I know, I know, a bonus post from me, two on one day. But I had a lot of stuff to fit in! First of all, here’s my January TBR, which I think you’ll agree is marvellous, svelte, hardly visible, etc. Well, you can see it’s smaller than January 2016‘s effort (and you can see the TBR wax and wane in my Year in First Lines post). This has been boosted by my lovely Secret Santa gifts.
Lovely Christmas arrivals
I’m in three Secret Santa arrangements every year. The first one to be opened is the BookCrossing one, as we do that over a meal some time in early December. Here’s my haul (minus a sweet Christmas tree decoration I had left downstairs) from my friend Jen:
… all off my wishlist, lucky me. Then I’m in a photo a day one and fortunately for the TBR, received a lovely parcel from Alexandra containing a super colouring book and a lovely notebook. That was opened on Christmas Day, as was my LibraryThing Virago one from Belva, complete with chocs and Parma Violets and a lovely double CD to listen to while I read!
Then, of course, there were lovely booky gifts from Ali and Gill, dear local friends (as well as lots of other good things from other friends, but this is about BOOKS, otherwise we’ll be here all day). So, here’s the pile in all its glory:
Scott Jurek – Eat and Run – about endurance running (and veganism) and apparently a v good read.
Miriam Toews – A Boy of Good Breeding – small town America and she writes so beautifully
Farahad Zama – Mrs Ali’s Road to Happiness – fourth in the lovely Marriage Bureau for Rich People series – I’ve loved the first three
Susie Dent – How to Talk Like a Local – a book on local accents and dialects by the Countdown Dictionary Corner queen
Mollie Panter-Downes – One Fine Day – her post-war book, which I’ve wanted for a while after reading her short stories and war reportage letters
Virginia Woolf – The Years and Between the Acts – I read BtA earlier in the year for Woolfalong, but only in an ebook copy, and didn’t have a copy of The Years – I read it between unwrapping it on Christmas Day and yesterday to finish off Woolfalong, so that was a great and timely gift!
Oliver Sacks – On the Move – his autobiography, and I’m just about recovered enough from his loss last year to read this now, so another timely one
Zora Neale Hurston – Their Eyes were Watching God – fills in a space in my Reading a Century and it’s a Virago!
R. C. Sherriff – Greengates – a lovely Persephone I’ve had my eye on for a while
Amber Reeves – A Lady and her Husband – a Persephone novel about fair wages for tea shop workers
Earlene Fowler – Delectable Mountains – one in a lovely series of cosy mysteries set around the quilting world
I’m so lucky, aren’t I! Have you read any of these?
Coming up next
I’m currently reading a lovely edition of Iris Murdoch’s letters, which I’m very much enjoying (I don’t like having a book hanging over from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day but was busy finishing The Years and letters seem less bad to hang over than a solid novel etc.). Coming up next are these lovelies from fairly late on in the year (my book buying was definitely weighted to the end of the year in 2016) – a couple of autobiographical works, a book about women and sport, a Kingsolver novel I’m still not sure about, a couple of novels (my second by Tove Jansson and a Joanna Cannan) and some older travel narratives that look really fun. I also have a few review copies on the Kindle and have made a start on Margery Sharp’s “The Flowering Thorn” to make sure I’ve read it in time for Margery Sharp Day later in the month. It’s absolutely DELIGHTFUL so far, as all her books are.
Reading challenges for 2017
Well, for the last six or seven years I’ve been engaged in reading projects – all of Iris Murdoch, all of Thomas Hardy, all of Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Pym, The Forsyte Saga, A Dance to the Music of Time, and, last year, the marvellous Woolfalong and the challenging read of Dorothy Richardson’s “Pilgrimage” series. It’s been great, and it’s had me reading books I might not have read then or at all. But it’s time for a rest, I think.
So, NO CHALLENGES in 2017.
But that’s not strictly true, of course.
For a start, I’ve mentioned that I’m reading a Margery Sharp for Margery Sharp Day.
I’m going to do 20BooksOfSummer again in the summer, because I make that pile up out of books on the TBR and it’s so fun to connect with other bloggers.
I’m sure I’ll do All Virago / All August again, and again, that’s usually taken off my TBR.
I’m going to carry on Reading the Century and see how I’m doing by the end of the year – I might then start looking to fill the gaps.
And I have really, really wanted to do some more re-reading again. I used to have two months of re-reading a year, and that was too much, so I’m going to try to re-read a book a month through 2017.
In addition, of course I’ll carry on with my Shiny New Books reviewing.
So, not entirely challenge-free, but no big author project for once.
What are you up to with challenges in 2017?