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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Four Books I Couldn't Put Down

I'll admit it; I haven't got the best track record for reading and finishing books. A combination of being an avid viewer and listener, and the type of dyslexia I work with make it difficult to read some text fonts with or without glasses. But when the font -- or the story -- is right, I'll plough through a book at lightning speed. These are four books I devoured with uncharacteristic voraciousness.

1 -- A Wizard of Earthsea: I was quite sad when Ursula le Guin died in January. I haven't read as much of her work as I should, but I've gone through her entire Earthsea series. And that's due to the first book. I got my own copy for my bookshelf, and when I got it I just couldn't put it down. I didn't work that day, or do anything much beside take the book on walks up the garden, lie on my bed, sit in a chair by the fire, and read. I finished the book in six to eight hours. I was utterly entranced by her world and the flawed protagonist Ged. It convinced me to get the other four books in the series, and I've never looked back.

2 -- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: I was almost entirely put off the series by the plodding pace of The Order of the Pheonix, but the next two books were bought by the family. I picked up the sixth volume and read the first chapter or two. The next day, I picked it up again, and when I put it down later that same evening I'd finished the whole book. The story hooked me in a way both The Order of the Phoenix and The Goblet of Fire had failed to do, and it prompted me to read the final book and see the story's conclusion, which I did in a week.

3 -- Dune: This took a bit longer to get into, but it's still wonderful. I tried reading an old edition in the house but the text font defeated me. I finally got round to reading a new edition bought for me, and I was utterly entranced. I didn't expect the story to be quite as mature and arresting as it was. But then, my only exposure to the Dune universe was under twenty minutes of fragmented clips from the poor movie adaptation while I was channel surfing. I'm still unsure about whether to get the next two books, but this original work will always stand as one of my best reads.

4 -- Angels and Demons; I'd first seen the movie adaptation of The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons before my sister got me both books as part of a large charity shop haul. I started reading the original Robert Langdon story, and found myself devouring it over a few days. It can get quite long-winded, but it made me realise how far from the original the movie strayed. Darker, uglier, more pessimistic about what people are, the book was a wonderful bit of fluff to pass a few days between work sessions and housework.

And there you have it. Perhaps you've read it, perhaps you haven't. Perhaps you loved them, perhaps you hate them. But to me, they're special. Because I read them.

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