A Month of Favorites Day 1: Introductions


Just when I was lamenting the lack of Persephone Secret Santas or the Advent Virtual Blog Tours of Christmases Past, Andi and a couple of her friends stepped up this December with A Month of Favorites. I think it will be a fine way to look back over 2014, and what the year held for each of us in books, as well as an opportunity to gather new titles (and friends) for 2015.

I usually post an end of the year post with the kind of information asked for in Day 1, but I can let some of it slip here on the first day of the month. For example, what is your favorite genre?

2014 was a year that I particularly embraced literature in translation. While I have hosted the Japanese Literature Challenge for eight years, this year I have expanded my reading of translated literature to include books for Spanish Literature Month (this past July), and German Literature Month (which was just completed in November.).There is no kind of reading which expands my mind, or my horizons, like reading from other cultures. A spectacular case in point was reading for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. I am still thinking of the books written by Spanish, German, French, Chinese, Norwegian and Arabic authors that I read last Winter. As for my favorite titles or authors, I will reveal them in a later post this month. Some of them could even be mentioned tomorrow.

While I read on my nook, and my Kindle, and the Overdrive account on my iPad, for me there is no better experience than reading from a real page on real paper. True, the electronic book allows me to hold it in one hand with a cup of tea in the other, and by merely flicking my thumb in a forward direction I can turn the page. But those benefits do not outweigh the scent of a binding, nor the whisk of paper brushing against another page as it is turned.


As to a favored place to read? This month it would have to be by the lit balsam fir in our living room, casting a soft glow from the wee lights on its irregular branches. All I need is a real wood-burning fireplace…

No. I need nothing. My books, and a place to talk about them, are two of the greatest joys I know. And as we go forward together this December and beyond, I look forward to knowing more about yours.

(Find more introductions here.)

19 thoughts on “A Month of Favorites Day 1: Introductions”

  1. Yes, I was excited to see a book blogging event to fill the void of those missing from years past. I’d love to read more literature in translation. I know I have some on my shelves, it’s just taking the step to make the conscious decision to read more of it that seems to trip me up. I’ve come around reading the occasional ebook and appreciating them for the convenience they have to offer, but what you say is true, there’s still nothing better than turning those real pages!


  2. I totally agree with you concerning the literature in translation! I’m French but I prefer other literatures, especially because it allows me to discover other cultures and to expand my mind.
    I’ll come back and see what you read.


    1. I’m so curious as to what your favorite French literature is! Tomorrow I’m listing five of my favorites, or maybe it’s six, but I wonder if we’d have any in common.


  3. Nice pic! It’s started to feel quite Christmassy here even though I haven’t put the decorations up yet.

    This year’s translated fiction events have been great, haven’t they? I’ve enjoyed the themed events (Spanish/German Lit Month) as they’ve been quite flexible, offering readers plenty of scope to choose their own books.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your books of the year.


    1. Well, you do a beautiful job of reading translated literature without “needing” any sort of challenge, but those themed events are wonderful not only in flexibility, but in exposing me to literature which is totally new to me. I love that about blogging with fellow bibliophiles such as yourself!


    1. If you think it’s gorgeous in this ridiculous picture, I wish you could sit underneath it with me. Actually, I guess it would be next to it. Anyway, there’s nothing like the smell of fresh cut pine, and little white lights, to put me in the mood for Christmas. And, thanks for the fun event this month!


  4. I’m so loving your tree and wishing I had mine up already too! And I’ve been so inspired by your reading. I haven’t read as much books from other cultures as I would like, but there’s always next year 🙂


    1. It’s one of those things that’s not as much fun to do as it is to look at. I wasn’t very motivated to put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, but when I looked at December weekends I had no idea when I would find the time. Glad my reading inspires you. xo


  5. I definitely have noticed a difference this year when I didn’t read as many books in translation. I feel like there was something deeper, something more enlightening missing in my reading. I’ll definitely remedy that with next year’s choices!
    Your tree is beautiful, by the way. 🙂


    1. You are so right when you say “there’s something deeper, something more enlightening, missing”. That’s just how I feel when I read too many American novels. It’s all the same thing over and over, for the most part.

      However, I have been enjoying thrillers by Robert Harris, lately. 😀


  6. I love reading on my iPad, but yes, there is something about the feel of a book in one’s hand. I’ve found there are certain books I just have to have in paper. It adds to the experience.


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