Tuesday, 5 January 2016

January in Books // One for Them and One for Me (and goodbye #AtoZauthors!)

Well, I'm not going to lie... my #AtoZauthors ended disastrously after a flying start. I didn't make it through the alphabet in 2015... I made it to S. But do you know what? I totally don't feel sad about that at all! I read far more books than I'm sure I would have if I hadn't done it, and I discovered a load of new authors who I'm excited about getting to know better! One of the frustrations with racing through the alphabet was that when I did discover a new author I loved, I couldn't just wallow in their books for a while, but had to move on to a new author.

So I'm excited about taking a more leisurely approach this year!

My favourite reads from the project, and ones I highly recommend...

"Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier
"Mrs Mike" by Benedict and Nancy Freedman
"Journey to the River Sea" by Eva Ibbotson
"A Sweetness of the Soul" by Jane Kirkpatrick
"The Ballroom Cafe" by Ann O'Loughlin

And of course, "Secrets of the River" by our very own Jess McGlynn!

To check out details on any of these fabulous books, just click on the links above!

Anyway, a new year means its time for a new project, so when an email landed in my inbox from the lovely Carie at Space for The Butterflies, asking myself and Katie from Benourishd if we'd like to co-host a new reading linky, we were well up for it!

So, drumroll please... Introducing...

"One for Them and One for Me"

The idea is simple... each month, on the 5th, I'll be sharing one book I've been reading, and one book the children have been reading! Hopefully we can all get some great recommendations from each other, and also its a much more realistic goal than the one I set myself last year!

So here's what we're reading in January...

One for Them...
After a little radio silence on the book front for the kids (Dave has been doing bedtime with the girls since Jonas was born, while I'm feeding him, so I really have no idea what they've been reading) I've enjoyed picking up books with the girls again. For a while, I felt we were being swamped by Biff, Chip and Kipper books from school, so its been nice, in the holidays, to have a bit of a breather and return to one of my old favourites...

Ava has always loved these stories, I think she totally gets the protagonist, and Heidi? Well she finds them utterly hilarious!

Yesterday I discovered her marching round the bedroom, shouting " MY NAUGHTY LITTLE SISTER!" at the top of her lungs.

Oh dear.

We love the charm of these stories, the antics of naughty little sister, and Shirley Hughes wonderful illustrations.

They just don't write books like these anymore!

One for Me...
This one was on my recommended list for #atozauthors and it is NOT dissapointing me. A seriously heartbreaking, new angle on the Holocaust. I've never been into graphic novels, I don't think I've even read one before, but someone suggested I try it as one of the haul for last year, and I thought I'd take them up on the challenge.

It is breathtakingly beautiful, heartachingly realistic, and refreshingly clever...

"Maus" is a graphic novel which follows the story of a young mouse who wants to record his fathers memoirs... his story and memories of the Holocaust. The book traces not only the horrifying decline from anti-semitism into mass murder, but also follows the complex father-son relationship in an, at times, hilariously realistic way. Art Spiegelman is a genius, and the book has received huge acclaim. I'm not finished with it yet but am finding it a fascinating and gripping read...

If you haven't come across it, order yourself a copy now. This is one book I think everybody should have on their must-read list...

And that's it! Those are our January choices... now time to make sure we actually finish reading them!

If you'd like to join in, we'd love to have you! just link up your "One for Them; One for me" posts in the linky below, and we'll pop over and take a look!

Also, any book recommendations are highly welcome! Just leave your suggestions (for me or for them) in the comments!



  1. Oh we're big fans of My Naughty Little Sister around here too - I remember them from my childhood and then when Kitty was small I found a complete set in a charity shop for £1 and it cam straight home. The girls love them for much the same reasons I suspect your two do - especially the story about the sparkly buttons and the ring! And wow to Maus, I've never read a graphic novel but I'm intrigued, particularly because that must be such a tough subject to handle sensitively in pictures - definitely one to add to the reading list, thank you :)

  2. My Naughty Little Sister sounds like a book my daughter would love if only so she could get some new ideas!

    Maus sounds intriguing I have to say and I can imagine that it makes for difficult reading at times. When I was 13 I went on a school trip to Bergen Belsen as part of a history lesson and the experience has stayed with me to this day.

  3. Olivia Watkinson5 January 2016 at 19:07

    Glad you're enjoying Maus! If you're after some more graphic novels I have a few reccomendations :)

  4. Thank you for including me in that...it means a lot! I've just posted my final A-Z post as well, I made it to T. Still debating whether to carry on and finish but thanks so much for the idea, I read some books I would really never have picked up otherwise x

  5. Ooh this is exciting Claire! I absolutely LOVED My Naughty Little Sister as a child - my favourite by far. I am amazed you got to 'S' quite frankly. You did amazingly! Glad to see Rebecca is up there :) x

  6. I loved My Naughty Little Sister as a child but had forgotten about these stories - may have to rediscover them! And I've been meaning to read Maus for years so this post has given me the boost I need. Joining in with your 'One for them, one for me' linky (although mine is more 'one for them, four for me'!) x


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