Jay Writes -
The more eagle-eyed among you (or anyone who's looked at the masthead lately) will spot that Luke's 50 book challenge was to read and review them by Christmas, and it's now the end of January. So what's the story, morning glory?
Luke was really upset not to have finished the list in time. He's tried so hard and persevered with some books he'd hated - as well as those he loved - instead of reading his normal style of books. It was so dispiriting to have read 41 (and reviewed 39 of them) but not achieve his goal.
I told him not to worry: do what students and professionals have been doing for centuries when faced with a deadline ... request an extension.
Before we started this project, there were loads of books we were unfamiliar with on the list and we weren't entirely sure what we were getting ourselves into. Now we've had a look at what Luke's achieved (which I hope you'll agree is LOADS) and what is feasible for him to achieve in the coming months and we've made some changes.
1. Timescale - Michael Gove's comment, which sparked this whole thing, was to read them over a year. So, the challenge will run until the end of March, a year from starting it.
2. Substitutions - There are some books on the list that Luke has really hated. In general, they've been an unhappy combination of a literary style that doesn't suit him and a subject matter he doesn't care about. To give him 3 wild cards seemed fair. He could chose 3 books from the list that he really couldn't face and swap them with books his dad and I agreed would be suitable alternatives
3. Tolkien - The original list featured The Hobbit and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy as one choice. Luke ploughed through over half of The Fellowship Of The Rings with little enjoyment. We agreed, in the face of more elvish poetry than one could shake a stick at, to go with just reading The Hobbit. That's still 400 pages and a rollicking good read to boot. We'll leave LOTR til he's a little older.
Luke's made a good start. He's reviewed the 2 books he'd read before Christmas and he's tackled one of the book he was most dreading. He's also a fair way through The Hobbit. He's got 8 books to do in 8 weeks, which will be hard, but I've got faith in him.
And anyway, he played a Wild Card to ditch Little Women, so I know he can do this!