Wednesday, 3 February 2016

January's Roundup

Hello and goodbye January - that was a quick one. I read five books over the month, ranging from a survivalist novel to some straight-talking non fiction, the glamorous world of the space race and a short story collection. Definitely a wide range of books.

All the bird wanted to do was make a nest but the books got there first

The Chimes - Anna Smaill
This debut novel tells of an alternative London where music has replaced the written word and memories are carried as physical objects. Memories are banned but there's a black market for people to store their lives. This is an inventive, rewarding book. My review will be up in the next few days. Think Christopher Nolan's film Memento crossed with Herman Hesse. Anna Smaill stopped by and took part in the Imaginary Bookshop Q&A.

Breathe - Leila Segal
This is a great short story collection exploring Cuba from both the insider and outsider perspective. You can read my review here. Leila also popped by and took part in the Imaginary Bookshop Q&A.

Our Endless Numbered Days - Claire Fuller
Claire tells the story of Peggy who lives in the woods with her father. Apparently the rest of the world no longer exists and they are the last two remaining, having to survive off the land, battling against the elements. This book is bloody fantastic. Definitely my book of the month.

The Astronaut's Wives Club - Lily Koppel
I've had this sitting on my bookshelf for a while but having seen Tim Peake blast off to the Space Station it made me pick up this book. This tells the true story about the wives of the astronauts when the Space Race was competitive and political. Reminded me of Mad Men but with space suits.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do - Sarah Knight
Basically the title sums up this book very nicely. Very straight thinking - it all boils down to having a 'fuck budget' with only things you want to care about go on the list. Turns out I've been using some of the techniques from this book in my life since September. I don't give a fudge about other people's Facebook numbers, don't care about people who are not very nice, don't care about this and that. I really care about real friends, family, work and writing plus a few other things.

And in other news...

This month I have redrafted at least two chapters (in the old days it was one chapter per 2-3 months) and I have also edited the first third of the novel for a competition (good luck little pages). A short story in first draft was written and next month I'll redraft it.

I have been really productive because, drum roll, BIGGER drum roll - I sold my iPad. I know it sounds scary but I have been using less and less. I used to stay in bed, chain-reading the news sites or playing Angry Birds, waiting for the house to wake up so we could start the weekend. I know it is a drastic move - I could have hid the iPad in a drawer or switched off the interwebs but cold turkey is the way to go. I might buy another tablet in the future but not at the moment. Saturday mornings are full of baking cookies which are meant for work but only seem to make it to my tummy, reading, writing, shopping (for food - boo) or cinema.


I saw The Big Short at the cinema - if you to know more about the financial crash then you should see this film as it will explain it in funny terms.

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