That’s it. 2020 is over and we’re staring a new year. It feels good that it’s all behind us but I can’t pretend that 2021 is magically going to be better. After all, the virus is still raging and it’ll be a while before the vaccine is really rolled out. Then there’s Brexit which has the potential to fuck everything up. It might cause problems for food and shopping. There’s also the chance it will create issues with the vaccine. So, who knows where we’ll be this time next year. I’m hoping that the Leave voters were right and we’ll be fine. However, I can’t see it being that rosy. Anyway, enough about the future. We’re hear to look back. I’ve already posted my 2020 review post but I still wanted to breakdown the books I read in December.
Number of books read: 10
Number of rereads: 1
Number of physical books: 10
Number of ebooks: 0
Number of audiobooks: 0
If all had gone to plan today, I would have been writing my review of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. Of course, things haven’t gone to plan at all. I just haven’t got round to reading enough this week and I’m still waiting to finish it. I’ll be honest, I’m not enjoying it as much as I thought I would but I do think it’s a great book. Maybe I’m just not in the mood for non-fiction? I’ve got a load of cosy crime waiting for my and I think I’m just waiting to get onto that. Knowing what I’ve got waiting for me is only making the task of getting through this book even harder. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to move on tomorrow. For now, I’ve picked a random book tag to entertain you.
The recent lockdown has caused a major disruption to my usual Christmas themed Instagram. Under normal circumstances, I’d have been able to pick up a cheap box of crackers on my lunchbreak at work. Since all shops have been closed and I’m, once again, staying inside as much as possible, it’s been harder tracking them down. Or, at least, tracking them down for a price that is cheap enough considering I’m going to destroy them. Thankfully, I found a box on Oxfam and decided that the additional charitable donation would somehow offset my intentions. While I was browsing the site, I got a bit sidetracked by all of their Moomin related items. I put a whole bunch of stuff in my basket but, after a lot of thought, got rid of all but a few things. One of them was this delightful book containing two stories by Tove Jansson. It seemed like a must for any real Moomins fan.
So, 2020 is almost at an end and it’s not exactly been the year that any of us expected. In terms of general life, it’s been pretty sucky but, in terms of reading, it could not have gone better. I surpassed all expectations this month despite it being quite a nothing month. Second lockdown wasn’t good in most ways but I did get more reading done. Thanks to a late night on Monday, I actually managed to finish one final book in November. It’s such a recent read that it wasn’t even included on my Instagram warp-up post. These are exciting times indeed. So, what were my November stats?
Number of books read: 11
Number of rereads: 1
Number of physical books: 5
Number of ebooks: 2
Number of audiobooks: 4
What is the first line of your favourite book?
I sometimes think that a memorable first line is a bit of a curse. I know that might sound crazy. After all, authors go through a lot to try and find the perfect opening to draw people in. Surely it must be on the major keys to success? But think about it. What if you have a really great opening but the rest of the novel can’t live up? Every time I see rundowns of books with the best first lines, I see plenty of books that I don’t really care about. Pride and Prejudice? The opening is iconic, certainly, but I find the rest of it rather bland. 1984? The opening promises so much that the repetitive and long novel can’t fully deliver. So, a great opening line doesn’t always indicate a 5 star read. But what about my favourite reads? Do they all have attention grabbing first lines? Do they pass the first line test? Let’s find out.
I was incredibly excited the moment that I found out that there was going to be a sequel to Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s Before the Coffee Gets Cold. It was one of my favourite books of 2019. In fact it was number 2. Only beaten by the exquisite comedy of Richard Ayoade‘s examination of the film View From the Top. The first book, adapted from Kawaguchi’s play of the same name, was such an unusual but engaging book. I had never read anything quite like it, so getting the chance to revisit his work was most welcome. It was released at an great moment and really helped pull me out of my reading slump. After taking a week or so to finish The Thursday Murder Club, it only took me a couple of nights to get through this. Hopefully, this means I’m back to normal. Definitely a good thing because my non-review bookish posts ideas aren’t exactly inspiring.
This would typically be the time that I post a book review but, unfortunately, I was never going to finish a book for today. I’m so used to reading shorter books at the moment that I completely underestimated the time it would take to read a 300+ page book. When it comes to books, size doesn’t matter. Some of the best books that I’ve read recently have been around 200 pages. I know in certain parts of the bookish community, there is something competitive about book size. To some people, if you’re not reading long books then you aren’t doing it right. Me? I’ll do whatever it takes to get enough books read in a week. With a full-time job and other committments, shorter books are the best way to do that. Of course, this means that I’ve got quite an arsenal of quick reads ready to recommend.