I don't read as much as I'd like. The time I can find to keep up on all the wonderful books that are being published / promoted / recommended / required research reading is done in bed -early in the morning with my first cup of tea while my husband is at the gym, and in the evening before I put the lights out.
Not enough to keep up, but just enough to feel like I'm honouring a lifetime passion for reading and the wonderful, useful and interesting work put out by writers all over the world.
On the left you'll see a column of my list of Best Books for the current month, as I think to add them.
Here in the main section of my blog I'll be posting each previous month's list, with some general comments - hardly reviews - of some of them.
My notes might include: what prompted me to pick up the book, whether I ended up buying a copy (I have to be pretty selective about what I buy, but as a library staffer and advocate, borrowing can be as good as buying, and I do very often make recommendations for library purchases, which can result in them buying more copies than they might otherwise), other general comments that occur to me, without necessariky launching into anything that might be called a review.
(Y) after a title indicates a book for younger readers. (A) that it's an adult book.
Do add a comment if you have anything to say about any of the books noted here.
My Dad's a Birdman by David Almond (Y)
Almond's Skellig is what I consider to be perhaps one of the best and most resonant kids' books - indeed any book - I've ever read. Anything else he writes is fair game to me.
Rex Zero -King of Nothing by Tim Wynne-Jones (Y)
This one I picked up after enjoying the first one Rex Zero and the End of the World and enjoying it immensely.
A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg (Y)
The cover called to me when I saw the book on the new book display at the library. Set in the American South.
The Field Guide to Fields: hidden treasures of meadows, prairies and pastures by Bill Laws (A)
Again, a cover that prompted me to pick it up. A beautiful design of the entire book that encouraged me to read it, and the wonderful breadth of scope of the topic-and a germ of content that I'll use as the basis of a kids' story-was what motivated to buy a copy to keep for myself. Also, on discovering author Bill Laws is the editor of a magazine for UK Travellers (what used to be called gypsies), it renewed my interest in them, as they are now, and as they were in the past in both Europe and England.
The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys (A)
A very nice format. An enticing subject - small essays about each of the 40 times the Thames has frozen. And again, this one also provided a germ that I plucked from the many stories, which now forms the basis of my new WIP The Sparrow Thief. I bought this one, too.
Winner of the National Book Award by Jincy Willett (A)
Grabbed this one off a library Book Sale because of its title. Glad I did as I'd not heard of it before. Compelling voice and lively and distinctive storytelling.
The Brambles by Eliza Minot (A)
I love a good family story. This is one.
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (Y)
I hate to say it now, but can't remember why I chose it or what it's about. Just goes to show you how bad my memory is - no comment on the book itself, I don't think.