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.
Hold it there! I’m not saying I don’t love reading, or that I stopped loving reading at any point. I’ve been a book-lover for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I heard the phrase ‘She’s always got her nose stuck in a book’ at least once a day, and that’s not even an exaggeration.
However, in 2016, I put too much pressure on reading. It became all about how many books I could finish each month, regardless of whether I was actually enjoying them. What’s worse, I became overly critical of those I did finish.
Partly responsible for this was the Goodreads reading challenge, which I don’t think I’ll ever do again. I’ve never counted the books I’ve read each year before – I just read them, and didn’t really think much about it. Reading was sort of like second nature to me; I just did it, because I wanted to.
Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do it. I’ve had books cluttering up my shelves that I pretend I’ll read some day, but really I have no intention of getting around to. I also have books I bought and didn’t like, which need to be cleared out so I can make room for new ones I might love.
I’ve had a bit of a clear-out and thought I would mention the books I’m getting rid of and why.
(I would do a giveaway but honestly don’t know the logistics of it! And there’s also a lot to post so it would be a bit expensive this end. I’ll be taking them to my local Oxfam bookshop instead.)
I’ve been looking for a good Christmas-themed tag and found this one on My Tiny Obsessions‘ blog. I’m not sure on the creator, unfortunately. I am soooooo looking forward to going to my mum’s for Christmas and reading lots of books, drinking lots of wine and opening lots of prezzies.
On with the tag:
1. Name a book you would like to see under the Christmas tree.
I have asked for The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, a graphic novel by Stephen Collins, but I think my boyfriend forgot all about that. So I’d like to see it under the tree, but I’m not holding out hope!
Apologies for upcoming swearing in this post, but this was no time for words like ‘bloody’ or ‘darn’.
I finished reading The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin last night, a highly influential book about women who, deemed by their husbands to be getting too big for their boots, are replaced by robots. They lose all independent thought and begin to stay indoors, cook, clean and look after the children, having no interests of their own.
This was a fantastic read and it put me in the mood to read some feminist books. I’ve read a limited number of feminist novels and not much non-fiction at all, apart from a few Simone de Beauvoir excerpts at university. I therefore searched ‘feminist’ in the Kindle store, expecting to see the likes of Germaine Greer, Laura Bates and Betty Friedan, who had a couple of particular mentions in The Stepford Wives.
I did come across some of these names. However, I also came across something – worryingly close to the top of my search results – that disturbed me.
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. Here’s the link to the Goodreads group.
I won’t be partaking every Wednesday – if I try to blog on a particular day each week, I always end up losing interest – but I thought it would be a fun meme to dip in and out of.
This week’s theme is books I want to re-read. Most of the books below are books that I do really want to re-read but I’m kind of intimidated by the idea of re-reading them, either because they’re really long or because I feel like my opinion might change the second time around.
White Teeth by Zadie Smith.
So I finally got around to doing this original tag by icebreaker694 – thanks for the tag! Man, I’m ashamed how long it’s taking me to get through these. I mean, what else am I doing with my life?
- Thank the person who tagged you.
- Choose 8 actors and describe them in a particular movie role. Describe them and answer which book character fits the same description. (You can use the actors from the person who tagged you if you like.)
- Tag 8 other people.
Thanks so much to Zezee With Books for tagging me! Queen are my all-time favourite band and I basically think that if a song’s not by Queen then it’s probably not worth listening to. (I mean, there are exceptions, but rest assured, Queen are the best band ever.)
This tag was created by Josh at Literary Gladiators.
1. Bohemian Rhapsody – A work that you feel successfully tells the story from multiple points of view?
The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman.
I received this ebook for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is no way affects my opinion of the book. Quotes in the following review may differ slightly from the final published version of the book.
I was excited to receive this book but unsure what to expect. I loved Smith’s White Teeth, but couldn’t get past the first chapter of On Beauty. I downloaded Swing Time with a butterflies in my stomach, hoping this would be something great.
It’s no White Teeth. The protagonist, whose name remains a mystery, is try-hard, selfish and unlikeable. She changes her personality depending on whom she is with, and shows little interest in anyone other than herself and her alleged friend Tracy, whom she is (often creepily) obsessed with. She’s uncaring towards her mother and behaves bafflingly towards the men in her life.