My Year in Books: January

I’m only weeks into a slower, more nourishing year of life, and of blogging, and I’ve already picked up more books than I have for ages.

Books are always going to be part of a nourishing life for me. They’re one of my greatest joys, something that even as I embrace a minimalist life, I will choose to keep over other possessions. And yes, I know that a Kindle would be a wonderful way of keeping thousands of books on a tiny device, but I’m still not getting one! (If I ever have the chance to travel long term, I will change my mind, but until then…)

Here are the books that have been keeping me company in January.

Book for January

The Outsiders – A collection of stories about the outdoors and creative people making their living through their passion for outdoor life, craft and activity. I was pleased to see that the wonderful Ej from Hatchet & Bear was amongst those included. Beautifully inspiring.

The Outsiders book

Secret Garden – A gorgeous colouring-in book. Colouring in is such a simple way to be creative and bring more playfulness into your life, and it’s great for stress relief too! Colouring-in books for grown ups are becoming so much more popular these days and I for one, love that.

Secret Garden colouring book

The Luminaries My fiction for the month. It’s huge, but wonderfully engaging, with an absorbing storyline set in New Zealand’s gold-rush era. And I didn’t even realise New Zealand had a gold rush era… Walter Moody arrives in the country having witnessed something dreadful on his journey there, and enters the local tavern to discover a group of men all gathered to discuss what’s going on. Each character is given time throughout the book, and the story unfolds from all of their varying perspectives and histories. Together with lyrical use of astrology and astronomy, this is a gorgeous book which I will remember for a long time. A worthy Booker prize winner.

Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech: Make Good Art. This is basically a beautiful rendering of the famous speech that Neil Gaiman gave at The University of The Arts. I’ve added the YouTube here because even if you’ve watched it before, it’s always worth your time.



A little new book project! 

One of the ways that I do keep my book collection under control is to give away all the fiction I read. Life is short, and my to-read list is huge, so, although I tend to keep my non-fiction titles for reference, the chances of me re-reading novels is pretty slim. And I really enjoy sharing great books with other people.

So, I was wondering if I could perhaps interest you in a little monthly snail-mail project? Each month I’ll offer up the novel that I’ve just finished reading to the first person who is interested in it – and post it out with a few other goodies too. Obviously the books won’t be pristine (I often buy them second hand to start with) but everyone loves happy post, don’t they? …

I’m going to do this project over on Instagram, so if you’re interested, do follow me on there, and I’ll add next month’s novels as soon as I’ve read them. It’ll encourage me to keep reading, as well as being a fun little project. The Luminaries is already winging its way to one of my IG friends, but keep an eye out for what comes next!

Here are the books I’m reading in February. At least one of the novels will be up for grabs as soon as I’ve finished it!

Book recommendations



What books have you read this month? Any recommendations for me?






11 Responses to My Year in Books: January

  1. Carlie says:

    What a lovely idea, to post out books – by far my favourite type of parcel to open! I’ve just read the thriller What She Left by TR Richmond – it’s out in April I think, and brilliant, really makes you think.
    The other book I’ve recently read and adored (in fact, changed my life), was Meadowland by John Stempel-Lewis. It’s about the life of a field, over a year, and makes you very aware of nature and seasons and how unimportant a lot of silly things are.

    Am very much enjoying reading about your Nourishing Year – I think it’s very sensible. Hope the allotment planning’s going well!

    Carlie recently posted…Hello!My Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’ll have to keep an eye out for those books – they both sound right up my street. Thank you for your lovely comment – I seem to have only just discovered all these comments on my blog! Goodness knows what I’ve been doing this month…

  2. dave says:

    What a fantastic idea! I love the thought of passing on books to new homes.

    I’ve just read Disclaimer, by Renee Knight. It’s an interesting twisty crime novel and I read it in a single day – not often a book gets to me like that. I’ve also just received a copy of The Book of You which looks intriguing.

    On a creative side, I’ve read, absorbed and adored Danny Gregory’s The Creative Licence – all about giving yourself the permission to create. Fantastic, inspiring stuff. I also got a copy of The Art of Urban Sketching, by Gabriel Campanario which is also wonderful.
    dave recently posted…Creative reflectionsMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      I shall keep an eye out for these, Dave – they all sound good. I’m in the mood for a crime novel, actually… Sorry its taken me ages to reply, I didn’t see all my comments! Worst blogger ever…

  3. Joanne says:

    I read The Luminaries recently and, like you, my first thought was ‘I didn’t know there was a gold rush in New Zealand’! I wonder how many other people thought the same thing?
    Joanne recently posted…H is for Hawk by Helen MacdonaldMy Profile

  4. Annie says:

    I need to start reading books again – I used to read a lot but in the past year I’ve not read a single book…
    I love your snail mail idea – can I join you? x
    Annie recently posted…#lastingchange live broadcast from HOVIC, Kisumu, KenyaMy Profile

  5. Such a great idea! I have The Luminaries on my to be read pile, I really should bump it further to the top.

    • Elizabeth says:

      It’s such a good book! I love your reading recommendations on Instagram, it’s inspired me to get reading more again x

  6. Cerys says:

    Loving the snail mail idea! I miss it…and have actually got a prompt for every now and again to send snail mail. Nothing beats it.
    Cerys recently posted…2015 {Five}My Profile

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