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Am Reading: New Books on the Bookshelf

6 Jan

_DSC0019And a Happy New Year to you.

This year, I’ve decided, is going to be about books, writing, dog walks and a few other animals. Plus cake. (Mind you, every year is about cake.)

And the year has started well. Thanks to the Big Man in the Red Suit I’ve been fortunate to enough to receive a nice pile of books this Christmas.

Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton – a food memoir, A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott, My Life in France by Julia Child, The Nation’s Favourite Poems by various poetsThe Miniaturist by Jessie Burton with a gorgeous hardback cover and The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, a special signed limited edition

I am also currently reading Iona Grey’s Letters to the Lost which I was lucky enough to receive as a proof copy. And I have to say, I am enjoying it very much indeed.

My Month in Pictures: December 2014

31 Dec

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It has been a lovely December. Yes, very busy and exhausting, but I love all the christmas food preparation; the cooking, the baking, the decorating. The children and I made some gorgeous, smelling-of-christmas gingerbread shapes to go onto the christmas tree. Ok, they never made it as far as the tree but it was a fun afternoon.

The weather has changed from the almost mild December to a freeze-your-face-off temperature. Gorgeous and picturesque – it makes for lovely dog walks. The chickens, however, don’t enjoy it as much as myself and DogFace, so we’ve been giving them extra care to ensure their water isn’t frozen and they have shelter and protection from the cold with straw.

Despite the increase in baking I’ve still managed to read a few books. I loved Katie Fforde’s collection of short stories, A Christmas Feast. It was relaxing to dip into when I retired, exhausted, to bed at night. And Tammy Cohen’s Dying for Christmas was a real treat. I couldn’t read it every day for a while. I felt a bit stressed with the story (not helped by the pre-Christmas stress in real life!). But then, gradually, I was hooked in and as the plot developed and twisted I couldn’t put it down. Brilliant.

Am Reading: Four Favourites Read Recently

4 Dec

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Thanks to my job on Novelicious I come across some fantastic book recommendations. The only problem I have, however, is finding the time to read them all. I have piles of them.

On my kindle (which used to be my son’s but I pinched it off him) I’ve also got quite a few books. And quite a few samples too which I need to read before purchasing the entire book. (I love samples.) I used to be a real sceptic of the electronic book, and I’m actually quite a latecomer to the party, but now I enjoy reading books that way, particularly when travelling. And some books are only available that way, or come out first that way, with a hardcopy being published up to a year later. I do adore the physical copy though. I don’t think that’ll ever change.

The four books above are four books I thoroughly enjoyed this year. Lucy Diamond’s was a paperback but the rest were all read on the kindle.

One Night in Italy by Lucy Diamond – Three women come together during an Italian evening class. Possibly my favourite Lucy Diamond novel yet.

What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy – obviously about cake, this is a witty and rather fabulous story of Marie, who decides to follow Mary Berry’s recipes to the letter and in doing so learns more than just baking.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – Eleanor the new girl at school and Park, according to Eleanor, is impossibly cool. A story of first love.

The Story of You by Katy Regan – a beautiful story of how one summer as a teenager defined the woman Robyn is today.