The Highs And Then The Lows

I’ve often wondered if I’m alone in experiencing the frustrations of extreme reading highs and lows. You may know what I mean but in case I’m making no sense let me explain.

 You start a book and the first 100 or so pages or a blur of reading frenzy. No sooner have you opened the first page when your desperate to reach the last, and yet you never want to put the book down so delectable is it to you. But then somewhere in the middle or towards the end your focus starts to wane, your interest lessens in intensity and no longer are you up into the earlier hours reading but instead you’re struggling to get through more than 10 pages.

It’s a curious and fairly regular recurring state of mind for me to find myself in, in fact it even happens with books I really like. I’ve just finished Annabel by Kathleen Winter, I loved this book as you will soon see from my imminent review, and yet towards the last 100 pages the book became slightly sluggish for me. It wasn’t Annabel that to me was accountable to blame. The book was incredible and in my opinion stayed in most parts superbly written to the end. And yet still I found my attention wandering. I felt impatient, keen to reach the end, my TBR list began to loom at me once more, demanding me to pay attention to a new story.

This feeling seems to be increasing which leads me to think it really isn’t the books at fault but just my own lack of patience and desperation to start something new. And yet there are books that start off fabulously and then quickly ascend into dreary apathy and boredom.

So do you experience reading highs and lows? And if you do is it because you too are keen to reach the end and start something new? Or is it a problem you have experienced with particular books where you find the writer accountable?

I loved for example Before I Go To Sleep from the very first page and was hooked from the word one. However towards the novels end all of the high praise I had been singing for this book began to fade. Had I made a mistake in claiming this to be one of the best books in 2011 I wondered. The ending to me was hasty and rushed giving me a huge feeling of coming down from a big reading high.

So it would seem there are two different types of reading highs and lows. There are the one’s that for all I know, only myself in my impatience experience. And then there are those which we get from books that start with huge potential and then summit into poor writing, bad endings and stylistic flaws. Some writers just don’t seem to be able to maintain the perfection with which they execute the beginning of their stories and then carry it through to the end. Does anyone else find this frustrating?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, do you have highs and lows? If so which type? Which writers have you found suffer from these writing highs and lows? And which books if any have had this effect of great excitement followed by extreme disappointment for you?

Challenge 54 – Answers On the back of a postcard please

You might remember a recent post were I talked a little about the Day Zero challenge that I am taking part in. I have 1001 days to complete 101 tasks. Many of the tasks are of course book related and most are at the moment a work in progress.

But challenge number 54 is a little more special because it requires the help of you lovely readers. My challenge is to read the first 10 books nominated to me by the visitors to this blog.

So far though I have sadly only had two nominations. Although they both look like wonderful reads so I can’t complain too much.

Dave from Manchester’s Artistic Son recommended Finger Smith by Sarah Walters which is one of his favourite books and one he has been trying to get me to read for ages. I’m very happy with the nomination as it’s one I’ve wanted to read for a while.

Manchester Meanders selected Iain Banks Complicity, again everyone has been insisting I read this one and I know I should haves got round to it sooner. I’m sure I will love this book too and I’m always saying I need more books written by males so this ticks plenty of boxes.

But I’m still 8 down! So please do get in touch and tell me which book you would like me to read. Perhaps it’s a book you love and think I will like but one that I haven’t read? Or perhaps it’s one I haven’t even heard of and you want to introduce me to it? Maybe you would like to see my thoughts on a certain book or just make me read something I probably wouldn’t go for?

Whatever the motivation it really doesn’t matter because this is a challenge and I will say yes to anything. Keep those nominations coming and happy reading as always.

Booking Through Thursday – Replay

It’s been a while since I joined in with the wonderful Booking Through Thursday and their weekly Meme so when I saw this weeks post titled Replay I couldn’t resist getting involved.

The topic this week is;

Have you ever finished a book and loved it so much you went right back and started re-reading it again?

Now this is a concept on which I have strong feelings, not because I am a serial re reader, actually far from it. But because I have never been able to re read a book straight after reading it. In fact I would be hard pressed to find a book I would want to read again even a year later.

That isn’t to say I chastise anyone who does, quite on the contrary I admire people who can and do re-read books, but I’ll be honest I rarely even consider re reading a book  and hadn’t though of doing so until I saw this post on BTT.

What about you? Can you re read a book straight after finishing it? Do you like to? Or do you prefer to re read a book after a lengthy time has passed?

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with re-reading books and I’m not entirely sure where the problem for me lies. All I do know is that whenever I pick up a previously read book (no matter how much I loved it the first time round) I can never get back into it.

Perhaps its because I am impatient and my TBR list is so high, the thought of reading old books just seems so time-consuming that I can’t bring myself to it. In the back of my mind I can permanently see a list of other appealing and un reads books vying for my attention, the demand is too much to really soak up an old read.

I have always felt a pang of jealousy though when a fellow reader expressed the comfort they received from re reading again and again a classic favourite. Perhaps I jut need to try harder?

The last book I read and really adored was The Girls by Lori Lansen, and even though I finished it in the airport and only had a collection of short stories to keep me going I favoured those because for me the book was far too fresh in mind. To start the book again so soon would be to re read words, phrases and ideas that I had only just devoured, my attention would never be strong enough for that.

All of that said I have managed to re-read the His Dark Material Trilogy by Philip Pullman but for me these books contain so much magic and so many characters and other worlds that a re read only allows me to re discover events and details previously missed. And I don’t think I could ever re read them straight after putting them down.

I can re-read a short story, although I’ve never tried re reading it again straight after reading it but I’ll now give that a go. Off course short stories are not so consuming and therefore I am not plagued by the other books on my TBR that this rereading is preventing me from enjoying.

There is though one book that I can and will read and read and that is Disaster With The Fiend…but that is a children’s book and therefore not the greatest of challenges. I’ve never re read it again after just finishing it but I’m also going to give that a go, and who know’s I might just like it.

I adore this book because it transports me back to my childhood where I would read it with my Grandfather at the kitchen table. If, for me any book is worthy of an immediate re read then this is the one.

So what about everyone else? Please do let me know your feelings on Replaying books and your experiences of doing so.

Don’t forget to leave your comments at BBT too or even better re post this question with your own answers on your blog.

Day Zero…My Reading Challenges and why I need your help!

You may or may not have heard of a project entitled Day Zero, it’s all really very simple you pick a list of 101 challenges that you wish to complete and you have 1001 days to do it in. The reason for having quite a long time to do all of these challenges is that it should hopefully, make it more manageable to complete the tasks.

For more detailed information on this challenge you can check out there http://dayzeroproject.com/ which explains the whole concept a lot more eloquently, but in summary having taken on this ultimate challenge I have chosen now for myself 101 challenges that I have just about 1001 days to complete them.

You can check out my full list on the site, however I wont be boring you with all of the challenges, just the book related ones naturally.

And here they are;

2. Publish 100 posts on my blog – So far I have reached 45 since starting the blog in March, quite a respectable number…I hope. So I feel that 100 should be feasible. I would like to complete this challenge by the New Year, so I had better get reading.

16. Read Ten Literary Classics – I decided to take up this challenge because despite reading a wealth of classics at university it seems like many life times ago that I picked up a true classic. I haven’t started making my list yet, I’m actually very open to suggestions if anyone could help. Are there any classic’s that you would strongly recommend? Something I just have to read? I’d love some ideas. So far the only one on there is Little Women which I’ve always meant to read and yet some how never got round to.

17. Read my height in books – This might sound like a silly challenge but I’m actually very curious to see how easily I can do this. Starting from yesterday I will make a note of the height of any books I read and hopefully in not too long I will have reached my own height 5.4. If I do manage to do it then there will definitely be some photo’s going up…but how long will a challenge like this take me? I’m not that tall and I read a lot but I can be quite a slow reader. One thing is for sure it will definitely give me a sense of how much I do and don’t read. If you were to do this challenge how long do you think it would take you?

51. Read a book written by someone I disagree with - At first when this suggestion came up I skimmed past it, but then I go to thinking that maybe I miss out on a whole world of amazing books because I judge the book by the author? How many wonderful reads might I already have missed out on and therefore robbed myself of the joy of reading. So with that in mind I need to do some research and look into some writers that I have up in till now failed to empathise with. Maybe a biography of a famous person I always disagreed with? I wonder if I will change my mind.

52. Read Pride and Prejudice – I know, I know it’s a true classic, why have I not read it yet? I ask myself the same questions and yet I just never got round to it. I even studied this whole time period at university and yet never fancied this book. I always fancied edgy contemporary styles but now I find my tastes changing and with it the feeling that I must read this book.

53. Host Ten Book Group (not including the ones I did prior to this list) – I’ve really been enjoying book group and found it a great way to meet people, read books I normally wouldn’t read, and off course talk about my favorite topic…BOOKS! So this is another little challenge that I would love to see completed. Last week we had our third meet where we will discuss Before I Go To Sleep but off course it will count as the first one in this challenge.

54. Ask all readers of my blog to recommend a book. Read first 10 recommendations – This challenge, like number 16 is slightly more interactive in that it involves the lovely readers of my blog. I’m asking all of you to recommend a book for me and the first 10 that I haven’t read will go on to my list to be read in order to complete this challenge. Again I’m hoping this will broaden my reading horizons and give me a chance to find out which books you’ve read, loved and now can’t wait to pass on. So please do pass on your ideas and I will diligently begin reading.

80. Attend at leat three literary events – This may seem a bit vague but it’s quite simple, I love books so I really must participate in more events that revolve around them. I recently attended Bookmarked which is hosted by Simon from Savidge Reads, the evening centred around authors S J Watson and Sarah Winman and was a wonderful and interesting night, So more of this please. I need idea’s for at least 3 more events, I will definitely be looking to attend another Bookmarked event but need more idea’s. Anyone in the Manchester area with any idea’s then please do share.

90. Blog at least one a week for a year – Again this may seem like a silly challenge but it’s amazing how much we allow to go to the waste from a lack of motivation. To that end I have decided to make a personal vow with myself that from yesterday when my list commenced that I will blog at least once a week for a whole year. Obviously I hope to achieve more but this way I have the constant motivation to keep up with a hobby that I have really grown to love.

So that’s all of my challenges, what do you think? Could you be tempted to take part in this yourself? Do let me know if you decide to and off course I can’t wait to hear all of your recommendations. Don’t forget that thanks to these challenges I will read anything that you throw my way so be daring, chose whatever you please just let me know what books I simply must read on my new 1001 day challenge.

Also do let me know if you ever chose book challenges for yourself? Perhaps you have a minimum amount of books you read each week, month, year or maybe you have a different challenge. I’d love to hear them.

Book to Film adaption’s – Do They Work?

After recently seeing Lone Scherfig’s movie adaption of David Nicholls One Day I got to thinking about the temperamental success of such endeavours. What is it with book to movie adaption’s? Sometimes they work brilliantly and sometimes they crash and burn so disastrously that we are forced to watch them through half closed eyes, inwardly cringing at the brutal injustice bestowed on a favorite novel.

I’m sure that every book lover out there that has received the news of plans to adapt an adored book to the big screen and have met this news with lots of indignation and plenty of trepidation. But why do some work and some…well just don’t?

Is it that with some books we love them so dearly that we can never fully shake of our protective and biased eyes for long enough to enjoy them? Or is it that some books should simply be left on the written page? Not tampered with, just left in their pure form? 

 I often have these thoughts when any cherished novel finds it’s way to Hollywood and I will admit a slightly selfish part of me doesn’t want my favorite books to be shared with the whole world in an hour and a half blockbuster movie. I want it to remain precious and untainted, safe in the realm of books. Am I the only one who feels like this? Or do you have similar feelings of not wanting to let go of a beloved book?

 So back to One Day and the big question did I like it? Well if you’ve read my review you will know that I absolutely loved the book. I despaired then when I heard that David Nicholls had allowed it to be turned into a Hollywood movie, why O why ruin something so amazing. Something that in my opinion truly belonged in the written word?

 I’ve watched so many novels that I loved dearly be turned into movies and there aren’t many that I can say weren’t butchered. Off course there are many exceptions and on a positive note I will discuss them…but firstly how was One day? Well actually I have to say it really wasn’t too bad. Now I’m not declaring my love for the film or anything, give me the paper back any day of the week! However I managed to put aside much of what I will admit were my prejudices and actually quite enjoyed the film.

Not much has been tampered with, the writer stays pretty congruent to the actual novel. I always find that a successful film adaption relies on the integral fact that the adaption is either very similar to the book or wildly different. Anything in the middle just makes for a murky, hazy movie.

 But back to One Day, as I said the director stays pretty true to Nicholls’s original story and for that reason the result is rewarding. I can’t really think of any moments where I rolled my eyes at a wildly unrealistic instant or a scene when a beloved experience was inappropriately changed. For this reason though the film was slightly predictable, I know what am I moaning for right? And it’s not really a complaint, more just that I knew everything that was coming so I was more open to distraction whilst watching it.

 I’m pleased that the storyline wasn’t changed and for those that haven’t read the book I think they will have a more enjoyable experience; Seeing it for the first time as it were. For anyone who has read it though you might be feeling like me that the film was just a parallel and therefore there was nothing new or greatly exciting to be gained from the film.

 Again I’m being very critical and I am a huge book fan, not really a movie lover. After a first very critical viewing perhaps I will enjoy it more the second time?

So the really important question, what did everyone else think of the film? Have you read the book or was the movie your first experience of One Day? Did you enjoy it? Think that is was a fair and true adaption or do you have any criticism’s? Please do tell.

 But whilst I’ve probably being quite hard on movie adaption’s thus far I think it only fair to mention some movies where I think the transition was successfully accomplished.

Surprisingly, given that I love Ian McEwan as much as I do, I thought the movie Atonement was brilliant. It’s been quite sometime since I read or watched the book/movie so it’s tricky to say how well the original plot line was adhered too but I loved both. Off course they are different, each stirring diverse emotions within me. They had varied after tastes and were overall just completely different experiences. But I was pleasantly surprised and I will just as happily slip on the movie as I will read the book.

Again I surprise myself in saying that I still enjoyed the movie adaption of Never Let Me Go, and sacrilege, I actually watched the movie first, which by my own standards is a cardinal sin. I actually found thankfully that far from spoiling the book for me it actually made it a little easier to understand, and yes there are a few changes but the director put his own stamp on the film and that is what’s most important. It allowed the film to work in it’s own rights and meant that both film and book are rewarding and touching to either read or watch.

Now I’m not saying this next adaption was perfect but I thought the movie version of The Time Traveler’s wife was again quite a decent transition. None of the romance and heartbreak of the novel were missed from the movie and in many ways watching it on the big screen was a little less confusing than reading the book. But off course films are never the same as books and for me my heart will always lie with the book.

But I haven’t yet been totally converted to films and there are still a shocking amount of poor adaptations that I can find myself reeling at. For example The Northern Lights Trilogy, Philip Pullman you are by far one of my all time writers but why let Hollywood get their hands on these amazing works of fiction I will never know. And Daniel Craig playing Lord Asriel, well I just couldn’t stand it I’m afraid. I turned the movie of not long after it started, some things just don’t work and for me this was a clear case of why movie adaption’s should just sometimes not happen.

But instead of reeling about all of the adaption’s that I have hated I will end this latest musing with a slightly more positive note, I’m very excited and highly anticipating the up and coming production of Before I Go To Sleep which I actually think will make a brilliant film. I’m half way through the book at the moment and I believe it will make for an excellent movie. There’s something about thrillers which means they actually work, for me anyway, really well when taken from the written page to the big screen.

 Perhaps this is one time when Hollywood getting their mitts on a great book is a good thing? Special effects, dramatic climax’s, these are ingredients integral to a thriller and things that are usually done well in movies.

So what does everyone else? Do you agree with my thoughts on adaption’s or do you have a different take on them? Which one’s have worked for you and which one’s sadly didn’t?

Help I’m having a book dilemma!

We all know the problem so many books such little time. We have bookshelves at home teeming with books, threatening to collapse under the sheer weight of such a tantalizing selection of reads. And yet there’s just not enough hours in the day to read them! So now that I have a summer holiday booked it seems only right that I gear myself up for some serious pool side reading. Bliss. Off course now that I have this imminent freedom I’m stuck – which books do I take?

 And that’s where you all come in, I’m desperate for suggestions and I would also love to hear what you have been reading this summer. Whether it’s on a beach, by the pool or just enjoying some sunshine in the park. Which books have been your summer companions this year? Or indeed in previous summers? Have you read anything that made the perfect partner for hot summer days, can you suggest a book that is perfect for willing away rare uninterrupted hours with?

 I’m going to Barcelona and Alicante and shamefully I’ve read very little Spanish literature so can anyone recommend any good books relating to the Spanish region or culture?

I’ve composed a short list of my most memorable summer reads and would like to hear yours. Please feel free to leave your comments or even better post your list on your blog and I will check it out.

 Here are my summer reads;

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton – I don’t know about you but when I’m on holiday I like to chill out. So I put aside my more heavy demanding books and indulge in something with a strong compelling story, something I can completely lose myself in. I read this book when travelling on a gap year and it made the perfect antidote to long car journeys in the Australian heat. The novel which is set primarily in England beautifully depicts our countryside in the setting of a vividly detailed country home. I loved the magic and enchantment of this book. My only criticism – the splendor of the English countryside is so strongly portrayed that occasionally I was left rather homesick. 

 One of my top summer reads this year is The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly. I bet people are sick of me singing this books praises but I really can’t stop. I read it on a rare day off from work, the sun was shining, the afternoon was mine and the book was the ideal company I craved. A book quite simple in it’s narration but with a story that is so gripping I could not put it down – isn’t that what summer reading is all about after all?

No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay– I hardly ever read crime fiction books which is probably quite evident from my blog but when I read No Time for Goodbye I absolutely loved it. Sometimes I guess you just can’t beat the plot line of a really good crime or thriller story. Although I read this book in winter I kind of wish I had read it in summer as it would have being a great pool side read. A book guaranteed to help you wind down and relax whilst still captivating your attention from page one. His latest novel Never Look Away is out and I can’t think of a better place or time to read it than on holiday. It’s the only book I know I will be taking with me. Has anyone else read this book?

Cloth Girl by Marilyn Heward Mills – One of the great things I discovered when travelling is that books are given a whole new sense of freedom. There are so many travelers who have with them adored books but are unable to carry them about. Instead books get exchanged far more freely than they probably would under normal circumstances, you more often that not find yourself being given a wide array of books and all for nothing! One such book that’ sticks out for me is cloth girl a book that from blurb and cover alone probably wouldn’t have caught my eye but it came so highly recommended that I read and loved it. A top summer read and a truly touching story all rolled into one.

One Day by David Nicholls– If anyone asks me to recommend them a good summer read then I will straight away suggest One Day. A book that seems unparalleled in it’s power to captivate a universal audience, this book is the book that summer readers dream of. It has love, loss, sadness, elation and it is so achingly true to human life and love that it’s hard to find a reader not captivated by this book. If you want a book that will have you laughing and crying in abundance then I would definitely suggest this novel. It was certainly one of my top summer reads this year.

The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons – Again another novel that brilliantly evokes the British country side in full summer bloom, this book works in perfect harmony with warm ( albeit rare) English summers day. Take this book to a secluded park and prepare to give up a summers afternoon to a book that once opened cannot be put down.

So that’s my list of perfect summer reading. What about everyone else? Any memorable books that you’ve read that perfected long, hazy summer days? Maybe you have a holiday planned and have a selection of books that you also can’t wait to read? And what do you look for in a summer book? I’d love to hear your thoughts and off course your much needed recommendations.

Booking Through Thursday

It’s being a while since I last joined in with the wonderful Booking Through Thursday weekly meme but when last weeks musing popped I just couldn’t resist getting involved. If you read any of the comments stemming from my last post, Reading Through June, you’ll notice that me and another fellow blogger have been touching on this weeks topic a little already. Today’s question is all about biographies;

There are so many crappy biographies … would you rather read a poorly-written biography of a fascinating life, OR an exquisitely well-written, wonderful read of one of a not-so-interesting life?

I found it quite interesting that the question started saying ‘There are so many crappy biographies’ it does just seem to be the general consensus does it not, that there are a lot of rubbish biographies out there. But boy do they get read! If your particularly interested in a certain person or celebrity than a biography can be an easy indulgence into their life, or perhaps you just prefer more fictional writing…but here I digress.

The question is would you rather read something not so well written but fascinating in context, or something written well with a subject matter not quite so engrossing. So where do I find myself? Strangely in the first camp. Strange because when selecting a novel the style and execution of the writing is usually just as important to me as the actual story being told. I like strong, poetic prose, powerful imagery; these things help the story flow elegantly for me, they give beauty to the book.

Yet when reading a biography it’s all about the story and not about the style. But why? Well firstly I hardly ever bother with biographies, they for me, are like crime fiction and chic lit; guilty pleasures. Most of the time I will knock them for their poor writing but every now and then I just can’t resist a simply fascinating story.

I’d only seek out a biography on this whim unless the particular person fascinated me, and again I would find myself expecting a tantalising story, not a beautifully written novel.

The last biography I read was My Booky Wook by Russel Brand. I’ll admit I like a little celeb gossip from time to time (don’t worry I wont be hanging up my novel reviews to gorge on Now magazine anytime soon) and so the idea of reading about a star as notorious as Russel Brand appealed. Did I care if the story was wrote well? No. Did I want to get to the nitty-gritty truth about Brand? Yes. And so case in point; biographies are for me about content not quality.

That said Brand is clearly a very intelligent man and I even remember some very lovely musing and analogies that he used in the book which were a pleasant surprise. Has anyone read this book? Did you like it? Did it change your opinion of him?

I also read and loved Scar Tissue by Antony kiedis. Again the idea of reading about such a troubled star as Kiedis held so much appeal that all I could think of was finding everything out about him, the style of writing was the last thing on my mind.

So in summary yes I very much want an interesting story from a biography, quality isn’t so high up on my list. It’s not like me to prioritize that way but biographies are just different for me.

What about everyone else? What do you seek in a biography? I’d love to hear your thoughts and remember to leave your thoughts at Booking Through Thursday, or better still join in the fun on your own blog, be sure to put the link on their site too.

Abandoned Books

I always love it when other bloggers post meme’s and posts that ask for our responses and opinions in return, and so I couldn’t resist joining in the fun with Mrs. B from The Literary Stew and her wonderful new post A short Meme on Abandoned Books.

Check out the original post and the quote Mrs. B has provided from Book Lust by Nancy Pearl, which originally set her of thinking these interesting and thought-provoking questions.

Here are my thoughts….

1. What would cause you to stop reading a book?

For me this is very simple, when I start reading a book that takes away all of the pleasure of reading and instead leaves me with a sore head I always (albeit with a sense of guilt) think ‘it’s time to put this book down and move onto the next’. I know you shouldn’t give up too easily and some books should be more of a challenge but over time I’ve learnt to overcome these guilty pangs and realise that a book that actually puts you of reading sometimes just isn’t worth it. Reading shouldn’t be a chore should it?

2. Name a book or books you’ve abandoned in the past and ended up loving later on.

I’ll never forget how stubborn I was about reading Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and I can’t for the life of me think why because in the end I loved it. For some unfathomable reason though when I was first given this book I convinced myself that I just wouldn’t enjoy it. I gave it a go though and the first time round it felt like trudging through muddy water; hard going, sluggish and with no end in sight. So I stopped reading it. It was about a year later that I noticed it on my book shelf and though ‘why not’. This time round I flew through it and loved it. There were even moments where I found myself crying at the beautiful but tragic story line. It was definitely a book hugging moment.

3. Name a book you’ve abandoned in the past that you hope to finish someday.

I ‘m concerned this next confession may be considered sacrilege as everyone else I know has read and loved both of these books. Here they are though; The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey and We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I know both these books are meant to be amazing and I’m sure I was meant to love them, but for me it just never clicked. And so I abandoned them. Perhaps it was the mood I was in at the time that prevented me from falling for them? They are both quite dark in their own way. Nancy Pearl talks about moods affecting books in the quote Mrs. B posted, and reflecting upon this now I can definitely say I agree. What mood you need to be in to enjoy either of this books I don’t know? But I would like to return to them (hopefully with more success) at a later date.

So what about it you? Do you have any thoughts on book abandonment? If you do be sure to pop over to The Literary Stew and leave your thoughts. And Thanks to The Literary Stew for getting me thinking about these interesting questions in the first place.

Booking Through Thursday – A book Rut

I recently made a great new blogging discovery courtesy of one The Book Jotter’s latest posts and link to the blog Booking through Thursday.

Maybe you’ve already discovered this blog and are a regular viewer? if not check it out. Its great fun and very thought-provoking.

Each Thursday they post a new question, for example last week the question was;

Do you ever feel like you’re in a reading rut? That you don’t read enough variety? That you need to branch out, spread your literary wings and explore other styles?

And they ask people to either leave a response in the comments section, or for fellow bloggers to post their own thoughts on their blog. So that’s what I’m doing, albeit a little late as I have been away this past week.

So inspired by this, here are my thought on getting into a reading rut and needing to try new things.

Having read since I was tiny and having always loved and devoured books I’ve had my fair share of reading ruts. As I now firmly know my literary tastes, and the genres I like, I often fall into the habit of sticking to one or two syles and excluding myself from other great works of fiction.

It’s all well and good knowing what I like when I’m on a reading mission, chomping through books at a ridiculous speed.  But every now and then I get myself in a reading funk where no matter if I’m reading a book that I would usually devour and adore, I just can’t get into the book. I indeed need to spread my literary wings and explore other styles.

This has happened with several books and when I ‘ve gone back to read them another time I’ve loved them like I knew I eventually would.

So this for me is a reading rut, when I need to read something else, something totally different to the usual genres I chose. I need to mix up my reading habits, have a break from my repetitive selections. This is all in order to go back to the styles I usually read so perhaps it’s a little ironic really?

But it certainly highlights to me that I don’t have enough variety in my reading life and that I do occasionally need to branch out.

When in a rut I’ll usually chose a style of book that I normally shy away from, like a crime thriller or auto biography, and if I’m really stuck a chic lit book. I’ll also always try to read something completely different to anything I’ve tried before in order to get out of my self-imposed rut. And I usually enjoy trying new books and styles so why I always go back to my fail safes without keeping up the variety I’ll never know.

This is how I discovered the wonderful No time for Goodbye by Linwood Barcaly and loved it, so reading ruts aren’t always bad things.

So in answer I definitely get in a reading rut, but like I said it’s usually my own fault.

Actually you kind readers might be able to help me, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been in a reading rut recently, more because I’ve just been reading nothing but books by female authors. This isn’t intentional and certainly not a good thing,I need that type of variety at leat. So can anyone tell me of some great books that I must read by male authors? Any suggestions would be very welcome.

One Book, Two Book, Three Book, Four…and Five

I’ve decided to join in the fun with Simon at Stuck in a book and his wonderful recent post where he listed The book he was currently reading, the last book he finished, the next book he wanted to read, the last book he bought, and the last book he was given. Simon asked other bloggers to join in too and post the books they were reading, had received and wanted to read. I’ve had great fun reading everyone else’s post and have decided to share with you mine.

1, The book I’m currently reading

The Report by Jessica Francis Kane was kindly loaned to me by the lovely Simon at Savidge Reads. It’s a book I’ve been desperate to get my hands on and is part of my May Mission of books that I hope to read this month. I’ve heard great things about this book so my hopes are high. I’ve just started reading it so it’s far to early to say but so far the book has me very intrigued and seems (fingers crossed) like the sort of thing I usually relish.

 

 

2, The last book I finished

The last book I finished was The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. This book was part of one of the book groups I take part in and I’m very much looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you regarding this one. As I said it’s part of a book group I’m currently in so I’ll wait for our catch up to discuss the book before I actually post anything on here. I really enjoyed the book though and am desperate to meet up with the other members of the book group to talk about it.

 

 

3, The next book I want to read

After recently acquiring a copy of One Day by David Nicholls at a steal of a price from my local charity shop it’s now top of my TBR list. The book was initially recommended to me by a friend with whom I share similar tastes. I’ve read and heard great things about this book so I’m really keen to start it. Plus I feel like lately I only read books by female writers so this should be a perfect way to get out of this habit. Lets hope it lives up to my high expectations.

 

 

4, The last book I bought

 Maybe a little ironically as I just moaned I don’t read enough books by male writers, the last book I bought was Solar by Ian Mcewan. Although it’s not so much my purchasing habits that’s being the problem and more the books I ‘ve being choosing to read lately. Anyway hopefully this will put an end to my recent rut. I’m a huge Ian Mcewan fan to say the least, Atonement being my all time favourite. I’ve being meaning to get round to reading this for a while and now that I finally have a copy I have no excuses.

 

 

5, The last book I was given

And finally the last book I was given was The Return by Victoria Hislop. I read her first novel ‘The Island’ years ago and although it wasn’t the usual thing I go for I did really enjoy it so I’m keen to see how I’ll feel about this book. It was my friend who loaned it to me and she actually read The Return first. She’s reading The Island very soon and I can’t wait to hear her thoughts on it. I can’t wait for us to both discuss The Island and The Return so I’d better get reading.

So that’s it, the books I’ve bought, being given, want to read, have just read and the last book I bought. Have you read any of these books? Are there only on here that you have any thoughts on? Perhaps you would like to tell me which books you recently bought, read, want to read etc… As always I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you’ve done your own list on your blog then please send me the link. Thanks again to Simon for the great idea.