As I’ve mentioned (probably too much, I always talk too much), I have been endeavouring the follow a book a month challenge this year. You may have seen me chattering about it on social channels, and I’m now following an Instagram book club that’s doing the same thing. Does that mean it’s now two books a month? Crumbs.
The way it works
The thing I love about this challenge (which a friend introduced me to, I can take no credit much as I’ve adore to), is that you don’t start off with a list of 12 books to read through in a year. Oh no, gone are the guilt-trips and the lonely books staring at you from the bedside table in their coats of dust accusing you of a lack of affection. You see, the trick is, you only write a book on your list once you’ve read it.
It’s all positive and affirming y’know. And I think it’s rather clever. So you get this immense sense of joy and accomplishment every time you write a book on your list (or type as the case may be, my book list is on my phone).
Trying new genres
One of the great advantages of this activity, which my friend highlighted to be before I took up the challenge, is that it pushes you to read things you would not ordinarily. It’s a grand old opportunity to dip your wordy toes in previously untouched literary waters. And I’ve found it jolly revealing. You see, books aren’t just books. They are so very different to one another because authors write so individually. So what you think you may like, you don’t, what you think you’ll loath, you like!
Engaging with friends
As I am a chatterbox, I spoke about taking up the challenge at work and soon a few more people caught the fever and it’s been a great talking point. Although you’re not reading the same books necessarily so it can’t work like an ordinary book club, there is a sense of clubby-ness. There’s a lot of joy in saying where you’re at, if you’re leaping ahead like a reading gazelle, or woefully behind (I have been several books behind upon a certain month and caught up on holiday), and there’s a joy in chatting over what you think of the book, if you like it, if you’d recommend it.
You get a sense of other people’s tastes, and ideas about what you might read next. They spur you on and it becomes quite sociable.
What I’ve read
Rather than reeling of a great list as if I were a champ (I’m not, it takes me a jolly long time to read, however much I enjoy it), I thought I’d list my highlights so far and perhaps jot another post down on each…
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
Just One Damn Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
A Very Short Introduction to World War I by Michael Howard
Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley
Rather varied and so far my top reads. More rambling thoughts to follow…