January in Review

This is my first ‘Month in Review’ post – I thought it would be a good idea to keep an eye on how far I am keeping to my Bookish Resolutions to keep myself on-target (basic aim: fewer review copies, more classics club, smaller To Be Read List.  January is never a fun month – it’s grim, grey and there isn’t even Christmas to look forward to.  Still, looking on what I’ve achieved, I feel pretty pleased.  Anyway, this is a way to keep track of what I’ve read and what have been the highlights – and also which have been my favourite reads elsewhere on the Internet!

Books Read: 14

Books Reviewed: 12 (watch this space)

Review Copies: 5

Classics Club Reads: 3

Top Read of January: Mariana, Monica Dickens

Most Viewed Post: Quote of the Week – it was shared by someone helpful.  To be fair, we all get the sentiment.

Most Commented on Post: Top Ten Grandparents in Mythology and Literature

Most Shared Post: Top Ten Grandparents in Mythology and Literature – It really means a lot that so many people responded to this post, made me a little bit emotional!  Thank you!

Blog Highlight: Claire Fuller interview – Our Endless Numbered Days was one of my favourite January reads and so when her agent asked to use a quote from my review and then agreed to a Q&A, I was thrilled!

Non-Bookish Highlight: Playing the Marrying Mr Darcy game at my friend’s flat and loudly cheering when Jane Bennet married Mr Bingley.  Similarly, playing it at another friend’s house and trying out our dance moves whenever a Party Card was set down.

Top Bookish Achievement: Managing Part One of the Great Bookish Unhaul and filling two Morrisons Bags for Life with books that I am going to give away.  The one-in-and-one-out rule of book acquisition has been more than achieved for this month.  Go me!

littlewomenTop Bookish Acquisition(s): I met up with my mother and she gave me the Nursery Rhyme Book which my Grandma bought when she was setting herself up with her ‘grandparent kit’ and which we read together obsessively – the front is inscribed with my eight year-old very smart joined-up writing.  Mum also gave me my Grandma’s Little Women figurines since I was the only one of the grandchildren who loved the book as much as she did.  It’s very strange to own these – as a child, it was a real treat when Grandma would get these out of the sideboard so I could examine them more closely and even now I handle them with a kind of reverence.  I am not really into chinaware as a rule but the detail in how the artist has conveyed Alcott’s characters is magnificent.  I still can’t bring myself to put them on general display – I need a sideboard now!

Links I Recommend:

Hilary Mantel on Elizabeth Jane Howard – Mantel explains how Howard is underrated as a writer and cruelly overshadowed by a private life while her magnificent writing is ignored.  I read this with an internal monologue of, “Yes, yes, go for it Hilary, you’re right!”

RIP Alan Rickman – I felt quite emotional about Mr Rickman’s passing; from Colonel Brandon to Severus Snape to his stellar turn in Galaxyquest, he was just a wonderful actor.  Daniel Radcliffe’s tribute to him was particularly moving but I loved this list from the Bookriot of all of his Bookish roles.

The Emerald City Book Review discussed what it means to ‘review’ – book blogging is such a strange thing so it was good to read about someone else in the same situation and what their thoughts were.

Frank Cottrell Boyce on the Moomins – I love Moomins, they’re so cool but not cutesie.  I read the book repeatedly as a child and have numerous themed postcards.  This is a beautiful tribute, particularly the part when he says ‘stuff the demographics’ and just enjoy the books.

Now let’s see what February has to offer …

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