Book Love: A Challenge

Heading into the new year, I’m definitely ready to take up some new challenges.  I know that some will definitely come my way whether I like it or not (especially with finishing my degree and starting a job), but on a slightly smaller scale I was thinking of joining the world of reading challenges.  I’ve never tried one before and now seems like a good time, especially with my ever-increasing to-read list!

I came across a challenge on The Book Garden that shouted out to me – it’s the Tea and Books Challenge, inspired by a C.S. Lewis quote: “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me”.  I couldn’t agree more 🙂

I’ve signed up for the first level, Chamomile Lover, which means I have to read two books of more than 650 pages next year.  I’ve had a quick look at my Goodreads list and I’m thinking of going with 11.22.63 by Stephen King and Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, both of which the internet tells me are the right length. Now just to make sure I can get hold of them!

I’ve never read anything by Stephen King, but I’ve seen a couple of reviews recommending this book for SK novices, so fingers crossed it’ll turn out well!  I have quite a few more books that would fit this challenge too, so I’ll see how it goes and maybe even upgrade to the next level – trying not to be too ambitious for now though…

As well as this new reading challenge I’ll be renewing my Goodreads challenge of reading 100 books in 2013 – I only managed 31 in 2012, so I at least have to improve on that!  I still think 100 books is manageable, even after my massive failure this year, because one of my sort-of resolutions will be to build up a proper bedtime reading habit (a bit sad, I know).  I’ve been trying for a while to do this instead of falling asleep watching Youtube videos/reading rubbish on my iPhone, and I’m determined that 2013 will be the year it happens.

Bring on the books!

Book Love: Updates, Updates

Things have been going on, honestly, they just haven’t quite made it onto the blog.  But suffice to say that I’ve been having a wonderfully busy, but somehow still relaxed, final year of uni.  I’m loving being back in Bath (especially after having such a rubbish time in Italy), am living with two amazing housemates, and am genuinely enjoying my degree – does it get better than that?!

Oh, and I might have kinda sorta got a graduate job with Teach First for next year… no doubt there’ll be plenty more to come on that!  I’m still a bit in shock.

I’ve been getting through a few books slowly but surely, some for uni and some just for fun, including J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.  I absolutely adore Harry Potter, so it’s no surprise that I ordered this pretty much immediately.  I know some people seemed a bit disappointed, but I really enjoyed it and the story’s still stuck in my mind.  I think I found it particularly relevant given that my mind’s stuck on Teach First, which works in schools with difficult kids – if you’ve read The Casual Vacancy I’m sure you’ll know what I mean.  My favourite thing, though, was that J.K. Rowling still managed to create a whole world that made Harry Potter so successful – I was totally drawn in.  More please!

At the moment I’m about halfway through The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, but I can’t quite decide what I think about it.  I quite like the story and the structure, but the characters are just all horrible and so crude.  I’ve heard people say that this is just representing real life, but my life is certainly nothing like this.  Think I need a bit more time to make up my mind.

I’m also reading That Woman, the autobiography of Wallis Simpson by Anne Sebba, but I left it in Bath while I came home for Christmas, so it’s on hold for a while.  I’m quite enjoying autobiographies and there are quite a few on my to-read list – new trend inspired by reading Killing Pablo for a uni presentation I did.  It’s Mark Bowden’s brilliant telling of the story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the havoc he wreaked before finally being tracked down and shot.  I found it totally fascinating, but I’d probably only recommend it to people with a bit of background knowledge/interest in Latin America and/or the USA’s war on drugs.  I am interested in both – so I thought it was great!

Now to plan for next year – bring on the resolutions (sort of)…