challenges, The Read List

In July I read…

This month’s genre on the challenge I’m doing is classics, classics is kind of  tricky one, because what some people might think of as being a classic, isn’t the same for others… But, these are things that I think fit as a classic. Also, I don’t really like classics as a rule, I try to avoid them because of the archaic language and the treatment of certain members of society, but it is something that I want to be able to read, mostly for the kudos. Luckily for me, a top ten Tuesday at the end of June was all about classics, so without meaning to, you guys gave me a little inspiration for things to look for for this month!
You’ll notice that I read a LOT this month (though, not all of them classics), there are several reasons for this, one, my netflix stopped working for a couple of weeks, which meant that instead of finishing Orange is the New Black and starting Hemlock Grove 2, I turned to my bookshelf for something to do, two, I’ve been training to be editor (I work at a newspaper) while our actual editor was on holiday during the last few weeks of July, and I figured, the more I read this month, the better my grammar etc would be and thirdly, the two projects I’m working on outside of work have sort of come to a point where I’m not sure where else to go with them, so because I’ve not been working on them, I’ve had more time to read other things, partly because I’m looking for inspiration, but also, because I don’t have a social life, so I never actually amass any life experience for myself. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I won’t be reading this much next month now that Netflix is back online and my creative juices are flowing once again!

maze The Maze Runner – James Dashner
I didn’t manage to finish this before Sci Fi month was over. I saw the trailer for the film recently and like always, I wanted to read the book before the seeing the film and now I know that Thomas Sangster and Dylan O’Brien are in the film, I kind of have to watch it. I’ve seen on goodreads that this has a lot of criticism, but I actually really enjoyed it! The story is incredible, though the narration leaves little to be desired at times, it was so addictive, but sometimes it read more like a children’s book than a YA sci fi adventure, even so, it was awesome! I hear that there are a further two books after this one, so I’m going to be getting myself to the library in the hope that they have them!

dickens A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens.
My first classic of classic month! I do love me a bit of Charlie Dickens! Great Expectations has always been a favourite of mine and as I love both Paris and London, why not give this one a go?! Also, I’ve read the Infernal Devices which makes many references to this! It took me a while to get into because it is wildly different from anything else that I’ve read in recent months, what with the archaic language and all. I did love it though and I especially like the fact that I got to finally read my Penguin version with the fancy orange spine! I’ll be honest, while I really enjoyed this and I liked what Dickens was doing with the idea that Charles and Sydney were essentially two sides of the same coin, I couldn’t help but feel that Charles was all kinds of boring, I know who I’d have rather been betrothed to! Anyway, thumbs up for A Tale of Two Cities for being well good and for having amazing opening and closing lines.

lost Lets get lost – Adi Alsaid
You know when you read a book and it fills you with such evengelical zeal.. Oh screw it, I’m not going to quote TFIOS at you, you know what I’m getting at. This book was all kinds of incredible, about getting lost and getting found and road trips and random acts of kindness and everything that is good in the world. If you’ve ever wanted a book that catches the spirit of The Breakfast Club then this is your book. Honestly when I read this, I fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly, then all at once. Here’s my thoughts.

2865Girl with a pearl earring – Tracy Chevalier.
Book two for classics month! I watched the film of this several years ago and thought it was ok, but a bit dull. The book has been sat in my TBR pile since World Book Day last year, when I swapped the book I was giving for this one. I kind of wish I’d left it on my TBR shelf. When you look up the word ‘dull’ in the dictionary, instead of the definition, there should just be a picture of the cover of this book.

jeevJeeves and Wooster – P G Wodehouse.
Does this count as a classic? I don’t care. I’ve kind of wanted to read this collection of stories for ages! I like the tv series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, so I wanted to read the stories that inspired it and see how like the characters they really were.

snowThe Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey.
This was lent to me by my boss, considering that the UK is in the midst of a heatwave, it was quite nice to read a book about snow!
I’m really glad that it was recommended to me, I’d have probably never thought to have picked it up otherwise and I’d have really missed out! This was charming, magical and had such a wonderful mysterious air to it. Its the sort of story that’s difficult to describe, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that’s its good! Its the retelling of a Russian fairy story, so I should have maybe kept it for next month’s genre challenge, but oh well!

before1 Before You – Amber Hart.
I really need to stop getting sucked in by a pretty cover.
The cover of this is eyecatching, which is one of the reasons why I requested it, the problem was what was inside the pages. I just found it to be a little too convenient, a little too racist and a little too sexist, which upsets me, considering it was written by a woman. I’ve not read much New Adult, but I’m not sure that I want to after this. I even reviewed it for you.

black mountainThe Truth is a cave in the Black Mountains – Neil Gaiman and Eddie Campbell
I’ve never read anything quite like this before, it’s not a graphic novel, more of a short story with pictures, but regardless it was all kinds of awesome and was a genuine pleasure to read. I read so many ebooks these days I’d kind of forgotten how amazing it is to hold something heavy and tangible! Find my review here.

 Tgood1he Good Sister – Jamie Kain
If the Virgin Suicides and the Lovely Bones mated and raised a tiny baby book, this book would be that baby once it had matured into adolescence. I did review this, though how I managed to do it without giving anything away, I have no idea, just know that it will hook you in from the first page, keep you in suspense until the last page and no matter how good you already think it is, it just keeps getting better and better. Reviewed here.

22465694Boy21 – Matthew Quick.
This book was a little odd and I’m still not entirely sure why I liked it, but I sort of did! Its a sport novel without too much emphasis on the sport, which is good and not only contains characters that are from a diverse range of ethnicity, but also features a kid suffering with post traumatic stress and a kid with selective mutism, which is something I have never come across is a book before! You can find the review here.

stayIf I stay – Gayle Foreman.
Another book that’s being made into a film. I selected it because it didn’t look all that thick and I wanted something I could probably finish by the end of the month, so I could start afresh with my next challenge. It was really super intense and I liked that the entire novel happened over the course of one day, it was kind of like a long short story. Also, in the acknowledgements, Gayle Foreman noted that the song, Falling Slowly, as used in the film, Once, was a great source of inspiration for the book and as I too like to write to music and look for stories in songs, that really resonated with me.




This month’s genre was classic novels, so I read A Tale of Two Cities, Girl with the Pearl Earring and a Jeeves and Wooster omnibus. Classics are always a funny one for me, I feel very intimidated by them and after reading Les Mis last year, which took me several months and was really hard going at times, it made me dread this month coming around, but actually, it wasn’t that bad! Tale of Two Cities only took me a few days to get through and Jeeves and Wooster was a pleasure. Girl with a Pearl Earring was dull as dish water though, but reading classics didn’t take me half as long as I thought it did, I managed to make a start on my massive pile of ARCS that I had yet to get through! The genre for August is fairy tale retellings, which I’m actually really scared about!



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