Thursday, 30 December 2010

Book Number 1 The Keys of Hell - Jack Higgins

Started 28th December 2010 and finished on the same day.

Well I thought I'd start this project a few days early and get it off to a great start by reading a book in one day. I have previously only read one other Higgins book ( Midnight Runner) and my experience from that wasn't too favourable. To be honest Midnight Runner was probably one of the worst books I've ever read !But I was searching my bookcase for a small book that I could think about reading in one day and this book, at 141 pages, was my best option. I had actually read somewhere that Jack Higgins wasn't as good as he used to be and that his earliest books were his best.

Well I wasn't disappointed. The Keys to Hell is a fantastic little book. In total ( with a few breaks along the way) I read it in about 5 hours and 25 minutes. It isn't the sort of book I normally navigate towards, I am normally drawn towards the horror/ fantasy genre. Thrillers are not normally my bag. In fact over the years I have started and failed to finish my fair share of them.

This book was a nice little surprise for me and way outweighed my expectations. If this book is anything to go by then Higgins's earlier works are his best. There wasn't anything special about this book, there was no amazing story slowly being revealed and there was no convoluted character developments or significant back stories. It is essentially a fun " action packed" thriller. For the first time in a long time , this book actually had me on the edge of my seat and I could feel myself in the middle of the Albanian marshes and could feel every dramatic explosion and battle as it enfolded.

If you want a fun, action book that you can read in a day, then I would definately advocate this. It just had enough thrills and twists and action to keep me interested all the way through. It wasn't a chore to read ( like Midnight Runner) it was a pleasure. Has it converted me from horror to action thrillers ? Well maybe it is a bit early to tell, however I will certainly be more likely to read another Higgins book, especially an early one such as this.

Have I learned anything as a writer, from reading this book ? Well it has taught me that you don't always have to have three dimensional characters that are slowly revealed throughout and you don't have to have a story that has as many layers as a red onion. Sometimes a book can be fun. Sometimes reading can be just like sitting down in front a camp fire and being told a really good story. Because that's what it felt like reading this book in one day.


Monday, 27 December 2010

New Year, New Challenge

I have always enjoyed reading and have done since I was a young child and have set up this blog to see if I can read 52 books in a year or 52 books in 52 weeks. I am not a particularly fast reader but I don't think it matters much,you don't have to finish a book in record time to be a reader. Some read fast and others like to take their time with their books.

So why do I want to read 52 books in a year ?

Well because I think it will be fun (that's the main reason)and I also think it will be good for me as well. I have always been interested in writing and have written various short stories and even a few dodgy novels. But I want to improve as a writer and one way I can do that ( apart from actually writing) is by reading.

But also because I think it would be good for me to read as many books in a year as I can, it may even make me cleverer ! I hope to read all kinds of books, large and small, fiction and non fiction, anything from horror to childrens fantasy to historical classics.

But another reason for doing this challenge is simply a good excuse to practise writing a blog !

I could just get hold of every book and split it into seven (and read a set number of pages a day ) but I'm not sure whether that would be any fun. Instead I intend to just read at least 20 pages a day ( minimum ) and take it from there. I'm sure I can cheat every so often by reading small quicky books !

So when does this challenge start ? Well hopefully in the new year, although I am reading at the moment.

I am also hoping to use this blog to review each book that I read and to keep an update of my progress.

As with any blog, you never know if anyone is reading what you write ( I could end up just talking to myself here,) but hopefully I can get a few regular followers or readers who are interested.

See you in the New Year !