Sunday, 1 February 2015

January 2015 Wrap-Up



January was an awesome reading month for me, the best since Giles was born in June.  Not only did I finish 11 books and 3259 pages, but I was really into reading and lots of the books ended up being 4 or 5 star reads. I read the following (links to my reviews):
  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
  2. World War Z by Max Brooks
  3. The Viral Storm by Nathan Wolfe
  4. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck
  5. Under the Skin by Michel Faber
  6. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
  7. The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
  8. There Was a Country by Chinua Achebe
  9. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
  10. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  11. Where I'm Reading From by Tim Parks
My favourite book of the month was unquestionably The Blue Castle.  Even though Under the Skin and The Good Earth were also five star reads, The Blue Castle was just so cosy and comforting, and I loved Valancy's journey to independence and freedom.  The only disappointing book of the bunch was World War Z, which was a good idea but way too heavy on the army and logistics front.

In terms of diversity, 18% of the books were by authors of colour, and 36% by authors that aren't British or American.  I'm OK with that, but I'd still like to read more works in translation, something I'll keep in mind for February.  I read 36% non-fiction, which I am thrilled with, and my reads included classics, fantasy, horror, science, literary fiction, history and essays.  I'm glad that I'm reading a good mix of things and not getting stuck in a particular genre.

Eight of the eleven books that I read were from my TBR shelves, which would be amazing if I hadn't also purchased the following eight, thus cancelling out all of my good work:

  1. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
  2. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
  3. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  4. The Visitors by Sally Beauman
  5. The Martian by Andy Weir
  6. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  7. A Free Life by Ha Jin
  8. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Still, at least I haven't added to my overall TBR!

Looking forward to February, the only thing I will definitely be reading is Robert Jordan's The Fires of Heaven, book five in the Wheel of Time series.  I'm currently about half-way through it, but it's a chunky book so should keep me happy for some time.  After that, I'm going to read mainly by whim, but hopefully knock one book off my classics club list, and one off either of my Project 1001 lists.

How was your reading month?

23 comments:

  1. You had a great month! A managed to read several books from my TBR pile, too, although I also bought a bunch of new books so my TBR pile hasn't actually shrunk either LOL.

    The Fires of Heaven is the last of the Wheel of Time series books I've read. I plan to read another couple of the books this year.

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    1. As long as our TBRs aren't massively increased, I call it a successful month!
      I'm hoping to read a few more this year too - maybe we could read them together?

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  2. Looks like a really awesome month. Yay!

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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    1. It was, hope February is just as good :)

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  3. You did have a great month - there must be something in the air as everything seems to be saying the same thing.

    Mine was good too and I managed to knock 8 off my TBR shelves .

    Hope February will be another great month.

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    1. Glad you had a great January too, here's hoping February will be great for both of us :)

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  4. Look at those beautiful books -- how could you resist them? At least you came out even ... sort of.

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    1. I could not resist the beautiful Faber book, that's for sure. And I'm beyond any sort of TBR guilt now - the more the merrier, I say :)

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  5. Oh, but The Miniaturist is REALLY good, and Station Eleven is supposed to be amazing and also The Martian is supposed to be good (in fact my book group is reading it soon) so you should not feel bad about these acquisitions.

    I read 9 books in January (actually 10, if I include the one I finished this morning), not all of which were on my TBR. But one of them was The Woman in White, which has been on my list seemingly forever, so that was a huge accomplishment.

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    1. I don't feel bad, I am well beyond any sort of TBR guilt now, especially when the books are as good as these :)

      Congratulations for finishing The Woman in White, it's always satisfying to finish a book that you've had for ages.

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  6. You had an awesome month! That makes me feel very good too - maybe my reading will be fine too after the baby comes.

    I am hoping to read Station Eleven next month. If my library has a copy. I hope you enjoy The Martian - it was quite entertaining.

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    1. When Giles was first born, I feared I would never read again. To be honest, I didn't read much until he was six months, which was when he was settled in his own bedroom and in a good routine of going to bed by 7.30. I'm sure you'll find your own way to slot in some reading time :)

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  7. Amazing reading month!! And ah, so many awesome books. I've been wanting to read anything from Faber since I've been hearing his books are great. And The Martian is a great book too. Have fun!

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    1. I've read four books by Faber and they are all amazing. Crimson Petal and Under the Skin are the best so far.

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    2. I have Under the Skin on my top 5 tbr!

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  8. wow, great titles! I loved your #1 and #10 and 5 in the 2nd list! Still need to read The Miniaturist and Station Eleven. here is my recap: http://wordsandpeace.com/2015/02/01/2015-january-wrap-up/

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    1. Both The Miniaturist and Station Eleven have been getting so much hype, I hope they live up to expectations for both of us.

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  9. What a great month! It's always nice to have a run of 4- and 5-star reads -- I think it helps keep the reading momentum going. Of course, having the time is always a concern, especially with your little guy, but it's heartening for me to see other mamas find the time for this hobby we all love :)

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    1. Don't worry, you will find the time for reading. Sometimes I neglect the cleaning/ironing etc, and refuse to feel guilty for it! Once they get to about six months, you get a lot more time as bedtime is nice & settled and they are in their own rooms.

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  10. Is that not how it works - read eight books, buy eight books?! :-P

    It seems like January has treated you well with all that reading, as well as some great books being added to your collection. I hope February treats you much the same!
    :-)
    Bits & Bobs

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  11. I think January was a good month for me, finishing 6 books and starting 3 others. Well done on such a great month, you've read a great mixture of books. I hope you have more happy reading in February.

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  12. I loved the Blue Castle too - simply scrumptious!
    But there is an odd connection between it and one of my favourite Australian comfort reads & an accusation of plagiarism!

    My review is here - http://bronasbooks.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/the-blue-castle-by-l-m-montgomery.html

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  13. I loved the Blue Castle too - simply scrumptious!
    But there is an odd connection between it and one of my favourite Australian comfort reads & an accusation of plagiarism!

    My review is here - http://bronasbooks.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/the-blue-castle-by-l-m-montgomery.html

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