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
On Saturday, I set out a list of reading resolutions for the year. As usual, one of the majors ones was to buy fewer books. This is something I try and fail to keep every year. The publishing industry just can’t stop bringing out more fantastic books. However, I do intend to do better this year because I’m painfully aware that I have something of storage problem. In order to stop myself from buying new books, I have set myself a second resolution of actually reading the books on my shelves. I have that classic bookish problem of having owned books for years. This is especially true of my Kindle. I tend to buy cheap ebooks on a whim and then forget about them. According to Amazon, I bought Jonathan Unleashed in December 2016. That means I’ve owned it for 4 years. It feels as though it was time to finally give it a chance.
I wasn’t going to bother setting any resolutions this year, reading or otherwise. I think it tends to put too much pressure on and you end up feeling worse if you don’t do as well as expected. I’ve tried doing the normal ones but it never last more than a couple of weeks. So, I just tend to tell myself that I’ll just try and be happier, kinder and healthier. That’s the kind of goal I can work with. I also don’t even really set reading ones. I’ve only been setting myself a yearly reading goal since 2018. Again, I just don’t like the added pressure. I always worried that I would end up reading books simply to cross another number off. However, I found that it has helped me read more, so it’s a tradition that I’ve kept up. Even though I tend to keep my target fairly modest.
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 my2020 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
Earlier this week the Irish Times published a review of writer Dolly Alderton’s debut novel Ghost. The review was negative and its tone caused some major controversy on social media. There were plenty of people who believed the review shouldn’t have been published and was overly harsh. Something that was deemed even worse considering the novel was her first fictional release. I wasn’t planning on discussing it all because I haven’t read the book in question. In fact, I’ve not ready anything written by Alderton so I wasn’t exactly emotionally invested in the saga. This week, something happened to change my mind. Something that wasn’t linked to this story in anyway but certainly got me thinking about it.
Yet again, I find myself without a finished book to review on a Wednesday. So, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to write instead. I was toying with a rant idea but I think I need to gather my thoughts a bit more. Instead, I decided to turn to an old favourite in the arsenal of any book blogger: the quotes post. Autumn is the perfect time for cosy crime and I am craving a good Agatha Christie session at the moment. In honour of that, I thought I’d share some of wisest words. As it was her 130th birthday last week, I picked a quotation for every decade since she was born.
It’s always going to be big new when a famous person turns their hand to writing a novel. There is always the question of how good it is going to be. Plus, you have to wonder if they’ve been handed a publishing deal that should have gone to someone else. I mean, Katie Price has published loads of books but did she deserve it? Yes, she gave a ghostwriter a job but those books are just empty of quality. Or at least the ones I’ve read. The publishing industry is unfair and it’s already incredibly difficult for new writers to get their start. So, the new that Richard Osman got a 7 figure deal, £1.1 million, does raise questions. Was his book going to be worth reading or was it just an obvious cash grab? It’s from how well it’s done, that the money won’t be an issue but what about the content? I had to find out.
So, thanks to a localised lockdown in my area, I’ve spent August inside again. That’s 5 months of not really going out. I’ve seen family occasionally and seen a couple of friends since March but it’s not much. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to socialise. Thankfully, my isolation has finally seen an increase in the number of books I’ve read. It’s so large that I’m not entirely convinced that I haven’t made a mistake. It feels as though I haven’t read anything this month but, according to Goodreads, I’ve done pretty well. Better than I’d normally do anyway.
Number of books read:9/10 Number of books on hold: 1 Number of physical books: 5 Number of ebooks: 4/5 Number of audiobooks: 0
As I said in my review last Monday, I always like doing what I can to help writers promote their work. A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a couple of poets via Instagram offering me the chance to read their latest poetry collections. As someone who is always trying to read more contemporary poetry, I readily agreed. This Sunday, after having a small issue with Amazon, I sat down to read The Daylight Plays Tricks on Us by Julieanne Hoffmann. I hadn’t planned to finish it in one go but that’s exactly what happened.
Talk about “exciting times”. There was a huge question mark over whether or not I’d get this book finished in time to write my review today. I had a bit of chunk left on Monday night but I had an early blood test the next day. This meant minimum late-night reading. The plan was to finish it on my lunch break on Tuesday. Unfortunately, that never happened. A big issue with working from home is the proximity of my bed to my workstation. I tend to eat lunch as I work and have a break later in the afternoon. This means I can spend the whole time doing nothing. Yesterday, I set my alarm for an hour and had a nap. It was pathetic. I’m not going to be fit for anything once I’m no loner shielding. Still, it got me through the rest of the day. It did mean that I had to quickly get through the final 60 pages and write this review all in the same night. As you can guess, I managed it and with a pretty good chunk of time to spare. It’s all down to the power nap.