Even though I barely read much of anything last year I still enjoy setting myself a target for reading, so my dad and I are once again embarking on the Popsugar Reading Challenge.
At the moment I am starting with my lovely haul of Christmas books and finding categories to slot them into, but once I’ve read those, will need to have a proper look at the list and try to select some interesting books!
I am determined to read more this year than I managed last year, though I expect I will as I’ll be on adoption leave at some point so will hopefully have a few moments of “me” time to read here and there…
I have started out strong in January, but suspect this will tail off at some point….
Book 1: Mystical Places, by Sarah Baxter
Category: A book that fulfills your favourite prompt from a previous PopSugar reading challenge (A book involving travel)
Book 2: The Teenager who came to tea, A parody, by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees
Category: A book you can read in one sitting
Book 3: Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell
Category: A different book by an author you read in 2021
This was really gripping. I don’t usually like period fiction, and this is set in Shakespeare’s era, but it’s really well-written and I raced through it.
Book 4: Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro
Category: A book with a character on the ace spectrum (think this means asexual but am not totally sure)
It’s hard to describe this book – odd and compelling, I enjoyed it, though not as much as I had liked Never let me go.
Book 5: Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke
Category: A book featuring a parallel reality
This book was very weird, and I honestly couldn’t say if I liked it or not, but it was hard to put it down. I had no idea what was going on for at least the first 1/3 of the book, and then suddenly about halfway through it all started making sense. It was one of the oddest books I’ve ever read and I still can’t decide if I liked it or not!
Book 6: Because of you, by Dawn French
Category: A book about a secret
This one was utterly cheesy. I mean, that’s probably an insult to cheese, but nevermind. An easy ready but I didn’t particularly like any of the characters and the plot was very easy to guess.
Book 7: Life as we knew it, by Susan Pfeffer
Category: A book with a constellation on the cover or in the title
This is a young adult book about the end of the world. It was an easy read but quite tough in places given the last few years.
Book 8: The Memory Police, by Yoko Ogawa
Category: A Social Horror book
This was a slow-burn, haunting and chilling. A quiet calm dystopia where the most chilling part is the quiet acceptance of what is happening by the people in the story and the total lack of dissent or rebellion against the authorities.
Book 9: Red Dwarf, by Grant Naylor
This was a re-read as I fancied something easy to zip through while I was ill.
Book 10: Guards, Guards, by Terry Pratchett
Another quick and easy re-read – fun and one of my favourites.
Book 11: The Distance between us, by Maggie O’Farrell
Category: A book that features two languages
Loved this – like all her others it was a quick and gripping read. I also spotted some parallels between the characters in this book and the author’s own experiences as a child from her memoir.
Book 12: Sorrow and Bliss, by Meg Mason
Category: A book whose title begins with the last letter of your previous read
This was good (though not excellent). A very good look at mental health from the inside and how it affects the people around you.
Book 13: The Children of Jocasta, by Natalie Haynes
Category: A book you know nothing about
I really enjoyed this one. It’s told from 2 perspectives – one from the child bride of the old king and the other a generation later from the perspective of her children. I had no idea who Jocasta was in Greek mythology until a young, hot bloke shows up to inform her he has accidentally killed the king, oh and his name is Oedipus….
A rather clever re-telling of what might have been and how the events might have played out as seen from Jocasta’s perspective.
Book 14: The Housemate, by C. L Pattison
Category: A book with two point of views
This was fairly rubbish but I needed a quick thriller I could read in a couple of days and it fit the bill. Didn’t enjoy it much and would not recommend.
Book 15: Sticks and Stones, by Jo Jakeman
Category: A book about a found family
This was ok – again a quick read, not brilliant, but ok.
Book 16: Joe Country, by Mick Herron
Category: A book set on holiday
This was another quick read – I love the Slow Horses series and have read all the others.
Book 17: Truly, Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty
Category: A book featuring a party
This was another quick and easy read (I’ve had a few of those in a row!) but I like her books they always have interesting and well-developed characters and enough intrigue to keep me guessing!