Revived and reading: The 6-month reading challenge

Until July this year, courtesy of Hashimoto’s Disease, I had been unable to concentrate while reading. I would start a book and drift off after just a few minutes. Or I would read a page only to realise I had no idea at all what I had just read. For someone who has always loved reading, and found it easy to fall into a novel, this was incredibly frustrating. I felt like this stupid illness had taken away my most beloved hobby.

Pic: Pixabay This is kind of what it looked like inside my head. Utter chaos, and trying to focus on one thing was like sorting through these beads.

However, after going gluten-free, I found that my ability to keep my attention on one thing, and actually absorb information, had improved. And so, to make up for lost time (and to take advantage of my brain — because who knows how long this will last?), I began reading.

I set myself a “10 Books by December” challenge. However, I am three months in and have already finished seven novels. That is how deprived I was!

Here are the first two books I read this August. I’ll follow up with the rest in a few days!

The King beyond the Gate – David Gemmell


Pic by: Div
Pic by: Div

I first came across David Gemmell in grade 8, when I picked up a book called Ravenheart. This novel immediately captured my imagination, and I was soon lost in the tales of the Rigante people. Since that first story over 10 years ago, I have read a lot of Gemmell’s work. His tales are absorbing and the heroes are always very human in their flaws.

If you are a lover of George R.R. Martin, David Gemmell is for you. His stories are nowhere near as long, nor are there as many characters, which makes the books a lot easier to read. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the Song of Ice and Fire series, but I also enjoy not having to look in a vast appendix for characters who’ve been mentioned and whom I have forgotten exist.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you’re looking for adventure, this is a read for you!

Emma – Jane Austen

Historical fiction

Pic by: Div
Pic by: Div

This was my first Austen novel in years. I read Pride and Prejudice in high school and loved it, but had not read another that I enjoyed nearly as much. Until Emma. The protagonist, Emma, starts off as a rather snobby and extremely irritating character. I found her to be quite manipulative, especially with her friend Harriet Smith. I only began liking Emma about halfway through the book, after realising she is a good person overall. Her loving behaviour toward her father, who was rather annoying, convinced me of this. I read this novel during my trip to Cambodia and highly recommend it. A great read.

Do you want to try the “10 Books by December” challenge? Tag a friend to read with you, and let us know in the comments below! We love hearing from you 🙂 Or, you can message us on Facebook, tweet us your favourite quote on Twitter or tag us in a picture of what you’re reading on Instagram!

Featured image: Pixabay

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