Life and Thyme!

Posts tagged ‘snowdrops’

My A-Z Reading Challenge.

In July last year I set myself the challenge of reading through the alphabet. Starting with a book by an author whose surname began with an A, then moving onto b, then c and so on, and in the correct order, and only going to the library for my books I read my way through the alphabet. There is no book in our library with an author whose name begins with an X, but other than that I have managed to read 25 books, from A-Z.

I wanted to do this to find new authors, rediscover favourite ones and to read outside my normal genres. In that I have been successful. Starting with the bad bits first, Henry James is never going to be an author I shall read again. It was the only book I abandoned. Chick lit and me are never going to get along either. Gruesome tales even by favourite authors such as Kate Mosse are not for me either. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguru was the biggest disappointment. I just didn’t get it and found the book boring.

Harlan Coben was a new author for me and I shall definitely be reading his books again.

The five best books I read were in reverse order:-

John Boyne- The Boy in the Striped pyjamas. A very moving story about a concentration camp, also a film

4 David Ebershoff- The Danish Girl- another moving story and I am sure one everyone has heard of, also a film

3 Sue Monk Kidd- The Secret Life of Bees– growing up with secrets is not a good idea- also a film

2 John Steinbeck- To a God Unknown– probably my favourite author, so maybe I surprise myself putting this book at number 2. A love of the land shines out from this book. It was a beautiful read. Not a book I had heard of before.

1 Lalin Paull- The Bees. I really loved this book. I mean really loved this book. A very interesting way to explore environmental issues through the eyes of a bee.

4 of these authors were new to me and one an old favourite.

Was the challenge worthwhile for me? Oh yes.

And my next challenge. To read through a heap of books I have acquired over the years and not read yet. At least 15 of them as part of my 17 for 2017 list.

Wish me luck.

Love to hear of your reading goals for this year.

Oh and Spring is on its way. The first snowdrops are coming out in the garden.

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Snowdrops at Burton Agnes Hall

I had heard that the snowdrops at Burton Agnes Hall were spectacular. Yesterday the sun was shining, so off we went for the first outing of the year to see for ourselves.

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The Hall is a rather grand Elizabethan House, closed still for Winter cleaning.I love those chimneys!

Burton Agnes Hall, snowdrops Feb 2016 013The woods in the grounds are a carpet of snowdrops. Truly magnificent. One  of my 16 for 2016 is to take 11 pictures of flowers. Here’s the first one..

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The view from the woods caught my eye too.

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Nearer the house are the formal gardens and a wonderful walled garden. Here’s the view from the rather magnificent Gate House.

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I have a thing about garden lions.

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I need one! There is also a children’s section with outside games and around them I spotted my second flower picture.

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I thought that one so gorgeous I bought one for our garden. And I have some other rather nice photos which will appear throughout the year in the 52 week photo challenge! I was rather tempted to use the last picture of the house next week under the prompt Home!! Imagine. … No thanks, think of the dusting!

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