I have been very quiet on the blog recently, simply because I haven’t been reading that much, due to an increase in social activity (it’s that time of year, lots of cocktails, what can I say) and also because I have been distracted by my new toy, the iPad which I bought myself  as an early “didn’t I do well in 2010” present.

I have always been easily diverted by bright and shiny things.

So I will not reach my target of 52 books this year but will attack the same goal with renewed vigour in 2011. At least, that’s what I’m saying now.

And I will be helped by the bookish spoils received from the Book God and others this Christmas:

  • My Favourite Dress by Gity Monsef and others – a beautiful big fashion picture book, full of talented designers picking their favourite frocks, none of which I can ever afford or indeed hope to fit into…
  • 100 Years of Fashion Illustration by Cally Blackman – absolutely gorgeous book with wonderful examples of fashion illustration from Paul Iribe in 1908 to Kareem Illya in 2005. Has made me realise that I would have liked to have been a wealthy Edwardian
  • Britten & Brulightly by Hannah Berry – a graphic novel to add to the collection “There are murder mysteries and there are murder mysteries, but this is a noir where nothing is black and white” sayeth the blurb
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, in graphic form by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young – exactly what you might think, absolutely lovely and wished for solely because I liked the illustration of the Cowardly Lion on the cover….
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King – it wouldn’t be Christmas without a new Stephen King purchase though in terms of reading I am about 5 books behind (not to mention the Dark Tower series (so let’s not and say we did))
  • Blow by Blow by Detmar Blow with Tom Sykes – the story of Isabella Blow, muse to Alexander McQueen – yet more high fashion
  • Paperboy by the lovely Christopher Fowler – won the first Green Carnation prize and looks like it will be brilliant – to be saved for the dead grey days of January
  • Dark Matter by Michelle Paver – a ghost story “Out of nowhere, for no reason, I was afraid”
  • Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet – I love books about books
  • The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley – another one of my favourite authors. “A boy, a mysterious guardian and a haunted house with a terrible secret”.
  • Gaslight Grimoire: fantastic tales of Sherlock Holmes – Fantastic tales. Sherlock Holmes. What’s not to like?
  • A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore – shortlisted for the Orange Prize, don’tcha know. Audrey Niffenegger says its full of perfect sentences and that would be good enough for me even if I didn’t already like Lorrie Moore
  • The Existential Detective by Alice Thompson – on my wish list simply because I read about it at Lizzy’s Literary Life and it sounded right up my street
  • The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant – more fashion; “the thinking woman’s guide to our relationship with what we wear”
  • A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd – WWI mystery novel
  • The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova – can it live up to The Historian? I hope so…
  • Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan – “Three strong women. Two feuding families. A singular story of enchantment…”

Not a bad haul, I have to admit. And there’s also The Pattern in the Carpet by Margaret Drabble (a personal history with jigsaws) which I have already started.

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