Today’s post is all about trying something new – participants in Book Blogger Appreciation Week have been invited to share a book or genre they’ve tried due to the influence of someone else (blogger or otherwise).
If you read Stacey’s interview with me yesterday, you’ll know now that I’m not a great reader when it comes to reading books for grown ups. I wish I did read more, but with 2 small children I’ve found it really hard to carve out time (and have energy spare) to read purely for my own pleasure. So when 2010 arrived I decided that this was to be the year I read more and I even had a plan to help me succeed in this!
I decided to ask 12 friends and family members to suggest one of their very favourite books for me to read. I wanted books that I might not otherwise have picked up, and books that would give me reasons to chat / argue / laugh (preferably lingering over coffee or wine) with people I care about. This plan hasn’t worked quite as well as I had hoped, in that I haven’t manage to read a book every month, but it has been a success in that much of what I’ve read I probably wouldn’t have read had it not been for the recommendations.
I didn’t do it for you tells the astonishing, shocking modern history of Eritrea. It’s a fascinating read, an eye opener, and has lead me to dream of visiting Asmara. If you can’t place Eritrea on a map you should definitely read this book – you’ll discover how it has played a major role in geopolitics, one that we all ought to know about. Definitely a book I’d recommend if someone asked for something a little unusual.
White Jazz was a crazy read – not at all my usual sort of thing, and probably not something I would have stuck with had it not been for my project to read more this year. It’s occasionally funny, often brutal, and a window on a seedy, violent world that didn’t leave me desperate to read more by Ellroy (although I then heard an amazing interview with him on Desert Island Disks where Ellroy came across as a fascinating, thoughtful, complex person, an interview that did make me want to try something else by Ellroy). Can any of you suggest what I should try next by Ellroy?
As to kids’ books I normally avoid any picture book that revolves around dogs; it would be an understatement to say I’m not a dog person. I have tried to take myself out of my comfort zone, with reading Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates, which I discovered thanks to Ian at Tidy Books (here’s his review, and here’s a review from Library Mice, and another from Through The Looking Glass, which I later came across). I should have loved this book as it’s all about the joys of books and the adventures they can take you on but I couldn’t get passed the dog thing.
Just last week I read another dog book with the girls, Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie, because it was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Awards. Again it was a book I that I simply didn’t click with (nor did my girls much to my relief!). The story is moderately funny, the illustrations nice enough, but it stars a dog and I couldn’t, however hard I tried, get passed that problem!
Now, I don’t like to think I’m stuck in my ways 😉 so maybe, just maybe, one of you can suggest a picture book featuring dogs that I could fall in love with…. I’m open to suggestions!
This giveaway is now closed.
On a different topic altogether, today I’ve got another giveaway! One brand new copy of Wake Up! by Katie Cleminson, which I loved and reviewed here, is up for grabs. To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment on this post. Next Wednesday (22 September) I’ll randomly select one winner. The giveaway is open worldwide. Good luck!