At the beginning of the year, I set myself a challenge to read more. I've always loved reading, but illness and life got in the way. In 2015 I read 5 books, so on January 1st 2016 I jumped on Goodreads and set myself the challenge to read 20 books this year. In June/July when I was feeling a bit confident I upped that number, and this week I reached it. So with still nearly 3 months left of the year I have read 5 times the amount of books as last year. Pals, I've read 25 books!
I'm not going to talk about all twenty five books, we haven't got all day. But here's some thoughts on at a few I also reviewed the first 5 books I read this year here
7 out of 25 books were Harry Potter, which makes it the first series I've ever finished. I much preferred the later books in terms of writing style but my favourites were probably Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix. It took me far too long to get through Deathly Hallows, but god there's just so much fucking forest! (More thoughts on reading Harry Potter here). A further 3 books were Harry Potter themed (Fantastic Beasts, Quidditch Through The Ages and Beadle the Bard). Admittedly they're quite short, but totally count. The challenge also coincided well with the release of The Cursed Child. I really really wanted to like it, and loved the kids interactions but I honestly thought the Cedric story line was ridiculous. And don't even get me started on Voldemort sex. No.
I'd seen Fangirl recommended a lot by friends, so in the end gave up and decided to see what all the fuss was about. I haven't read Young Adult fiction probably since I was a teen, but this has helped me jump back in. It took a while to get past twins being called Cather and Wren, but I loved the story and characters were so endearing. I indetified so much with the way Cath retreats into fandoms when life gets too tough. And then that meant I had to read Carry On aswell, sigh.
The Lunar Chronicles was a series recommended by my cousin and I'm so glad I gave it a chance. I love that the books pairs traditional fairytale stories and characters with futuristic and fantasy elements to create something utterly captivating. It builds new stories on great foundations with incredible characters and such an immersive world. There are incredible strong female characters from ones that usually are portrayed as damsels. I've only read the first two books in the series so far (Cinder and Scarlet) but I'm currently onto Cress (#3) and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. I'm pretty confident I will never stop reading Thorne as Captain Jack Harkness though.
I've admired Ruth Bader Ginsberg for a long time, she's such a badass lady who takes no shit and fights for those who can't. I loved reading Notorious RBG because I found out so much about her.
My favourite book that I've read this year, and a contender for my favourite books ever list is Girl Up by Laura Bates. I loved how full of great practical advice for young feminists it is, but whilst still being completely non-patronising. Laura is funny, witty and sweet, the book is educational and confidence building. The illustrations are affirming and funny, my current phone wallpaper is the vaginas dancing with tophats from the inside cover. I honestly think all young people should read this book.
Honestly I'm really proud to have read so many books, illness aside I'm the biggest procrastinator in the world. One reason I got through my challenge was how much I read on public transport, its a great way to block out the world and really helped with my anxiety. I also made it a big part of my self care.
So after reaching 25 I figured I'll aim for another 10 by the end of the year, any suggestions?