I had a pretty good Saturday all in all. I didn’t do anything exciting. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I was sorting out books that I need to unhaul and get rid of old Instagram props that I no longer use. What made it better was listening to Agatha Christie’s The Thirteen Problems as I did it. Although, the production wasn’t that great. I know a lot of people prefer Joan Hickson’s narration but I get a bit tired of it. She doesn’t really differentiate between characters and I find that really irritating. You have to pay closer attention to who is talking and, in book like this, it’s important to know who is talking.
What have you been reading this week?
Is it just me or did last week go pretty quickly? Work seemed pretty manageable. Maybe it was down to the football? People are happier and generally easier to deal with? If that’s the cast then England better bloody win tomorrow. Otherwise Monday could be a bloody nightmare. Will I be watching the game? No. I’m sure I’ll keep up with the action though as my neighbours tend to react pretty loudly whenever anything happens. Leaving me free to read.
Like many others, I first became interested in this book when it was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2018. It sounded like an interesting story and I’m always intrigued by feminist dystopian fiction. I never actually bought it though because, as is always the case, I had far too much to read first. I then got a copy in a book subscription box that I used to get. It wasn’t a great subscription all round but this was definitely a highlight. The book has spent the last year or so on my shelf waiting to be read. Why did I decide to read it now? I wanted the excuse to experiment with water in some photos. I’ve had worse reasons for picking up a book but this isn’t exactly my finest hour. I was still interested but I’d also heard mixed things about Sophie Mackintosh’s debut novel. I guess that I had to find out for myself.
I’m yet to be convinced by Disney’s plan to remake all of its animated film as live-action. At best, they can be described as fine. At worst, they’re pointless. The best by far is The Jungle Book because it was only slightly concerned with the original film. I guess Maleficent worked pretty well but I wonder how much that had to do with Angelina Jolie rather than the actual film. So, I wasn’t exactly hyped when it was announced that Cruella DeVil, first seen in 1961’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians, was getting an origin story. Or that she was going to be played by Emma Stone. Don’t get me wrong, I love Emma Stone but she’s no Glenn Close. The 1996 remake did many things wrong but casting Close as the villain was a genius stroke. I didn’t see how Stone would be able to compete and that was before I heard her dodgy accent.
I’d started reading The Mystery of Love in February for LGBTQ+ history month. Although, I didn’t really get very far. I just wasn’t in the mood for it and I had plenty of other books to finish first. So, I decided that Pride month was the perfect time to finish it. I ended up listening to the audiobook on my lunchbreaks so it took a few days to actually get to the end but I managed it just in time for the end of June. I actually think getting the audiobook made a big difference to how easy this was to read. Whether it was the narrator, the book or both, The Mystery of Love was the perfect thing to listen to.
What have you been reading this week?
We’re already a few days into July and I can’t tell how my reading is going to go this month. I already have most of my Spell the Month challenge ready to go and there are a few extras that I want to get through. However, it all depends on what mood I’m in. Working is getting busier and more frustrating. This will either inspire me to read more or just leave me too exhausted to do anything. Still, I feel like I’ve spent the first half of the weekend getting stuff done, which means I can actually enjoy today.
If I’ve scheduled this correctly (and I don’t always do a very good job of that sort of thing), it should be going live at noon on 1st July. In other words, halfway through the year 2021. As we’ve reached this point in the year, I figured it was good time to look back on my progress. Let’s have a quick look at some stats.
So June has come and gone. This means another month of my Spell the Month Reading challenge is over. I’m pleased to report that it seemed easier in June than it did in May. I was finished with the challenge quite early. I guess that’s mostly to do with the order that I was reading in but also because I actually gave more time up to reading. Of course, one of my books was only 32 pages long but that was mostly because I was struggling for a Pride book starting with U. I’m also wary that I have a lot of U’s coming up, so I’ve got to be a bit clever.
Number of books read: 10
Number of rereads: 1
Number of physical books: 5
Number of ebooks: 1
Number of audiobooks: 1
5* reviews: 2
4.5* reviews: 0
4* reviews: 5
So, another month is over and I feel like as I’m actually in a good place with my reading. Back up to 10 books but, admittedly, some of those barely had any words. Still, it was good to actually achieve my goals for this month. I read a number of Pride books including 2 that I was desperate to get around to. Hopefully it starts me off on a high before heading into July. Another short month in terms of letters but they’re tricky letters. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it though.
I wasn’t entirely sure whether I would finish this in time or not. I’d had a slow end to the week and had let my reading go. Thankfully, it was a pretty quick read and I got the majority of it done on Sunday. I forget that YA novels don’t take as long to read as the books I usually read. Mostly because it doesn’t have that literary fiction desire to complicate things. It did take a bit longer because I was so careful not to ruin the gorgeous stencilled edges of this book. It’s such a beautiful thing and I need it to say as pristine as possible.