Wednesday 27 December 2017

All the books I did not read

Wishing all regular and random visitors the appropriate seasonal greetings. It has been a busy crocheting year, with most of the time taken up with two blankets and two shawls, that have all been gifted. Lilliana was finally finished after three months hard graft, and arrived safely in Devon in time for Christmas.

We watched old films and munched choccy for three days but I am still recovering from four weeks of night shift disruption. I realised the year is staggering to its end so I thought I had better write my reading roundup post.

On Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Shoe Fly Baby, edited by Kate Pullinger
The Inimitable Jeeves, by P.G. Woodhouse
It's Ok to Laugh by Nora McInery Purmort
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Titus Goan by Mervyn Peake
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Expensive People by Joyce Carol Oates
Embers by Sándor Márai
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
38 Bahadurabad by Zeeba Sadiq
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Against Empathy by Paul Bloom
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Green Road by Anne Enright
My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
Hagseed by Margaret Atwood
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen
When I Hit You by Meena Kandasmy
Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Black Dogs by Ian McEwan
Diary of an Ecobuilder by Will Anderson
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Look at Me by Jennifer Egan
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
Carrying the Elephant by Michael Rosen
In the Mind's Eye by Lucy Grealy
Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

and the backlog of unreviewed books:
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
(and curiously) The End of Days by Jenny Eppenbeck
Beside the Ocean of Time by George Mackay Brown
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

So a mere 42 books, the lowest total for some years. Titus Groan has definitely been the best thing I have read for some time, but this year has had a few other highlights: unexpected find was 38 Bahadurabad, Hagseed was an (expectedly) excellent book, as was 4 3 2 1. My 101 books challenge ended in September and I failed utterly, having managed to read only about a third of them, but I will leave the list up and plod on through them. It feels like more books have been added to the TBR pile than removed from it this year, I will intend to do better next year.

Monday 4 December 2017

Christmas posting advice

I'm doing the night shift this year, scanning and sorting parcels through the wee small hours. This was the gridlock of yorks that greeted us at midnight ... and it's still three weeks to Christmas. A few years ago I posted some advice for members of the public entrusting their Christmas cards and gifts to Royal Mail, so I thought it was timely to repeat my suggestions.

For any item put in the postal system:
Last posting dates are Wednesday 20th December for 2nd Class and Thursday 21st December for 1st Class. For more detailed advice you can check out my 2012 'Do's and Don'ts post.