I am so not the kind of person to back away from a challenge but wow I have set myself a HUGE one! November and December are going to intense reading months as I look to finish this challenge before the end of the year. At the moment I have to remember to try and prioritise my university studies over picking up that next novel!
In saying that I have loved exploring literature a little more and reigniting my passion for the written word which really was point of starting!
There are some really awesome books in this update, so let’s just get into it:
A funny book: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
If Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory wrote a book this would be it. That’s probably the only way I can describe this book. There were some hilarious moments but also some where I genuinely felt sad for Don and his inability to correctly interpret social situations. I started this book as some light holiday reading and ended up finishing it practically in the one sitting. I just couldn’t stop, it was addictive! The relationship between Don and Rosie is developed in such a clever way that you really don’t expect anything that happens.
A book with a number in the title: The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
I don’t even know where to start with this book. I think I loved it although I was also glad when I had finished, mostly because the strangeness of it was just consuming me to the point of I had to know what was going to happen next! What I did love was the interpretation of history from a politically neutral perspective that humanised some of the greatest historical figures of all time. I think this is a very clever book although sometimes I felt as though I didn’t understand it completely. Trying to explain the plot line to friends and family as I was reading I found myself laughing hysterically as it was just so random and silly but the depth of character development was so intense that you truly became involved in each person’s story. Well worth the read, I strongly recommend it!
A non-fiction book: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
There were moments reading this book that I really wished it wasn’t a true story. There were other moments however that I was inspired by the courage and the humanity of Louie and I am so glad that his life could be opened up for everyone to be inspired by. The time he spent in the Japanese POW camps were intense and I believe the majority of the Angelina Jolie movie production focuses on this time. I am therefore so glad that I read the book version as I found his determination as an athlete and the relationships between his brother and later, his wife, amazing. There were so many obstacles Louie had to overcome in his life and the fact that he did just makes this one of the most inspiring books that I have read. I never expected in my life to truly enjoy a non-fiction war story but this was written so well and in a way that I enjoyed learning a little more about the non-European side of WWII.
A book based on a true story: How Not To Travel The World: Adventures Of A Disaster-prone Backpacker by Lauren Juliff
I wasn’t familiar with Lauren’s travel blog Never Ending Footsteps before but once I saw her book I knew that I just had to read it! I think it was based around the fact that a book written by a blogger was pretty aspirational to me, but I was also drawn to the title. Not your typical romanticised travel memoir but rather a very honest account of Laurens travels including her daily struggles with anxiety. Her writing style was similar to a blog, being story-telling and conversational which made it easy to read. Some of her stories are amazing and how she deals (or doesn’t deal) with situations is what makes you want to ignore everything else and keep reading.
A book with a love triangle: Far From The Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy
What can I say but I found this book really boring. I mean it did get a little more exciting towards the end but the predictability of it took away from there being any real impact. There are more love triangles in this story at times than I can keep track of! It is a story of selfishness, independence and sheep. I usually love period style drama novels but this one just didn’t give me anything and I feel the whole story really should have been over in the first few chapters.
A book your mum loves: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
When I asked mum for her suggestion for a book I could read for this category a few came to mind for her but the ultimate winner was Steinbeck. Mum said when she was around my age she would find an author she loved and read everything they had ever written. From Steinbeck her favourite was Of Mice and Men. Mum was apparently into intense things! I wasn’t familiar with the story therefore I really didn’t know what I was signing up for. It is a beautifully written story but powerful, intense and heartbreaking. I have not read a book like this before and I doubt I ever will again.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This is one of those books that you never read and then you do and say ‘what took me so long?’ With the much anticipated release of Harper Lee’s book Go Set a Watchman this year I remembered that I was yet to read To Kill a Mocking Bird, one of the most influential books, particularly by a female author in modern literature. It explores heavy themes of racial injustice in Americas Deep South, but what I loved about it was the way it was written. From the innocent perspective of a child the exploration of these themes become much more powerful which aid in the overall impact of the book.
As I said before, this month I have read some truly awesome books and I look forward to the next update as I tackle the next pile!
Have you read any of these books? What is next up on your to read list?