What’s Occurrin’

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything (bar a Harry Potter review, which I had to make an exception for because it’s Harry Potter), so I thought I’d give a bit of an update. It’s come to my attention that I’ve passed 20,000 views on the blog, which is kind of amazing to me but makes me feel bad that I’ve been so crap at posting lately! I was planning on giving an update re. my yearly reading goals, but it’s fair to say that I haven’t met any of them except my main goal of reading more in general. The reason I haven’t met a lot of the goals is because I haven’t actually been reading any of my own books for the majority of the year. I started working at a library in February, which as I was told recently is a bit like sending an alcoholic to work in a brewery. The temptation was too much, and I very quickly filled up my library card, as well as the cards of both of my parents. I also reserved a whole ton of new books which were yet to be released, so that they’d make their way to me first as soon as the library got a copy. This has been both amazing and overwhelming in equal parts, because while I managed to read more in eight months than I ever have in a whole year before, it also means that I was constantly rushing to finish and return books (especially the new releases which had a whole queue of people waiting to read them after me, meaning I couldn’t renew them).

The upside of this is that I’ve read a whole range of books from all different genres, and also picked up some titles that I wouldn’t normally have tried before. I’ve read some brilliant books and some less than brilliant books, but the downside is that I just haven’t had time to review them. This is a real shame, as aside from the fact that there’s currently 142 people following this blog with no reviews to read (you’re all amazing, thank you so much!), writing reviews is something that I really love doing. I like to really analyse how a book made me feel and what I think did and didn’t work in the storytelling. While these thoughts usually comes out as a garbled mess, it’s still a process that I really enjoy and one that I’m really starting to miss.

I’m going to try and catch up as best as I can, but I probably won’t be able to write reviews for everything I’ve read as some of it was just too long ago, and any reviews I do write might end up being shorter than normal for a while, just until I’ve caught up a bit and can afford to spend more time on them individually. So this is a list of books and graphic novels (a new experience for me) which I’ve read so far this year, let me know if there are any in particular which you’d like to hear my thoughts about, otherwise I’ll try and pick the ones which gave me the strongest ‘feels’, either good or bad.

  1. The Collector by John Fowles
  2. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  3. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
  4. The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson
  5. The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville
  6. A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman
  7. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  8. The Last Days of Troy by Simon Armitage
  9. Alexander the Great by E.E. Rice
  10. Homer’s Odyssey by Simon Armitage
  11. Dragon Soul by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett
  12. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  13. The Martian by Andy Weir
  14. Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt
  15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  16. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  17. The Night Manager by John Le Carré
  18. St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
  19. The Book Collector by Alice Thompson
  20. Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger
  21. The Night Book Mobile by Audrey Niffenegger
  22. The Night My Sister Went to Hollywood by Hilda Sheehan
  23. The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
  24. The Adventuress by Audrey Niffenegger
  25. Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
  26. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  27. The Professor by Charlotte Brontë
  28. The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
  29. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
  30. The Bricks That Built the Houses by Kate Tempest
  31. Fish Bowl by Bradley Somer
  32. The Widow by Fiona Barton
  33. Reader, I Married Him compiled by Tracy Chevalier
  34. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  35. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
  36. The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis
  37. The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
  38. The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
  39. The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon
  40. Love, Nina; Despatches from Family Life by Nina Stibbe
  41. Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson
  42. The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
  43. The Sunshine Cruise Company by John Niven
  44. The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
  45. This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell
  46. The Trap by Melanie Raabe
  47. Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg
  48. The Museum of You by Carys Bray
  49. Bodies of Water by V.H. Leslie
  50. Finders Keepers by Stephen King
  51. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II by J.K. Rowling
  52. The Girls by Emma Cline
  53. Jane Eyre: The Graphic Novel by Charlotte Brontë and Amy Corzine
  54. The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summsercale
  55. Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
  56. Riverkeep by Martin Stewart

At the very least I’d like to try and knock out some reviews as and when I finish a book from now on, so these are the books that I’m ‘actively’ reading, and which you may see reviews from in the future:

  • The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan (while I’m really enjoying reading this, I probably won’t review it because I just don’t feel as comfortable reviewing history books. I don’t feel that I know enough to give it justice, but I can say that it’s completely fascinating and I can’t put it down. I do occasionally get a bit muddled as there’s so many peoples, empires and rulers to keep track of, but that’s definitely a fault of mine and not of the author. I’ve learnt so much already, and it’s such an interesting read!)
  • A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter
  • End of Watch by Stephen King
  • The Lubetkin Legacy by Marina Lewycka
  • Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

As I said, I do still have an awful lot of library books to get through (and even more which I’ve requested which are yet to make their way to me), but this is the list of books which I currently have out on loan and which I’ll be working my way through for the foreseeable future.

  • Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  • The Muse by Jessie Burton
  • For the Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser
  • Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell
  • The Death of an Owl by Paul Torday and Piers Torday
  • Villette by Charlotte Brontë
  • Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
  • The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry
  • Wildwood by Colin Meloy
  • Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
  • Early One Morning by Virginia Bailey
  • Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman
  • The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
  • Barkskins by Annie Proulx
  • The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis
  • No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Love from Boy by Roald Dahl
  • Dynasty by Tom Holland
  • The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour
  • Katherine of Aragon by Alison Weir
  • The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace
  • The English Girl by Katherine Webb
  • The North Water by Ian McGuire

I also have A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and The Countenance Divine by Michael Hughes currently waiting for me to collect, and I’ll hopefully be getting my hands on The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry and Nutshell by Ian McEwan really soon as well. If there are any of these books that you think I should bump up the list and read much sooner rather than later, let me know. I’m most excited about The Muse, Barkskins, The Essex Serpent and Nutshell, but I’m so intrigued by every title on this list so I’m sure they’ll all be a joy. (It is a little unnerving how large some of them are though, I’m looking at you Katherine of Aragon!)

Anyway, that’s the reason why it’s been so quiet on here of late, but I will try and do better for my own sake, even if nobody else is interested. I find it really helpful to try and articulate my thoughts in some way, even if they end up being a bit nonsensical, because the thought process really reveals to me exactly what it is I love about reading, and helps me to work out what my own reading tastes are.

Hopefully I’ll be back with some new reviews soon. I currently have three books which I need to finish by Tuesday so I’ll be busy reading my socks off for the next day or so (it would really be so much easier if everyone stopped requesting my books!) Thanks for stopping by, and for continuing to view the blog even when there’s nothing new to see! It’s much appreciated.

Sara x


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