The Year in Books: January

I finally got some reading done in December! Mainly in the last two weeks as I had more free time.  I also spent a lot of time reading in bed with a cup of tea, as these photos attest!

I finished The Mistletoe Bride which was pretty good, as long as you like Kate Mosse's style, as they're all quite similar.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was excellent.  The plot moved quickly and kept my interest.  Having spent a lot of last year commuting on trains, and going by the same properties each day, I have often thought about the lives of the people who live there.  I managed not to get myself involved in a crime, though!

Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson was lovely.  Just lovely.  I won a signed copy of the book from Chichester Festival Theatre where a production is being shown.  It's a story set in Victorian England, of a foundling who is fostered and tries to find her birth mother.  Whilst clearly a children's book, I genuinely enjoyed it.

Academy Girls by Nora Carroll* was much better than I was expecting.  Set in a rather posh boarding school in America, a former student comes back to start a teaching career and see if she can overcome various events from her senior year at the school.  There are a lot of poetry references in, and my knowledge of poetry isn't very good, so a few references were completely lost on me, but I enjoyed the book as a whole. 

When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow by Dan Rhodes* annoyed me.  It's a fictional account of Professor Richard Dawkins (the famous atheist) and his secretary, who get stuck in the snow and have to stay at the local vicar's house.  It's supposed to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it was a bit too pantomime-y for my liking (and I like a good pantomime) so I admit to skipping through this.

Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons started off so well.  I liked the first story (about a spinster, who intends on spending Christmas alone, but then three little children just happen to stop by...) and a couple of others, but then I got a bit bored.  It's been posted off to a friend to see if she likes it any more than I did!

My Goodreads challenge was to read 52 books - I beat this, with a grand total of 61.  My goal for 2016 is just 26.  I've realised how little time I have for reading nowadays (although I fully appreciate I could make more time for reading) so I'm lowering my expectations.  One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to reduce my book collection down to one bookcase - a subgoal of this could be for my 2016 books to be the ones that are currently in piles dotted around the flat.  Ha! We all know how tempting libraries and charity shops are!  

Joining in with Laura.

*These books were provided to me by the publishers via NetGalley.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. I still haven't read The Girl on the Train- I think I need to rectify that in 2016!

    Liz xx
    Distract Me Now Please

    1. Yes, do! It's worth it, I think everyone I know who has read it has enjoyed it.

  2. I think I perhaps already said this on your photo an hour post, but I felt the same about the Gibbons - loved the first story, not so keen on the rest.

    1. I remember you saying was kind of annoying how it started off so well then sort of went a bit flat. Although to be fair it could have got better towards the end, but I think I'd had enough!

  3. Good set of books; well done on reading so much! I loved the Girl on the Train, and I would like to read The Mistletoe Bride.

  4. My challenge once again this year is 52 books, which I've managed with no bother for the past few years. I did consider making it more tricky, but I thought I'd rather read books I'd enjoy instead of deliberately choosing and forcing my way through shorter reads to make the total up. I haven't read Girl on the Train but heard the Radio 4 book at bedtime and enjoyed it. The Kate Mosse sounds interesting - one to look for at the library.


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