Sunday, 10 February 2019

Taking On My 2019 Reading Challenge

2019 reading challenge goodreads blog

Studying English at University and having to read 3-5 books a week, some of which were big hefty books of 1000 pages or more, totally sucked all the enjoyment out of reading for me and it's taken many years for me to eventually feel the urge to read again.

Over the Christmas period, I made a point of completely detaching myself from social media and my laptop to pick up one of the many books that have been gathering dust on my bookshelf for years now. And I have to say, I didn't miss picking up my phone or scrolling through Twitter or Instagram one bit.

At the end of 2018, I saw so many people sharing how they got on with their 2018 Reading Challenges and it really inspired me to finally get back to reading on the regular. And within minutes I had signed up for a Goodreads account and pledged to read 12 books in 2019. If you saw my 30 before 30 blog post a few years ago, one of my goals was to read at least one book a month or twelve over the course of a year and 2019 is going to be the year that I do that.

I'm going to keep you updated with what I've been reading throughout the year, in blog posts similar to this one but until then, here's how I'm getting on with my 2019 Reading Challenge so far;

What I've read so far...

The Wives by Lauren Weisberger

In preparation for my trip to Orlando at the end of last year, I picked up the third in The Devil Wears Prada series of books and even toted it along with me across the Atlantic only for it to go unread. So it was the first book that I grabbed from my shelf at Christmas and I'm so glad that I did as it definitely inspired me to keep reading and to give my phone and laptop a much needed break.

The Wives follows Emily (who you'll remember from her time at Runway with Miranda Priestly), one of her oldest friends Miriam and ex-model and Senator's wife Karolina. Each chapter is told from the perspective of each of the three women, something that definitely added to the story and how it progressed overall. To give you a brief synopsis, when Karolina is set up and publicly dumped by her Senator husband, Miriam and Emily band together to help her get her son and her own back, whilst dealing with their own issues. Each woman is so different that every chapter brings something new to the story and I was really glad that I chose this to be my first book of 2019.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Having read and absolutely loved Mindy's first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), I had actually preordered this book way back in 2015 and it had been sitting on my shelf ever since then.

All I can say is, I absolutely loved this book! Mindy is one of my favourite people (The Mindy Project is and always will be one of my very favourite TV shows) and her unmistakable tone of voice immediately comes through from the very first sentence of Why Not Me? It deals with her life after she entered the entertainment industry and a little bit beforehand, along with topics such as friendship, dating, body image, sex scenes and sorority life. I laughed out loud so many times whilst reading this and fell even more in love with Mindy than I thought was possible. I also felt a lot better about myself and how I still don't quite have my shit together. I've got my fingers crossed that she'll come out with a third book at some point, especially now that she is a parent.

2019 goodreads reading challenge blog

What I'm currently reading...

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

After hearing basically everyone rave about this book last year and as I haven't seen the movie of the same name yet, I picked up a copy of Crazy Rich Asians at the start of January. It was actually in the 2 for £5 deal in Fopp, which is such an unreal deal to definitely take advantage of if you have a store near you. The story really does sound right up my street. However, the only thing that has put me off completely devouring this book is the fact that the text is teeny tiny and my right eye has been playing up recently (I'm now on eye drops and even had to wear a patch for a few days!)

Hopefully I'll be able to get back into this soon. Have you read it?

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick is one of those celebrities, along with the likes of Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler, that I actively keep up with. I'm a big fan of her movies and always make sure to pick up any magazines that have interviews with her in it as I really like the witty and punchy way that she puts together sentences and tweets.

I was expecting to be completely captivated by this book but after reading Mindy's, I just didn't feel the same level of excitement or urge to pick up the book to see what she had written next. It starts with her life as a child and a child actor, which can often be my least favourite part of celebrity memoirs. So I'm hoping to get back into it this weekend and hopefully make it to the sections titled Leaving The Nest, Boys and Hollywood.

What's on my list to read/buy next...

Something Blue by Emily Giffin

After reading and really enjoying The Wives, I was on the lookout for my next piece of chick-lit when I stumbled across Something Blue. I was a big fan of the movie adaptation of Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed and Something Blue follows on directly from that book. Darcy, played by Kate Hudson in the movie, is pregnant, alone and recovering from what took place in Something Borrowed.

It just arrived, after a trip from the US (I managed to get it on Wordery) and I can't wait to get reading. There are so many 4 star and 5 star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads for this book, something that can't be said for all 'chick-lit' books, so I'm really excited to get stuck into it.

I'll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara

You might remember me writing about the Golden State Killer in my August What I've Been Watching blog post so when I saw this book, again in Fopp for the unbelievable price of £2.50 in the 2 for £5 deal, I just had to get it.

Over the past few years I've become a little bit obsessed with watching true crime documentaries and delving into the cases myself. The Golden State Killer is one of the most notorious of these criminals and operated in several different states with two other known names, those being the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker. His attacks are some of the creepiest and most disturbing that I've ever heard about. And the author, Michelle McNamara, was the one who originally came up with the Golden State Killer moniker. Sadly Michelle never managed to finish the book before passing away so, much like with the Unmasking A Killer documentary, the ending is left open, as the case was at the time but in the years since her passing, someone has been caught and charged with the crimes. This might not be the best book to read right before bed or when I'm in on my own but I'm looking forward to finding out more about the case and the investigations.

So there's how I've been getting on so far.

Do you have any books that you'd recommend me checking out?

To see my full bookshelf on Goodreads, click here or click through below to see what else I'll be hoping to pick up and read this year;

Have you read any of the books that I've mentioned in today's blog post? If so, what were your thoughts on them? Are there any that you wish you hadn't read? And are you taking part in a reading challenge this year, either on Goodreads or on your own?


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