Hello and happy new year!
I can (probably) safely say that for a lot of us we’re pretty darn pleased to see the back of 2020. It felt like an entire decade was crammed into those twelve months and I for one am exhausted.
I spent my NYE hopefully like many people – adhering to their country’s Covid rules. For us in the South East of England also affectionately known as District 1 – I mean, Tier 4 that meant staying at home and socialising only with your household.
So, me and my husband ate a very hefty steak dinner, drank a lot of fizz (or in my husband’s case – rum, lots of rum!), watched the NYE TV specials and caught a lot of local fireworks that were being set off in people’s gardens.
Then we had to spend a portion of our evening/ early morning coaxing the cat out of her hiding place on account of said fireworks!
Whilst we would love to believe that everything is going to magically get better at the stroke of 2020 midnight like some reverse fairy tale with the pumpkin turning into a carriage – it won’t. But I think a lot of people needed the end of the year as a symbol of new beginnings so here we are. New year, new beginnings and the hope things will get better.
My plans for today are to continue eating the Christmas chocolate and watch the final episode of Bridgerton. It’s rather addictive!
I didn’t read as much as I would like but that’s because I was enjoying the festive movies on TV and Netflix. Here is what I did read.
The Winter of the Witch is glorious and I loved it. The final book of The Winternight Trilogy didn’t disappoint and I found the entire trilogy to be a joy – in fact I think it might be one of my favourite trilogies of all time.
I enjoyed this take on Russian folklore and fairy tales and especially enjoyed Vasya’s character development throughout the trilogy where she finally realised that her actions have consequences on those around her. Instead of acting on impulse, she learnt she needed to be smarter with her decisions and actually consider the needs of those other than herself.
The romance subplot between Vasya and Morozko retained the sense of wistful yearning with a final culmination without being heavy handed. The main focus was still Vasya’s relationship with her family – the very thing that will ground her humanity in her new realm of magic.
I missed Vasya’s brother Alyosha who only appeared in book one and never again (although referenced briefly in book three) but because Vasya’s adventures took her further away from her home village into Moscow and beyond I understood why.
I would have liked things to have ended differently for Konstantin – one of the main human antagonists throughout. He was such a complex and conflicted character but also so vile I would have preferred Vasya to have played a more active part in the ending of his story.
But these are quibbles – The Winter of the Witch wasn’t a perfect story but one I really enjoyed and I will honestly miss not having any more of these books to look forward to.
A Maigret Christmas and Other Stories was gifted to me last Christmas and because I didn’t get round to it in 2019, I made sure to pick it up for 2020!
Maigret is the French equivalent of Agatha Christie’s Poiret and these books are translated from French into English. I don’t read a massive amount of detective fiction but do enjoy Agatha Christie and so I think that’s why I was gifted this – and also because of the Christmas theme.
Sadly this was a DNF for me – the first and only of the year! This is comprised of three short (but not too short) stories and I only completed the first and gave up 5 pages into the second.
I don’t necessarily like my detective fiction ‘gritty’ and the grittiest I go is Midsommer Murders and Miss Marple but even those gentle murder stories have something enticing going on. The first story in this collection was about stashed money being retrieved and I didn’t care enough to stick around for the second two because well… it was dull.
Sorry, but I don’t think this detective is for me!
Joe’s Jungle Hair is a cute, short children’s book which I will be re-gifting to friends with an actual child.
I purchased this because I know the illustrator – I used to work with him many years ago in the corporate world and a few years ago he finally decided to go for his dream and become an illustrator. Check out his website here!
I made sure to buy this because I fully endorse supporting people’s dreams.
- The Winter of the Witch – 4 stars
- A Maigret Christmas and Other Stories – DNF so 0
- Joe’s Jungle Hair – 3 stars
It’s a sad total of 2.3 rounded up to 2.5 for December – The Winter of the Witch salvaged it!
I often don’t do very well when trying to schedule in books to read because I can never stick to the plan but I do have a list and am going to start with my ‘Reading the Year Ahead’ book for January.
Eating and drinking and watching Bridgerton – often all at the same time!
I endeavor to be better at blog hopping but I say that every month and often get nowhere so we’ll just have to see!
Here are my top 3 blog posts from other bloggers for the month of December 2020!
Every year Kal at Reader Voracious designs and posts the next year’s uber spreadsheet of uberness. Honestly, check it out – it’s the most organised thing I ever seen in my life and I swear little hearts appear in my eyes!
Ashley at The Infinite Library has posted 10 literary recipes from bloggers that have combined their love of books and food into something scrumptious. Check out the post for recipes including Peeta’s cheese buns from The Hunger Games, butterbeer from Harry Potter and Bogtrotter’s chocolate cake from Matilda by Roald Dahl.
Each year Briana at Pages Unbound posts about her predictions in the book blogging world for the year ahead. The predictions for 2021 include more e-books, the increased monetisation of book bloggers, and (in a post Covid world) the increase of online book events. We’ll have to wait until December 2021 to see if these come true!