Tuesday, 21 January 2014

January Joy - Read something new

by Bex

Today's Florence Finds' January Joy prompt is 'read something new'. I absolutely love reading and I've talked about Goodreads before and my reading challenges for the last 2 years.  This year I am aiming for 40 books again and I've already got quite a list of ones which I plan to read.  My full 'to read' list has around 300 books on it so I'm trying to think about the ones I want to read this year and putting them in my 2014 list.

As for reading something new, I am always reading new things as I never read books twice (I don't know why as I enjoy watching my favourite films more than once but I just don't get the same enjoyment out of a book, even one I love, after I've already read it).  I also read a pretty varied range of genres, although I know what I tend to like and tend to stick to that if I just want an easy read to escape into, something which has been particularly important over the last year.  I struggled with a couple of books which, although recommended and I could appreciate the writing and anticipate them being a good read, they just took too much concentration and have been placed back on my 'to read' list.

My usual favourites are crime/thriller novels, I just love how they grab me from the start and I get sucked in and can't wait to find what will happen/who dunnit!  Perfect for escaping real life and distracting myself from difficult times, they make me want to keep reading and hide away under my duvet whilst I enjoy them.

Another genre (if it even counts as one) I particularly enjoy are the young adult books I've been reading over the last couple of years.  Quite a few of them have been trilogies which is even better as they keep my attention for longer.  Most have been either dystopian futuristic stories (Divergent, The Hunger Games, Delirium.) or fantasy, magical stories (The Magician's Guild, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, City of Bones) and I've loved them all.  Some of them are so imaginative and descriptive, they take me away into other worlds - the thing I love most about reading.

Other books I read in 2012 include: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Fried Green Tomatoes, War Horse and We Need to Talk About Kevin - I'm just not sure exactly which genres they all fit into.  I would never rule out a particular genre or type of book without having tried it.  Although I didn't think I would ever like a historical book, I loved War Horse for the relationships throughout as well as the overall story.  I cried for an hour when I finished it, the same as when I read My Sister's Keeper - some books just get me so emotional!

Last year I read fewer books (it was a particularly tough year which I thought would make me read more but it seems that when I am very down, I have trouble concentrating enough even for easy reads and prefer to wallow in front of films) but a higher proportion of YA although I also read some good old 'chick lit' along with The Great Gatsby and Life of Pi, 2 books which have been on my 'to read list' for quite some time, as was Pride & Prejudice which I read last week.  I loved Life of Pi and found Gatsby to be difficult to get into but was glad I persevered.  P&P was similar, it took me a while to get used to the language and I found myself having to re-read lines to understand what was being said.  Had I tried to read it when not in the mood for such a book I don't think I would have finished it.

I love talking about books I've read and hearing others' opinions and respect that not everyone likes the same books as me.  I will continue to read books I think I will enjoy without any regard for what may be perceived from my choices and keep trying new genres and keeping my reading choices varied, even if I do tend to go back to YA and crime novels in between reading other books ;)

If you have any recommendations of books you think I would enjoy, please leave a comment below, I'm always open to suggestions.  And you can follow me on Goodreads, if you wish to keep up with my book lists and ratings.


Vics said...

I love detective stories and thrillers too, if anybody looked through my Kindle purchases they would probably think I'm researching how to commit a crime because of all the thrillers I bought last year :)

Some books I've really enjoyed recently are the Lacey Flint series by S.J. Bolton. There are currently 3 books in the series and a 4th is due out this year and they're brilliant, very very scary and absolutely addictive.

And I've also been reading the Elizabeth Peters "Amelia Peabody" series, there are tons of them and they're mysteries set in Egypt in the late 1800s- early 1900s. They're very funny and again quite addictive!

Lisa-Marie said...

I also read The Life of Pi recently, which I loved. Have you read any Curtis Sittenfeld? Prep is very good.I really liked The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Euginides also (I have both, which you are welcome to borrow). Happy reading!

Lynsey said...

I've just finished Delirium which I didn't enjoy as much as Hunger Games or Divergent, so probably won't continue with that particular trilogy. I'm working my way through Game of Thrones at the moment, in preparation for the TV series starting back in April. Although I know the gist, the books go into so much more detail & I'm understanding the programme a lot more now!

Bex said...

Thanks for the ideas everyone!

Vicki - I thought I had read S J Bolton but I was thinking of C J Box! Have now downloaded Awakening and the first Lacey one as well as the first Amelia Peabody :)

(Have added you on Goodreads and saw you're also a fan of Harlan Coben!)

Lisa-Marie - I haven't read Curtis Sittenfeld yet but after searching I noticed I do already have one of his books on my to read list and have now added The Marriage Plot. I may just take you up on the offer to borrow those 2 you mentioned :)

Lynsey - I found Delirium a really interesting concept and I loved the start but I was disappointed with the 2 following books so you're probably right not to bother if you didn't enjoy the first. I haven't seen or read Game of Thrones yet, do you like them?

Lynsey said...

I totally agree, the concept was great but I had just finished the Divergent trilogy so it was probably even more of a let down!
I didn't think I'd like Game of Thrones & my husband did a terrible job of selling it to me, but I persevered & really enjoyed the show. The book is good too, though it's a bit predictable now I've seen it on the small screen but that only because we watched it over the Christmas holidays! If you like historical/fantasy type things then I'd give it a go.

Vics said...

Yay, I just saw you friended me on Goodreads and I think we have very similar taste in books. I am indeed a massive Harlan Coben fan, I love his books especially the Myron Bolitar series.

I hope you like S J Bolton, I picked up the first 2 Lacey books at a Christmas fair and ended up reading them both in 2 days flat! Let me know what you think!

Ooh and all the Amelia Peabodys have been reduced to 84p on Amazon's kindle site, so if you like the first one, it's a good time to get a couple more :)

Bex said...

I noticed that Vicki! :) Have bought the first one for 84p but have started reading Stay Close by Harlan as I missed that one coming out! Will read the Amelia one next in case they go back up in price again! I have never read the Myron ones but think it was Mahj who told me I should! I think I started the first one years ago and found it more difficult to get into and gave up. I will definitely give them another go!


Amanda M said...

I love crime and YA too - anything except 'worthy' books I think!

So must recommend The Cuckoo's Calling, The Chessmen Trilogy by Peter May and Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. Also Robert Goddard is great - he's done a couple of duff ones but most are completely enthralling. I've just finished Waiting for Wednesday by Nicci French which I really enjoyed - it's the third of their Frieda Klein series.

I have downloaded Magician's Guild to my Kindle and am yet to read that. I'll have a look into that S J Bolton series too.

I like some Harlen Coben but don't like the Myron Bolitar series as the dialogue annoys me - it seems to be at the expense of the plot.

Do let me know if you try any of my recommendations and what you thought!

Bex said...

I will do Amanda! Have alre\dy downloaded The Cuckoo one after seeing Gems recommend it on FF. I read a couple of Nicci French ones years ago so will look up the series you mention :)

Enjoy the Magician's Guild, I think that might be the only trilogy where the first one wasn't my favourite.

Unknown said...

I think you might like The Tigers Wife by Tea Obrecht? I read it a few years ago and really liked it. It is a bit odd but also magical and one I categorise in my head with Life of Pi and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (I have no name for that category - award winning fiction??)

I'm looking forward to something lighter at the moment as the most recent books I have read have inspired FAR too much introspection and self reflection.

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