Is it me or have there been fewer articles than usual looking back over the past year, and more pieces about what lies ahead?

Things have been tough on any number of fronts, haven't they, so the newspaper editors can be forgiven for trying to keep our spirits up this weekend (and I'm looking at the Arts pages, of course, let's not get into politics).

We are due, they say, to enjoy a surfeit of great books, numerous compelling film and tv dramas, plus a multitude of groundbreaking music releases and fashion trends to amuse and delight.

It's good to focus on the positive, to be hopeful and optimistic and to keep driving forward (though I have SO many books I still want to read before embarking on yet more new releases...!). 

But it is good to take time out to pause and consider what has gone before. 

To think on how far we've come, what we've enjoyed, who we've spent time with, and how much we've learnt and grown in the challenges we've faced, and the books we've read! 

So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your company in this past year at book groups, author events and here on a Sunday evening. 

I've appreciated all your messages of support and encouragement and your online purchases, and am thrilled that so many of you find these e-newsletters helpful and enjoyable!

I hope we'll continue to read together in 2024, and will meet in person at author events and book groups as the months go by, too.  

And whether you are partying this evening, watching television companionably with family, or curling up with a good book, I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Thank you for reading.