Falling Forward

January Book Update

Posted by in Books, Projects

I started tracking my books in 2010, after setting myself a target to read 100 books and only just managing it (I finished reading my last book at 10:30pm on New Years Eve, ha).

Last year I only managed 79 books (it galls me that it wasn’t a round number, it really, really does) but I think that’s probably understandable given how busy last year was. I’ve learn that getting a head start on the numbers makes it easier for later in the year so I’ve spent much of January curled up with a good book – not a bad way to spend time in my opinion. So far this year I’ve read:

01. RR JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire
02. RR JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix
03. RR JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince
04. RR JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
05. NEW Jonas Jonasson - The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared
06. NEW Iain Broome – A is For Angelica
07. NEW James Symthe – The Explorer
08. NEW Tina Fey – Bossy Pants
09. NEW Danny Wallace – Awkward Situations for Men
10. RR Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveler’s Wife
11. NEW James Smythe – The Testimony
12. NEW Haruki Murakami – A Wild Sheep Chase

January was a good month for reading. A nice mix of old and new, my favourite new book was A is For Angelica by Iain Broome. A debut novel that was a fantastic and tense read, I’d definitely say it’s worth checking out. The Explorer by James Smythe is another one to pick up too – gritty and dark and intriguing from the first paragraph. The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared was a book club read and I was the only one who didn’t enjoy it – I thought it was too unbelievable and lacked any genuine emotion but everyone else seemed to enjoy it so maybe I’m just a bit weird?

I’m still working my way through my 1000 new books for my Life List, I started tracking those in 2011 and I’m up to 161. Still a few more to go ;) I’d probably get there quicker if I didn’t re-read so many books but there are some like  The Time Traveler’s Wife that I love to read every year. (I do not even care that people think it’s some sort of sappy love story – it’s probably my favourite book and that’s a pretty high honour given how many I read. If you haven’t read it already, YOU SHOULD. Ahem.)

What’s everyone else reading at the moment? I feel like I’m so far behind on new books, it’s shameful. Recommendations, please! :)

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Friday Thanks

Posted by in A Little Conversation, Books

Dear Goodreads,

Thanks for giving me a way to track all the books I read whilst also allowing me to geek out on statistics. You combine two of my favourite things and it never fails to make me happy.

Love Sarah

See other Friday Thanks here or visit the original inspiration for the project here.

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Book Giveaway Winner!

Posted by in A Little Conversation, Books

Thanks to everyone that gave me some suggestions on books to read during my honeymoon – it’s great to get some new ideas, I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut of late :)

The winner of the three books and the Amazon gift voucher is…

*drumroll*

Sian from The Gingerbread – congratulations, Sian! :) I’ll be in touch to sort out how to get you your prizes :)

 

 

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Review: Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

Posted by in Books, Projects

zoo

Synopsis rom GoodReadsZinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit and a talent for finding lost things. But when a little old lady turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job – missing persons. 

Being hired by reclusive music producer Odi Huron to find a teenybop pop star should be her ticket out of Zoo City, the festering slum where the criminal underclass and their animal companions live in the shadow of hell’s undertow. 

Instead, it catapults Zinzi deeper into the maw of a city twisted by crime and magic, where she’ll be forced to confront the dark secrets of former lives – including her own.

I read this as part of Ellie’s Sci-Fi read along challenge for 2012. Sadly for me since I read it on the kindle I didn’t get the pretty cover above, one of the downsides of not reading real paper books I suppose!

Zoo City is a novel based in South Africa, which isn’t a country I know a massive amount about and whilst I didn’t find that detracted too much from the story it always bothers me when books write certain words in other languages and fail to translate them. (See Lloyd Jones’ Hand Me Down World for that annoyance, too).

Overall I enjoyed this book but I felt really let down by the ending. I felt like the loose threads were lingering and things that could have been explained weren’t. I don’t want to give too much away for the people still reading it (Hi, Amy) but the premise of people carrying animals as a signal of guilt is a good one. I enjoyed His Dark Materials and whilst this is similar in nature the storyline is obviously more complex.

Things I liked: The idea that each animal brings with it it’s own magic ability is a good one, altho I’m not sure why people who have been found guilty of murder have been rewarded with a magic gift.

Things I didn’t: So many loose ends! How did she end up killing her brother in the first place? What exactly is the undertow? I didn’t feel like the death of the old lady really tied in with the rest of the book, some bits felt forced or jammed in to make the rest of it work.

Favourite character: Definitely the sloth. Most of the people in this book were bad to the core.

Other books to try: His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Reading Challenge 2012

Posted by in Books, Projects

I hit my reading challenge for 2011 (more on that in another post) but next year is going to be busy with the wedding so I’m not going to set myself another large challenge. I’ll still track my books, of course, but instead of trying to read another hundred I’ve signed up to join Ellie in her 2012 Sci Fi Reading Challenge instead. One sci fi book every month for 2012. That sounds doable, right?

You can find out (and join in) here. If you’ve got any sci fi recommendations feel free to leave them in the comments :)

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