Get into your coziest sweater, pop a cup of coffee/tea in your hand and snuggle in for this weeks long blog post all about reading! The ultimate relaxtion and cozy activity.
Earlier this year I was in such a reading rut, I didn’t make myself sit down and start a book, I didn’t have anything inspiring/anything I wanted to read which resulted in nothing being read at all. Reading is one of my favourite past times, relaxing with a book for god knows how many hours on end and getting so engrossed in the book it feels like I’m wrenching myself out of ‘book world’ when I finally put the book down to eat.
I set myself a goal of reading 20 books this year on Goodreads (this is the website where I record and ‘shelve’ all my TBR and books that I have read or are currently reading.)
At the beginning of the year this seemed like an impossible task, it was half way through the year and I hadn’t read many books and I had no idea how I was going to get my reading libido back..
Cue the re-reading of books I have read 1000 times before.
I LOVE to do this.. it means I don’t have to concentrate so hard on an entirely new world, with complex characters and figuring out the back story and thinking about what is going to happen next, it means I can sit and enjoy the fictional world washing over me, without having to make sense of which characters which and trying to figure out their intentions, and actually just bask in the turning of pages, getting cozy and having a warm mug of coffee in my hand. This is what makes me love reading again, just getting right down and dirty and stripping reading right back to the bits I love about it without any pressure on myself, cos the characters and the plot feel like home.
A few months ago I read the Hunger Games Trilogy (yes, all three, no I really didn’t do anything else for the whole weekend lol) and it totally rekindled my love of reading. It was easy to read, I knew what was going to happen and I just could find myself being drawn back into the fictional universe and want to talk about books to other people again.. and watch 24hr read-a-thons on you tube… a guilty pleasure. I’m planning on doing one one day!
So if you are ever in a reading rut, I truly believe going back to the basics and reading something that instills joy in you and feels like coming home (the Harry Potter trilogy is a really good one for me) will bring back the want to get cuddled up with a hot mug of coffee and read for hours on end. It’s the one thing that can pull me back.
Sometimes I just want to read about familiar friends, places and adventures rather than the newest and brightest book on the internet and I think that is important in this day and age of always wanting to have the next biggest and best thing or being the first to read the newest release. Bringing back oldies but definitely goodies like Harry Potter and Twilight and the Hunger Games keeps them alive and able to be passed down through generations.
This brings me to the 16 out of 20 books I have read so far this year and a quick star rating to help you out if you’re looking for something new to read:
(if you click on the titles of all the books I’ve mentioned it will take you straight to the Book Depository to have a peek)
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson — I rated this 2 stars on Goodreads.. everyone seemed to LOVE this book and get a hell of a lot out of it but it just wasnt my type of self-help book. I found he went on and on about all the same things and it got rather boring. But at the same time my sister absolutely got so much out of it, so each to their own.
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig — I rated this 4 stars on Goodreads. I loved this one, the writing was so whimsical and beautiful and it was the most gorgeous easy beach read. Thoroughly enjoyed this, will re-read this one in future.
One Day by David Nicholls — I rated this 2 stars on Goodreads and tbh I don’t even really remember anything about this book.. that must account for the two star rating. I finished it which means it can’t be all bad but obviously not memorable.
The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter — This book was so good. I was never really into thriller/crime books but I have recently been getting more into that genre so this was the reason I want to keep reading this genre. So dark, so real and has characters that you are always finding out more and more plot twists about. I wrote a very quick review on my instagram stories for this book so if you want to check that out it’s under Books highlight on my instagram (@notjustaprettyfaceblog)
The Martian by Andy Weir — I rated this 3 stars on Goodreads. I had been wanting to read this book for a while since all the rave reviews when it first came out. It was interesting, if not a tad boring, as a lot of the time it was the protagonist character alone with his thoughts in space. There were a few humourous moments, but there was also lots of science involved (this went on for pages and pages) and this would go way over my head and cause me to zone out.. whoops.
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer — Obviously this was a re-read and despite absolutely loving it when I first read it and re read it a million times over I only rated it 3 stars on Goodreads, what.. hahahah
We all know the story and most likely have all an opinion on it by now.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline — I rated this 2 stars on Goodreads.. I liked it but didn’t love it. It referenced lots of 80s video games and movies that I had no idea about which didn’t help its case.
It was a fairly exciting read and I would definitely be keen to watch the movie. Totally missed it when it was in theatres *facepalm
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater — I rated this 4 and a half stars on Goodreads. I loved it, the writing style was very eerie and mysterious and flowy and the story itself was something that I hadnt really read before which I thoroughly enjoyed. I brought the second one but never got round to actually reading it. Re-reading this one and the second one is on my TBR list for the trip to Europe for sure.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas — I rated this a 3 stars on Goodreads and honestly was a little disappointed. It wasnt extraordinary but it wasnt the biggest pile of rubbish I’d ever read either. Considering all the hype it got I was underwhelmed (maybe it was my own fault cos I didn’t read it for so long cos I wanted to read it all at once..) Don’t really know what to say about this one..
Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth — I rated this book 4 and a half stars on Goodreads, I really enjoyed this book as it makes you think about the world in a different way as it is written in both the victim of bullying and the bully’s point of view. It’s a very real book, and a little it hard-hitting at times considering it is targeted towards teens as it humanizes the bully and makes you see why people may get into the bullying mindset. Highly recommend this one for a quick easy read with a bit of grit.
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta –– I rated this book 3 stars on Goodreads, again, it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read nor the best thing. I found the main character to be whiny and annoying but the underlying theme of racism and family pressure is very real and is something that should be spoken about in more teen literature.
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton — Unfortunately I really had to push myself to finish this one as it wasn’t really my cup of tea. I am probably not it’s target audience to be fair but I felt like it never went anywhere, and I didn’t relate or even care for/like any of the characters which was a shame. I think that if you were 40-50 and a man you would enjoy this book way better than I did.. whoops.
The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins–– This was definitely what inspired this blog post as it was the series that I read to kick my book slump.
I love this series and I think it will always hold a special place in my heart. Katniss is just such a girl boss and a great role model for young girls (at least in the first two books, but let’s not talk about it..), the whole series is such an epic idea and a little bit realistic.
It’s great for younger readers and older readers and it’s just such a gripping story that I think it won’t ever go out of style.
So.. that’s the end of this (rambling) blog post about getting out of a reading slump by reading old childhood faves or books you can always go back and back to, I hope you get some inspiration to get out of a book slump or even start reading some more if any of these books tickle ya fancy.
Lots of love,