Though we've been bombarded with news and views about one particular book in the past week, there are dozens of exciting new titles being released in the coming months and I've been desperately trying to whittle down my 'to be read' pile(s) to make room for them. 

But as I've been pruning my shelves, I've been distracted by books I've enjoyed over the years and titles I've been meaning to read.

Over Christmas I finally got round to a Mary Wesley title given to me as a present months earlier. And the new Lucy Worsley biography of the great Agatha Christie led me to read one of the crime writer's Mary Westmacott novels for the first time.

Both books were delightful for their gentler pace, refined settings and the gentility, respect and civility in behaviour and interactions. There was also a wry humour, not always intended. It felt comforting and uplifting to step out of modern life and into these worlds of a few decades past.

Of course I'm not alone in enjoying this sense of nostalgia and a number of publishers are now reissuing many forgotten classics. 

The British Library Crime Classics series continue to do very well, and the beautiful endpapers of Persephone books means that they are constant favourites. Faber and Penguin produce modern classics, of course. But I was recently drawn to Pushkin Press reissuing the novels of the Golden Age crime writer Josephine Tey with striking covers, and also two titles by the author of the children's stories about 'Madeline', Ludwig Bemelmens.

So many brilliant books to rediscover and which offer some welcome respite from the issues of our modern world! My 'to be read' list has got much, much bigger!

Thank you for reading.