Friday 31 March 2017

Read a book a month

'A Book A Month' - collected in a pile under bedside lamp

How many books a year do you read?

I must admit I go through spells - some devouring books, sometimes hitting a dry patch. The trouble is that if I read while I'm doing some creative writing:
a) I find myself fornesically examining what I'm reading rather than purely enjoying it and
b) I'll often find myself too influenced by that writer's style, like a cushion bearing the imprint of the last person who sat on it!
and c) I can't put a book down and find it consumes me, and my time!

Someone I know who doesn't have the chance to read much decided to make a determined effort and try to read book a month last year while taking in some classics he hadn't read. As he finished each one, he collected them in a pile under his bedside lamp (photo above). The books were:

1.  Enduring Love - Ian McEwan
2.  Orlando - Virginia Woolf
3.  The Girl With All The Gifts - M.R.Carey
4.  Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
5.  The Alchemist - Paul Coelho
6.  The Odyssey - Homer
7.  The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemmingway
8.  Brighton Rock - Graham Greene
9.  Tripwire - Lee Child
10. Brokeback Mountain - Annie Proulx
11. Animal Farm - George Orwell 
12. Middlemarch - George Eliot (couldn't fit this on the pile under the lamp!)

I think that's quite an eclectic choice, a good trot through some different literary styles and of different ages. Some he thoroughly enjoyed, other less so.

How did he decide what to read? A combination of personal curiosity, 'best reads' lists, other people's recommendations and what he had at home already.

It would be interesting to see other people's 'book a month' choices....