Books Before 30 – A Recap

My turning 30 has officially put an end to my Books Before 30 challenge, even though I technically gave it up a few months ago.

With Desert Island Discs on in the background (I discovered the backlog, hello Michael Gambon) I thought I would recap how I did. Which will probably consist of reasons why I just couldn’t read half or more of what I listed.

Total number of books: 63
Books I read: 16
Books I gave up on: 4

Some of the books from my list I still count as my favourites now, such as I Capture the Castle, Rebecca, The Blue Castle, and Things Fall Apart. I Capture the Castle especially, it has had such a lasting effect on me. I have an affinity with most naïve or anxious protagonists and couldn’t help but connect with Cassandra.

Four unfinished isn’t too bad. I really wanted to enjoy Dune, it ticks all my sci-fi boxes, but I was unmoved. I felt similarly about Cold Comfort Farm and Cider With Rosie. I wanted so much to enjoy them. Technically this should be five, but giving up on page two of Birdsong doesn’t feel fair – especially when so many people tell me it’s amazing. Something about it starting with an affair bothers me, I find it hard to connect.

In terms of what I didn’t even start, let’s face it, I was never going to read Twilight. I prefer it when my eyes don’t bleed. Many of them are rather intimidating reads to try and fit into a time scale. The sort of books that one should read when the urge hits rather than forcing through. Barchester Towers, For Whom the Bell Toles, Swann’s Way, The Trial, Catch 22…. all fall within this category.

Have you read any of the books on my Books Before 30 list?
Are there any I should try, or retry? State thy case.