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Another month, another reading update!

If you have been following my reading journey this year, you will know that I have two goals: to read 50+ books through the year, and as part of that, to follow the ModernMrsDarcy Reading Challenge.

You will also know that, in respect of the latter list of books, I have been struggling to finish Guernica by Gijs Van Hensbergen. This was my ‘a book you have been meaning to read’ selection and one that I have had for ages.  So, although I am by no means averse to giving up on a book if it proves to be a bit of an effort, in this case, I really wanted to persevere with it.

I am delighted to report that I finally finished reading it on 27 April – hooray!!  I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have got through it.  It was a bit of a slog, but with concerted reading effort, setting myself mini-challenges of reading to the end of the next chapter etc, I got through it.

Was it worth it?  Yes it was.  It was an interesting account of mid-20th century western society, told through the story of the creation and subsequent life of an iconic painting.  Covering everything from anti-communism in America, to the rise and fall of Franco in Spain, the author illustrates the importance of culture within society; the impact which culture can have on political decision making and vice-versa; and how individual pieces of art can transcend themselves in various ways.

While I was reading this book, I felt the need for lighter material too.  I whizzed through Renee Knight’s Disclaimer and Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll.  Both were ok reads, although nothing to rave about.

I also finished Chess – a novella by Stefan Zweig.  This is a brilliant little piece about the human condition and, of course, the game of chess.

I am still reading The Post-Birthday World  by Lionel Shriver and In The Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman.  And I have also started Patrick Gale’s A Place Called Winter.  To add to these, I will be taking on Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton as my May MMD Read.  And I am also close to finishing Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch in audio format.  This has been a mammoth listen – with the unabridged version lasting some 30+ hours.  But I am in the final straight, with only 5 hours to go.  It has been a great listen and I am looking forward to knowing how it pans out.

In addition, I want to start making some progress with my ‘must read’ book list, which grows every day, thanks to suggestions and recommendations from friends and fellow bloggers.  There are currently 57 books on this list (quite a few, bearing in mind that I also have a number of fiction and non-fiction lists too!).  If I were to try to get through this list alone in the remainder of this year, I would need to read approx 7 books a month, in addition to any others that I want to cover.  I think I will have to prioritise!!

What are you reading at the moment? Are you a prolific reader, or do you prefer to savour a small number of books over a longer period of time – like a good whiskey?  I love hearing about people’s reading habits and look forward to learning about yours. 🙂

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