I have always been a reader. I loved reading so much that I managed to turn it into two degrees. But once I had finished my MA I stopped reading. I read now and then, picking up books and putting them down after three or four pages. I couldn't get back into it. I didn't even realise that this is what had happened to my reading habits until The Spitfire Sisters were interviewed for a radio show (more info on that to come, watch this space!) and Gwen, the host, asked me about my MA and what I had read recently.
I sadly confessed that I actually hadn't read much at all. I read Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please, which was amazing and entertaining and very, very funny. I read the first three books of Lemony Snicket's series All The Wrong Questions, and I'm eagerly anticipating the fourth. But the books I was reading were few and far between. I didn't even carry a book in my bag any more for long train journeys to and from gigs.
So after the radio interview, I realised that something had to change. I missed reading. I missed being completely engrossed in a book, wishing I was friends with the characters, falling in love, running away.
This is getting soppy, but I'm just trying to make a point - I really used to love reading.
So, as I was saying, something had to change. I was in Foyles in Waterloo station on Sunday, which happened to be the first of March. I was waiting for a train to get me to our next gig, walking around aimlessly, but then I saw this book. Never judge a book by the cover, everybody always said, but I this cover was so beautiful. The book was also half price, and a dystopian fiction, which is totally my thing (I've got a dissertation on it if you want to read it. Oh wait, you don't? Fair enough.). I was sold from the beginning. I took it to the till. I paid for it. I waited for my train. I started reading.
About forty five minutes and 80 pages into my train journey I remembered someone posting on instagram (that's what I was doing when I wasn't reading, apparently) that they had set themselves the 52 in 52 challenge. Fifty two books in fifty two weeks. I can do that, I thought. So I am doing it. It's not January, so I've got no right to make resolutions, except I do and and I'm going to.
My first book in my #52in52 was The Ship by Antonia Honeywell. A dystopian novel about a young girl in a very different London to the London we know now. Hundreds of new laws and citizen registration means that life is precarious and dangerous at all times. Lalla and her family have an escape that few others do, but it may not lead to the freedom she has wished for.
The Ship was certainly engrossing, but Lalla didn't inspire enough sympathy in me to care about her as the sole protagonist. I wanted to know a lot more about the other characters and their stories, and what lead them to be in the situation they found themselves in. It was, however, absolutely compulsive reading. I wanted to know how it turned out, even though for me the driving force of the book wasn't Lalla, but the ship itself.
This blog won't become a book reviewing blog, but I will track my progress here, in between our posts about other Spitfire Sisters adventures. I hope you'll let me know what you think of the books I'm reading for this challenge, or suggest some others for me to read next. I'm excited to read again, and I'm also excited to write about it.
Until next time!