I’ve been a little absent from this blog so far in 2018, so I thought today I would get you all up-to-speed with what I’ve been reading since I’ve been gone! Hope you enjoy!
…And the answer to that is not a lot. Unfortunately, it’s not only blogging that I’ve not had much time for this year, but reading too.
I know, it’s a travesty!
At the start of the year, I set myself the challenge of reading 52 books in 2018 – 1 for each week. So far, in week 29, I have read 20 books. OK, that isn’t awful. But it isn’t amazing, either. Really, I should be at 29. But never fear! We still have time to bring this back! Maybe even by December, I’ll have surpassed my goal!
Now, um, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Anyway, I’m going to give you guys a brief overview of the novels that have been tickling my bookish tastebuds in 2018 so far. Let’s (finally) get into it!
Now, if you read this recent post of mine, you’ll know that I recently re-read Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle. Surprisingly, and definitely out-of-character for me, this is pretty much the only YA I’ve read this year. I know, who am I becoming?!
Of course, I loved re-reading this series. There is something so magical about the way Maggie writes – she leaves me stunned yet equally enthralled every time.
So, that’s 4 of the 20 books. What about the other 16?
Well, another 4 books that I’ve read in 2018 were re-reads for the exams I just sat in June.
Whilst these books certainly weren’t my favourite, looking back, I was quite lucky in the selection of novels I had to read. (To be precise, 2 novels, 2 plays, and 2 poetry anthologies (not included here).) For one, I loved studying The Taming of the Shrew. As controversial as it is considered today, I personally found it very funny, and I really enjoyed analysing it from different perspectives.
In my defence, I actually read Journey’s End twice, but – to my dismay – Goodreads doesn’t count this as 2 books. How ridiculous.
So what else?
Well, I’ve dabbled in some dystopia, including The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power (both amazing, by the way) as well as the classic 1984 right at the beginning of the year, which I wrote a discussion post about here. I actually also wrote a little blog post after reading The Handmaid’s Tale regarding how feasible it would be today. Click here to read it!
I grew up devouring novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent – both dystopia, but I never really delved into more typical and traditional meanings of ‘dystopia’ until reading 1984. I feel like I’m finally starting to grow up!
I actually also read Murakami’s 1Q84 series earlier this year, which references Orwell’s 1984 and makes use of the iconic title in a new fashion. This is also considered a ‘dystopia’ novel, but that’s really where the similarities end. 1Q84 is a very wacky read. Sometimes, I didn’t know whether I was up or down! I did really enjoy this series, though, and it was a very…interesting introduction to the weird world of Murakami. I’m actually currently reading another novel by him, so I must have liked it!
I also read some ‘classic’ novels earlier this year, including Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein and Hamlet.
I have been told for years to read Wuthering Heights, and it certainly didn’t disappoint! I love how wild and gritty the romance is – such a breath of fresh air in comparison to other classics. I also really enjoyed Frankenstein, which I wrote a post about here wherein I discussed the events from a modern perspective. Frankly, I’m amazed it has been 200 years since Shelley wrote it!
Finally, Hamlet; Shakespeare is quickly becoming a new favourite of mine. Actually, plays in general. I don’t know why I never opened myself up to the boundless possibilities and entertainment of drama texts!
I actually also watched a recording of a recent performance of this – it was a production by the Royal Shakespeare Company starring Paapa Essiedu and drawing on Afro-Caribbean influences, which I loved. It allowed me to see the events of the play in a whole new light. If you get a chance to watch a recording of this performance, don’t pass up on it!
Taking all of these reads into consideration, I must say, my favourite books of the year so far do not fit into any of these make-shift ‘categories.’ These are An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro and The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
2 very different novels, but very enjoyable. I read Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro last year and adored it, and I actually bought myself An Artist… for Christmas on a whim when browsing in Waterstones! I’m slowly trying to work my way through Ishiguro’s writing. He is – with each novel – becoming one of my favourite writers. (That being said, I have only read 2 of his novels!)
In contrast, people had been telling me to read The Secret History for a while, and when I saw it for a good price on Amazon, I finally just went for it! I began this novel in the midst of exam revision, so it was a slow read, but a lovely and much-needed distraction! I’m now interested in picking up If We Were Villains, which is said to be great for people who loved The Secret History. Hopefully I’ll get around to that soon!
Aaaand that’s everything I’ve read so far in 2018! I hope you enjoyed reading this post!
Let me know in the comments what you’ve been reading in 2018, or if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned! Let’s chat!