Ascend – Weekly photo challenge

Snowy roof

Snowy roof

Sunday after the snow, when the sun came out.

Photo Challenge: Ascend

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Books I’ve Read 2017

As it is quickly coming to the end of 2017, I have started to review my list of 17 for 2017. And oh dear, so many things are far from complete! Over the next couple of weeks I will have to see what I can do to improve the situation, but some are beyond saving.

I thought I may cover some of my list as individual posts. So I am starting with Number 11 – Read eleven new authors

These days I spend more time reading children’s books than adult fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading stories to my two, and we have some favourite authors which we have read again this year including Dick King-Smith, David Walliams, Roald Dahl, Holly Webb and Lucy Daniels. This year we discovered Jenny Nimmo, a British author. I have to include her in my list of eleven to reach my total! The first book we read of hers this year was Dog Star. A lovely tale of a child who wanted a dog and got a star of sorts! We subsequently found Toby in the Dark in the library, which we also enjoyed.

So to adult fiction. My 6 month list summary had just two books. So here is another eight to complete the task (well almost as two books are unfinished)!

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, was probably one of the top three of the reading year. It is a story of a fifteen year old girl in Nigeria. Her life is ruled over by a fanatically religious and abusive father.

LaRosa by Louise Erdrich, again in the top 3, is set in North Dakota. The story follows the lives of two families who are neighbours. There is a tragic accident when one of the father’s shoots his neighbour’s son while out hunting. The story intertwines Native American culture with how the families deal with the death of the young boy.

The Time is Now by Pauline McLynn. Like LaRose there are elements of the spirit world in this book which follows the lives of a group of people in a flat in Soho. The people are from the past, present and future and yet their lives are connected.

The Running Hare by John Lewis-Stemple is the best natural history book I read this year, and so again in my top 3. I found it a very engaging read. The focus of the book is the author’s wish to turn a barren arable field into something rich and full of life.

438 Days: An extraordinary true story of survival at sea by Jonathan Franklin. This is exactly what it says on the tin! A fascinating account of a man’s will to survive against the odds.

Common Ground by Rob Cowan (still reading). Cowan explores the wildlife of a piece of ground not far from where he lives.

The Man who made things out of Wood – Robert Penn (Unfinished –  but will probably take it up again at some point).

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (autobiography). If this book hadn’t taken me so long to read I may have reached my target! Still it was an interesting read about a man who was determined though hard work and grit to achieve his goal. I was not aware that Springsteen suffered from depression and it is interesting to read how he deals with it.

There may have been others, but I didn’t write them down!

Over the year, I have also read some of my favourite authors. Of those Colum McCann’s  – Thirteen Ways of Looking was probably my favourite. The title refers to the novella in the book but the book also includes three short stories. I was particularly moved by Sh’Khol, the story of a mother and her deaf son.

And Annie Proulx’s Postcards, the poignant story of a family of New England farmers – the Bloods, and how they lost their land.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

We haven’t seen much blue sky these last few months. The constant grey can be depressing, as can the constant damp. So when we do finally see some blue sky or witness a sunrise we get this unexpected feeling of serenity.

Last year, the combined rainfall for October and November was just over 130mm. This year for the same period it has been 275mm. Admittedly, last year was a drier autumn than average and this year’s figures are closer to mean figures.

 

via Photo Challenge: Serene

Comfortable

The poor hens are not quite as comfortable this weather. Don’t get me wrong they have a nice house with straw to shelter in, but outside everything is wet and sodden! Still it doesn’t stop them getting out and about. However, like me, I wonder if they are perhaps dreaming of dozing off comfortably in the summer sun.

Snoozing chicken

Snoozing chicken

See Wild Daffodil and nanacathy for more comfortable photos for this week’s one a week challenge – comfortable.