Look, did I disappear for two weeks after being full of good intentions about this November? Yes. Have I got half-written posts on the other prompts saved that will never see the light of day? Also yes. The last two weeks of November have not been delightful. My brother’s graduation was fantastic, but I proceeded to develop a cold straight after, then I fell on my face and did my back in on the way to work. (I really don’t think that stepping out the way of an errant football would have caused me several days’ worth of damage a decade ago, so that was a sobering realisation about the realities of being over thirty). Just as I was starting to walk upright again, I came down with a second cold – a particularly filthy one that I was sure was the pestilence, since I lost my sense of smell, though I have now tested negative. Between these various ailments I have been mostly sleeping and occasionally working for the last two weeks, but not much else. In other words, apologies for being behind on reading posts, replying to comments etc etc – I’d promise to catch up but I think that might be a bit of a lost cause! Hopefully December will be better.

Despite all this, I started compiling my “New to my TBR” post in the first week this time, and I caught up on a few posts as I began to recover over the weekend, so I still wanted to share some of the great books I will be picking up soon. This week’s host is The OC BookGirl and it’s a chance to identify all the books I’ve added to my TBR this month! Hopefully I haven’t missed anyone.

Sealand: The True Story of the World's Most Stubborn Micronation and Its  Eccentric Royal Family by Dylan Taylor-Lehman

Sealand: The true story of the world’s most stubborn micronation and its eccentric royal family by Dylan Taylor-Lehman (Plucked from the Stacks)

I’ve always been fascinated by micronations, especially ones started intentionally by small groups of eccentrics, but I hadn’t realised a book about Sealand had come out. This is right up my alley. I first heard about Sealand, I think, during an old TV programme that aired when I was a teenager, about comedian Danny Wallance trying to start his own country – and I think that’s what really kicked off my interest in the first place, so I definitely look forward to reading more about it.

Taste Makers

Taste Makers: Seven immigrant women who revolutionized food in America by Mayukh Sen (What’s Nonfiction?)

I first saw this over on Rennie’s blog, but Katie also put up a great review at Doing Dewey. I’m very interested in food history, and although it sounds like this group biography isn’t perfect, the subject matter is interesting enough that I really want to read it. (Also, while reading these reviews, I realised how much I want to read a history of curry houses and Indian cooking in Britain – I haven’t been able to find one. Any recommendations?)

Mud Sweeter than Honey — Restless Books

Mud Sweeter than Honey: Voices of Communist Albania by Margo Rejmer, trans. Zasia Krasodomska-Jones and Antonia Lloyd-Jones (What’s Nonfiction?)

Increasingly, as I work through my In Lieu of Travel challenge, it’s becoming apparent that I can’t really just read about Russia and China without also considering the impact of communism on other countries. I know next to nothing about Albania, and everything I do know is filtered through the lens of Kosovo and therefore very specific to the present day. This sounds like a fascinating if very difficult read.

The Future We Choose: The stubborn optimist’s guide to the climate crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac (Whispering Gums)

I feel pretty strongly that “stubborn optimism” is the right approach to the climate crisis, since “stubborn pessimism” doesn’t exactly lend itself to change. I haven’t read anything long-form on the subject, but given the extent to which it’s affecting all of our lives I would really like to have a better understanding of it.

On top of the books I heard about for the first time this month, there are also a couple that I’ve known about for a while but became more interested in this month. I can’t remember where I first saw either of these books, but I do know that The Barbizon: The New York Hotel that Set Women Free and Square Haunting: Five Women, Freedom and London Between the Wars have both been on my TBR for a while. In the case of the latter, I’ve even got a copy that is waiting patiently to be read. Both of them got bumped up my TBR because of people writing about them this month – The Paperback Princess for the first and Brona’s Books for the latter.

Thank you everyone who has added new books to my TBR this month, even if I haven’t been around as much as I would have liked!