What I have enjoyed reading so far in 2017

8:45 pm | Bibliophile

I made a few New Years resolutions this year. Not too many but I am partial to the blank slate that the new year brings. I make lists of all that I wish to accomplish and do, but this isn’t just a once a year thing. I make tons of lists on a daily basis. None of my New Years resolutions were about losing weight or getting up earlier – things that we think will bring us closer to our ideal. They were more like ‘read more for pleasure’, and ‘start a kitchen garden’ – proven happiness habits 😉

My ‘read more’ resolution is going swimmingly. I forgot how much I loved to read! I could easily spend an entire day in bed reading, very easily actually. Of course I don’t have that opportunity with two children and a business, but I’ve managed to fit reading into my day. What made me stop reading regularly is that it’s so easy for me to get lost in the books that I could denounce all responsibilities and at the end of the day the book would be finished but the house would still be a mess and we’d have to order takeaways, lol.

I have found, however, (whether it’s a good thing or bad I’m not sure) that it is impossible for me to get lost in a book lately, there is just far too much demanding my attention. Evelyn barely naps and is like a mini energizer bunny all day long. Jess needs very little sleep too and whilst he can keep himself busy we do spend a lot of time together. And of course it’s impossible to ignore my overflowing inbox, and I am very grateful for all the work that has been coming my way lately.

So. I have been reading, but not as much as I could, because of these natural inhibitors. The result is a very well balanced life, I think.

I also made a New Years resolution that I would buy no new books, including eBooks (except for school related books for my son whom I homeschool). This has limited my book choices to what I already had in my library, what I can borrow from the library and friends and family, and what I find in used book stores. Our local library is shocking and I need to get more involved with what books are stocked. At the moment it seems to be mostly cheesy romance novels and country and westerns. The children’s section is also really tiny but we make an outing of it at least every two weeks as they both really enjoy the visit.

So this is what I have been reading;

A House In Flanders by Michael Jenkins

A delightful, quick read set in the 1950’s french countryside that leaves you feeling like you’ve just had a holiday in the French countryside. Filled with quirky, lovable characters and splendid scenery, this book is a gem. I have recommended it to everyone since!

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

I’m always weary to read books that are top of the current charts as it raises my expectation and invariably I am disappointed. Again, set in France, this time exploring the countryside via the channels and rivers, just beautiful! I found the story-line a bit unexciting though, and whilst some bracket it with The Elegance of the Hedgehog, (one of my ultimate favourites!) I could not.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

This story is of a foiled presidential kidnapping where a bunch of dignitaries and celebrities are mistakenly held hostage for months. I think the author was trying to highlight that happiness comes with a simple life, at least that’s what I got out of it. It was a good read, and very well written, but a bit unexciting. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James

So I am a big Jane Austen fan, I’ve read all her books a couple of times, and I’ve read a lot of other classics as part of my required reading for my Bachelor of Arts I did years ago. But, I had never read any Henry James. And I will not again. This book was annoying. I read that this book was written just before James’s foray into play writing and I found it was written much like a play. Almost no scenery descriptions, the entire book set in a handful of locations, and it was a bind to read. Books like this give classics a bad name, haha!

Christine Powell

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

This book is about an orphan girl with a passion for flowers. I really enjoyed the first half of the book but the remembered why I don’t read books about orphans. Not for those triggered by babies being abandoned! I was in tears and could barely finish it.

The Saffron Gate by Linda Holeman

This was a lovely, light read. Set in the early 1900’s a woman travels to Morocco looking for her fiance and in the process finds herself – enough said. I wouldn’t highly recommend it but I didn’t regret reading it 🙂

Christine Powell

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

I had watched this movie, and didn’t love it. I find watching people eat highly annoying so that put me off, plus I am not a big Amy Adams fan. I love Meryl Streep though and she was excellent in it, as always. I actually got this book out the library for my mom as she LOVES the movie and was needing something to read. She read it in 3 days flat so I thought I would give it a chance. And it was good. Not great. I love the idea of the challenge but Ms Julie Powell is a bit of a whinger (not just Amy Adams portraying her unjustly) and all the descriptions of her, frankly gross, dirty apartment freaked me out a bit. I get the shivers thinking about it, no lies.

Christine Powell

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden

This is a replica of Edith Holden’s personal nature journal of 1906. It is delightful! A vintage book that I justified the purchase of as inspiration for my sons nature science homeschool lessons. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

I have signed up for the Goodreads challenge and set the goal of 52 books for 2017. I am a bit behind but I am halfway through two books (I sometimes like to mix it up) which I should finish this week so that will put my total at 10 books read so far. Ok so I am very behind. I better get reading!

Follow me on Goodreads to see my progress and come and say hi! Also, I post about books a lot on Instagram too.

Christine Powell

Christine Powell

Book lover • Homeschool mom • Tea drinker • Wordpress Website designer & Virtual Assistant