Fickle February and a Few Good Reads

February will see my loyalties scattered to the four winds, hence the title. I shall be reading, writing, party planning, dog walking, pregnancy managing (the dog, not me), working the day job, traveling, encouraging (the kids – exams… nuff said), and possibly making a few cakes! Sadly I have planned no holidays in February, I must be slipping! As you can see I will be busy!

Today has already been productive. And it’s not even 10 am. I have been to the beach and it was glorious. Yes, past tense. We had to make a run for it as the rain decided to make a guest appearance. I now sit, Cappuccino in hand secured behind the wheel of my car with a lovely view of sea mist. Was it worth the extra early start? In short, yes… if the dog’s happy then I’m happy, my house is simple like that! She is wet from surfing the waves and the car is filled with the smell of fragrant coffee and  ‘eau de woof’.

January came and went. We had buckets of rain, a plethora of mud and enough wind to take the wood from the trees – branches mainly, which are now nicely drying in my shed – kindling anyone?

On the plus side, I didn’t need to water the garden, I now have my very own mud bath (the envy of hippos everywhere), and enough wood to start as many fires as is practical. Continue reading “Fickle February and a Few Good Reads”

My Reading Challenge 2018

So 2018 – how’s it going?

For me, this year will be about reading more and writing more, oh, and parties, I have a few of those to organise too!

Today I’m going to focus on the ‘reading more’ aspect of my year ahead. Whilst I have committed to read 60 books I didn’t want to leave it there. I wanted to be a little more adventerous and give myself a few parameters. Hopefully I’ll be able to find new unexplored (by me) bookish delights. If you’re a list person then please feel free to jump onboard and join in.

I shall endeavour to keep you posted. My task is simple – to read books that fall into the categories below. To help keep me on track I’ve designed a nifty bar chart – who doesn’t love a bar chart! I shall feel like a right clever clogs if I manage to adhere to my bookish plan into February never mind December!

Here’s my list:

Read a book that is /was……

1. Written by a Devon-based author (excluding myself obvs)

2. Historical

3. A comedy

4. Contains a month of the year in its title

5. A classic children’s book not yet read by me

6. Published in the year of my birth ( not quite a classic yet… hehe)

7. A fantasy novel

8. Written by a new author

9. Set in Africa

10. About mental health

11. Set in India

12. Contains a song lyric in its title

Whoa! That is a whole heap of mischief right there, I reckon I’m going to be hitting the bookshop and the library this weekend to see what I can find.

As you can see my bar graph looks a bit sorry for itself right now and a bit blurry, no I’ve not been on the wine – January is a dry month for me! Hopefully, over the next few weeks, I shall be adding a multitude of colourful lines and colourful reads to my chart. I’m hoping to average 5 books a month. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions of neat reads, which fit into the categories above I’d love to hear them. Please pop a comment in the comment box below.

NIC’S 2018 READING ADVENTURE

 

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’.