Sunday, 1 February 2015

Weekly Rundown: Reading Challenge Progress

Bute saw a little bit of snow this week (again) which has made everything chilly, and pretty, and chilly, and white, and did I mention it’s been a bit chilly here? I’m not really complaining since I really am a fan of the white stuff. I’m probably one of the only brides in history who was thrilled that she had snow on her wedding day, even if it did cause a bit of panic about whether we would make it to the Registry Office!

It did create a bit of worry about whether we would get up or down the hill to our house (and therefore whether I would make it to work) so we camped out at my in-laws’ for two nights. During which time I took absolutely no advantage of the internet access and wrote exactly zero blog posts. More fool me because I’m making up for that now, spending a traditional Saturday scheduling posts for the week ahead. And I was so organised before as well, that’ll teach me to get cocky!

So aside from watching the snow fall from my window at work (and wondering if the roads will clear since work, like home, it at the top of a hill) I’ve been continuing with the 2015 Reading Challenge.

Last week’s read was ‘a book published this year’ and I chose Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall. I finished it last Sunday at about 9:30pm and I can’t say it really grabbed me. The whole thing just seemed to be one bad event after another for the main character, Adrienne; nothing good ever happened to the poor girl. Nothing much good seemed to happen to any of the other people in the story either.

While the premise was interesting, Miramont Castle is a real place and the book was inspired by actual events which took place there, I can’t say that it’s one I’m going to be in any great hurry to revisit. It only cost me 99p on Amazon though, so I’m not too fussed.

I do have to admit it was a little bit creepy at the end. I live in an old house, in the grounds of an old house, so maybe that had something to do with the fact that I found myself seriously creeped out by the end. So I read Quidditch Through The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (J.K. Rowling) and pretended I was a Hogwarts student reading late into the night in my dormitory. Easily dispelled the creep factor.

So then last Monday I started on another Terry Pratchett non-Discworld book (the last one in my collection in fact) which takes place on a disc-shaped planet. It’s called Strata and you can see him playing around with the idea of a planet that would one day become the Disc we know and love. There’s even a bar featured in the story called ‘The Broken Drum’ (‘you can’t beat it’) and a discussion about a disc-shaped planet carried through space on the backs of giant elephants who stand on the back of a giant turtle. Sound familiar?

It wasn’t a long read but while I got into it quickly I found my interest waning around the middle. I just have to admit that my favourite Terry Pratchett books are his fantasy ones over the sci-fi ones. I finished it late on Wednesday night and couldn’t really remember the ending until I went back and looked back at it again. It did have a lot of funny bits, but there were some parts where I couldn’t really follow what was going on.

So now I’m onto Week 5 ‘a book with a number in the title’. I picked 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, mainly because I read Around the World in 80 Days last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. To start off with there seemed to be a lot of technical description about places and waters depths and other dry, dusty things; I was a little worried that it was going to be Moby Dick all over again. I’m over halfway through now and I can happily say that is not the case at all. This is how Moby Dick should have been written! There is still a lot of technical description, I don’t really care for the great long lists of undersea plant life but the rest of the book is so action packed and funny that I’m willing to overlook it.

I suspect that next week I’ll be reading Frankenstein. I’m quite pleased with how many books I’m reading that are entirely new to me. I normally read more new books than old ones but in later years I think it’s been becoming a more even split than it used to be. I’m definitely finding more new-to-me authors and I’m finally reading some of those books that I’ve been meaning to read for years but have never gotten around it.

In the next week or so I’m planning on giving my bookcase a bit of an overhaul. Yesterday I finally got around to clearing all the stuff that’s been dumped on the spare bed since before Christmas… and unpacking my stuff from Wales. Now we’ve got the living room floor back I think it’s time to take off some of the books I’ve finished with and dig out some more that I’m planning to read in the coming few months.

I’ll let you know how I get on with that.

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