Monday, 5 January 2015

the year of books 2015 - January

Have you joined The Year of Books 2015 yet? As in 2014, I am hoping to link up with Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees every month this year. Laura hosts The Year of Books 2015 where bloggers can share their reads. I have found some great suggestions there and I am sure there is a book waiting for you, too. 

How was your reading year? I have read more books last year than I have for a long time. I can't remember not reading but somehow I lost my mojo when children came into our lives and all got a bit too busy for a quiet night with a book. Now that the kids are older I seem to have a little more energy for reading and I am really looking forward to another great year of books. When my eyes are too tired, I am listening to audiobooks (not forgetting the sleep timer!). I enjoy a good story either way and have a high pile of books and a long Audible wish list.

My December read was 'The Wasp Factory' by Iain Banks. I haven't read it. I would have if I only remembered where I put it... maybe it will turn up sometime soon.

I have read plenty as my Goodreads page tells me. I had lots of time after the submission of my MEd dissertation and I made the most of it. Tired eyes however dictated that all my fiction was enjoyed in audio form. 

I have listened to 'Bone Clocks' by David Mitchell. As seems to be the norm for Mitchell's writing, this book is a multitude of life stories intertwined with each other. The life story or each narrator is connected to Holly Sykes. I really liked Holly Sykes who is the central character of Bone Clocks. The book starts in 1984 with Holly Sykes running away from home after one row too many with her mother. Sixty years later we find Holly Sykes in Ireland, where is is raising a granddaughter in a world where climate change has taken its toll on humankind. In between we meet Holly in the life stories of Hugo Lamb (sociopathic Cambridge scholar), Ed (Iraq war correspondent, husband), Cripsin Hershey (author) and Marinus (atemporal life form, doctor).There is touch of fantasy in the book, which I liked, to my surprise. It took me a while to get into the groove but I enjoyed the book very much and I really felt I was part of the story. The narrators were excellent, which definitely helped to bring the book to life. For a more detailed description, Goodreads is a good point of reference.

I wasn't quite so fond of 'Ghostwritten', also by David Mitchell, which I have also listened to. This is really a collection of 9 short stories, each about the life of one individual who are seemingly connected by coincidental events. I couldn't really see the point of the entire book. The Goodreads description said that 'many forces bind these lives, but at root all involve the same universal longing for connection and transcendence, an axis of commonality that leads in two directions—to creation and to destruction. In the end, as lives converge with a fearful symmetry, Ghostwritten comes full circle, to a point at which a familiar idea—that whether the planet is vast or small is merely a matter of perspective—strikes home with the force of a new revelation.' If this makes any sense to you, you are a step ahead of me. I did nevertheless enjoy the stories and the writing very much. To complete my Mitchell phase (for my reading seems to be serial), I am dipping in and out of 'Cloud Atlas'.

I also listened to 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children' and the sequel 'Hollow City' by Ransom Riggs, both recommended reads by Tammy over at My Journey. You best read Tammy's review for a description. Just a few pointers: otherworldly, weird, fun, thought-provoking. I am looking forward to the third instalment. Funny enough, these two books are in the fantasy genre, but much more so than Bone Clocks, which is much more rooted in reality.
 

For January, I am exploring a new to me author, Yoko Ogawa. I am reading 'The housekeeper and the professor'. I find myself drawn to all things Japanese at the moment. I won't be able to visit Japan in the near or distant future and reading stories set in the country is my alternative to travel for now.

If you need more or different book suggestions pop over to Laura's and I am sure you'll find something.

Have a great week. Cx

20 comments:

  1. Some interesting reads (or listens!)... I like the idea of discovering new books / authors through the year in books, but I already have a year's worth of reads (maybe more) in the 'waiting to be read' piles!

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  2. I read Ms. Peregrine's and didn't realize there was a sequel. I'll have to take a look for it. I emailed this link to myself to have a look at these books as I haven't been reading anything of late: http://www.brit.co/books-to-read-january-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=books-to-read-january-2015 . Do you believe it - I've never listened to a pod cast. One new thing I want to do in 2015 is discover more about pod casts and take in a listen. I tend to read real paper books, but the idea of not having to squint in bed or wear reading glasses, or struggle to hold a big book I like the idea of a paper white reader. Have you ever used one? I do have a tablet and an iPhone so chances are I could use one of those apparatus with a reader program. What's been your experience?

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  3. I have not read any of these books but most of them sound really interesting to me. I always enjoy your book posts, Christina. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Audio is a great idea, especially for all that time spent in the kitchen doing things. You've read some interesting books, I shall look forward to following your reads in 2015. CJ xx

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  5. Hey Christina,
    Please find the Iain Banks novel. It is fab. I've recently read The Bone Clocks and enjoyed it very much. I haven't read Ghostwritten, but enjoyed Cloud Atlas. I was given a Kindle for Christmas by my Mum, and have already read the second part of the Oryx and Crake trilogy by Margaret Atwood, The Year Of The Flood. I've just started the third installment, MadAdam. Oh and I read The Silkworm by Robert Gilbraith aka JK Rowling. Also good.
    I have popped your read on my ever growing wishlist. Did you ever read Gillespie and I?
    Leanne xx

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  6. I am also joining the Year In Books project again, it's such a lot of fun and I have found some great books and blogs through it. Like you Christina I really like audio books too. Especially if I am busy in the kitchen and there's nothing of interest on the radio! X

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  7. Hi Christina, some good books here. I'm not so fond of listening to books, except occasionally on road trips - and only if they are funny! I've failed woefully in my last attempt at joining in on Year of Books even though I have read plenty. This could well be a good prompt for 2015 for me! cheers Wendy

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  8. I like the idea of audio books but have not tried one yet, maybe this is the year for trying something new.

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  9. Love your honesty about the second David Mitchell book! I don't get all that either, sounds a little bit pretentious to me. I must make a list of what I'd like to read this year, although the pile by the bed's growing already!
    Happy reading.
    S x

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  10. What an interesting list of books you have read. I love the Year in Books link up I have discovered new authors, books and blogs. I have read part of on David Mitchell book Cloud Atlas which I really couldn't get on with I wonder if I would like any of his other books?

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  11. Lovely to read your suggestions for books. I intend joining in again this year. I think it made me a much more discerning reader taking part in the project during 2014.

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  12. I've not tried audio books unless you count childrens ones in the car. I'd like to think I could cook the dinner and listen to one but in reality I'd probably get interrupted umpteen times and burn it! The food I mean, not the book xx

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  13. Have you read Snowflower and the Secret Fan? Chinese not Japanese but I think you would like it. I am listening to Not My Daughter and reading All The Light We Cannot See.
    Both are very good.
    Meredith

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  14. I like your idea for an alternative to travel to read books from different countries instead! That is really great. I hope that you enjoy your literary travels through the year. xx

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  15. Just saw this post - thought you might be entertained. Mark Zuckerberg is starting a book club. http://www.brit.co/mark-zuckerberg-year-of-books/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mark-zuckerberg-year-of-books

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  16. I really should get into more book reading again. I really love getting into a good book. There just doesn't seem to be enough time.

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  17. you sure have a lot of books there, I have bone clocks on my kindle to read but not gotten round to it as yet, along with cloud atlas which I am not sure If I will manage the shift in time zones on that! As with you I am joining in again this year, its great motivation isn't it? I love reading everyone else's thoughts on the books too! Enjoy your January reads and I hope Wasp factory turns up soon.
    Sx

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  18. they all sound like interesting reads! I'm trying to venture out into new literary adventures and having not read much fantasy I am going to give the last two a go :)

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  19. I also really enjoy books set in Japan for a similar reason - I'd love to travel there but it's not possible at present. I've found with David Mitchell that some of his books I love and others I just can't get on with. For example I loved number9dream and Black Swan Green but didn't like The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet all that much and gave up on it. That said, number9dream had some sections I also skipped over as they were too weird even for me. I'll be interested to read how you get on with your January book as I've added it to my GoodReads 'to read' list and may try pick up a copy at the library next time I'm there!

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  20. I work at a library part time and get intresting recomendations from patrons. One I will have to put on my to read list will be 'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children". You are about the 3 person in a month to say this was good.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx