the year in books :: November


November seems to have crept up on me! I have been rather a butterfly with my reading of late- a chapter here, a poem there, a short story before bed. My October choice, The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse was perfect for this kind of reading habit. The tales are short and readable. I found them to be deceptively simple and often deliciously dark, experimental and allegorical. I loved David Frampton’s woodcut illustrations, which chime beautifully with the text. I have yet to read the final few tales but I am enjoying dipping in and out of the book.

My November choice is another book of short stories, this time by Flannery O’Connor. Despite her place in the American literary canon, O’Connor is an author that I had barely come across until recently. I discovered her through Amanda, and have selected her stories as my starting point. I’ve  long had a penchant for Southern writers, and am excited to peel back the cover and begin.

Unbelieveably, next month will be the final month of this year in books! I’ve made a festive choice, with Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, which I picked up in a second hand bookshop, coincidentally a couple of days before visiting Dylan Thomas’s Boathouse in Laugharne, last week. I fell completely in love with this magical spot, and have some photographs to share here before long.

I’ve been thinking  a little about the future of the Year in Books project. I’d love to take it forward into 2015, and have a few ideas that I’m mulling over. I’d be keen to know your thoughts- have you enjoyed taking part this year? Would you like to do so again? Are there any changes that you would suggest for the year ahead? Do tell me.

Returning to the present… here, slightly belatedly, is the November link up. 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. 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. 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.

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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  • Laura I would miss the Year In Books so much if you stopped! I have found so many lovely blogs through it, and book recommendations too. I think it is perfect as it is, and I do hope you can carry on with it X

  • I’ve really enjoyed taking part, I’ve found lots of new blogs and many, many book recommendations! Looking forward to participating next year!

  • It has been fun Laura and has made me a lot more thoughtful about my book choices, given me ideas for books to read and has even made me read more regularly, so I’d be up for it again!

  • I was a little late joining this party this year. Only start last month but I have really enjoyed seeing what other people are reading and sharing my list of books for the month. I was hoping that it would continue on into 2015 and would love to continue taking part.

  • You will love a Child’s Christmas in Wales- it is our family’s favourite Christmas Story which we read on Christmas Eve to the boys…the language is poetic, you can feel the snow & hear the carols against the swash of the sea…magical!

  • Oh please carry it on next year Laura! It’s been hugely inspiring. Burial Rites and the Snow Child have been immensely enjoyed, having discovered them here on your wonderful blog. Many thank yous, Niki

  • I would love it to continue, if you have time to keep it going? It has been a great source of new blogs to read now and then, and new books to hunt out. And I think even if you didn’t feel you could carry on, I’d still do the monthly book reviews on my own blog… I love writing about reading. But thank you for this year of books, even though I was also a late comer, it’s been great fun.

  • HI Laura,
    I’d love to see it continue next year thank you! I’ve found both new books and blogs through the link-up so if you’re happy to host, I’m happy to keep coming back for it!
    This month’s read is Saving Grace by Jane Green. I picked it up, put it back down, then picked it up again. I’m not sure if it will be my favourite Jane Green, but it’s well worth a read.

  • I love the idea of your book choices and may have to add these to my list, I have also added a festive choice for my December reads!
    Thank you so much for doing the year in books, I only discovered it a couple of months ago after a little time away from my blog and you and other lovely bloggers have inspired me to read so much more, I’ve re discovered my love of books. Therefore I would miss your monthly spot.
    Thank you

  • Oh yes please! Do carry on. I have really enjoyed the link-up, even though only discovering it half way through this year. Because of the Year in Books I’ve discovered new authors and books I would not have been aware of (or considered) previously. I’ve returned each month because of the wonderful friendly, refreshing and informal community you have fostered. Not having a deadline date by which reviews of the previous month reading must be posted is also a very appealing, stress-less reason for continuing to participate.

  • I’d love to continue Laura, it’s been so interesting and inspiring! I wonder, what about a monthly virtual get-together – on Twitter perhaps – where we could all have a chat in real time?

    • Yes, that’s exactly what I had been thinking. I think it should be manageable, assuming that sufficient people use Twitter. There are also Google hangouts, but they rather scare me, I’m afraid! 😉

  • Thanks for hosting, Laura as I too have enjoyed taking part, finding new recommendations from other bloggers. I hope you’re able to carry on into 2015!

  • I have loved this series. It’s really got me back on the reading horse so to speak! I’d love to carry it on as I’ve found such great reading recommendations.