I have always read a lot. It is a bit of a ‘thing’ for me. I used to be able to curl up in a seat anywhere and read for hours. Sometimes I would stay up until five am reading in my bed and not even notice the time flying by. Yes, I like reading.
In the last few years I’ve been overcoming my mental health troubles as well as living with the fatigue that comes with Lupus and the myriad little hiccups that have come up along the way. My reading has suffered a decent amount due to this. Not only do I need to get my sleep and fall into a death coma as soon as my head hits the pillow but when I have moments in my day that I am not physically active I watch television or films and just switch my mind off.
Now I am able to focus a lot more, my mind is clear and I don’t always have an unbelievable need to sleep by the time the sun has set each day. At the start of the year I decided I was ready to immerse myself in to the written world once more and to make sure I stayed on track (I thought I may have to force myself at first) I set a reading challenge for the year. I compared my total to one my best friend Hip was doing, as I was pretty sure I could keep up with her, and could easily compare the end result with her too.
I chose to set a number target on my Goodreads account. The total was 30 books in the year 2014. No other parameters included. On the second last day of ‘twenty-fourteen’ I feel confident to release the final results. As well as that I thought I might be a bit fun and try to describe each text in three words, and give it my ‘rating out of 5’. I will also list the date of completion so you can see my order of reading and get an idea of how long it took me to get through. Please note some I read simultaneously with others and so don’t be confused by overlaps.
My 2014 Booklist
Fools’ Fate (Tawny Man Trilogy) – Robin Hobb – Jan 11: 4/5 Value honest friendship
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo – Feb 3: 2/5 Epic French Revolution
King Lear – William Shakespeare – Feb 9: 4/5 Avoid superficial people
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath – Feb 15: 5/5 Young woman’s depression
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – Feb 26: 3/5 Realism style love
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy – Feb 26: 1/5 realist, fiction, tragic
Lady Windemere’s Fan – Oscar Wilde – March 3: 2/5 Witty, shrewd, scandalous
Lord of the Flies – William Golding – March 16: 3/5 Basic societal structure
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier – March 29: 5/5 Love meets intrigue
Language and Teaching: An Introduction for Teaching – Marie Emmit et al – March 30: 4/5 Essential teachers language
Heidi – Johanna Spyri – April 1: 4/5 Little mountain girl
Inferno (The Divine Comedy of Dante Aligieri Volume 1) – Dante Aligieri – April 4: 2/5 Funny hell saga
Smoky Joe’s Cafe – Bryce Courtenay – April 8: 5/5 Australia Vietnam veteran
Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne – April 13: 2/5 He did it
When Did You See Her Last (All The Wrong Questions #2) – Lemony Snicket – April 16: 4/5 Inquisitive children’s humour
A Year in Tibet – Sun Shuyun – April 28: 3/5 Traditional Tibetan lifestyles
A Study in Scarlett – Arthur Conan Doyle – May 7: 3/5 Sherlock Holmes introduction
Sign of the Four – Arthur Conan Doyle – May 20: 3/5 More Sherlock mystery
The Valley of Fear – Arthur Conan Doyle – May 27: 3/5 Love Sherlock Holmes
Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action – Nick Vujicic – May 27: 4/5 Inspiring evangelistic biography
The Grammar Handbook – Gordon Winch – June 18: 4/5 read speak good
Sole Survivor – Dean Koontz – July 16 3/5 Mystery intrigue conspiracy
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle – July 17: 3/5 Again with Sherlock
Annexed – Sharon Dogar – July 20: 4/5 Anne Frank inspired
The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince – Robin Hobb – July 22: 3/5 Novella’s about Farseer’s
Sophie’s Choice– William Styron – August 19: 3/5 Nazi’s, Jews & tragedy
Magician – Raymond E Feist – Sept 24: 4/5 Medieval Magical Invasions
Children, Families and Communities: Contexts and Consequences – Jennifer Bowes – Sept 24: 3/5 Education through incorporation
Mere Christianity – C. S. Lewis – Oct 31: 3/5 Right, Wrong & Christianity
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Trilogy of Four) – Douglas Adams – November 11: 4/5 Hilarious Universal Travelling
The Slow Regard of Silent Things – Patrick Rothfuss – November 16: 4/5 Silent Eclectic Waif
A Funny Thing Happened on my Way to The Future – Michael J Fox – November 19: 5/5 Inspirational biographical reflections
The Year After – Martin Davies – November 23: 2/5 England after WW1
Bellman & Black – Diane Setterfield – December 4: 2/5 Ravens and success
Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harrari – Current: 5/5 Evolution Homo Sapiens
My absolute favourite texts are (of course) rated five. I would be happy to discuss any of them further, if you would like me to provide a personal interpretation. Having said that I say read them yourself if you are interested. If you want to know why or how I rated certain books, I can also answer and justify those.
I will lastly say that I recommend reading to everyone. The valuable thing to note with reading is that it gives you a moment to completely indulge another persons perspective and point of view without feeling oppressed or attacked. You have the option to take the information in at your own leisure and you can choose how they ‘sound’. You expand your vocabulary and learn about different ways of life and personalities and morals without feeling you are being told to change your own.
Reading is for everyone. Embrace it.