Finishing Up My Christmas Reads
In our last bookshelf chat, I left you with a poll asking which Christmas book I should read next. Here are the results.
Survey said — get thee to thy nearest screen! So, rewatch The Holiday I did. As often as I’ve seen that film, I fall for it Every. Single. Time. Not to be too much of a slacker, I also read the book with the next highest votes (Skipping Christmas) and the one in last place (Starry Night). While both books were okay, neither was the cozy Christmas uplift I had sought.
Writer-Blogger Shout Out
Darlene Foster: This past month, I was delighted to discover a copy of Amanda in England, The Missing Novel at my local library. I’ve followed the author, Darlene Foster, on her blog for quite some time. Along with being a writer and blogger, Darlene is a traveller and self-professed dreamer. Darlene divides her time between the West Coast of Canada and Orihuela Costa, Spain.
Amanda in England is the third book in a series aimed at young adolescents. It is a wonderful mixture of travel and adventure. It can also be read as a standalone. This would be a fun read to share with any young reader in your life.
Jill Weatherholt: If you follow Jill Weatherholt, you know that she embodies kindness, compassion and generosity. These qualities shine through in her writing. Searching for Home is her recently released novel and is a delightful uplit read. I have previously reviewed other books by Jill here and here.
In Progress: Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
‘You know that book where you reread the opening paragraphs over and over awkwardly trying to get in sync with the novel? That was my experience with the opening of Shirley. Our Classics Book Club has been working our way through the Brontë collection. We are now on our final read. As usual, we have divided the book into sections and will read/discuss (x4) and then bake. Our discussion on Chapters 1 – 9 is scheduled for early next week. Once I got into the swing of things, the book did get (significantly) better. Straight up, Charlotte cautioned the reader not to expect romance, sentiment, poetry, reverie, passion, stimulus or melodrama. In fact, she stated that the story in front of them was as “unromantic as a Monday morning.” By Chapter 5, I no longer believed her.
Hopefully, Charlotte deliberately misled us with her ‘Monday morning’ line. Otherwise, this will be a l-o-n-g 1,182 pages to get through on my phone (323 in my hardcover, microscopic print version shown above). Speaking about things being drawn out, the titular character has not yet been introduced by the end of Chapter 9. No, I did not fall asleep and miss it…at least I’m pretty sure that I didn’t!
Reflections on Peace
In keeping with my Word of the Year (WOTY), I have included a few books on my reading list that focus on ‘peace.’ You may be surprised to see Five Little Indians here. This novel’s core message is about seeking to come to terms with the past and working together to find a way forward. This, combined with the author’s closing tone of hope, makes it a perfect fit for this category. As with the above novels, you may click on the links to find my reviews on Goodreads. Other reflections from these readings will be mentioned in my WOTY post (see info below).
Upcoming WOTY Link Up
On the last Thursday of each month (Northern Hemisphere) and the last Friday of each month (Southern Hemisphere), the cohosts of What’s On Your Bookshelf will hold a link up for readers to share their reflections and actions inspired by their Words of the Year (or goals/intentions for 2022). Feel free to grab a badge and join us on January 28/29. We look forward to seeing you there.
So that’s a wrap for my January 2022 reads. What’s been on your bookshelf lately?