Knausgaard vs Battenberg: it’s too close to call.

It was my birthday last week, and as well as having a fabulous time and being spoiled rotten, some of my presents were books – woohoo! The best thing about being bought books for my birthday is that I get all the joy without contravening the no book-buying ban I imposed upon myself at New Year – aw yeah!

This year, my birthday was elevated to even greater heights by two of the most brilliant cards to grace any mantelpiece in the history of mankind. The first, from Lucy, is of struggling football lover, Karl Ove Knausgaard  in a West Ham United hat. (To be fair, Knausgaard would very likely disapprove of having to wear a West Ham hat as he’s a Liverpool fan, but it was my birthday, Karl Ove, so just get over it, Ok?) My second best card is one I’m including for Lucy’s benefit. If people lived in cakes instead of houses, I know for a fact that our Lucille would be in a battenberg (and I suspect she already has that outfit)!

Anyway, heading back to the subject of books, here’s my haul. I may have dropped a few heavy hints about the Nordic noir – I’m still addicted, but I reckoned that it was better to do that than to try and look excited in the potential event of unwrapping an annotated history of fishing – yawn!

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My husband also went a bit off-piste and came up with these (I already have the Betjeman, but it’s the thought that counts).

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I also got sent a bumper crop of door stoppers from my brother. The Paul Auster is huge! When I’ve finished it, It’ll come in handy as a spare yoga block.

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Since Penguin ripped off the idea of the brilliant Dung Beetle books, I’ve been a bit sniffy about similar parodies, but I have to say this riff on the Famous Five did have me snorting green tea into my chia porridge! I must admit, I am a sucker for the whole raw/green/clean/earnest/beige eating thing (which I like to think balances all the wine and crisps), so this was like reading a parody of my life. I also got sent a birthday voucher from Paperchase, which was nice of them. I bought this pretty planner to help me keep track of other people’s upcoming birthdays. I was really pleased to get a copy of Lisa Jackson’s Your Pace or Mine too, as this came highly recommended by fellow runner, Liz over at Adventures in reading, writing and working from home . Hopefully, this’ll help to keep me plugging away at the plodding.

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Last, but not least, Lucy got me a book voucher, so I could choose my own book guilt-free. As I’m off to Italy in June I chose the final volume of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. I’ve already read the first one (which was brilliant), and have the next two, so now I can indulge in the rest of the series without that nagging anxiety that Ill get to the end of book three and be left hanging.

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So, I did have a lovely birthday this year. I’m thrilled with my new goodies and can’t wait to get stuck in!

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