What is a place name? Does it need to be a town? A country? A village?  Can it include a house name, or even something as vague as The Homesick Restaurant?  And does it have to be 'real'? - what about Cold Comfort Farm, Hangover Square or even Kirrin Island?

One of the joys of setting your own reading theme is that you can make it mean whatever you like. So, for my own list for #projectplaces2020, I have been pretty liberal. I've got fiction, from Murder in Mesopotamia, to Britannia Mews and The Cleaner of Chartres; I've got non-fiction - Julia Child's My Life in France, Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Richard Holloway's Leaving Alexandria, . I had only two rules in choosing my books; they must already be on my shelves, and (with one or two exceptions) I must not already have read them. The latter became essential when I realised I had to keep the numbers down somehow, so out went my beloved Towers of Trebizond and A Far Cry from Kensington. I hadn't read The Otterbury Incident since I was at school though, so I kept that in, ditto Metroland, which I thought so clever at the time - will I now, I wonder? I've still got 107 novels and 52 others to choose from, and it's exciting just to look at them waiting for me.

I'm also wondering about extending the theme to DVDs. I was surprised to find I had 39 feature films (Sunshine on Leith, Brooklyn, The Seasons in Quincy, Three Billboards...) and 19 TV series boxed sets (Dallas, Our Friends in the North, Tales of the City..) that fit the bill.

I enjoyed Simon's #projectnames last year because it made me read outside my comfort zone, but also, and especially, because I never had to think about what I should read next. In the past this has often led me to feel overwhelmed and end up reading nothing at all. Last year was great, and I ended it with a satisfying feeling of achievement, so I'm hoping for similar results this time.

If anyone would like to join in, please do! Let me know what you're planning to read - or maybe you have another project in mind? I'm always fascinated by other people's book choices and ideas.


  1. That's a great project - if I can think of any books I'm reading which fit the bill I shall drop in! :D


    1. Sorry, I only just realised there were comments here! (How do you find out?) I would be thrilled if you could join in - and as I said, 'places' can be interpreted in all sorts of ways, so feel free.

  2. What a fun theme to help you choose what to read. None of the books I've read so far would qualify sadly - and I won't count the book that I failed to finish Independence Square by A D Miller. But if I read anything that fits the theme I'll let you know.

  3. Thank you so much for your comment (see above, I've only just realised these were here..). I've not heard of Independence Square, but yes. please do join in, I'd love to have company!


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