Yeah, but I kind of like words. A lot. I only read 50 books last year though, so I was slacking off a bit. Some good, some meh, some utterly atrocious (usually for book group). I don’t usually plan a book reading schedule but there is some stuff I want to make sure I pick up this year.
Last year I loved The Chronicles of Alice by Christina Henry & Europe in Winter by Dave Hutchinson, which is why I picked them for my books of the year at Den of Geek – read my mini reviews here. The Alice books took me to the darker side of fairy tales; Fractured Europe takes me to contemplate a dark future.
This year I’m picking up on classics. I used to read a lot of Victorian novels but they’ve sadly slipped by the way. I watched the wonderful To Walk Invisible over Christmas, about the Bronte sisters fight to get published as their brother Bramwell spirals into addiction. It included quite a lot of Emily’s beautiful, wild poetry and I have a hankering for a full blown Bronte immersion for the start of the year. Of course, I can’t find them (and I do own them..) so I’m having to download their works to my Kindle as they’re free.
This longing for the past was also encouraged by reading Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale. There was so much to love about this book – some beautiful odes to the art of reading and writing – and while it wasn’t perfect, it has me rooting out the Austen. Starting with Northanger Abbey (which I could find in my book boxes yay!).
I guess I’m feeling nostalgic – next on my re-read list is Terry Pratchett’s Disc World. I love his books but my original reading of them was very piecemeal. I’ve never read them in actual publication order – rather the order the library had them in when I was in my teens. I’ve stockpiled most of them second hand and I am going right back to the beginning – The Colour of Magic. It’s next to me right now, along with an empty fountain pen, a new notebook with a peacock tail skin for my new project Lilin House and the remains of a cheese toastie – Bat Fit starts tomorrow!
I’m also looking at the next 2 book group books – The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley, and My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. The Loney is described as a gothic masterpiece by the Guardian and I’m looking forward to reading it.
So, some planned reading is good. However, it’s often the unplanned fiction that turns out to be the absolute pleasure of the year. For me that was definitely the occasionally harrowing The Chronicles of Alice, handed to me in Waterstones by the lovely girl with the golden snitch earrings who knows exactly what I love to read! Here’s to a brilliant year in fiction, old and new. And 60 books. I will make 60 this year!
Oh! I nearly forgot. I know it’s a couple of years old but the other book I loved? The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. Just brilliant. Now please get the film on Netflix!