So this is the time of year when I get my TBR down so I can fill it with lovely Christmas and birthday books and book tokens. Um …

shelf of books

My TBR …

Well, it’s still on two shelves and some piles above and that’s better than that time in November when I had to put all the paperbacks on shelf 1 into a vertical pile (right?).

I finished ten books in November, which is nicely back to a normal level, though helped by our holiday in Spain. I also really enjoyed taking part in Non-Fiction November.

I’m currently reading (and just about to finish) “The Ghost Runner” by Bill Jones, which I bought in Alderley Edge in a charity shop and is about John Tarrant of Buxton, who was refused admittance to running clubs and races because he was a ‘professional’, having won a small amount of money boxing as a teenager. It’s a good read – the author has done a good job of writing an approachable and interesting book about an asetic and difficult man with a one-track mind – and I should have a review of it tomorrow.

Coming up, I have some review books – two Patricia Leitches kindly sent to me by Jane Badger (and I fear I may have forgotten to mention my interview with Jane which was published in Shiny New Books last month – do pop and have a read to find out how she goes about republishing old pony books!), a short book on Impressionism from Thames & Hudson and  “Learning Languages in Early Modern England” by John Gallagher, which I have in e-book format, as well, of course, as a number of lovely NetGalley books.

In print books, it’s the last book in my readalong of Iris Murdoch’s novels, “Jackson’s Dilemma”. Previews here if you’re interested, though it’s not the book of hers I’d necessarily start with.  To take the sadness away, I’ve lined up “Iris Murdoch: A Centenary” edited by Miles Leeson and “Iris Murdoch’s People A to Z” by Chris Boddington (yes, it’s a list of characters (and pubs and places and real-life people), yes, I will read it cover to cover) so that the whole project goes out with a bang and some lovely reads. I’ve so enjoyed doing this readalong, along with other readers, including three who have been with me the whole way through since November 2017.

Around Christmas time I will be reading Paul Magrs’ “Stardust and Snow” for a pre-read leading up to my Paul Magrs-athon in 2020. It’s a little book he wrote to distribute privately, about a magical encounter with David Bowie, which has been picked up by Obverse Books.

I’m also planning to read these lovelies, “Anything for a T-Shirt” alongside my friend Cari, who is a big fan of Fred Lebow, and “Noel Streatfeild’s Christmas Stories” on Christmas Day afternoon. I also have a couple of light novels featuring Cornwall Christmasses which I will try to get to, too. I’ve let my clients know I’m going to be working part-time from 21 November through to 1 January, so should get in some lovely reading time then.

Did you have a good November of reading and what are your plans for December?