I realise it has been over a year since my last blog post, and I can’t really think why that is other than just being busy and not even realising how long has passed.
So far in 2018, I have read 21 books, and I have two confessions to make about that statistic. Firstly, that number does include Graphic Novels (I call them comic books in my head, but they do involve reading). Secondly, that number also includes three audiobooks.
Let’s deal briefly with the Graphic Novels first. I started on these last year, drawn into reading them by the Netflix tv series Jessica Jones. As a person who has nearly always read the book before seeing the film or the series, or failing that reads it after, I couldn’t not read the comics Jessica came from once I had seen the series. I read the comics in their collected books, all from my local library, who ordered in the books for me. Having enjoyed those, this year I read the Graphic Novels from the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch, which is a series I absolutely love and have been reading since last year. These perfectly illustrate the characters I had come to imagine from reading Rivers of London, Moon Over Soho, Whispers Underground and Broken Homes. If you’ve enjoyed the main series of books and would like more while you wait for the next instalment, I would recommend trying the Graphic Novels. I’ve read Rivers of London: Body Work, Rivers of London: Night Witch and Rivers of London: Black Mould. My only words of warning would be, if you haven’t read Broken Homes yet and you are reading in order like me, then Body Work does contain a massive spoiler! I learnt this the hard way. Night Witch is set after Foxglove Summer and Black Mould after The Hanging Tree (which I am yet to read).
If I haven’t already said so, I highly highly recommend the whole series so far. Ben Aaronovitch writes in such a unique style and perfectly combines magical and mystical elements with policing through his long suffering police constable, Peter Grant. Read it in order, but definitely read it!
So, audiobooks. My interest in audiobooks started this year when my husband stopped reading real books (I know! Don’t get me started on this!) in favour of exclusively listening to books via Audible. I have previously listened to some books on CD but that was a very long time ago. Anyway, my idea was that I would be able to multitask and get more done around the house without having to stop reading! In an ideal world, I would love to be able to switch between the paperback and the audio version as and when needed but sadly life is not like that!
Unfortunately, my audiobook journey almost ended with my first audiobook as I made a very ill advised choice to start with.
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins is, I’m sure, a great book to read on the page. Sadly, the same cannot be said of the audio version. It wasn’t that the people reading it did a bad job, or that the story was not good, it was the sheer volume of characters. I counted around 11-14 different perspectives in this book and most of those were full on narrators who narrated at least two chapters. So as an audiobook it was so difficult to follow. 5/10
Luckily, I learnt my lesson on the second try and my next listen The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths, was a great read/listen. I will be reading or listening to the rest of the Ruth Galloway books for sure. 7.5/10
Next, and most recently, I listened to Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch. This was so good! I am biased as I love the series already, but Kobna Holdbrook-Smith really brings the book, and characters Peter Grant and Beverley Brook in particular, to life so well that it perfectly fit what I had imagined from the rest of the series. 8.5/10
So, in summary, I have branched out to audiobooks, and I am enjoying this new way of reading, but I won’t be abandoning paper books and I have been reading other books alongside.
Coming soon: a review of the best books I read in 2017 and early 2018.
Currently reading: Whip Hand – Dick Francis
House of M – Brian Michael Bendis
Listening to: The Hanging Tree – Ben Aaronovitch