At the start of the year, I set myself the goal of reading 50 books in 2014 – and this month I hit the target! As we’re only two thirds of the way through the year, there’s plenty more reading to do, so it’ll be interesting to see what the final number is.
When I set that goal it was based on a rough estimate of the amount I usually read, as I’ve never really kept track of it before.
August has been a bumper month for reading, purely because I decided to catch up on the last couple of seasons of True Blood on television, which inspired me to reread the entire Sookie Stackhouse series.
I’ve spent a couple of weekends with my head buried in a book, devouring the stories at a pretty fast rate. Starting the series from the beginning has reminded me of all the reasons I initially enjoyed these books and it’s made me think again about some of the underlying elements of the story, in particular the choices Charlaine Harris makes for Sookie’s love life and the way she signposts them throughout the series.
When the final book came out, there was a lot of drama over which guy Sookie ultimately ended up with, yet reading the books back to back only emphasises that Harris was always going to pick the person she did. He’s the only one of Sookie’s admirers who never uses her for her ability and he supports her unwaveringly. Initially after reading the final book, I thought that Harris should have built the relationship up much more, but actually, read the full series and she does just that.
Also this month, I got caught up in We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, which I reviewed briefly last week. I’d heard a lot of hype around this novel, but I hadn’t actually read any of the reviews, so I didn’t know anything about the story when I started reading. This was definitely worthwhile, as it’s such an engaging and surprising read.
If you’re a fan of YA fiction, I would recommend you hunt this down. If you’ve got a Kindle, it’s also a part of Amazon’s Summer Sale – I think I bought it for 99p!
Earlier in the year, I reviewed a book called Annihilation, which was a very dark piece of speculative fiction about a mysterious government agency sent to investigate a desolate area of coastline that has been destroyed by some kind of unknown environmental disaster. It was a brilliant read and I’ve been looking forward to the second part of the trilogy, which I read this month. Whereas Annihilation followed a team of scientists as they explored Area X, making some chilling discoveries, Authority returns to the headquarters of The Southern Reach, the agency behind the investigation. When the new director arrives, he struggles to overcome the staff’s regard for the previous director, who was lost during the last expedition.
Authority is completely different to Annihilation, as it explores the politics and mistrust that is prevalent within the agency. Throughout the story, several possible explanations for Area X are suggested, but no questions are ever really answered. I felt like this novel maintained the sinister tones that ran through Annihilation, but here they were much more subtle, providing an undertone to the action. Although this book was much slower, the pace improves dramatically towards the end as it sets the story up for the final part of the series, which I’m looking forward to reading soon.
The other book I read this month was Butterflies in November, which is an Icelandic novel about a woman who decides to go on a road trip around the country after her divorce, but ends up taking her friend’s young son along for the journey. I’ve heard a few good things about this novel and as it’s set in Iceland, that was enough to make me want to read it.
I suppose you could class this as a chick lit novel, as it’s about a woman overcoming her romantic difficulties and trying to find herself. It’s not the sort of thing I would usually read, but the story and characters were quirky enough to keep me interested and it did provide me with a few insights into life in Iceland. All in all, a sweet, light hearted story.
The full list of the books I’ve read this month is below, including affiliate links, should you fancy checking any of them out (We Were Liars – do it!).
- Authority (The Southern Reach Trilogy), by Jeff Vandermeer
- We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart (read my review)
- Butterflies in November, by Audur Ava Olafsdottir
- Dead Until Dark: A True Blood Novel: 1 (Sookie Stackhouse series), by Charlaine Harris
- Living Dead In Dallas: A True Blood Novel: 2, by Charlaine Harris
- Club Dead: A True Blood Novel: 3, by Charlaine Harris
- Dead To The World: A True Blood Novel: 4, by Charlaine Harris
- Dead As A Doornail: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse Book 5), by Charlaine Harris
- Definitely Dead. Now the HBO Original Series True Blood, by Charlaine Harris
- All Together Dead: A True Blood Novel: 7 (Sookie Stackhouse Vampire 7), by Charlaine Harris
- From Dead to Worse: A True Blood Novel: 8 (Sookie Stackhouse series), by Charlaine Harris
- Dead and Gone: 9 (Sookie Stackhouse Vampire 9), by Charlaine Harris
- Dead in the Family: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse Vampire 10), by Charlaine Harris
- Dead Reckoning: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 11), by Charlaine Harris
- Deadlocked: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 12), by Charlaine Harris
- Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 13), by Charlaine Harris (read my review)