This Non-Fiction Adventure is an interesting challenge from Gather Together and Read. The challenge is to read 50 non-fiction books over ten years.  I chose that target at the start of 2017, aiming to finish in 2026. 50 books is the minimum, and five to ten years the suggested timescale.

At the end of 2022, I had already read 40 books in 6 years. I was 80% of the way through with four years to run which didn’t sound like much of a challenge any more.

So I changed my target to read 100 books in 12 years. That meant another 60 books to read in the next six years, by 31st December 2028.

This increases my annual target to ten. In several years I had approached ten, but not actually achieved it. I found five a year too easy, really.

In 2023 I did 12. I’m ahead of the game again. For now…

Non-fiction adventure

Books Read

    1. Climate Change and the Health of Nations (TBR Jun-16, read Jan-17, Net-galley, kindle)
    2. Flight: 100 years of aviation (TBR Dec-16, read Jan-17, impromptu library selection)
    3. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (TBR Mar-16, read Mar-17, own paperback)
    4. Perilous Question (TBR Jul-17 – read Aug-17, bookclub – from library )
    5. Science and Islam (TBR Dec-16 – read Dec-17, own hardback)
    1. My Animals and Other Family (TBR Dec-16 – read Feb-18, own hardback)
    2. A Brief History of Time (TBR Jan-15 but on my shelf since 1988, read Jun-18, own hardback)
    3. Behind the Beautiful Forevers (TBR Jul-18 – read Jul-18, bookclub – from library)
    4. Bloody Brilliant Women (TBR Aug-18 – read Sep-18, Net-galley, kindle)
    5. Hello, Is This Planet Earth (TBR Dec-16 – read Nov-18, own hardback)
    6. A Little History of British Gardening (TBR Jan-12 – read Dec-18, own softcover)
    1. The A-Zs of Worldbuilding by Rebekah Loper (TBR Jan-19, read Feb 19, ibook)
    2. Writing Book Reviews as an Author by J Lenni Dorner (TBR Jan-19, Read Feb-19, kindle)
    3. Heiða: A Shepherd at the Edge of the World by Steinunn Sigurðardóttir (TBR Mar-19, Read Mar-19, Netgalley,kindle)
    4. Kill the Black One First by MIchael Fuller (TBR Feb-19, read Apr-19, Netgalley, kindle)
    5. Rough Magic by Lara Prior-Palmer (TBR Apr-19, Read May-19, Netgalley, kindle)
    6. Crow Country by Mark Cocker (TBR Jun-18, Read Jun-19, own paperback)
    7. Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister by Jung Chang (TBR Jul-19, Read Oct-19, Netgalley, kindle)
    8. The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueras and Tom Rivett-Carnac (TBR Dec-19, read Feb-20) net-galley, kindle)
    1. Marram by Leonie Charlton (tbr Jan-20, read Feb-20, net-galley, kindle)
    2. Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel (tbr Jun-19, read Jun-20, own paperback)
    3. Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregmen (tbr May-20, read Jul-20, Netgalley, kindle)
    4. Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald (tbr May-20, read Aug-20, netgalley, kindle)
    5. Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics by Leonard Mlodinow (tbr Aug-20, read Sep-20, netgalley, kindle)
    6. A Life On Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future by David Attenborough (tbr Oct-20, read Oct-20, netgalley, kindle)
    1. The Light Ages by Seb Falk (tbr Aug-20, read Sep-20 – Jan-21, netgalley, kindle)
    2. Preparing to Write Settings That Feel Like Characters by J Lenni Dorner (bought 2016, tbr 2020! read Jan-21, kindle)
    3. Finding Sustainability by Trent A Romer (tbr Nov-20, read Apr-21, netgalley, kindle)
    4. The Saturn System: Through the Eyes of Cassini by NASA (tbr Sep-17, read May-21, iPad)
    5. Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard (tbr Apr-21, read Jun-21, kindle)
    6. The Art of Enough by Becky Hall (tbr Oct-21, read Oct-21, netgalley, kindle)
    7. Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim (tbr Dec-17, read Dec-21, hardback birthday gift)
    1. Otherlands: Journeys in Earth’s Extinct Ecosystems (tbr Jan-22, read Mar-22, netgalley)
    2. When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed (tbr Feb-22, read Mar-22, bookclub-library)
    3. The Ship Asunder by Tom Nancollas (tbr Feb-22, read May-22, netgalley)
    4. Birdgirl by Mya-Rose Craig (tbr May-22, read Jun-22, netgalley)
    5. Femina by Janina Ramirez (tbr Jul-22, read Aug-22, netgalley)
    6. He Knew He Was Right: The Life of James Lovelock by John Gribbin (tbr Dec-16, read Aug-22, owned)
    7. The Darkness Manifesto by Johan Eklöf (tbr Sep-22, read Oct-22, netgalley)
    8. Look, I Made A Hat by Stephen Sondheim (tbr Dec-17, read Dec-22, own hardback)
    1. Bugs by J R Tiedemann (tbr Oct-22, read Jan-23, netgalley)
    2. Tschiffely’s Ride by Aime Tschiffely (first read c1970, reread Apr-23, own hardback)
    3. The Butterfly Isles by Patrick Barkham (tbr Aug-18, read Apr-23, own paperback)
    4. The Vanishing Face of Gaia by James Lovelock (tbr 2009, read May-23, own hardback)
    5. Blueprint for a Safer Planet by Nicholas Stern (tbr 2009, read May-23, own hardback)
    6. The Orchid Outlaw by Ben Jacob (tbr Mar-23, read May-23, kindle)
    7. Where to Watch Birds in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by Keith Betton (tbr Feb-23, read May-23, own paperback)
    8. The Milkweed Lands by Eric Lee-Mader (tbr Apr-23; read Jul-23, netgalley)
    9. Surviving Transphobia by Laura A Jacobs (editor) (tbr Jun-23; read Aug-23, net-galley)
    10. The Bone Chests by Cat Jarman (tbe Aug 23, read Sep-23, netgalley)
    11. Vet at the End of the Earth by Jonathan Hollins (read Sep-23, netgalley)
    12. Red Sixty Seven by Kit Jewitt et al (read Dec-23, own hardback)
    1. What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (tbr Aug-16, read Feb-24, own paperback)
    2. Space Oddities: The Mysterious Anomalies Challenging Our Understanding of the Universe by Harry Cliff (read Mar-24, netgalley)
    3. Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni by Mary Smith (read Apr-24, kindle)
    4. The Bletchley Girls by Tessa Dunlop (read May-24, kindle)
    5. Bringing Down Goliath by Jolyon Maugham KC (read May-24, iBooks)

From my TBR shelf

Now these are all unpacked again, I really could read one a month – but all those after no 10 have been added since I started this challenge

  1. The Elegant Universe
  2. Why We Disagree About Climate Change
  3. The History of Natural Philosophy
  4. Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey
  5. The Secret Listeners
  6. The Edge of the World: How the North Sea Made Us Who We Are
  7. The Cosmic Tourist (partially read)
  8. Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale
  9. Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
  10. The Making of the British Landscape
  11. Ask an Astronaut
  12. The Glass Bathyscape
  13. Claxton
  14. How to Read Water
  15. Wildwood
  16. Tigers of the Snow
  17. Rare Birds of Hampshire
  18. The Business of Short Stories
  19. Corsairville
  20. Breathe
  21. Terry Pratchett
  22. The Hertfordshire Way
  23. After Man
  24. Wild Isles


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