to all the books I read before: a january reading wrap up


Hi friends!

How are you all? I honestly just am so thankful for all of your support! Your comments and likes – thank you so much! If I haven’t responded to your comment yet, I will! Thank you also for being really nice in the comments of my most recent post as I was so nervous! Books are so subjective and books that I love, other people may hate and those that I didn’t enjoy, people may absolutely consider it their favourite. So again, thank you for being kind. I love hearing about your opinions about various books!

Now it is finally time to talk about the books I read in January. I read a total of 12 books which was much more than I anticipated. I believe I read around 3800-4000 pages and I rated five books 5 stars! See, an incredible reading month if I do say so myself. In terms of genres, I read three classics (two were short stories), one sci-fi, two fantasy, three literary and two non-fiction (one poetry and one a collection of essays) and one paranormal romance. I read one young adult novel and the others were adult, although I don’t know how to categorise poetry since I feel that poetry doesn’t necessarily have an age audience? Maybe above 16? Depending on the content? I don’t know.

So all up, a really great reading month! I’m going to categorise the books in their star rating for this wrap up, only because that’s how I organised them for my instagram wrap up ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ll start with the best books I read this month!


๐“ฏ๐“ฒ๐“ฟ๐“ฎ ๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ป ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ธ๐“ด๐“ผ

five star books of january, 2022

๐‘ฎ๐’Š๐’“๐’, ๐‘พ๐’๐’Ž๐’‚๐’, ๐‘ถ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“ ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘ฉ๐’†๐’“๐’๐’‚๐’…๐’Š๐’๐’† ๐‘ฌ๐’—๐’‚๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’ was a book that had been on my tbr ever since it came out. I have no idea why it took me so long to read it but I am so happy I finally did! The hype surrounding this book is so well deserved. I don’t know how ๐‘ฉ๐’†๐’“๐’๐’‚๐’…๐’Š๐’๐’† ๐‘ฌ๐’—๐’‚๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’ did it because every story, every character in this novel was intense. Not emotionally intense, although some were, but it just had an overall intensity that was maintained throughout. It compelled me to continue reading. I wanted to know what was happening with these different characters and how their lives linked. And don’t get me started on the writing! The writing was where this story shined. If you haven’t yet, please pick this up. And the way it ended?! I sobbed.

๐‘ต๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’•๐’ƒ๐’Š๐’•๐’„๐’‰ ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘น๐’‚๐’„๐’‰๐’†๐’ ๐’€๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“ is one of my favourite literary novels, ever. I don’t actually know how to talk about this book because I don’t know if I would necessarily recommend it to people as this book would have quite a niche audience, I was just lucky to be one of them. In my reading journal, I described it as an absolutely unhinged and feral novel that was ultimately brilliant in what it did. ๐‘น๐’‚๐’„๐’‰๐’†๐’ ๐’€๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“ stripped back the layers of ‘civility’ and all that which supposedly makes us human, of societal expectations and the pressures of having to conform to normative gender roles and normative ways of ‘behaving’ to appear acceptable. I won’t continue because I could go on about this book, but look out for my mini review that will be going live on my instagram soon and I might, I might, write a review on my blog. Let me know if you would be interested in that?!

๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ฑ๐’‚๐’”๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’† ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’“๐’๐’๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘ป๐’‚๐’”๐’‰๐’‚ ๐‘บ๐’–๐’“๐’Š was absolutely fantastic and will be one of my favourite fantasy novels of 2022 that I read. I am hoping that the sequel will come out later this year because it was so fast-paced, so compelling, with an awesome world and magic system and equally awesome complex characters. Finally, we have women who are flawed! who are strong! who stick to their guns but don’t consider it a weakness to also have a heart! And it was sapphic! Do we need anything else? No.

๐‘ซ๐’–๐’๐’† ๐‘ด๐’†๐’”๐’”๐’Š๐’‚๐’‰ ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘ญ๐’“๐’‚๐’๐’Œ ๐‘ฏ๐’†๐’“๐’ƒ๐’†๐’“๐’• was phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. ๐‘ซ๐’–๐’๐’† ๐‘ด๐’†๐’”๐’”๐’Š๐’‚๐’‰ is the ‘sequel’ to ๐‘ซ๐’–๐’๐’† which I read in December of 2021 which completely blew me away so I knew that come January, I wanted to continue the series. I honestly considered this book an extended epilogue to ๐‘ซ๐’–๐’๐’† because this book was essentially the aftermath of the first novel. I won’t talk about it much because all of my feelings are connected to what I think might be spoilers, so just know that after I finished it, I threw it across the hotel room in SHOCK but also not shock, because I lowkey predicted it but I didn’t think I WAS ACTUALLY RIGHT.

And this last book. ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ฌ๐’š๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐‘พ๐’๐’“๐’๐’… ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘น๐’๐’ƒ๐’†๐’“๐’• ๐‘ฑ๐’๐’“๐’…๐’‚๐’ is book one of the mammoth ๐“ฃ๐“ฑ๐“ฎ ๐“ฆ๐“ฑ๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐“ต ๐“ธ๐“ฏ ๐“ฃ๐“ฒ๐“ถ๐“ฎ series and I fell in love. This book was just so goddamn fun to read! Yes, you can definitely tell that ๐‘น๐’๐’ƒ๐’†๐’“๐’• ๐‘ฑ๐’๐’“๐’…๐’‚๐’ was heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien which is completely understandable, but it is so wholly ๐‘ฑ๐’๐’“๐’…๐’‚๐’’s own that I couldn’t put it down. The world is so lush, the characters are so fascinating, the magic system, the Aes Sedai, the politics but also the secrets and the prophecies; all that meshed together to make something so outstanding that I can’t wait to continue this series and see how everything all weaves together. I’m actually already reading The Great Hunt as I’m writing this!


๐“ฏ๐“ธ๐“พ๐“ป ๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ป ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ธ๐“ด๐“ผ

four star books of january, 2022

๐‘ซ๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’‰ ๐’Š๐’ ๐‘ฏ๐’†๐’“ ๐‘ฏ๐’‚๐’๐’…๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘ถ๐’•๐’•๐’†๐’”๐’”๐’‚ ๐‘ด๐’๐’”๐’‰๐’‡๐’†๐’ˆ๐’‰ was my second ๐‘ด๐’๐’”๐’‰๐’‡๐’†๐’ˆ๐’‰ novel and though I really enjoyed it, I kind of felt like it was a step back from the writing of ๐‘ด๐’š ๐’€๐’†๐’‚๐’“ ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘น๐’†๐’”๐’• ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘น๐’†๐’๐’‚๐’™๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’. I think it was still a compelling read and a genre-flipping of ‘the mystery novel’.

๐‘ฉ๐’๐’‚๐’Œ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’Œ ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘จ๐’๐’Š๐’”๐’๐’ ๐‘พ๐’‰๐’Š๐’•๐’•๐’‚๐’Œ๐’†๐’“ was my first poetry collection of the year, and I am so happy for that. I have been meaning to read this collection since it came out, but just never seemed to pick it up. How dare I?! ๐‘ฉ๐’๐’‚๐’Œ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’Œ is a collection that explores colonialism, racism and Australian Aboriginal identity. ๐‘จ๐’๐’Š๐’”๐’๐’ ๐‘พ๐’‰๐’Š๐’•๐’•๐’‚๐’Œ๐’†๐’“’s writing is masterful and I would highly recommend Aussie readers to pick this collection up.

Some of my favourite poems were:
โœจblakwork
โœจ factor factory
โœจkillwork
โœจvote
โœจthe feral girls
โœจthe history of sexuality volume iii

๐‘ญ๐’‚๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘บ๐’๐’๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘ฐ๐’—๐’‚๐’ ๐‘ป๐’–๐’“๐’ˆ๐’†๐’๐’†๐’— was my first book by this author and the first novel for the Classics Bookclub! I enjoyed this novel, I think. It was an intense character study that explores generational change, and the relationships between children and their parents. At times, it was beautiful and heartbreaking, other times it was infuriating. But ๐‘ป๐’–๐’“๐’ˆ๐’†๐’๐’†๐’— truly is a wonderful writer who depicted the tensions and the love that exist between famiily members so compellingly. I will be picking up more from this author!

One of my first short story collections of the month was ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘น๐’‚๐’Š๐’… ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘ณ๐’†๐’ ๐‘ป๐’๐’๐’”๐’•๐’๐’š. I read it not knowing (or forgetting, more like) that technically, this story was written before Tolstoy published War and Peace. Which makes complete sense! The narrator of the story is unnamed (unless I missed it), and for some reason, he is wanting to observe military action. He follows, with his permission, Captain Khlopov on his and his regiment (?) as they embark on invading an enemy village. We see young and naรฏve soldiers, with a desire for bravery and heroism, ultimately confronted with the reality of war. War is brutal and cruel and not a fun getaway with the boys. And this story emphasises that, it emphasises the closeness of death, the fact that many of these young soldiers will not return home. The central themes of The Raid are further explored in War and Peace and it was fascinating to see those threads being woven here in this story!


๐“ฝ๐“ฑ๐“ป๐“ฎ๐“ฎ ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ญ ๐“ช ๐“ฑ๐“ช๐“ต๐“ฏ ๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ป ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ธ๐“ด๐“ผ

three and a half star book of january, 2022

I have a lot of mixed feelings about ๐’‚๐’๐’ ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’๐’–๐’• ๐’๐’๐’—๐’† ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’๐’ ๐’‰๐’๐’๐’Œ๐’”. On one hand, I enjoyed reading about ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’๐’ ๐’‰๐’๐’๐’Œ๐’”’ experiences and feelings but it also felt incredibly dated. Her reflections on the position of โ€˜loveโ€™ is our society were fantastic, and I do think that it should be considered a fundamental book in feminist theory. When it was published in 2001, it would have been ground-breaking.

Although I didnโ€™t agree with some of her assertions which seemed to lack any sort of discussions of their nuance and complexity and just felt like generalisations. In some cases, it felt as though she was continuing to perpetuate a schism between the nature of the โ€˜sexesโ€™. It just felt dated.

But I especially loved the brief sections I read pertaining to the importance of love between friends. I feel like platonic love isnโ€™t emphasised as much when weโ€™re growing up in pop culture so it was fabulous to read about it.


๐“ฝ๐“ฑ๐“ป๐“ฎ๐“ฎ ๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ป ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ธ๐“ด๐“ผ

My last short story collection of the month was ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘บ๐’†๐’—๐’‚๐’”๐’•๐’๐’‘๐’๐’ ๐‘บ๐’•๐’๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘ณ๐’†๐’ ๐‘ป๐’๐’๐’”๐’•๐’๐’š. Iโ€™m going to be honest, I didnโ€™t love this. I think it started off strong but then by the end, I was getting restless because I wanted it to end. Itโ€™s fascinating reading these short stories that have the little ideas that will eventually become the main themes in War and Peace. So reading this in the aftermath of finishing War and Peace, it all feels repetitive. But I did enjoy seeing the beginnings of those themes in this short story. It also felt like Tolstoy himself was using the writing of this as a way to process his own feelings and experiences of the Crimean War that he fought in. It felt personal at times, and those times were the most powerful.


๐“ฝ๐”€๐“ธ ๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ป ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ธ๐“ด๐“ผ

Ugh. So. ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ช๐’๐’๐’…๐’†๐’”๐’• ๐‘ป๐’๐’–๐’„๐’‰ ๐’ƒ๐’š ๐‘ฐ๐’”๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’†๐’ ๐‘บ๐’•๐’†๐’“๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ was a flop. It sounded so fun! Vampires! Death magic! Paranormal romance! Sapphic! But the writing was clunky and weird, no world-building, characters were so incredibly dull. It just was so so flat. So mediocre. Just. Not. Good. I wrote in my reading journal that it should be considered a gift, to somehow make vampires the most boring aspect of the novel, ever.


And I’m done!

Thank you for reading! What were some of your favourite books of January? Please let me know!

Until next time, happy reading.

All the love,

allie

xx


๐“ฝ๐”€๐“ฒ๐“ฝ๐“ฝ๐“ฎ๐“ป

๐“ฒ๐“ท๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ฐ๐“ป๐“ช๐“ถ

๐“ฐ๐“ธ๐“ธ๐“ญ๐“ป๐“ฎ๐“ช๐“ญ๐“ผ

๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ธ๐“ป๐”‚๐“ฐ๐“ป๐“ช๐“น๐“ฑ

5 thoughts on “to all the books I read before: a january reading wrap up

  1. That’s a great amount of reading! I haven’t read the Jasmine Throne but it sounds as though I really ought to. The first Dune books are brilliant. I especially loved the fourth one. God, Emperor of Dune. I read all of Wheel of Time years ago and am considering rereading them but not until I’ve finished watching the TV series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg yes – i do recommend the Jasmine Throne! really interesting politics and i can’t wait to see how that develops in the sequel! I am hoping to start the third Dune book in a few days and i am so excited!!! Oh yes, the wheel of time series is really good!! i enjoyed it! xx

      Like

  2. I really liked The Eye of the World and the second book in the series, I need to get to next book soon but it’s such a long series that it intimidates me and that’s why I have been procrastinating and haven’t continued it yet. I need to read Dune, I watched the movie and really enjoyed it, and also The Jasmine Throne is on my tbr and it sounds great, I loved Empire of Sand and I can’t wait to read something else from Tasha Suri.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg yes i undestand the intimidation aspect of the Wheel of Time lol. I feel as though ive committed the next year and a bit to finishing this series but i think it might be worth it! i am LOVING the second book so far, it is absolutely fantastic. I need to watch the movie for Dune, i haven’t been able to watch it yet and am dying to! I highly recommend the Jasmine Throne – it was such a fun read!!! I must read other books from Tasha Suri! xx

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.