Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Year in Books: July


I can't believe how fast this year is going by; it's only when I type 'July' into a post that it really hits me. We're halfway through 2014 already.

Still, marking a year with the books I've read each month is a good thing. 

I've always got a few books on the go, but June's big one was The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard. It was the first in the Cazalet series and I was hooked. Howard is such a sensitive writer - her characters are so real and beautifully observed. And the historical detail is excellent too; I was surprised to see the book was published in 1990 as it's so authentic I'd just assumed it had actually been written during the 1930s.

If you're a fan of family dramas and social history you'll enjoy it hugely. In fact I was sorely tempted to order the next book, Marking Time, and continue straight on but decided on a change (that way I can prolong the reading pleasure too). 

Having recently moved back to the Ramsbottom area I made joining the library a priority. We're lucky to have a really lovely one here. However, trying to choose a book with a toddler in tow isn't quite as enjoyable as when you're alone. I picked up a few but nothing particularly inspiring. In fact, I was contemplating looking at my own reading pile and grabbing whatever was on the top when I made a chance discovery this morning. 

We'd driven down to the big park in Ramsbottom  - well, Jay drove actually - and that's how I must have noticed the little wooden library in the picture above. When you're a passenger you get to have a good nose around and notice things you wouldn't (or shouldn't) when doing the driving yourself. Eyes on the road and all that.

It was next to a garden gate and the sign read, 'Borrow a book or leave a book. ENJOY!'

So I had a look and, despite the somewhat small selection, there were plenty that appealed. I managed to limit myself to two: What to Eat by Joanna Blythman and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Both non-fiction (bye bye, comfort zone) and both of interest. I read Shopped by Blythman some years ago and I do like her no-nonsense approach to food writing. And, having recently watched 'The Best Diet in the World', I've been on a bit of a healthy eating mission. In theory if not quite in practice. Yet.

The Happiness Project has been on my 'would like to read' list for a while, but it's one of those books I doubt I'd actually buy. 

So: a happy discovery! Of course, I'll return the books once I've read them and maybe donate a few of my own too. And if you're interested you can visit the Little Free Library. I'd never heard of it before but I love the idea.

Joining in with Laura's The Year in Books over at Circle of Pine Trees.

Happy July reading!

14 comments:

  1. Have you read Joanna Blythman's The Food Our Children Eat? I read it when George was a baby and it became my bible for feeding my family. Thinking about it now it's fair to say it was the single most influential book i have ever read. Recommended for all parents of small children.

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    1. That is very good to know. I've been having a bit of a panic about making sure I give Joe the best I can, food-wise. I'll look that one up - thanks!

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  2. A garden gate library - what a lovely idea!

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  3. I love the idea of a garden gate library. The Cazelet books are ones I'd like to read and I enjoyed the Happiness Project

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  4. I love the little free library idea, and it sounds like you found a couple of really good books. I'll be looking out for one too. CJ xx

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  5. Cool library! I like Gretchen Rubin's books. Some of the ideas seem mad, but do work. Let us know how you get on!

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  6. The library is such a nice idea. I would love to start one here but I think people would just vandalize it. I wish that weren't true, but I can picture it. I like Gretchen Rubin, but haven't read that one yet, I'll look for it. Happy reading!

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  7. This little library reminds me of holidays. There always seems to be a few shelves of left behind books on all the campsites we visit. When I was travelling in Australia, swapping books like that was my only opportunity to read (I was very short of money). I have still not gone to the library to have a look at the Cazalet series. Must do so this week. I am glad you are enjoying your new community. x

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  8. We have several of these book shelves (glass fronted) on street corners in the west end of Vancouver, sponsored by the city library service, but anyone can add a book or more.They also have a 'library in a tent" service, on the street in different places, to which people can donate books. I think it's a wonderful idea. It's fun , when out for a walk ,to just stop and see what's on the shelves. Lisa

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  9. I love the idea of these little libraries all over the place! Lots of different books are available I imagine than you might normally read or head to in a more formal library. Glad that you are enjoying your books! xx

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  10. The garden library idea is enchanting. It's such a lovely way of sharing books. I will be interested to read what you thought of The Happiness Project.
    Leanne xx

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  11. That garden library sounds brilliant. I've seen book crossing books in various places. I'm loving the year in books but also cannot believe it is July already!! Happy reading x

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  12. the garden library sounds fabulous, what a fantastic find!

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  13. What a great find! I would love a little library to visit too! Seems much more special! I am looking forward to seeing how you get on with The Happiness Project. I was lucky enough to win a copy in a blog giveaway a little while back but each time I start to read it I can't seem to get in the right frame of mind. Bee xx

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