After I finished Redhead by the Side of the Road the other week, I listened to a second Anne Tyler book. How did I pick it? It was available as an audiobook on my library app and it was shorter than A Spool of Blue Thread. I think that’s a pretty good way to pick a book. I’ll get around to A Spool of Blue Thread eventually but it’s just too long to finish in one workday. If I have to stretch a book over a few days then I lose the momentum. It’s much easier all around if I just finish one over the course of a day.
After I read French Braid earlier this year, I decided that I’d try and read more Anne Tyler books. She’s an author that I haven’t read enough of and it’s time to change that. So, when I discovered a few of her books on my library app, I decided to borrow them. Again, I’ve been listening to audiobooks at work and she’s a great writer for that. Her stories are detailed but don’t require a lot of effort to keep track of the plot. You just get to enjoy gorgeous writing as you perform menial tasks. What could be better?
When I was younger, I didn’t read much American literature. It’s not something we did at school and I guess I just stuck to what I knew. Whatever the reason, I don’t think I’ve read anything by Anne Tyler before. I know that she is one of those writers that everyone recommends but I just haven’t picked anything up. I’ve got plenty of books on my Kindle and bookshelves. I just need to get around to them. Now I’ve read this one, it might actually inspire me to do it.
I’ve been so tired this week that I haven’t finished my current ready yet. Luckily I already had a book ready to review, so I didn’t have to rush to finish something. Hourglass was my final read of last month and one that I’d had my eye on for a while. I’ve not read any of Keiran Goddard’s poetry but I do love a verse novel. Plus, it looked absolutely gorgeous and was going to be a super quick read. Basically, my perfect book.
I had to Google the Booker Prize shortlist that saw Graeme Macrae Burnet’s novel His Bloody Project competing for the prize. It was way back in 2016, which is crazy. It feels as though I only read that a couple of years ago. I definitely wanted Burnet to win but that’s mostly because it was the only one that I’d read. That doesn’t mean it didn’t deserve it. His Bloody Project was an absolute masterpiece in the way that it blended fact and fiction. I knew that this was a writer that I wanted to read in the future. So, I ordered a copy of his next book as soon as it was possible. I knew that it was going to be something big. But could it possibly be as good as his last book?
My second Agatha Christie novel of the month and one that I was excited to read again. I don’t think her standalone novels really get enough love these days. I guess most modern readers are automatically going to pick up books starring Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. They’re her most famous literary creations, so why wouldn’t they go for them first? The problem is, some of her greatest novels are actually the standalones. Yes, her most famous ones tend to star the great Belgian but some of them are a little overrated. Not bad but definitely way too hyped.
After having a slight reading slump this month, I wasn’t sure that I’d manage to make it through a lot of books. I had set myself a TBR list but, inevitably, had to change that around to finish my monthly challenge. The plan is to finish what I didn’t read in February in March. At least there’s only 5 letters to cross off.
Number of books read: 10
Number of rereads: 0
Number of physical books: 6
Number of ebooks: 0
Number of audiobooks: 4
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.
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.
What were your favourite audiobooks in 2019?
I’ve never been a huge fan of audiobooks if I’m being honest. I’m too easily distracted by what’s around me. Like a baby or a puppy. If anything were to happen near me or if I spotted anything, I was doomed. And don’t get me started on listening to them in bed. Anyone who can stay awake when they listen to Audible needs to tell me their secret. If I tried to listen to an audiobook, I’d just be forever skipping back to the start of the chapter. But towards the end of this year, I started listening to one audiobook every weekend. Not only was it a really lovely way to relax when I had nothing planned but it got my reading numbers up even further. By the end of 2019, I’d got through 10 audiobooks. So, without them, I’d not have got to my reading total. When it came to listing them, I wanted to do a top 5 but, in the end, couldn’t decide between a few. So, I went with a top 6. I know what you’re thinking, why not just put all 10 in order? Laziness. I’ve already written two top 10 lists already tonight. I didn’t fancy another. So, here we go.