I found a marked difference between my reading habits in 2012 and those in 2013, and the cause is easily attributable: keeping a tally of the books I read meant that I gave up on no books at all last year - even those I didn't like.
Setting up London Book Club meant that I read some books that I'd never before have given a second glance - for the most part, I feel affirmed in that gut decision (The Shining Girls and So Much Pretty), but it's always good to force yourself to read out of your comfort zone.
I didn't realise before I kept a record that I average about a book a week - there's probably an argument there for reading longer books, or taking more time over each one. And I've been heartened to see that, by and large, I've had a great year in books. Given the effect of making me stick with a book, noting down what I've read is definitely something I'll continue to do.
December, for reasons unknown, wasn't a great month in terms of number, but in terms of enjoyment was a real high on which to end the year.
Author: Evelyn Waugh
Recommended by: chosen as the January read for the London Book Club
Read: 2 - 18 December
Quite how I'd not read this before, I don't know - but that's one of the great things about being part of a book club: the encouragement to read things you hadn't got round to. It took me a long time to read this, and I'm not sure why, as it's both a skinny book, and not difficult to read. And while I think I loved it once I'd finished, I didn't love it while I was reading it. While all the characters are brilliantly drawn, none of them is particularly likeable. It's very of its time, although I felt it wasn't quite as evocative of the period as I'd been led (probably by those who've seen the tv version) to believe. Still, enormously worth reading, and it's definitely stayed with me.
Author: R J Palacio
Recommended by: Katherine from LBC - she'd given this as her Secret Santa gift
Read: 18 - 21 December
Ah, just lovely. I'm not going to tell you too much about it, as I went in knowing nothing and think my experience was all the better for it. August is a boy who's different - that's all you're getting. This book is so full of love and joy and humanity and friendship, and what ugliness really is. Fans of The Fault in Our Stars will adore this.