January was a great reading month for me! My goal for 2019 is to read 60 books, which works out to be 5 books per month. This month, I read six (and one magazine).
I didn’t love everything I read but I still enjoyed the reading of them all, which is what matters.
For January, I set myself a goal to read one award-winning book, some more from A Series of Unfortunate Events, a mystery novel and then whatever else I wanted.
1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This book follows three characters who have grown up in the idyllic English countryside, only to find their adulthood holds secrets they can never escape.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot because this book is much better if you don’t know anything about it.
I absolutely loved it once I got into the story! The first 80 pages or so are quite slow, and I was on the lookout for the plot.
But once secrets began to be revealed, I was invested.
I left the book feeling like my heart had been ripped from my chest. I felt like I knew the characters and I was so invested in their story.
I recommend reading this book with a few friends because there is a lot you’ll want to discuss when you’re done!
2. Lullaby by Leila Slimani
This book follows a young family with two children. They hire a nanny who seems perfect but ends up not being. We open the book with the murder scene. The rest of the novel shows the tension and secrets that unfold before the murder.
It’s a haunting, gripping, beautifully written, French translation or a horror tale that feels all too real. However, because of the lack of mystery (since it’s revealed in the first page) and the open ending, I had to drop my rating slightly.
However, if you want a quick creepy read, then this is a good one!
3. Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Oh boy. This book was a hot mess. It’s the second book in the Caraval series. I loved Caraval. Loved it.
I was excited to read this one but unfortunately, it just let me down big time! Nothing much happens; we’ve got half the excitement; half the drama; half the characters.
The writing was frustrating and so was our main character, Tella.
However, I did enjoy the 20-50% section, where there was huge risk and huge consequences. Unfortunately, this didn’t come to anything and I was left disappointed again.
4. The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
I love A Series of Unfortunate Events! I grew up reading the books and have been doing a reread along with watching the new Netflix show.
The Slippery Slope isn’t my favourite in the series. It feels like a filler book and although we learn more about the Quagmire fire, I feel like it could have been combined with some more plot devices! Although there is huge risk and drama in this book, it’s all resolved pretty well to some extent. There weren’t any lasting impressions of what happened. I feel like the Quagmire reveal could have been combined with The Grim Grotto. I understand there needed to be 13 books so I’m forgiving about this one!
5. The Grim Grotto
Having said that, I loved The Grim Grotto! Being underwater definitely adds to the tension of the series! The risk is much higher because they are in a submarine and the new characters are interesting to read about! I loved Fiona’s character development, and of course, the mushroom stuff is super intense!
6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I’m also doing a reread of Hunger Games. Well, I suppose I’ve finished it now. I love The Hunger Games & Catching Fire but Mockingjay has always felt like a disappointment to me.
The beginning & end is great but the middle drags by and I don’t feel like it compares to the other two books. There is a lot of action but it’s so political that it kind of overshadows the excitement. Plus, we have a ton of new characters that I never really cared about!
7. Womankind #14
I’m including this in my “books” because it was long (129 pages) and very intense. In fact, it took me 4 months to read it. (Bear in mind, I only read it in stages because I wanted to savour each article).
If you aren’t subscribed to a magazine, this is the one you should subscribe to. It’s £40 a year for 3 magazines, or you can get them second hand on eBay for £6 each (which is what I ended up doing).
The magazine is not your typical women’s magazine. Instead of gossiping about shoes and jackets, this magazine focusses on the issues that women truly face today worldwide: environmentalism, mental health, death, family life and more.
It was written professionally, wonderfully with great topics that I never tired of. I can’t recommend this enough!
That concludes my January wrap up. I hope you enjoy and pick up some of the reads here that interest you! If you want to read about my most anticipated February releases, click here!