I read Mrs. Minever every New Year’s Day.
It conveys all the “keep calm and carry on” spirit of World War II era Britain’s upper middle class — which, I think, is a good attitude with which to begin a year.
One of my favorite chapters in the book, the chapter I think of as particularly appropriate for New Year’s Day reading, is titled “The New Engagement Book.”
An engagement book is the most important of all those small adjuncts to life, that tribe of humble familiars which jog along beside one from year’s end to year’s end, apparently trivial, but momentous by reason of their terrible intimacy.
In a spasm of post-Christmas economy, she had once bought a very cheap engagement book, and it had annoyed her for twelve months; everything she put down in it looked squalid.
I know exactly how Mrs. Minever felt. I’m very choosy when it comes to my annual planner.
Here’s a link to my review.
The 1940 novel isn’t yet in the public domain, so it’s not available at Project Gutenberg. There was a 50-year anniversary reprint. I suspect there are not many copies of the original printing still around. Paper quality during World War II was poor; My copy is yellow and brittle.