Sunday, 5 January 2014

Looking Back: last year's reading

The past year has been a tough one for reading. I started a new job at the start of 2013 and found that my free time was limited and my reading was often work-related rather than for pleasure. As a consequence, my blogging was sporadic and there are many half-read books throughout my home that I need to finish.

I started 2013 deeply engrossed in the Game of Thrones series, and spent many hours in that world. This meant that the quantum of books I normally would have read was seriously lessened. My obsession with this series was all-encompassing and despite starting A Feast for Crows (2005), I had to stop and put it away, to give time to other books on my shelf (but I suspect I will pick this up again shortly when the television series airs and I am thrown back into this world).

When I did get to read, I managed to balance my fiction and non-fiction reads as well as balancing tried and tested authors (Evanovich, Roach) with authors that I have recently been introduced to (Kent, Egan, Hospital, Ehrenreich and Flynn). Another great find was the Quarterly Essay, a thought provoking essay on contemporary subjects by leading Australian writers.

Certainly there were many highlights in 2013, but my favourite book was definitely Hannah Kent's debut novel Burial Rites (2013). This young Australian author is a promising talent and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

This was followed closely by Jennifer Egan's Pulitzer Prize winning A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010) and Gillian Flynn's bestselling Gone Girl (2013), both of which I enjoyed immensely.

I started the year with a list of all the books I was going to read, and ultimately ended up finishing very few of them as I was time-pressed and found so many new authors to explore. But I am hopeful that 2014 will be a better year for me with more time to read and blog, so from now I will be looking forward...