Sunday, December 18

Reading Challenge? I Give Up.

Yes, you read correctly. I gave up on my Goodreads challenge. To be honest I'm not surprised, and I'm not really disappointed. As I mentioned (many, many times) the intention with setting a reading target was always to motivate me to get back into reading, which it definitely did (and I imagine will continue to). So if you aren't on Goodreads (or a similar site), I'd recommend joining and setting up your own for 2012!

Nevertheless, I couldn't completely give in without sharing the last two books I completed, and incidentally my two favourite books of the year.
1. When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
"Spanning four decades, from 1968 onwards, this is the story of a fabulous but flawed family and the slew of ordinary and extraordinary incidents that shape their everyday lives. It is a story about childhood and growing up, loss of innocence, eccentricity, familial ties and friendships, love and life. Stripped down to its bare bones, it's about the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister."
My favourite, favourite - one of those 'read it in one sitting because you can't bear to put it down' books. It's a beautiful combination of enchanting fantasy, sweet sincerity and emotionally heart-breaking (I cried quite a bit, ie uncontrollable sobbing 'quite a bit'). The book is split into two parts - childhood and adulthood, I found the former a lot stronger, than the latter and there were parts that I had to go back and re-read, simply because I'd misunderstand something, but overall a truly beautiful book.

2. How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
"1913 – Suffragette throws herself under the King’s horse. 1969 – Feminists storm Miss World. NOW – Caitlin Moran rewrites The Female Eunuch from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller."
I love Caitlin's writing - see the now infamous Lady Gaga interview - I love Caitlin's tweets. So, I couldn't wait to love her book, and love it, I did. Part memoir, part guide and part feminist script 'How To Be A Woman' is laugh-out-loud-on-public-transport funny. A little 'jumpy' in parts, as the links between 'memoir' and 'feminist rant' don't flow as easily as they could. I do however love Caitlin's honesty whether she's talking about her childhood, pregnancy, sex or abortion - she remains completely frank throughout.

So, what do I plan to read next, albeit at my leisure and not in parallel with a self-enforced reading target? Well, I'm playing catch-up with films at the moment so I'm planning to read The Great Gatsby and Wuthering Heights, both of which I've previously attempted to read, but didn't enjoy (F. Scott Fitzgerald books and I don't get on, at all). As well as, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, which also has a film adaptation coming out - this was one of my 'issues with the library' books that you may be aware of if you follow me on Twitter - I ended up having to return it within a couple of weeks of getting it out, I love Jonathan Safran Foer's writing, so I'm itching to read it. Finally, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, which was recommended by a friend and since reading up about it seems to have been pretty well recieved. 

Are reading any great books at the moment? 
As always I love recommendations!


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