I admit that it took me longer to read my first book of 2021 than I’d have imagined. I started on January 1st and have only just finished today. I’m just experiencing that classic January reading slump. I could have spent last weekend reading but I just couldn’t focus. It doesn’t help that I’m pretty tired now I’m starting back in the old work routine but it should help me get better at reading. It got so bad this week that I was worried I wouldn’t even finish the book in time. So, I turned to the audiobook version to finish the last two thirds. It turned out to be a bad idea because I really didn’t get on board with one of the narrators. She just didn’t sound like I imagined the character would. In fact, very few of the voices seemed to fit their characters. It was a real shame and made it harder to engage with the story.
I finished Twleve Nights about 2/3 days before the end of 2020 so I had a bit of a conundrum about what to pick next. I wanted something that I could definitely finish in time because I hate the idea of carrying a book over. I feel like a failure and I don’t like that it skews my final count. I picked this one up even though it’s the longest book I’ve read for ages because I was being cocky. Of course, when it got to the morning of the 31st, I still have about 200 pages to go. Considering we were babysitting my niece during the day, it didn’t leave me with a great deal of time to read either. So, as soon as she left, I retreated to my room and didn’t come out until I’d finished. As it turned out, I finished it in about 2 hours, which goes to show how much more I could achieve if I just took the time to read properly. Anyway, I did what I wanted and got it finished. But was it the best book to choose as my final book of the year?
What have you been reading this week?
2020 is finally over and we can start looking to the future. Of course, things are going to magically get better over night but we can all hopefully see our friends and family a bit more this year. If we do, I am certain that my yearly reading count will go down but I’m hoping that I can keep the momentum going for now. I was almost always getting through 2 books a week last year and I hope to be able to do that consistently this year. Maybe even every week, though I do doubt my skills.
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
2020 really hasn’t been the year that any of us suspected it would be. Do you remember back in January when we all had hope for the future? Little did we know that the future would entail being shut inside. Of course, as awful as the last 12 months have been, there were some upsides to the constant lockdowns and shielding. In 2019, I set myself a fairly modest reading target of 50. I assumed that I would beat it but not by much. In 2019, I beat my target of 50 by 9. I had no reason to believe that I would do much better but I was secretly aiming to get through 2 books a week. Still, I decided to give myself a realistic target and not feel like I was pushing myself too far. So, the question was, did I manage to keep the momentum going this year and smash my goal?
We’re so close to the end of the year which means that everyone is thinking about what they’ve achieved this year. For us bookish folks that mainly means the number of books that we’ve read. I’m already seeing people compiling their list of favourite books for 2020. How are they so on it? I’ve figured out which my top 5 rated books are but that doesn’t mean they were my favourite reads. Flawless books don’t always give us the same feels as slightly flawed books do. It’s not always the most fun to read a technically brilliant book. I have been looking back over my reviews for the year though. I think I get more wary of ratings near New Year’s Eve because I remember all of the great books I’ve read over the last 12 months. The books I’m currently reading start to pale in comparison to the books I’d long forgotten about until now. I blame that for my struggle to rate this book. I couldn’t decide so went with a bit of a compromise. Next year, I’m only doing rereads on December. It’s easier.
As you know, I love a bit of cosy crime. I’ve enjoyed reading Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle for as long as I can remember. More than anything, I have an affinity for the novels from the Golden Age of detective fiction. Just give me a whodunnit in a country house, an amateur sleuth and plenty of red herrings. That’s all I really need. Modern crime fiction is getting too pretentious for my liking. It’s trying to be more like television and it’s getting ridiculous. So, when this contemporary version of a Golden Age novel I knew that I had to give it a go. I’m always wary of books that get compared to Agatha Christie because no modern writer has ever been able to match her genius. Still, I’m always hopefully that someone will come close.
What have you been reading this week?
We’re into that bizarre period between Christmas and New Year when time goes a bit weird. I’ve been exhausted since I woke up on December 25th and have been craving my bed ever since. As soon as the sun goes down, my body goes into shutdown mode and becomes convinced that it’s much closer to bedtime than it actually is. Part of me can’t wait to get back to work, so I get back into a proper routine again. Although, the rest of me wants to delay the New Year in the hope that I can cram a few more books in this year.
So, yet again, my Christmas reading hasn’t gone to plan. It’s my own fault really because who has time for much reading at the moment? I just always seem to have something to do. Meaning all of the books that are over 200 or so pages just seem super long. To get something finished for today’s post, I decided to pick up another short one. I don’t think I’ve ever read the original version of The Nutcracker by German writer E.T.A. Hoffmann. Although, I’ve had this gorgeous illustrated copy for years. I figured it was worth finally checking it out.
I’ve read a few shorter reads recently and I wasn’t sure that I’d have enough to say for a full review without waffling on for ages. So, I decided to do something a bit different and shove a few mini reviews together in one post. It means that I won’t necessarily go into too much detail but that’s probably for the best. I’m still kind of undecided about how I feel about two of them and the third is just not the kind of book that demands an in-depth analysis. So, I’ll spare you the pain of having to read a messy full review and leave you with these little tidbits.