My name is Risa, I live in Cambridge, and I love reading and books.
I was a voracious reader of fiction when I was younger, but in the last few years I had stopped reading as much and as broadly as I used to. I decided however to do the 2015 Popsugar reading challenge in 2016 (one year behind, but the 2016 challenge didn’t look as much fun and the idea of doing a challenge is pretty arbitrary anyway). Along the way I’ve rekindled my love of books.
Speaking of. Once upon a time I doubted that I would ever use a kindle, but when I tried out the Kindle app on my iPad, I fell in love. Doubtlessly this is connected to the new possibility of downloading a book I want to read in seconds, rather than waiting for the post to come or heading to the bookshop.
I find that reading books on Kindle is particularly effective for longer books which I’m likely to read over more than a few days, such as serious non-fiction, as I’m less likely to go on permanent hiatus partway through. It’s also easier to read an iPad lying down in bed than a chunky paperback or, heaven forbid, a hardback. Final pro: my flat isn’t overspilling with books. I probably spend more money on books now than pre-kindle (it’s easier to impulse buy), but if I think I’m likely to want to lend a book to a friend I try to buy it in paperback.
What do I enjoy reading?
Fantasy, but rarely high fantasy. World-building and realistic character-lists are crucial, and I love well-written urban fantasy. Favourite authors include Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb (her earlier works), Jacqueline Carey (same).
Young adult. I know this can be controversial (are adults who read YA just lazy?), but there are some very special books in this genre. Favourite authors include Sarah Rees Breenan, Holly Black.
Romances – contemporary, some historical, though the genre is becoming increasingly formulaic (don’t laugh at me). Favourite authors include Georgette Heyer, Julie Anne Long, Lisa Kleypas, Marion Dillon (30-something life problems + dogs = love).
Some science fiction (‘soft’) – books more focussed on characters than hard science.
- I love the Isaac Asimov short stories (particularly robots) but never connected with the Foundation series,
- I love the Ender’s Game quartet, and books 2-4 of the Shadow series (not a fan of the prequels),
- The Steven Baxter NASA trilogy,
- Larry Niven short stories.
Non-fiction. Having refused to read non-fiction for years, I’ve finally reached the point where I’m taking more of an interest. Some of the areas I’ve read about in the past few years are:
- Climbing 8,000m+ peaks,
- Stories of Bletchley Park,
- Orca care at Sea World.