The Year in Books : January 2015

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A new year, a new slew of books!

Having had a most difficult December, it took me ages to read what should have taken a few days at most.  We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler was a read that kept me interested despite the happenings.  And talk about increasing one’s vocabulary!  Thank goodness I was reading it on my iPad so that, at a touch of the screen, I could get the definition of some of them.  Stupid iPad, if the word was followed by a ~ stuck to it, I could not adjust, therefore, get no definition.  Drove me nuts and may just drive me towards a real Kindle…

I cannot properly describe this book without giving away very important information but let us just say that there is a sad story behind the, what seems at first, frivolous, beginning.  The phrase that struck me most was, when asked about her day, Rosemary is told to “start in the middle”.  She tells the story by starting from the middle, then goes to the end of the beginning, then the beginning of the end until we get all the pieces to the full story.   Thank you for suggesting it, Safia!  You were right, I truly did enjoy it!

My second read was supposed to be the Martha Beck one: Finding Your Way in a Wild New World and I will continue picking it up and reading a chapter here and there when the mood strikes.  It didn’t last month.

So, without further ado, this month’s choice was suggested to me by my niece, Jennifer, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  The circus arrives one day without any advance notice, opens only for one night after sundown and disappears the next day.  It is called “Le Cirque des Rêves”  (Circus of Dreams) and is a unique experience.  So looking forward to getting more into it!  So far, so good!



The Year In Books: December

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Wow… last month of the year already!  I would have liked to be able to say I read more books that I had planned this year but alas, time is just not on my side.  Or, rather, reading time was not given the respect it deserved!

I did, however, manage to read one book this month!  The late, lovely Maeve Binchy’s last novel:  A Week in Winter was, as expected, a joy to read.  I shall so miss Maeve (though I haven’t read everything she’s written yet so I still have some to look forward to!) and cannot believe she is no longer around to entertain us with the lives of people in and around her beloved Ireland.

I tried to take my time, to savour each moment, each chapter but as always happens, she draws you in to a world where you just feel like you could be one with the characters!  At the end I was sorry to not hear about the rest of the lives of Chicky, Orla, Rigger, Winnie, John, The Walls, Henry & Nicola, Anders, Freda and even the grumpy, old Miss Nell Howe!  Each of these people either worked in creating the inn known as Stone House, in the town of Stoneybridge, on the West side of Ireland; or were guests of the very first week it opened.

I so wish I had a room there for a week!  So, so, so enjoyable.

Now, what to choose for this month?  I mean, I’m still caught up in the goings on of Stoneybridge!  Oh well… one must, eventually, let go and move on to something else.

That something else is actually going to be two books.  One recommended by my new friend Safia Moore, (a lovely blogger I follow, originally from Northern Ireland, now living in the UAE) “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler.  Other than what the front cover says, I am completely in the dark about this one!  I like that.  I am basing my choice solely on another’s recommendation.  Will keep you posted!

My second choice is “Finding your Way In a Wild New World” by Martha Beck.  I have this habit of buying all sorts of self-empowerment books that just sit on shelves, collecting dust because “I’ll get to them eventually”.  Well, eventually has arrived.  I have decided to include one of these inspirational books per month as well as a novel.  I have many of them and must justify the expense! I remember going to a seminar once and the animator said that he insisted on reading not only novels and not only books on personal growth or other “teaching-type” books but at least one of each (usually at the same time!) per month.  Hmmm.  So I’m trying that.  I don’t usually have two books going at the same time… well not often anyway.

Are you a “serial” reader or do you have an “open” relationship with books?