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Genrethon round-up

This week I took part in Genrethon - an online readathon encouraging trying out different genres.

As much as I was excited to get involved I was also wary of the concept of a readathon, worrying I'd get carried away and focus less on enjoying the reading experience and more on finishing books. 

I needn't have worried, the readathon didn't change the way that I read, it just changed what I read - meaning I tried genres I haven't ventured into before (horror and sci-fi), and picked up books that have been sat on my shelf for far too long (plays). I loved a classic I didn't expect to and finally got round to reading a brilliant memoir that I will now be recommending to everyone.

My reading list for the week was made with the idea of picking and choosing as I fancied, but I actually read so much more than I expected, hugely helped by mostly reading really short, quick books!

So overall I read eight books from six genres, and here's what I thought:

The Complaint - Nick Whitby (play) 
This was a play I'd bought as part of a mystery bundle, and I didn't love it. The set-up of a complaint within a crazily bureaucratic nonsensical society was kinda interesting, but I just didn't really feel any kind of reaction to it.

The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby (memoir) ★★
This poetic memoir was stunning. Former Elle editor Bauby writes (via a transcriber, blinking for appropriate letters) of his life with locked-in syndrome, contemplating his new situation and the life he left behind. It was funny and thought-provoking, and just a wonderful read.

The Colossus - Sylvia Plath (poetry) 
This wasn't for me. There was more focus on nature than I'd expected, and amidst the mellifluous writing I struggled to connect.

The Martian - Andy Weir (sci-fi) ★★
So much fun! I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would, and found myself really needing to find out what would happen. As gripping as it was, it was also funny and generally a light read. I'll definitely be trying more sci-fi after this, and think it's the perfect accessible entry point into the genre.

Bird Box - Josh Malerman (horror) 
Horror is a genre I never read and now I have no idea why - I loved this. Really tense and genuinely scary at times with those fun hold-your-breath moments you get in good horror. I could completely imagine and believe in this world and found it really intriguing, nervously anticipating what would happen next.

Not The Worst Place - Sam Burns (play) 
Exploring two teenagers at a point of deciding whether to stay in or leave their hometown, this was an enjoyable read with a believable relationship and characters - though not powerful enough to leave me thinking about it for long.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll (classic) ½
So I started reading a novel I've got high hopes for but wasn't really engaging in to begin with, and the protagonist mentioned Alice, so I decided to pick that up instead! And I'm so glad I did. It was a really fun read that I'd like to write about more. I loved the pure imagination of it and also Alice as a character - how curious and precocious she is. I did find, because it was so random, I needed reading breaks from it so I didn't grow tired of it but could just really enjoy it for what it was: fantastical, nonsensical fun.

Lungs - Duncan Macmillan (play) 
This is one of my favourite plays I've ever seen on stage and I finally got to reading it. Watching the play was completely absorbing and emotional, and on taking it in for the second time some of that emotion was lost with the surprise factor gone, but I still think it's a remarkable piece of work to read. It's a realistic, powerful look at a relationship that captures everyday moments and builds up to a snapshot of a lifetime. I think if I hadn't watched it I would imagine it would be a much more heavy watch whereas there are actually so many funny moments. I'd be curious if that comes through when just reading it.

Thanks to the lovely BookTube ladies who ran the readathon: UnderTheRadarBooks / Lauren And The Books / squibblesreads / ViennaWaitsBooks   

Let me know if you took part and what you read during the week :) You can follow me on Goodreads here, and also on Twitter.