Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Year in Books 2014

I am joining in with Laura's "The Year in Books". I have so far stayed clear of link-ups and join-ins because I am a bit of a "committophobe" and some projects seem rather involved. However, a monthly book share is something I can cope with, particularly because I love getting lost in a good story.

I think I always loved reading. I grew up in a little village with an excellent library that was in my school. It was open every day during morning break and three times a week for an hour outside school hours. I visited most days. I usually started reading my book on the way home and once had a nasty accident because I was so immersed in the story that I didn't pay attention to the uneven steps going down a hill. I fell and bashed my head. I can't actually remember any details but I have a vague memory of lots of blood. 

Anyway, I always have a book or two on the go. Sometimes more. I like switching between stories, depending on my mood. I also switch genres and randomly move from non-fiction to crime fiction to historic novel to biography...
The one genre I do not like is romantic novels. They give me a tooth ache.

I am in a book group with some great ladies. We try to meet once a month but sometimes life gets in the way, or school holidays. We are quite adventurous I think and have very different tastes, which makes for a good mix of books and some animated discussions. Some of last year's choices were

  • "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami
  • "Too much happiness" by Alice Munro
  • "Nemesis" by Philip Roth
  • "The stories of John Cheever" by John Cheever
More often than not my books are in audio format. Audio books are a great way to make chores or runs quite pleasant. Since 2008 I have downloaded two books a month at Audible. The one downside with audiobooks is that I have frequent ear infections no matter how much I care for my headphones. I have a pair of chunky ones but these unfortunately cancel all the outside noises out and are not always practical.

My January read is "The plot against America" by Philip Roth 

I borrowed this picture from Amazon UK

This has been sitting in my book pile on the window sill for a while and I look forward to get started.

This year I have already read/listened to:
  • "Free Range Kids: How to raise safe, self-reliant children (without going nuts with worry)" by Lenore Skenazy. This is a good read and deals with many of the often irrational fears parents have and how to put the risks children may encounter into a realistic perspective. I enjoyed it (but I am already a seasoned free range mother)
  • "Walking into the ocean" by David Whellams. This book introduces a semi-retired and properly eccentric Scotland Yard Chief Inspector, Peter Cammon. In this book he is journeying to the Jurassic Coast (Dorset, UK) to solve a seemingly ordinary domestic crime. This book was ok but I am not sure if I am going to pick-up the second book in the series.
  • "Doughnut" by Tom Holt. This story follows Theo Bernstein, an genius quantum physicist who has lost his job, his wife and all this money. Just a word of warning: this is a truly weird book, with multiple parallel universes and lots of doughnuts. Sci fi or fantasy? I am not sure but I liked it for its weirdness.
I am really looking forward to reading about everybody's choices and hope to find some books that I might not otherwise have come across. Cx


  1. Thanks for joining in, Christina! Laura

  2. I have Alice Munro on my teetering pile of books by my bedside.

    Leanne xx

  3. These books all sound very good. I'm glad you're making time for reading. I have been a reader of Lenore Skenazy's for years and I don't always agree with her but I think a lot of what she says makes sense and I try to model my parenting on the free-range style too.

  4. I usually avoid linky up things but have also joined this great idea, thanks to Laura making it sound so easy! Really looking forward to seeing what we are all reading and discovering some new blogs too.
    From another free range mother!
    Z x

  5. Will be interested to hear more about this book. I've yet to read any Philip Roth but maybe this could be the year for it.

  6. I also avoid linking up things too, but this one caught my eye. It's lovely to be able to see what fellow booklovers and readers are up to, gives you ideas for books you may otherwise not see. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  7. This is my first link up but I decided to join as I really want to get my reading mojo back! Alice Munroe is one of my favourite writers and I also like John Cheever's short stories. Looking forward to finding some new authors to try.

  8. Looking forward to see what other books you choose Christina. I'm glad you enjoyed the Peter May books too!