Friday, 4 January 2013


Happy New Year!!

This time last year, I'm pretty sure I did a Resolutions list but I can't be bothered to look, much as I can't be bothered to make one again this year. If you don't commit it to words, you can't harangue yourself about it a year later, can you? And, anyway, nobody ever manages to keep those stupid things beyond the second week of January. Do they?

I know I kept one resolution/challenge and that was my ever-increasing GoodReads challenge, which started off as 40 books to read in 2012. That crept up to 50 when I realised I was rapidly approaching my 40 books about half way through the year. I increased it again to 80 when I started reading A LOT on my long commute when I started working again. It rose again to 100 and then, in the dying days of December, to 105, which I just managed to achieve by finishing Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. Phew. 105 books. I'm not even going to attempt that again but I do like the idea of cataloguing the books I read each year so I'm going to set up a 2013 bookshelf on my GoodReads account - first book on the shelf? The Probable Future by one of my favourite authors, Alice Hoffman. 

If you haven't read Hoffman and you enjoy writing like this:
It was lake water, Elinor believed, that made the difference in her garden... so cold the roses shuddered on the hottest days of August and gave off clouds of scent.
 or this:
Night was rising from the grass the way steam lifted from a mirror.
 then you should get hold of one of her books immediately. My favourite Hoffman novel so far is The Ice Queen but, be warned, my book group didn't much care for it and I was a bit busy having a baby on that particular book group meeting, so I couldn't defend this wonderful, haunting and enchanting author.  She has never disappointed me, her characters are so perfectly drawn you won't forget them for a long time and the way she describes even the most mundane of things is sublime.

But, back to the original subject, maybe I will manage to read the 87 86 books that stand sadly on my wall of books, waiting desperately to be taken down and read, praying that I don't go to the library (fat chance, I'm there right now!) or to a bookshop or stray onto Amazon or the Book Depository. It would be nice to think that I had read all the books adorning the wall - apart from the Chardmeister's section (rapidly spreading though, might have to add some more shelves soon...) 

I'm pretty sure there are some more books sailing the high seas at this very moment, eager to join the ranks of books in our house - certainly there are at least a couple of cookbooks (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Lorraine Pascal - yay!) - and, according to my Dad, at least another 38 assorted titles for each of the Aquilina family. Looks like I might be looking at over a hundred books after all and I haven't even told you how many unread e-books are on my kindle (27 if you want to know. Eek!)

As well as (possibly) reading all those books, I am planning to write daily in the lovely 365 day book I got for Christmas from Kikki.k - I started off so well, printed out a lovely black and white photo of Lady M, taken down at the river on New Year's Day, wrote a little paragraph on the first page at about 10.30pm on the 1st January, got into bed on Wednesday (2nd of January) and jolted myself awake just as I drifted off into the world of sleep with this thought,
'Dammit, forgot to write in that bloody 365 day book today and it's only the second day of the New Year. I am utterly shit. But, truthfully, not at all surprised.'
 Have you already broken your 2013 challenges and promises to yourself? Please tell me some of you have so that I won't feel like the complete failure I surely am!

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