After slacking from July to November and reading only eight books I arrived in December miles behind my reading challenge for the year. And reading challenges are definitely not everything. They shouldn’t stop you from enjoying reading because what would be the point? But last year I just really wanted to complete mine. And I had can be unrealistically stubborn. I’ve said before I like to set these ridiculous challenges for myself because imagine if they actually happened. The feeling would be magic. And if it doesn’t? That’s okay. I’ll have had fun along the way. But in December? I did the impossible. I read seventeen books. At seven pm on New Year’s Eve I completed my yearly challenge. Easy.
What did I read? I played fast and loose with the term ‘book’. I enjoyed reading the shortest books on my shelf. There were no other rules than to read the damn things so shush. These will be one line reviews so we don’t implode from boredom. Also, yeah, I’m aware it’s March. It’s fine. Let’s go!
Carpe Diem – Make The Most Of Life
Perfect little book of quotes to spark some inspiration in you.
Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
Jumped at this book after reading Little Fires Everywhere, whilst I didn’t prefer it as much the mysteries and family drama kept me turning those pages.
Quiet Girl In A Noisy World – Debbie Tung
One of my absolute favourite books of the year. This graphic novel was so acutely accurate to my life and those illustrations, man.
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A reread from uni, this short book explores all kinds of themes from women and madness to postnatal depression and oppressive gender roles.
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Need I say more.
Devotion – Patti Smith
Really interestingly set up book: Smith tells us about what inspires her and how she researches/writes new material and then the actual story she’s referring to is slotted in at the end.
The Savage – David Almond and Dave McKean
A fantastical look at grief and family.
Waiting For Godot – Samuel Beckett
I’m still not sure I understood what was going on.
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
An old story that I’ve seen in many reimagining. Was fun to finally read the original. Buddy read with Danny.
New Erotica For Feminists – Caitlin Kunkel, Carrie Wittmer, Brooke Preston and Fiona Taylor
Everyone needs to read this book. It’s fucking hilarious. And so on point.
Dept. of Speculation – Jenny Offill
First read this at uni in America, beautifully, non-bullshit look at the lifespan of a marriage.
Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
Who knows how many times I’ve read this now. If you still haven’t, I have no idea why.
Catcher – Kalyn Nicholson
A really cool first novel; Kalyn’s world building is really detailed and the themes of betrayal are explosive.
Must Try Harder English – A N Teacher
Hilarious little book about stupid answers kids have written in exams. Bit of a cheat book but still good.
Howl and Other Poems – Allen Ginsberg
Howl is a necessary read for any Beat lover. Also included is America which is an excellent look at the state of a nation.
Nina Is Not Ok – Shappi Khorsandi
This book began as a slog for me and I had a massive break. Second try made me see how excellent this book really is. I think I wasn’t liking it because the scenes were making me so uncomfortable but I think that was the point. A very raw look at grief, alcoholism, first love, sexual assault and just really trying to come of age. Not a sentence but oh well.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
Perfect, well-known little ghost story to end my year off with! I always love seeing how a classic (particularly gothic, Frankenstein, Dracula) is actually narrated when you already know the plot but little else.
And that’s twentyeighteen!
December, 1963 (Oh What A Night!) – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
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