One of my unofficial goals for last year was to read more books. Real, tangible, smell-so-incredible-you’d-like-to-bottle-the-scent, hard copy books.
It started out with Jason and I reading together, instead of watching telly or browsing the internet or any other of those screen-related activities that draw so much of our time and attention. We loved the idea of unplugging, and I felt that I was ready to start reading again after my final year of studying English Literature and Drama put me off all things book-related for well over a year (perverse, I know, considering I was an Arts student!). We began with Frankenstein, then read Clarissa Dickson Wright’s ‘A History of English Food’, then bombed through Gone Girl (which I’d already read solo, but was only too happy to read for a second time!), and finally moved on to I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes earlier last month.
I Am Pilgrim was a funny one for me. We started reading it together (a chapter or two read aloud each evening right before bed, like total children! ;), and I got about halfway into the second section of the novel before having to pass the book over to Jason for him to finish reading by himself. I found it far, far too gruesome and graphic, to the point where certain parts actually made me feel like I might be sick. And I’ve got a pretty strong stomach!
So, this month, my new book to read is Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch. I actually got started on it a week ago, so thought now’d be a good time to do a mini-review! The plot focuses on a Met Police constable called Peter Grant, and his discovery of the magic and supernatural world that lies hidden within his city. I’m enjoying reading it a lot! The plot is kind of ridiculous, but after I Am Pilgrim I’m only too happy to read something kind of silly ;)
The only thing somewhat jarring for me is the way that the magic is woven into the story. I find the way that the characters all accept, without argument, the fact that ghosts and vampires and magic and all sorts of otherwordly things exist far harder to accept than, say, the way I totally wholeheartedly accept and am swept along by the magic in Harry Potter. I think it’s the fact that Rivers of London is set in a contemporary London, the same city we visit on a Sunday for a trip to the Natural History museum and head to mid-week for meetings and work, whereas there’s a clear separation between supernatural and ‘normal’ worlds in HP. It’s a fun read though, especially if happen to be fairly well-travelled within London and can map out the story onto the city as you read!
Since I’m ploughing through it at a rate of knots (it’s pretty light!) I’d love to hear your recommendations for what to read next? Have you read anything you’ve truly loved, during the past few months? :)
p.s. Since I’m done reading Gone Girl, would anyone like my copy? I’ll post it to whoever shouts first in the comments below! UK only, I’m afraid!
**So excited to finally watch the film this evening, as it’s available for rental from today! Here’s hoping it does the book justice.