Monday, 6 February 2017

Reading My Books - This Year It Will Be Different

The title of this book is very apt for what I am going to start off by saying in this post, although I didn't realise it until I wrote the title for the post.  Sometimes I amaze myself with my ability to not see what is right in front of me!!

What I wanted to really start off by saying was that although this blog appears to have changed quite quickly into a book review blog - the fifth one so far this year I think - it is in fact not really turning into a book blog it is just that I am reading a lot right now.

My book pile - actually stacked and poked onto and into a bookcase - is ever growing and never reducing so this year I really want to tackle it.  I calculated that if I read 40 pages a day I can read about 14,600 pages in a year and that if a book is an average of 300 pages long that means I can read about 48 books in a year.  Or 4 a month.  So I am on track for that right now, I just have to keep going!!!

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about all sorts of things, our home, my life, my blog, working, travel all kinds of things.  Me - never a fun thing to reflect on oneself is it.  This thinking will continue although I hope that I will managed to be a little less introspective as time passes.  What it has led to is a decision that this year will be different, hence we come round to the title of the book!

The changes are something that I will write more about in another post, but it is funny how it fitted with this book, and more importantly the contents, which was one of the things I have been contemplating on.

This Year Will be Different is written by Maeve Binchy.  It seems that I have quite a few of her books to read.  I take them down from the shelf half a dozen at a time and there is another of hers in my pile in fact.


The book is a collection of short stories, some just a few pages long, some a little longer.  There are 22 in fact, I just counted them.  The stories are all set at or around Christmas and tell the tales of different individuals or families who are having their own troubles, how they overcome them and why, this Christmas will be different for them.

Of course this is just fiction, but the stories are real enough in that they are things that happen to all of us and we can all relate to them.  Indeed there were several which reflected circumstances which I have found myself in at Christmas, some more than once, and which I have, because that is what I do, felt that I was unable to do anything/wrong/doing something I shouldn't and so on.  Reading these little stories though sort of from the other side, I could see that I would totally find "for" the characters and the difficulties they had, so perhaps I should be easier on myself and realise that I wasn't "wrong" I was just in a difficult situation.  In future I will try and cut myself some more slack!!

As I said, there are a lot of stories so I cannot tell you all about them, this post would take forever and I have already said a lot.  Suffice to say, they are short, sweet, interesting and a jolly good read!  Ideal for reading if you are travelling as you can easily finish one or two and not have to remember all that you were reading, or just for reading one before bed at night.

I really enjoyed this book, and have realised just how much I like the "short story" genre of writing, right now it really appeals to me and is very easy for me to read.

So, to summarise, would I recommend it.  Yes.  What am I doing with my copy.  Well, for the first time I am swithering about this one.  I could easily pass it on to someone I think would enjoy it, but I could easily pick this one up and read it again.  However, I am trying to clear down those shelves and make some space so keeping things when I have loads of other books to read....  Not sure what to do.  I must just leave this one to marinate on the bookcase for a while and see what happens!

Usually I end these posts with a question of some sort based on the book, but today I have two for you!  Firstly do you like short stories and why and secondly what situations have you found yourself in at Christmas that you have made or wanted to make different?  Do share if you feel able to, that is what makes blogging fun!

Happy reading everyone!

Amy

p.s. you can find all of my other book review posts here or by clicking the Reading My Books link at the top right of the sidebar.

35 comments:

  1. Sounds like my kind of book, as I also like short stories. Why I like them is sort of strange as I feel guilty about sitting reading a book, when I should be doing housework or something more important. I was taught from a "very" young age, that I shouldn't be idle & waste my time on frivolous things. I did read a lot when I was young, but mostly in the morning & evenings whilst in bed and under the covers with a torch in the middle of the night hoping I wouldn't get caught. I do tend to go through stages with reading & haven't done much since moving back to this area. Too many UFO's to finish this year too. Just answering the one question. Have a good week & take care.

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  2. I do like Maeve Binchy's books, and have kept several over the years, as they are always better the second time around! I prefer a full novel rather than short stories.

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  3. I prefer full novels to short stories, but mainly because I haven't read many short story collections - must try some. I do like Maeve Binchy's books - and was an extra for a film of one of her short stories - in fact it might have been in that book - How About You - such excitement here - they filmed the Christmas market scene in the village and about 300 of us got to take part - with Vanessa Redgrave and Brenda Fricker.

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  4. I've never read anything by Maeve Binchy but I know lots of people who like her books. I'm not a lover of short stories, mainly because the story doesn't have time to develop, it just gets going and then the story ends.

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  5. I always enjoy short stories when travelling which I will be shortly so this may be one I treat myself too.

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  6. I don't usually enjoy short stories as much as a good long read; but, I may have to read this just based on its title and the Christmas connection. I said this last year that "next year it will be different". ;) blessings ~ tanna

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  7. I don't normally go for short stories because I like to get lost in a book and get to know the characters. I can see the appeal for reading this type of book at Christmas when you are busy running here, there and everywhere. I have a small pile of quick books that I like to read at Christmas time (all Christmas related of course). What I would have changed this past Christmas was to make an effort to get my whole family together. No one made the effort and I didn't see any of my siblings over the holidays...a first. I don't know if it bothered them, but it did me and after Christmas I made the effort to get in touch with them all one by one.
    Happy Monday Amy :)
    Wendy

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  8. I don't think I've every read any of Maeve Binchy's books but have been tempted once or twice so I may give them a go. I've come late to short stories but over the last few months I've read two or three collections of them by various authors and really enjoyed them. I still like a novel to get my teeth into though so you can get to know the charaters more. Childhood Christmases were always with elder sister Mum and Dad and various grandparents or aunts and uncles who were on their own; after dinner they would fall asleep, I wish now that whilst they were there we had talked more and that I had asked them questions about the past, their lives and etc because whilst doing family history I have no one to ask anymore:)

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  9. So glad you liked the book and have a goal for the books you want to read this year. I am reading when I can but find I am so tired in the evenings I just want to head off to sleep. Enjoy your books.

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  10. There's something about this time of year - even after all the "excitement" of New Year resolutions is over - that makes you want to take stock and do things differently. You've had an emotional time over the last year or so and the temptation to do something different must be overwhelming. You should definitely cut yourself some slack because we all do the best we can with what we have at the time, and whilst hindsight may be a wonderful thing, it's not always very helpful! xx

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  11. I love short stories. Probably because I'm not an avid reader and do suffer from some OCD issues and can't keep on task for too long before I'm moving on to the next thing. Hence, all my unfinished projects (sad face). I just wrote my Motivation Monday post about embracing another's decision. I didn't face a challenge at Christmas, but my post reflects something that has happened that I will need to accept. Sounds like a good book.

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  12. I'm not crazy about short stories, but I do like Maeve Binchey's. I've read this book and enjoyed it as I have all of her books. Funnily enough I just read a book titled Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. A very different, but rather amusing, book.

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  13. I DO like short stories. They are great for when I just want a light read --- even though sometimes the subject matter is NOT light. And, I ♥ Maeve Binchy. I just finished reading Chestnut Street and I have a few others of hers on my bookshelf.

    I don't mind the book reviews on your blog at all. Our blogs are a reflection of us and we are all more than just the knitting. :-) Happy reading!

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  14. I will read a book of short stories if it's an author I really love, otherwise I'm not really a big fan, I prefer something to get my teeth into! xx

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  15. Ooh, thanks for that. I hadn't heard of this particular book. I don't like reading Christmas books in February, but will make a note of it for later in the year.

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  16. I,normally,don't go for short stories but I belong to a Reading Group .We have met once a month for over ten years and I felt we needed something different.There are eight of us who meet and we all suggest a book.My suggestion for next month is The American Lover by Rose Tremain.Short stories!!!Will they hate or love them?

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  17. I'm glad you have enjoyed reading this book and got more Maeve Binchy books to go. I loved reading her stories :)

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  18. I read some novella collections at Christmastime but generally I enjoy a full length novel.

    Colletta

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  19. I love all the Maeve Binchy books. I"m not a great fan of short stories but will read them, especially if they are by a favourite author.

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  20. Normally I prefer a full length novel but keep a book of short stories by the bedside too for when I'm too tired to concentrate too hard! Cut yourself some slack Amy and don't be so hard on yourself, you have had a difficult time recently.

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  21. I do like short stories, but I think I like a longer book that I can enjoy for awhile. As for Christmas.. I cut back a bit this last year and I think I liked it. Have fun with your books! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  22. I do like short stories . west with the night by beryl markham is a real favorite of mine Each story is so well told and compelling
    MmmmChirstmas done different: My bullying brother in law would manage to dictate our family's Christmas often. My parents would invite us all. He would always come late, leave early and refuse to participate if we had a family game to play. He is married to my sister who is my fathers' joy so it was tolerated. I wish I had had the guts to tell him to quit delaying the dinners my mother treasured and worked so hard to give us. I wish I wasnt so silent and cooperative. I wonder now that times have changed and we no longer get together how many HOlidays he succeeded in impacting and putting us all on edge.

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  23. I think the change of a New Year and going through big things (like recent death of your FIL) make us turn introspective, don't you? I've had a similar "process" kind of going on and still kind of working out where it's going to lead me. I admire you're reading tenacity! Go get 'em Amy! Truly impressive. This book sounds so good. I love short stories too. Looking forward to what you'll share next. ;) Blessings on your journey my dear Friend. xoxo

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  24. it seems very interesting...

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  25. I really like short stories, but my favorite form of reading are essays, which is why I like reading blogs so much. I would have to think a spell on your second question. And I did not assume that your blog was becoming a book review blog. I like eclectic blogs, which is why I like it here so well.

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  26. you blog is great and display your wonderful thoughts so well!
    i prefer reading short stories over novel due have less time for reading .
    this book sounds amazing with 22 different stories

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  27. Hi Amy, I like short stories so I will look out for this one. I couldn't find the Agatha Christie books on my kindle so I'll have to download some soon. Thanks for the inspiration for the crocheted coat hanger. I have amended my blog to mention you now! xx

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  28. Like you I love reading and always enjoy seeing which books you have been enjoying! I love to get stuck into the world of a book so usually read novels, but I do enjoy short stories sometimes and will look out for this book. Enjoy your reading this week Amy.
    Helen xox

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  29. I need to widen my choices of reading, I normally do mysteries and romance. Thanks for the review.

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  30. So happy to have found your blog and looking forward to Five on Friday. This is one of my favorite books - I re-read it every Christmas - love the short story format.

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  31. I really like reading your book reviews! I have goals to downsize some of my many, many books this year so seeing your posts really motivate me. I admit I'm not really a short story reader. I tend to read a little of everything else - romance, family stories, mysteries, fantasy. It sort of depends on the mood I'm in. I like books. I really like them. I have loads on my kindle too, but there is nothing like finding a new treasure in a bookshop new or used!

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  32. I've read lots of MB but I don't think I've heard of this one.
    I love your calculation about reading.
    I have just given up my book club and read more this past month than I have for ages. It's still going to take me a while to get through the to be read pile though!
    Lisa x

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  33. Amy, Thanks for posting about this book. I have read several of her books and I have loved them all. I will have to search this one out! Sylvia D.

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  34. Sometimes a short story collection is perfect fpr just dipping in to. Good luck with all your 'thinking' Amy, sometimes a necessary part of life, amd usually leads to positive changes X

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