Category Archives: 2016 reading

2016 reading update

I’m definitely on track for my reading goal of 26 books this year. After five weeks, to be on track I need to have read two books and be about half way through a third. I’ve read four and have started the fifth, putting me nearly two books ahead of schedule. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  • Cadfael: Monk’s Hood, by Ellis Peters (Edith Parteger)
  • Cadfael: St Peter’s Fair, by Ellis Peters (Edith Parteger)
  • Key Under Blue Pot and Please Milk the Goat, by Marie Sever
  • Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
  • (Just started:) Cadfael: The Leper of St Giles, by Ellis Peters (Edith Parteger)

I blogged about the first two, and enjoyed them so much I wanted to get back to Cadfael again. My lastest book selection was also inspired by my decision to make a Cadfael doll to donate to my local library for their upcoming grand raffle – a local literary figure makes a great library prize.

Key Under the Blue Pot was an amusing, fast-paced diary-style novel about a house sitter and her many adventures with the houses, pets and neighbours of her clients. I read it because it’s by a local author, and includes some local settings, and I am glad I did because I enjoyed it a lot.

Rebecca blew me away. It’s something I’ve had a cultural awareness off for years, and after a recommendation as part of a conversation online I borrowed it from the library. Utterly compelling, with such a vivid depiction of the protagonist’s personality. I plan on seeing the Hitchcock film adaptation soon, and I think I’ll pick up some more of du Maurier’s books soon too.

I’ve got a few options for what to read next, including another book by Pauline M Ross, whose book The Fire Mages I recently reviewed, and several books on my shelves, including Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself, which I still haven’t got to and really should. Also I’m eager to continue the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian. We’ll see what I feel like when I finish The Leper of St Giles.

Advertisements

A pair of Cadfael books

I started my year’s reading with two Cadfael books, Monk’s Hood and St Peter’s Fair, by Ellis Peters (pen name of Edith Pargeter). These are books I bought while visiting Shrewsbury Museum with my friend Pam in December 2014, so it’s about time I read them. The Cadfael series are set in and around Shrewsbury Abbey, where the titular character Brother Cadfael is a Benedictine monk, during the Anarchy – a period of civil war in England between King Stephen and Empress Maud. They are murder mysteries, but not in the same vein as mainstream detective novels and TV shows – and not just because of the historical context.

cadfael

Continue reading A pair of Cadfael books

2016 reading plans

In 2015 I aimed to read 26 books and managed only 16. This year I’m going to set the same goal of 26 books.

Going through my list of books read in 2015, I was surprised and disappointed to find I’d read only 3 books by women. The overwhelming majority were by men. This wasn’t by design. Several of those authors were favourites whose books I’ve been reading for years – Mark Lawrence, Terry Pratchett, Patrick O’Brian. And it’s not like none of my favourite authors are women – Robin Hobb and Diana Wynne Jones, for example. I just didn’t read them in 2015.

So in 2015 I will not only aim to read 26 books, but I will also aim for a minimum of 50% of the books I read to be by women.

And, since last year I was terrible at keeping records of my reading, I’ll also aim to use Goodreads to keep a record of every book I read, and also review every fantasy book I read here on my blog.

If you are a woman writing fantasy, or have a favourite female fantasy author, please share in the comments. Who knows, I might just find my newest favourite author.