January Wrap Up

# of Books Read: 10

# of Pages Read: 3183

Favourite Book(s) of the Month: In the Dream House, Such a Fun Age, The Dutch House

Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

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I have never been someone who got poetry, but this collection has made me realize that I might have just been looking in the wrong places. I love Trista Mateer’s voice and her art. I also thought it was original to have Aphrodite as a character and those sections have really stayed with me. I am hoping to find more poetry I love in 2020, so I will keep you posted!

To Be Taught If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

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I will say it- Becky Chambers is the queen of SciFi. I am always blown away by the worlds that she creates- To Be Taught If Fortunate being no exception. The characters in this novella travel to a few different planets, each being complete unique and fascinating. I could see how it would not be for everyone because it is very much character driven and not a lot really happens. That said, I was fully invested. I love when books have me asking myself ethical and moral questions.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

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It is so disappointed when a book starts off strong and then ultimately lets you down. The was certainly the case with The Wives. I loved the idea and the first half had me so intrigued, but then the twist happened and it made me angry. It is such an overdone twist in thrillers and I thought it cheapened the story. There were so many different ways the story could have went that would have made it more interesting!

Lovely War by Julie Berry

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It is always refreshing to read a historical novel with a twist. I went into this book completely blind so I had no idea that mythology was involved in anyway. Aphrodite is one of our narrators and I loved hearing about this wartime love stories from her perspective. It added something different and made the book memorable. This book ended up being deeply emotional and I loved every second. Julie Berry is incredibly talented!

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

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In the Dream House is everything that I love about memoirs- it is deeply honest and vulnerable. What made it truly special was Machado’s voice. I already knew that I adored her writing after reading her short story collection, but her memoir took it to another level. She tells her story in the second person, almost as though she is talking to her past self. That had such an amazing impact. It is cliche to say that a memoir is important, but In the Dream House truly was. Machado shines a light on domestic abuse in gay relationships- not something that is often talk about. This is a must read!

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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Do not let the size of this book intimidate you- it is so fast-paced and compulsively readable. I have never read mystery quite like it before. It reads like a classic whodunit but with a twist. It would have been so easy for this book to go off the rails seeing as the story is so intricate and there are so many characters, but it all came together perfectly. I loved the twist on the groundhog day trope. One of the most memorable mysteries I have ever read!

Darling Rose Gold by Stepanie Wrobel

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I can not believe I read three mystery/thrillers in January! Of those three, it is Darling Rose Gold that continues to haunt me. The characters are so completely twisted and they really get inside your head. You never know who to trust and just when you think you have a handle on where the story is headed, it takes a turn! I can not wait for everyone to read it when it comes out in March because it is one of those books you just have to dissect with other readers.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

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I did not know what to expect going into Such a Fun Age. Reese Witherspoon’s pick are so hit or miss with me, but I am happy to report that Such a Fun Age was a huge hit. It is such an easy and accessible read but it also shines a light on a lot of important and relevant issues. It has made me look at every day microaggressions in a whole new way. There is something very modern about it and I think it effectively talks about race, class, confidence, etc. in a way that feels honest. Can’t recommend it enough and can’t believe that this is Reid’s debut. I think we are going to see amazing things from her.

Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas

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Wow. How to even begin. I will start with the positive. I am fascinated by criminal profiling and it was interesting to read about its history. I also thought that Douglas’s interviews with convicted serial killers were compelling. This had the potential to be very interesting; however, I was so distracting by Douglas’s constant patting himself on the back. I don’t think I have ever read a book written by someone whose ginormous ego jumps off the page. Yes, he has done a lot of amazing things and has every right to be proud, but a little humility would have been appreciate. His showboating took away from every that was truly compelling about the book! I know that this is an unpopular opinion!

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

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The Dutch House was my first novel from Ann Patchett and it certainly won’t be my last. She is the kind of writer that I adore. The Dutch house was very much character-driven with little to no plot, which could turn some people off but is one of my favourite things to find in fiction. The book is really about the relationship between a sister and brother. As someone who is a sister to a younger brother, I appreciate this. The story Patchett wove was so beautiful and heartbreaking. Also, you must listen to the audiobook. Tom Hanks is the narrator- he could read me the phone book and I would be entertained!

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I think I had a pretty strong start to the year. A couple duds, but overall I read some really great books. I also discovered I like poetry, which as been enlightening.

What was the best book you read in January? Which Ann Patchett novel should I read next?

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22 thoughts on “January Wrap Up

  1. You seemed to have a had a good start to your reading year this month! I will definitely be picking up a copy of Such A Fun Age in February – I’ve had a bit of a rough start to my 2020 reading so far so trying to create a TBR that I feel really excited about for the next month!

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  2. I loved Lovely War too! Beautifully written and unique narrators! I enjoyed Dutch House because of the narration! Sadly, Such A Fun Age was a DNF for me….too much unnecessary profanity for my taste and although it has a few good points, it was kind of all over the place too! I didn’t love any of the characters….Alix was creepy!

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  3. If you liked Aphrodite Made Me Do It and want to try possibly similarly themed poetry, I recommend either Fierce Fairytales or Great Goddesses, both by Nikita Gill. They are both poetry collections I have loved. And I’ll probably pick up Aphrodite soon, because that sounds great.

    I read so many great books in January. I don’t think I could pick one favorite. I’m glad you had such a great reading month, and I hope your February is just as amazing!

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  4. The covers of your January books are really beautiful! Glad you had a successful reading month. I read 11 books but not all of them were good… My favourite was Turning The Tide On Plastic!
    Loved reading your mini-reviews but also trying not to make my TBR any larger haha x

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  5. Looks like you had a great month! I really need to pick up In the Dream House, it seems like everyone has been raving about it!
    I also have Mindhunter on my TBR, so it’s good to see some pros and cons on that one. I read The Killer Across the Table by the same authors last year and had mixed feelings about it, though back-patting was not something that stood out to me in that one. I’m still interested in the subject matter so will probably pick up Mindhunter at some point, but it’s good to know to lower my expectations a bit!

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