Saturday, 23 January 2016

Deciding What to Read

I have a habit of staring at my bookshelves and feeling a bit lost as to which book to read next. I love reading a variety of genres and categories, so without a system for choosing my next read, I'd just end up staring forever and not deciding on anything. My husband might wander past occasionally and slip me a Mars bar just to keep me going, maybe shake the dust from my shoulders, but it would basically not be a good way to live. So.

My goal for the year is to read 75-80 books, based on the fact I read 73 last year and wanted to stretch just that little bit further. (You can join in the Goodreads Reading Challenge with me here, if you like.) I have tons of physical books and e-books waiting to be read, so how do I break those down into some kind of order? I could go by genre, or by theme, or age group, or even just read them alphabetically. But as I'll be writing/editing as well, I want to try and keep my reading loosely in the same genre/vibe as what I'm working on. Organised, see? ;-)

For now, this is what I'm planning for the first half of the year.

Jan/early Feb: Middle Grade books. I've been promising myself for ages that I'll binge some great MGs, and now feels like a good time for it. I've just finished the first Harry Potter (I know, I know - I'm so 10 years ago), and I'm now reading THE DREAM SNATCHER. I also have another 10 MGs on my TBR shelf as well as 2 audiobooks I plan on listening to.

Feb: I'll be working on editing my YA sci-fi novel, so I think it's only right I binge some sci-fi. Just quickly scanning my shelves, I see PARTIALS, SKINNED, SLATED, THE LAST SURVIVOR, THESE BROKEN STARS, LEGEND, MOMUMENT 14, UNRAVELLING, ECHO BOY, BZRK, iBOY, BREATHE, EX-HEROES, and THE EYE OF MINDS all waiting for me. I think they're all sci-fi (one or two might be horror?), so I have plenty to be getting stuck into.

March: Any book I have on my TBR that has been sitting there more than a year. If I still don't fancy reading it, it's time for it to go. I have a younger sister who is a keen reader, so anything she doesn't want will go to the library or a charity shop.

April: I've already decided that as UKYA Day is in April, I'm going to spend this month reading UKYA books (either set in the UK or by UK authors) exclusively. One thing I'll be focusing on is finding books with a regional flavour from across the UK. From a tentative Twitter enquiry, it seems people have loads of great recommendations for North England settings, but the non-England ones have mostly been historicals (which are not, generally speaking, my bag). But my pal Tatum Flynn suggested AFTER THE SNOW, a post-apocalypse set in Wales, which I'm especially looking forward to, and I'll be looking for other weird and wonderful YAs set in Scotland and N. Ireland & ROI.

On my shelves at the moment I have MINTY, THE LAST LEAVES FALLING, MONSTER, several Kevin Brooks novels, 3 Cat Clarkes, NOUGHTS & CROSSES, IN ANOTHER LIFE, THE LIE TREE, WHITE PETALS, GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE, and a few others I need to check re. their UK-ness. Suggestions are welcome in the comments, too!

May: This will be a busy month, as I'm going on a writing retreat (yay!) and I have a new book coming out (BREAKER - 24th May). What I read will depend on what I'm working on - hopefully something brand new. If it's one of the ideas I have at the moment, that will either mean sci-fi or magical realism. If it's the latter, I will definitely be reading BONE GAP this month (finally).

June: Summer is always a good time to (weather depending) lie out in the garden and catch up on book series. I have 2 I'm partway through at the moment (Neal Shusterman's brilliant UNWIND series and Beth Revis's ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy), and about 5 new ones I want to start, so I'll use this month as a kind of half-year tidy up/kick starter for awesome new series.

So that should easily take me to the halfway mark of my 75 book target, right? If you have any suggestions to add to any month, or want to urge me to move any of the ones I've mentioned up to the top of the list, please do.

Kat out x