CoverWe are now more than a month into 2013, and those irritatingly perky people who make New Year’s resolutions have stopped asking me what mine are (I find the threat of violence helps at these times). For some reason January for me was the month of grumps (at home, where even the cats and rats are depressed), and at work, where I seem to be fighting central city traffic, extreme exhaustion and far too much hayfever. And what’s with this crazy weather? 30 degrees – how is that okay?

Nana-naps and Telfast aren’t doing it for me, nor are brisk lunchtime walks round the block. Even reading gorgeous shiny house and garden magazines isn’t pulling me out of the slump. In desperation last week I was contemplating something along the self-help lines, when I came across Is it just me or is everything sh**. It made me remember how much I laughed when I was reading A year in the Merde. And how much I love David Sedaris, James Hamilton-Paterson, and Nigel Slater.

Is it my contrary nature that makes me want to be grumpy and pessimistic when all around me are happy people loving the high temperatures and leaping around talking about how great summer is? In winter, I come alive, and am happiest when there are heaters and blankies and big cups of hot chocolate, but right now even the possibility of icecream isn’t enough to make me smile. Grumpy books, though – they do seem to do the trick.  So I’m off on a new mission – find the grumpiest books I can, and read them all, and glory in the grumps.

I might still have that bowl of icecream, though …