Hygge, Crime and a Gothic Fairy Tale

So far in 2017, I have started well with my quest to read 50 books in a year. Last year, I only managed to equal my previous personal best of 41 books. I am so determined this year.

I really do want to concentrate on reading for pleasure – after all, I am always encouraging my students to do the same. I also want to read more of a variety, especially more crime books because I do so enjoy them but they tend to get passed over for more ‘worthy’ selections. I started the year reading an Ann Cleeves book called Hidden Depths which was very enjoyable if a little disappointing in the final denouement (it seemed to me to have been built up so much that the eventual culprit was far too boring and so I didn’t really care when he was caught).


Book number two was a total change of pace: The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. This was a very soothing and pretty (if not particularly weighty) and definitely has made me a) want to live a more Hygge-style life and b) visit Copenhagen on holiday.

A few days ago, I  read with my daughter the second half of Neil Gaiman’s version of Hansel and Gretel (with atmospheric illustrations by Lorenzo Mattotti). I know it probably seems like cheating to include children’s books in my count but I have decided that I will include those of length or particular literary significance or merit. This is a gorgeously written version which I may well use in class to show as a wonderful example of descriptive and figurative language. It will be fun to analyse (English teachers always do this when they read something ‘good’, I think!).

I have also read two books for work: The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers. I am teaching the latter to my Year 9s at the moment and their enthusiasm for it far exceeds my own. I just can’t seem to enjoy it.

Student tip: did you notice that all the book and play titles are in italics? This is the convention to show titles in typed work. If you are handwriting a title, underline it (instead of using quotation marks).