Reading Through November

Can you believe it’s December already! Finally it is acceptable to adorn our homes with Christmas tree’s, bright lights and a variety of other festive embellishments. It’s also the time of year when we can write our Christmas lists (if your still a big kid like me) and (again if your like me) ask Santa for all of those highly anticipated books you can no longer wait to read.

But before I divulge my list of desired books (well you never know Santa could be reading this post) a quick update on what I’ve being reading this month.

I started off the month reading, or rather listening to the hilarious ‘We need to talk about Alan’ which from the very first word had my rolling around laughing at Alan’s idiosyncratic view of the world, life, and the people around him. This was my first audio book experience and although I can’t see myself running out to do it all the time I’ve definitely discovered some benefits.

Next up I picked a book that I really should have read long a go ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold. For some reason I’d always dismissed this book, thinking foolishly that it would be too girly. Anyone who has read this book will know that’s not the case at all and the book turned out to be insightful and thought-provoking to the end.

I then began When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman which I’m half way through and will be reviewing once I have met my fellow book groupers next. I don’t want to say too much too soon because I still haven’t gathered my thoughts on this one but I’m glad were reading a book that has been so topical and dominate in 2011. Fingers crossed I will love it as much as the critics.

As well as the above I have being dipping in and out of a number of other books but excessive studying and the reading of therapy and counselling textbooks for college has really drained my reading time more than I could ever have anticipated. How do people manage to read so much and work and study? Tips please.

So now I’m looking forward and thinking about what December holds for me. Hopefully some more relaxed reading time.I plan to obviously finish When God Was A rabbit, I’ve got a welcome and quiet weekend fast approaching so hopefully I’ll get some time to do that.

I’d also like to read something Christmassy which evidently reminds me of a conversation I had recently with another book loving friend. She was struggling to come up with a Christmas related book for her book group and both of us kept drawing blanks. So anyone with some festive suggestions please do get in touch?

As for books that I’m hoping to receive this Christmas, well there’s only one that I have actually specifically asked for so far; Steve Job’s autobiography. My request doesnt stem form a reverent admiration for Mr Jobs but actually from my Day Zero challenge to read a book written by someone I disagree with. I disagree with many of the things Steve Jobs said and his idea’s. So who knows maybe Christmas day will be spent changing my mind, or maybe just re cementing old idea’s.

So what does everyone else have planned reading wise this month, have you asked for any specific books? What gets you in the festive mood and which books did you love/hate in November?

War Through The Generations challenge: The Great War

I didn’t really anticipate signing up to any book challenges next year, it’s something I’ve never participated in previously and I hate committing myself to things I can’t finish.

But as I started to read more and more into this challenge something sparked my interest and with the added incentive of spicing up my reading habits I decided to get involved and give the challenge ago.

Here’s a brief idea of what the challenge consists off;

“In 2012, Anna and I could not pass up the opportunity to delve into WWI, often considered The Great War, which occurred roughly between 1914 to 1918 and started roughly with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary.

The WWI Reading Challenge will be held between Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012.

Books must have WWI as a primary or secondary theme and occur before, during, or after the war.

Here are the reading levels:

  • Dip: Read 1-3 books in any genre with WWI as a primary or secondary theme.
  • Wade: Read 4-10 books in any genre with WWI as a primary or secondary theme.
  • Swim: Read 11 or more books in any genre with WWI as a primary or secondary theme”

I’m going to place myself in the wade category because I believe four books is manageable for me but I really don’t want to say I’ll read more than 11…not just yet anyway.

The hosts of this challenge have kindly provided a suggested reading list which has already given me some great idea’s. I’ve read the first two books in the Pat Barker Regeneration Trilogy but still need to read The Ghost Road. I’ve also professed that I would read Birdsong at some point and yet I’ve never got round to it. Well I now have no more excuses. So these book will form the beginning of my list.

After that I don’t have any solid plans. I don’t want to make my list now and then kick myself later when another great idea’s pop into my head. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated though.

So who else is taking part in the challenge? If so what books are you thinking of reading? And finally thanks to the creators of this challenge for inspiring me to mix up my reading habits in 2012, I can’t wait.