A Look at My Bookshelf: January Edition

Every year I vow that I will read more as one of my New Years Aspirations. Admittedly, this has become much easier since graduating from third level education; the land where I had so much mandatory reading that there was little time (or enthusiasm) for extra reading for the sheer love of it. Thankfully those days are gone so these days, my bookshelf tends to be split into two categories: Books I read for me and Books I read to the Toddler. You can sense which ones I get more joy from (and no, it’s not that bloody Love You Forever book).

Here is a look at what books we’ve been checking out to start off the New Year 2016.

I made the most of a sale on Amazon’s kindle book store which allowed me to add lots of books to my virtual bookshelf that I’ve wanted to read for ages, but put on the back burner until I had money saved to splurge on books. I seem to have accumulated a whole lot of Non-Fiction which has really coloured how I’ve been viewing the world over the last few weeks. As always, I find it easiest to read a couple of pages on the Kindle App on my phone or iPad, especially when E is watching an episode of Paw Patrol, or falling asleep but refusing to allow me to leave the room.

Mammy’s Bookshelf

The Life and Loves of a He Devil: A MemoirGraham Norton.

The first one on my list is one I’ve been eyeing up for a few months. I’m a big fan of Graham Norton, his chat show fills me with joy as it’s basically just interesting people having a chat, rather than actually being interviewed, and that format just works so well with his personality. Having not read any of his previous books, I found the format of the book equally interesting – it dove in and out of different times and places as it is separated into different categories that aren’t exactly chronological. Though this can make it a little more difficult to follow, it does reflect the conversational style in which he conducts his show – and is exactly like chatting to a friend. Funny, heartwarming and even a little sad in parts, I’d definitely recommend it.

ColumbineDave Cullen

Definitely heavier in subject matter than the last book, Columbine tells the detailed account of what exactly happened on that April morning in 1999 when two teenage boys committed mass murder in their school before turning the gun on themselves. I am quite interested in criminal psychology so I found this to be a really insightful read, and definitely taught me a whole lot more about the case than I had previously known. While it examines everything that happened in the lead up to to the day of the massacre, it also shows the aftermath and how the community dealt with the tragedy for years afterwards. Interestingly for me, it also debunked quite a few of the “facts” shown in the documentary “Bowling for Columbine” which I checked out on Netflix last year. Good for true crime fans, or anyone who has wanted to find out more about one of America’s most deadly killings in recent history, but not a light read by any stretch of the imagination.

Cabin Fever: The Sizzling Secrets of a Virgin Air HostessMandy Smith

Swinging completely to the other end of the scale from Columbine comes this book which I’m not sure I can class as non-fiction. I expected tales of crazy adventures while flying around the world with one of the world’s best known airlines – it read more like a guide as to the authors sex life over her time working for the company. While there were some interesting stories about things that went on (in particular regarding the days surrounding 9/11) I was quite disappointed with this book – just not my cup of tea.

I’ve just been to the library and have taken out The Psychopath Test from Jon Ronson, who wrote the fab So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed which I adored last year, so I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into that.

Little Man’s Bookshelf

In the toddler’s room, reading is really coming into its own. Santa was good enough to bring a lot of books which means bedtime gets to be more varied, but we’ve also been making the best of the rainy days and spending time in the local library where he can roam about and pick up new books, while getting some story time in the kids area in on the same time. Some of our favourite picks lately have been…

It’s been a big Julia Donaldson month here at the BadMammy house. First up is Santa’s gift of the trilogy – we’ve especially been loving discovering the world of The Gruffalo – I can nearly say the first few pages by heart already and it’s been less than a month.

Postman Bear, a lift-the-flap book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

This has gone down an absolute treat here – he loves seeing what is behind the different doors and windows and it’s not yet gotten old. It’s a great one for the starting to learn to count as well. Easy rhymes but not annoying: the perfect bedtime story!

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

This is also making a big comeback here – now that he’s learning what the different animals are, he’s getting really into doing the sounds along with them. He loves lifting the flaps and seeing what is hiding (mostly unsuccessfully) behind them – and roaring like a lion!

Also featuring fairly heavily is The Very Hungry Caterpillar – this is one he seems to select most nights to flick through himself, liking the pictures more than the story. It just reminds me of someone who is on a rather crap diet and winds up binging at the weekend; but maybe thats just the January blues talking!

Any recommendations for us of what to read next? We’ve got Stick Man out of the library yesterday (sticking with the Julia Donaldson, it seems to be a winner this week) but would like to check out some new stuff too – what do your little ones love?

Recommendations for additions to the grownup bookshelf are also appreciated! Let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments below!

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