As we’re slowly sweeping into spring, I thought it was about time I give an update on my Reading Challenge 2017.
Just to give you a bit of background; last year was my first reading challenge ever! (You can see how it went here.) This year I set myself the goal of reading 25 books for my Reading Challenge 2017. I thought instead of lumping you with a mammoth blog post at the end of the year, I’ve decided to divide it into four 3 month bitesize updates.
I hope this helps to give some inspiration to your next book purchase and add to your reading challenge 2017! Let me know if it does…
My Reading Challenge 2017 (so far…)
1. In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park
This is an interesting read and one that divides reviews on Goodreads. Yeonmi is a North Korean defector, who lived in the northern part of the country before she was trafficked into China. Her journey is incredible, heartbreaking and unbelievable. This is the part that is, of course, irrefutable. The question whether she’s told the whole truth divides me (and others). I can’t help but think there might be some deliberate haziness in places. Regardless, an eye-opening read into North Korean life.
2. Pretty Iconic: A Personal Look at the Beauty Products that Changed the World by Sali Hughes
I hope it’s not too inappropriate to go from North Korea to this. I love Sali! I’ve been following her since she started writing for the Guardian and I was lucky enough to get this signed by the lady herself at Stylist Live. A lovely read, as usual, about outstanding beauty products interwoven around her life stories. My only criticism is that a few descriptions were repeated within the book, but other than that; flawless.
3. The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John George Pearson
Wow. What an explosive biography. As if the Krays need any introduction… If east London’s most infamous set of twins has ever intrigued you then this is a must read. John George Pearson was selected by the twins themself to write their biography, so I have no doubt everything within the two covers is credible. I also loved how this book was a window back in time to 50’s/60’s London. A great read.
4. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
I recently spoke about this book in my New Purchases Show & Tell series, so once again it’s slipped into another blog post of mine. Way back when lashings and hangings were one of the first forms of public shaming, Jon explores public shaming how it is today; through social media. The world’s gone digital and it now takes place on Twitter (and other social networks), with the potential to spread worldwide. It’ll make you think twice before sending your next tweet!
5. Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami
This was one of my Christmas presents from my sister and what a story to start for my first Murakami novel. The Beatles’ song Norwegian Wood takes main character Toru Watanabe back to when he first started university and memories of his first love Naoko. Naoko was the girlfriend of his best friend, before he killed himself. It’s hard to pinpoint what makes this book so special exactly, as it’s somewhat of a sad story that lingered after I read it. Delicate, upsetting but quite enriching.
6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Don’t judge me, this book is widely praised for being beautifully written and it is, it really is. Why else would anyone read a book from the perspective of a man who’s in love with a 12 year old girl? (I know, I know…) The language is exhilarating, heady to read, like smelling a strong perfume – and it’s all written by a non-English speaker. The best novel I’ve read so far this year.
7. The Spy by Paulo Coelho
This wasn’t a book I was particularly looking for to read, or even knew it was published. It was on offer in the Kindle store, I had previously read a book by Paulo Coelho a few years ago, which I thought was okay, so I went for it. Good for me then that this was a surprisingly pleasant purchase. Written in the fictional perspective of Mata Hari, a famous dancer who was executed for espionage. I highlighted sentences from this book for the first time ever on my Kindle because of parallel conventions a woman like Mata faced, and women still do even today.
7/25 books read
I worked out 25 divided by 12 makes 2.083 – which means I’ll need to read 2.083 books a month to hit my goal of 25 books. So far I think I’m on track!
There are some books out there, like the Game of Thrones series and The Count of Monte Cristo, that are still on my to-read list. However, being such big books, I don’t want to slow up my progress just yet. I may have to reserve these until the end of the year…
I do want to get back to some authors I love and haven’t read in a while though, particularly Ian McEwan! So you might see less spontaneous Kindle bargains in the next update. That’s if I don’t cave into temptation of diving back into the Game of Thrones saga first…
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Which books have you been reading lately? Leave me any of your recommendations below!
All front cover images on this post are embedded from Goodreads.com, please contact me to request for any image that appears here to be removed.