Everyone started 2016 with a reading theme. I didn’t. In fact, it didn’t occur to me to actually choose a theme until I saw it flying around. My excuse? I have a backlog of books on my To-Be Read shelf. I’m not about to abandon them just because I want to focus squarely on a particular theme. The results? Sporadic reading. Although, I’m careful enough to avoid monotony. Trust me, reading the same genre of books over and over will get boring at some point. I try to alternate them with countries, genres, short stories, African fiction, bestsellers, classics, barely there, terribly written books. Oh yeah, I read bad books too.
70% were predominantly from the US while the rest were divided between the UK, Afghanistan, Dominican Republic and Nigeria. Although, I’m not reading by countries – which I’d really love to – I’d prefer to diversify. This is a conscious decision I’m gonna make subsequently. Which means I’m very welcoming of foreign authors. It’s was such a pleasure to be introduced to Jumpha Lahiri and Juniot Diaz. It also good to read the storyteller extraordinaire himself, Klahed Hosseini once again. Then again, Paula Hawkins, Jojo Moyes, Jeannette Walls and Octavia Butler, especially Octavia made lasting impressions on me. I really hope that when I eventually start to write, a lot of the influences on these brilliant people will be reflected in my work.
I’m really not the biggest fan of short stories. I really hate that stories have to be cut short at the climax. It’s something I take very personally so I steer clear of them as much as I can. But this month, I’m not sure what happened. I read three anthologies from three brilliant authors – Unaccustomed Earth, This Is How You Lose Her and The Thing Around Your Neck. Of course, they left me gasping for more. I might not be intentional about short stories but I think I might just have a change of heart.
I also tried to write more book reviews. I figured that was the only way to assess the effect the book had on me and to determine whether or not the book passed through me. As much as possible, I try to take notes and bookmarks so as to aid the writing of the reviews else I might have to do some unnecessary brainstorming to write a decent one. Also, I noticed that the reviews tended to lean towards a sentimental opinion rather than an objective one. To be honest, I’m more concerned about how much the book has influenced me rather than selling it to prospective readers. From my reviews, you can’t decide to read them or not. I’m not about to influence your decision. Then again, I might need to take it serious if I want to be open to the career options in Publishing which includes book reviewing.
So, in the particular order – Thank God for Goodreads –
1. Unaccustomed Earth – Jumpha Lahiri (2008, India – USA)
2. Not A Lot Of People Know That – David Hailwood (2010)
3. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes (2012, UK)
4. The Thing Around Your Neck – Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (2009, Nigeria)
5. The Choice – Nicholas Sparks (2015, USA)
6. The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins (2015, UK)
7. Under My Umbrella – Karen Erickson (2010, USA)
8. This Is How You Lose Her – Junot Diaz (2012, Dominican Republic)
9. Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn (2006, USA)
10. And The Mountains Echoed – Klahed Hosseini (2013, Afghanistan)
11. The Love Affairs Of Nathaniel P. – Adelle Waldman (2013, USA)
12. The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls (2006, USA)
13. Fledging – Octavia E. Butler (2007, USA)
14. Boomerang Bride – Fiona Lowe (2011)
For first time in forever, I have abandoned books. Now, this never happens because I make it a duty to finish every book I start no matter how terrible it is. I mean I read the entire trilogy of 50 Shades Of Grey. What could possibly be as terrible as that? Anyways, these are the four books I started but dropped halfway.
1. The Wallcreeper – Nell Zink
I don’t know. There was something about this book. I got halfway and couldn’t continue.
2. Rising Strong – Brené Brown
Apparently, there was a prequel to this book which explains the continuous references to it which of course left me hanging on several occasions. I just couldn’t follow anymore.
3. The Icarus Girl – Helen Oyeyemi
This, probably has a lot of potential but it’s so slow-paced and exhausting.
4. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Okay, this was witty, hilarious and slow-paced. But on the real though, how can an elderly man be in love with a 12yo? Pedophile much?
I might probably go back to these books and I might not. Life’s too short for slow-paced books.
Here’s to an even awesome February reads!