Saturday, 5 July 2014

2014 Reading Challenge

One of my resolutions at the beginning of the year was to read 12 books in 2014. I set myself the same challenge in 2013 but only managed to read six books, partly due to the fact I avoided reading a book I wasn't enjoying for a good five months but was too stubborn to just give up on it and move on to something more interesting. The challenge is going much better this year, so far I've read five books so I'm a little behind, but I'm sure I'll catch up. I want to talk a little about the books I've read so far.

I've grouped these three together as they're part of the same series, although I didn't read them one after the other. I currently have a system whereby I read one book from the series, then a different book, then the next in the series in order to space them out a little (and make them last longer).

I started reading the books after watching Series 1-3 of Game of Thrones last year. I'd been told the books were amazing and after watching the show I wanted more. The books do not disappoint. It was a little strange reading them at first as I already knew what was going to happen a lot of the time, however as you go on there are more and more differences, and the books give you so much more detail and back story than the TV show.

Having finished A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold before the end of series 4, I was ahead of the TV series and all I can say is MY MIND IS BLOWN. I am beyond excited to start the next book. I really can't recommend these books enough, they may seem daunting as they're fairly chunky and there are so many of them but they are well worth it and you'll find yourself struggling to put them down.

 I read this in a week, I just couldn't put it down. It's such a great story, you really get invested in the characters. For me, it was stunning to realise just how bad things were in those days. Obviously I knew a little about what it was like, but this book just really brought it home. I felt like this book captured life really well, there were bits that made my heart break and bits that made me laugh out loud. I haven't seen the film yet but I really want to after reading this.

 I don't know if I mentioned it on this blog but over the past year I've been studying Psychology with the Open University. Naturally my course touched on Stanley Milgram's work (the infamous obedience experiments). I found his work really interesting so I decided I'd like to read his biography. It was a really interesting read, it delved into his other lesser known work (I had no idea his work is what inspired the phrase 'six degrees of separation') as well as his personal life. Though there is a lot of criticism surrounding his work, I do think he was an interesting man and I really enjoyed reading this.

 I'm currently reading this, I've nearly finished. I've always been fascinated by tales of witches being burned at the stake so I thought this would be an interesting read, especially as a great deal of it talks about my home county, Norfolk. It's fascinating to learn the truth about witch hunting, and this book discusses the general feelings of the population at the time which lead to these horrendous witch hunts. It turns out that very few 'witches' were burned, or tested in water, most were hanged. The book can be a little repetitive in places but overall I've found it really interesting, I'd recommend if you're interested in witches and witch hunting.

Those are the six books I've read/am reading currently. I'll write another post later in the year with the last six books of my challenge (hopefully!). If you're doing a reading challenge, I'd love to know how you're getting on. Also book recommendations are always welcome!

Bryony :)

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