2015: A Diary of Reading in 30 Instagram Pictures

I’ve really enjoyed being part of the bookish Instagram community or ‘Bookstagram’ as its popularly called in 2015. Here is a peek at my year in Instagram pictures; set in chronological order.

Have you read 84 Charing Cross Road? This is an account of the correspondence between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer in New York and Frank Doel, an employee of a used antiquarian bookstore in London. The correspondence is spread over the years 1949 to 1969, documenting the lively dialogue between two people, with nothing in common but a knowledge and love of good books. Set in the years after World War II, the reader is treated to an insight of the reality of what it was like to live in the aftermath of the war. The book is funny and poignant and shows how people separated by great distance and circumstances can nonetheless, touch each others lives and create the most beautiful of relationships. Full Review in Blogpost. Link in profile.

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I reviewed Inspector French's Greatest Case by Freeman Wills Crofts as part of @simondavidthomas 's #the1924club . In the second half of October everyone is asked to review books published in 1924. The link to the review is in my profile. ——————————————– In 'Inspector French's Greatest Case' we are introduced to a case of murder that occurs at the offices of Duke and Peabody, a diamond merchant located at Hatton Garden in London. On a cold night in the middle of November, the body of an employee, by the name of Mr. Charles Gething is discovered prostrate on the floor in the inner office of Mr. Duke. Mr. Duke's large Milner safe has been ransacked with the loss of thirty-three thousand pounds worth of diamonds and a thousand pounds in bank notes. Mr. Gething has undoubtedly been murdered as evidenced from the ugly wound made to the back of the skull by a blunt instrument. The theft of the diamonds and money previously secured in the safe are the motive behind the murder. To investigate the case, Inspector French of the Criminal Investigation Department of New Scotland Yard is called in.

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Martha in Paris is the funny, quirky story of the relationship between an artistic English girl and a lonely Englishman in Paris. ———————————- Martha in Paris recounts Martha's student years in Paris. Whilst in Paris, Martha meets an Englishman by the name of Eric Taylor. Eric invites her to dinner to meet his mother on Friday night and Martha accepts when she hears of the Taylors' recent bathroom renovations and their abundance of hot water. The weekly Friday visits and baths become a ritual and Martha and Eric find themselves in a situation which is too close for Martha's comfort. How Martha deals with the resultant circumstances of her relationship with Eric forms the theme of the remainder of this novel. Link to the full review in my profile. Happy Tuesday friends!

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'Cheerful Weather for the Wedding' by Julia Strachey is the story of a day in the life of the Thatcham family, in their English country house. It is, however, no ordinary day in their lives. The eldest daughter of the family, Dolly, is to be married that morning. The house is inundated with quirky guests who say and do the most unusual things. A ex-beau, Joseph, is plucking up the courage to speak to Dolly. The bride is upstairs, liberally drinking from a tall bottle of Jamaica Rum while adjusting her toilette. As the time for leaving the house for the wedding ceremony approaches, we wonder what else might occur on this unusual wedding day. Will Dolly make it to her wedding in one piece? Will Joseph be able to unburden his heart to Dolly? Full review in the link in profile. This was one of my favourite books from this year. Highly recommend it!

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"Oh, Charles, must we go now?" Ma said. The weather was so cold and the snug house was so comfortable. "If we are going this year, we must go now," said Pa. "We can't get across the Mississippi after the ice breaks." ———————————- Reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House on the Prairie'. I am simply amazed at the spirit of intrepid exploration as a man, his wife and family make it across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas in nothing but a horse drawn cart filled with their belongings. They cross frozen lakes, almost drown in a water-logged creek, wash their clothes in the river and lay them out on the sweet smelling prairie grass to dry. Laura's Pa builds their log cabin in Kansas with his own hands. I cannot but admire the self-reliance and adventurous nature of this family. Have you read the book?

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Watching Charlotte, Lucy was sad. She had loved Geoffrey with all her heart. Too much. "You shouldn't love as much as that," thought Lucy. It's a bit abject. You should keep something of yourself." ——————————————– 'They Were Sisters' by Dorothy Whipple is the story of three sisters who marry three very different men. Lucy, the eldest is happily married to William. Charlotte, is besotted with Geoffrey who is a cruel, dominating husband and Vera, the beautiful youngest sister marries caring, wealthy Brian, whom she marries for security. The story deals with the fact that choosing a life partner can have far-reaching consequences, and that this decision can dictate to a large extent a person’s individual happiness and the happiness of their families. Whipple delivers a masterful plot and powerful cast of characters. She creates extraordinary drama and turbulence within the boundaries of everyday domestic occurrences. Full review on the blog. Link in profile. Happy Friday friends!

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#currentlyreading 'The Sweet Love Died' by the inimitable Barbara Pym. (By the way, could we have a vote for the ugliest book cover ever?!😀) ——————————————– 'How do you think of me, then?' Leonora asked. 'Just living in your perfect house, leading a gracious and elegant life,' said Meg. 'It's hard to explain,' she said, seeing a shadow of displeasure cross Leonora's face. 'You make me sound hardly human, like a kind of fossil,' Leonora protested. ———————————- Leonora Eyre, a middle-aged woman of independent means, finds herself confronted with the unusual predicament of becoming romantically entangled with a uncle and nephew pair. Both the uncle and nephew vie for her attention and when she chooses to bestow her affection on the young nephew, she is confronted with the unhappy truth that she may not be in a position to have a future with him.

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Review of 'Family Roundabout' by Richmal Crompton on the blog today. Wish everyone a very happy Friday! ——————————————– This Persephone book looks at the complex relationship between two neighbouring families, the Fowlers and the Willoughbys, whose outlooks on life, are on one hand in opposition to one another, but on the other hand, find their paths unavoidably intertwined. Both the matriarch’s of the families, keep a close eye on the fates of their beloved families, but employ different styles in guiding them. Mrs Willoughby, has control of the family fortune, and dictates the actions of her family members by way of controlling the money she endows them. Benevolent Mrs Fowler, watches silently, as her children fall in and out of their individual problems. Most of her children appeal for her help when they require it. But despite, however much the mothers’ try to resolve their children’s problems, new troubles, recur in cyclical events, almost like a roundabout. To read more click on the link in the profile ☝🏼️

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The gloaming hour is upon us. Time to light up those golden candles, forsake the 'to do list', sip the warming honey green tea and slip into that delicious mystery novel that is set on the eve of Christmas. Several passengers are stuck on a train that gets trapped in the snow on Christmas Eve. Some passengers, rather foolishly, decide to venture out into the blizzard enveloping the immediate countryside. They stumble upon an empty country house and decide to seek shelter there. The fire is lit, the tea table set and the kettle is on the boil. But the owner of the house is nowhere to be seen. Trapped in the house due to the deep, all encompassing snow, there is an eerie sense of impending doom surrounding the house and it's inhabitants. What will happen next? ——————————————– 'Mystery in White' by J Jefferson Farjeon is a terrific, atmospheric read. Reading this as a buddy read with my dear friend @louised_1987 and so far, I think we both agree it is a terrific book!

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"Good heavens!" said Grace;and dropping down upon a rock, she stared incredulously about her. The white rocks, the flowers, their blade like silvered leaves, all glowed in the strong sunshine with an effect that was quite literally dazzling. Nicholas sat down beside her…Grace was aware of the strong current of feeling set flowing within him at the sight. And this time, with a curious precision and certainty, she was aware of something more-how her own presence increased and heightened his delight, his response. Unspoken and unexpressed, this awareness grew and deepened, and with it her own pleasure in the sight. And for a short space of time, forgetting everything else, she gave herself up to this wordless sympathy, this peculiar accord between them, which made of the shared moment something more delicate and wonderful than it could have been for either alone. ———————————- 'Illyrian Spring' by Ann Bridge is a part travelogue, part love story set in 1930's Croatia, along the picturesque Dalmatian Coast. World-renowned artist, thirty-eight year old Lady Kilmichael, the wife of an eminent economist and mother to three grown-up children, leaves her family and all that she holds dear and escapes to Venice and Croatia's remote Dalmatian Coast. She fears for her marriage, suspecting her husband of embarking on a possible affair and also is saddened by the strained relationship she has with her daughter. In Venice she meets a disillusioned young man, Nicholas, a man on the verge of being coerced into an architectural career by his parents but desperately yearning to paint. By chance, Grace and Nicholas find themselves on the same cruise to the Dalmatian Coast. Grace is persuaded to guide and train Nicholas in his artistic endeavours and together they spend several idyllic weeks together painting and enjoying each other's company. However, when young Nicholas falls in love with Grace, she finds she must choose between following her better judgement or her heart. Full review of this beautiful travelogue on the blog. Link in profile. Happy Friday friends!

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Are you an Instagrammer? The ‘Bookstagram’ community is such a friendly, wonderful community to be part of: there are tags you can participate in, photo challenges, ‘shelfies’ and monthly reading round-ups to follow. You can be sure that your ‘to be read’ list will get higher and higher and higher…

Lastly, here is a snapshot of my nine most popular Instagram pictures of 2015.

One thought on “2015: A Diary of Reading in 30 Instagram Pictures

  1. Pingback: December 2015, Book Wrap Up | Bag Full Of Books

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