Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January Overview/ Month Ahead

Compared to December I had a fantastic month reading wise. It's amazing what having a couple of weeks off can do. Particularly when you have been having book withdrawal. I managed to finish everything that I had planned to read and then a few extras. So far I have kept up with my challenges and completed the one that ran for January. I am also 1/4 of my goal of 60 books on Good Reads (I might have to increase the goal number). Here's what I read this month;

Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
Antony and Cleopatra - William Shakespeare
Zoo City - Lauren Beukes
Macbeth - William Shakespeare
Waking the Witch - Kelley Armstrong
Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare
King Solomon's Mines - H. Rider Haggard
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights - John Steinbeck
Audition - Ryu Murakami
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Before I Go To Sleep - S. J. Watson
As You Like It - William Shakespeare
The White Road - John Connolly
Shakespeare - Bill Bryson

I think 15 books is fairy respectable and I don't really expect to keep that up over the next few months. I have to say that I enjoyed every one of these books. My favourite though is the solitary non-fiction of the bunch. I could rave about Bill Bryson's biography all day. The only book I didn't like isn't listed here because I was unable to finish it (I disliked it that much). That was Death Comes To Pemberley by P. D. James.

Challenge Overview

Like I said I finished one challenge and that was the Shakespeare Reading Month. I managed to read;

Antony and Cleopatra
Much Ado About Nothing
As You Like It
Shakespeare - Bill Bryson

That's two more plays and a biography than I had originally planned. I very much enjoyed taking part and I hope that another one is set up at some point. Obviously my favourite was the biography and that was quickly followed by the comedies. I didn't dislike any of them but if I had to chose one for the bottom of the list it would be Antony and Cleopatra. Mainly because Antony irritated me.

This is the challenge which has categories to get you out of your comfort zone. I am reading one category a month but have managed to read two in January so am taking February off for this one. So far I have read Classics and Biography

Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
Shakespeare - Bill Bryson

I had added the extra challenge of making it by authors I had never read before. I cheated with the biography as I have read one other Bryson. It's the only one I plan on cheating on though.

The challenge is to read a sci fi book a month. You can choose one of your own or join in the group choice. This month I decided on the group choice which was Zoo City by Lauren Beukes. I had been wanting to read this since I saw it reviewed last year. It was a good start to the challenge. For February I am once again going with the group choice as it's one I planned on reading for this challenge at some point anyway;

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick

The point of this is to read the books which star each of the characters. Again I am reading one a month. First up was King Solomon's Mines starring Allan Quatermain. I enjoyed it although it wasn't quite what I had been expecting. It was a whole mix rather than a straight forward adventure story. Next up is a re-read for me and I am looking forward to it.

Dracula - Bram Stoker (starring Mina Harker)

For this months classics challenge I read The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck. Not a usual choice for a classic but I loved it. I also enjoyed taking part in the prompt for this challenge. This month it was about the authors we were reading. I have already made a start on next months choice and I'm liking it so far. Also looking forward to seeing the February prompt,

The Bell - Iris Murdoch.

The only other thing I did this month was set up a giveaway which is still open. It closes tonight and I'll announce the winner tomorrow. If you want to win a copy of The Eyre Affair you can leave a comment here.

Other than what I have lined up for the challenges I am making no other plans for this month. I am hoping to just rake through my tbr pile and see what I am in the mood for. Since the Shakespeare challenge has finished it should leave me with a little more time to read other things.

How has January been for you. Looking forward to reading anything in particular in February?


  1. I really enjoyed Shakespeare reading month although I wish I had been able to read the Bryson book. Feb is when I start with my Greek classics challenge and there's the classics challenge too.
    I've heard great things about The Bell. I look forward to your review.

    1. I really enjoyed it too. The Shakespeare book you read instead though sounded good. I have taken note of it and will read that one next time. I do recommend the Bryson book. It was good for a Shakespeare beginner like me but I honestly thing others would get something out of it too.

      Seriously, if I had the time I would be joining in the Greek classics challenge. It looks so good and after reading The Iliad and The Odyssey last year I know I want to read more. Plus, the Bryson book mentioned the two narrative poems which were based on greek classics. It's made me want to read more too.

      I'm enjoying The Bell so far. Not what I was expecting but then not sure what I was really expecting.

  2. Oh my good, the bad consience that comes up when I look at your list! So many books! And not only that; so many demanding, fantastic books! I wish my list would look like that...
    I had so many plans for January, but it was so ridiculously busy, I only managed to read Hamlet, The Little Prince and A Tale of Two Cities. Yeah, shame on me.

    To make up for my neglecting of my beloved books a tiny little bit I've got some still unshaped plans of organising a readathon on February 19. Anyone interested?

    1. If I didn't have those couple of weeks off at the start of Jan I am sure my list would have been much shorter. Plus it only looks impressive because of the Shakespeare challenge. Trust me my list doesn't normally look like that.

      I think your three books are impressive. I haven't read The Little Prince but I loved the other two. Especially A Tale of Two Cities. Don't think you have anything to be ashamed about.

      I wish I could join in your readathon but I have two presentations and an exam that week. Think if I am reading anything it will be the uni books.