I began February’s challenge with slight trepidation, not all together convinced I would succeed. As well as having selected five books from the BBC’s Big Read, I was also reading and writing a review on Nancy Bilyeau’s debut novel The Crown. With a full-time job and numerous social engagements during February (including both mine and my mother’s birthday) I worried that I would not have enough time to read all my set texts; I problem I hadn’t encountered since my days at university, when deadlines were all too frequent.
I specifically chose two short novels; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Princess Diaries, knowing that I would be able to finish them in one sitting. However the remaining four books I was to read were all fairly long, and there was no guarantee I would finish them all within the month.
Thankfully, the first book I read in February was The Crown, a religious thriller published by Orion, that was set in the time of the reformation of the Catholic Church. The story was gripping, the plot fast-paced; thus making it a fairly quick read.
The Grapes of Wrath was the book that took me the longest; I adore John Steinbeck and enjoy his unique style of writing; however, I certainly wouldn’t class his books as particularly easy to read, and there were points at which I found myself re-reading the text in order to fully digest its content.
Had it not been for the fact that I was blogging about my year in books, I highly doubt I would have completed either January or February’s book challenges. However, with my blog being on a public domain, it has given me the insentive to ensure I fulfill my quests. Similar, I imagine, to those writing novels with a deadline, I set aside a certain amount of time each day to read; for me, the morning works best. I have lots of friends who think I’m crazy to wake up an hour and a half earlier than I need to in order to read; indeed, sometimes when my alarm goes off in the morning, it is all to tempting to hit the snooze button. However, it is books like On The Road, my favourite from February, that make such a feat forever worthwhile.