I began the blog as a way of encouraging myself to read more and here I am over six months later and over half way through the challenge. At first, a book a week seemed daunting. But, as the weeks have gone on, I have to admit that I’ve not only thoroughly enjoyed myself, I’ve also snuck in a few extra books that I haven’t written about on the blog. I feel like I’m breathing words again and I feel refreshed.
The blog has allowed me to discover new authors to get excited about and some of those authors came from suggestions made by readers of the blog – thank you. The blog has helped me to think further about what I like to read and why. And, unexpectedly, doing the blog put me in contact with Red Button Publishing who published my novel, Home, this March. What a great six months.
I’m going to list my favourite books so far, but I want to be clear that every book, even if I didn’t particularly like it, lived with me for a while. Certain turns of phrase or paths of thought were woven into my everyday life. I can see a giant face with myriad eyes, I can picture a café at which a young woman watches a couple soon to be overcome by tragedy, I can imagine what it feels like to wish for a connection with a future world that doesn’t feel your own, I hear the soft squeak of boots sinking into thick fresh snow. It has not been easy to decide which books I liked best, but here goes:
- The scariest: Blood Fugue by Joseph D’Lacey
- Those that gave me the most unexpected pleasure: The Odd Women by George Gissing, Light by M John Harrison
- Those that nudged me closer to something I’m trying to do with my second novel: Father Melancholy’s Daughter by Gail Godwin, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Those that dazzled me with their craft: Love Life by Zeruya Shalev, Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood
- The book with the ability to create a kind of perfect calm, an eye at the heart of the storm: The Anchoress by Paul Blaney
- Those with a modern day relevance that sang with a raw but beautiful melody: Wounding by Heidi James, We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo.
Some of these books fit into more than one of my made-up categories, but I think you’ll get the picture. These are the books I would recommend you read if you haven’t.
It’s been a great six months of reading and I’m already enjoying reading more. If you have any suggestions for my reading list, please do get in touch.