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Showing posts from January, 2014

My stand-out reads of 2013

I reread a number of books in 2013 - which is a recommendation in itself - but this post is about the first time reads that I enjoyed the most and would recommend to others. The recommendations are not entirely universal - after all, people have different tastes in reading - but most, if not all, of them should be appealing to a literary omnivore.

I invite you to visit the Pinterest board I made with cover images and mini reviews of these books. Just click on the screen-shot below and off you go. The link will open in a new window.

Looking ahead to 2014

Another year, more books to read. I'm looking forward to discover new books and authors and possibly genres in the course of 2014.

If you have followed this blog for any length of time you will know that I have a tendency to make resolutions I don't keep or enter/create ambitious and complicated challenges that I fail to fulfil. There have been some I have finished successfully, e.g. the resolution to read 50 TBR books in 2013  and the 365 short stories challenge I did a few years ago. But mostly I tend to start well and then lose interest little by little until the resolution/challenge has become a millstone around my neck and I give up.

This year I am going to take it easy. Well, fairly easy. I read 60 TBR books in 2013, 10 more than I set out to finish. Consequently, this year I am going to set out to read 60 of my TBR books in the course of the year, because I know I can do it. If I end up with fewer TBR books than I set out with, it will be a bonus.

I also plan to read …

Looking back on 2013

It's that time of the year again: Time to look back over the year that just ended, to give thanks for all the great books I read in 2013, bemoan all the potentially great books I planned to read but didn't and express regrets for the books I read that were not so good. However, I have come to the conclusion that one shouldn't have regrets about books not read and books read but not enjoyed. After all, the unread books might, once you actually read them, turn out to be crap, and the only way to find out that you don't like a book is to read it, so the time spent reading the "bad" books isn't really wasted time but rather invested. It's just that the time you invested in the books you didn't like hasn't paid dividends like the time you invested in the good, great and excellent books. Therefore I will not spend time discussing the negative points of my reading year but will let my comments in the monthly reading reports suffice.

As for the great…

Reading Report for December 2013

I finished 18 books in December. Of those, 5 were rereads and the rest were the usual mixed bag: some romances, a literary novel, a book of heraldry, photograph books, and folk tales old and new.

Five books had a Christmas theme and I am rather sorry I read two of them. I should have followed my instincts and stopped reading them when it became evident that I was in for unrelenting tweeness.

Some years ago I read an enjoyable Christmas novella by Debbie Macomber. It had just the right amount of sentimentality one expects from a good Christmas story, without being actually saccharine. Then I discovered that the lead characters in that story, the angels Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, were featured in full-length books. I got hold of two of those books and read both this December and I can safely say that I have had enough of Shirley, Goodness and Mercy. The stories were pure glurge: hyper-sentimental, saccharine tear-jerkers.

A third Christmas book was a volume of two novellas of the pa…