Happy New Year

How were your Christmas and New Years, folks? I didn’t do very much reading, considering I had two whole weeks off work, but I did do plenty of relaxing, catching up with friends and family, and even some useful stuff. Not bad for someone who’s been gorging on cold and flu drugs for a week and a half. But then I love Christmas and birthdays (which I also had one of this week) so maybe I’ve been running on a bit of a high.

More relevant to this blog than my sinuses or holiday cheer is all the many lovely books I have gained in the past fortnight. Not that I need more, but they’re still the best present ever. I can’t wait to break into these piles of deliciousness (actually, I’ve already read two of them, but one’s a joke book so that doesn’t really count).


Christmas presents:

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs by Jeremy Mercer
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
The Siege by Helen Dunmore
The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris
Paris Was Yesterday by Janet Flanner
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I am the Beggar of the World edited by Eliza Grimwald and Seamus Murphy
F in Exams by Richard Benson (joke book that made me cry with laughter)
Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (recipe book of great great beauty)


Birthday presents:

Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands by Michael Chabon
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham


And as if that wasn’t enough, I treated myself (thoroughly encouraged by Tim, I might add) to not one but three forays into tiny but brilliant bookshops – the Melton Bookshop, the Forest Bookshop and Durdham Down Bookshop, all of which deserve blog posts dedicated to them that I will eventually get round to. I restricted myself to one or two books from each because I do have some guilt about the TBR being at its biggest point ever since I started keeping track, but I also want to support every great bookshop I pass. My purchases were:

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida (which I read within 48 hours of buying it; I’ll review it soon)
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (book club for February, so it’s a totally sensible purchase)
The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (because Cemetery of Forgotten Books!)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (I think I read this years ago but didn’t own a copy so while I was picking up the next volume, I figured I should start a matching set)
Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou (look: it’s so pretty!)