Happy New Year!
Inspired by my Scots writer-buddy Ian Rankin, who celebrates his new year eight hours before I do, last night I ran a series of fave photos from 2019 on my twitter feed, and upped the ante a little to include a fun read from each month. Not all my favourite books -- or photographs, for that matter -- are included here, but just a sprinkling of words and images that made me happy across a tough year. I hope they do the same for you!
From January, we have THE TIFFIN, by Mahtab Narsimhan, and a story about the one time the dabbawallahs, who deliver daily lunches by the tens of thousands every day in Mumbai, got it wrong.
Photo: Okay, so this picture is a cheat already, but I couldn't resist a shot of the dabbawallahs in the flesh. Taken in Mumbai, June 11, 2019.
To make up, here's an actual January shot, a rare blue sky day in Lions Bay, taken on my birthday in 2020.
February fave read: THE BODY by Bill Bryson. A must-read for those interested in the vessel they travel in.
Photo: Taken Feb 1, 2020, my 3 boys traversing a flooded bridge on a mountain trail.
March fave read: GUARDIANS OF ZOONE, by my bud Lee Edward Fodi.
Photo: Here's a shot of Lee and his son Hiro at the ZOONE launch, the final public event I attended in 2020, on March 3.
April fave read: NINE PERFECT STRANGERS by Liane Moriarty. All about a spa weekend gone wrong, from one of my fave Aussie writers.
Photo: April cherry blossoms, defying COVID gloom
May fave read: MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW by Waubgeshig Rice, an excellent, eerie post-apocalyptic tale.
Photo: Tyr, not feeling at all post-apocalyptic, but still hogging focus from the Howe Sound vista, exactly 3 years after he broke my arm in this very spot. [Note: We have both recovered]
June fave read: THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS by the excellent Lisa Jewell.
A twisty look into a woman's mysterious past.
Photo: a shot of the old typewriter that both sits in my livingroom, and graces my newsletter. [Want to sign up? Look for the link at the bottom of this page!]
July fave read: A subscription to UNCANNY Magazine, edited by the amazing
Photo: Pucky, performing an excellent Down Dog on my old yoga mat on the deck.
August: My new book baby arrives: EIGHTY DAYS TO ELSEWHERE!!!
Photo: The Very Cute cover of said novel, featuring reluctant world traveller Romy Keene, racing around the globe to save her family book shop.
September fave read: CODE NAME HÉLÈNE, by Ariel Lawton. The fictionalized story of WWII heroine Nancy Wake.
Photo: Masked author, signing books at local Indie 32 Books in North Vancouver.
October fave read: THE POPPY WAR by RF Kuang, an epic magical tale grounded in bloody history.
Photo: My companion in quarantine, resting in not-quite a poppy, but in a Scottish garden...
November fave read: THE LESS DEAD by the brilliant Denise Mina. Dr. Margo Dunlap's twisty, gripping search for her past on the mean Glasgow streets.
Photo: The southern-most tip of Greenland from 40,000 feet. I continue to be shocked and humbled by this view, and by so many of the brilliant sights I have been privileged to see in my travels.
And finally, a couple of December 2020 fave reads:
I'm torn between I REMEMBER YOU by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, [TERRIFYING ghost story!] and THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB by Richard Osman [quite a bit cosier...]
And a final photo of 2020, taken of the forest floor on my walk yesterday morning, during a brief break between deluges.
Happy New Year -- wishing you the best of all things in 2021.