Eclectic Reading Challenge – Update

I decided to broaden my reading this year and take part in BookdOut’s Eclectic Reading Challenge 2012.

First of all, a big THANK YOU for your comments and suggestions on which books I should read in 2012.

I’ve set up a page to track the challenge and will add the books I’ve chosen for each genre as soon as I’ve decided what they are going to be. Once I’ve finished reading each book, part of the challenge is to write and post a review. Links to my reviews will appear on that page as they are completed.

I’ve listed the titles you’ve suggested below. Please feel free to continue to leave comments on books or authors you think I should consider. And yes, it is perfectly acceptable for you to suggest your own work. 🙂


Literary Fiction

  • The Broken Shore by Peter Temple
  • The Local News by Miriam Gershow
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Crime/Mystery Fiction

  • Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Jasper Fforde books
  • Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series

Romantic Fiction

  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

Historical Fiction

  • River in the Sea by Tina Boscha

Young Adult

  • Philip Pullman’s dark materials trilogy
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle


  • Titus Groan and Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke
  • Ursula K. Le Guin novels
  • Game of Thrones by George R R Martin
  • Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
  • Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  • The Sword by Bryan M Litfin

Science Fiction

  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  •  Probability Angels by Joseph Devon
  • After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller
  • J.D. Robb’s In Death Series

Non Fiction

  • Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
  • The End of Boys by Peter Brown Hoffmeister
  • Leadership and Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute


  • Anything by M.R. James or H.P. Lovecraft
  • Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
  • Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Thriller /Suspense

  • A Small Fortune by Audrey Braun
  • Timeline by Michael Crichton


  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – Currently Reading
  • The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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36 Responses to Eclectic Reading Challenge – Update

  1. Some good reads for this year.
    Fantasy- ‘The Universal Mirror’ by Gwen Perkins (On shelves now)
    Fantasy- ‘Kings and Dragons: Light in the Darkness’ by M. Turner (Summer 2012)

    You also need Frank Herberts ‘Dune’ under Sci-fi.

  2. Neel says:

    It’s interesting how people approach reading….all the best with your reading challenge!

  3. You have some interesting books here, I might have to nab your idea and list the ones I wish to read!

  4. Rebecca Emin says:

    I have two recent books, both available via Amazon or my blog. One is a book for older children and teens, ‘New Beginnings’ and the other is a collection of short stories and flash fiction, ‘A Knowing Look and Other Stories’.

    If you like reading short stories I’d also like to recommend ‘Not So Perfect’ by Nik Perring.

    I am not sure if the genres above are rigid though – if so this is not very helpful at all, is it!

  5. mommywritervkent says:

    Love LOVE the book list! While I have read many of them, I see several I havent, so let us know what you think of each so I know which ones might interest me, lol. Good luck!

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for commenting. I will post reviews of any of the books I read though I can’t guarantee reading them all. At my pace that would take me years!

      • mommywritervkent says:

        LOL… Don’t worry, I know how hard it is to get around to reading all the books one has on their list… you should see mine 😀

  6. The curious incident of the dog in the night time – Mark Haddon

    If you haven’t already read it, you will whizz through it, it’s very cleverly written

  7. rtd14 says:

    I read Wild Swans. I was surprised when my Dad handed it to me because I had not pictured him reading it. It captured my attention from the beginning. At one point in the middle of the violence, I felt like I was watching a movie. None of the big bang-bang, blow “Blockbuster” films compared to it. The tragedy in it is tremendous and the relationship between the author’s mother and father is one of love and pain.

  8. Paula Turner says:

    I highly recommend Ian Brown’s book The Boy in the Moon. Ian writes about life with his son who has a rare disability that presents considerable challenges. It is the most honest book about life with a child with a disability and the journey their family took to find the right path for their son. Amazing and heart wrenching and beautifully written.

  9. Dear Pete,

    Read Jasper Fforde first. Start with the Thursday Next series – HILARIOUS & BRILLIANT and I LOVE THEM.

    Love Dotty xxx

  10. I am an huge fan of the His Dark Materials trilogy!
    Have you ever heard of “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card?

  11. Mia says:

    Thank you so much for the post, it was interesting reading.

  12. elwoodcock says:

    Wow, that’s a long and ambitious list! I notice you don’t have much on the non-fiction list though, so I’ll recommend a couple of things:

    Richard Dawkins, Climbing Mount Improbable.
    Richard Fortey, Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth – which I would say is one of the best non fiction books I’ve ever read. It might sound dry, but it’s fascinating.

    I won’t pass up the opportunity to recommend my own book either 🙂
    Darklands, a young adult fantasy by Emma Woodcock,

    I would also recommend under the thrillers section Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson which is huge and complex, covering WWII code breakers up to modern day cyber-cryptology.


    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for the suggestions, Emma. Other than the odd biography, I haven’t read many non-fiction books. I will have a look at the ones you suggest. I hope to read a good few of the books people have suggested, I wont read them all but it is good to check out what other people are recommending and they certainly are an eclectic mix. Good luck with your book.

  13. Jonesingafter40 says:

    The Good Earth is my all time favorite novel. Hope you get to it.

  14. Doug Bruns says:

    I’m kind’a lost on all genres except literary fiction and classic. I’d consider anything Julian Barnes has written for lit., especially his recent Man Booker Prize winner, The Sense of an Ending. In classic, I re-read G. Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas last year. It popped up on a couple lists in 2011 as one of the one hundred best non-fiction books of all time. If you like Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s movie, you’ll love Alice B.

    I have a post about my 2011 reading list here, it might prove of interest:

    It’s a good challenge you’ve got going, but it’d test my patience for reading beyond my core interests. I admire that.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for commenting, Doug. I’ve not read any of the authors you suggest. I checked out your post and haven’t read any of those either. I must admit to not reading much beyond crime novels and even then I tend to read the same authors. I will investigate some of your suggestions, thank you.

  15. Suggested reading. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Otherland by Tad Williams.
    The Road. A story of a man and his son in a post apocalyptic world. Awesome.
    Otherland. Set in the near future of virtual reality worlds. a team of crusaders enter the net and set forth to unravel the truth behind an ominous presence that rules the virtual world.

    • Doug Bruns says:

      I agree with David on the The Road. McCarthy is a favorite writer. I recall vividly closing The Road and sitting on the edge of my bed weeping like a baby. Believe I’m pretty hardened to such things, but that book knocked my knees out from under me.

  16. Pingback: The Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012 | Supernatural Suspense

  17. that’s a great idea, I can never think of what to read next. Have what????

  18. I saw J.D. Robb’s series; I think you’ll enjoy it; I know I have.
    If you decide to include children’s books, The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo is an interesting choice–bittersweet reality hit. And what, no Gregg Braden on non-fiction? Just teasing. If you dare, consider my Night Sounds–about the depths of friendship; unavailable tfor about another week.. I’m going to check out the Bookd Out business…is that a website?

  19. Becca Chopra says:

    I wrote The Chakra Diaries as literary fiction, but it’s sold quite a few copies on Amazon Kindle as a chakra self-help book, so I guess it’s inspirational too! I’d love your take on it. Great blogging!

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