It’s the last Wednesday of January, which can only mean one thing…time for my first wrap up of the year. Join me in a coffee whilst I reflect on this month’s reading?
This week, we’re drinking another Steampunk coffee, this time a Brazilian coffee. The Pinot has tasting notes of hazelnut and milk chocolate. It makes for a great morning brew.
I don’t think 2021 got the memo that it was supposed to be an improvement on last year’s shit show. We’re back in a lockdown, school is closed, and to top it off my Nana got Covid. She is doing well at the moment, and S is managing school like a superstar, but still. Life has been busy and my reading mojo still isn’t where it was this time last year, but I’m calling any reading a win at this point. My blogging has been more consistent, although I skipped a review day because I was so tired I was falling asleep in my dinner, and sometimes you have to put sleep first!
This month my lovely friend Sarah chose me a brilliant TBR. One book I had to DNF because it hit some personal triggers for me, and another I had to put aside because I really need to read the first book again to understand what’s happening, but I have enjoyed all the other books I read this month. I’m half way through the last of Sarah’s picks (The Midnight Hour by Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder) and am enjoying this one most of all. Thank you Sarah for choosing me a great selection!
Number of books read: 8
StoryGraph Stats: This month I mostly read medium-paced fantasy books categorised as adventurous and emotional, and between 300 and 500 pages long.
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron: A twisted take on Cinderella set 200 years after Cinderella’s happy ever after. Dark. Feminist. Big overthrowing the patriarchy energy. Just when you think all the twists are done another comes along. The perfect book to kick off the year. Full review here.
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken: This is a really creepy dystopian read. I loved the premise, and the different abilities/powers the characters have. It does have big world-ending virus vibes though, so possibly not the best thing to read in the current climate.
Clever Cakes by Michael Rosen: S and I really enjoyed reading these stories and talking about how clever both main characters are to trick their way out of their situations. Full review here.
You’re Not Crazy, It’s Your Mother by Danu Morrigan: An informative book of one woman’s experience with a narcissistic parent. Has lots of advice for managing this. There is a lot of emphasis of EFT which wasn’t for me, but others may find useful.
The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde: On the surface it’s about anthropomorphised rabbits and their battle for equality in a leporiphobic society. Underneath it could be read as a scathing indictment of modern society and prejudice. It’s funny, well-written and difficult to put down. Full review here.
The Last Wild by Piers Torday: This was a lush middle grade dystopian book (although the virus narrative maybe a little close to the bone just now) I loved the characters in this one, especially the animal characters. A really clever and enjoyable read.
A Secret of Birds and Bone by Kiran Millwood Hargrave: Kiran has written another absolute stunner. I loved the bone craft and the birds. I adored the characters; Sofia is so strong and smart and brilliant. It’s full of messages about doing your best and working for a better world. And it’s beautiful.
Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman: Challenger Deep is the story of Caden’s experience with schizophrenia, following him through a bad episode. It’s hard to say it’s an enjoyable read, but it is very clever, brilliantly written, and emotional. I’d definitely recommend it.
So far my 2021 resolutions are going well. I have fully switched to (and am loving) using The StoryGraph. Not star rating my books has been a huge relief and is also working well, and I am enjoying not pressuring myself to fully review every book I read; so far I have been able to concentrate on some of the books I really loved recently and it makes the reviewing process much simpler.
StoryGraph: 8/100. I am currently one book ahead of my goal, which is a nice place to be.
Reading Diversely: I set myself a target to read more diversely with no real plan for how I was going to do this other than do it. So to keep myself accountable to this I have signed up to three diverse reading challenges on StoryGraph and I’m going to share how I am doing with these each month in my wrap ups.
TBR: was 174 is now 132. I had a brutal cull of my shelves earlier this month. I was approved for two books on Netgalley that I requested ages ago, and 2 of my pre-orders arrived. Then my birthday happened and I was given many vouchers and some money for books! Most was spent on pre-orders, a few I ordered and am waiting for them to be delivered, and I gained 9 Kindle books. Everything I bought this month fit in the rules of the book buying restrictions I set myself in my 2021 reading goals. My TBR reducing challenges are going ok:
Next month I am most looking forward to The Gilded Ones by Namina Forman and Murder on the Safari Star by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgeman.
What books are you looking forward to this month? How was January for you?