Being new-ish to blogging, and since setting myself the goal of publishing more regularly, I feel that reading is more important to me now than ever. I've always felt that reading really improves the way I write and I strongly believe that the best way to improve is to learn from other writers. Recently however, I've become a bit of a TV junkie and lost my inner book worm.
I've had a Goodreads profile for a few years now, and when I first signed up I used it all the time, but it had been neglected for a while until recently. I think Goodreads is amazing. I love that you can get recommendations for books based on your favourites, but the thing I love most about it is that you can share and record your reading progress.
With my goal to read more in mind, I went to my profile and updated what I was reading at the moment, reviewed a few books I had read last year and added some to my 'want to read' shelf. I then noticed a banner on the homepage for the 2017 Reading Challenge. I thought this was the perfect way to get myself to read more this year. So I thought to myself "challenge accepted" and chose 20 books to read throughout the year.
Here are the books on my Goodreads Reading Challenge list.
Like every other person on this planet, I love Game of Thrones. It's my favourite TV show, so naturally I wanted to read the novels by George R.R Martin that the show is based on. I also needed to fill the empty hole it left between each series. My husband bought me the whole boxset for my birthday in June and I've read the first 2, so this year I want to finish the other 3 in the series, then cry myself to sleep until book 6 comes out.
The book I've just finished is the 1st part (it's split into 2) of book 3- A Storm of Swords. Since I couldn't take the entire boxset with me to Malta, I will have to wait until I get home in 3 weeks time to read the 2nd part and then read books 4 and 5- A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Luckily I've got some books in my iBooks library to keep me happy until then!
I've liked everyone's favourite eccentric detective since I was a child. I know he's pretty big at the moment with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller both doing a fantastic job of taking on the role on TV, but I always remember the old school Sherlock Holmes series my nan used to watch on TV with Jeremy Brett- my favourite Sherlock.
Although I've read a lot of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories both on my own and when I was at university, I've never actually read any of the Sherlock Holmes novels. I never win anything, but I entered a newspaper competition to win a book of my choice from a list of about 7 and actually won The Hound of the Baskervilles. So this year I'm going to read all 4 novels. I've just started A Study in Scarlett and throughout the rest of the year I'll also read The Sign of The Four, The Hound of The Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear.
My dad is a massive fantasy geek, so me and my brothers have grown up with the likes of Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb and of course Tolkien. As a result we have inherited the fantasy-loving gene!
My dad and I were both discussing the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, which follows the story of adventurer and musician Kvothe from being a gifted child to a notorious wizard. We both really wanted to read it and when Christmas came around he had bought them for me. So I will be reading yet another series this year. Luckily however only 2 books have been published so far: The Name of The Wind and The Wise Man's Fear.
I love classics and I'm probably one of only a small percentage of people who haven't read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
I've only read a few American Classics. I always tend to read Victorian novels- as a Londoner I'm fascinated by Victorian London and England in general. Even then there is still a huge list of books I haven't read yet. I have some Victorian novels on this list of course but I thought I'd finally tick this American great off of my ever-growing list of books to read too old sport!
Neil Gaiman has been one of my absolute favourite authors ever since I decided to pick up his book of short stories Smoke and Mirrors on a whim in Waterstones one day. I adore his darkly wonderful tales, so not surprisingly I've included his new book on this list.
Anyone that reads Neil Gaiman's books will notice that he has a bit of an obsession with ancient mythology and is greatly inspired by it. He has written a book of tales from Norse Mythology (by the same title) which I'm very excited about and already know will be an amazing read.
When I was at university, to my excitement I was able to pick 'Victorian Literature' as a module during my 1st semester. It was by far the best module I took out of both years I spent there.
I was introduced to Elizabeth Gaskell when we were told to read her book Mary Barton. I fell in love with this book. It was deeply moving and painted such a vivid picture of Victorian England. I'm not sure why I've never read another one of her books, but I did of course watch the BBC production (featuring the amazing Richard Armitage) of her most famous novel North and South. I've watched it 3 times over because I love it so much and so I've decided it's about time I read the book!
I really love Gothic writing. It's full of beautiful description, dark and brooding characters, romance and it was a little bit risky when it first became popular in the 18th century.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is considered one of the Gothic greats and was one of the inspirations behind the Gothic romance film Crimson Peak too, which I also loved. I'd be lying if I said the fact it's my name in the title (despite the difference in spelling) didn't attract me to the book also. So I've added it to my Goodreads challenge list.
My husband is a big Potterhead, so when the enhanced digital editions of Harry Potter were released on iBooks he bought them all and we both started re-reading them.
These editions have lots of lovely little illustrations in them and the covers are so beautiful. I finished The Chamber of Secrets at the end of December so this year I'm going to finish re-reading the rest of the books in the enhanced series too.
Another Gothic great, The Picture of Dorian Gray has been on my 'To-Read' list forever, I've just never gotten around to reading it. I did watch the film however and wasn't really a fan, this is possibly why I've avoided reading it.
You should never judge a book by it's film! I should know that by now, so this year I'm going to tick Oscar Wilde's greatest work off of my reading list.
Anne Rice's Interview with The Vampire is my all time favourite book. When I first bought it, I demolished it and fell in love with the way she writes so beautifully and of course the vampire Lestat.
Naturally, I read The Vampire Lestat (the 2nd book in Rice's Vampire Chronicles series) straight after because I needed to know so much more about (in my opinion) the best vampire character in existence. I loved that too, but for some reason the 3rd book- The Queen of The Damned is still sitting on my shelf. My commitment to finishing a series of books is awful, but I plan to change this. I'm going to make The Queen of The Damned my last book this year, leading the way for me to finish the entire series in 2018.
I thought I'd share my challenge with you A- to hold myself accountable and B- to get a bit more personal with my readers. It's nice to know what the person behind the blog is like, even if it is just what they're reading at the moment. One thing you'll definitely have noticed about me from my challenge is that I'm a fantasy and classic novel fan!
What are you reading at the moment?
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