FIVE LONG BOOKS WE’VE READ (AND LOVED)

There’s no greater feeling than finally putting down a really thick book and thinking “Yep, I read all that!”

Bearing in mind that the average word count for a novel is 250 – 300 words, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite long books:

ACID ALEX – AL LOVEJOY (400 pages)

Stuck at his first 9-5 and seeking a more exciting experience before his next music festival holiday, Try picked this raw and deeply moving autobiography set in 1970’s South Africa and two weeks later we found him in a corner weeping. A must-read.

À LA RECHERCHE DU TEMPS PERDU (IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME) – MARCEL PROUT (4 215 pages)

Back when Coin was working in a bookshop, getting through her French studies and reading up on existentialism. She discovered Proust and set out to read his chef d’oevure, which focuses on the nature of art and memory and how a work of art can attempt to recapture the past and save it from destruction, at least in our minds. Needless to say, she loved it and we’ll never hear the end of it.

MIDDLESEX – JEFFREY EUGENIDES (544 pages)

Try enjoys reading authors chronologically. So, just as he was done with The Virgin Suicides, we gifted him Eugenides’s second offering, a sublime novel about a Greek-American family, identity and mutated genes.

THE DIARIES OF EVELYN WAUGH – EVELYN WAUGH (818 PAGES)

Thanks to Sofia Coppola’s “Lost In Translation’, Ava would not have known who Evelyn Waugh was and when she finally discovered his works, she was gifted a copy of his diaries – which he kept from age seven until his death. This honest, sharp and menacing view of life is a must-read for devout fans looking for insight into the process behind his greatest works.

THE DIARIES OF JANE SOMERS – DORIS LESSING (512 pages)

Teeny-bopper Coin stumbled Doris Lessing in the community library when she’d read almost all the books in the teen section. She was looking for another famous diary (Anne Frank) but she was distracted by a whole shelf dedicated to Ms Lessing. She admired her courage to publish a novel under a pseudonym at the height f her career but the relationship between Jane and Maudie, especially Maudie’s life. kept her reading way past bedtime.

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2020 READING CHALLENGE TIPS

It’s a new year and you’ve made some resolutions, one of them being “read more” and you’ve joined a reading challenge but now what? It’s easy to say “just pick up a book and read” but that only works if you’re a seasoned reader.

Reading is a fun and numinous habit with many benefits and like any habit, it’s a process. Whether you like ebooks, audiobooks or the good ol’ paperback, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • BE REALISTIC

So you’ve read that billionaires and many other successful people read x books a day or year and in order to “be successful” you need to read that many as well? Well, you wouldn’t start with a marathon just to get into running right?

Reading requires setting realistic goals that you can achieve slowly, start with a book a month or every two months until you get used to this new reading habit.

  • MAKE A LIST

What kind of books do you want to read? Classics? Contemporary fiction? YA or a mix with South African writers or some bestsellers or even books by women? Making a list of books creates order and creates a sense of accountability.

  • SET ASIDE A SUITABLE TIME

Look at your daily and weekly schedule and set some time aside dedicated to reading, this can be early in the morning, in the afternoon or just after you’ve tucked the kids into bed. This allows you to look forward to diving right into your book.

  • READING TARGET

It’s important that you set a target of how much reading you want to get done during your “reading time”. It can be anything from a page to a chapter or even more, but again, be realistic about how much you want to get done to allow the information to sink in and for you to truly enjoy the book.

  • NO DISTRACTIONS

Probably the most important part of reading is to ensure that your mind doesn’t wander. Find a space where you are calm and comfortable and won’t end up doing something else (or sleeping). Complete all nagging tasks beforehand and ditch the technology.

  • RESEARCH

If you’re still unsure on what to read:

  • BONUS… DON’T BREAK THE BANK

In the current economic climate, it’s almost impossible to buy books, so if you “just want to read” rather than own the book, here are some ideas:

  • visit your community library
  • legal sites where you can download books to your device
  • second-hand book shops (they have so many gems and some even buy back books that you brought from them for a third of the next purchase)
  • join book-swap sites

Happy reading!

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