Ok I'm backdating furiously because it's now 2018 and I've started a whole new reading challenge, so it's time to wrap this one up before we all die of old age. Ready for a whistle stop round up? Let's go.
Favourite: It would be massively pretentious to say Moby Dick but... I'm gonna say Moby Dick. This is my twelvetieth attempt at reading the damn fishy brick and I finally made it. And it's not because it's boring or particularly difficult to read, but it can be... dense. And tangential in parts. It's also so full of detail that your brain sort of explodes trying to process everything. But such a joy. Fucking hilarious, too. And unexpectedly beautiful. Love a bit of Dick. Ahem.
Least Favourite: This was a really good month of reading, despite the comparatively low book count, so least favourite is pretty relative, although I struggled a bit with the Pinter collection. His treatment of women is... questionable at times.
Also Worth Mentioning: I can't remember who recommended Sofia Khan is Not Obliged (by Ayisha Malik) to me but THANK YOU. It was a fucking delight, and I immediately bought its sequel and spent about 4 hours I should have been working tearing through them both.
Favourite: So I had a slight meltdown this month and couldn't find ANY fiction that could hold my attention, hence the dabbling in graphic novels (Deadpool FTW) and non-fiction (I'm researching 18th century smuggling for a story) and plays (I went to see Dido at the RSC donchaknow). So in between all that I decided to embark on a marathon re-read of the Terry Pratchett back catalogue because GNU. Couldn't give you a favourite as such but I do love Rincewind with every fibre of my being.
Least Favourite: I have been trying to read If, Then since the beginning of the year. It's now October. It was one of the first books I started and... it's beautifully written. It really is. It has a fascinating premise and engaging characters and a mindboggling plot (plus, its author lives in my hometown, where the story is also set) BUT I felt like it didn't quite know what it wanted to be. It's trying to be many different things but I think in doing so it sacrifices its plot - or reader connection - or something. Anyway. I enjoyed it, and was realllllllly happy to finish it eventually but I couldn't help feeling like I was missing something.
No favourites or least favourites for November. This was a Pratchett-heavy month which is always a good thing. I think I got through one every 1.5 days. Not sure I can choose a fave from those, though Granny Weatherwax is possibly my favourite character in the world ever, followed very closely by Samuel Vimes, so Wyrd Sisters and Guards! Guards! are up there. Whole lotta love for Ms Marvel, too, which I'm reading with my 9-year-old and who is now his favourite superhero. Oh, and my first time reading Jane Eyre which utterly surprised me, as I had fully expected to hate it. And last but not least, Carrie Fisher's Princess Diaries, which are unspeakably sad at times, but also full of poetic philosophies. Good month. One more to go.
Favourite: Reaper Man made me cry. Witches Abroad is, well, almost perfect. And having always eschewed reading Pride and Prejudice I was really quite shocked at how much I enjoyed it. Laugh out loud moments throughout.
Least Favourite: I had some issues with The Ship because I kinda wanted to throw the protagonist overboard for half the book. But I know a lotta people who love it so I'll leave this review there.
Also Worth Mentioning: Finished The Goblet of Fire with my son after an epic few months of bedtime reading. We both had to stop and have a little cry/hug when Cedric died, but then quickly recovered when Voldemort stepped out of the cauldron butt naked, which my kid thought was the funniest thing ever.
And we're done. Made it to the end of 2017 with a grand total of... 102!
And I'm so glad I did it. It's more than I've read in the last three years combined, I think. And it's got me out of some shitty social media/TV bingeing habits and made reading just another daily pleasure.
I tend to have two or three books on the go these days - one downstairs for reading-while-cooking or cramming in a few chapters in the witching hour between dinner and the kids' bedtime (massively assisted by our brand new wood burner - perfect reading environment). I also have another book or two upstairs, usually on my kindle, and read for at least an hour while I'm putting the kids to bed and then another good hour or so before I eventually pass out with my glasses askew.
One final note:
So... uh... we never finished Sarah's #ClassicReads challenge. We both gave up on Gulliver's Travels because ughhhhhhhh. Life is too fucking short. But if you have any recommendations for 2018 shout at me on Twitter or leave a comment.
Happy reading/New Year!