Last year I set myself a little goal; to try and read only new books that I haven’t read before and I mostly succeeded. I had a slip up early on with The Time Travellers Wife because I had seen the film and then I just had to re-read The Hobbit before I saw that film. I don’t set myself a target of how many books to get through because my life is so busy; I want to read for pleasure and not because I’m trying to meet my quota! I did keep a record of all the books I had read last year, just for fun, and I managed a respectable 27. Even though I’m not setting a particular target I am hoping to read more this year as Lucas is getting older and I have my evenings back to myself.
Looking back over my list some books jump out at me straight away. The Help, I got last Christmas and I started it in January; this book really helped jump start my love of reading again and I was reading late into the night. I adored it and would love to read it again. Inevitably, I read the Fifty Shades series but I also caught up with the Stigg Larsson and Hunger Games trilogies. These helped bump up my total because I got so hooked and had to read all three books. I really enjoyed, That Woman, a non-fiction book about Wallis Simpson; if you are interested in that period of history I would definitely recommend it as she was truly fascinating. A couple that I enjoyed at the time but I probably wouldn’t read again were Casual Vacancy and The Notebook. Both good books and well worth a read but not my favourites over the year. My stand out book from the year would have to be Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. It’s such a beautiful story and I absolutely loved the writing. I read it by chance from my Kindle without really knowing anything about it; it is fiction but has real life events as part of the storyline. It is based in modern day America with flashbacks to the Chinese and Japanese immigrants around the time of the second World War. At its heart is a love story but there are so many other aspects of the story. I still think about the characters in it and also about the history behind it. I have recommended it to a lot of people and they have loved it too.
So, for 2013 I need a new goal! I’ve been mulling it over a while and I think I’m going to try and read one book a month from the BBC Book List. I think everyone has seen this floating around; supposedly most people will have only read 6 from this list. I’ve had another look and as of January 2013, being completely honest I have read (from beginning to end) 29 of these books. Some I have started and given up on and there is some on there that I know I will never read but I’m going to make a start with The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; a book I have always wanted to read and it also happens to be sitting on our bookshelf. Wish me luck! What were your reads of the year and is there anything your looking forward to starting this year?