I love words. I’d love to say that I always have but I’m not sure that’s true. But I’ve always enjoyed writing and putting words together. I always got carried away. I remember once in my school days writing an essay that was 3x the length of my friends’ essay. I just couldn’t stop. Then there was the time at university when I wrote a piece of coursework that was double the word count. It was an absolute bitch having to edit that thing down. It’s entirely possible that some of it didn’t even make sense in the end because I couldn’t cut enough words out. I just bloody love words. When I used to work in a kitchen and a waitress needed the chicken adding to their Caesar salad, I’d make then ask for a “Caesar pleaser”. Just cause I love a rhyme. The best part of my new job is being paid to write stuff. I’m super annoying though. I’ll rewrite everything my colleagues write because it doesn’t sound good enough to me. I’m sure they all hate me. But, at the same time, they’ve spent all of today trying to tell me that it should be “kids shirts” and not “kids’ shirts”. So, fuck ’em. Instead, let’s focus on those beautiful bookish words. Here are some of my favourites.
This was the last book that I read in 2019. It was something that I’d been dipping in and out of for most of the month along with The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories. I knew I’d never get all the way through the Penguin collection so I made the choice to focus on this instead. Anyone who had read my review of Emma Thompson’s film Last Christmas will know that I didn’t like it. Really didn’t like it. However, I was all in favour of the accompanying book. I thought that it was a really fun idea and the fact that it was helping to raise money was an added bonus. I had to buy this book because so many great people were involved. I’m a fickle person after all. Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Richard Ayoade, Olivia Colman, Billy Bailey, Meryl Streep: all people I adore. I was genuinely excited to see what they had written. We all like getting a glimpse at the private lives of people we see in the media and this was like being invited to their house on Christmas day. Who wouldn’t say yet to that?
Everywhere that I look people seem to be writing Best of the Decade lists. I’ve seen lists about books, writers, films, music, television and more. Part of my thinks that, as a respectful blogger, I should have written my own such lists. However, I know that my terrible memory means that I have no idea what I’ve consumed in the last 10 years. And, even if I could, it would only be a tiny fraction of everything. Certainly with books. I won’t have read much for the first part of the decade. It was only when I started to review books more that I started keeping track of my books. It’s been really useful but I should have started doing it earlier. So, instead of looking back for this Friday Favourites I’m looking forward. To the books, I want to read this year. I’ve made a promise to myself (that I’m already wanting to break) that I won’t buy any new books. I’ve got too many unread ones on my shelf that I have to stop buying. So, 2020 is about the books that have been around for weeks, months, years without being opened. Its time. Because my TBR pile is pretty huge. Although, as we all know, not every TBR book is created equal. As much as I don’t like to play favourites, I know there are certain books that I’m more excited about reading. These are just a few that are currently at the top.
Another month and another reading wrap-up. We seem to be getting better by the month. September saw me get through 5 books. In October I managed 6. This month? A ground-breaking (for me) 7 books. Of course, one of the Bookstagrammers that I follow called her wrap-up of 7 “respectable”. Something that, in the bookish world at least, means rubbish. Still, some people’s respectable is another person’s triumph. I don’t remember the last time I managed to get through 7 books a month. It was definitely not since I graduated and I graduated way back in 2011. So I’ll take it.
Once again, I got cocky with my reading. I posted my review of My Sister, The Serial Killer on Monday thinking that I’d have no trouble finishing the book that I was currently reading. Cut to tonight and I’m madly trying to finish this novel so I can get this post written. I’m not sure why I picked up this book. It’s a YA crime thriller and I don’t exactly have a great history with them. I’m still haunted by One Of Us Is Lying and it’s been ages. But I found a copy of this for £3.99 and I was feeling reckless. What could go wrong? I guess it also spoke to me on a personal level. For my A-Level history coursework, I had set out to try and solve the murder of Thomas Becket. Yep, 17-year-old me had decided that I had what it took to decide who, other than the king, had organised the murder the Archbishop of Canterbury. I was an idiot and quickly realised that it was a stupid idea. I still wrote about it but in a much more vague and analytical way. It wasn’t my best work. I’m not a great historian. But, I at least had a connection to the main character in this book. Even though she would surely succeed where I failed.
Another month and another reading wrap-up. In terms of the number of weeks to books, October was an even better month than September. I managed to finish 6 whole books, which is well beyond what I thought possible. I knew that I would get through 5 but I finished the 6th over two nights. I’ve never been on this great a reading streak before. Which means I’ll probably crash and burn in November. But we can think about that later. For now, I’m still on a post-October high. Let’s dive into this.
I was so terrible at reading last week that, on Saturday, I decided I need to find a quick read to race through before Monday. That is the only reason that I’ve strayed from my Halloween related reads. I bought this book as soon as it came out because I was so excited about it. I’ve got both of Richard Ayoade’s last books and could not wait to get his third. I absolutely love his weird and dry sense of humour. It’s what I like to imagine that I’m like but, in reality, I’m much meaner and less funny than he is. I also don’t have quite such impressive hair or such a strong dress sense.
I’m not a fan of horror films. I never have been. When I was a child, I used to freak out about everything. My sisters still make fun of me for not being able to watch the part of The Neverending Story with the creepy eyes in the cave. The first time I watched Jurassic Park I couldn’t sleep because of the spitty dinosaur. I’m happy to say that I’m much better now but I still can’t be bothered with most contemporary horror films. They’re just a load of jump scares put together with a super flimsy and silly plot. Either that or torture porn like the Saw movies. It’s just not something I want to spend my time watching. Which means, next week on October 31st, I won’t be enjoying a horror movie fest. I might see if I can find a classic to watch but I’d rather spend the night reading a scary book. So, for this week’s Friday Favourites, I wanted to list some of my top spooky reads for Halloween.
I’ve had such a dreadful reading week that I wasn’t even sure I’d get this book finished for my review today. I was reading right up to the last minute but I did it. And it was a suitable October read to boot. Okay, so it’s not scary but it’s got witches in it. I’ve read a few Terry Pratchett novels over the years but there are still loads that I’ve not got round to yet. My TBR is already longer than I can remember and there are so many Discworld novels out there. So, I’m slowly trying to make my way through them. Very slowly. I like Terry Pratchett but sometimes he does get a bit distracted in whimsy. It’s why I think Good Omens works so well. Neil Gaiman keeps him on track and Terry brings a lighter touch to Neil’s normal style. It really is the best of both of them. Not that either of them are bad writers but nobody is perfect.
I’ve had a much less euphoric week than I’d had last week. 7 days ago, I was celebrating finishing one book and being near the end of another. This week, I’m not even 100 pages into my latest read. I’ve been distracted and tired so it’s not exactly gone to plan. Plus, the weather has been better. I’ve not had to hide from the rain on my lunch. This would usually see me sat in Costa reading a book with a peppermint tea. No rain means no midday reading. But I’m hopeful I can get it finished before I need to write my review. I’ve done more unbelievable things for this blog before now.