A Bookish January

It’s the first of my 2022 monthly wrap ups. I forgot it was Sunday so my schedule has gone awry, but here we are.

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Unlike most of the human race, I do not hate January. It’s mine (and my best friend’s) birthdays in January, and it’s a cosy, quiet month as we get back to a routine after the festive season. Yes, it’s cold and dark and grey, but I don’t hate that either.

We’ve done a lot of walking this month and had a family trip to Kielder where we walked more, relaxed a lot and went on a farm safari in the Ingram Valley. I met the person who’s been making my best pal smile like the Cheshire cat, had brunch out and filled my shelves with new books. I also took myself to Edinburgh for a couple of days, where I met up with two more of my closest friends (and someone new I’ve heard a lot about), ate amazing food, got a new tattoo, and wandered around the city having a great time.

I then got pinged by track and trace from either the train or the taxi home, woke up to S testing positive for Covid 2 days later and developed what currently appears to be another chest infection (since my PCR was negative), but I guess it couldn’t be a perfect month.

reading stats

I picked my own TBR this month using my TBR jar as well as choosing a book to read just because I wanted to, The Way Back Book Club read of the month and a re-read (I talked about this in my resolutions post here).

Number of books read: 15 Pages Read: 5,470

In January, I mostly read young adult fantast (zero surprises there), and StoryGraph categorised most of my reads as emotional, adventurous and reflective. Most of my books were medium sized and medium paced. None of this surprises me at all since I wanted a lot of comfort reads this month.

Dragon City by Katie and Kevin Tsang – Katie and Kevin never disappoint. This book is packed with adventure, betrayals, brilliant friendships, magic and dragons! Can’t wait for the next one. 

The Pieces of Ourselves by Maggie Harcourt – This book is packed with brilliant friendship, great mental health rep, budding romance, and a family mystery that takes us back to a forbidden romance and a missing WW1 soldier. 

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas – This was a reread for me, ready for the sequel being published next month. Still absolutely destroyed me. I’m glad I reread it as I’d completely forgotten that ending and I’m sure it’s going to be very important. 

Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City – An absolutely lush story. Peanut is adorable. I loved her determination, her creativity and her budding friendship with Rockwell as they adventure around the Illustrated City. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel. 

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot – An utterly gorgeous book  about Amy’s experience of alcohol addiction and recovery. But it is also about the power and beauty of the natural world and surrendering yourself to a quieter life in nature. So beautiful, I didn’t want it to end. 

The Sad Ghost Club by Lize Meddings – This is as lush as you’d expect it to be. Sad Ghost explores mental health in a really gorgeous way. I loved the ending and am looking forward to reading book two soon. 

The Revelry by Katherine Webber – Absolutely phenomenal work from Katie Webber. The Revelry hooked me right in and didn’t want to let me go. I’m obsessed with this book. The fantasy elements, the secrecy, the town folklore, but mostly the gorgeous friendship at the heart of it. 

Loveboat, Reunion by Abigail – A brilliant sequel to Loveboat Taipei following Xavier and Sophie. I loved watching their friendship and their adventures. This one tackles some really difficult family situations. I was gripped. If you enjoyed the first, you’re doing to love this. 

The Sad Ghost Club 2 by Lize Meddings – Adorable and emotional sequel to The Sad Ghost Club, exploring what happens when you’re an anxious, depressed ghost whose bestie makes a new friend. I just loved this. 

How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie – Female serial killer with raging family issues. Meticulous planning, sarcasm and a wicked sense of humour. An ending that left me baffled, reeling and desperate for more. It’s like it was made for me. 

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko – This was another reread for me, via audiobook because I needed to remind myself what happened in the first book before I could read the sequel.

Clockwork Magpies by Emma Whitehall – This is a fantastic debut from Emma. I adored these characters and their adventure. The chapter with the boat was a particular favourite. Perfect for fans od Six of Crows and Court of Miracles. I can’t wait for more. 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I finally picked this up and it is absolutely worth the hype it gets. A gripping story that I couldn’t put down. 

The Sky Beneath the Stone by Alex Mullarky – I loved this! The best kind of middle grade, packed with magic, great characters and a brilliant adventure. I really loved the Cumbrian setting and seeing so many places I recognised in there. 

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I picked this up right after Evelyn Hugo and it didn’t disappoint. I loved seeing how this book linked to the earlier one. I loved Nina and how she grew more confident in herself after everything she has been through. Another book that’s worth the hype. 

challenge updates
Storygraph: I read 15 /150 books this month which currently has me 3 books ahead of my target. I read 5,470 /50,000 pages, putting me ahead by 1,360 pages. This sounds a lot but I know from last year that it doesn’t take much to drop below on that page count!

52 Down in 2022: I’ve read 5 books for this challenge this month. I only had 52 books left on my shelf at the end of 2021 and since I’ve DNF a few this month I’ve had to tweak the challenge slightly, so if I DNF a book I am swapping that with the first book bought in 2022 that wasn’t already part of the challenge so it will be the 52 books that have been on my shelf the longest.

The Way Back Book Club: This month’s book club read was The Outrun by Amy Liptrot and I really enjoyed it. It isn’t a book I would have thought to pick up otherwise and I’m even more excited for the other books in the almanac this year.

Re-read Challenge: My official re-read this month was House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas ready for the release of book two in February.

TBR: I started with 52 books at the end of December. Thanks to some lovely people sending me proofs, as well as Christmas and birthday vouchers and gifts, I added 23 books to my collection. I’ve finished January with 56 books on my shelf. I don’t have any strict buying rules for 2022, other than to completely clear the backlog I had at the end of 2021 which is why I am doing the 52 down challenge!

Copy of Coffee and.... (3)

Next month releases I’m looking forward to are:

  • Sabotage on the Solar Express by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgeman
  • House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas
  • Clockwork Magpies by Emma Whitehall
  • Like a Charm by Elle McNicoll

Are you a January lover or hater? What books are you looking forward to in February?


3 thoughts on “A Bookish January

Add yours

  1. Sounds like an excellent month both reading and non (minus the covid and chest infection! Hope you and S are both feeling better soon) Glad you had a brilliant birthday!
    You’re in for such a treat with Sabotage!


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