So, mark you calendars...there are loads of opportunities to read along this month (as there are probably every month, but lots of books of interest to me this time around). I'm not sure I can actually read all these by the end of the month, but I'm going to give it a good try.
First up on January 19, I hope you'll drop by as I am participating in a blog tour. I don't often do these as I tend to stress out a little when it comes to posting on a book on a particular date. It's always nice to be able to fudge a little when I finish reading a book and write about it when I feel up to it, but Matthew Gallaway's The Metropolis Case sounded so good, I couldn't pass the opportunity up. "From the smoky halls of 1860s Pars to the tumbling skyscrapers of twenty-first-century New York, Matthew Gallaway's debut novel gives voice to the sweeping tale of an unlikely quartet, bound together by the strange and spectacular history of Richard Wagner's masterpiece Tristan and Isolde." I love the story of Tristan and Isolde, though I admit I don't know much about opera. This might just prove educational as well as entertaining.
Then Cornflower's Book Group will be reading Penelope Fitzgerald's The Bookshop and discussing it on Saturday the 22nd of January. I've never read any of Penelope Fitzgerald's books, though I seem to keep collecting them. This sounds like a perfect place to start. I always check in and see what Cornflower's group is reading, though last year when I was able to read along it was usually well after the fact. Maybe this year will be different.
Caroline at Beauty is a Sleeping Cat has planned a year long Literature and War readalong. The first book to be discussed is Susan Hill's Strange Meeting on January 28. I'm only familiar with Hill's wonderfully atmospheric The Woman in Black, so I am looking forward to trying something else by her. Strange Meeting is about a wartime friendship on the Western Front during WWI.
Rounding out things is The Slaves of Golconda's first read of the year, Tove Jansson's The Summer Book. Sunshine and sandy beaches sounds blissful to me right now, especially as we're due for snow Sunday and Monday (fingers crossed it goes either north or south of us). We'll be discussing the book on the last day of the month, January 31. You are, of course, welcome to join us. Can't you feel the sand between your toes already? The Guardian says the book "makes you slow down, forget about everyday hassle and float off into a sunny, blissful reverie." What better recommendation?
I would be remiss if I failed to mention again the Virago Reading Week, and the date has been offially set: January 24-30. If things work things out I'll have most of my other reading behind me and can concentrate on the three books I've chosen to spend the week with. Of course my choices may change by the end of the month, but at the moment I am leaning heavily towards Thank Heaven Fasting by E.M. Delafield, A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor, and The Solitary Summer by Elizabeth von Arnim (that seems like a nice companion book to the Jansson, don't you think?).
Just in time for the weekend I think I'll be starting a new book or two (and I've not forgotten about choosing a spy novel either). I have to say a full week back at work after a nice break is a little rough going. I think I'm in need of a little relaxation and a few good books to read.
Happy weekend everyone.