The Book List 2013

Dear Elliot,

One of my favourite things at the moment is how much you love books. You can happily sit and amuse yourself looking at books on your own, and can tell us the titles of most of the Thomas books we own (quite a few!)

Elliot reading

I, on the other hand, have done less reading in the past two years than at any point in my life. Funnily enough, I don’t class repeated “I have this little sister, Lola..” or “Thomas was a Really Useful Engine” as particularly stretching literature at the age of 32.

Thankfully your grandparents came up with a brilliant idea to get me back into my reading habit and I’m now the proud owner of a Kindle. This means I now need a book list.

Looking on several lists that other like-minded bloggers have created  (see the lovely Aimee over at More than Toast who is an inspiration in herself) and those compiled by the powers that be dictating the “Top 100 books to read before you die”, I’ve come up with a slightly shorter list for myself, but would love recommendations to add to it (I’m already a book and a half down don’t you know!)

  1. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  2. The Illiad – Homer (and The Odyssey)
  3. Enders Game – Orson Scott Card
  4. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. Ghost World – Daniel Claves
  6. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  7. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  8. Beloved – Toni Morrison
  9. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
  10. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  11. The Island – Victoria Hislop
  12. When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  13. The Outcast – Sadie Jones
  14. The Man in the Picture – Susan Hill
  15. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Schaffer + Anne Barrows
  16. The Sea, The Sea – Iris Murdoch
  17. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  18. Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
  19. Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton
  20. The Book Thief – Marcus Zusac
  21. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  22. When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead
  23. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  24. A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
  25. Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
  26. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  27. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  28. The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
  29. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
  30. The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls
  31. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  32. The Women’s Room – Marilyn French
  33. Love Virtually – Daniel Glattauer
  34. The Other Half of Me – Morgan McCarthy
  35. Catching the Sun – Tony Parsons
  36. Delirium – Lauren Oliver
  37. Miracle on Regent Street – Ali Harris 
  38. The Distant Hours  – Kate Morton
  39. Sister – Rosamund Lupton
  40. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – Yasutaka Tsutsui
  41. Saturday – Ian McEwen
  42. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  44. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
  45. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  46. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  47. Small Island – Andrea Levy
  48. A Ladies Paradise – Emile Zola (in French?)
  49. My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You – Louisa Young
  50. The Wierd Sisters – Eleanor Brown
  51. The Master – Colm Toibin
  52. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

So that’s one per week of 2013 which is highly unlikely to be accomplished, but we can but try. I’ve tried to get a big variety of styles and authors in there whilst also including some books which quite frankly have been on my “to be read” shelves long enough I just need to get on with it.

And, Elliot, don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll find plenty of time to introduce you to the wonderful worlds within lots of books this year. It really won’t be long before you’re reading all on your own. I can’t wait!

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The Book List 2013

Dear Elliot,

One of my favourite things at the moment is how much you love books. You can happily sit and amuse yourself looking at books on your own, and can tell us the titles of most of the Thomas books we own (quite a few!)

Elliot reading

I, on the other hand, have done less reading in the past two years than at any point in my life. Funnily enough, I don’t class repeated “I have this little sister, Lola..” or “Thomas was a Really Useful Engine” as particularly stretching literature at the age of 32.

Thankfully your grandparents came up with a brilliant idea to get me back into my reading habit and I’m now the proud owner of a Kindle. This means I now need a book list.

Looking on several lists that other like-minded bloggers have created  (see the lovely Aimee over at More than Toast who is an inspiration in herself) and those compiled by the powers that be dictating the “Top 100 books to read before you die”, I’ve come up with a slightly shorter list for myself, but would love recommendations to add to it (I’m already a book and a half down don’t you know!)

  1. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  2. The Illiad – Homer (and The Odyssey)
  3. Enders Game – Orson Scott Card
  4. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. Ghost World – Daniel Claves
  6. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  7. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  8. Beloved – Toni Morrison
  9. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
  10. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  11. The Island – Victoria Hislop
  12. When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  13. The Outcast – Sadie Jones
  14. The Man in the Picture – Susan Hill
  15. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Schaffer + Anne Barrows
  16. The Sea, The Sea – Iris Murdoch
  17. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  18. Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
  19. Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton
  20. The Book Thief – Marcus Zusac
  21. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  22. When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead
  23. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  24. A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
  25. Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
  26. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  27. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  28. The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
  29. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
  30. The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls
  31. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  32. The Women’s Room – Marilyn French
  33. Love Virtually – Daniel Glattauer
  34. The Other Half of Me – Morgan McCarthy
  35. Catching the Sun – Tony Parsons
  36. Delirium – Lauren Oliver
  37. Miracle on Regent Street – Ali Harris 
  38. The Distant Hours  – Kate Morton
  39. Sister – Rosamund Lupton
  40. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – Yasutaka Tsutsui
  41. Saturday – Ian McEwen
  42. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  44. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
  45. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  46. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  47. Small Island – Andrea Levy
  48. A Ladies Paradise – Emile Zola (in French?)
  49. My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You – Louisa Young
  50. The Wierd Sisters – Eleanor Brown
  51. The Master – Colm Toibin
  52. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

So that’s one per week of 2013 which is highly unlikely to be accomplished, but we can but try. I’ve tried to get a big variety of styles and authors in there whilst also including some books which quite frankly have been on my “to be read” shelves long enough I just need to get on with it.

And, Elliot, don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll find plenty of time to introduce you to the wonderful worlds within lots of books this year. It really won’t be long before you’re reading all on your own. I can’t wait!

Hello 2013!

Elliot - 24 months

So now is the time to make New Years Resolutions. i love making lists, so let’s see if I can stick to this one:

1 – Blog more – My main driver for this blog has always been to document Elliot’s life and he is now 2 years old and I’ve not really done a terribly good job of that so far. So this year I’m going to try to add a bit more to this site and really find my feet in blogging. I want Elliot to be able to read all about his childhood, the days before his earliest memory (when does that happen?) and for us to remember together when he’s old enough.

2 – Read more – when I was little I would never be found without a book in my hand, I used to live, breathe, eat and sleep books and I could never imagine going for any length of time without having that means to escape into another world for a bit. Since then life has got a whole lot busier and I do find myself collapsing into bed unable to keep my eyes open long enough to read even half a page let alone a book.

But all that is about to change – I’ve been really lucky to get a kindle for Christmas and have so far managed to read one and a half books (in a week, that’s not too bad…) I’ll be putting my book list up here so would welcome any suggestions!

3 – Be healthier – 2012 was a topsy turvy year, and at some point this year I may even be able to talk about all of that on here as I do think it’s important for Elliot to know about, but for now I’m going to concentrate on regaining some element of control over the things I can have a say in. Mainly what I choose to fuel my body with – I do love nice meals and have an amazing chef as a husband so choosing healthy options shouldn’t be impossible but the sweet tin at work may prove to be a bit of a challenge – limiting alcohol (though to be honest I think the 9 months of no alcohol during pregnancy means I can’t drink more than a glass of wine now without feeling the effects!) as well as exercise.

On the exercise front, I’m going to look for us to do more as a family – we love walking in the countryside and I think it’s really important to get out and about together. I’ll also be aiming to get back running, as well as to continue with yoga which I finally got back to after a few years off at the end of 2012.

4 – Plan weekends better – Over the past couple of years we’ve fallen into the trap of just waiting until the weekend before actually thinking about what we want to do. When we didn’t have Elliot this was an awful lot easier – being spontaneous was fun! Now we have a toddler it’s just so much harder to do anything without planning, certainly in the past 2 years it’s been nigh on impossible to leave the house within an hour of deciding to go out, so leaving the decision making until the last possible moment has proved the deal breaker in our “being spontaneous” idyll. It just hasn’t happened. So, I’m going to admit defeat and become a planner. I’m thinking of making lists of things that we want to do and then booking them in to weekends and planning lunches (healthy of course, see resolution 3) to take along with us. Wish me luck!

So that’s my short and sweet list of resolutions… what’s yours?