Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Books, Books and Merde.

This year I decided to set myself a challenge. Too many New Year's Resolutions seemed to involve giving things up which seemed all too negative for me. My challenge wasn't to eat healthier or to give up alcohol. I like gin and crisps too much for that. Instead, I decided to read one book a week for a year. Considering I had only read 20 books the year before, I entered into this with trepidation. I had to come up with a plan of action that I could actually stick to and that was realistic. First, I needed to pick a few books I knew I would enjoy so that I could start off on a high note. I plumped for some David Sedaris and Agatha Christie. Then, I signed up to a bookclub. I didn't end up going to the meet-up for a multitude of reasons but it forced me to read something outside of my comfort zone and read it to a deadline. Finally, I needed to buy some more books! Luckily, I won a competition run by The Earful Tower to win a copy of Stephen Clarke's novel A Year In The Merde. A very tongue-in-cheek take on what it means to be a Brit living in Paris, I couldn't help but become engrossed in this laugh out loud tale following newcomer to the City of Light Paul West who has been tasked with opening up a chain of English themed tea shops for his colourful French boss! I found myself chortling away on the metro at the scrapes this hero gets into whilst also thinking how similar some of the tales where to those I have from my first few months in Paris. 
I'm now on my 16th book of the year and surprisingly A Year In the Merde has been my most French book so far. Usually my list is littered with an assortment of literature inspired by la belle France, but this time around I seem to be ready weirder and more eclectic fiction than ever before. Challenging myself to push my boundaries by reading outside of my comfort zone has been a good test for me and has opened my eyes up to genres I would never have considered reading previously. It feels good to be reading so much and to be on track to hit my goal by the end of the year. Still, who knows I might even beat it! In order to stay on the right track, I always have a book on me so that I can spend any free moment racking up a few more pages. The morning commute tends to be where I get the bulk of my reading done, but the occasionally I'll have an afternoon spent sitting at a pavement cafĂ© with a beer by my side and a book in my hand! 
While I'm doing very well to find diverse and different books to read I am always on the look out for out of the ordinary novels. If you happen to have any recommendations for me then comment on the post! 

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