What I read in January 2019 (Part 1)

I had already seen many recommendations for The Salt Path by Raynor Winn on social media, when a hardback copy caught my eye in the local library. I was not disappointed. It was difficult to put it down.

The author and her husband had fallen on very hard times. Instead of taking any conventional course of action they set off on a long distance walk around the coastline of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, while they worked out what to do next. I have visited all three counties in the past, but only a small number of the places described in this book. There is a map, which in my opinion is always a good reason for reading a book.

The story is enthralling and the writing excellent. I read it over a weekend. It is the author’s first book, but I hope it will not be her last. It was shortlisted for the Costa book awards and the copy I borrowed had a Wainwright Prize sticker.


What will the New Year bring?

The numerous posts on social media at the beginning of 2019 setting out people’s goals left me feeling unfocused. This was partly because my health and fitness were low. After an outing in beautiful countryside on a sunny day, I feel more like getting to grips with the New Year. I took far too many photographs and have the material for a number of posts on Sue’s Words and Pictures. I had been considering abandoning that blog, but for the time being it will continue to have a new post each Saturday. I am posting a taster picture here.


Sue’s Trifles has new material on Thursdays.

The category cloud for this blog indicates the main topics, which I have blogged about. The ones I return to are blogging, books, craft, faith, seasons and travel – and blogging from A to Z in April. Many of the others are projects, which have been completed (such as #psalmtweets) or prompts, which are no longer available or which I have tried and found to be too demanding. (I do have things to do away from my computer!)

In the last year books have been the main focus of Sue’s Trifles. There have been some craft posts and very little about faith. As there is a link to this blog on Bible Gateway’s Blogger Grid, perhaps I should bear that in mind when writing my posts. The hashtag for the blogger grid is #bgbg2. That will appear as a tag rather than a category.

One project I have in mind for this year is to do a deeper study than the Ladies’ Bible study group is doing. This will require discipline. I do not intend to publish it online. The books we have been using recently featured in another post.

It was Epiphany on Sunday. I still had the aches and pains I had been struggling with for a few weeks. I moaned to a few friends after the morning service. I hope I didn’t make them feel miserable. There is a time for being honest about one’s struggles. I don’t want to make a habit of being miserable and moaning, but saying, “I’m OK”, when it isn’t true prevents others from knowing how to give prayer support. Galations 6:2 

To conclude, in 2019 I am going to try to

  • be more focused on my writing
  • communicate better with the people around me
  • listen more
  • be less irritable
  • improve my fitness by spending less time sitting down
  • use my skills to help other people
  • remember to trust God and not to rely on myself
  • rejoice in the Lord always Philippians 4:4

What I read in December 2018 (Part 2)

I read four more books in December. In fact I was too busy reading to post anything on this blog last week! I thoroughly enjoyed all these books.

The trouble with goats and sheep by Joanna Cannon

I was really looking in the library for the very popular new book by the same author – Three things about Elsie, but it was out on loan. The book I borrowed was a well-worn hardback. Although it is quite a thick book (over 450 pages), it caught my interest so that I had read it from cover to cover in five days. Most of the action is set in the very hot summer of 1976, but events of 1967 haunt the unusual story. I really enjoyed it and will continue to track down Three things about Elsie.

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith

This book was an American edition I picked up from a second hand book sale. It is a good read with interesting twists in the tale. I have reviewed other books by Alexander McCall Smith.

Merry Christmas Everyone Edited by Wendy H. Jones, Amy Robinson and Jane Clamp

This is the second book which has been published this year by the Association of Christian Writers (ACW). The first one is a Lent book, which I am saving until spring. I began reading Merry Christmas Everyone at the beginning of Advent. The early items in it are relevant to the season. There is a wide variety of writing from many members of ACW. There are unusual retellings of parts of the Christmas story, poems, tales from other lands and more besides. This would make a good Christmas present for next year (if it isn’t too early to be considering your present list!). Both these books from ACW are available in Kindle and paperback editions.

News from Nowhere by Jane Austin

In 2018 New Writing North had a project with libraries for selected local authors to speak about their new books. News from Nowhere was one of the Read Regional books. I found it on the New Books shelf at the library as Read Regional had been superseded by a newer display. It is a work of fiction set in WW1. The first few chapters were so convincing that I had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction (especially after reading a WW1 biography earlier this month).

The reason that it is so authentic is that it is based on letters from the author’s family members serving in the trenches. Austin has woven a very satisfactory story around these and brings out the changes in society which resulted from the men being away and women taking on unfamiliar roles. I found it hard to put this book down. The story is mainly set in Wales, but the author lives in the north of England.