I think I did quite well with reading in December considering how busy the month was with Christmas and New Year and the hot mess that comes along with the holidays. I read four books and got about 150 pages into a fifth, and they were all good books! A perfect way to end my first year back reading regularly.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Amazing. Amazing! To Kill A Mockingbird is the story of a girl named Scout growing up in Southern America in the thirties during the depression and deals with racial inequality and rape and the roles of women and men all while being a really lovely read. I saw the play of this tale in Manchester a couple of years ago and loved in, and the book really stood up to that. It took me a while to read- a little under three weeks- because of how rich the plot and writing was and I found myself, for the first time, wanting to draw out the read but oh I adored it. The characterisation was dead on, the development of the characters and the overlying story of Boo Radley was just so heartwarming.
It’s one of the best books I read in 2014 and definitely the best classic, I feel like it really taught me a lot. I’d urge everyone to pick up this book and I really feel like re-reading it soon. It makes me sad that so many have been put off by reading this in school- I know school put me off a lot of books that maybe I need to give a second chance..
Mystery in White: A Christmas Crime Story by J. Jefferson Farjeon
This was a gift from my mum that she gave me half-way through December as we neared Christmas and it’s a book to pick up around that time if you want some festive scenery description and a mysterious crime that spread over 20 years. A trail is stopped by snow and several of the passengers leave to walk to the station, only to get lost and come upon a house where the tea is set and the fires are burning but nobody is home.
It took me quite a while to read, half because it was a busy time and half because I wasn’t really gripped by the tale. The writing is a reflection of the time it was written and it was a lot less dark than modern crime stories. I’m not quite sure about it even now. I did like the characters though, there was a pretty wide range and they were all well developed and sometimes quite funny!
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris
This series continues to be great in the third book when Roe finds a corpse in the main bedroom of a three bedroom house- I’ll admit, I kind of expected it to be… divided. But hey. This was preferable. This series is what is called cosy crime but always manages to surprise me about who the murderer is amongst all the normal life and romance and family talk. I normally finish these books super quickly and this was no exception as I read the whole story over a very bust weekend.
Alas, this was the last book in the super cheap set of three I got from The Book People (10% off with that link!) but I got the fourth for Christmas and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown*
Oh my goodness. I don’t know what I was expecting from this book but oh my goodness. I’ll admit it took me a while to get hooked in this book but once it got it’s claws it, it really got it’s claws in. Simply, this book is about a young man called Darrow who is a ‘Red’ and works under the surface of Mars as a miner of a terraforming substance so Mars can become habitable for humans. But, plot twist, Mars is already habitable and Reds are just slaves constantly working away with nothing to show for it. This book is crazy, there’s so much going on and so much action and drama that it’s a punch in the chest feeling every chapter. I was so impressed at this that I immediately needed to read the second book, published 6th January, and I’m just- speechless.
I was talking to a friend and described this as ‘everything a lot of YA books could be if they were a bit better’, and I stick by that. If you’re a fan of the Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Chronicles of the Invaders, heck- even if you’re not you need to pick up a copy of this book. Incredible, I’m itching to read the second book.
So that’s it for the year! I’ll be doing a big round up sometime next week. I can’t believe I’ve done 12 months of Books I Read in.. posts! I’m also doing a little blog survey to see what I can improve in the new year, I’d love it if you could take a couple minutes to fill it in here!