the year in books :: October 2017

September, most bookish month of all, was the one in which I didn’t manage to share with you what I was reading. In truth, it was a month of big changes for me, with my youngest son starting school, and the way in which I spend my days shifting. After some weeks of adjustment, and a good deal of catching up on work that was put to one side during the summer months, I have returned to this blog, and to the Year in Books project with renewed enthusiasm.

Even though I failed to post here last month, I hosted the Twitter chat as usual, which as always left me with a growing to-read pile! I’m currently mulling over ideas for the Year in Books project, and more generally this little corner of the internet. One thought was that you might perhaps be interested in a summary of the best bits of the monthly Twitter chat – perhaps a list of recommended books, of words or of ideas that came up in the chat. I am always very inspired by the bookish folk who join me for the chat, and perhaps you might be too? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or talk to me on Twitter – I’m @circleofpines

The last book that I recorded here was  Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin, a book about the relationship between women, the city and creativity. It tied in beautifully with a wonderful essay in the next book that I read (Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit), an essay entitled Woolf’s Darkness that touched on so many things- darkness as mystery and the unknown; historical dark and inner dark, centring on an exploration of Woolf’s essay ‘Street Haunting’, which begins with a walk through London at dusk.

Since reading my brother’s gift of The Faraway Nearby in April, I have been working my way through Rebecca Solnit’s books. I find her work so inspiring- she combines the poetic with the political and weaves narratives that are held together by facts and truths. My book choice this month is the sequel to Men Explain Things to Me: The Mother of All Questions, a collection of feminist essays. My edition is the American one, I bought it on a trip to Chicago in the summer to visit my brother. He took me to a wonderful bookshop, Pilsen Community Books. Appropriately, given that it was he who introduced me to Solnit in the first place, I bought my copies of both books of essays there. If you should ever find yourself in Chicago, I urge you to visit Pilsen Community Books- I have yet to find a lovelier haven for bookworms.

Finally, in other bookish news, I have a piece in the latest issue of Lionheart magazine with a collection of book reviews focusing on Pattern and Colour. Writing the book review piece for Lionheart is one of my favourite tasks, it’s a gorgeous magazine, do consider picking up a copy if you haven’t already.

The next Twitter chat for  #theyearinbooks chat will be at 9pm on Monday November. It is always an absolute treat, so do come along and join us if Twitter’s your thing; we’re a very welcoming crowd, and you’re sure to come away with a to-read list as long as your arm, and some bookish new friends to boot. (I’m @circleofpines on Twitter, but follow @theyearinbooks for details of the chat.)

You can find all the details about the Year in Books project on the YIB information page. Here’s a quick reminder of how it works: The aim of the project is to read (at least) a book a month during 2017. It’s not a conventional book club, so we don’t usually all read the same book. At the start of the month, I blog about the book that I am intending to read and write a few words (thoughts, comments, a review of sorts) about the previous month’s book. If you would like to do the same on your own blog, or over on Instagram, please do join me! Posts can be shared via #theyearinbooks on Twitter or Instagram, or can be pinned to the Year in Books Pinterest board (let me know in the blog comments if you would like to be added as a pinner- I’ll just need your email address to send you an invitation.) Do also feel free to share a link to your post in my blog post comments. I’d appreciate it if you could link back here from any blog posts.

You can read about why I started the project here, and find the most recent #theyearinbooks posts here. You don’t have to blog about your books- you can participate purely via social media and can share as many books as you like- it doesn’t have to be restricted to one a month. I am @circleofpines on Instagram and on Twitter : please do tag me so that I can see your posts. There’s a Goodreads group for this project, and all are very welcome to join. Finally, if you are on Pinterest, do follow  and peruse the Year in Books Pinterest Board for all manner of bookish inspiration. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have taken part before- everyone is welcome and it’s never too late to get involved. 


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  • I didn’t manage to finish a book at all last month as it was so busy with back to school and renovating a house too, and I missed the chat too but I’m slowly getting back into things, though still a lot to do on the house!

    I think it would be a brilliant idea to do some kind of chat round up post if it’s not too much trouble. That chat can be hard to keep up with and it’s so easy to forget things so to have everything noted in one place each month would be fantastic!

    I’m just about to started reading The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve never read it before. I’ve published my latest YIB post today 🙂