Last year (or possibly the year before?), Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees (and the deputy ed of 91 Magazine- yay!) started a thread and hashtag called #theyearinbooks, taking time to share our reads over the year, and offer a short review. I've decided to start documenting my reading in 2016, and will be using the hashtag and sharing over on Instagram, too. There's even a group twitter chat, and for February, a good reads reading group! I promise you won't be disappointed by Laura's blog, it's a beautiful document of slow living and finding magic in the every day...two things I hope to pursue this year, too.
My first book of 2016 is arguably the most famous of Agatha Christie's Poirot mysteries, 'Murder on the Orient Express'. I've been hearing a lot about Agatha Christie recently over on BBC Radio 4 (my favourite station), and knowing my interest in 1920s and 1930s fiction, my husband gave me this copy for Christmas. And I devoured it. The writing was full of nuanced characters, a rollicking plot line and of course the absolutely essential 'whodunnit' thread. I genuinely had no idea who had indeed done it, and my modern 'Nordic Noir' (and slightly cynical, I admit) stance had me guessing at completely the wrong person.
One does have to be aware of some of the rather old-fashioned opinions of a few of the characters- I don't think it was Christie's intention to offend anyone, it was just the prejudices of the time of writing, I suppose. I found some of the characters a little irritating, but that's probably the point. And at times I felt that Poirot's 'johnny foreigner' routine a little weary, but all in all it was a good fun read, and my first foray into crime fiction. I'd love to get to know Miss Marple next!
Also this month I've started two other books. 'Reasons to Stay Alive' by Matt Haig is one man's journey into depression, and the lessons he has learnt from his particular manifestations of the Black Dog, and how he has learnt to both live with it and manage it without drugs. It's fascinating, and I've found it a complete antidote to the kind of stigmatising depression usually invites. Reading it, I feel normal, and have found a way to verbalise my particular feelings and how depression manifests in me. I recommend it to everyone if you're struggling to understand your feelings and not sure how to approach your GP or loved ones about it.
I've also read the first chapter or so of 'The Tenant of Wildefell Hall'- my first Anne Bronte. 'Jane Eyre' and 'Wuthering Heights' by Anne's sisters Charlotte and Emily respectively are my two favourite novels so I have high hopes for this. I'm struggling with a wintery exhaustion at the moment. but it's important to make time for my first love- books.
Year in Books Pinterest board, or drop in on my chum Georgina's blog, Miss Chapter's Reviews, for a more in depth blog about books.