Today I’m coming to you with my (very belated) January wrap up! In January I started a new job and moved houses, so I’m surprised I still managed to read 9 books. I consider this a pretty good reading month for myself, and I think the books I picked up to start the year were pretty good, too. The breakdown for my January reads:
- 3 adult/literary fiction
- 2 young adult
- 1 romance
- 2 middle grade
- 1 nonfiction
This is a pretty good breakdown, in my opinion, as I read a pretty good variety of books in January!
Books I Read in January
» The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
This was my first read of 2019 and unfortunately I found it a bit disappointing. This is marketed as a feminst Greek myth retelling that uplifts the previously silenced women’s voices of the Trojan War. What we are given, however, is a story wherein the only characters with an depth or development are men, and the women of the story are once again sidelined. The writing was good, but the plot slogged away slowly and it was far too easy to put down. I liked that Barker was trying to bring a new perspective to the Trojan War, however it just didn’t quite hit the mark.
» Only For a Night by Naima Simone
This was a lovely, steamy second chance romance novella about a woman’s exploration of her sexual desires after the death of her husband. I loved the pleasure club setting and I really liked the writing. I’ll definitely be picking up more of Naima Simone’s books in the future!
» My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
This one came highly recommended from people I followed on bookstagram and this one definitely lived up to the hype. As the title suggests, this book follows Korede, whose sister is a serial killer. Braithwaite explores complicated family dynamics, loyalty, morality and more. The short chapters and quick witted writing kept me engaged entirely. I basically binge read this in a couple sittings. If you have a day set aside and want something quick and interesting to read, look no further!
» Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee
This is a memoir I’ve been hearing phenomenal things about ever since its release, and I’m here to tell you that I agree with the hype. Egshell Skull explored Lee’s journey through the criminal jusice system first as the daughter of a cop, then as a judge’s associate, and finally as the complainant in her own sexual assault case. This was a very raw, powerful, moving and necessary memoir that really shows some of the pitfalls of the Australian criminal justice system. Bri Lee writes so eloquently and intensely that I found this hard to put down. I do wish, however, that Lee had recognised her own privilege a little more, and the ways in which this privilege helped her to bring her abuser to justice. Major trigger warnings for rape/sexual assault, eating disorders, self harm & suicide ideation. If you’re going to pick this up, please bear in mind these warnings and look after yourself.
» Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
This is heartwrenching and hopeful middle grade novel set in Pakistan. In Amal Unbound Saeed explores indentured servitude, feminim, and more. This was so beautifully written, and Amal’s determination and journey for justice is inspiring and a must-read. Although aimed at younger audiences, I strongly believe this is a novel that can be enjoyed by everyone.
» Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan
I’m so happy that teens these days have this book to grow up with. This is a really important YA novel exploring intersectional feminism though a women’s rights school club/blog. I loved reading the poems and blog posts for the Write Like A Girl blog, but I felt some of the dialogue was a little heavy-handed. It feels like some sections were added so the authors could give almost dictionary definitions of certain terms. Nonetheless I did enjoy this book and think it’s an important read for teens!
Audiobooks I Listened to in January
» In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
Ahhh I feel like this series keeps getting better and better. I’ve listened to all of this series on audio and I think they’re just so well done. IAAD follows Lundy, who we met in the first instalment of the series. Lundy’s world is a goblin market, founded on logic and fair value. This was really whimsical and magical, and I am forever loving McGuire’s writing. Cannot wait for the next book in this series.
» The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
This was the first audiobook I listened to in 2019 and while I remember enjoying it, I don’t really remember much else. It was well-written, and I remember wishing I was reading a physical copy so that I could highlight all the beautiful quotes. The characters were complex and the story twisted in ways I wasn’t expecting, but overall it just wasn’t a very memorable read.
» Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
There’s no dobut Arden’s writing is beautiful, however I didn’t love this as much as I liked her adult fiction. That’s not to say this was bad, though, because it definitely wasn’t. Small Spaces is an atmospheric and creepy middle grade horror novel that I think would be a perfect autumn read. This is super quick and fun, and I liked the characters a lot. Something just left me wanting a little more, though.
Blog Posts Published in January
Okay, there we have my very belated January wrap up. Let me know if you’ve read any of the books I read in January and share your thoughts with me! I promise I’ll try to be more consistent with my posting, I’m still just trying to get into the hang of a full time job.
Thanks for reading!