I saw this on the Pretty Purple Polka Dots blog recently where Aoife explained she had come across it on Book Break, the YouTube channel from UK publishing house PanMcMillan. As I enjoyed reading Aoife’s choices for the categories, which you can read here, and as it’s nearing the end of January, I thought I’d give it a go too.
What’s a book you’ve read so far in 2020 that’s cheered you up?
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. I loved reading about Tiffy and Leon, the flatmates who have never met. I listened to it on Audible – you can read my review here.
Recommend a book set in winter.
Lots of the books set in winter which I’ve read recently have been Christmas books but that doesn’t mean you can’t read them at any time of the year. So I’m going to recommend one of my favourite Christmas books from last year, Notting Hill in the Snow by Jules Wake. Such a romantic and heartwarming story.
Recommend a book set in the dark.
I found it quite difficult to think of a book set properly in the dark so have gone for one which is about the dark of winter but also the darkness that some people feel throughout the winter months. The Light in the Dark is by Horatio Clare and is beautifully written.
Recommend a book set in a cold climate.
I loved Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney. My review is here. The author writes really well about cold places and this book is about Victorian explorers researching the North Pole including Flora Mackie, the daughter of a whaling ship captain .
Recommend a book that takes place over a whole year.
I have chosen a non-fiction book for this category, the very funny The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell. He owns and runs the biggest second hand bookshop in Scotland in the small town of Wigtown. It’s well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. His book is a gently humorous look at the joys and trials of running a bookshop, with a lot of stories about rather awkward customers!
Recommend a cosy spot to read.
The bath! It’s definitely warm and I am almost guaranteed peace to read!
Recommend a reading snack
As my waistline will testify, it’s crisps every time! Preferably salt and vinegar or pickled onion.
What books are you most looking forward to coming out in 2020?
That’s a rather difficult question! On my birthday this year (yes it’s a big one!) it seems to be a big publishing date and lots of brilliant sounding books are being published that day. I am going to go for just one of them, the long awaited final book in the Wolf Hall trilogy by Hilary Mantel The Mirror and the Light. It’s a huge book at over 900 pages so I’ll need to leave most of March free to read it!
Are you feeling any better about it being January now?
I don’t actually mind January. It’s a busy month for birthdays for us and this year my eldest daughter was 21 so we had lots of celebrations. I am looking forward to February though as I’m off to London for a few days with my friends and we’re seeing Cyrano de Bergerac starring James McAvoy. Then my family are travelling to Iceland for a few days which I’m very excited about. And I’m no sooner back than I’m off to see Michael Ball and Alfie Boe in concert in Glasgow!