Tag Archives: Christmas novels

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.

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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.

Gorgeous Christmas Novels

24 Nov

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Our house is completely upside down at the moment as we renovate the kitchen, so I’m taking refuge in other worlds, and the fire, to escape the chaos around me.

Last Christmas I intended to read lots of Christmas novels, but I never actually got around to it. The only one I did manage, and thoroughly enjoyed, was Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, you know, the one with that awful Simeon Lee.  

This year, I’ve started earlier. So far, on the kindle, I’ve read Ivy Lane: Winter: Part 4 by Cathy Bramley. Not strictly a Christmas novel as it’s the fourth and final part in the series of mini books around life at Ivy Lane allotments. But it still involves Christmas. I will come back to Cathy’s gorgeous series another time because I adored it and it deserves a whole blog post of its own devoted to it. Needless to say if you fancy checking it out start with Ivy Lane: Spring: Part 1.

After delighting in Rachael Lucas’s debut novel, Sealed with a Kiss, I was excited to read the novella, Sealed with a Christmas Kiss. It was lovely to return back to the Scottish Island of Auchenmor. Far better than dealing with the dust and mess of reality.

Then we have the books pictured above. Carole Matthews always delivers a cracking Christmas novel. The Christmas Party is set over the few days before and on Christmas Day. Tension, emotions running high, love affairs, adultery. It’s got it all.

Then we have The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown. Oh, I adored this book. The story, the characters and the setting. Enhanced beautifully by the map in the front which reminded me of the one in Milly-Molly-Mandy. This was perfect for snuggling down with a glass of white and a roaring fire. I simply adored it and cannot recommend it enough, during this wonderful, yet rather hectic season. Treat yourself. It is a brilliant stress-reliever.

Dying for Christmas, Christmas in the Snow and The Adventures of the Christmas Pudding are next on the to-be-read list. Cannot wait to dive in.

Reading books is what woodburners were made for.