Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Favourite reads of 2021

And a covid update at the end.

Just couldn’t limit myself to a top five this year, here instead is my top 7, of which Penguin Lessons is probably my favouritist.

Fredrik Backman- A Man Called Ove- Ove is fifty nine, a grumpy Swede who like things to be done properly. It is a totally wonderful book, a love story which will make you laugh and cry. ‘ Warm, funny and unbearably moving’ Daily Mail.

Jenny Blackhurst- Before I let you in A great psychological thriller. Mind games!

JP Delaney- Playing Nice– One of the best psychological thrillers I have read. Stayed up to 1 am reading it and then finished it by 10 am the following day. Miles turns up on Pete’s and Maddie’s doorstep claiming that their son Theo was mis- tagged by the hospital, he was swapped therefore for their real son David. What ensues totally gripped me.

Andrea Levy- Small Island – Thoroughly enjoyable story of life in post war England, and the Windrush generation.

Tom Michell- Penguin Lessons– Utterly charming. Tom becomes an assistant school master in Argentina. Over the holidays he travels and thus encounters Juan Salvado, a penguin , covered in oil and barely alive. Tom cleans him up and smuggles him back to school where he becomes rugby team mascot, confidant of the lonely and troubled and much loved by staff and pupils. Laugh out loud lots and lots of times, and I still need to go and see some penguins.

Liane Moriarty- Big Little Lies– the build up of menace in this book scared me- school bullying and domestic violence- compelling reading and thought provoking.

Zadie Smith- White Teeth – set in multi-cultural London- three families- love war, ethics,and a mouse.

Have you read any of these, did you like them. What has been your favourite book this year?

Covid Update.

So, my son tested positive for Covid on Boxing Day, 26 December, and in due course I was pinged to do home testing. As the week progressed I began to feel as if I was fighting something, the odd cough, the odd sneeze, the not quite right feeling. No temperature, no loss of taste or smell, no continuous cough. Day after day of negative tests, till yesterday, faint line indicating positive. So down I go to a drive through test centre, and take the PCR test. Hurrah result came through negative, but I still have to do a home test as a recent contact. Once again it’s positive, so I have done another test at the drive through centre. I await the result and continue to self isolate. Now I feel OK, maybe 98% totally normal, so I just urge everyone to be really cautious, look after yourselves, and be aware of how mild this can be in someone like me with two+ a booster inoculation, but how dreadful it would be to infect a vulnerable person.

I sincerely hope you and your families and friends are well, and that we can all have a Happy and Healthy 2022. As for me, thank goodness for all my preplanning and the lovely stack of books I got from the library.

Comments on: "Favourite reads of 2021" (37)

  1. I loved Penguin Lessons too. Hope you’re feeling OK now, my OH finally got a positive pcr after feeling unwell over Christmas, lateral flows were all neg until New Year! So far I’m still negative and feel fine!!

  2. Wishing you and your son a complete recovery and a healty, happy New Year.

  3. Oh yes I have White Teeth and a A Man Called Ove in my pile to read! Sorry your son tested positive. I just read an interesting (and funny post) by one of my blogging buddies who spent Christmas abroad in the UK and had a bit of a COVID disaster – you might enjoy it – https://thetravelarchitect.wordpress.com/2022/01/01/uncertainty-stress-joy-cheer-illness-disappointment-its-christmas-in-england/
    It’s a grab a pot of tea read!

  4. Hope you and your son feel better and are completely in the clear soon! Your book list has some interesting titles 🙂

    • Thank you. Middle son is now better, and oldest son things his positive test line is getting fainter. He’s now on day 10. I have a while to go still. Stay safe.

  5. I am so sorry about your COVID exposure. This new variant does seem to be making it seem as though we are all likely to contract the virus – only how it will impact us is in question. I have read White Teeth and Man Called Ov and I believe I have a copy of Small Island on a shelf. Looks like a good list of books. Happy New year. Do you have any new stitching projects on your 2022 list?

    • Thank you. I thought to begin with trying to finish off a few stitching WIPs/ UFO’s to begin with. And then to have a look at everything I have and choose one of them. The thrill of the purchase has led to my having far too many not yet started projects!

      • The thrill of the purchase – that happened here too. I hope to diversify my crafting this year. I did a lot of knitting in 2021 but not as much stitching as I had hoped.

  6. OMG I so hope that the results will STAY negative and that you did not catch anything – also, that your son recovers soon and has it mildly.

    I wish you a very happy and healthy new year – my father absolutely loved “Ove” and you really make me want to pick up “White Teeth”. All the love for 2022!

    • Thank you so much. Unfortunately I do now have a diagnosis of Covid, but it just feels like an ordinary head cold. Lots of sneezing and nose blowing.

      • I am so so sorry – if it’s okay, I’ll light a candle for you and I REALLY hope that it stays that way! I am so glad that you’ve got all the vaccine shots and hope you’ll be better soon!

  7. Going Batty in Wales said:

    Hurray for vaccines! And a big clap for those of us who have accepted them. I still don’t know if I had a cold or mild Covid before Christmas because I didn’t feel up to driving to the test center (and to ask someone to drive me seemed equally insane) so i just acted as if it was and self isolated. If you are like me it will be no worse than a streaming nose and sneezing. I have no idea how I caught whatever it was! All we can do is be careful, keep washing and sanitising and staying away from others and if needs be self-isolate. I hope you feel fully recovered soon and make the most of being at home with the perfect excuse to cosset yourself.

    • I do indeed now have lots of sneezes and nose blowing, but I have been well enough to do half an hour in the garden, since exercise is not permitted. People who didn’t take up the vaccine will soon find out if they made a good decision or not.

  8. Small Island! Again, when it was published years ago and also the audio book and the tv adaptation (very good.)

  9. Urgh it’s so tricky! Wishing we could go back to normal. Glad you’re ok and have lots of books to snuggle up with.
    I’ve just started the Where the Crawdads Sing book.
    I’ve read White Teeth last century I think when published, heard the audio book of A Man Called Ove (the Swedish film is very good if you can cope with subtitles) and the other older book but I now can’t recall the title!

  10. False test results are not unusual, from what I’ve read. Somehow I’ve managed to get this far without catching it (unless I’ve been asymptomatic) although many people I know have not been as lucky. From the current statistics (as far as they can be believed, that is), Omicron symptoms are far milder and short-lived than previous variants. My daughter had it in December, many of my neighbours and friends as well, all of whom had been vaccinated last year. I’m no scientist but the evidence suggests that this can only be a good thing. Somehow, by some miracle, the booster has just been made available to those of us who are 60 and over in SA, and I have booked mine for February.
    I hope you are taking things as easy as possible. Online grocery shopping or helpful family/ friends?
    Sending you all the love!
    PS. On my first trip to Edinburgh in the early 1980s, one of the highlights was seeing the daily penguin walk at 2pm. When you visit Cape Town and I take you around, one of our stops will be Boulders Beach lower down on the peninsula, where these happy little chaps live naturally and frolic and thrive like they own the place. I guess they do!

    • What a wonderful sight the penguins must be. Years ago when Ms J was little I treated her to being a zoo keeper for the day and I was her responsible adult, we got to feed the penquins. I recall they were actually a but smelly!
      The PCR has now come back positive so that’s me grounded! I feel as if I have a regular cold. Without the testing I wouldn’t have thought anything of it so far!
      Hope you continue to be free if the pesky thing.

  11. Omicron is a sneaky beast. I’m sorry to hear you and your son have been unwell. I’m glad your symptoms were mild, but sorry nonetheless. I have A Man Called Ove on my shelf unread. I should pick it up again.

  12. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    Covid seems to be everywhere at the moment it’s hard to avoid. Hope you are back to you full 100% very soon

    • It really is everywhere, and if I hadn’t been daily testing from track and trace, I wouldn’t have known for two days when I was positive.

  13. How odd that the PCRs showed different results. Either way, fingers crossed for you and your son.

    I look forward to reading the psychological thrillers on your list.

    Happy reading yourself!

  14. I hope your 2+ stands you in good stead and you’ll soon be feeling 100% instead of only 98%. I haven’t read any of your list (yet), but there’s a big pile of my own to get through first! I hope your New Year is happier and healthier than the last. Hugs xx

    • Hopefully after this is done I will be healthier. Test result was positive. I feel like I have a mild cold without a sore throat. Had I not been testing because of track and trace I wouldn’t have guessed.I would have tested today because I was supposed to be seeing Baby P, but that would have meant for two days before I wouldn’t have known. Thank goodness for the vaccine.

  15. Thank goodness for the vaccines! And hopefully your mild dose of Covid, if that is what it is, will further boost those antibodies.
    A bit worrying looking ahead though isn’t it.
    So glad you are well prepared for isolation.
    Remember to take you VitaminD. 🙂

    • Result from yesterday is now in and is positive. I am sneezing a lot but otherwise am fine. It feels like a cold. Vitamin D and iron pills for me! I’ll show this Covid what for!

  16. Some great books on your list. Penguin Lessons and Big Little Lies sound really intriguing. Hope you and your son recover soon, though if you’ve only had mild symptoms then the vaccines are working. Take care and happy New Year. X

  17. So difficult to be sure with tests. Lateral Flow tests do have false positives as well as false negatives. But maybe again the lateral flow test was ahead of the PCR one. Glad your son has only had mild symptoms.

  18. Was your son vaccinated? So much breakthrough these days. We get our PCR test early Monday before our flight home Tues. Crossing fingers and toes though we have been very careful. I’m so glad you just had such a mild case as for it to barely register. I wasn’t able to get the booster before we left.

    As for the books, I’m so glad you liked “A Man Called Ove” An all time favorite of mine. I liked many of the authors other books. I just finished The Art Of Spirit Capture by Geoff Le Pard. He blogs here on WP too. It was interesting enough that I read it too fast. Was hoping to save it for my travels but finally had to just give in. A little mystical, a little romance and a lot Geoff. @Tan Gentle. Now I’m reading another bloggers book that is not in my general reading criteria. A light Christian romance by Jill Weatherholt. I’ve read many of her stories and they are very sweet. I tend to go more murder mystery than romance. But I like Jill. I also just finished ” Flying on the Inside: A Memoir of Trauma and Recovery” by Rachel Gotto. She had a severe brain injury that could have left her totally vegetative but she worked her way out of it. Incredible tenacity there. I’ll stick mostly with more of Fredrik Backman. I also read a lot of Jenny Colgan’s books like “The Bookshop on the Shore”

    • Yes my son is also twice +booster vaccinated, he’s still showing positive on home tests. His symptoms were light headedness and dizzy spells coupled with sleepiness. Fingers crossed for you on Tuesday and safe journey. Thanks for the book recommendations, I shall have a look at them.

      • I’m so sorry. You all did everything right and still came down with it. Now I’m worried a bit. Can’t do anything about it now. Happy reading though.

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