Friday, 31 January 2014

2014 Reading Challenge: January

Well I wanted to wait until the end of January to see if my new-years resolutions actually panned out - and whilst my writing has hit a wall (I challenged myself to write 500 words a day - hah!) I am actually on top of my Goodreads 2014 challenge to read 50 books this year! I'm a total bibliophile, but sometimes it's hard to get myself to make time to sit down and read when there's well, the internet. I've noticed I am so much better at keeping track of things when I have some kind of public/online record so I actually got my act in gear on Jan 1st and started reading.

Here are my January books!

Airframe by Michael Crichton

I am a massive Crichton fan - how could I not be? I wanted to be a palaeontologist or hacker or hacker-palaentologist for most of my childhood because of him. I love the consistency in his stories; the attention to detail, awesome characters, believability and style. His stories are always well paced, like you're 'watching' the book which is always good for a thriller. Being an Aircrash Investigation fan this book was perfect for me, and most importantly it has corporate espionage and an awesome straight-talking female lead. Fast-paced and definitely worth a read - just not when you're flying!

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

To be honest I haven't really got on with Austen since I was 13; whilst I appreciate her style and wit as a nice way to relax this story never really got me into it. Maybe because it never gets going. They don't get to the Abbey until 70 pages from the end of the book! But it still has some of my favourite Austen quotes and I find Charlotte to be a really lovely character. Entertaining and light, but don't expect any amazing twists.

The Trial by Franz Kafka

To be honest if I had known what this book was like before I picked it up I might have been more apprehensive about reading it. That is not to be negative because the story most certainly had an impact on me, but it takes a while to get into and sadly is unfinished so leaves one feeling a little lost. My copy also seemed to neglect paragraphs, but perhaps that is the style it is written in anyway! The story follows K who is convicted of a crime which he has no knowledge; as a law student this was an interesting commentary on human rights, but the story has so much more substance than that! Really feel like this challenged my comfort zone when it comes to books and enjoyed every minute of it.

The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim

Another book which I chose to broaden my mind and challenge myself. Ironically good to read after Kafka, though unintentional as it follows a similar fantastical style of story telling. The book is a collection of short stories centring on the recent history of Iraq and the torments suffered by its citizens and refugees. It will make you think.

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