Planning my reading year in review
I’m starting to think about my end of year posts – they’re going to be fun this year! I think I’ve excelled myself in the amount that I’ve read (135 books and nearly 40000 pages at the last count), and no DNFs either, which I hope, says something about the quality of most of what I’ve read. I’ve chosen my book of the year – but I won’t let on until after Christmas when I’ll survey the highs and lows of my reading year.
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State of the TBR
I’ve written a slightly confessional post about the state of my TBR piles for The TBR Dare. Click here to visit it – and it’s not too late to join in the fun of rediscovering your TBR for the first three months of 2017.
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Staff Book Group
One thing that delighted me at school this term is that we’ve managed to get a Staff Book Group off the ground. I could only get our teachers to commit to one book a term for starters and the plan is to have our meetings near the start of each term so staff have the holiday before to read the book. I’ll report back on whether it works!
Meanwhile, I selected a short list of books to put to the vote for our first choice – only one of which I’d previously read (Station Eleven, I’ve since read Dark Matter). They were:
- The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerny – Winner of the Bailey’s prize 2016. Contemporary drama of criminal family life in Cork, Ireland. Uncompromising, but very funny. Razor-sharp dialogue.
- Longbourn by Jo Baker – A fresh take on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice – the below-stairs version seen from the servants’ PoV.
- Dark Matter by Michelle Paver – 1937 – Arctic – Ghosts – a modern classic in the making! This was Paver’s first adult novel after children’s Spirit Walker etc.series
- The Long Room by Francesca Kay – 1981 – young Oxford man is recruited to be a listener for the Intelligence Services and becomes besotted with the voice of the wife of one of their surveillance subjects. Not your usual spy novel.
- Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel – post-pandemic flu survival in Canada with pre and after timelines – but with a more optimistic outlook than many such novels.
- Sweet Caress by William Boyd – his latest is the fictional memoir of a Amory Clay, a woman who becomes a WWII war photographer. 20thC sweep.
The winner was Lisa McInerny, although the Francesca Kay novel was hard on the heels of The Glorious Heresies. I’ll report back next month!
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Yes, I used Led Zeppelin at the top of this post. Ramble on is a song with a literary bent (as well as having some lovely harmonies). Below, the lyrics for verse 3:
Mine’s a tale that can’t be told, my freedom I hold dear
How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air
T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair
But Gollum, and the evil one
Crept up and slipped away with her, her, her, yeah