I’ve been in a reading slump lately. Ever since I finished Terry Pratchett’s Jingoaround Christmas last year I’ve been reading only non-fiction, and slowly at that (I started a book on Quantum Theory a month ago, and am not even halfway with it yet). Among all the novels on my shelves I just couldn’t find anything I felt like reading.
Then Sir Terry died, and the next day I got Dodgerat half price. I finished it on Friday (review to come), and picked up Mort (with which I’m almost done). I’ve decided to make my way through the whole Discworld again, or at least through those titles I already own, which brings up the question of which order to read them in.
Yesterday the wife and I headed to the neighbouring town, as she was in need of some clothes and it has the only mall within eighty kilometres. Also the only bookshop. Yeah, I know.
I was browsing the shelves, not looking for anything in particular, and as is my wont I gravitated towards the fantasy section. This particular chain has never heard or either Jim Butcher or Neil Gaiman, but they often have significant markdowns on the titles they do stock, and I was pleasantly surprised to find not one, but two of Terry Pratchett’s more recent publications at half the regular price. Considering the great man’s passing this week, I took it as a sign.
I also picked up The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. It’s not a Pratchett, but I’ve seen many references to this novel online, it looks like a fun read, and it was also half-price, so why not?
As I’m feeling all melancholic at present, I think I’ll be putting my current read (a non-fiction book on Quantum Theory) aside for now and first read Dodger.
While we’re talking about reading, head on over to The Book Notes Project for a fun questionnaire on what you’re reading at the moment.
A couple of months ago Emma at A Wordless Blogger tagged me for the Ten Influential Books Tag. I’ve recently decided not to do awards anymore, partly because I keep getting nominated for the same award over and over, partly because I am out of eleven facts to share about myself, partly because I never know who to nominate, but mostly because I forget about the things until I one day start clearing out no longer relevant bookmarks in my browser and discover there are a bunch of old award nominations I just never got around to.
Okay, books that have influenced me, then. That’s a tough one. Sure, there have been books that have influenced me, my way of thinking and my outlook on life, but most of them were non-fiction, many of them were academic texts, and I can’t remember them specifically – when I come across something significant which I want to add to my life, I absorb it and internalise it, I don’t make a note of where I found it (I also don’t highlight novels or write down quotes).
So I decided to decided to depart a little from the brief and share with you ten books that have stood out in my reading life thus far.
Wow! This is embarrassing. See, there isn’t any. I did not finish a single book this month. It’s not that I wasn’t reading, cause I was, but I kept picking up lemons.
The first book I really tried to read, but between typos galore, chapters of backstory, unrealistic dialogue, descriptions so detailed they read like technical manuals, and dialogue tags that were just plain weird, I couldn’t make it past the first few chapters. And it wasn’t a self-published novel, so it can’t be blamed on a lack of editing. This novel went the whole route of querying, editing and proofreading. Come to think of it, maybe the problem lies with me. In fact, all the reviews I’ve seen of the novel were praising its brilliance, leaving me somewhat confused because I just can’t see it.
For my second attempt I chose a James Patterson. I’d never read anything of his before, but my dad’s a big fan and has all his books, so I plundered my dad’s bookcase. Jester, which Patterson co-authored with Andrew Gross, is a historic novel about a French dude who goes to the Crusades and comes back to find his wife has been carried off by raiders. Sounds fun, right? Edge of your seat, sword battles, jumping castle walls with a catapult…wait, I think I’m describing a different story now. Continue reading “On my February reading”→