2018… A Fine Vintage

As 2017 draws to a close I am pleased to say goodbye. It’s not been a bad year, but it could have been better. I could have made it better.

New Years resolutions are not really my bag, but with 2018 waiting in the wings I am going to challenge myself.

In 2018 I shall endeavour to:

Laugh often.

Be kind and generous in thought, word and deed.

That’s it. Simple – like me!

2018 has its wheels down and is on its final approach, let’s all find our own way to make it a very special vintage…

Cheers and Happy New Year!

2017 My Year in Books

So many books, so little time will always ring true for me. My Magpie tenancies are definitely of the bookish variety. I am reading more books now than ever before and it’s wonderful! I undertook the GoodReads reading challenge and am doing a rather smug happy dance as I have completed it. This year, I have read 40, yes that’s 40 books! Pop on over  to Good Reads to see my complete list.

I’m reminded of that wonderful poem by Eleanor Farjeon, but rather than sleeping anywhere like the cats in the poem, I’m have done the equivalent with reading! Whether an inflight magazine, a thrilling novel, or just simply a set of instructions for a new mop (don’t ask…). Each has got me thinking in different ways – yes, even the mop instructions!

Reading so much does have a downside… I have fallen victim to the good, the bad, and the downright ugly! Luckily, for me, 2017 has been more about ‘the good’ than anything else. It is these books that I wish to highlight as we turn the last few pages of 2017. So, if you’re looking for a good read look no further. My taste is eclectic and broad, each one of my mentions has something different to offer, hopefully you will find something to spark your interest. My goal for 2018 is to challenge myself further, not only with the amount I read, but also the genres I choose. It will be an exciting year as I peer into those far flung, least visited corners of the library….

I have very thoughtfully listed my top reads for 2017 below …. with buy links…..my gift to you 🙂 You can thank me later:

Robert Bryndza – Cold Blood

Lynne Fellows – Magic O’Clock

Celeste Ng – Everything I Never Told You

Ruth Hogan – The Keeper of Lost Things

Iris Chacon – Finding Miranda

J.F.Kirwan – 66 Metres

Rachel Caine – Stillhouse Lake

Viveca Sten – Still Waters

So, I’ve shown you mine, now it’s your turn. What books have you enjoyed reading this year?

Here’s to 2018 being a year filled with health and happiness, and plenty of good reads.

I have written this post on my phone whilst travelling, so apologies if the formatting is a bit ‘special’.

Christmas 2017 – I’ll Keep it Short and Scary!

Short story anthologies and collections make super pressies and won’t break the bank. There is something wonderful about telling stories at Christmas time, especially scary ones. There is nothing better than sitting around an open fire telling a spine tingling tale.

Traditionally told on Christmas eve, the telling of a scary tale goes back a lot further than you may think. As the bard himself so eloquently wrote in A Winters Tale ~

A sad tale’s best for winter: I have one of sprites and goblins.

Here in the U.K the tradition of telling a scary tale on Christmas Eve is alive and kicking. If you’ve not tried it do! A glass of wine, a roaring fire and a fruity mince pie all pinned together with a scary book will set you up nicely for the big day. Stuck for ideas? Here are a couple of suggestions to get you in the mood….

Charles Dickens ~ Complete Ghost Stories. Twenty short tantalisingly good tales including the novella length ‘A Christmas Carol’ and my own favourite ‘The Signalman’.

Classic Ghost Stories: Spooky Tales to Read at Christmas – Does what it says on the tin, a classic collection featuring Dickens, HG Wells et al.. a real classic

All available from Amazon