This week has been devoted to reading my Classics Club Spin book, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I admit that when my spin book was revealed on Monday, I didn’t feel very enthusiastic about it but decided to start reading it immediately as I anticipated it taking a long time to read. It actually took less than a week and I finished it last night! I’ve had mixed experiences with Dickens in the past…there have been some of his books that I’ve enjoyed and some that I struggled with, but this is the first one I’ve really loved and have found truly ‘unputdownable’. Definitely one of my books of the year!
Also this week I’ve been reading Quicksilver, the first in Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, a historical fiction series set in the 17th and 18th centuries. I’ve been curious about this book for a while but have been putting off reading it because of the length. I’m enjoying it so far (despite not having understood half of what I’ve read) but at nearly 1,000 pages it’s going to be a long and challenging read and I’m hoping it will be worth it in the end.
With no other reading commitments at the moment (until Wilkie in Winter in the middle of December), I’ve taken this opportunity to start a re-read of the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. It’s been nearly two years since I first read The Game of Kings and I know that if it wasn’t for blogging throwing other tempting books in my way I would probably have re-read the whole series as soon as I finished it. There was so much I missed on my first read and this time I’m armed with the Dorothy Dunnett Companions I and II and the new book by Laura Caine Ramsey, The Ultimate Guide to The Game of Kings, which will hopefully enhance the experience. I probably won’t post ‘reviews’ again as I did review them all in 2012, but I’ll give you an update in another Sunday post in a few week’s time.
Also this week, I’ve signed up for a reading challenge for next year: the What’s In A Name? challenge. This has been hosted for the last few years by Beth Fish Reads but has now been taken over by Charlie at The Worm Hole. I don’t sign up for many challenges anymore but I wanted to support Charlie’s first year of hosting and this is a fun challenge which I’ve taken part in once before. The idea is to read five books, each with a title that fits one of the five categories below:
I already have one or two books in mind for each category, but the challenge doesn’t start until January so I have plenty of time to think about what to read. To find out more please visit The Worm Hole!
Something else I’m looking forward to is starting my first course with FutureLearn tomorrow. The course is called England in the time of King Richard III, which, as followers of my blog will know, is a period of history I’m particularly interested in. FutureLearn is a new UK-based company offering free online courses from a selection of universities; this will be the first of their courses I’ve tried, so I’m not sure what to expect. I’ll let you know how I get on!