May 2012 – Monthly Wrap Up

Oh, May, May, May. Where did you go? I don’t know what’s happening with my reading lately – I feel like I read a lot, but I’m just not getting anywhere or at least it takes me forever to finish books. And slowly I’m loosing the momentum I had build in the first three months of the year. I really have to do something to get my momentum back if I am to reach my goal this year. Only thing is, I’m not sure why I’m not finishing more books each month.

I read 1613 pages this month which is still a lot less than in the good first three months in the beginning of the year where I read more than 2000 pages as well as e-books and Clarissa. I really don’t know why I’m not keeping up the more than 2000 pages a month routine. I feel that I’m reading as much as ever – but either I have gotten slower or else I’m just not reading as much as I think I do.
  1. China Miéville: The City & The City. A sort of detective novel but nothing like I’ve ever read before. Miéville has the most amazing setting for his story and he uses it so well, never letting it overpower the story but still, making it all so interesting and fascinating. 4 stars.
  2. Diana Gabaldon: Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2). Jamie and Claire, two amazing characters, as well as intrigues at the royal French Court, a Scottish rebellion, traitors and heroes (sometimes the same thing). A great historical fiction/romance/sci fi novel… 4 stars.
  3. Peter Høeg: De måske egnede (Title in English: Borderliners). An attack on the Danish school system. Three children try to figure out what’s going on at their school, why certain students are allowed to go there. A slowly paced novel which delivers punches that leaves you staggering with surprise and shock. A great novel by one of the best living Danish authors. 4 stars.
Audiobooks finished:
  1. Lisa Shearin: Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Raine Benares #1). Action from the first page. Easily accessible light fantasy about the seeker Raine Benares and her knack for getting herself into trouble. 4 stars.
  2. Lisa Shearin: Armed & Magical (Raine Benares #2). So this one continues right in the same style as the first one so if you enjoy one, you’ll probably enjoy this one too. Only thing is it does become a bit repetitive. 3 stars.
This was my first month listening to audio books and I really liked it. Still, for me, they don’t count quite as high as books I actually read for several reasons. It’s easier to space out and forget to listen and I feel like I’m missing out on parts of the novel when I don’t read how the author spells names, places, objects. It annoys me when listening, it annoys me when I’m writing about my thoughts afterwards.
Even though I haven’t read all that much this month, I did manage to finish The Chunkster Challenge. That’s right. I’ve read 6 books with a page count of more than 450 pages this year. Actually, I’ve read 10 books that fitted the chunkster status but only 6 of them counted towards the challenge.
I finished my Clarissa reading on time this month! Ahead of time, even. And what’s even better, I actually enjoyed reading it! So hopefully I can keep this positive feeling when I continue with Clarissa for the rest of the year.
I also did very well on the Mount TBR Reading Challenge – all three books I read, was bought before 2012 and now, I’ve read 16 out of 25 for that challenge.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a challenge going with my boyfriend and my best friend. We each choose books for ourselves and then we also choose one book for each of the other two. This year I chose that my boyfriend should read The Hunger Games trilogy and my friend should read Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. Anyway, I am so far doing okay on this challenge – I’ve read 22 out of 52 books, I’ve read 9 out of the 25 specific books I’ve chosen and my to-read list is lower than it was when the year began. However, my boyfriend doesn’t believe that I will make it. He doesn’t think that I will finish this challenge so we have just made a bet – if I make it, he is to give me any book I choose and if I doesn’t finish, he gets to choose a book. So I need to get this done! Not only is there a book on the line – there’s something much more important: pride! So I think I will focus on this challenge in June too. If you want to follow my progress, check out my challenge page.
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So how do we feel about audio books?

I have to confess that I’m somewhat of a book snob. I don’t (necessarily) mean with regard to the books I read. No, I’m thinking about the way I read them. See, I don’t consider listening to a book to be proper reading. I did a very informal poll on this by asking my boyfriend and another friend if they think it counts just as much to hear a book and to read it – and neither of them thought so either.

So here we are – three clever persons (!), neither of us think it is quite right to listen to a book instead of sitting down and having it in our hands, using our eyes to read it with – the good old traditional way. But why is that? It’s the same words – it’s just two different ways of taking them in. And in some situations, you can’t read in the traditional way – but you can listen.

Besides, when did listening get such a bad reputation? When we’re kids, our parents read to us if we’re lucky. We never wonder if they get less out of the book because it is read out loud to them. Why shouldn’t we as adults not get to enjoy the same luxury?

I’m not sure I’m wired in a way to be able to listen to complex books – at least not yet – but I do think that I can listen to some novels and enjoy them.

So what it all comes down to, is that I’ve decided to give audio books a chance. Mostly because I have to get out in the garden and start pulling weeds and making it look somewhat presentable – or at least so the kids don’t hurt themselves playing in it. And I hate garden work. So to sweeten the deal I’ve decided to listen to an audio book while doing it. And I’ve chosen Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Raine Benares, book 1) by Lisa Shearin – pure fantasy, nothing intellectual, just plain action. And as a non-experienced audio book listener, I think that’s key. To have something to listen to that’s not too complicated but rather easily accessible. So that’s what I’m going for – pure lovely fluffy entertainment while I tackle those nasty stinging nettles.

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