The 100 Book Tag

I don’t often take part in Tags but here I am joining in with my second one in two weeks! FictionFan posted these questions in celebration of her 100th TBR Thursday post and I couldn’t resist having a go at answering them myself.

What is the 100th book on your TBR list? (In the unlikely event that you don’t have 100 books on your TBR, what book’s been on there longest?)

I don’t keep a nice, detailed TBR spreadsheet like FictionFan, so I’ve simply taken the 100th book on my To-Read shelf at Goodreads. And book number 100 is…


The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Apparently I added this to the shelf in August 2012, so I really should tackle it soon! I want to have another attempt at reading Crime and Punishment first, though.

Open your current book to page 100 (or randomly, if you don’t have page numbers on your e-reader) and quote a few sentences that you like.

She wiped her eyes, her thoughts in turmoil. She knew now how she would answer Kaneshige’s note. When the poet Narihira was sent into exile he had passed Mount Fuji on his travels. Like Narihira she too would journey to the east and she too would see Mount Fuji. And if Kaneshige was on his way to fight the barbarians, he would pass by too.
This was what she would write: “If only we could meet…where the roads cross, in the shadow of Mount Fuji.”

From The Shogun’s Queen by Lesley Downer

When you are 100, what author(s) do you know you will still be re-reading regularly? (This should be an easy one for those of you who are already over 100…)

Well, I’m not already over 100, so I’ll just have to assume that my reading tastes won’t have changed too drastically by then and that I’ll still enjoy reading the same books I like reading now. I would expect my regular re-reads to be classic authors like the Brontës, Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas and Daphne du Maurier – I’ve re-read several of their books already and can’t imagine not wanting to read them again! I’m sure I’ll also be re-reading Dorothy Dunnett’s books for the rest of my life (you knew I would manage to get the Lymond Chronicles into this post somehow, didn’t you?)

Link to your 100th post (if you’re a new blogger then link to your tenth post, or any one you like). Do you still agree with what you said back then?

Review: Drood by Dan Simmons

My 100th post was a review of Drood by Dan Simmons, which I posted in March 2010. At the time I said:

A gothic mystery/horror story set in Victorian London, featuring Charles Dickens and narrated by Wilkie Collins sounded like exactly the kind of book I would enjoy. Unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to its fascinating premise and I was left with mixed feelings about it.

I went on to describe some things that I loved about the book and also some that I disliked. I probably won’t ever read this book again, but if I did I think my second review would be very similar to the first one.

Name a book you love that has less than 100 pages. Why do you love it?

This is a difficult one for me to answer because I’ve always been drawn to long books and can’t think of many I’ve read with fewer than 100 pages. I was going to pick Mr Harrison’s Confessions by Elizabeth Gaskell until I discovered it actually has just over 100 pages (although I suppose it would depend on the publisher and the edition anyway). However, I’ve had a quick search through my blog archives and have reminded myself of one very short book that I did enjoy:

The Victorian Chaise-longue by Marghanita Laski (99 pages, Persephone)

This is an unsettling little book about a young woman who falls asleep on an old chaise-longue and wakes up to find herself in the year 1864.

If someone gave you £100, what would be the five books you would rush to buy?

I don’t keep a nice, detailed Wishlist like FictionFan either (I’m starting to see that my organisation skills must be sadly lacking) but here are a few books I’ve been looking at recently and wishing I had a copy to read now.

heartstone Heartstone by C.J. Sansom – I’ve just read the fourth book in the Shardlake series, Revelation, and am desperate to start the next one!

The Bull From the Sea by Mary Renault – This is the sequel to The King Must Die and I can’t believe I still haven’t read it. Reading another book set in Ancient Greece a few weeks ago reminded me about it.

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman – I don’t often buy non-fiction for myself, but I’ve been interested in reading this for ages.

black-lamb-and-grey-falcon Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West – Another non-fiction book. This was recommended to me a while ago and it sounds fascinating.

A Pin to See the Peepshow by F. Tennyson Jesse – There are lots of Virago Modern Classics I want to read; I heard about this one when I read The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (it was one of her inspirations) and it’s really time I found a copy.

What book do you expect to be reading 100 days from now?

I don’t plan my reading that far ahead so I’m not sure – but 100 days from now will be the beginning of February when, hopefully, I should be approaching the final title on my Classics Club list. I think it would be nice to finish with a re-read of one of my favourite classics, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, so it’s possible that I’ll be reading that one in February.

Looking at The Guardian’s list of “The 100 greatest novels of all time”, how many have you read? Of the ones you haven’t, which ones would you most like to read? And which will you never read?

I’ve only read 29 of them, which isn’t very impressive, is it? I don’t like to say that there are any books I’ll never read, as I don’t know how my tastes might change in the future, but I think I’ve heard enough about Moby Dick to put me off for life. As for the books I would like to read, there are a lot on that list that interest me, but none that I’m desperate to read. If I had to pick one that I’m particularly looking forward to, it would probably be Daniel Deronda by George Eliot.

Free Question – Create a 100 themed question of your own choice and answer it.

What book were you reading 100 days ago?

Prince of Foxes

This is easier to answer than the question about 100 days from now! The date 100 days ago was 22nd July and according to Goodreads I was in the middle of Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger.


Now it’s your turn. If you’d like to answer these questions too, consider yourself tagged!

23 thoughts on “The 100 Book Tag

  1. calmgrove says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t tackled A Distant Mirror yet, I’ve had it for simply oodles of years! Hmm, I’m very tempted by this tag, though I may have to split my responses over a few posts, if that’s OK with you! I’m so impressed by your answers, they do inspire …

  2. Jillian says:

    The Victorian Chaise-Lounge is a great pick for your under 100 pages read. I agree: disturbing, but really good. 🙂 I’d also LOVE to read Dumas next year. I have no idea if I will though! I’ve only read 18 off the Guardian list. I don’t consider that at all shameful, as I’ve also read some excellent books which are not on that list. I own A Distant Mirror. I really look forward to it.

    I love your final question. I just posted this tag today as well, & answered your last question at my place. 🙂

    • Helen says:

      I love Dumas so I hope you do find time to read him next year! I still have The Man in the Iron Mask to read for the Classics Club as well as my re-read of The Count of Monte Cristo, and I’m really looking forward to both. A Distant Mirror sounds great, doesn’t it? I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I think I would enjoy that one.

      I’m going to read your answers now!

  3. FictionFan says:

    So glad you did the tag – I enjoyed reading your answers and being pointed to some of your reviews from before I followed your blog. The Brothers Karamazov! See, if you had your list on a spreadsheet you could sort it and come up with something less… Russian! 😉 The Victorian Chaise Longue seems to have snuck on to my wishlist – how did that happen?? Heartstone is the only I know from your 5 books, and it’s just as good, if not better, than the earlier ones – well worth the purchase price! Haha! I’m almost beginning to feel sorry for poor Moby-Dick now – almost, but not quite! Maybe I will if I ever actually finish the thing…

    100 days ago I was reading… let me just check… ooh, Zero K by Don DeLillo. A good one – it’s certain to appear in my books of the year list… 😀

    • Helen says:

      Thanks – I had fun coming up with my answers to the questions. I’m looking forward to reading Heartstone, as soon as I manage to get hold of a copy. Moby-Dick has never appealed to me at all…but who knows? Maybe I’ll be brave enough to try it one day!

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad to hear that. I’ll be reading Crime and Punishment first as it’s on my Classics Club list, but I definitely want to read The Brothers K eventually as well.

  4. Judy Krueger says:

    What fun! I just don’t have the inclination to go through those questions right now. But as I read your answers, I had books pop up in my mind. I plan to start reading Mary Renault soon and as you know I loved The Prince of Foxes.

  5. Margaret @ BooksPlease says:

    This is a really good tag and I enjoyed your answers. I’ve nearly finished doing my answers -just got the last question to finish. I like your last question – 100 days ago I was read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre (Goodreads is very useful!)

    The Brothers Karamazov took me ages to read and I had a few false starts mainly because of the names – same characters called by different names didn’t help. But once I’d got that sorted I enjoyed it. My reaction to Drood is similar to yours, but I think I found there was more to dislike than to like, but it did make me want to read more Dickens and Collins.

    Years ago I loved both The Bull From the Sea and The King Must Die – I’d love to re-read them! I also enjoyed The Victorian Chaise-longue by Marghanita Laski and nearly put that as my choice of a book under 100 pages, but went for another one instead.

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed The Brothers Karamazov, even if it took a long time to read. So far I’ve only read one Dostoevsky book (The Idiot) but I liked it enough to want to read more. And yes, Drood was a bit disappointing, though I think my expectations were probably too high as I love both Dickens and Collins.

      I’ll be interested to see your answers to the questions!

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad to hear A Pin to See the Peepshow is one of your favourites. I don’t think I had even heard of it until I read The Paying Guests, but I’m definitely intrigued.

    • Helen says:

      Black Lamb and Grey Falcon sounds like a fascinating book, although the length makes it seem quite daunting. I hope you enjoy it – and A Pin to See the Peepshow as well.

  6. jessicabookworm says:

    Like you, in 100 days I will be coming to the end of The Classics Club, which is a little bit scary! I really like this tag but it would be very hard for me to take part, as I don’t have any record of my TBR or Goodreads and I also clear down my posts from my blog (so the 100th post I wrote went a long time ago!). It has been fun to read your answers though 🙂

    • Helen says:

      I wanted my blog to be a record of everything I’ve read and how I felt about it, so I still have all my posts from the beginning. Not keeping a record of your TBR sounds like a good idea, though – it must feel less overwhelming! Good luck with finishing your Classics Club list. 🙂

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