the year in books :: April

the year in books april

Another month passed, many more pages turned. I’m glad that the momentum of #theyearinbooks has continued and that you are still joining in with me. As ever, I’ve loved reading your posts (and extending my ‘to read’ list!). The time for curling up beside the fire with a novel has passed, and it’s almost the weather for throwing a book into my bag, and heading out to find a spot in the fresh air to sit down and turn its pages. Perhaps we could record some of the places in which we find ourselves reading this spring and summer, via the #theyearinbooks hashtag over on Instagram, or pinned to the Pinterest board? I’d love to see where you settle in the sunshine with your books!

My first book for March was Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life. Oh, how I loved this book! An amazing concept, cleverly constructed and beautifully executed. I can’t remember the last book that I enjoyed so much. ‘What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?’ reads the blurb, and the book explores fate, chance and destiny. It has a unique structure, non-linear, repetitive, and yet endlessly fresh. Characters are revisited and developed throughout the novel. When I finished it, I had the urge to pick it back up and immediately start again at the beginning, so absorbed was I in Ursula and her world. Magnificent.

I also read  The Snow Child, appreciating the way in which its isolated, frozen setting was so central to the book as a whole. I loved the magical realism and the fairytale that was interwoven with the narrative. I should probably have chosen this one for January, though, as the ice at its core didn’t quite sit with the emerging spring sunshine!

For April, I’ve chosen to branch out from fiction, selecting the gorgeous Letters of Note book, which I have been dying to get my hands on ever since discovering the Twitter account of the same name. Looking forward to May, I’ve earmarked a fascinating-looking book that was given to me last year by a good friend: A Little History of the World by Ernst Gombrich.

So, let’s get on with the April link up. Here’s a reminder of how it all works:

The aim is to read (at least) a book a month during 2014. At the start of the month, we blog the book that we are planning to read in the month ahead. If we feel inspired to, we could also write a little about the previous month’s book. Not a review, as such, just some thoughts: a recommendation (or otherwise!) for others who might be thinking of reading it. It’s not a traditional book club, so we don’t have to all read the same book. This is just about trying to ensure that we make space for reading in our busy lives, and hopefully a way to discover more lovely books (and lovely bibliophiles).

If you would prefer to share your book choices over on Instagram, that would also be great, please use the hashtag #theyearinbooks so that we can find your posts. The same hashtag is also active on Twitter. There is a Year in Books Pinterest board, so do let me know in the comments if you would like me to add you as a pinner. There’s also a Goodreads group for this project, and you are welcome to join, whether or not you have a blog of your own. If you would like to add a badge to your blog, you can grab the code over in the sidebar. (A few people have asked me how to do this. If you have a Blogger blog, you may find this tutorial helpful.)

I am compiling a reading list of book suggestions which people have left in the comments here, or via Instagram. Please feel free to continue to recommend books in this way and I will add them to the list.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you have linked up before- everyone is welcome and it’s never too late to get involved. I would be grateful if you could link back to here in your post. Do add your link below – click on the blue button at the bottom of the post.

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  • Oh, that Letters Of Note looks fabulous – I look forward to reading how you get on with it. And to answer your Rosie Project question – I did enjoy it, but not as much as the hype suggested! Loved Northanger Abbey though – already finished it!

  • Oh how I am enjoying Life after Life too! Nearly coming to the end but don’t want to. I’d reserved it on our mobile library on Tuesday and have carried it around with me dipping in as much as possible.
    Funnily enough I’ve just handed back my previous read – The Snow Child! I absolutely loved this story, few characters and lots of domestic narrative, just wonderful.
    First time here commenting and have to tell you how much I enjoy your posts and have tried several recipes with much success. So, many thanks!
    Kind regards, Niki

  • So pleased to have found you (via twitter and writealm). This sounds like a lovely idea and I’ll have a think about my April book and come back to link up. Life after Life has been recommended by others too so that’s a top contender!

  • I’ve recently discovered your beautiful blog and I’m off to the bookstore to pick up Life after Life. Your Year in Books project is just the discipline I need to get back to reading more. Since I’m an avid knitter, I’ve been neglecting books in favor of knitting in front of the TV. I look forward to reading and participating in your group.

  • I’ve added Life after Life to my MUST READ list! Just realised I’d forgotten to link my posts on the books I read so far to your blog! I’ll try to remember from now on. Blessings Tracy

  • that book sounds brilliant, can’t wait to hear about it. I too have taken to throwing a book into my bag to steal a few moments here and there with my book!

  • Oh yes, ‘Life After Life’ is definitely on my ‘to read’ list. Am really enjoying this link up, although I feel behind in March. Looking forward to getting back on track with my reading this month.

  • This sounds a lovely idea! I loved “The Snow Child” and agree with your comments. I happened to read it in January, just the right time 🙂

  • This sounds like the perfect book for picking up and putting down when you have the odd moment in your day to day life. And so interesting.

  • Still loving all the recommendations, and also the feeling of Oh yes, when someone else reports enjoying a book I’ve loved. I’m also in non-fiction territory this month, but also haven’t quite finished my last month’s choice.

  • I’ve recently discovered your lovely site via The Habit of Being. I’m looking forward to participating in The Year of Books. Thank you for creating the opportunity for lovers of the written word to gather and share about what is loved most of all. I’ve been curious to read Life after Life..after reading your thoughts on it, I’m definitely going to pick it up!

    Thank you, Laura.