Birthday Gifts!

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There was a book in this beautiful little gift bag – see below.*

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Yesterday was my birthday – these are some of the gifts I received, including a little pile of books. From top to bottom they are:

  • Historical Noir: the Pocket Essential Guide to Fiction, Film and TV by Barry Forshaw – a reference book that will keep me informed about historical and not so historical sleuths. One to dip into frequently, I suspect. (*This was the book in the gift bag.)
  • The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley – I loved her first book, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, so I’m expecting (hoping) this will be just as fascinating.
  • I’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May – one of my favourite authors, writing such richly descriptive books. This is set in the Outer Hebrides, like his Lewis Trilogy.
  • Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh – a new-to-me author, so not sure what to expect, but Ian Rankin is quoted on the back cover: Great hook and the book lives up to it. I hope so.
  • The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine – another new-to-me author. Another book set in the Outer Hebrides, set in a crumbling estate with a century-old secret, historical fiction set in 2010  and in 1910, described as ‘An echo of Daphne du Maurier‘.
  • Origin by Dan Brown – I know lots of people criticise his writing but I find his books entertaining. I’ve read a few and whilst they are formulaic and not great literature I have enjoyed them – pure escapism!

Blog Anniversary 12 April!

Today is the 8th anniversary of BooksPlease. Eight years ago I’d just left work and had more time to read and write about books, so I began this blog partly to help me remember what I’ve read and also to extend the pleasure of reading and to record what I thought about the books. And so ‘BooksPlease‘ was born.

I thought of calling my blog ‘Books Matter‘, or ‘Book Matters‘ but decided that it should be ‘BooksPlease‘ because they do and also because if somebody asked me what I wanted for my birthday or Christmas when I was a child I always said ”ooh, books please!

Right from the start it’s been more than just a book blog and I’ve also written about art, pets, places I’ve visited, personal anecdotes or thoughts, cookery, walking, travels and holidays, and about crafts, such as knitting and cross-stitch – and well, anything else that interests or pleases me.

On the book front a recurring theme over the years has been ‘what to read next‘. Choosing what to read next is almost as pleasurable as actually reading  the books.

This is the first photo I posted showing a pile of some of the books I had waiting to be read in April 2007. It seems so long ago now!

 

I don’t always manage to read all the books I list as possibles but in this case, although it took me a while, over the years I have read these books (with one exception, The Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron, although I did start it –  my bookmark is still at page 61).

I really enjoy blogging  – the contact with other book bloggers, exchanging views on books and finding yet more books to read makes it even better. I love reading your comments and hope you’ll continue visiting and commenting on my blog – I really do appreciate it.

Show Me Your Book Stash!

Carolyn of Riedel Fascination has asked people who’re doing one of her challenges to ‘show me your book stash‘, because she wonders what they look like, where they are, and  how tipsy  the piles are? In other words she wants to see photos of your books wherever they are, on shelves, in piles, propping up the piano, whatever, and put them into a blog post.

It should be no surprise to anyone who reads my blog that I am a bookaholic and there are book shelves/cases/piles of books in nearly every room. They keep changing as I move books around from the shelves into piles deciding what to read next. They start off in some sort of order separating fiction from non fiction and in a-z author or subject order – but they get out of control as I take books off the shelves/piles and somehow they don’t get put back in the same place.

Anyway here are some photos of some of my ‘stash’ (click the photos to see them full size):

First some shelves in the hall. The books here are a mixture of books to read and books I have read and include both fiction and non-fiction. The fiction is mostly double shelved.

Bks Hall Dec 2014Next a few of the books on the shelves behind me as I sit at the computer. These are books I have read and am keeping (for now at any rate – they do get ‘weeded’ every now and then). The back wall of this room is lined with books.

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An orderly shelf in the kitchen of just a few of my cookery books – the rest are on other bookshelves elsewhere in the house.

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But now for the book shelves that are not so tidy! The bookcase in the living room – again a mix of unread and read books with a shelf of old LPs at the bottom. This is a bit of a jumble really, double shelved with books plied on top of other books in heaps!

Bks LR Dec 2014 P1010339Here are a few of my book piles – the pile next to my computer. For ease of taking the photo I’ve put these in one pile – they are actually in two piles, so not quite such a towering pile. This pile shows just how disorganised I am – books I’ve read and not put away, books I’m going to read, library books and a notebook at the bottom of the pile – not the best place for it!

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Two little piles on the floor below the desk. Some of these are books I’ve recently acquired, either bought or borrowed from the library. Others are books, like Dominion that I’ve read recently!

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And finally books on the floor in our bedroom, another mixed pile. I’ve just finished reading the Bainbridge book this morning and there are two or three other books I’ve read before and have been tempted to re-read. The other books are all books that have been on the floor too long – I have to dust them! They are books I’ve wondered about reading next but have been left for later. I will read them one day …

Bks bedrm Dec 2014These are just some of my bookshelves/piles – yes there are more!!

Birthday Time!

It was my birthday a few days ago. We were away; we went to Kentallen, which is near Glencoe, on the side of Loch Linnhe in the Scottish Highlands. This is the view of Loch Linnhe and the Morvern Mountains from our bedroom:

Loch Linnhe

 I’ll post more photos later on!

These are my birthday books, taken with my birthday camera:

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All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard is the fifth and final book in the Cazalet Chronicles, an old fashioned family saga. I loved the first four books, which I read years ago. This one begins with a reminder of where the last book ended and what has happened to the family members since the summer of 1945. It’s now 1956 and the world is changing.

A Month in the Country by J L Carr – I’ve been wanting to read this for some time. It’s a short book about the idyllic summer of 1920 when Tom Birkin uncovers a huge medieval wall-painting in a village church.

The next two books in the pile are both set in Scotland, Turn of the Tide, historical fiction set in the 16th century by Margaret Skea, who lives in the Scottish Borders and Murder in the Glen by Hamish MacInnes, a Scottish mountaineer, known as the ‘Fox of Glencoe’,  who for many years led the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team.

I’ll be writing more about these books later on.

The other two books are beautiful little books about painting in watercolours and pastels to create pictures in 30 minutes – I hope these will improve my paintings and if they do I might post a photo or two!!

Birthday Roses

Birthday Rose Aug 2013Yesterday was my birthday. We went out for the day to Wallington in Cambo, Northumberland (more about that later), calling in at Barter Books in Alnwick on the way, and on our return found a box from Interflora on the doorstep containing this beautiful rose plant – a present from my nephew, Matt and his family – a lovely surprise!