The books I've read this month have all had a festive theme.
The first book I read this month was Hercule Poirot's Christmas. I started reading all Agatha Christie's murder mystery novels in chronological order back in January 2015, one a month. It just so happens that this book is the twenty fourth that she wrote and therefore, even though I hadn't chosen it specifically to be read around Christmas time, it just fell right that it was to be read in December. Though the book had Christmas in the title and the events which occurred were over the Christmas period, I wouldn't say it was Christmassy at all. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn't guess the ending at all, it was one of the most surprising endings I've read from Agatha Christie yet.
I picked up Christmas At Battersea a couple of months ago and I've been itching to read it since then but I thought I'd wait and read it around Christmas time. I read a great book previously called Rescue Me by Melissa Wareham about the fifteen years that the author had spent working at Battersea Dogs And Cats Home and I'd really enjoyed that. Christmas At Battersea is made up of lots of individual stories about dogs and cats, because remember Battersea rescues and rehomes cats as well as dogs, which had been taken in by Battersea before finding their forever homes. There's some wonderful stories and I enjoyed this book very much. It's now been passed on to someone else who I'm sure will enjoy it too.
My third Christmas read was Christmas At Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop by Jenny Colgan. This book follows on from Welcome To Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop Of Dreams which I read last month and which I actually preffered. This book was rather predictable, I thought more could have been made from the story but it was okay as an easy read.
I had bought lots more Christmas themed books to read this month but this is as far as I got. I love Christmas but I'm actually rather relieved that it's all over this year, to say it's been a disaster is an understatement.
I mentioned in my last post how my dad had been taken to hospital by ambulance on the 21st of December. Thank you for all your good wishes for him. It was found that he had internal bleeding from a duodenal ulcer so he was taken to theatre to have it repaired. Unfortunately, quite late on Christmas Eve we got a phone call telling us to get to the hospital as quickly as we could, the repair hadn't held and the bleeding was severe, my dad wasn't expected to live. To cut a long story short, they took him back to theatre to have another go at repairing it whilst we waited in the family room. We were warned that it didn't look good but they were surprised by how hard my dad was fighting it and a few hours later we heard that he was out of theatre and he was holding his own. We eventually got home at about 5am on Christmas morning and by the time we'd got my mum sorted out and had a drink, it was 6am when we went to bed. We were up again at 9.15am, picked up my mum and got back to the hospital. We've been at the hospital every day since then and I'm pleased to say that my dad is really picking up now.
Whilst all this with my dad has been happening, I've been ill myself. I started with a cold before Christmas but it travelled on to my chest and I've been feeling really rubbish all through the festive period. All the stress with my dad hasn't helped and I just haven't been able to get any rest. I'm hoping that it will all start settling down now.
I'm a real Christmas lover but I've never experienced one like this before. All the jollity and festivities have gone out of the window this year, we swapped gifts late afternoon on Christmas Day and we were going to postpone Christmas dinner until Boxing Day but in the end I decided to get the meat in the oven and we ate it early evening on Christmas Day. It's been a case of making the most of things.
Back to the subject of this post, I'd bought lots of Christmas themed books to read this month but I haven't had time for anything since my dad's been in hospital. I'm not sure if I'll read them in to January or whether I'll save them for next year now, we'll see.
The books I've read this month have brought the tally for this year to forty eight, that's four a month on average. I'm pleased with that. My favourite read this year was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes but I've read a good variety of books and there's plenty more I've got lined up yet to read too.
I'm so far behind with everything at the moment that blog reading hasn't happened at all so I do hope you'll bear with me. I will try and catch up with a few blogs here and there as I get the chance but I doubt I'll be back on top of everything until things settle down again.
I hope that all my readers have had a very merry Christmas spent with loved ones and I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful new year. I hope that 2017 brings everything you wish for.