A Year of Reading Frugally: The List

Picture of a woman writing a list in a ring bound notebook using a pretty blue and silver pen. There are reading glasses in the foreground and you cannot see the woman's face

Well, I dithered for a while and then decided that I would, in fact, share the whole list on here. Mainly because it’s another way of keeping myself accountable but also because I like sharing lists of books and hopefully some of you will have read some of these and can rec them to me in the comments. I’m thinking this will offer me a bit of inspiration if I find I don’t know which one to pick next. 

The List is not in any particular order (other than the order in which I found the books when I was putting it together) and I’ll keep it updated with annotations to show which ones I:

– have already finished (F)
– am currently reading (C)
– have started at some point but haven’t picked up recently (S)
– started but couldn’t get on with (DNF)

and I will update the date each time I annotate it too!

The List
as at 31-10-2022 when the challenge ended

1          Autumn by Ali Smith (F)
2          Winter by Ali Smith (F)
3          Spring by Ali Smith (S)
4          Summer by Ali Smith
5          A Deadly Education by Naomi Novak (DNF)
6          Stitches by Anne Lamott (F)
7          Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (F)
8          Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott (F)
9          A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit (F)
10        Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit
11        She-Merchants, Buccaneers & Gentlewomen by Katie Hickman
12        To See Clearly: Why Ruskin Matters by Suzanne Fagence Cooper (S)
13        How to be Both by Ali Smith
14        The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag (DNF)
15        Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
16        Wanderland by Jini Reddy (S)
17        Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini
18        Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
19        Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit (S)
20        Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees (F)
21        Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
22        The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
23        The Lost Kings by Amy Licence (F)
24        Accused: British Witches throughout History by Willow Winsham (C)
25        Lent by Jo Walton (DNF)
26        Otter Country by Miriam Barlington (F)
27        Corvus: A Life with Birds by Esther Woolfson
28        Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland
29        Gender Rebels by Anneka Hary
30        Meadowlark by Melanie Abrams
31        The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie (DNF)
32        All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison
33        Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem
34        The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (S)
35        The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans (F)
36        The Binding by Bridget Collins (DNF)
37        Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (DNF)
38        The Familiars by Stacey Halls (DNF)
39        Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield (F)
40        The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (F)
41        Royal Witches by Gemma Hollman (S)
42        Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (S)
43        The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister ed. Helena Whitbread
44        No Priest but Love ed. Helena Whitbread
45        The Once and Future Queen by Nicole Evelina
46        Circe by Madeline Miller (S)
47        The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas
48        Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
49        Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (F)
50        Reflections by Diana Wynne Jones
51        The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker
52        The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
53        The Witch Finder’s Sister by Beth Underdown (S)
54        The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola
55        The Silent Companion by Laura Purcell (DNF)
56        The Corset by Laura Purcell (will not read)
57        The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse
58        The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
59        Melmoth by Sarah Perry
60        The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross (DNF)
61        The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker
62        Beautiful Exiles by Meg Waite Clayton (F)
63        Katherine by Anya Seton (DNF)
64        Facing the Darkness by Cat Treadwell (F)
65        Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo (F)
66        Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo (F)
67        Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo (F)
68        Kingdom of Summer by Gillian Bradshaw
69        In Winter’s Shadow by Gillian Bradshaw
70        The Travelling Bag by Susan Hill (F)
71        Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
72        The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis (F)
73        The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (DNF)
74        Brother Cadfael: The Complete Chronicles by Ellis Peters (F)
75        Foxfire, Wolfskin by Sharon Blackie (F)
76        The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow (F)
77        Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
78        Between the Stops by Sandi Toksvig
79        The Arbella Stuart Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh (F)
80        Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym (DNF)
81        I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
82        Perfect by Rachel Joyce (F)
83        Anger Is My Middle Name by Lisbeth Zornig Andersen (DNF)
84        Room to Breathe by Liz Talley
85        The Vine Witch by Lianne G Smith (DNF)
86        Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (S)
87        Travelling the Fairy Path by Morgan Daimler
88        A Lily in the Light by Kristin Fields (DNF)
89        What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
90        The Snow Gypsy by Lindsay Jayne Ashford
91        The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas (DNF)
92        Women Who Run With Wolves by Dr Clarissa Estes (S)
93        Olde Robin Hood by Kate Danley
94        The Chronicles of Robin Hood by Rosemary Sutcliffe
95        The Thing About Clare by Imogen Clarke (F)
96        The Story of Egypt by Joann Fletcher
97        Green Witchcraft by Paige Vanderbeck (F)
98        Jew(ish): A Primer, A Memoir, A Manual, A Plan by Matt Greene (F)
99        Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
100      Traditional Witchcraft for Wood and Forests by Melusine Draco
101      Unfashioned Creatures by Lesley McDowell
102      Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf
103      The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
104      When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman
105      The Pantheon by Mary Beard
106      The Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles by Rosemary Sutcliffe
107      The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliffe (C)
108      The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay
109      Hollow Places by Christopher Hadley (F)
110      The Blue Salt Road by Joanne Harris
111      Orfeia by Joanne Harris
112      Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
113      Burning the Books by Richard Ovenden (F)
114      Troy by Stephen Fry
115      A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes (F)
116      Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (F)
117      The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (DNF)
118      The Anarchy by William Dalrymple
119      Return of a King by William Dalrymple
120      Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs by Monty Don (F)
121      How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Barrett
122      The Covent Garden Ladies by Hallie Rubenhold
123      Dead Famous by Greg Jenner
124      Radical Wordsworth by Jonathan Bate (F)
125      Thomas Cromwell: A Life by Diarmaid MacCulloch
126      Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (DNF)
127      Bringing Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (will not start)
128      The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (will not start)
129      Albion: The Legend of Arthur by Robert Valentine
130      The Essential Chomsky by Noam Chomsky
131      The Golden Thread by Kassia St Clair
132      Traces: Memoir of a Forensic Scientist by Patricia Wiltshire
133      The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr (F)
134      The Murder of Harriet Monkton by Elizabeth Haynes (DNF)
135      A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons by Geoffrey Hindley
136      Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
137      Daemon Voices by Phillip Pullman
138      Presence by Amy Cuddy
139      Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
140      The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp (DNF)
141      Thinking on my Feet by Kate Humble (F)
142      Peas and Queues by Sandi Toksvig
143      Chivalry by Neil Gaiman
144      The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
145      Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
146      Grimm Tales for Young & Old by Phillip Pullman (DNF)
147      Millenium by Tom Holland
148      The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
149      Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany Hughes
150      Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir
151      A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman (S)
152      A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray
153      The Odyssey by Emily Wilson
154      A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton
155      Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
156      Gentleman Jack by Angela Steidele
157      Dominion by Tom Holland
158      Worlds of Arthur: Facts & Fictions of the Dark Ages by Guy Halsall
159      Crusades by Dan Jones (C)
160      A Line in the Sand by James Barr (F)
161      Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
162      Killers of the King by Charles Spencer
163      The Square and the Tower by Niall Ferguson (DNF)
164      The Romanovs by Simon Seabag Montefiore (S)
165      A Little History of Religion by Richard Holloway (S)
166      How the World Thinks by Julian Baggini (F)
167      The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg
168      Memories, Dreams, Reflections by C G Jung
169      We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere by Gillian Anderson & Jennifer Nadel
170      The Five by Hallie Rubenhold (F)
171      Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather by Tessa Boase (S)
172      Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy (DNF)
173      Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
174      Rival Queens by Kate Williams (C)
175      Becoming by Michelle Obama
176      Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
177      The Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman (F)
178      Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock (DNF)
179      Wise Children by Angela Carter
180      Wild Signs and Star Paths by Tristan Gooley
181      Wallis in Love by Andrew Milton
182      The Silk Road by Peter Frankopan
183      The Writer’s Room by Charlotte Wood
184      13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
185      The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (S)
186      Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
187      The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
188      Company of Liars by Karen Maitland
189      Strange Meeting by Susan Hill
190      A Spell in the Wild by Alice Tarbuck (F)
191      Reynard the Fox by Anne Louise Avery
192      Into the Tangled Bank by Lev Parikian
193      Greenery by Tim Dee
194      The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes
195      The Northumbrians by Dan Jackson
196      Witches by Tracy Borman (C)
197      Hag by Daisy Johnson
198      Witch by Finbar Hawkins
199      October, October by Katya Balen
200      The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris (F)
201      Botanical Folktales by Lisa Schneidall
202      The Land of the Green Man by Carolyne Larrington
203      Animal Folktales of Britain & Ireland by Sharron Jacksties
204      Uncanny Bodies by Pippa Goldschmidt et al
205      A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf (C)
206      Vita: The Life of Vita Sackville-West by Victoria Glendinning (S)
207      Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History by Adam Nicolson
208      Inheritance by Robert Sackville-West
209      A Fine and Private Place by Peter S Beagle
210      The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle
211      The Last Hours by Minette Walters
212      The Turn of Midnight by Minette Walters
213      Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak
214      The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
215      The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
216      Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
217      Deeplight by Frances Hardinge (DNF)
218      The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn (F)
219      Angels by Peter Stanford
220      The School of Life by Alain de Botton
221      The Death of King Arthur by Peter Ackroyd
222      Between Worlds by Kevin Crossley Holland (C)
223      The Book of Taliesin by Gwyneth Lewis
224      Warriors and Kings by Martin Wall
225      Britain After Rome by Robin Fleming
226      The Story of England by Michael Wood
227      Word Perfect by Susie Dent
228      Serpentine by Phillip Pullman
229      The Arthur of the Welsh by R Bromwich et al
230      The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams
231      Talking About Detective Fiction by P D James
232      Into the Woods by John Yorke (F)
233      Steering the Craft by Ursula Le Guin (C)
234      The Ritual of Writing by Andrew Anderson
235      Novelista by Claire Askew
236      Upstream by Mary Oliver (C)
237      Elements of Surprise by Vera Tobin
238      Heartburn by Nora Ephram
239      Ten Things About Writing by Joanne Harris
240      How to Stay Sane in An Age of Division by Elif Shafak
241      The Neil Gaiman Reader by Neil Gaiman
242      Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir
243      And Did Those Feet by Charlie Connelly (F)
244      Jane Boleyn: The Infamous Lady Rochford by Julia Fox
245      The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty by Dan Ariely (DNF)
246      The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery

Plus my pre-orders that will either turn up in the next year or they won’t (some are from Unbound and don’t have publication dates yet):

247      Dearly: Poems by Margaret Atwood  (F)
248      Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell (F)
249      Beowulf (paperback) by Maria Headley
250      Dardanelles: A Midshipman’s Diary 1915-16 by H M Denham (DNF)
251      For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten (F)
252      The Librarian by Allie Morgan (F)
253      Ghostways: Two Journeys in Unquiet Places by Robert Macfarlane (F)
254      Ness by Robert Macfarlane
255      Last Stand in Lychford by Paul Cornell
256      The Night Hawks by Ellie Griffiths (F)
257      Hunger Pangs: True Love Bites by Joy Demorra (F)
258      Wintering by Katherine May (F)
259      Women on Nature by Katharine Norbury (C)
260      The Hidden Matrix: Myth and the Human Mind by Neil Philip
261      King Arthur’s Death by Michael Smith
262      Notebook by Tom Cox (F)
263      Lost & Found by Elizabeth Garner
264      Villager by Tom Cox

I also have 12 audible credits remaining on my account and when I use them I will add the new titles down here. I usually use the 2 for 1 sales to get audiobooks so there may end up being 24 listed

265      Walking Home by Simon Armitage
266      The Last Wilderness by Neil Ansell
267      A Promised Land by Barak Obama
268      There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important than Kindness by Carlo Rovelli
269      Making It up as I Go Along by Marian Keyes (F)
270      Ancient Wonderings: Journeys into Prehistoric Britain
271      To the Island of Tides: A Journey to Lindisfarne by Alistair Moffat
272      The Frayed Atlantic Edge: A Historian’s Journey from Shetland to the Channel by David Gange
273      Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death by Brenna Hassett
274      Olive, Mabel and Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs by Andrew Cotter (F)
275      Providence Lost: The Rise and Fall of Cromwell’s Protectorate by Paul Lay
276      Unexplained: Supernatural Stories for Uncertain Times by Richards MacLean Smith
277      The Interior Silence: The Search for Peace of Mind by Sarah Sands
278      The January Man: A Year of Walking Britain by Christopher Somerville

And finally, the section I didn’t expect to be adding because it didn’t occur to me that people being aware that I wasn’t buying books for myself would mean they would use the opportunity to buy books for me:

1          The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor (F)
2          If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie (C)
3          Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez
4          Sistersong by Lucy Hounsom (S)
5          The Heroine’s Journey: For Writers, Readers and Fans of Pop Culture by Gail Garriger
6          The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig
7          The Wild Isles ed. Patrick Barkham
8          Taking Up the Runes by Diana L Paxson (C)
9          Odin’s Gateways by Katie Gerrard
10        The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid (F)

12 thoughts on “A Year of Reading Frugally: The List

  1. Three Women is on its way to me at the library, and will hopefully turn up in the next week or so. I read Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race this summer, and I have the audio version of Dreams from My Father on my phone and am currently alternating it with David Copperfield.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh that’s quite a list. I only have 5 of them, so here goes, I LOVED Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, but it took around 30 pages before I got into it and thinking about this now, I have just (after more than 5 decades, of reading) realised that I need to have some idea of where a story is heading to stick with it. Eleanor Oliphant’s reviews were good and the story description pursuaded me to keep going and it was worth it. The next one I have is How Emotions are Made, and it is brilliant. I have read I think 99% of it, but not straight through. It is a dippy into book and very intense, so read something else light hearted at the same time… Bill Bryson I love and The Body was a Christmas present last year from a friend. Fascinating but so crammed with mindboggling info I still haven’t got beyond chapter 1, so I have also used one of my Audible credits…definitely another dippy into book, how he churns these fact-filled books out I don’t know. The Eagle of the Ninth is on my list to reread as I read it as a child, then a year or so ago read one of her others and loved it. Can’t remember whicjh one. Dad got me into them as a child as he loved her books. I also have Hidden Figures but have not yet read it. I have seen the film and I need to be in the right head space to read the book because so much of the film made me angry about how black women were treated and in fact women in general… I have clocked various of your list to buy especially Mary Beard’s The Panthion, having just bought her ‘How do We Look – Eye of Faith’ and loving it. Also helpful for my essay.
    Thank you for sharing your bookshelves, it feels rather like coming for a cuppa and browsing your shelves 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this, it’s all really helpful. I have read some of the Eagle Chronicles but it was as a child and I can’t honestly remember what I have and haven’t read. I bought the whole set with the intention of finally reading the lot, so it will be interesting to see what I do find familiar and what is new. I also know I have her “Blue Remembered Hills” somewhere but I can’t find it at the moment so it’s not on the list. I suspect it will turn up eventually! I do wish we could sit down and have a cuppa for real x


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