the year in books :: February

the year in books :: circle of pine trees blog

Wow. What an amazing response to the Year in Books! Seventy of you linked up a post last month, with many others joining in via Instagram (#theyearinbooks) and the Goodreads group. I really didn’t anticipate so many people getting involved, and I am absolutely thrilled that you have all chosen to join me in this project: it’s been fascinating to read about everyone’s book choices, and my ‘to-read’ list grows ever-longer as a result!

I finished my book for January, Heat Lightning, with just a day to spare before the end of the month. It was a novel which took me a little while to get into, but by the end, I had been drawn in to the characters’ lives. Like so many Persephone books, it is ostensibly a domestic novel. The setting rarely strays from the homes of one extended family, the Westovers, in depression-era Mitchigan. It is, however, very much a book which is rooted in ideas, with its central character, Amy, musing on philosophy, psychology, and human relationships. Helen Hull’s prose is elegant and considered, making it a pleasure to read. ‘A lifetime’s too short’, says Amy’s wise grandmother, ‘to find your way about another’s heart…’ Such are Amy’s struggles, distilled.

It was so satisfying to have finished a book during January, and I was certainly spurred on by the accountability of my intention to report back here, which was just the nudge that I needed to encourage me to pick it up and read. I am already a whole chapter in to February’s book, Girl Reading. I’ve always had a particular fondness for metafictional novels, so this one is just my cup of tea (or coffee!) For March, I have ordered the latest novel by one of my favourite authors- Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life, which I am particularly looking forward to.

So, over to you! Just a re-cap on how it all works:

The aim is to read 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 (and do nudge me if I haven’t added you yet!). There is 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 have started to compile 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.

Phew! I hope that’s everything covered, let’s get on with the February linkup. It doesn’t matter whether or not you linked up in January- 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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