Wednesday, 14 June 2017

April & May in Books

This post covers everything I read during April and May. I ended May disappointed, having fallen behind in my Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge. I'm now a month behind for the year. I have high hopes for June.

Here's what I read in April and May:

Books two and three of Frank Tayell's Surviving The Evacuation Series, Wasteland and Family, did not disappoint. I have a new favourite author, with Wasteland leading the race for my 2017 Read of the Year. If you're a fan of the post-apocalyptic and zombie genres, but want something a little different, give this series a go. You'll thank me for the recommendation. Check out my review of book one here.

The Hatching by Ezekiel was a strange read. I'm still not sure whether I really liked it or not. The premise - hideous spiders hatching and plaguing the world - was enough to hook me. Show me a disaster story and I'm in. The book itself read like a movie - if there isn't a movie in pre-production, I'd be surprised. What I didn't enjoy was the way every character was obsessed with sex or the lack of it. There weren't any gratuitous sex scenes, rather mini biographies of whom a character had slept with or wanted to sleep with interwoven into the plot. It just seemed unnecessary. Maybe it's just me?

The End of the World Running Club was a great read. It caught by surprise, because I'd wrongly assumed it was set in America. Not so. Starting in the north of England, the story headed roughly southwest. It wasn't at all what I'd expected, and I was a little disappointed the actual running part took so long to start. I was also baffled by the geography of the run towards the end. I won't say why I was baffled, because that would be a plot massive spoiler. Having said all of that, the ending was five-star for me. I did not see it coming. 

The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers was a fun read. I didn't realise until after I'd finished it that this was a crowd-funded novel. I'm sure everyone who backed Chambers felt theirs was a wise investment when they finally held her book in their hands. If you loved Firefly and enjoy space opera, then this is a must-read. 

Despite being a Stephen King fan, I'd never felt the urge to read his The Dark Tower series. Why? It's a predominately fantasy-based series. Give me horror or science fiction any day. However, I finally decided to give it a go and really wished I hadn't. I'm sure to the right group of readers, the Towers series is the best thing King has ever written. In its genre, I'm confident it's outstanding. For me, it confirmed everything I dislike about the fantasy genre. After finishing book one, I know it would be pointless carry on. Sorry, Mr. King.

I ended May with 35% of my yearly target completed. What books did you read in April and May?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

IWSG: Did You Ever Say "I Quit?"

Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG's purpose is to share and encourage. A place where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. 

The awesome co-hosts for June's post are JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan and Heather Gardner. Please drop by and thank them.

Now for this month's IWSG question:

Did you ever say "I quit?" If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I've come close on more than one occasion. There have been times, like now, where daily life leaves no time for writing. I seem to stumble from work to home to work again, promising myself I'll get back to my writing later. The problem is later never arrives. When I feel that overwhelmed by daily life, I ask myself whether writing will add another layer of stress I don't need? Wouldn't it be better to just shelve it?

I think you'll already know the answer to those questions - a resounding no. I couldn't quit writing any more than I could quit breathing. Even if I'm not putting words to paper, I'm constantly thinking up new stories and working out plot holes. Characters tap their feet, while muttering "Hello, it's me." They're living, breathing entities, who need their story to be told. 

It might take me a long time to start publishing again, but I'll never quit. What about you? Have you quit or come close to it? What pulled you back?