Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: September 2016

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Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, and writing about what’s to come in the next few weeks.

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Last month I read a total of ten books: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, Stranger of Tempest (The God Fragments #1) by Tom Lloyd,
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Ice Storm by Rick Moody, Tracks by Robyn Davidson, Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2 by Bryan Cogman, The Dead (The Enemy #2) by Charlie Higson, Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed, The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30) by Terry Pratchett and It’s All in Your Head by Suzanne O’Sullivan.

I have to say that my absolute favourite book of September was Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found. I knew I wanted to read it after watching the film, starring Reese Witherspoon, in August. I found it incredibly inspirational – I would really love to do a long hike like that, although perhaps not alone! And I definitely want to read more travel books by female authors now, so please give me recommendations if you have any! Finally, I got round to The Girl on the Train – and I don’t quite get the obsession. It was easy to read and quite gripping (I think I read it in two evenings), but it was a really obvious ‘whodunnit’! I’ll probably go and see the film with my mum and sister soon. Let downs this month were Stranger of Tempest (still trying to work out whether I want to write a review or not because I honestly can’t think of much to say about it) and The Dead, which felt incredibly different to the first book, a lot more juvenile and not as fun.

 

Challenge progress:

  • I managed to defeat September’s villain for the DC vs Marvel Challenge, Deadshot. I’m doing really well this year and have defeated every villain so far, and only have a few more books to read before all heroes are recruited. October’s villain is, appropriately, Jack O’Lantern. I’ve already planned my books!
  • I have currently read 94 books towards my Goodreads goal. I’m in two minds over whether to raise it, because I get super competitive about it, and it’s more about quality than quantity.

 

Currently reading:

Traitor's Blade
How was September for you?

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A Novel Experiment

A Novel Experiment #4: A Bookish Family Results

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A Novel Experiment is a feature of mine where I try some experimental reading over the space of a month or so, and then report back at the end of the month. What is experimental reading, you may ask? My goal is to try different ways of reading, such as reading only ebooks, only one genre, only non-fiction etc, for a month, and then see whether it affects how much and how eagerly I read. Obviously this is not going to be something I repeat every month, but rather every couple of months or so. Previously, I have tried sticking to a monthly TBR list, which went quite well.

For September, I decided to read only books from my parents’ shelves. So how did this go?

  • I read four books from my parents’ shelves, and am currently reading a fifth
  • I read one book from my friend
  • I read one book from my sister
  • And I read two books from my own shelves

So maybe it didn’t go 100% to plan – but I did branch out and read slightly different titles to what I normally read – however, I still stuck to my ‘usual’ genres, in a way. I’ve still got a pile of books I chose for the month from my parents’ bookshelves in my room, and they’re pretty much all historical fiction, travel and a few classics, so things I would read anyway. So maybe I wasn’t branching out as much as I thought?

I also found myself looking longing at my own shelves, bursting with science fiction and fantasy books, almost every day. I just REALLY want to read some epic fantasy right now (in fact, I really really want to re-read the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and have for months), so that will probably be my next read. I don’t know whether it was the timing, as I’d just been reunited with my own entire book collection, but so many of my own books have been calling out for me to read them throughout September.

23347055 Wild Americanah

So how do I think it went?

I was actually very distracted this month. I couldn’t focus on several of the books, and some were truly disappointing. I had to divert from the challenge a little bit in order to still be able to take part in the DC versus Marvel challenge, but still most of the books read in September did not belong to me. In fact, the one book of my own, Stranger of Tempest, was probably the one I struggled with most, and was really very disappointing. My absolute favourite of the month was Wild, borrowed from my mum’s books – but I’d already known I wanted to read it, after watching the film, and I love travel books anyway.

So whilst I perhaps didn’t branch out as much as I meant to – sticking to familiar genres like historical fiction and travel – it was still an interesting experiment. I had a lot of mixed feelings about the books I did read, but I also felt myself pining for my own bookshelves. I don’t think I’ll be depriving myself entirely of my usual SFF diet again!