As 2021 comes to an end it’s a good time to reflect on the blogging year, with the aid of a fun meme created by Brona from Brona’s Books.
The “rules” for the “Year in First Lines” are quite simple. Find the first post published in each month. Extract the first line from each post. Then reflect on what that tells you about the past year. I tweaked this a little to add a second/third sentence for Sample Sunday and Six Degrees of Separation posts which tend to begin the same way each time.
As we welcome in a new year (hopefully less ghastly than the last one), I thought I’d take a look back at my favourite books of 2020.
Kent Haruf’s third novel in the Plainsong series reminded me of the oft-quoted (and misquoted) comment by Henry Thoreau that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
With perfect timing for St David’s Day and the start of Wales Reading Month, crime authors in Wales have just announced plans for the first international crime fiction festival to be staged in Wales.
Steampunk meets historical fiction meets magical realism in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. It’s not a happy encounter.
Ever wondered why some of the people who have been following your book blog, have suddenly stopped? .
One of the things I miss most about travelling overseas for work, is the chance to ask my colleagues for recommendations of books to read from their countries.
This month’s Six Degrees chain begins with a book that was hard to miss back in 2003. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss seemed to be in every newspaper and all over the internet.
Moving along the shelves of my unread books, I’ve arrived at the letter I. The three books I’m featuring this week are actually the only three I own where the author’s name begins with that letter. By coincidence they all seem to be set in countries with troubled histories.
Drum roll please. Stand my for an important announcement!
I began watching the film version of The Bookshop with high expectations — a bookshop setting; a heroine who believes books are an essential commodity and a community determined to prove her wrong.
It’s Non Fiction November time again. To kick off this month long celebration, Rennie at What’s Nonfiction suggests we take a look back at the last twelve months and talk about our favourite non fiction reads of the year and the books we’ve recommended most often.
The decades following the end of World War 1 saw a boom in publication of war literature and memoirs as survivors sought to make sense of the conflict and devastation.
What do these first lines tell me?
There wasn’t any great revelation. The exercise just reinforced what I pretty much already knew:
- I have a mix of content : memes (Six Degrees) and updates on reading events (like 20booksofsummer and NonFictionNovember)
- The non-review content tends to dominate. This isn’t intentional. I’ve been struggling with my review mojo for a couple of years as I explained in a post back in the summer When The Last Thing You Want To Do Is Write That Book Review. Many bloggers weighed in with some very useful advice that I’ve started to adopt. It’s something I want to focus on improving in 2022.
- Good to see that at least one of these months featured literature from Wales.
What do your first lines say about you?