Summer’s End…


To be honest, I’m not exactly sure which months constitute summer nowadays in our damaged climate; but I always consider the end of that season to be the time when I go back to work after the long mid-year break, and despite having to do that, I am fond of autumn… I generally try to fit in more reading during August while I don’t have the daily distraction of the paying job, traditionally including at least one chunkster, and I’m pleased that this year was no different.

For once, I actually made (modest!) reading plans and actually stuck to them! Admittedly, I was pretty sure I wanted to read the books in question, and they fitted in with a couple of reading challenges. So in the spirit of Andy Miller (!) here is an image of what I read during August (and bear in mind that there still may be reviews to follow as I’m always a bit behind):

I was particularly pleased (as I made fairly obvious!) to read Victor Serge’s Notebooks – strongly tipped for my read of the year. But there wasn’t really a dud amongst them; even the one that made me pause a bit (“The Marquise of O-“) was strange and interesting, and very cleverly written. And I was really happy about getting back to reading so many women writers, especially Women in Translation; this is a wonderful initiative, set up and championed by Meytal Radzinski, and I hope to keep taking part.

So – onward into September and autumn. Do I have plans? Maybe – above are some possibles…  I’m continuing to make a dent in the review pile (all of which are books I actually *want* to read); and I have amassed quite a selection of non-fiction works I hope to get to soon-ish as well (including all the pretty Fitzcarraldo editions which may have made their way into the house after their recent sale – here they are…)

Plus there’s an awful lot of classic crime lurking and any number of charity shop finds, as well as some interesting Russians from Glagoslav. I’m not going to make any specific plans, however, because with work pressures I want to leave myself as free as possible to follow the reading muse. I’m currently in the middle of the wonderful book below by Ian Penman from Fitzcarraldo Editions, but after that who knows? Watch this space!! 😀

A happy new year of reading plans?


And a happy new year to you all! The first day of January is traditionally a time to look forward to the coming 12 months and plan; in the case of a reader and/or book blogger, that usually takes the form of thinking about volumes you want to read, those you’d like to acquire or have recently acquired, and any reading challenges you’re thinking of undertaking during the year. Well, for me, 2017 is going to be very simple – I’m planning to have as few plans as possible!


The thing is, I find that I get all enthusiastic about the latest challenge, read-along or whatever, buy the books, get all set up and then when it comes to the time to read and take part, I’m either embroiled in a slew of review books, in the middle of an obsession with a different author or type of book, or simply to tired/busy/ill to take part. I’ve found I don’t respond well to reading pressure and the limited number of review books I get are enough to complicate things, without setting myself any other kind of boundaries.


Therefore 2017’s commitments will be limited, so that I can follow my reading muse and pick up the books I want to, when I want to. I *do* hope to:

a. finally finish the Dorothy Richardson Pilgrimage series. This has been a much more difficult read than when I first encountered the books but I’m determined not to be beaten!

b. take part in the LibraryThing Virago Group’s Author of the Month Group Read. This is a nice loose challenge whereby we all vote for a Virago author of the month and we can read their works or autobiographies or whatever takes our fancy as we please. It’s the kind of thing that can be dipped in and out of so I’m hoping this will work for me and that I’ll be able to read more of the books I already own.

c. enjoy reading books from 1951, the next year in the reading weeks I co-host with Simon at Stuck in a Book. These are great fun, and I do have a pile of books from the year in question already waiting in line!

d. read more from my stacks… I own a *lot* of books and I need to set about reading them – urgently. If I thought I had more self-control I would take part it one of many challenges to buy no books and read from your stacks, but the minute I set limits on myself I would rebel. Having said that, I have no plans to buy books and plenty to read, so you never know!

So – simple plans to start off the new year. Let’s hope my reading for 2017 can stay enjoyable, unstressful and uncomplicated! 🙂

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