Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Reading Wrap-Up | September 2013

I managed to get through two books in September which, given that one of them wasn't even a hundred pages long, is pretty pathetic. I do have my reasons though! Last weekend I moved back up to Lancaster to begin my MA, so I spent the majority of September packing up and getting all my finances sorted. So I'm not really that disappointed with my progress this past month, and I'm definitely not surprised.
     October looks like it's going to be even busier - especially with the challenge I've set myself - so I have no idea when I'll be able to get back into reading novels regularly, but I'm not going to let it worry me. I'm just three books away from completing my fifty books challenge; I'm pretty sure I'll have gotten through three books by December 31st.

     Anyway, on with the wrap-up!

Misery by Stephen King

My Rating: 

After a car crash, writer Paul Sheldon is saved by his number one fan, Annie Wilkes. She brings him home, splints his mangled legs, and all he has to do in return is write a very special book, one all about her favourite character. Because if he doesn`t, if he is bad, she will be cross - very cross.

I'll be honest, I've never really been a fan of Stephen King. I've tried on multiple occasions to read one of his novels but each time I haven't been able to get into his writing style, which is particularly frustrating when he gives such good writing advice; I desperately want to like his work.
     I watched the film adaptation of Misery starring James Caan and Kathy Bates several months ago and really enjoyed it, so when I came across a little copy of the book for 50p I decided to pick it up - I had nothing to lose - and I'm so glad I did! For the first time ever I managed to get through a Stephen King novel; in fact I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was suspenseful, nerve-wracking and, at times, pretty horrifying too.
     Now that I've read Misery I'm hoping I might be able to read more of King's work in the future, but now that I've finally finished one of his novels I won't be too disappointed if I can't get through another.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

My Rating: 

Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." 

Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of my all-time favourite classics but, until just a couple of weeks ago, it was the only one of Orwell's books I'd read. Many friends of mine had the chance to study Animal Farm at school but it was never on my syllabus; we studied books like Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Golding's Lord of the Flies which, let's be honest, aren't any more cheerful than Animal Farm.
     I found a copy of Animal Farm in my parents' local library and was surprised upon discovering how short it was - I'd never realized it was less than a hundred pages long, so I decided to borrow it with the intention of reading it in one sitting. Instead it took me two days to finish, which just goes to show how busy this September was for me.
     In short, I loved it! It was so bizarre and there was a creepiness to it in that it felt as though I was reading a children's story, like one of Aesop's Fables or one of Kipling's Just So Stories, rather than a piece of political satire - but that's why it's so effective. I'm looking forward to reading more Orwell in future.

So this update is short and sweet. With any luck I'll have more books to talk about at the end of October!

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