I always wish I was faster at reading. I am pretty speedy - I can finish a short-ish book in a day - but it's never fast enough. Especially if the plot is good - I want to absorb the whole thing but I also want to find out what happens. Plus, I've just started a '52 books' challenge on Goodreads and the overachiever in me wants to finish it as soon as possible. I know, I'm the worst. Still, it's helped me commit to reading some pretty great things - I raided my local Oxfam bookshop this month for some new books which I'm already excited to read!
Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales
I've not read much non-fiction recently, so this was a nice departure for me. For those who don't know the story of the Bling Ring, this book follows the court case of a bunch of Californian teenagers who robbed the homes of celebrities including Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. It's an interesting story (which is probably why Sofia Coppola made a movie about it...) and Sales links the case to some wider issues surrounding celebrity culture and social media. I think that it's perhaps a little out of date - I feel like times have moved on and our relationship with celebrities has changed but there are definitely some salient points made. Plus, reading about these teenagers is entertainment in itself - they are almost caricatures of themselves at points and it's hard to believe both how they dared to commit the robberies and also that some of the celebrities didn't even notice because they had so much stuff...
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This was actually a re-read for me - but it was so long ago that my memory of the book was kind of fuzzy and didn't stretch much past 'it's a classic'. I am so glad that I picked it back up because it truly deserves that description - it's truly astounding. She seems to love these characters, which makes you love them, too, and she deals with some heart-wrenching topics with a softness and sensitivity that stays with you. The ending is stunning, and will leave you stunned. One thing's for sure, my next cat is definitely going to be called Catticus Finch.
Hyperbole & a Half by Allie Brosh
If you hang out on the Internet often, you'll probably have seen Allie Brosh's work - whether you realise it's her or not. Her hilarious blog gained her Internet fame (rightly so); I have been reduced to both hysterics and tears by it in the past. I was a little disappointed that a lot of the book was reproduced from the blog, but a really funny story told twice is still funny - and a poignant one doesn't lose anything either. The stories range from touching stories about her adopted dogs, heart-wrenching tales of depression and hilarious anecdotes about a goose loose about the
hoose kitchen. I devoured this in a day - it would make a great gift for someone.
One Day by David Nicholls
The hype over this book rather passed me by the first time, but having relatively recently read Starter for Ten, I was convinced to pick this up off the bookshelf. I am *so* glad that I did - I enjoyed this book immensely and now I want to lend it to everybody I know. The characters are perfectly flawed and so wonderfully written, and I was so emotionally invested that I bawled my eyes out by the end. It's a little cheesy, sure, but that is part of the joy. If you're after a grown-up love story and a bit of cathartic release then this is definitely one for you.