And, let's talk about books (obviously). The back up plan today for the tightarses (hiiii!) is to talk about your favourite books so far this year, or the books you're most anticipating that are being promoted at BEA. Do I have any clue about which books are being promoted at BEA? No. And do I much care, since I don't really like reading books that are super-duper new, because how do I know if they're any good and if I should spend time on them? Exactly. Tried and tested, people, tried and tested.
Anyway, so my reading life this year (so far) has been basically dominated by two authors (oooer, I'm being dominated...), who are in no way obscure, but who are Bill Bryson and Haruki Murakami. These are authors who I'd had no more than a passing acquaintance with before this year (I'd read 2 Bill Bryson books, out of the 8 or so I owned, and had only heard of Murakami) and yet, now I can't stop reading them, or, in the case of Murakami, thinking about their books.
Because here's the thing. I was trying to compile a list of some of my favourite books of the year, and it occurred to me that the two Murakami books I'd read were already my favourites, and not just of the year, but of all the books. And add to that the FOUR Bill Bryson books I've read this year, really no one else is getting a look-in with my reading! And part of the Bryson reading is tactical- I like to read one fiction and one non-fiction book together, but I've got plenty of other non-fiction books. Bryson's are just the greatest. A Short History of Nearly Everything is my favourite so far, but really? They're all so so so awesome.
So yeah. There's that, and then there's Norwegian Wood and 1Q84, and you've basically got a list of my favourite books of the year so far. But. But but but but but. I think I also have to honourably mention the following books too, because some of them have had quite the impact on me. Like:
- Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer- I haven't eaten an animal since I read this book. And, whilst it would be unfair to say that it's the whole reason I haven't eaten meat since then (I totally wanted to stop eating meat but just haven't had enough motivation/support until now) it seriously helped. A lot.
- Freedom by Jonathan Franzen- Ok, this didn't exactly change my life, but it was sort of awesome, and a lot better than I was expecting it to be considering all the bad press that Franzen gets/invites by being a dick. So yeah, it was a nice surprise wrapped in believable and so so sad characters.
- It by Stephen King- My eternal love for King started with this book, and this year I finally got to re-read it as part of my own personal, let's read all the King challenge. I mean, there's nothing I can say about this book that I haven't already said a billion times, but can we all just read it already so that I can stop going on about it?
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- Always amazing, I think I still managed to find new things when reading Jane Eyre this time around. Another one of my all time favourites that I was really happy to review and discuss with everyone else.