Books of November

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Books to read

If my sudden push at attempting to reach my Goodreads challenge doesn’t show what kind of student I was, I don’t know what will. We’re fast approaching the end of the year and I still have quite a few books to read but November was my most productive month to date. Usually, I barely get through 2 books each month but, with the challenge ending soon, I got through 4. It really should’ve been more but that trip to Iceland made me lazy.

Roald Dahl’s Cruelty was the first book I finished. It’s a collection of short stories that depict how cruel human beings can be to each other. A few of the stories involved the characters getting their comeuppance while others focused on selfishness. Every story screams Roald Dahl and, although this is aimed more at adults, I think I would have enjoyed this as a child.

The Circle by Dave Eggers was devoured next. Seriously, I could not get enough of this book purely because of how much I could relate to it. The Circle is about a woman called Mae who lands a job at a prestigious internet company, oddly enough called The Circle. The Circle is like Facebook gone mad and that’s what makes it disturbingly relatable. Everyone is encouraged to put every little detail of their lives online in this book. It even progresses to the point where politicians go “transparent” and start wearing cameras to broadcast their lives online.

Books to read

The Circle encourages Mae to also go transparent which causes her parents to cut ties with her and something disastrous happens to her ex-boyfriend as her desire to prove how amazing The Circle is intensifies. Reading The Circle just reminds me of how much people put online and how weird I’m beginning to find it all. I don’t think The Circle is for everyone, for example, I wouldn’t recommend it to my other half who barely uses social media, but I would recommend it to anyone who spends a bit too much time on the internet. It’s an amazing wake-up call and a downright enjoyable read.

Guy Martin Worms to Catch was the third book I finished. I’ve loved all of Guy Martin’s books so far but I particularly enjoyed Worms to Catch. As Guy Martin is a motorbike racer his previous books have involved a lot of motorbike talk and, while I understood some of it, it got a little confusing for me at times and took away some of my enjoyment. Now that he’s basically given up racing motorbikes there’s less motorbike talk and more cycling talk.

Books to read

Guy Martin also discusses some of his TV ventures including the live Wall of Death record breaking attempt and his trip to Latvia. He also touches upon the latest series of Speed but it’s his attempt to cycle from Canada to Mexico that really takes the spotlight. Just reading about his attempt made me tired so I don’t know how he managed it but I think it’s safe to say he’s not really one for giving up. Worms to Catch actually made me want to go for a bike ride and I’m not even sure I have a bike anymore.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult was the fourth and final book I read. This is probably one of the best books I’ve read in a long time and, like The Circle, it was disturbingly relatable but in an entirely different way.

Small Great Things focuses on racism in the modern age. The story is of a black nurse who happens to be on duty when the baby of white supremacists dies. She’s quickly accused and is suspended from doing her job. Small Great Things is about her fight for freedom, her attempt at pointing out casual racism and her desire to not be a “black” stereotype. The lives of the white supremacists are intertwined with the story and it is so unbelievably frustrating I almost threw the book across the room. It was easy to forget that the story was set in present times and the current references were very poignant. I wanted to force this story back to the early 1900s but it just kept creeping back into 2016.

Thanks to the 4 books I got through in November, I have 11 books to read by the end of December. Am I optimistic? Don’t be silly but I sure am looking forward to hopefully finding some rather fantastic books. I don’t think anything will top Small Great Things as that book will be with me for a long time but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Maybe I’ll read significantly shorter books in order to reach my goal.

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