What I’ve Been Reading in 2014

As I haven’t been blogging so far this year I wanted to catch up on the books I’ve been reading. So far I have managed to read 28 books and I feel like I am going slow however I am currently on track for Goodreads goal for the year of 60 books. Sadly I’ve not found anything this year that’s really blown me away, I have enjoyed some books, but most of them have just been OK. Currently I am reading The Fellowship of the Ring which isn’t helping me feel like I’m reading fast but I am getting through it and so far liking it so hopefully the second half of the year will be a better one for reading.

Rainbow Rowell   

My very first book of 2014 was Eleanor and Park which I enjoyed it a lot and have since read both her other published books; Fangirl and Attachments. I didn’t realise this former was an adult book till I got into it but it was just as good as her other work telling a really interesting story about three characters who’s lives are coming together. Fangirl is her other YA book and was a very easy read with a really enjoyable contemporary story that would make a perfect summer read.

Patrick Ness  

This year I have also got to sample some more of Patrick Ness’ work. Firstly I picked up A Monster Calls as they had it at a cheap book store. I was expecting it to be a creepy thriller type story but it turned out to be a very beautiful story about a child learning to deal with illness that definitely left me with wet eyes. More Than This on the other hand was more of a sci-fi story looking at the capabilities of the internet and a very different view of life after death.

War Books 

I also wanted to show some respect to the 100th anniversary of WW1 and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in a personal way by reading books set during the war. I’ve managed to read a few thanks to the library but the one that I enjoyed most was All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Unlike a lot of war books I have read it was set during World War 1 but what made it more interesting was it is from the point of view of a German solider and it very much put across the fact that in the end, it was just boys who have done nothing wrong but fight for their country.

Adult  

Another person goal of mine has been to branch out with me reading, particularly to stop being afraid of adult novels. The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs was one of the first books I read this year and I really enjoyed it. It’s a dark romance involving the paranormal and was an intoxicating read. My biggest surprise of the year was a book I picked up in the library purely for the name. The Library of Shadows by Mikkel Birkegaard turned out to be an exciting adventure with a touch of magic and I think will definitely be making me top reads of 2014.

Classics  

Similarly reading more classics is on my list for the year and I recently read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This was one of those books that stays with you long after you close it. There isn’t a huge plot to the book but the society and the ideals presented in the book give you plenty to think about. Another more modern classic I’ve got through is Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. This was never on my To Read list and I hadn’t seen the film but when I over heard my friends talking about the twist in it I decided to give it a shot. It was certainly an interesting read and having now seen the film I am glad I read the book first.

Series    

There’s been a lot of good and bad series going about the last few years and I’ve not got many on the go at the moment but I did have Shattered by Teri Terry to look forward to. This was the final book in a dystopian series and this last book was quite a change from the first two. I enjoyed the change of setting for this book, however I feel there was maybe a little to much worry about the romance. A better balance of romance to action could be founf in The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey which I only recently finished. This book turned out to be another one that was different from what I was expecting but definitely in a good way. I can’t wait to see where this series will go. I finally also managed to pick up The Giver by Lois Lowry. It was a very quick read with some interesting ideas but it didn’t blow me away like I had expected.  A book I had never planned really on reading but picked this year was The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. I have seen the start of the movie adaptation of this several times but never made it to the end so it is good to finally know what happens. I’m not going to carry on with these at the moment but I did find it a worth while read and certainly an entertaining one.

Booksplosion 

Lastly is We Were Liars by E Lockhart. This is being read by a group of booktubers I watch and being so short I figured I would just give it a go. It’s a book you need to go into not knowing anything about it however for me I was expecting a great story from all its hype and sadly it didn’t live up to that.

There have been more books this year but these are the ones I feel are worth noting about. I am looking forward to hopefully getting through so more noteworthy books soon and maybe getting some good review up soon!.

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Freebie – Top Ten Classics I Want To Read

This week The Broke and The Bookish have lets us pick our own topics for Top Ten Tuesday. I have to admit I really struggled to come up with something, I wanted something interesting but I have ended up going for books that are considered to be classics that I want to read. I haven’t really read a lot classic books. I often struggle with the language but here at ten that I would like to make myself get through.

1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

We follow Esther Greenwood’s personal life from her summer job in New York with Ladies’ Day magazine, back through her days at New England’s largest school for women, and forward through her attempted suicide, her bad treatment at one asylum and her good treatment at another, to her final re-entry into the world like a used tyre: “patched, retreaded, and approved for the road” … Esther Greenwood’s account of her year in the bell jar is as clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing.

4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The four March sisters–Meg, Amy, Beth, and feisty Jo–share the joys and sorrows of growing up while their father is away at war. The family is poor in worldly goods, but rich in love and character.

5. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

In the early days of the Second World War, before Benito Mussolini invaded Greece, Dr. Iannis practices medicine on the island of Cephalonia, accompanied by his daughter, Pelagia, to whom he imparts much of his healing art. Even when the Italians do invade, life isn’t so bad–at first anyway. The officer in command of the Italian garrison is the cultured Captain Antonio Corelli, who responds to a Nazi greeting of “Heil Hitler” with his own “Heil Puccini,” and whose most precious possession is his mandolin. It isn’t long before Corelli and Pelagia are involved in a heated affair–despite her engagement to a young fisherman, Mandras, who has gone off to join Greek partisans. Love is complicated enough in wartime, even when the lovers are on the same side. And for Corelli and Pelagia, it becomes increasingly difficult to negotiate the minefield of allegiances, both personal and political, as all around them atrocities mount, former friends become enemies, and the ugliness of war infects everyone it touches.

6. 1984 by George Orwell

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

7. All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other–if only he can come out of the war alive.

8. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A ten-year-old orphan comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors where she discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.

9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Far in the future, the World Controllers have finally created the ideal society. In laboratories worldwide, genetic science has brought the human race to perfection. From the Alpha-Plus mandarin class to the Epsilon-Minus Semi-Morons, designed to perform menial tasks, man is bred and educated to be blissfully content with his pre-destined role.

But, in the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, Bernard Marx is unhappy. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude, feeling only distaste for the endless pleasures of compulsory promiscuity, Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…

10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Published a year before her death at the age of thirty, Emily Brontë’s only novel is  set in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors. Depicting the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with an instinct for poetry and for the dark depths of human psychology.