November is here and we’re about to go back into lockdown, so it’s kind of like it March again. Supposedly for a month but we’ll see how that goes. If I do get furloughed, at least I can use my time getting on top of my TBR. I’m currently reading my 71st book of the year. That’s 21 above my original target of 50. I doubt I’ll be able to double it but I’ll get bloody close.
Number of books read: 7
Number of rereads: 6
Number of physical books: 4
Number of ebooks: 2
Number of audiobooks: 2
It feels like ages since I last posted something on here. Given how everything has gone in the last week or so, I’m glad that I made the decision to stop posting here. It would have felt weird trying to act as if everything is normal when so many people are fighting for their basic human rights. I’ve always considered myself to be anti-racist but I’ve realised that I’ve been doing the bare minimum. So, I’ve taken the last few days to think about who I am and what I can do to help. That includes reading and learning as much as I can. Meaning my June wrap-up may have a bit of a theme to it. For now, one week late, it’s time to look back on my last month.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been rewatching the whole of the Game of Thrones TV adaptation. Until season 7 and 8, it was a great reminder of how good a show it was. It’s weird to think now, that it was once one of the greatest shows ever created. It also got me wishing that George RR Martin was ready to release the next instalment in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I can’t even remember how long ago it was that I read A Dance With Dragons. When the new book eventually comes out, I’m not going to be able to remember a damn thing that happened. Not that I’m complaining. I’d rather he take his time and do it right. If the last two seasons of the show taught us anything, it’s that it isn’t a series you can rush. I’ve often thought about going back and rereading the fifth book but it always seemed like a silly thing to do. My TBR is too big and The Winds of Winter won’t be out for ages anyway. This week I decided to get my George RR Martin fix elsewhere. I’ve tried and failed to read some of his non-ASOIAF books in the past but I just couldn’t get on board with them. So, this time I went for a related book. It’s not actually part of the same world but it’s in the right area.
We all had such high hopes for 2020, right? We were all kind of hoping that it would be the year everything got a bit better but now we’re living in the start of a disaster movie. In the UK, we’re battling with a Prime Minister who is two weeks behind where he should be and still not willing to do what he needs to. Yes, the economy may take a hit but why are there so few people who see that as less important as saving lives? The economy can come back, we’ve seen it. You know what can’t come back? All the people who have already died. But now that most of the world is practising social distancing or self-isolation, there has been a lot of talk about how to fill your time. Most people appear to have high hopes for their time stuck inside. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people mentioning King Lear as though they, like Shakespeare, are going to pen a masterpiece that is still performed/read hundreds of years later. Well, if their plans go anything like mine, the next few weeks will be pretty unproductive.
As I’ve said countless times already this week, I didn’t get a lot of reading done over Oscars week. I just couldn’t find the time between writing so many posts and watching so many films. Yet, I’ve been determined to continue writing 2 book reviews a week. For one thing, it pushes me to read more and, for another, it gives the blog a better balance between films and reading. In order to catch up, I listened to 2 more audiobooks this weekend. The first was The Child which I reviewed on Monday. The second was a dramatisation of Winnie The Pooh. I was all set to post a review of it today but, instead, I wanted to talk about something that’s been bugging me recently. I was out with some friends last week (none of them are big readers) when I mentioned how many books I’d read last year. They were impressed, which is how you can tell they’re not overly bookish people. Compared to most of you buys I’m an amateur! But, they’re encouragement was quickly displaced with disbelief when I mentioned how useful audiobooks had been in helping me get there. Apparently, it doesn’t count. I know they were joking but, in the bookish world, this attitude still exists. And I’m not here for it.
Do you have a favourite book? I know that it’s one of the most difficult questions that you could possibly ask a bookish person. We have shelves crammed full of books, how the hell are we meant to edit that down to just one deserving book? It’s all about context, timing, age, and countless other variables. Although, we all have books that we prefer to the others. It’s like children: we all know our parents have a favourite but they’re just kind enough to not tell us. I’d definitely place The Monk at the top of my favourites list. The rest of the books on there might change as time goes by but this has been there since I first read it. I’ve always been a fan of the Romantic period and, though my studies, I became enamoured with gothic fiction. You may remember that I wrote a beginner’s guide to gothic fiction of the 1790s. I wrote my postgraduate dissertation on it and it was mainly so I could use this book. I love it. I’ve tried to make so many people read it but it’s not for everyone. It’s a bit much but, then again, so am I.
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.
Another month and another reading wrap-up. In terms of the number of weeks to books, September has been a good month for me. In that, it was 4 weeks long and I finished 5 whole books and am well on my way with the 6th. I think getting rid of Netflix helped a bit. I know I’ve got Prime now but it’s such a pain trawling through Prime that there have been more occasions when I’ve just given up and gone off to read. I think it also helps that I’ve been reading books that I was really excited to read as well. My biggest struggle was the Stranger Things book that took way longer than it should have. I could probably have got another book done if it hadn’t been for that.
At the end of March I posted my first ever monthly wrap-up. It was mostly because I’d managed to read 8 books that month and felt that it needed recording somewhere. I haven’t done quite as well this month because I started my new job. For the first few weeks I wasn’t reading quite as quickly as normal. Still, I managed a fairly commendable 5. Again, this might not seem like a lot to some of you but, for me, this is outstanding. Especially when compared to last year. My 2018 reading target was 30 books and I managed to get 4 books over. This year I set myself the same target and I’m basically already there. Only 6 to go and we’re only in the 5th month. So, this shows you just how much better I’ve been with reading this year. Let’s hope it continues for the rest of the year and into 2020.
This week I find myself having finished a few shorter reads that I want to talk about but that didn’t really fill a full review. Not wanting to drag something out for the sake of it, I’m going to combine them all in one simple post. Why not?