Five reads for January

Image: Polpo

One of the things I love most of all about Christmas is receiving books as gifts. There is something very comforting about the after-lunch lull on Christmas Day, the hum of the dishwasher, the crackle of the hearth, the snore of the sozzled relative, as I sit quietly, nose firmly in a new read.

This year, there were many new books under the tree for me; some I'd asked for, some unexpected treats.

1. POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts)
Pictured above, Polpo is a London restaurant specialising in Venetian dishes. The book's intro is enough to make you want to a. go to Polpo, b. go to Venice, and c. cook every single dish contained within these beautiful pages. Of note is the octopus pictured on the front as it's also the tattoo that covers the owners back.

2. The Goldfinch
It's a whopper, there's no denying it; without my book group deadline I'm not sure I'd attempt nearly 800 pages of hardback. But just 30 pages in and I'm hooked. This is just the kind of prose that tickles my fancy.

3. Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life
Described as 'Adrian Mole meets Mary Poppins', this is a beautifully written, intriguing record of Nina Stibbe's time as a nanny to a London family in the 1980s, told through her letters to her sister, Victoria.

4. Kinfolk Volume 10
So intrigued by the subject of the latest Kinfolk: ageing. Something that's playing on my mind this new year.

5. 5 Love Languages of Children
Previously, I've written a little about some of the things going on with T, my youngest child. In an ongoing quest to understand him better, this book is on my bedside table and I've been dipping in and out. Fascinating stuff, and I'm told the original book (The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts) is also worth a read.

What are you reading at the moment? Did you get any books for Christmas?
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