This post could alternatively have been titled ‘Where Did That Summer Go?’ or, if you live in Northern Ireland, ‘Summer? What Fecking Summer??’
The last three months have flashed by in a flurry of work, kids, work and more work and generally ended up much, much busier than I anticipated. One minute I was watching Wimbledon and the next my twins were starting school.
Add to that the fact that the weather was just miserable and I feel like I didn’t really get much of a summer at all. (Word of advice to anyone thinking of holidaying in Donegal on three of the wettest days of the year – DON’T.)
And yet, I managed to read 18 of my 20 Books of Summer. Two more than last year and two less than hoped for, but at least not an abject failure. I really enjoyed reading real books for a change and found that I made more time for reading than I normally would if I was just reading on my iPad or my phone.
Despite managing to read, I didn’t find a lot of time to blog and my posts have been sporadic and my reviews a bit piecemeal. In fact, I haven’t even managed to review my final two summer reads – The Tiger’s Wife and The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet – both of which I enjoyed very much but both of which I felt suffered at times from style over substance. I may write reviews of them over the coming days, but I have a bit of a new term feeling at the moment and am ready to move on with my reading.
Of my 20 Books, my favourite was definitely the weird, woozy and wonderful Hawthorn & Child by Keith Ridgway, closely followed by The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. My least favourite is probably pretty easy to guess and there were two I didn’t get to – Motel Chronicles & Hawk Moon by Sam Shepard and Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy, both of which I will try to read over the coming months. I also need to give special mention to Jon McGregor’s short story We Wave and Call which is one of the most beautifully formed short stories I have read and is still lingering in my mind weeks after reading it.
I’d like to thank all the fantastic bloggers who took part along with me this summer, I was delighted by the response and feel bad that I couldn’t keep up with all your reading as much as I would have liked to. You’ve all been brilliant and I have loved reading your posts.
I’ve never really been one for New Year resolutions, but the start of the school year always makes me re-evaluate and make plans. This year is no different.
If you are a regular reader, you may notice a few changes coming on 746 Books. The inaugural Reading Ireland Month held back in March has reignited my love of Irish literature, and has also brought about opportunities I could never have imagined when I started my wee blog. I am being offered books to preview and events to chair and it would be silly of me not to see where this leads.
However, I still want to stick to the spirit of 746 Books and my original plan not to buy any new books until the 746 are read. So, if you start to see reviews of old, new or forthcoming Irish books pop up on the blog, rest assured that the books have either been sent to me for review or have been borrowed from the library. The 746 will still be my main priority, my book buying ban will continue and I’ll keep counting down those hundreds of books still mocking me from my shelves!
Although this shelf is definitely a little more roomy……