Bookish Post – January Reading Wrap-Up

books, wrap-up
Teacup on top of vintage books.

We’re one month down in 2021 already and it looks like all of those people hoping for a better year are going to have to wait a while. The UK is going to shit and lockdown will probably keep going forever. On the plus side, I’ve been able to spend more time inside reading and have managed to do better than I normally do in January. Last year was my previous best and I’m already 2 ahead. If I can keep this up (I won’t be able to) then I’ll smash my target in no time.

Number of books read: 10
Number of rereads
: 0
Number of physical books: 6
Number of ebooks: 1
Number of audiobooks: 3

A LONG WAY DOWN BY NICK HORNBY

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I started the year off by reading one of the only New Year’s related books on my shelves. I’d never read this Nick Hornby book before but I knew the basic story. I thought this would be a fun way to start the year despite the fact that suicide is such a big theme. Hornby always manages to bring his weird and occasionally dark humour to everything.

JONATHAN UNLEASHED BY MEG ROSOFF

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I’ve had this book in my Kindle for years and I probably wouldn’t have ever read it. As one of my reading resolutions is to read more of my unread books, it seemed like a good place to start. I’d always been intrigued with the premise and thought it would be another light read to start my year.

AFTER THE QUAKE BY HARUKI MURAKAMI

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Murakami that I’ve not read before but have owned for a while. Well, it was important to get as much of the Vintage Murakami collection as I possibly could. They’re a set and you need to get every single one. I’m not great with short stories but I do like Murakami’s writing. I could do worse than giving him a chance.

THE UNADOPTABLES BY HANA TOOKE

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I bought this last year when it was Waterstones’ Children’s Book of the Month because it sounded amazing. I never found the right time to read it in 2020 so I made sure to find time for it this month. Did I know there was so much controversy around it? No. Would that have stopped me reading it? No. Forget what you might have heard and give this book a chance.

THE DEATH OF FRANCIS BACON BY MAX PORTER

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had to buy this as soon as possible because it sounded so good. I loved Grief is the Thing With Feathers and had been eyeing up Lanny for ages. I’ve always got a need for super short books, so this was exactly the kind of thing I needed. Was I expecting to need it so soon? No but that’s life.

THE INCENDIARIES BY R.O. KWON

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

This was my book club’s pick for the month and it was one that sounded interesting. Sounded interesting. It look me so long to read this because it turned out the synopsis was the most exciting part of this book. I’ve read a lot of great books thanks to this club but this really wasn’t one of them.

NOTHING CAN HURT YOU BY NICOLA MAYE GOLDBERG

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was one of my highlights of the month. I was already really looking forward to this one but it was even better than I imagined. I read the majority of it in one sitting. It was unnerving and really complex. The short chapters are very readable but it deals with a lot of important issues. That’s pretty much the deal combo.

YES PLEASE BY AMY POEHLER

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Another of those books that I’ve had for absolutely ages but never got round to reading. I think Amy Poehler is incredibly funny. Parks and Rec is one of my comfort shows and I think she has a brilliant sense of humour. But could that work on the page? I’m always wary when comedians write books because it’s a very different skill. After reading the first chapter, I know that this would be an audiobook kind of read. I needed Amy’s voice to bring it to life.

COME AGAIN BY ROBERT WEBB

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I preordered the signed edition of this book and bought the audiobook. I love Robert Webb and really enjoyed his memoir How Not to Be a Boy. So, I was excited to see how he went with fiction. Then there was the fact that Olivia Colman was narrating the book. What could be better? Well, the audiobook for one. I had to send it back because the sound quality was awful. But that’s not really the book’s fault.

ROMEO AND JULIET

Rating: 2 out of 5.

One of my least favourite Shakespeare plays that I really only read because I have a post in mind. I decided to try and make the best of it by getting the audiobook version with Michael Sheen. I’ll be honest, he’s been better. There was a lot of silly Shakespeare acting for everyone and each change of scene was marked by a weird swishing noise. I was not a fan of this version at all.

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