If you asked me how many books I read in a year, I’d probably say ‘about 20’. I thought I’d keep a list of what I’ve read (and another list of books to be read….) and I’m quite surprised to find I’ve already read four so far this month. I suppose it is likely to be a few more than 20 by the end of the year then….
In case those of you that asked for book recommendations read as quickly as me, here are a few that I’ve read over the past year that I found particularly atmospheric:
‘In the place of fallen leaves’ by Tim Pears – a story about a small community in Devon set in the long hot summer of 1984. There was much in it to remind me of my childhood and I could really feel the heat (maybe one to be read in the depths of winter?).
‘Ghost wall’ by Sarah Moss. This is a fascinating short novel, full of tension, featuring diverse themes including the dangers of nostalgic nationalism, domestic violence, xenophobia and misogyny. I felt that I recognised several of the characters and I couldn’t put it down…… It is immensely readable and is another of those novels that I will be thinking about for some time.
‘The western wind’ by Samantha Harvey. A review in the Times Literary Supplement states that it is a ‘breathtaking exploration of guilt, communal and individual, secrecy and power’ Yep, I’ll go with that.
Anyway, back to the recipes….. I am still trying to get through our frozen blackberry stores…… So here’s a recipe for some blackberry muffins..
Blackberry spelt muffins
125g plain flour
125g wholemeal spelt flour
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspooon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 190/170 fan/gas 5. Place 12 muffin cases into a muffin tin
2. Sift the flours, baking powder and bicarb into a bowl
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale in colour. Beat in the eggs. Add the vanilla extract and then the yoghurt and mix well
4. Mix in the dry ingredients, then finally fold in the berries
5. Fill the muffin cases about 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool briefly in tin and then fully on a rack.