Friday, 2 January 2015

My Top Reads of 2014

Happy New Year!

2014 wasn't the most productive year for me writing wise as redrafting a novel is a slower task especially if you work full time and move twice in the same year! But I'm going to make sure that this novel really takes shape this year.

2014 Reading
I don't like doing my top reads of the year post in December (or even November) as there could a chance that the best book you read may be a Christmas present or sneak up on you so I always wait until January. This year I have read many great books, lots of good books by great authors, a few average ones and I have also learnt to give up books which do not grab me. I have been following the principle an English teacher taught back when I was at school. If you're not enjoying the book then skip at least five pages and try again. If its still no good then move on to the next book. There are too many other books that need reading!

Here are my top five reads of 2014 in no particular order:

The Circle - Dave Eggers
Eggers explores society's obsession with the internet. I could not literally put this book down - I needed to know what happens in the 'circle' - the ultimate social networking company and its plans to conquer the internet.

We Are Completely Besides Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler

This book has a big twist on page 77 (I already knew the twist before reading this book as I had seen it reviewed on TV), which I won't give away. This is a great book about love and rivalry between siblings and families.

Of Things Gone Astray - Janina Matthewson
This fabulous novel follows the characters as they try to find the things they have lost. You can read my review here.

With A Zero At Its Heart - Charles Lambert
Lambert's thought provoking novel 
explores the way memories fragment and form a life story within 24 themed chapters, each with 10 numbered paragraphs, each paragraph 120 words long. You can read my review here.

A Tale For The Time Being - Ruth Ozeki
Ruth finds a diary of a Japanese girl washed up, in a Hello Kitty lunchbox on the beach. Inside, the diary chronicles the girl's life before the tsunami. Ruth's obsession with the diary echoes my obsession with this book. I found the story gripping.

Here's a link to the other books I have read in 2014.

Reading and Writing in 2015
I got some great books for Christmas so I'm looking forward to reading these over the next year. Here's a little picture of my books lounging on the sofa after eating too many chocolates and binge watching box sets. 
I have already finished Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl and it's really good. I like the honesty and energy of Dunham's essays. I know that she's a marmite kind of person but that shouldn't hold you back from reading her essays. I have also finished reading Robert McGuire's Here and I have a very strong feeling that it could be in 2015's list of great books...

My plans for my writing over the next year:

  • Carry on editing my novel. I am currently battling with a horrid chapter 15. I couldn't find the right opening and I thought I could find a quick way to fix it but there is no quick win! I am re-writing this chapter from the beginning and its a very slow process.
  • Maybe start thinking about writing a new novel once I'm over the hump with the redrafting for my current one.

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