Saturday, 16 June 2012

2012 Reading Challenge: Six Books Down!

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So I just finished my sixth book towards my 2012 Reading Challenge and I wasn't planning on blogging this but I decided that it actually might be a nice series to do. In case you haven't seen me mention it before I'm taking part in Goodreads challenge where you set yourself a goal amount of books to read over the year. I didn't join in the challenge until May by which time I had only read three books (although I read them each twice!) so I had a bit of catching up to do and opted for a sensible target of twenty books over the eight months left in the year. I thought it might be a nice idea to do a roundup post with a little bit about each of the books, slightly mirroring my film roundups I guess although I know I'm going to struggle a lot more with writing down my thoughts on a book than I do with films.

The first book I read this year was The Hunger Games. I had been meaning to read it since way back when I was still working in an office and I read one day on my lunch break that Jennifer Lawrence had been cast in the role of Katniss Everdeen. However things got in the way and I completely forgot to pick it up until this year when I heard more about it again in the lead up to the film's release. I managed to read it before seeing the film and I really loved it (you can find my post on the film itself here) and swiftly moved onto the others in the trilogy; Catching Fire & Mockingjay. After reading the whole trilogy twice over a short space of time I concluded that Catching Fire was my favourite and I'm now that annoying fan who can be found complaining because she's convinced they're going to ruin her favourite arena in the film. Personally I thought Mockingjay was the weakest of the three but again I still enjoyed it enough to read it twice so overall a great series to start off the challenge with.

Next I moved on to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which you'll notice that isn't included in the photograph. I found it really difficult to get into the style of writing and just generally not an enjoyable read. I was pretty disappointed as I'd been wanting to read it for ages and the concept was something I found particularly interesting and unique but after only 6% (according to Goodreads!) I put it aside and moved on with the intention of returning to it later and still with only three books checked off my challenge target.

After struggling with P&P&Z I opted for a nice easy read in Neil Gaiman's Coraline. I'd started reading it a long time ago and also began listening to the audio book but never finished either of them. I've talked before about how much I love the film which was so beautifully directed by Henry Selick. Stop-motion animation is something I find fascinating and looked at a lot when I was at uni. I also have The Art Of Coraline which I would recommend to anyone who is interested in stop-motion, animation in general or just in behind the scenes and how films are made, its a beautiful book. As for the original story it was just as I expected from a children's book, nothing challenging, a few interesting differences from the film but generally a nice little interim read.

Next I read The Beach which I borrowed from a friend when I lent her the Hunger Games trilogy. Obviously its another one which has been adapted into a film which I did see a few years ago but genuinely have no recollection of other than the fact I remember that I didn't like it. Even now after reading the book and watching a couple of clips on Youtube I still don't remember any of the film but the book was actually really good. Its definitely not something I would've picked out to read myself but I'm glad I read it as it gave a little variety to my selection and reminded me that just like with films I should branch out more often.

Whilst I was still reading The Beach I received Divergent in the post and was eager to start reading it. So many people have been singing it's praises recently I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I ended up reading it over just two days, I only finished yesterday and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. I didn't dislike it by any stretch but I didn't love it either and to be honest I was expecting to. I found the beginning interesting, the middle slightly frustrating and the end section involved an incident that unfortunately I couldn't help but think of Mockingjay when I read. I think as I read through it so quickly I really need to re-read it. I probably will do that once the challenge is over but for now it's off to live with my friend for a few weeks. Despite not being in love with it I'm keen to pick up Insurgent soon mainly so I can read it before the spoilers find me!

If you have a good reads account too you can find me here.

I do have a few in mind and some already purchased but if you have any book recommendations for me I'd love to hear from you!
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