#52books2017 – January

I’ve loved the 52 books challenge – it has directed me back towards my neglected book collection, though my wallet is beginning to moan a little.

1. Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere

If wanted to read more of Gaiman’s work for a while, particularly after loving The Graveyard Book, so started here. It is set initially in today’s London, with main protagonist Richard finding his way into a mysterious (and initially confusing) underworld, meeting characters such as Door and the Hunter who help guide him in his new surroundings. It took me a while to get into it but ended up being very enjoyable – a tale of friendship, adventure and coming-of-age.

2. A.F. Harrold – The Imaginary

I loved this book. It’s a story about Amanda and her imaginary friend, Rudger, who end up in more trouble than they realise when they cross paths with the bewitching Mr Bunting. Emily Gravett’s illustrations add to the tale; I can’t wait to read this with my class.

3. John Green – The Fault in Our Stars

Having bought my headteacher A Monster Calls for Christmas, she insisted I read this as it was also sad and so I’d therefore like it. I enjoyed it. It was an easy read – very straightforward to follow and what happened was quite obvious. Not as moving as A Monster Calls but a well-written insight into the suffering illness can bring.

4. Brian Bilston – You Took The Last Bus Home 

A Christmas gift from my wife as I’d become slightly obsessed with Bilston’s Twitter output. Christmas Day mainly consisted of my surprise recitals, and I’ve since shared Refugees and Frisbee with my class. The collection is generally humour-based but so many poems are written in such a clever way. Made me love poetry again, while simultaneously making me jealous.

5. Polly Ho-Yen – Where Monsters Lie

I was delighted to pick this up in Oxfam for £1.99. I loved The Boy in the Tower and didn’t know Ho-Yen had a follow-up. Similar themes are apparent, such as mysterious, unexplained happenings (which remain deliberately left unexplained throughout), friendships and disappearances. Not as strong as the debut novel – I felt there wasn’t as much tension – but a good read nonetheless.

That’s it for now. Five down, 47 to go. I’ve got a pile of ‘to-read’ books taller than I am (which might not be saying much). I’m enjoying reading more and am (coincidentally?) sleeping much better too.

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