It’s been a good start to 2018 (in reading terms, anyway). I found a brand-new favourite novel in January, and am really enjoying my general attitude towards reading at the moment. Gone are the days of reading a book just so I can write a review/tick it off my TBR/add it to my Goodreads challenge! Now I only read books I really want to read, and I feel so much better for it.
I’ve also tried to be better with my blogging this year, and have scheduled every Monday at 7pm for a weekly post. I did miss last week – oops! I would’ve just posted later in the week but sadly my Macbook doesn’t want to turn on at the moment. Fingers crossed it’s just the battery!
The Power by Naomi Alderman
This won the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction so has been on my radar since then. I didn’t read any of the shortlist but from the synopsis this was the one that sparked my interest the most, so I was quite surprised when it won (as my idea of an award-winner is often quite different to that of literary judges). I love the premise behind it: a switcheroo of male and female roles in society, women suddenly finding themselves in the seats of power when they develop the ability to electrocute from their fingertips.
I’d like to say I didn’t read any new books or write any new blog posts in November because I was busy with NaNoWriMo, but that would be a lie. The truth is, I got a puppy whom I wanted to cuddle all the time, and I was just feeling a bit lazy.
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I re-read lots of books in November, though!
Girl Up by Laura Bates – This is a great introduction to feminism for teenagers and adults alike. It is primarily aimed at girls navigating puberty but anyone can read it; it’s highly accessible and very funny (though rage-inducing at times).
Sort of half intentionally and half unintentionally, all the books I read this October were Halloween-worthy. I started out with the idea of finally tackling my Stephen King TBR List and it spiralled from there.
I first read The Dark Half, a novel about Thad Beaumont, a literary novelist, and his much more successful penname George Stark, who is “not a very nice guy”. When Thad tries to lay George to rest, George takes on human form and begins murdering all the people in Thad’s life who were involved in both creating and killing George.
This actually read more like a crime novel than a horror, and I can’t say I was frightened at any point. If you’re into serial killer novels with a bit of gore, this might be the one for you, but I wasn’t excited by it. There were good moments but I’m unlikely to ever re-read it.
By accident, last month had a bit of a children’s books theme. I continued with my re-read of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, from The Ersatz Elevator all the way up to The Grim Grotto. Then, with some reluctance as I didn’t want the series to end, I moved on to The Penultimate Peril and then, of course, The End.
These two books were of course just as good as their predecessors. This series has been such a great ride: every book is unique and well-crafted and even though a lot of them follow the same pattern they never get dull. Even after rereading I still have no idea which are my favourites – they are all so good.
All the way through I was wondering how the series would end, because it was clear it couldn’t be a happy ending but I also couldn’t imagine that it would end with an unhappy ending. I think it was executed brilliantly, with just the right balance of happy and sad.
Huh! I didn’t do a July wrap-up because I thought I hadn’t read any books that month, but I’ve just looked at Goodreads and noticed this one:
One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus.
It feels absolutely ages since I read this book now, but I remember I did really enjoy it. I felt it focused too much on the love story in the end, but it was definitely a book where I really wanted to know what would happen next and wanted to keep reading. If you’re looking for a quick, light read, and you like YA, this is a good one to choose.
It has an interesting premise: basically the movie The Breakfast Club goes horribly wrong. Five high school students, all belonging to certain cliques, are in detention together when one of them, Simon, suffers an allergic reaction and dies. The police treat the death as suspicious and it transpires that each of the students in detention that day had a possible motive for killing Simon.
And here are the books I read in August:
Sorry, how is it 2nd July? Did we not just celebrate New Year? Have we skipped forward in time?
I didn’t read as much as usual this month but the most amazing thing that’s come out of June is a newfound interest in writing. My friend has been writing her novel for a while now and she told me she just started by playing with characters and a story grew out of it. She inspired me to change up the way I approach writing, and by just making sure I write a little each day, even if it’s just a sentence, I’m beginning to create something I really like.
The first book I read in June was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’ve been really getting into the TV series which is currently being shown on Channel 4, so I decided to give the book another go. This time, I really enjoyed it, though I did find it petered out towards the end. The world-building was probably my favourite thing about this novel. I love a good dystopian.
The ending was a bit more optimistic than I expected, and I have to admit I always feel this about dystopians – they’re so much more interesting when the characters are living under the regime, rather than when they’re fighting against it. This is why I always enjoy the first book in a dystopian series the most (as well as the fact that the first book in a series is usually the best anyway).
Ooh, I didn’t post much last month, did I?! We’ll have to sort that out in June.
I’ve been wanting to re-read The BFG since the new film was announced, and I finally got around to it. This and Matilda were my favourite Dahl books as a child, but I enjoyed re-reading this a lot more than Matilda, which was a bit of a disappointment when revisiting it as an adult.