Time for Music Monday, a wonderful meme created by Drew over at the Tattooed Book Geek!
Last week I went for nostalgia – this week I am going for brand new music!
The Modern Strangers released the video for Red Strip Lights and I had a insta-love affair with this song. I don’t know what it is, but I am so enjoying this indie dance vibe at the moment. This just hits all the right buttons with a passion.
It’s criminal that these guys are not better known – I have loved all their stuff. Honestly, people, check these guys out!
I did not manage to do my WWW Wednesday this week, so I will do one of these updates instead.
I finished The Light in the Dark (Horatio Clare) and Christmas at Conwenna Cove (Darcie Boleyn) in the last day or two. I enjoyed both for different reasons. I loved the subject matter of The Light in the Dark, which is a non-fiction journal about the darker seasons of the year. I could relate to a lot of it. Christmas at Conwenna Cove was a sweet Christmas chick lit book that warmed my heart. I will try and read more books by both authors in the future.
I am making steady progress through Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. . I started it in October, got 200 pages in and put it aside as I as not in the mood for it. I have now just passed the 400 pages mark, so I am over halfway. I am enjoying the story, but I am still finding it slow going. I am not sure why that is, but I seem to only manage a chapter or two a day, which means I am taking forever. At least I am making progress and I do like it! It is just one of those classics that takes a lot of reading for me.
I have just started The Muse by Jessie Burton. I hauled this book in December last year and a number generator chose it for me to read this year. I am only about 60 pages in, but so far, so good. It reads away pretty easily.
The weather is horrid outside. The ponies’ paddock has turned into a quagmire, but I have still turned them out. Better to be out in the mud than inside in a confined space is my take. My mare Frey (she is called Freda, but I find I call her Frey most of the time) gets a bit irritable when she is locked up in her stable for too long.
I am going away overnight for a gig with a couple of friends tomorrow. It will be a girly weekend, so I am looking forward to that. I haven’t had one of those for ages!
Apart from that nothing unusual is going on my life. November was pretty quiet and now we are building slowly up to Christmas. Me and my daughter decorated our tree yesterday and it looks slightly less like a unicorn threw up on it than last year -> bonus! This time she did not want to put every bauble we owned in it, so that helped. I love Christmas, the sense of coziness and togetherness. For the first time since we moved to The Netherlands we are not going back to England for Christmas, but are spending it in our house. I kind of like the fact we are not travelling this year.
What are you up to?
Let’s look at the books I bought in December 2017 and how many I have read a year on. I will choose one of the unread books to read this December.
Number of books hauled: 17
That’s not too bad. I definitely have had crazy months in the past year, so this one is pretty tame… 12 of these were new, 5 secondhand.
Number of books read: 5
Ok, so I almost read a third. That’s not great, but not too embarrassing either. So the books I have read are:
All five of these books I bought new.
Books unread: 12
I noticed there are a few Dutch language books in this haul. I don’t think I read a single Dutch book this year, which is shocking! I do want to change that in 2019.
The Dutch language books are:
- De Lessen van Mevrouw Lohmark (Judith Schalansky) – translated from German, I admit I mainly bought this book because it has a manatee on the cover!
- Magenta (Geert Jan Jansen) – this is a non-fiction book about forging paintings that sounds really interesting!
Although both of these interest me, I am not in the mood for either at the moment.
So let’s look at the English books:
The Bee Book is more of a browse book rather than a proper reading book. I am not in the mood for nature non-fiction, so that rules out Meadowland and A Sweet Wild Note, which I feel are better suited for springtime. Not in the mood for Virginia Woolf or C S Lewis.
I think my choice is going to be between 1. For One More Day, 2. Heartstone, 3. The Muse, 4. A Monster Calls and 5. The Grass Widow’s Tale…. Not sure which one to pick so I decided to use a random number generator for those.
The number was:
So I will be reading The Muse this December.
Title: Christmas at Conwenna Cove
Author: Darcie Boleyn
Genre: Fiction / Chick Lit Pages: 240
First published: 2017
Edition: Kindle e-Book
A heartwarming, romantic and Christmassy novel set in the gorgeous Cornish village of Conwenna Cove.
I am a sucker for a sweet romance story this time of year. It took me a little while to get into the author’s writing style. I felt it was quite corny at first, but after a while I actually really enjoyed it.
This was a sweet story about two people coping with loved ones’ deaths coming together. I thought Grace was a lovely character, though something about Oli did not quite make him come alive on the page for me. I tried to figure out why, but he just did not seem to have a lot of personality. However, I thought Oli’s children and Grace’s relationship to her parents’ added a nice touch.
This is a lovely gentle romance story with great family relationships. If you are looking for some chick lit to curl up with on a cold windy day, this is a pretty good one.
5 out of 7 stars
Title: The Light in the Dark (A Winter Journal)
Author: Horatio Clare
Genre: Non-Fiction / Memoir / Diary Pages: 200
First published: 2018
Edition: Hardback, published by Elliott & Thompson Ltd
This is one of those books that I saw people talking about that I immediately wanted to read. I already knew I was going to love it and I did.
The author talks us through the autumn/winter season from October to March and tells the reader about the world around and within him as the seasons change into that bleakness called winter. As someone with moderate S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), I could relate to much of what he touched on.
I found the journal style writing to be easy and enjoyable with beautiful descriptions without going over the top. I found this book itself was like a warm cozy blanket eventhough it touches on depression. It does so in a very human way and I loved it for that.
I will definitely seek out more books by this author and would highly recommend this Winter Journal as we go into those shortest darkest days.
6 out of 7 stars
Title: The Christmas Forest
Author: Rebecca Boxall
Genre: Fiction / Chick Lit Pages: 165
First published: 20 November 2018 by Amazon Publishing UK
Edition: E-Arc courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher
Since the tragic loss of her parents, Enid has lived alone in a coastal cottage in Jersey. But this year someone new has come into her life: Fred, who truly gets her, and who knows how to make her happy. The only problem is that Enid has Asperger’s and doesn’t like to leave her comfort zone—and Fred lives in Australia.
How better to start December than with a short light Christmas read? I really enjoyed this one.
I liked the fact that it centered around a main character who has Asperger’s. Enid was likeable and relatable and though her emotions and actions were not always rational, I could always understand where she was coming from.
Sure, pretty much all of this novella (apart from one event, which shook things up a bit) was pretty predictable, but I had fun with this one nonetheless. If you are looking for a seasonal read to pick up and read over Christmas, you could do worse than picking up this cozy little gem.
5 out of 7 stars
I am not really setting myself much of a TBR this December, apart from a couple of Christmas reads and two NetGalley e-ARCs, one of which is a short Christmas read.
So, I have already started the said Christmassy e-ARC, which is The Christmas Forest by Rebecca Boxall. It sounds like an interesting Christmas romance with main character with Asperger’s, which I have never read before. I am about 20 pages in and I am enjoying it so far.
The two other Christmas books are both the usual chick lit kind of fare, but I am actually quite in the mood for that! I would like to read are A Winter Flame (Milly Johnson) and Christmas at Conwenna Cove (Darcie Boleyn).
The other e-ARC is Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard, which is a thriller. That should break-up my light-hearted Christmas reads pretty nicely!
I would like to finish Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell by the end of the year. I am about 300 pages in of 770, so quite a ways to go.
I am planning to read one unread book from my December book haul from last year. I will decide which one later in the week.
Apart from that, I would like to read books from my Winter Project. Both A Winter Flame and Christmas at Conwenna Cove are on there.
Hopefully it should be a fairly relaxed month reading-wise. I would love to hear what you are planning to read this December, so please comment or link your TBR, so I can have a nose! 🙂