Tuesday 31 January 2017

Books read In January

I feel like I've spent the entire month hibernating in front of a the fire... reading. After an autumn where I just didn't feel like reading very much I've more than made up for it by reading eight books through January. For some that may not be all that many, but for me that's a *lot*. Of course, it wasn't supposed to be this way. My husband was due to have knee surgery at the beginning of the month but because his long term blood sugar was too high it was postponed while he works on getting it down. No idea when it will now happen but my guess is, not until well into Spring. Several very nice book blogging friends emailed to ask how he was and I thank them for that.

Anyhoo, books. This is what I read in January:

1. The Willows - Algernon Blackwood. A weird story which I read about in The Fellowship of Ghosts by Paul Watkins. I found the novella on the net and downloaded it to my Kindle. I enjoyed the sense of place, ie. an area on the River Danube, and the idea that a place can be so close to another dimension or world that the border is very thin and things might cross over. But I also found it rather too rambling and overly descriptive. My mind kept wandering to be honest.

2. Jacquot and the Master - Martin O'Brien

3. Blood Will Tell - Dana Stabenow

4. Kick: The True Story of JFK's Forgotten Sister - Paula Byrne

5. The Haunted Library - edited by Tanya Kirk

6. Maigret in New York - Georges Simenon

7. The Lewis Man - Peter May

8. Bill Oddie Unplucked - Bill Oddie. A household name in the UK, Bill Oddie was a TV presenter of wildlife programmes until a few years ago when ill health intervened. The book contains fifty of his essays, magazine articles and blog entries. They're mainly connected with his love of birds, recounting trips to farflung places to film for the TV, personal birding trips, describing his wildlife friendly garden and so on. All are entertaining as well as funny but also often make a serious point concerning the subject in hand. I enjoyed this very much. Bill always makes me think, sometimes making me form an opinion on things I've never given much thought to. I like his forthrightness even when his opinion may not be a popular one. A great pity he's not on TV very much now. This is my book 4 for Bev's Mount TBR 2017.

So, an excellent reading month and a varied one as well. Six fiction books, two non-fiction, all good reads. I'm still majoring on crime stories it seems, four of those read this month, plus two ghost stories. Of the two non-fiction one was biographical the other essays. I think that's a pretty varied crop of books and I'm quite happy with that.

Quite hard to pick a favourite as I really did enjoy the crime yarns, particularly The Lewis Man and Jacquot and the Master, but really my favourite book for January was this:

Kick: The True Story of JFK's Forgotten Sister by Paula Byrne. This was just so readable and interesting... loved it to bits.



Kay said...

You did have a good month. Thanks for updating us on your husband's surgery. I had wondered how things were going. I'm reading a lot too and totally enjoying it. I love when I'm in this mode.

DesLily said...

gads Cath!! did you sleep or eat in January? ! lol... I only read 4. My one week of company kept me from reading but MAYBE I would have had one more.. or not. lol Still really glad you read the Lewis Man!

Nan said...

And I read six! It would have been seven but I read almost all of a book by Elizabeth Goudge and realized I couldn't stand anymore and quit! Mine were four mysteries and two nonfictions.I have Blackhouse by May on my 'Scottish' shelf, and hope to read it this year. I hope everyone clicks over to your Kick review. It was excellent!

Val said...

That is an impressive list!
I think I read a little about Kick in "Wait for Me" (and I rather suspect you introduced me to that book a while back ? lol) So I shall have to add Kick to my library list as you make it sound a very good read.
Best wishes for your families health... it's nice to get medical bothers sorted isn't it.. they are never fun to look forward too, still as my Great Aunty Sal Atkin used to say "What can't be cured must be endured" a suitably Victorian statement from a Victorian Lady..hopefully though there isn't much enduring and it's soon all fixed!

BooksPlease said...

Glad you're back to feeling like reading again - sorry for the surgery delay though and hope it gets sorted soon.

I don't think I've read any of Bill Oddie's books - I used to like him in the Goodies and his wildlife programmes. I've reserved Kick at the library and hope it won't take too long to come. I'm still waiting for Ed Ball's book from months back- it's obviously a popular book.

Cath said...

Kay: No problem and thankyou for your interest.

It's so nice being in reading mode, I really hated not wanting to read in the autumn.

Pat: LOL! Er... my waistline definitely confirms that I ate in Jan. You know, four is a decent number. I'd have been happy with that number last autumn. I'm glad to have read The Lewis Man too... so, so good.

Nan: Hmm.. I read one book by Elizabeth Goudge years ago. Green Dolphin 'something or other'? It was excellent in parts, the New Zealand bits, but very boring in others. I struggled to finish it if I remember correctly. I hope you do get to The Blackhouse this year, it has a wonderful sense of place. Thank you for your kind words about my review of Kick... when I like a book that much I find it easier to write about.

Val: Thankyou. Yes, that was where I first came across Kick... in Wait For Me! The book is a little gem so I hope your library has it.

Yes, we wanted my husband's other knee done to be honest and were dismayed at the delay. We're hoping it'll happen in the Spring and in the meantime 'strictly no cake'!

Thanks, Margaret. Bill Oddie's main thing is birding books, naturally, and he writes about them and his adventures in a very engaging manner. I was lucky to pick up his latest book very cheaply in The Works. I probably shouldn't encourage you to find that shop near you as it sells all kinds of books very cheaply and also... jigsaws.

Hope you get Kick and the Ed Balls book eventually. Both are excellent.

Kailana said...

Looks like a great month! It seems hard to believe it is February all ready!

Cath said...

Kelly: I know... it's scary where the time goes. Before you know it it'll be Christmas again. LOL!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

You definitely inspired me to re-visit my Dana Stabenow book and try once again to get into the series. As it isn't like me to quit on a book, I must have been going through a bad patch!

Peter May and George Simenon are always on my list, it goes without saying.

You have however, inspired me to want to try a Martin O'Brien book and discover more about the character of Jacquot.

I hope that your husband manages to get his knee operation out of the way soon, so that he is recovered enough for both of you to enjoy the summer out and about.

Take Care :)


Cath said...

Hi Yvonne, I'm quite enthusiastic about the Jacquot books by Martin O'Brien. They're so well written with a lovely sense of the south of France. Val, who commented further up, tried them and has become a big fan, so it isn't just me.

Thanks for your kind wishes about the knee operation. We sort of feel as though we're in limbo at the moment but we'll get there I'm sure.

Have a good week. :-)

Penny O'Neill said...

Here's hoping your husband's sugar levels will go down and he can get the knee surgery. Best wishes.
You had a much better month than I did, Cath. Good for you. I'm anxious to read Kick. The Kennedy's are always fascinating to me, but, I hadn't realized the Devonshire connection until I read Wait for Me.

Cath said...

Penny: Thanks for your good wishes.

I didn't know anything about the Devonshire connection with the Kennedys until I read Wait For Me! too. I was surprised to hear that the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire even went to President Kennedy's inauguration. That's how strong the family tie was.