Reading in 2018

For the love of books

You know me, I love a good book; but the years since I had my children, stopped commuting to London and started my own business have had a big impact on my reading habits.

I found that when I finally crawled into bed, I just didn’t have the energy to pick up a book; magazine articles and Facebook posts held more appeal and required less concentration. I’ve missed it though, the opportunity to escape to another world, forget motherhood to go on a wild adventure, get caught up in romance or cry about someone else’s misfortunes.

So, in my bid to make more time for myself this year, I accepted a challenge to read 26 books in 2018. To some of you (especially those with small children) that will be a daunting prospect and to others it will sound like a breeze. For me it was just about the right amount. I found a list on-line (originally from 2017, you can see it here) and used it to choose my books. Doing it this way meant I picked books I might not otherwise have thought of and that took me out of my comfort zone. I don’t usually read non fiction but I’ve really enjoyed doing that, especially Chris Hadfield’s book about being an astronaut. I’ve revisited some books too, Boule de Suif (from my French A Level) and Danny the Champion of the World (my favourite childhood book).

My aim was to read books that were second hand, library books, borrowed from friends or that I already had and I managed it for all but two of the books (What Would Boudicca Do and Fahrenheit 451. It’s been brilliant, I’ve really enjoyed it and read some incredible books. Favourite book of the year? I think it has to be All The Light We Cannot See by Andrew Doerr, a beautifully written book following the paths of two children caught up in the second world war. I’ve listed the books I read at the bottom of this post, I hope it inspires you.

Baby Book Club!

My boys (now teenagers) are avid readers and I firmly believe that reading with them from an early age helped them to enjoy and value books. So, here’s what I thought might be fun in 2019. I’m going to post a monthly blog suggesting books on a particular theme to read with your toddler. It’ll be a great way to discover new titles, explore issues and encourage more reading. I’ll also suggest some books you might want to read on the same theme. I’d really love to start a conversation with you all about what you read and recommend.

So, who’s in? Please let me know by commenting and share this blog post with your friends so we can build a community of parents who read together.

My 2018 book reading challenge

Book I read in school – Boule de Suif and other stories – Guy de Maupassant (I did French A Level)
Book from my childhood – Danny the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl (my copy is signed by the man himself)
Book published over 100 years ago – Satirical Sketches – Lucian
Book published in the Last Year – Turtles All The Way Down – John Green (lent to me by my niece)
Non Fiction book – What Would Boudicca Do? – E Foley and B Coates
Book by a male author – The Ashes of London – Andrew Taylor
Book by a female author – Crosstalk – Connie Willis
Book by someone who isn’t a writer – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield
Book that became a film – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Philip K Dick (became the film Blade Runner)
Book published in 20th Century – The Mystery of the Blue Train – Agatha Christie
Book set in your hometown/region – Darling Buds of May – H E Bates
Book with someone’s name in the title – Carol – Patricia Highsmith
Book with a number in the title – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Book with a character with your first name – The Loving Spirit – Daphne du Maurier
Book you can read in a day – A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (my dad’s fave book)
Book someone recommended – Cider with Rosie – Laurie Lee
Book with over 500 pages – All the Light We Cannot See – Andrew Doerr (AMAZING a real must-read)
Previously banned book – Animal Farm – George Orwell
Book with a one word title – Room – Emma Donoghue
Book translated from another language – The End of Days – Jenny Erpenbeck
Book that will improve a specific area of your life – Timinology – Tim Leach
A Memoir or journal – The Moon’s a Balloon – David Niven
Book by someone younger – A Dark and Beating Heart – Joseph Sparke (my son’s on-line novel #proudmum)
Book set somewhere I’m visiting this year – The Wayward Bus – Steinbeck (set in California)
Award winning book – A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle (won the John Newberry Medal)
Self Published book – Time School – Nikki Young (a local author and fellow Mum In Business)