Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A Year In Books - January 2015

It's so tempting to leap aboard every blogging band-wagon with gay abandon, I read so many interesting and varied posts, and think how fun they sound. But posts take time to write, and I do want to try and keep my blog primarily-craft-and-especially-crochet focused. Plus, if I joined in with every linky-up thing I would spend all my time blogging and not doing any actual doing. And that would mean not crocheting. And that would be Not Good.

The theme though that I do constantly find myself thinking about is The Year In Books organised by Laura at Circle of Pine Trees. I've often seen posts linking back to this, usually with eye-catching photos of book covers positioned at jaunty angles. I do some of my reading on my kindle and just assumed that photos of it would just be really duuuuuulllll ....

.... however I was blog-hopping this morning - as you do - and read this post by Shelley at The Little House In The Corner - another lovely crafty crochet homey blog. Shelley provided me with a solution to the boring kindle photo - arrange the kindle artfully on a pile of colourful crochet! Genius! Simple genius, but genius nonetheless. Why had I not thought of this before ? And now there's no stopping me from blogging about books, so here we go .....

As a child I devoured books. I couldn't get enough of them. From Enid Blyton to Lewis Carroll, Anna Sewell to Judy Blume, I'd read anything. I continually had books on loan from the library, and asked for them for birthdays and Christmas. My reading continued through school, whilst at university and during my office-working life (not actually AT work I hasten to add), but nowadays life seems to have got in the way of reading much. I'd like to rectify this, so hopefully joining in with A Year in Books will give me that push that I need to get back on board the reading train.

I'm being stupidly over ambitious and aiming for 3 books a month. Yes, yes, I know I'm running before I can walk, but let me explain. My three books a month fall into these categories:
  1. The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, given to me over a year ago for Christmas by a friend.
  2. Charity shop purchases - I keep buying them and not actually reading them.
  3. Kindle backlog - again I keep buying them and not actually reading them.

I'd like to read one from every category every month. And inspired by Shelley I thought it might be fun to have, as"props" for the photos, whatever crochet projects I'm currently working on.

So, a bit more detail about the books I've chosen for January. From the Sookie Stackhouse books, I'm just finishing the third, Club Dead, and this month I plan to read book 4, "Dead to the World". They sound a bit grim don't they. They're actually surprisingly cheery, and a very light read. Think chick-lit with a southern vampire twist. The stories are all centred on Sookie Stackhouse (no surprises there) who lives in a version of today where Vampires have "come out" as it were, and live openly in day to day society in normalcy if not harmony with people. Each book is a story in itself, although each does contain minor references to previous books. 

I probably wouldn't have chosen these for myself. I'm not a huge fan of vampire tales, but I had read Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series and my friend knew I'd enjoyed them (the films not so much). As with the Twilight books, I would say that the Sookie Stackhouse series is probably more favoured by the late teenage market, however some of my favourite books would be aimed at that market too, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy being a perfect example, so I think its ok for an - ahem- 40-something - grown adult to enjoy them too :)

Dead to the World is pictured next to some yellow solid grannies, squares for a Top Secret Project for the Little Peeps, unfortunately I've built up its part too much and they're expecting a colossal crochet play arena or something. They're going to be disappointed. Oh well.

From my charity shop backlog I'm going to give "A Girl Named Disaster" by Nancy Farmer a go. This looks the meatiest of my 3 choices, and it's for that reason that I'm most looking forward to it. According to the blurb (that's what my Little People call the synopsis on the back :)
"Nhamo is an unloved and unwanted orphan who determines to leave her village rather than face a hateful marriage. Alone for the first time in her life, she paddles upriver towards Zimbabwe in her canoe."
Hmmm. Better get the tissues handy. I love books like this. Books that transport you to another place, another climate, another culture. Books that immerse you in a world radically different to that in which you live day to day. Can't wait to get into this one.

A Girl Named Disaster is shown with a backdrop of Autumn Blanket, yes I know it's not been autumn for ages, but who cares ?!.

Finally I've chosen something a bit lighter from my kindle - "The Great Christmas Knit-Off" by Alexandra Brown, on a recommendation from Clare at Summerhouse by The Sea. (Thanks Clare!). Clare took part in A Year in Books last year, and this was her December read. Despite having 3 billion (ok, 108) books already on my kindle, I bought it last week (when it was technically still Christmas), and yes I know that buying a new kindle book does not reduce the backlog. Must try harder next month.
The Great Christmas Knit-Off will be a bit of light-hearted fun, I hope. And let's face it, with a title like that it has to be entertaining. 

The Great Christmas Knit-Off is shown nestled in a very very variegated scarf which is a very very nearly finished very very late Christmas present, in fact for the friend that bought me the Sookie Stackhouse books. Ooooh nice link back to the top of my post there :) How convenient :)

Must dash, lots of reading to do :)



  1. I love the idea that you are using books as a backdrop for your crochet - I mean crochet as...!!! The crochet is the best bit of course! I am soooo glad that I am not the only person who has a book backlog! I hope you enjoy your reading! xx

    1. lol my book backlog is ridiculous. Worse even than my yarn stash .....

  2. Have you read "The Miniaturist"? It was quite good. Right now I'm reading "Sailing Around the World Alone" by Captain Joshua Slocum. I'm reading on my iPad and I love reading on it. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Ahhh Jill, we are kindred spirits... While I do not have any vampire books in my to be read pile or that I have purchased to read electronically, I have the same desire to read as you, but a spotty record of doing so. I am loathe to commit to reading through a year of books posts, but I applaud you and Clare for doing so. You inspire me! xx

    1. Go on Gracie, go for it. You could just choose short books, one a month is perfect! xx

  4. What a beautiful and inspirational post, I love the way you have displayed your crochet with a book. I am going to try and read a little more this year too, but time will tell.

  5. I am so glad you are going to join the Year in Books, you'll love it! Love your idea of displaying your book choices along with your crochet X

  6. What a great idea, books and crochet in one lovely photo....I try and read a few pages everyday, love a good book xx

  7. Brilliant, books & wool in one. If they were set in a garden then that would be my ideal life.

  8. Yaylovely that you have joined the year in Books link up, I just love books although I'm not sure I would manage three in a month! Good luck. I'm not really into the vampire type books and often shy away from them.
    I'm so pleasedon't you like my idea on the Kindle shots, just brightens it up a bit really and it's not often I read an actual book these days.
    look forward to your next post.sx

  9. Happy New Year Jill and very good luck with all your reading!! Have a great and creative 2015!! :) xx

  10. I really like the cover of "Girl Named Disaster" - you will have to tell if the book is good! I love books with good/interesting covers :)

    Happy reading!

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

  11. I just love this Jill! You inspire to stick with my goal of a book a month. I've lapsed into such a bad habit of not reading and I truly miss it. So I'm also going to be sure I carve out that time.

    I'm guessing those Sookie Stackhouse books are what they loosely based the True Blood HBO series on. The shows were a mix of some dark vampire stuff and gore, but with a lot of witty humor and characters you loved. It took place in Bon Temps Louisiana.

    Thanks for sharing! xo

  12. Hi Jill - I, too, love to read. This weekend my husband was gone for an entire day and I sat with a book and didn't budge except to refill my coffee cup! It was heaven. By the way, I love the little lined purses you made in your previous post. You are so clever - I always enjoy seeing everything you make. I'm sure you don't ever sleep!

  13. I really loved this post. Great idea to add a little yarny goodness in with the book pic and i must say that you have inspired me to read more this year. I hope you have a review on the read books for each month. That would be fun to get ideas for a good read. No pressure lol
    Birgitta xx

  14. Love how you've used your crochet in the photos. I really need to get back to reading books again. But have to be realistic too - there's only so many hours in a day.

  15. Books and crochet make an excellent combination, and look very pretty in your photos. Two of life's great pleasures :) Happy reading!
    Cathy x

  16. hahaha I love the idea with the kindle and blankets!!! I am definitely stealing that one ;) Looking forward to seeing how you get on with the books :) x

  17. Hi Jill!
    I enjoyed reading your post! :)
    I love seeing all your crochet makes in the pictures, nice and colourful! <3
    Take care!
    Ingrid xx

  18. I read "a girl named disaster" as one of my year in books last summer, and then I rather fell of the year in books wagon, must get back on. it's a great read.

  19. What a good idea to use crochet as the backing for the Kindle books! I read almost exclusively on the Kindle, and usually use the cover stolen off Amazon as my picture. It's sensible, and easy, but it's not as personal an idea. I may well try to do this for my Wednesday Wind Up posts, if you don't mind?

  20. And, and, and... I meant to say I LOVE your calendar!

  21. Wow, good luck with your 3 books a month, look forward to seeing your book choices. Beautiful variegated yarn in the last photo
    Caz xx


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