Monday, 6 April 2020

Reading Record | Back On Track

My reading record posts are a way for me to document all things bookish and reading in my life - I aim to post these consistently, with them most often being in a weekly format, however readathons and certain books have their specific reading record.

With all that we are facing as a world right now, I have found my reading to be very off and on, with concentration levels not always being too great... This past week or so, I have found a number of books that captured me, and that I read through nicely, so I thought I'd share those three books and my experiences with them.

I settled into Nest by Inga Simpson today, reading the first 122 pages. We are following the character of Jen, a woman who has moved back to the small town in which she grew up. There are mysteries that run throughout the story, including that of missing children, however the main focus - to me at least - seems to be Jen... Her day to day life, and how she is moving on from her own troubles. I quite like the writing style of Nest so far, with short chapters and descriptive nature writing that really pulls you in.

No reading.

Further reading done in Nest - an additional 99 pages - and I'm still enjoying my time with this book. In particular, I have enjoyed the development of relationships and how twists & turns are starting to appear in the story now.

I finished reading Nest by Inga Simpson this morning. Overall a pleasant read, and a book I would recommend to others. Whilst the plot was multi-layered, it did feel largely like a life study of main character, Jen, with any questions I had being wrapped up in the end, but not all pleasantly. Also, if you are someone who likes nature writing in your fiction, then Nest would be a great one to pick up - the Australian landscape transported me.

After concluding Nest I thought I'd look in to the author's writing a little more, and perhaps see about purchasing another book of hers - Mr Wigg (Inga Simpson's debut). Well, it appears to be mighty hard to purchase Mr Wigg here in the UK, with used copies being £20+ and the only other option of purchasing directly from Australia being double that!

A positive to note though, when adding Nest to my Goodreads account, I noticed that my reading is definitely back on track now, having read 7 books in the month of March (the same amount I read in January, before my February reading slump hit)… Now to get back on track with blogging.

This evening I started reading The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain, a book I have borrowed via the library digital download system and have only seven days left before returning. I read 48 pages to start with, and hope I'm able to finish it before the return date.
Some further reading in The Family Tree, although minimal - 80 pages in total read now.

I read a further 90 pages in The Family Tree today, meaning I have now passed the half way mark. I am enjoying this book so far, however I'm not too sure I like the direction it is going in - time will tell.

No reading.

Today I finished the remainder of The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain... And I came away conflicted. 

The Family Tree follows the life of a Muslim family living in Britain, spanning a number of years: we see children grow, cultural celebrations observed, world events and their impacts covered, and the complexities of family life depicted... Whilst I appreciated the story and writing style, I personally felt like the path of one family member (Saahil) took a turn that I wasn't entirely convinced of. Other than that, I would not have a bad word to say about The Family Tree, and would recommend it to anyone who likes books with a family focus.

I decided to shift my reading gears and step into a middle grade book next, one of a dystopian genre: Where The World Turns Wild by Nicola Penfold. I read 102 pages as a starting point.

Today I read a further 90 pages in my current read.

This morning I finished reading Where The World Turns Wild, coming away having had a great reading experience.

As I mentioned when I first spoke about this book, Where The World Turns Wild is a dystopian middle grade book, following Juniper and her brother, Bear - they live in a walled city where nature has been banned, with everything carefully maintained and managed by city officials. A man-made disease, introduced to protect the wild, is why nature is now banned, however Juniper and Bear are resistant to the disease, and are keen to get back to the wild, and in turn their parents.

There is great depth to the story of Juniper & Bear, and the message behind the book is perhaps more important now more than ever. I loved a lot about Where The World Turns Wild, details that you can't even convey if you haven't read all the finer details of the book, and would say it is in my list of top favourite middle grade reads. Highly recommend!

Next week I'll be participating in Bout of Books 27.5... Bout of Books wasn't due to take place again until May, however they are hosting a little Safe at Home edition - I look forward to taking part.



  1. I like the way you journaled your reading. Yes, us readers all seem to be in a bit of a slump. I found audios are working better and look forward to them on my mostly daily walks. Right Now I'm listening to The Red Lotus; Chris Bohjalian - slow start but, very good now. I also finished, Sea Wife, Amity Gage (eGalley) decent read as well.

  2. Nest sounds good and that's great on being back on track! And I love when a book is just a great reading experience. I just finished up a book I was really enjoying and am stuck with the books I've been reading for awhile and am slightly meh about. I need to just get them done!

  3. That's awesome to hear that you're finding some good reads! My reading has been haphazard too with everything going on- you're right, it's hard to concentrate at times. I like how you sorta break it down by day- I should try that. Seems like it would be fascinating to look back and see oh I read this on that day and so forth.

    I do like books where nature plays a role, and while I haven't read a lot of books set in Australia, I always seem to enjoy the ones that are!

    Be safe this week!

  4. My reading has been hit or miss as well because of everything going on in the world right now. Last week I did well but this week I'm struggling again. Glad to hear you're enjoying the books you are reading though.


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