Congratulations are in order, for I have finally finished my first book challenge ever. Yes, after many weeks of posting and obsessing about it I have reached the top of my own personal Everest: a pile of 50 books! In the past, the most I could manage was 20-25 books, but now I’m sure that if I really put my head to it, I can read much more. My aim for next year will be to read 100 books. So, fingers crossed for that!  

Below is the grand list of my conquered reads complete with ratings. To read the reviews, just visit ‘Zee’s Book Reviews’ on the right. All except ‘Lavinia’ of course, because that review was written for ‘The Blue Bookcase’. Note: I still have a backlog of about 7 books that I am still working on, and they will be up as soon as I finish them.

Excellence 5/5
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
The Passion of New Eve – Angela Carter

Almost Perfect 4/5
Motorcycle Diaries – Ernesto Che Guevara
Fantastic Mr. Fox – Roald Dahl
The Twits- Roald Dahl
Boy: Tales of Childhood- Roald Dahl
Memoirs of a Master Forger – William Heaney
PUSH – Sapphire
Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Story of Blanche and Marie – Per Olov Enquist 
South of the Border, West of the Sun – Haruki Murakami
Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
Disgrace – JM Coetzee
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
The Good Soldier – Ford Madox Ford
20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth – Xiaoluo Guo
Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

Good 3/5
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Crazy – Benjamin Lebert
A Partisan’s Daughter – Louis De Bernieres
The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein – Peter Ackroyd
The Lost Estate – Alain Fournier
The Midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
The Sorrows of Young Werther – Goethe
A Man’s Head – Georges Simenon
Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
Disquiet – Julia Leigh
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Stories – F Scott Fitzgerald
Ether’s Inheritance – Sandor Marai
The Quiet American – Graham Greene
A Pale View of the Hills – Kazuo Ishiguro
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
In The Miso Soup – Ryu Murakami
The Rapture – Liz Jensen
Winter Trees – Sylvia Plath
The Rum Diary – Hunter S. Thompson
Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Lavinia – Ursula Le Guin
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
Nocturnes – Kazuo Ishiguro

Avoid 2/5
The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho
The Calligrapher’s Night – Yasmine Ghata
The Electric Church – Jeff Somers

Waste of Time 1/5
Spring Flowers, Spring Frost – Ismail Kadare

So far two books have been awarded the coveted 5/5 stars. Time will tell whether any other titles will join that celebrated rank. Only books of outstanding quality ever get this rating, so be assured that there is something very special about ‘Fear and Loathing’ and ‘The Passion of New Eve’. Both books managed to rise far and above my expectations. As a reader I found both books to be incredibly rich and terribly unique in their own way.