What I’ve Been Reading – July 2016

I’ve been quite successful at starting books and actually finishing them this month, although I do wish that there’d been more variety that murder stories and thrillers. The most unique book I read this month was The Poison Artist, as the main character wasn’t a policeman and was a bit morally ambiguous, it also had a more unique setting of San Francisco, instead of *insert bleak British city here*. But, the very fact I’ve managed to start and finish seven books this month, has a lot to do with the fact that most of the stuff I’ve been reading is so formulaic, as I still recover from surgery, I still can’t handle anything remotely brain taxing but oh I want to read something where people aren’t getting murdered or at least if some murder is taking place, I don’t want some misinterpreted female heroine (as in The Woman in Cabin 10, who at least wasn’t The Girl in Cabin 10) or a cop with issues (The Girl In The Ice, The Night Stalker and Dead Gone). I want to read something historical or something with magical realism but the problem is, I think, when you get the vast, vast majority of your books as downloads, the algorithms of the places you’ve been getting your books from, recognises that you’ve been recently reading a lot of crime fiction and that’s all, consequently the algorithms recommend. I do try and search beyond the recommended books but I still can’t find anything else, is it me or is the book market currently swamped with crime fiction and ‘chick lit’ thrillers? I reckon it must be a lot easier to get published at the moment if you’ve written a thriller where you can have the word ‘Girl’ in the title. In the search for different books, that’s where, of course, going to an actual bookshop comes in, I love going to bookshops but I am realistic enough to know that I’ve just got out of the habit of reading actual books (I also don’t really have the storage space for them) and it feels incredibly unfair and cheaty if I go and browse in a real bookshop and then (massive book crime) go and download it elsewhere.

Other than the seven books I’ve started and finished this month, I’ve also been working my way through Urban Watercolour Sketching, which (so far) is surprisingly not that specifically urban, which is a bit of a disappointment but other than that, it’s been interesting and helpful. In an effort to read something where people aren’t getting murdered, I’ve started Lily and the Octopus because I was brainwashed by all the many, many cutesy ads on Twitter but unsurprisingly, the book so far is turning out to be a bit cutesy for my tastes (probably the lack of people getting murdered) and I’ve abandoned it for a while. After a few months gap, I’ve restarted reading Fellside, which, sigh, has someone being murdered and a misunderstood heroine but at least my addled brain knows where it is with that sort of book. And of course I’ve just downloaded Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and I’ve already devoured 20% of it and it is very, very good, I had wondered how much enjoyment I’d get out of reading a script but the story is so immersive, you get that magic book effect of not seeing the words but seeing the pictures in your head instead and so it makes no difference.

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