Friday, November 27, 2009

What reading has taught me in 2009...

1) I'm a sucker for a "shaggy animal story" of which there have been a plethora released this year (and which I have devotedly read) including Cleo and Dewey.

2) I will never understand the fascination/mania surrounding the Twilight books. I managed to force myself through the first two then gave up in frustration. In my opinion they are poorly written drivel YET I admire how Ms Meyer has managed to create a series that a) got everyone talking and b) has switched teenagers on to reading (like JK Rowling before her).

3) It's possible to have a crush on a serial killer - Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay

4) I have a growing love for young adult fiction. Far from being "dumbed down" or too easy reads, often these novels are surprising in their depth of emotional pull - The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne and Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur.

5) I need to read more New Zealand novels. I absolutely adored Kate de Goldi's The Ten PM Question and Derek Hansen's Remember Me.

6) I have fallen out of like with chick lit. Unless it is clever and surprising and new (such as My Husband's Sweethearts by Bridget Asher) then I'm no longer interested. I'm not even remotely tempted to try the new Marian Keyes novel, something I never thought I would hear myself say. I'd like to stress it's not snobbery that has caused this change, everyone needs some light escapism reading from time to time. It's just they no longer do it for me.

7) I have a great love for books set in the South of the US, especially during the Black Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s - The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Future Homemakers of America by Laurie Graham, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

8) I never have been, nor probably never will be, a great reader of "the classics." I'm learning to live with this even if others may look down their noses at me. Reading for me, is about enjoyment not about what others think I should be reading. Case in point The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.

9) Whatever You Do, Don't Run by Peter Allison has made me fall in love with Botswana and I am desperate to go on safari there.

10) Two of my biggest personal thrills this year have been connected to reading and this blog; a) being asked to be the reviewer for and b) having awesome authors Kylie Ladd (After the Fall) and Lisa Genova (Still Alice) read my reviews of their books and post a comment to me. I'm still buzzing about this one in particular - I admire authors so much and to have not one but two read my thoughts on their blood, sweat and tears is beyond awesome!


Kate said...

Awesome post - it'a always good to learn from our hobbies :-)
Any thoughts on your reading goals for 2010 yet?

Heather said...

I enjoyed reading this post!

I am sure it is beautifully written but after watching the boy in the striped pajamas on dvd, I dont know if I could bring myself to read the book!

The secret life of bees is one of the few books that I think they really did justice to the book when they turned it into a movie.

I enjoyed Dewey but found it a little too long for the subject matter?

What I learned this year from reading-I'm capable of enjoying more variety in books than I thought I would, so be brave when picking books!

Café Chick said...

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is still on my TBR list, as is The Catcher in the Rye and various "classics". I also wonder whether I'm cut out of that style of reading.

Kate said...

Until you can get on that safari you might like to know that Peter Allison has written a new book, Don't Look Behind You.

--his agent

Kelly said...

Thank you so much for your comment Kate :) I actually have "Don't Look Behind You" on my To Be Read pile - I'm saving it for over the Christmas period when I won't have any reviewing commitments and can savour it. I know I am going to love it as much as the first one.

Kylie Ladd said...

It's such a thrill to know I gave you a thrill! Seriously, since a friend told me I'd been reviewed here and I came to check it out I've been really impressed by your blog and come back every few weeks to see what you're reading. Best of luck for 2010- it's great that you're now reviewing professionally!

PS. Here's a link to the new edition and new cover of ATF- I know you weren't a fan of the first one ;)