A strange thing has happened over the last year. My brain has shifted and once again made space for things. I feel as though my baby brain has lasted for eight years and as my littlest shifted from baby to toddler I suddenly found that I have the urge to read and watch films that are more than fluff, to immerse myself in challenging listening, reading and watching and to learn new skills or pick up old ones. That is perhaps a blog post in itself, a theme of which I am sure I will return.
For now I wanted to start recording what I am actually reading, partly because I found myself not being able to remember a book I read last year and had LOVED. Some of my favourite bloggers already write about what they are reading. Try Laura, Sarah and Hayley for some great reading ideas. I also thought that because I just don’t have time to re-read the stuff I love, but want to tell you about them, I am going to choose ‘One from the shelf’ as well as my current reads.
My first book in January was Marian Keyes The Mystery of Mercy Close. I haven’t read Marian Keyes for years, so have lots of catching up to do. She is so funny and gets the detail of life perfectly captured. Just for the record I hate the term ‘Chick Lit’ and just won’t be using it here. It suggests a book is somehow less than that written for men. If a book has romance, humour and is about human relationships, it doesn’t mean it is any less well written, just because there may be some pink on the cover. This book is a perfect example of this. It was much darker than I expected, covering depression and suicide, but in no way was it a difficult read. It stayed with me after I’d finished it. Gallows humour at it’s best
My second book in January and I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to have finished two books in one month, was Rainbow Rowell Attachments. I first read Rainbow Rowell last year with Fangirl, which by the way was the book I loved, so when I saw this in the library I snatched it up. It took me a while to settle into this book, much of it is written as a series of emails, but as I got through the book it really started to get under my skin. Lots of things resonated with me and I loved that, for me, the main character was Lincoln, a man and I loved following his journey. Utterly romantic in a Brief Encounter/Sleepless in Seattle way. By the end I couldn’t put it down.
‘One from the shelf’ this month is Persausion by Jane Austen. I am a complete Austen fan and find her books totally re-readable. This one is perhaps less well known and has sneaked up on me as a bit of a favourite. Anne Elliot is my favourite Austen heroine, being less full of her than Elizabeth Bennett or Emma Wodehouse. I would always urge anyone who hasn’t read Austen to give her a try. Her books are so readable and the humour in them is lovely.
Incidentally, I thought I’d include other culture recommendations in this post and my latest find on Netflix is another Austen classic Amongst all the new ‘must see’ binge watch box sets, you will find the BBC adaption of Emma, another Jane Austen classic. This one has Jonny Lee Miller as the hero and it was all the press around T2 Trainspotting that made me remember it. It is the perfect thing for a February evening when you have a nasty cold, as I have had this week.
Do you have any book recommendations for me? At two a month, I’m going to need a ‘to read’ list. What’s been staying with you recently?