The Year in Books; January 2016

I love to read and I decided that this year I would join the Circle of Pine Trees 'year in books' initiative.  I don't need encouragement to read more, I read masses already, but I did think it would be a nice way to connect with other book lovers, share my thoughts on the books I've read and obtain inspiration for new reading material that I wouldn't ordinarily choose.  It is also a nice way to record the books that I have read; I have a nasty habit of forgetting! 

This month I've only managed a few books.  The first book I read, at the beginning of the year, was the final book in the Cazalet series - All Change.  I have immensely enjoyed the Cazalet chronicles.  I have described them before as Enid Blyton for adults and I stand by it.  I found the stories cosy and interesting; the characters endearing.  (I bought the TV series on DVD too - also loved it.)  The novels span several decades, starting (if I remember rightly) in the early 1900s right through to the 1960s and follow the lives and loves of the four Cazelet children (and, subsequently, their own children and their children's children).  I adored each book and feel sad now that I've finished the series.  

After reading Jane Eyre (a pretty new clothbound copy) for the umpteenth time (a total luxury) I started on A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler - pictured above.

This book is not one I would have chosen left to my own devices.  I haven't read Anne Tyler before and the writer has not been on my radar.  A Spool of Blue Thread had been tagged a few times on instagram and seemed to be widely enjoyed so I thought I'd try it. 

Having finished it yesterday, I feel dis-satisfied and a bit irritated.  Whilst it wasn't a particularly pacy novel, the characters all piqued my interest enough for me to proceed with the book.  I turned each page waiting for a twist or a scandal that the story was clearly leading up to.  There wasn't anything.  I feel a bit let down.  The words just flowed gently from one paragraph to another, telling the ordinary story of ordinary people and their relationships with each other. It is written beautifully and does realistically portray ordinary family life but generally I found it a bit drab. Maybe a little melancholic.  I am afraid I cannot recommend it and whilst I'm glad I've read it I am so looking forward to starting a new read - The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, by Joanna Cannon.  I received the book direct from the publisher as part of a promotion by A Circle of Pines (thank you!) on the basis that it would be February's book.  I have read a couple of sample pages already and I think I am going to enjoy it! 

Have you been reading much lately?  Can you recommend anything for me? Or did you read A Spool of Blue Thread too - what are your thoughts?  Perhaps I am missing something and just need an explanation.  Would love to hear from you. 

Have a good week.