52 books in 52 weeks – Challenge Complete!

Earlier this year when I realised I was spending more time than ever with my head in a book, I set myself the challenge of reading 52 books in 52 weeks in 2015.

Challenge complete!

Among the new titles, the following fiction stood out for me; Nick Hornby’s Funny Girl, Vesna Goldsworthy’s Gorsky and As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust by my absolute favourite, Alan Bradley (not the one who got hit by a tram in Corrie!)

untitled (10)

However,  I found the year’s non-fiction to be even better; the collected lyrics and notes of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, So This Is Permanence, is a thing of heart-breaking beauty to be treasured forever. Gut by Giulia Enders has already been passed around several members of family and friends – a brilliantly interesting, funny and accessible explanation of the behaviour of our bowels!

so this is permancenc

And I have to mention the Welsh singer and a man personally adored by me, Tom Jones, who has written the most excellent and hilarious autobiography Over The Top and Back. A brick of a book which took me almost a month to read though not just due to its doorstep size but also due to re-reading such unrivalled anecdotes (not all about Elvis either!) and collapsing in fits of laughter. Do not read if bad language offends you – this is a man who loves the C word!

gut cover

But overall I tried to vary style, length, age and the classic with the contemporary. I loved every minute. Here’s what I got through, starting with my most recommended titles:


  1. Flappers by Judith Mackrell
  2. Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
  3. Inside Charlie’s Chocolate Factory
  4. So This Is Permanence by Ian Curtis
  5. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  6. Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood
  7. Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime by Oscar Wilde
  8. Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig
  9. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (again!)
  10. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  11. As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust by Alan Bradley
  12. Autobiography by Morrissey (again!)
  13. The Land Where Lemons Grow by Helen Attlee
  14. Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors by Sarah Stodola
  15. Gut by Giulia Enders
  16. Gorsky by Vesna Goldsworthy
  17. Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams
  18. The Red Notebook by Anotine Laurain
  19. Over The Top and Back by Tom Jones
  20. Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M Delafield
  21. Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Aure Saez


  1. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
  2. Rock Stars Stole My Life by Mark Ellen
  3. Last Night At The Viper Room by Gavin Edwards
  4. The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude
  5. The Eve of St.Agnes by John Keats
  6. Going Off Alarming by Danny Baker
  7. Aphorisms of Love and Hate by Nietzsche
  8. The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
  9. A Scream in Soho by John G. Brandon
  10. The Mystery of The Blue Train by Agatha Christie
  11. Spy-Rock Memories by Larry Livermore
  12. The Secrets We Keep by Jonathan Harvey

I also read…

  1. List of The Lost by Morrissey
  2. The Wavewatcher’s Companion
  3. A Sea Change by Veronica Henry
  4. This One is Mine by Maria Semple
  5. Blotton, Twinks and the Rodents of The Riviera by Simon Brett
  6. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  7. Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield
  8. Il Duro by D.H Lawrence
  9. Murder Underground by Mavis Doriel May
  10. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
  11. H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
  12. Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie
  13. Socrates Defence by Plato
  14. The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engers
  15. The Dead Father’s Club by Matthew Haig
  16. The Strange Library by Murakami
  17. Moomin Summer Madness by Tove Jansson
  18. Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon
  19. Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie



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