The books I read in January were minimal to say the least. However I didn’t start reading anything properly really until the last couple of weeks of January, once module essay deadlines had passed. So, considering that, I’m fairly okay with how much I read in January, most of it was necessary reading for university though which… well… is good because it means I’m not putting off doing my required reading but it does mean I’m not reading recreationally as much as I’d like. I hope to improve that this month.
So without further ado, here are the books I completed in January.
- Utopia – Thomas More
- A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
- Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
- Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
- Richard III – William Shakespeare
- Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
- Tamburlaine the Great – Christopher Marlowe
- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – JK Rowling
There were some pleasant surprises (Utopia, Oliver Twist) along with some much-needed re-reads (Northern Lights, Fangirl, Half Blood Prince) so it was a good reading month. Individual reviews can be found here, along with an excessively nerdy spreadsheet detailing how many pages I read, the genres I read etc. etc.
I also managed to tick off a 2015 Reading Challenge goal: book that became a movie, with Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights/The Golden Compass. It seems apropos to also watch the film but I’ve heard it’s terrible and really doesn’t do the book justice. I think I might steer clear! I also need to kick up my speed with these challenges, there are 50 tasks and, well, I may not be a mathematician, but even I can see that at this rate I will not get all these challenges completed through this way of doing things.
One of my books also fit the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge goal, namely a book published before 1850 – Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens which was published in 1838.
With the Book Riot challenge I’ve organised it slightly different to the 2015 Reading Challenge – whereas the latter I’ve folded up paper slips and I pick one out whenever I’m stumped in choosing a book and then find one based on the parameters on the piece of paper, with the Read Harder challenge I’ve decided to choose ahead of time which book will be read in order to complete this goal rather than the other way round. If that makes any sense? I’ve primarily done this because the Book Riot challenge, to me, is all about being more aware about what you are reading, off the back of much of the Read Diversely discourse that happened in the Booktube community particularly in 2014. So I’ve already decided most of the books for those challenges but there are a few that I’m stumped on so if you have any suggestions to help me, I’d be really grateful! (Seriously can anyone explain ‘microhistory’ to me? I googled and got competing and, to be honest, contradictory definitions!
I also started (but have not yet finished):
- Scarlet – Marissa Meyer. (Book 2 of The Lunar Chronicles)
I really enjoyed Cinder and I’m not quite sure what’s holding me back on this one .I am reading it via my Kindle app which could be part of the problem since I always forget to charge my Nexus tablet regularly, meaning I have to plan ahead that I might want to read some ebooks. I like this though, it’s a lot of fun, and I’m intrigued the direction it’s taking so I should pick this up again soon.
- My True Love Gave To Me – edited by Stephanie Perkins.
I’ve read about a quarter of this. I’m not the biggest short story fan but I am enjoying this collection. Oddly, though, I seem to be favouring the stories that everyone else gives poor ratings… not quite sure what’s going on there but each to their own!
- Yes Please – Amy Poehler
I’m listening to this one purely to fulfil the challenge to listen to an audiobook and to read a memoir. The audiobook medium, personally, isn’t my favourite format because I get distracted much too easily when my eyes are left to wander, or glaze over, or accidentally stare at Tumblr and I zone out of listening at all. However, it’s a well-known fact that if you want to hear a good audiobook you either need to track down authors that read their own fiction and are good at it (Neil Gaiman, so I’m led to believe) or ‘read’ a memoir by a comedian (hence, Amy Poehler). I’m only one chapter through this so I’m not quite sure what I make of it yet but we’ll see.
My plans for February include finishing off the in-progress books above, keeping up with my reading for university (whose rate will be slowing down with only a couple more texts for Early Modern to complete and Wuthering Heights to re-read for Victorian Lit), finishing the Harry Potter re-reading mission with Deathly Hallows, and maybe getting around to finally getting through the pile of books I got at Christmas. I’ve also since bought 2 more books (Station Eleven and Vicious) as well as a slew of ebooks (too many to name tbh) so I really need to get cracking on that TBR crate rather than keep adding to it! I’m also mildly surprised I managed to semi-coherently review the books I read so I want to keep up with that into February and the rest of the year of course.
What books did you read in the month of January? Were there any themes/genres you favoured? Which was your favourite? Which was your least favourite? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to talk books!