Wednesday, 29 December 2021

My year in books meme - 2021 and catching up

I've done this meme several times in the past and it's always a lot of fun. I saw that Constance had done it again this year, 'here' and that Nan had  also had a go, 'here'. So now it's my turn.


My Year in Books 2021

How do you feel? Bats in the Belfry - E.C.R. Lorac

Describe where you currently live: Off the Map - Alastair Bonnett

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?  The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

Your favorite form of transportation: Sicilian Carousel - Lawrence Durrell

Your best friend is: The Abominable - Dan Simmons

You and your friends are: People Missing in the Woods - Steph Young

What's the weather like? Watery Ways - Val Poore

You fear: Crawling Horror - ed. D. Butcher & J. Leaf

What is the best advice you have to give? (Visit) Gardens of Delight - Erica James

Thought for the day:  Death has Deep Roots - Michael Gilbert
How would I like to die? (Off) The Platform Edge - ed. Mike Ashley (not really... lol)

I'm so far behind with reviews, due to a busy Christmas period, that I'm just going to mention a few books I've been reading since my last review post.

A Country Child by Alison Uttley was a read-along hosted by YouTube book vlogger, Miranda Mills. It was  beautifully written, with wonderful descriptions of the Derbyshire countryside and life as it would've been on a farm in the 1930s. Alison Uttley was a children's writer most famous for her 'Little Grey Rabbit' books for children, this is fiction but based on the author's life from what I can gather. I enjoyed this but it did occasionally drag a bit.

I read about The Little Christmas House by Tracy Rees here in Yvonne at Fiction Books' post. It sounded delightful so I grabbed it to read as one of my 2021 Christmas books. Holly Hanwell is a teacher in a primary school in a small village in Kent. She moved from Leeds, aiming to make a fresh start, after her long-term boyfriend left her. Also just moved to the village are Edward and his young daughter, Eliza. They too have had a basinful of problems. Eliza is in Holly's class at school and Holly takes to the little girl immediately, intrigued by what the history behind her father's move is. The Christmas school play brings the whole story together in a lovely way. I enjoyed this feel-good Christmas read very much. The characters felt real with believable, rather unusual, experiences. My only misgiving is that I wish the two main characters, Holly and Edward, had met properly rather sooner than 44 per cent through the book. Other than that, I loved it. 


Murder on Christmas Eve, edited by Cecily Gayford, is a book of short stories set at Christmas. Authors include Ellis Peters, G.K. Chesterton, Marjorie Bowen, Michael Innes, Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, John Dickson Carr and more. This was a thoroughly excellent anthology! Super, super writing from a number of superb vintage and modern writers. The Trinity Cat by Ellis Peters was particularly good as was The Dagger with Wings by G.K. Chesterton, a Father brown mystery, and Cambric Tea by Marjorie Bowen. But really the whole collection was just superb.

More posts to come as I try to catch up on challenge wrap-ups and best books posts. 


Sam said...

I love that end-of-year meme, Cath. Your answers are clever ones and they helped me smile early in the day for a change. Looks like you've been doing lots of Christmas book reading this month. I think all book bloggers are working on their year end blog clean up right now so that they can start fresh in a few weeks. I've got to sit down soon and do the same.

Anonymous said...

These memes are so much fun!

I didn't know you follow my friend Miranda - she and her mother are real life friends as I knew them in New York.

Thought you would enjoy this link, although it is overwhelming! -


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This looks like fun Cath and, you came up with some clever responses as well. I'd love to try it but am feeling too lazy -- LOL

Nan said...

Very funny answers! Isn't it kind of amzing how the titles work with the questions?!!
Another amazing thing to me is how you can read so much and read other blogs and respond!
Years ago, I read something negative about the Uttley book but I can't quite remember.

Lark said...

I want to go to The Invisible Library with you! And I loved your Bats in the Belfry answer. Always a fun post. :D

Cath said...

Sam: Glad I made you smile. :-) Yes, I seem to have read more Christmas books than usual this year. I always say I'm going to and most times it never happens, this year I made the effort.

The end of year clean-up requires quite a lot of effort. I always plan to start early before Christmas and again that never happens and it's all a mad rush between Christmas and the New year. I never learn.

TracyK said...

You have some really good answers to those prompts for your year in books. Bats in the Belfry is perfect for How do you feel?

I saw on Goodreads that you had read Murder on Christmas Eve, and I will have to look out for that book of short stories. I know that I have read both The Trinity Cat and Cambric Tea in previous years, but I am sure I would enjoy them again.

Cath said...

Constance: I really do enjoy doing these book memes at the end of the year so thanks for rekindling it this year.

I'm actually agog that you know Miranda personally! A Twitter friend recommended her vlogs a month or so ago and since then I've watched quite a lot of them. I particularly like the ones with her mum, Donna. They cover some interesting books.

I'll check your link out in a moment.

Cath said...

Diane: Well, even though Christmas is over there's still a lot to do and the meme does require a little time and concentration... both in short supply at the moment. LOL

Cath said...

Nan: Yes, I'm constantly surprised how at well you can make some answers fit the questions. You'd think most of them would have no suitable answer but not so. I think I only really struggled with a couple.

I do sometimes find it hard to keep up with all the posts from my blogging friends and I know I miss a few.

Oddly enough, I thought of you as I read the Uttley book. It seemed to me it might be your kind of thing. It was a bit slow at times but the Christmas section was delightful.

Cath said...

Lark: Yeah, a trip to the Invisible Library would be out of this world, eh? I must read some more in that series.

Glad you enjoyed my answers. :-)

Cath said...

Tracy: After a busy Christmas, 'Bats in the Belfry' is pretty appropriate. Christmas was fun but it's nice to have some quiet time now.

I was so impressed with Murder on Christmas Eve. And I think there are several others that make up a series so I will try to get hold of those for next year.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

I have taken part in this particular meme, although the last time was many years ago now, and I can remember it being good fun. Your answers were certainly, entertaining (I'm keen to visit 'The Garden Of Delights'), interesting (I would definitely like to meet your friend 'The Abominable'), and intriguing (I could think of much nicer ways to go than (off 'The Platform Edge') :)

'Murder On Christmas Eve' is definitely on my 'wish list' for next year, or sooner if I can get to it, I'm not too precious about 'seasonal reading'.

'The Little Christmas House' was a lovely Christmas read and thank you so much for the shout out, I really appreciate it!

I hope that your Christmas was peaceful and wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! Let's hope it is a better one for all of us, we deserve it :)

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

I like your answers - and I've followed your example and done my year in books too. It's always difficult finding time until after Christmas to catch up! You do it very well.

Cath said...

Yvonne: Yes, I rather like the sound of The Gardens of Delight... particularly as they happen to be in Italy! Glad I raised a smile with my answers. :-)

Murder on Christmas Eve was excellent and I plan to look at more in that series of three or maybe four.

I did enjoy The Little Christmas House and plan to look at more books by Tracy Rees. Several of them appeal and she writes very well.

Yes thanks, our Christmas was very nice, a little busy, so we're quite enjoying the quiet now. Happy New Year to you too, Yvonne.

Cath said...

Margaret: Thank you. I always say I'm going to get ahead of the game and do my end of year posts before Christmas, as a draft, ready to post before the new year starts. Needless to say I never do that thing.