I began the Goodreads Reading Challenge on a whim. I don’t really like setting reading goals for myself, mainly because I’m never confident that I’ll meet them, but I read 87 books last year and I thought if I can avoid hitting a wall (like I usually do) I could actually read 100, why not? Plus 100 is a nice round number.
To keep pace with the reading challenge, I need to read a little more than 8 books in a month. I was just shy of that number in January but I read some great books.
Prior to reading NW by Zadie Smith I hadn’t read a title published for adults since August—and that was The Cuckoo’s Calling which although enjoyable and by an author I love, is a very different kind of book. Smith’s writing is challenging in the best sense of the word. She’s playing with various styles and forms to reflect the content and characters. I received the book as a Christmas gift from my Dad, along with Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Herman Koch’s The Dinner. I was feeling serious reading burn out all fall and NW was the perfect antidote. I needed to read something difficult, that wouldn’t make it easy to put down or continue. NW challenges the traditional idea of what a novel can be and that’s exactly what I needed at that time.