Annabel's House of Books

Noli domo egredi, nisi librum habes – Never leave home without a book.

Life v Blogging – but no navel gazing.

Dear friends, gosh isn’t life busy! Just wanted to drop a few lines in to say that blogging is having to play second fiddle to life at the moment. I will blog when and as I can, but firstly I am rather absorbed with compiling the questions for my literary quiznight (see the previous post). Work is also hectic but, most importantly of all, I’m helping my daughter through her entrance exams for next schools.  To say it has been tense these past few weeks is an understatement – and that’s just the Mums, who can’t talk about anything else – at all!  The girls, who are halfway through the exams for the various senior schools, and now past the stage of having to do yet more horrible practice papers, are taking it in their stride.  Good luck and best wishes to all of them – but I’m sure they’ll all do well.

January never used to be this busy – or am I imagining it?

I’m doing well on the TBR Double Dare.  Five books have come through the door, but they’ve gone into an ‘embargo pile‘ except for Stasiland by Anna Funder which is our book group choice for Feb into March.  At the moment I’m nearing halfway through Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey – I’m enjoying it very much but it is a dense, almost Dickensian read – more of that in posts to come. I’m also up to book four of the Adrian Mole books by Sue Townsend; those nice people at Penguin sent me a set before Christmas – but again, more of him in a while.

Alongside reducing the TBR by reading it, I’ve managed to sort out a single bag of books to go to the charity shop since the start of the month.  These days I cull bag by bag, and as one goes I start a new bag. When that’s full, off it goes, and so on. Much less painful than doing it in large chunks.

What will I be reading next?  Well top of the pile is Riders by Jilly Cooper – which is our book group read for Jan into Feb. An indulgence?  Maybe, but I for one have never read her.  Also, The Man Who Rained by Ali Shaw – a second adult fairy-tale from this promising young author, and The Child Who, the third novel from Simon Lelic, author of the acclaimed debut Rupture.

How’s your 2012 going book-wise?

18 Comments

  1. Every year seems to get busier and busier! Good luck to your daughter Annabel!

  2. I have a small, one book, embargo pile myself. I’ve not made much of a dent in the TBR stack yet, but I hope to get going this weekend. The problem is I resubscribed to Netflix streaming last month. I’m thinking of cancelling it again already. It’s eating up far more time than it deserves.

    • gaskella

      January 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      I’ve finished reading 3 books with another 2 on the go at the moment, which is around my normal reading rate. If I could stay awake for longer, I’d get a lot more reading done.

      I just have the basic TV package, no extra movies or anything – but my DVD TBWatched pile is also rather large … it’s easier for me timewise to pick up a book for a few pages than watch a film – so I envy you the time available to do that :)

  3. I’ve just read Stasiland and loved it – a really good choice for a book group.

  4. Mine ok but I have a quiet life ,I tend just be tired due to shift work ,Hope you get more time soon ,all the best stu

  5. gaskella

    January 14, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Excellent news! I’m looking forward to reading it.

  6. gaskella

    January 14, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I am so glad I don’t have to work shifts Stu. Do you get used to it ever?

    I’m hoping my stress levels go down a notch after next weekend when the offers should arrive for my daughter’s next school… then I hope I’ll be slightly less tired!

  7. Lucky you – the end is in sight. Mark’s first exam is next weekend, so we still have a way to go. I truly think the kids are far more relaxed than the parents. Good luck J.

    I’ve got an eye on the new Ali Shaw too.

    • gaskella

      January 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      Ali – Good luck to Mark. You will truly be relieved once it’s over!!! J & I have just been out for a meal to celebrate the end of the exams – now we just have the week of waiting for the results.

  8. 2012 has begun well, somewhat; comparatively though (with Jan last year) I cannot say it’s been the best.

    Before there was blogging there was life and as always it is good if we get to know when to say ‘hold-on’ rather than getting addicted so that other important things in life suffer.

  9. I’m sure January was never this busy. Honestly – I’m swamped…

    I also enjoyed Oscar & Lucinda – a rich & appealing read. Beware the ending.

    • gaskella

      January 15, 2012 at 12:59 am

      Thanks for the warning Debbie – at nearly halfway through – Oscar is just about to finally meet Lucinda – good so far though.

  10. I’m keeping everything crossed for Jessica – I hope that she gets the school she wants, although if she is anything like her mum I’m sure she will do fine wherever!
    Also keeping fingers crossed in the hope that senior grand-daughter Amelia (who won’t even be 4 until June!) gets her (or rather her mum and dad’s) choice of infant school. They wont find out about that until March though.
    You are doing better than me re your TBR pile – mine is just growing which really isn’t what I planned at all and I am no better with DVD’s either! I have numerous box sets and films that have yet to be opened but I never seem to have uninterrupted time to sit and watch.

    • gaskella

      January 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Liz – thank you for your good wishes for Juliet.

      Since she now goes to bed at 9 and still likes to be tucked in and even read to some evenings, it has severely cut into my telly time. I put on Sherlock from last night at 9.45 and was asleep within half an hour, waking with the end credits!

  11. I am so glad my girls are now past the what-will-the-next-school-be stage. They’ve done uni too, so now all we have to worry about is whether they’ll all get jobs and when they’re going to leave home.Love having them here really…most of the time.
    Good luck to your daughter.

  12. Good luck to your daughter with her exams!
    What a horrid time. Re you books Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey is one of my all time favourites and if you haven’t seen it already you must see the Ralph Fiennes / Cate Blanchett film – wonderful.

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