21 Days of Lockdown Reading

If I take out the part where I actually make money, my business can still kind of carry on as usual during our lockdown, so my plan is to simply work really hard in the hopes that by the end of all of this I might be able to make up the shortfall. Only time will tell that, I suppose.

For now though, on day one, I think I’m going to give myself a long weekend. A long weekend in which to read my heart out and hang with my kid and my doggles and kittles. I’m going to skip any further attempts at a “theme” and just dive in wherever my fancies take me.

Because I can and I should.

How are you planning to spend your first couple of quarantine days?

Must Love Music

Ok don’t laugh at me for being a bit of a ridiculous person, but this month I’m reading books about music because I’ve had to admit to myself that music has turned into one of those lost love sort of things for me. Actually, go ahead and laugh. It’s ridiculous. Thing is, somewhere along the line, this thing I loved completely just became this thing that I’m somewhat sadly indifferent about. So indifferent, in fact, that the only music I ever really listen to is the church band that plays on Sundays.

So I had this daft idea that after reading all about books in January, maybe I should read about music in March (Feb was dedicated to Mary Higgins Clark) because the reading about books thing made me all oh my gosh I really love books-y and I thought maybe that would work for music?

So far, no not really. But I did read two awesome books because of it so far though. And I’m enjoying a third. So there’s that, right?

Do you have any fall back in love with music books on your bookshelves?

A Month of Mary Higgins Clark

I started February with grand plans to make my way through my entire Mary Higgins Clark collection in memory of her death. I made it through three.

That’s a bad way to put it. That makes it sound like reading them was a chore. It wasn’t. Reading Mary is never a chore. Ok, when I was 12 it was a little harder, but I was still happy to do it then. No, reading Mary is kind of an indulgence. Something to treat my tired brain to.

So I’m a little grumpy that I only got through three because damn, son, I needed the break!

Alas, March has come and I’m supposed to change direction now…

Of course my tired brain can’t settle on a new theme though. So where to now, anyway?

The Melody Lingers On – Mary Higgins Clark (review)

The Melody Lingers OnThe Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Generally with MHC it’s the whole “what the hell happened” thing that keeps me turning pages. Like who killed whoever or who is the stalker. You know, that sort of mysterious stuff. This book is a little different from the usual though. It’s a little mysterious, of course, but it’s more of a “what happens” sort of tale than a “what happened” sort of tale.

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I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Mary Higgins Clark (review)

I've Got You Under My SkinI’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Miraculously did not guess the culprit on this one which was great. In the past I’d gotten so accustomed to MHC that I starting intuiting culprits too often. Hence the break. But I didn’t guess in this one so that was great.

I quite enjoyed the documentary vibe of this one. I love how easy MHC is to read, without being too fluffy. Not that there’s anything wrong with fluff, of course, just not my thing.

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Books About Books

I spent January in six different libraries. Seven, actually, if you count my own. Eight if you count my shop and personal library as two separate libraries. The point is: I feel engulfed by books. It’s blissful!

I have, however, decided that themed reading is a little weird and I’m not sure if I should continue with it or not. The books about books were all awesome but they have sort of blurred into each other a little. Unless I think about them properly then I can draw the lines.

Should I be theming my reading?

The thing is: there is a certain joy to perusing my personal shelves and finding links that tie various books together. There are still five books left in my pile of Books About Books. I might have been a little ambitious in my attempts there… But I got joy out of just looking at that pile, nevermind reading it.

And I’m reading! Last year I read a grand total of five books! How ridiculous! So caught up in running a shop and moving towns. Noah starting school. That pesky little nervous breakdown. All that time I spent convincing myself that two nervous breakdowns in the space of two years isn’t so bad.

We’re reading. Reading keeps the happy. Themes keep the structure. Structure keeps the sanity.

And we’re reading.

The Booksih Life of Nina Hill – A Book Review

Title: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Author: Abbi Waxman

My Rating: 4

Is it weird to say this is the most Older-Millennial book I have ever read? I legit think this woman MUST be my exact age. The references. The way of speaking. All of it. It’s so… Familiar! And a bit unsettling…

Of course this isn’t my usual sort of book. Like all folk in books about books I like to pretend that I have sophisticated taste. Donna Tartt. John Irving. Margaret Atwood. These are my people!! Actually no. These are the people who are so far out of my league that I barely feel worth to peruse the words they have spent their lives writing.

What was I saying? Oh yes. This isn’t my usual sort of book. Fluffy and flirty books? Surely those are for other people. Not less serious readers. Just less uptight people? Hmmm… Maybe I can be less uptight too…?

Probably not. But the book was fun to read regardless. So there’s that! Silly and flirty and happy. Sometimes we just need that, right?

Right.

The Bookish Life of Nina HillThe Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of the cheesiest most older-millennial books I have ever read. I feel like the author MUST surely be exactly my age! Surely?! I loved it 🥰

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Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – *review*

Title: Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Author: Robin Sloan

My Rating: 4

I didn’t love this book at first, I must admit. For one, I think I’m very much in a space of craving feminine energy (which is no fault of the author, of course) and for another it was a little slow to start for me. I did, however, enjoy it as a whole and I can appreciate that it was well written.

Robin Sloan has a very Lex Grossman feel, but slightly more casual, and wholly less magical. Think Codex but with books and a bit less angst.

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1)Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me way too long to read this book! Back to life etc. Its pretty entertaining. Reminded me of Codex a bit 😊

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The Collected Works of AJ Fikry – *a review*

Title: The Collected Works of AJ Fikry (aka The Storied Life of AJ Fikry)

Author: Gabrielle Zevin

My Rating: 5

I didn’t get up at a reasonable hour this morning. I woke up. But I didn’t get up. Because man, this book is so beautiful. I am trying to “read for a little while” in the mornings. Mostly I read short stories because then I get up after I’m done with one. But I couldn’t resist picking this book up this morning. And then I couldn’t resist finishing it.

You know when the narrator sounds right in your head. When the rhythm and the words and the story all just blend together so beautifully that you read each word slowly because you need to consume it like fine wine or chocolate, savouring every exquisite part of it…

It’s such a simple story. Unpretentious. Unassuming. Simple. And beautiful.

And for some reason full of references to my favourite writers! Aimee Bender. Kate Atkinson. John Irving. And reference to the short stories of Roald Dahl as well which I love.

I adored this book. It is exactly the sort of book I aspire to write.

The Bookshop That Floated Away – *review*

Title: The Bookshop That Floated Away

Author: Sarah Henshaw

My Rating: 3

I should state outright that I tend to not love memoirs. I so seldom get anywhere with anything that isn’t purely fiction. This is much to the frustration of anyone who has ever handed me a biography or a self-help book to read. I try, guys, I do. Usually I fail.

I managed this one though. I supposed being able to relate in some ways makes a difference. This is a sweet read, if nothing else. Though it took me almost finishing the book before I realised that while the whole vibe of it felt very familiar, it wasn’t because it reminded me of myself at all. It reminded me of a long lost friend. Realising that made the feelings make a little more sense…

Anyway. This one fitted nicely into my bookshop/library theme for the month. As I read these I’m actually writing a story set in a library as well. This particular book didn’t inspire my writing much but it did leave me with a feeling of oh yes it’s totally ok to live your life on your own terms. 

I do so love wandering travellers… They are infinitely braver than I…