December Roundup

Blink and you miss it don’t you? Yes 2013 has been and is shortly on its way out here in the UK, or has been and gone depending on when you are reading this post. But this is not a years worth of reading to be summed up – this is just December keeping in tradition with my monthly roundups that I do.

December has been a mammoth month of reading you could say, especially compared to previous months. Yes it is because I have been on holiday from work but also I have branched out a lot more into the short story because my brain cells were not going to cope with much else. When I finished work on the 20th of December I was tired, I think slept for about 4 days apart from eating and reading.

December being the month of the festive read I thought I would crack on with plenty of them as I had started towards the end of November. The best of them all has to be Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol. I am ashamed to say I have never read this book before until now and I am so glad I did and I wonder why I had not before, I will be reading it again in the future for sure. It made all the film versions and the stage version make much more sense.

So sticking with Christmas and the short story and on my kindle came in quick succession; Katie Fforde – From Scotland with Love, which could quite easily have made a full length novel. Then Susan Buchanan – The Christmas Spirit, a new author discovery for me and I am looking forward to reading more by her. Full length Christmas novels came from Carole Matthews – Calling Mrs Christmas. I only discovered Carole this year so have plenty to catch up on in due course. Another faithful author to Christmas is Debbie Macomber – Starry Night* and this was not connected to Blossom Street or Cedar Cove and was a refreshing change.

Short stories but taking me back to my childhood this time was Emma Thompson – The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit which is an excellent book to read to yourself and read aloud, and if there are any children near by I am sure they will enjoy it too. And then there is P.L. Travers – Mary Poppins*. Don’t worry I have not regressed too much into my childhood. I was intrigued by the film Saving Mr Banks which I have yet to see (it was only on at the cinema for two weeks – the busiest two weeks for me in December) and the life of Travers herself. The film is one of my top three films and I was intrigued to see how much like the book it was – I was shocked and also pleasantly surprised, it has still not budged from my top three favourite films but I am enjoying reading the actual books so much. I question why I never read them as a child – I don’t think they were readily available perhaps, now I have them all in an omnibus edition and will be reading them throughout 2014 I feel.

Sticking with what you know sometimes becomes a theme in the authors that I pick up in some points of the year. December being no different when I went for an earlier Katie Fforde – Artistic Licence as a comfort read.Not one of her strongest in my opinion but certainly a passable diversion which is all I require sometimes.

Passable diversion is a great way of summing up Joanne Fluke – Carrot Cake Murder*. I tend to pick these up from my kindle when I wake in the middle of the night and need to read something before going back to sleep. I have read all the ones on my kindle so I will need to investigate getting some more on there.

A great diversion and certainly not a passable one is anything that involves Jeeves and Wooster. I was intrigued to hear of another author picking up the mantle and was keen to buy the book when it came out, not even waiting for the paperback version and paying full price in Waterstones! Sebastian Faulks – Jeeves and the Wedding Bells* was the best few pounds that I spent that day. It is brilliant and a must read for all Jeeves and Wooster fans – not quite the original but damn close!

The tone of reading changed with picking up Wendy Jones – The World is a Wedding*. This is the sequel to the wonderful book The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals. It is just as delightful and takes us away for a short while from Narbeth to the Ritz Hotel in London and the passion of the suffragette. I am blessed that the publisher sent me this for reading and reviewing.

Book Club for December was an interesting choice John Connolly – Every Dead Thing*. Not my cup of tea at all, but nonetheless I plugged on with it. Interesting, confusing and gruesome! I will write-up a little bit about the gathering as it was a book which divided us. Mainly into one against the rest of us!

I have not read as much Agatha Christie as I have liked this year but I have enjoyed watching the last four episodes of Poirot. Which led to me asking Father Christmas for David Suchet – Poirot and Me*. I was a good girl so I got it and started reading it on Christmas Day. A delightful book for all fans of Poirot.

In the interest of sorting books that are on my shelf (I have yet to really do this). I have been picking up random books from there and reading them which is how I come to pick up Barbara J. Zitwer – The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society*. It has mixed reviews on Amazon and I cannot remember on whose blog I originally saw it, but I thought it was a lovely book and I would certainly go swimming like these ladies did.

So as another month closes, I am still reading and have gone back to good old M.C. Beaton and Agatha Raisin, but it will be a 2014 finish.

As you can see there are a few reviews that I have to do but I was trying to get all the Christmas themed books in December.

*Book review yet to appear on this blog.