The Year in Books :: March 2015


Last month’s choice was Jessie Burton’s runaway success, The Miniaturist. Set in 17th century Amsterdam, it is a novel with a vivid, and often claustrophobic, sense of place. The characters were intriguing, and the attention to detail was admirable. I liked this book a good deal, but there were nevertheless some aspects of the plot that perplexed and even frustrated me. I’m currently reading How to Catch a Frog, the autobiography of sewer, blogger and all round creative, Heather Ross. It was recommended by Kat via Instagram and it’s a lovely, slightly quirky read.

My book choice this month, Tove Jansson’s A Winter Book, is a tad out of kilter, seasonally. I read The Summer Book last year as part of this project, and was utterly entranced by it. I hadn’t realised that there was a winter companion until I saw it recently in a #theyearinbooks post on Instagram. I knew that it would have to be my next  book choice. Interestingly, this edition is introduced by Ali Smith, author of my January choice. I bought it from a wonderful indie bookshop, which was filled with delights, not least the helpful and knowledgeable bookseller.

This community of bibliophiles, gathered together through The Year in Books project, is a constant source of inspiration to me. My ‘to-read’ list grows ever longer, and I’ve noted down several brilliant suggestions following  #theyearinbooks Twitter chats .They are a regular fixture now, at 9pm GMT on the last Monday of each month. Thank you to all who take part, it’s such a pleasure to chat with you! Do come along and join us if Twitter’s your thing; we’re a very friendly crowd, and it’s a lovely hour spent in gentle bookish chat. (I’m @circleofpines on Twitter.)

You can find Year in Books blog buttons, and all the details about the project on the YIB information page. Here’s a quick reminder of how it works:

The aim of the Year in Books project is to read (at least) a book a month during 2015. It’s not a conventional book club, so we don’t all read the same book, the project is about trying to ensure that we make space for reading in our busy lives, and is a way for us all to discover more lovely books (and lovely bibliophiles). At the start of the month, we blog about the book that we are intending to read, and, if we want to, write a few words (thoughts, comments, a review of sorts) about the previous month’s book.

If you would prefer to share your book choices over on Instagram or Twitter, please use the hashtag #theyearinbooks so that we can find your posts. You can share as many books as you like in this way- it doesn’t have to be restricted to one a month. I am @circleofpines on Instagram and on Twitter, if you’d like to tag me so that I can see your posts.

There’s a Goodreads group for this project, and all are very welcome to join, whether or not you have a blog of your own. Finally, there’s a Year in Books Pinterest board, do follow along for all manner of bookish inspiration. If you would like to pin to the board, let me know in the blog comments and I will add you as a pinner. (If I should have added you, and haven’t, do nudge me! Pinterest is a little problematic on the issue and it sometimes takes a couple of attempts.)

It doesn’t matter whether or not you have linked up before- everyone is welcome and it’s never too late to get involved. Please do link back here from your post.

Thank you, and happy reading!

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  • I read the Miniaturist as well – over all I loved it but agree there were some frustrating aspects, the ending was a bit frustrating for me. Your reads for this month looks really interesting!

  • I have read about lots of disappointment after reading the Miniaturist, a much hyped book. When it was first published I was tempted, but I am definitely not now. Interestingly I wrote about hyped up books and their attraction or otherwise in my book post this month. I saw A Winter Book in the library last week and was tempted, I am not a fan of short stories tho’ so put it back on the shelf. We are still in the depths of Winter here (freezing temperatures and lots of snow) so it would still be an appropriate read, will be interested to note what you make of it.

  • I read A Winter Book and enjoyed it, though not as much as The Summer Book which was just so lovely! In general I’m not a fan of short stories but these suited a snatched moment of fireside reading in among family chaos!

  • I only know Tove Jansson as the author of the Moomins. I am quite tempted by both Winter and Summer Book for my quest to learn to enjoy the short story. I am trying to read more short stories this year and I am reading Flannery o’Connors collected works just now. As always, thank you for setting the linkup up. x

  • I’ve just discovered your lovely blog and The Year in Books project. I’d love to join in to encourage me to read those books I’ve neglected in my to-be-read pile. I’m also looking forward to finding more recommendations.