Saturday, 2 January 2016

The joy of a new book

Today I began a new book, one of several I had for Christmas.  I always have the latest Phil Rickman as soon as it comes out in December, though I waited until Christmas morning to unwrap this from our eldest daughter.  I know his characters well, and the areas he sets his books in, and it was such a joy to open this today and start reading.

There is such joy (and a sense of indulgence) in settling down and opening the covers of a new book, beginning to read and becoming totally absorbed (despite a very rotund stripey Ghengis-cat trying to get first dibs on my lap!)  Having several new books I was spoilt for choice, but I thought I would skip through this the quickest and then could take my time over the others.

This was another Christmas book, which we bought on one of our late autumn trips to Hay-on-Wye.  I adore Robert Macfarlane's writing and his connections with Edward Thomas.  I often wonder if ET was writing now, would he be writing books like this?  Yup, pretty sure he would.

This is a recent biography of ET which had been on my wish-list since it was published earlier last year.  My husband bought this for me.

Another from my Amazon wish list, only found in Hay-on-Wye, in the excellent Poetry bookshop.  A first edition (not that I am normally bothered by such niceties).

I've just finished reading these books, kindly loaned to me by Dawn over on Doing It For Ourselves blogspsot.  The first book, Place of Stones, was swiftly read and returned, as these will be shortly.  I can recommend all three books - they tell how the author and her family came to be the owners of a North Wales farm, and how they struggled against the weather and the limitations of the soil and landscape to make a living for themselves.

This is my bedtime reading.  After seeing the programme about Amanda Owen and her family with Ben Fogle, I had a spending spree on Amazon and bought this for a penny plus postage.  An excellent read - and a tough lass.

Finally, a little treat for me today, partly as it has the antiques trends for 2016 (hmmm, not sure if that was much help) and partly because it had a free calendar and some interesting articles.

I am nursing a bit of a cold at the moment, but I will be back tomorrow with some photos of the slowest and shortest walk up the hill behind our house, and what is growing and blooming there.


  1. I am just getting to the last chapter of Amanda Owens book, but got distracted starting another book, I picked up a few for pennies before Christmas :-)

  2. Love merrily Watkins and didn't know there was a new one. So lovely to have a selection of new books to read.

  3. How wonderful to have such a selection of lovely new books to look forward to!
    I`m especially envious of your new Robert MacFarlane book ( almost "ET reincarnated" and with such a deep love of the English countryside - a brilliant writer) and of the new Edward Thomas biography.

    I have never read a Philip Rickman book so it`s time I did!

    Happy New Year to you all. DWxx

  4. Wonderful books.
    I keep buying books in hope I can really start reading again.
    But between the eyes and brain I just can't get back to read.
    It is super sad.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

  5. The Merrily series by Rickman is top on my list to buy, the first one. Maybe I first heard about it here. Like you, I read books about people moving to the country. Are you on Facebook? There is a fun group there We Love Memoirs, quite a few expats are members and have written some humorous books.

  6. Marvellous selection of books, shall make a list, though I do have Macfarlane's The Wild

  7. Have read the Macfarlane - excellent.
    We live quite near to the Yorkshire Shepherdess - as you say she is one tough lass. She
    decided to deliver her last baby (number eight) herself on the hearthrug before a blazing fire in the middle of the night.

  8. Those are some great books, BB. I might have to get the Yorkshire Shepherdess book as well :D

  9. A lovely selection of books there - I do like Macfarlane's writing and have just started Friends of Dusk :)

    The Yorkshire Shepherdess looks interesting - will look into it. I do enjoy seeing books that other people are reading as it gives me ideas. I believe you were one of the people who first introduced me to Phil Rickman.

    Hope the cold is better soon.

  10. R. Robin - I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I am so glad I got you onto Phil Rickman. I'm greatly enjoying his latest. There's a little novella he did too which I also bought and read recently, The House of Susan Lulham, which kept me going until I got the new one.

    Yarrow - I will send you my copy as soon as I've finished it.

    Pat - I thought she might be quite near you - very tough to have her baby in front of the fire at home, but I guess she knew the routine by then and she is SO fit, it's a bit like shucking peas. My easiest labour was when I had 5 horses stabled, and mucked them out until about a fortnight before, when my OH took over.

    Thelma - I thought you would have the Macfarlane. I just adore his style.

    Terra - thanks for mentioning that group - I have applied for membership.

    parsnip - I hope you are able to settle down and get lost in a book again - nothing better.

    DW - I am kicking myself for not buying you that one, but I was sure you probably already had it! I would say he's ET reincarnated too! Without the manic depression.

    CT - I bet you've already had an Amazon moment!

    Dawn - I really enjoyed it, and a couple of bits had me giggling (not good when Keith fast asleep and I was trying not to wake him!)

  11. Oh - I absolutely adore the Phil Rickman books! I have to be very careful when I start one or the whole house can be ignored for a couple of days!!! I hope that you enjoyed it. Jx

  12. Jan - a few chapters in today, and just what I need as I have no energy for anything else! I can recommend it already.