New Year resolutions

These last couple of weeks of 2012 I have been reading even more than usual. I finally finished Mantel’s Bring Up The Bodies and to continue the historical novel theme, I have started on The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Guy Ware’s short story collection You Have 24 Hours To Love Us (review due very shortly on Bookmunch) and I’ve read The Taste Of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hagena (keep checking for a link for the review too).

A new book landed in my postbox yesterday –  Lucy Caldwell’s All The Beggars Riding – which I will tell you about in a few days, when I’ve read it. I think I will like it, judging by the first page. So a very enjoyable end of the year for me!

I have also joined the ranks of the Kindle readers, although I have to admit that I still prefer ‘real’ books much more. True, Kindle is convenient and light, but I will be buying the paper copy of Bring Up The Bodies anyway – I’ve confirmed my opinion that reading isn’t just about the text. I loved the book, yes. But I would have loved the experience even more if I had read it page by paper page, leaving my own trace on them, sometimes invisible and sometimes – a sneaky stain of coffee or a crease where I sat on the book by accident. And the moment that I finished it, I would have enjoyed putting it on the special Favourite Books shelf much more than just storing it on Cloud.

 So what’s the plan for the New Year? Well, loads of writing. Many hours of reading. A new, more serene me – achieved, hopefully, by my new (future) running and yoga regime. And most importantly, getting the writing out there, into the world. When I first started NotMadeForNorthernWeather, I challenged myself to read a short story a day for as long as I could. Here’s the new challenge: get one piece of fiction writing out once a month. Not just write it but actually send it out. A modest challenge, I know, but in the worlds of the bulls from Selma Lagerlof’s The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, ‘slowly but surely, slowly but surely.’ And since I am myself a bull, that will suit me nicely.

 

The 2012 vote – what’s your best book of the year?

I was asked to nominate the best 2012 book in my opinion for Bookmunch. Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up The Bodies had already been snapped by someone quicker than me so I had to think again. My choice – Ruth Padel’s The Mara Crossing – will probably become one of those books I don’t forget. I’ve written before about this gorgeous collection and you can read my thoughts here and here. In fact, I’m glad my first idea had been taken – I am a fiction reader through and through, at least when it comes to reading in English, and so to get such a strong connection with a book of poems was unexpected. But it was the accompanying essays that sealed my fate – Padel’s reflections on life and death and, most of all, migration, are exquisitely written and wrap the poems as lovingly as a perfect Christmas present.

To read more on the best of 2012, click here