Thursday, 30 April 2015

Reading reading reading

I love reading, and I constantly see the argument that people make that there are other distractions that stop people reading now. I admit that the pull of Game of Thrones, or my own personal addiction: Outlander, is a tough one to resist. But invariably I notice that once I've actually picked up a book, I can kill hours!

The quality of the book definitely effects how likely I am to spend my time reading it. I proudly say at parties that I have a 50 page rule. But in truth, I do try to finish books once I start them, which often means that I take up far too long trying to get into the story and listlessly reading a few pages on the tube.

One reason I try to finish bad books is that I want to be able to review them, and what if they get good?! NEW RULE: Stick the the first 50 pages. If my reviews include: Didn't even finish it then we can assume that it failed in the first 50 pages. I hope that this will lead to me reading MORE because I will read better books.

I read for work constantly and at work I ruthlessly employ a first paragraph rule, if I'm not caught yet the story won't make the cut. Hopefully I can use the same rule with my personal reading and try to enjoy more of my books in a shorter time frame.

Reading for work vs reading for pleasure are two completely different things I think. At work it is almost exclusively on a screen, and the feel of a real book is completely different. There ought to be a scientific study done on people's brains when they're reading analytically vs for pleasure, I'm sure it lights up differently.

A question I get quite frequently is: if you read all day do you really want to read in your spare time?

On the one hand, if I had to continue to sit at a desk with a pencil and read, then NO. But a cosy chapter on the tube home and possibly another one tucked up in bed? Yes please. There ARE a lot of distractions which weren't there so much when I was at school, music, podcasts, tv, movies, netflix, twitter and facebook. But nothing beats curling up with a book and beverage surrounded by books, and empty mugs to read long into the night... or the first 50 pages, which ever comes first.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Mad March Reviews

Diana Gabaldon
Orion 30/9/10 Hardback
Christmas Present
I always enjoy reading Diana's books. I'm invested, I can't look away. With the new series of Outlander out now, it is impossible to read her work without enthusiasm. I still see the original characters that my mind has built and the series hasn't ruined that at all. I am absolutely loving the show and can't wait to see more. 
I loved this book because for the first time in a while I really thought that Claire and Jamie were in serious trouble. I love that Jenny has come back into the story line, I often thought of her hanging out in Scotland and wondered how that character was. 
The young and the older generation of love was beautifully even and appropriate. Diana has a knack for capturing the individuality of relationships and character so well. 
While reading, I also heard her on Woman's Hour promoting the Amazon Video deal for the Outlander series. with the radio, TV and shelves telling you these books are brilliant (side effects include extreme addiction) you don't need me to tell you to pick up the first one and give it a read. But I will. Buy it, Borrow it, Steal it; Love it. 

Neil Gaiman
Headline 19/09/2005
Mummy's Library
This collection of short stories delighted me. I devoured this book in days! Usually a book of short stories is a book for train journey's and trips to the loo. But in this case I couldnt help just reading each one one after the other. Each story was different, and the tone rose and feel like a good DJ set. 
The stories have stayed with me and I can remember a number of them even now. The mark of an excellent writer, I wish I had read more Gaiman before. 
I am becoming a distinct fan of Neil Gaiman and look forward to picking up the next one. 

Robert Alexander
Penguin 19/01/2006
Mummy's Library
This short book was an easy read and perfect for the plane ride home from Istanbul. This piece of historical fiction was a interesting, but only because I am already interested in this period of history. The little nuggets of interest were mostly already known, and there wasn't anything particularly ground breaking in terms of the story line. 
A sweet book, It had some adult themes but I felt that the writing style was slightly too young for me, aimed more at a young adult audience then me. If you're into historical fiction from this time, then it's a good one, but it's not the best and is particularly simple.