In which Ruth reveals what books she’s read and what her plans are for 2013

Ok, so sometimes you are feeling really harrassed and busy and feeling sorrow for all womankind and you need to read something really empowering for women and that’s when I go back to good ol’ Fidelma. There’s nothing quite like a powerful woman in Celtic times to put things in perspective and find your inner woman-warrior. Actually good ol’ Fidelma was a bit wimpy in The Leper’s Bell but she got it together and solved the crime and fell in love with the delicious Eadulf all over again so that was nice. Sometimes there is just a wee bit too much history in these books or strange sounding names which my inner voice struggles with, and this was no different. Not much churchy stuff. 3 stars.

Madonna and Child with Angel 1916 by Eric Gill 1882-1940A certain lovely Rector’s Warden gave me the best present of all (Amazon voucher) among other delicious delights, and I got Eric Gill: Lust for Letter & Line by Ruth and Joe Cribb. I’ve been a huge fan of Gill’s religious drawings ever since I came across some clipart ones many years ago. A few months ago I saw a little Gill print in someone’s lounge which made me covet it and want to learn more. Have since found out that he was rather a subversive and a very naughty boy. (The biography is out of print but on my wish list.) This little book has lots of lovely pics, a brief resume of his life story and a desire to know and see more. 4 stars.

Finally, I am almost at the end of The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers which Son #2 got me off my wish list for Christmas. I only have a few pages to go so perhaps it is unfair to talk about when I haven’t finished but I’m giving it 4 stars and don’t think the ending is going to change that. I am a huge fan of Ms Vickers and her way of observing people and writing about them. This one is full of characters we all know well, especially in churchy circles. Loving it.

And now to my plans for 2013… well it is Hogmanay and one’s thoughts do turn to New Year Resolutions. I’m never very good at keeping those. But there is one area of my life which is severely lacking in self-control and that is the purchasing of novels. I have a tall 6 foot bookcase outside my study door which is full of books I’ve not read yet.  Some come from charity shops, some from church sales, many from Amazon one-click either because they were recommended by someone or I just stumbled across them, and some from the supermarket bargain bucket. I also have a Kindle which is chock-a-block with novels waiting to be read, all sorted into different categories, some only costing pennies, but mostly all unread.

Some time ago I read a book by Susan Hill called Howard’s End is on the Landing. While looking for the said book she stumbled across a host of books either unread or waiting for a second reading and decided to take a year out to do just that. Well I am going to try the same. I want to spend this year reading the books I already have and perhaps re-reading some old favourites, although I suspect there are enough new ones to keep me occupied. Catherine Fox managed to do a year without buying new clothes, so surely I can do it without buying fiction. I’m saying ‘fiction’ and that might be a bit of a cheat. What do you think? I just think there might be books to do with work which I will have to get, or is that a cop-out?

I was tempted today to go through my Amazon wish-list and buy all those big books I’m waiting for in paperback because they’re too heavy to read in hardback and too expensive yet in Kindle.  But I reckon that’s a bit of a cheat and there is always Mothering Sunday and my birthday when I can force my offspring into feeding my addiction.  And it might be time to join the library too.

So what do you reckon? Think I can do it? And what is your New Year Resolution?

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