perhaps it's no surprise that their contact has been limited to only snatched moments. But today is the day that will all change. Isabel is determined to finally open up to him, to find the perfect vintage dress for this evening's party, and to invite him along. But, of course, life rarely happens as we plan it.

June 
The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin 
Chosen by Sarah Baker and Sara Grant

Summary
A.J. Fikry owns a failing bookshop. His wife has just died, in tragic circumstances. His rare and valuable first edition has been stolen. His life is a wreck. 
Amelia is a book rep, with a big heart, and a lonely life.
Maya is the baby left on A.J.'s bookshop floor with a note. 
What happens in the bookshop that changes the lives of these seemingly normal but extraordinary characters?
This is the story of how unexpected love can rescue you and bring you back to real life, in a world that you won't want to leave, with characters that you will come to love.

July
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Chosen by Sally Ridgewell Smith, seconded by Carly Bennett

Summary
Trisha has only veered a little way off the trail. But in her panic to get back to the path, Trisha takes a turning that leads into the tangled undergrowth. Deeper and deeper in the terrifying woods. 
At first it's just the bugs, midges and mosquitoes. Then comes the hunger. For comfort she tunes her Walkman into broadcasts of the Red Sox baseball games and the performances of her hero Tom Gordon. 
As darkness begins to fall, Trisha realises that she is not alone. There's something else in the woods - watching. Waiting ...

August
The Safest Lie by Angela Cerrito
Chosen by Candy Gourlay

Summary
In 1940, nine-year-old Anna Bauman and her parents are among 300,000 Polish Jews struggling to survive the wretched conditions in the Warsaw ghetto. Anna draws the attention of Jolanta (the code name for the real-life Resistance spy Irena Sendler, who smuggled hundreds of children out of the ghetto.) Jolanta wants to help Anna escape. Anna s mother drills her day and night, teaching her a new identity, that of Roman Catholic Anna Karwolska. Soon, Anna is whisked out of Warsaw to a Catholic orphanage and then to a foster family. Her story is a suspenseful and deeply moving account of the sacrifices endured, the dangers faced, and the heroism demonstrated by courageous young victims, their parents and their saviors.

September
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Chosen by Ashleigh Thompson 

Summary
Lames Frey wakes up on a plane, with no memory of the preceding two weeks. His face is cut and his body is covered with bruises. He has no wallet and no idea of his destination. He has abused alcohol and every drug he can lay his hands on for a decade - and he is aged only twenty-three.
What happens next is one of the most powerful and extreme stories ever told. His family takes him to a rehabilitation centre. And James Frey starts his perilous journey back to the world of the drug and alcohol-free living. His lack of self-pity is unflinching and searing.
A Million Little Pieces is a dazzling account of a life destroyed and a life reconstructed. It is also the introduction of a bold and talented literary voice.

October
The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
Chosen by Julie Baby

Summary
Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a book pulping factory in a job he hates, he has but one pleasure in life . . .
Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain recites aloud from pages he has saved from the jaws of his monstrous pulping machine. And it's this release of words into the world that starts our hero on a journey that will finally bring meaning into his life. 
For one morning, Guylain discovers the diary of a lonely young woman: Julie. A woman who feels as lost in the world as he does. As he reads from these pages to a rapt audience, Guylain finds himself falling hopelessly in love with their enchanting author . . .


November

Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson
Chosen by Virginie Busette

Summary

It is the amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, for example a good job, a loving relationship, money or possessions, health or spiritual peace of mind. The maze is where you look for what you want, perhaps the organisation you work in, or the family or community you live in. The problem is that the cheese keeps moving.
In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change in their search for the cheese. One of them eventually deals with change successfully and writes what he has learned on the maze walls for you to discover. You'll learn how to anticipate, adapt to and enjoy change and be ready to change quickly whenever you need to. 
Discover the secret of the writing on the wall for yourself and enjoy less stress and more success in your work and life. Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights will last a lifetime.

December
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Chosen by Sya Bruce

Summary
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.
***
So that's my You Decide reads set up for next year. It's going to be really interesting reading the books that you have all loved. There are some unusual ones on there that I would never have thought of picking up. 
Roll on 2017!









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