Showing posts from February, 2014

The Year in Books - February

I came rather late to The Year in Books, hosted by Laura at Circle of Pines .  So my January book, "Miss Pettigrew lives for a Day", was reviewed in February.  This time I am running to catch up and hope to sneak my February book in just under the wire on the last day of the month. There are all sorts of contenders for the book of the month this time.  I have read Louise Doughty's "Apple Tree Yard" for my new book club choice and "The Language of Flowers"by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  I have also reread two books by Mary Stewart, "Airs above the Ground" and "This Rough Magic".  None of this is heavy stuff and I have enjoyed all of it, particularly coming back after many years to Mary Stewart's thrillers written in the 1950s and 60s and just bristling with intelligent, period charm.  Thanks so much to Chris of Home Thoughts Weekly for reminding me of these.  They are just exactly what you need for a burst of pacy, well written and i

Snowdrop count

Every year I channel my inner nerd and go out and count my snowdrops.  When we came here in 2005 there was a sprinkling of snowdrops along one side of the drive.  They took me by surprise when they came up in January 2006 when I was recovering from a serious illness and they were the first flowers this garden offered me, having moved into a cold and empty November garden.  Regrettably I had no premonition that I would get a bit obsessive about snowdrops so I have no idea how many there were.  I would guess at about a hundred.  In 2007 and 2008 I planted five hundred more in the green, mainly the common single snowdrop, galanthus nivalis, with a small amount of common doubles.  I am not a serious snowdrop fancier, a real galanthophile.  I do not collect rare varieties and shiver on my knees in the great snowdrop gardens like Cambo Estate  and Hodsock Priory .  I have not spent hundreds on a single bulb of great rarity.  I am not totally immune.  I do sometimes see a snowdrop of such bea

A blog on a plate

Don't you find with blogs that often you can simply not remember how you came across something which has now become required reading?  That is certainly the case with Asia Vu, a wonderful blog about expat life in Seoul by Caroline, an American raised as an expat herself and now living with her husband and younger son in an apartment block in Korea.  It's a great read, funny, sometimes plangent, intelligent, open-minded and even educational.  I know nothing at all about Korea but I didn't realise how profoundly ignorant I was until I starting reading Caroline's blog.  At least now I know how little I know. Now she has asked me to take part in a meme.  I don't normally do these because I have been blogging for so long that I can't believe there are five things that you might not know about me, if you have been determined enough to stick with me for a bit.  This one is a bit different,however, as Caroline herself has come up with the questions and they are differ

The Year in Books

I am reading voraciously at the moment, diving into a book and barely coming up for air in the way I did as a child and a teenager.  I must need the comfort of other worlds.  I have always been a reader but how I read changes as my life does.  When my children were young I could hardly find the time to read novels and developed an addiction to magazines which continues to this day.  When I was working sixty and seventy hour weeks I had very little to spare for reading in a concentrated way and tended to lose myself in gardening books with the occasional foray into chick lit fiction when I was travelling and needed the quick hit of a book for the train or the plane.  I have gradually picked up fiction again since I left work but in the last few months I have become an addict again in the way I was in my teens, whizzing through two or three books a week, sometimes struggling to remember what it was I read last week in the torrent of other books that have followed, reading crime fiction,