The Year in Books :: December 2016

Better late than never – right??

I thought I would pop by to tell you what I read in November – October seemed to be a bit of a lull in reading and I didn’t really read anything at all.  November got me back on track though, so here we go;

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First up was the gorgeous The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.  This was delightful – beautifully presented with some wonderful ideas to put into practice to make your like a little more hygge.  I can’t wait for Christmas, as I think it will be easier to be a little more hygge then than at any other time of the year.  I am looking forward to hunkering down with some good books, films, food and (hopefully) no internet for a while.  Bliss.

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Next I dipped into Accused: British Witches Throughout History by Willow Winsham which was fairly interesting.  I did find the style a little disjointed and confusing at times, but a lot of the cases discussed were really absorbing.  I knew very little about any of them, and I was so interested to see such recent cases – going right up to the 1940s.  Well worth a dip into if witches are your thing.

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After that, I fancied a little lighthearted murder!  So I picked up the first in a series, Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver.  I enjoyed this one a lot – it is a lighthearted murder mystery set in the 1930s.  It was very fluffy and there were lots of small descriptions of dresses (which I found slightly annoying after a while) and some fun characters.  I would recommend it for light escapism, and I would certainly read the next in the series if I came across it on my travels.

December might see me reading Christmassy things – including my annual rereads of A Christmas Carol by Dickens and Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I am hoping that I can fit in some more wintery feel good reads too – what they will be, only time will tell!

What have you been reading lately?

Organdie. x

The Year in Books :: October 2016

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Bit of an unintentional break from the blog again – I don’t really have any excuses this time, so I will just say sorry for the gap and leave it at that.

Because of the break, I have a couple of months of reading to let you know about, so here we go;

July saw me read My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell which I absolutely loved.  It was a warm, funny, brilliantly evocative and had a host of wonderful characters.  Definitely one to add to my favourites shelf to revisit again soon.

I also read Foxes Unearthed by Lucy Jones which was a thoroughly enjoyable look at foxes and the human relationship with them.  It started off with Roald Dahl and his Fantastic Mr Fox and moved off through hunting and hunt saboteurs and ended up with the urban fox. I learned a lot and saw foxes through different people’s eyes which was very interesting.  The key thing I came away with from reading this, is that foxes are just being foxes and any problems humans have with them are our own, not the foxes.  Highly recommended reading. I will probably do a separate post on this one soon as it was kindly sent to me by the publishers Elliott and Thompson

Next up was Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham which was a very unusual memoir from one of my favourite TV personalities.  Using the 3rd person in a memoir is not something I have ever come across before and it gave a very different perspective to a moving and revealing memoir.

Lastly I read If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie which I am still processing I think.  There is a lot about the Celtic woman in this one as well as a lot of environmental issues.  I am going to write up my thoughts in a separate blog post for this one I think as it was kindly sent to me by the publisher September Publishing.

What have you been reading over the last few months? I have a lot to catch up on!

Organdie. x

The Year in Books :: June 2016

Well, I am not sure how May seems to have completely slipped by without me noticing – or blogging!  I’m sorry about that – I’ll try and resume normal service soon!

I read some lovely books in May – maybe that’s where all my time meandered off to…

First up was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows.

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I really enjoyed this book -I felt connected to the characters which is something that I usually find difficult in a book written via letters.  This one was just very cosy and definitely one I will keep to reread at some point.  Good for a summer read I would think – it is quite short and sweet.

I then had a little non fiction interlude and read The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson

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I enjoy Bill Bryson’s writing style – kind of funny and very easy to read.  Another fun read for a summer’s day!  I read Notes from a Small Island a couple of years ago and enjoyed that one, so it was interesting to hear some thoughts on Britain 20 years on.

Next up, sticking with the non fiction, I read The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks.

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This was a great read – not something I would normally pick out, but I am very into non fiction nature books at the moment and this one just appealed to me.

Lastly in May I read A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan.

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This was a fun read, but I was expecting more dragons!  This one ended up being more about Lady Trent (obvious really as it is a memoir of Lady Trent!) and less about the dragons as a fantasy beast – more about them as a scientific subject.  Still a good read, just not the one I was expecting!

I am still working my way through Song of Rolling Earth by John Lister-Kaye  – this is not one I can read straight through it would seem, so I am taking it slowly and reading bits and pieces when I fancy it.  Luckily there doesn’t seem to be an overarching storyline to it, rather smaller vignettes of highland life, so it lends itself to reading in sporadic chunks!

Are you reading anything wonderful at the moment?

Organdie. x

PS – As always this project was started by Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees– go and say hi, her blog is gorgeous!  You can find more information about The Year in Books project by visiting the page on her blog here.

 

The Year in Books :: May 2016

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Hello May! How lovely that you seem to have brought some sunshine with you! ‘Bout time too!

Anyway, to the books!

I started off this month by reading The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett which was very amusing and a book that I enjoyed a lot.  I often find that the books I stumble across in second hand (or new) bookshops to be ones that I like a whole lot more than those that have been shouted about everywhere.  Does everyone else find that too?

Anyway, Terry Pratchett is very funny, and exactly what I needed at the time that I read it – something silly and fun to cheer up a slightly miserable April!

I seem to have been on a little reading binge this month without really meaning to as well – I read all three of the Cormoran Strike books by Robert Galbraith (AKA JK Rowling) back to back…

The series starts with The Cuckoo’s Calling, continues with The Silkworm and finishes (so far) with Career of Evil.

I enjoyed the first much more that I thought I would – for some reason I was not overly excited about JK Rowling’s adult fiction – I tried and failed at The Casual Vacancy – so I had slightly low hopes for the crime series.

The first and second books were brilliant – the third not so great, but still very good – and I am really enjoying the characters of Strike and Robin, and I am looking forward to seeing where things go in their lives.  I am not always so fussed in crime novels with the crimes or the conclusions – I much prefer the main characters lives and the relationships between them.

I am currently reading Song of the Rolling Earth by John Lister-Kaye and loving the writing so far – although it jumps around a little bit which I wasn’t expecting.  I am looking forward to carrying on with the adventures in the Scottish Highlands.

I am also about to start Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens as part of Katie from Books and Things’ readalong – there is a goodreads group here if you would like to join in too.  We are reading it in the way it was published originally, so May sees us read the first 4 chapters.  I am looking forward to seeing what it is like to reading something in serial form – I am hoping that I can stick to the schedule without being tempted to rush ahead because the pages are there!

What are you reading at the moment?

Organdie. x

PS – As always this project was started by Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees– go and say hi, her blog is gorgeous!  You can find more information about The Year in Books project by visiting the page on her blog here.

The Year in Books :: April 2016

Where is this year getting to? How is it already APRIL??

Anyway, I always seem surprised by months going by – should be used to it by now I suppose…

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I seem to be on a bit of a reading roll – although it kind of felt like I had slowed down a little in March, this doesn’t seem to have been the case.

In March I read;

The Real Middle Earth by Brian Bates which was extremely interesting, although I have looked at some reviews which question some of the validity of the history in this one.  I might have to look out some more books on the period to try and get a more rounded view.  This one didn’t actually have as much to do with Tolkien as I thought it would, but I found that I didn’t actually mind so much.

Next I tried The Seeker’s Guide to Harry Potter by Geo Trevarthen with slightly less success.  I found some parts of the really interesting, but it did feel over written and overly academic in a lot of places which kind of spoiled my enjoyment of the book, and the flow of the book itself.

Then I turned to something a little different – Mouse Guard Fall 1152 by David Petersen.  This was very cute and the illustrations were wonderful.  There is not a lot of depth to the story in the slightest, but I found I didn’t really mind at all, the illustrations just pulled me in.

Susan Hill’s The Magic Apple Tree was a lovely read – a whole year in the Oxfordshire countryside.  I enjoyed most of this one – I have to admit skipping the food chapters though, as a vegetarian I have limited interest in descriptions of how to cook and eat meat! My copy of this one fell into pieces as I was reading which was a shame – kind of hampered the physical reading!

Last up for the month was Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell, another wonderfully illustrated tale – again not a whole lot of depth, but the illustrations more than made up for it.  I am a huge Chris Riddell fan, I love his Ottoline series too.  Worth checking out if you have kids, or if you just like looking at lovely illustrations.

I have a brand new book club to join next week, so I am reading From a Distance by Raffaella Barker next, which looks like something a little bit different from my latest choices.  I hope that I enjoy it!

What have you been reading lately?

Organdie. x

PS – As always this project was started by Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees– go and say hi, her blog is gorgeous!  You can find more information about The Year in Books project by visiting the page on her blog here.

The Year in Books :: February 2016

Hello February – what have you done with January?!

Apparently I spent quite a lot of time reading in January as I got through 4 books!  Almost unheard of for me lately…

I read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers first of all in January, and loved it so much that I have to go straight back to the beginning and read it again once I had finished.  I also may have had to buy myself a copy of it too – I know I will want to read it again soon (now?!)

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Next up for me was Tiny House Living by Ryan Mitchell, which was quite inspiring really although aimed very much at the American market.  I found quite a lot of the information irrelevant to the UK, but the photographs of tiny spaces and the stories of the people living in them were wonderful.

I still had a little bit of a fiction hang up after The Long Way, so I picked up some more non fiction next –The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell.  This was a very interesting look at the experience of moving to a different country with all the trials that brings.  It also very much explores the idea that the Danes are the happiest nation in the world.  Very interesting stuff – I’d quite like to visit Denmark now too…

Any fiction title trying to follow the brilliant start to my reading year was going to have a hard time, and unfortunately The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde came nowhere close to it!  I kind of enjoyed this one, but I have to say the ‘funny’ names started to grate on me and I wasn’t to sorry to finish this one – no turning round and starting again here!  I won’t be in a hurry to pick up any more Fforde any time soon sadly.

I am currently trying to read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – I may actually put this one down, not because I am not enjoying it but because I have a feeling I am going to enjoy it and I am not 100% sure I am in the right frame of mind for it at the moment.  Anyone else do this?

I am also dipping into Shop Girl by Mary Portas on my mum’s recommendation and also The Art of the Hobbbit by J.R.R Tolkien by Wayne Hammond which I am loving.

What are you reading at the moment?

Organdie. x

PS – As always this project was started by Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees– go and say hi, her blog is gorgeous!  You can find more information about The Year in Books project by visiting the page on her blog here.

The Year in Books :: January 2016

December is always a rereading kind of month for me, and this year was no exception.  I reread A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens as well as Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R Tolkien.

I love these two books an awful lot – so I do look forward to December so I can curl up with them again!

Does anyone else reread a lot in winter, but December in particular?

I also had a little dip into the new illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which I was lucky enough to receive for Christmas, and it is stunning.   I am really enjoying going back and reading a familiar story with unfamiliar elements added!

I am not sure what I will start 2016 off with yet – I am going to let it be a surprise!  Who knows what will grab my attention first.

What have you got lined up for 2016 reading wise?

Organdie. x

PS – As always this project was started by Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees– go and say hi, her blog is gorgeous!  You can find more information about The Year in Books project by visiting the page on her blog here.