December and January Summary and Plans for February

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Favourite Books of December/January:


Books Reviewed in January:

Year of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks  

Peripheral Vision – Patricia Ferguson 

Wolf Totem – Jiang Rong 

Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry 

One Day – David Nicholls 

The Facility – Simon Lelic 

The Hand That First Held Mine – Maggie O’Farrell 

The Spider Truces – Tom Connolly 

The Way Things Look to Me – Roopa Farooki 

Books Reviewed in December:

The Road – Cormac McCarthy 

Born on a Blue Day – Daniel Tammet 

Player One by Douglas Coupland 

Hand Me Down World – Lloyd Jones 

The Harmony Silk Factory – Tash Aw 

Fordlandia – Greg Grandin 

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carré 

Finch – Jeff Vandermeer 

At the beginning of January I decided to change the way I read. I wanted to be quicker to give up on books that were failing to entertain me and concentrate on reading fantastic books. So how is it going? Really well! The quality of the books that I read in January was a big step up from previous months. I’m still learning, but I have just read three 4.5+ star books in a row (reviews coming soon!) and I don’t think that has ever happened to me before. I really hope that my run of amazing books will continue for as long as possible.

Plans for February 

The Lotus Eaters – Tatjana Soli

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Chess by Stefan Zweig

‘They’ by Rudyard Kipling

The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Block

The History of History: A Novel of Berlin by Ida Hattemer-Higgins

Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman by Friedrich Christian Delius

This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun

Tony and Susan by Austin M. Wright

The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

Boxer, Beetle by Ned Beauman

I hope that you have a wonderful February!


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27 Comments

  1. stujallen says:

    you had a good month Jackie chess on my to read list ,all the best stu

    1. Jackie says:

      Stu, I have been wanting to read Zweig for a while. I hope I enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to.

  2. I noticed The Story of Forgetting on your February list –enjoy –I thought it was very good.

    1. Jackie says:

      Diane, That is great news! I haven’t seen much mention of it, but it looked good to me. Fingers crossed I’ll enjoy it as much as you did.

  3. JoV says:

    You read wonderful books Jackie. Years of Wonder sounds amazing. I love historical fiction and Geraldine Brooks seems to be able to cross genre and write about different things. I stocked up two of her books: March and People of the Book and have Nine part of desire from the library with me.

    Your January read definitely more satisfying than December by the look of it.

    For Feb, I like to read The Unit and Chess on your list. I see you have the Blinding Absence of light on your list this month! ;) You are amazing to be able to read that fast. I acquire books and they sit on my shelf for ages before I finally get to read them. :(

    1. Jackie says:

      Jo, A lot of books languish on my shelves for far too long, but I’m trying to make an effort to change that. Fingers crossed I’ll do a much better job of reading books as I get them now.

  4. Sandy says:

    Hey, I just ordered Year of Wonders on audio! (Actually when I originally ordered it, I got a message saying “Cannot process order. There is a problem with your account.” What???? When I called the library, I found out I had too many reserves! Oops! I fixed that.) So I am going to close my eyes really tight, and cross my fingers and pray you love The Lotus Eaters. It seems to start a bit slow for some people, but it picks up speed as it goes, and by the end, I thought I was having heart failure.

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, I’ll be interested to see what you make of the audio for Year of Wonders. I worry that the emotional aspect might be softened when you listen to it, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you still enjoy it.

      I’m sure I’ll enjoy The Lotus Eaters and I really hope I love it as much as you did. I’m really looking forward to it!

  5. Alex says:

    I’m glad you’re reading Chess and am looking forward to your thoughts on it. I’ve read it many years ago but it had a great impact.

    1. Jackie says:

      Alex, I love books that have an impact :-) I hope it is as impressive as everyone says it is :-)

  6. Christina says:

    You can definetly tell that you changed your policy! It looks like you enjoyed the books you read much more than the books you read in December. I added the Year of Wonders to my TBR list today. I’ve heard of the book before, but your review really made me want to read it.

    1. Jackie says:

      Christina, It is great that you can see I’m enjoying my books much more. Long may it continue!

      I hope that you enjoy Year of Wonders. Happy reading :-)

  7. Some great books there, Jackie! But did you actually put any books aside that you didn’t like after all? Or did you select better what books to read?

    I read The Unit, which was good, but not as good as I had expected.

    I’ve got We (Zamyatin) as an ebook (but no e-reader). I will read it this year, but not yet. Looking forward to seeing what you think of it.

    Happy reading in February!

    1. Jackie says:

      Judith, Good point – I should have mentioned that. I put aside about 10 books in January. The first 3 have already appeared in a Read/Reject feature, the next 3 will probably be in a post next week. The rest were debut authors who I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere and so am reluctant to mention them at the moment. I can’t decide what to do about them – there doesn’t seem much point in adding them to a read/reject feature if noone else has read them….

      1. That’s good going: 10 books gone off the TBR!

        I think you should mention the others too. Hey, you’re our test reader and we want to know if we should pick up those books! Just try and keep it nice.

        1. Ifi says:

          Yes, I totally agree, please do mention them. Always nice to see something new and one CANNOT go by those Amazon reviews. I´m just starting Portrait of The Young Mother… thanks to you.

        2. Jackie says:

          I’ll think about it. I just hate the idea of the only thing written online about these books to be my very brief DNF. Perhaps I’ll wait until I see a few other reviews elsewhere first.

  8. Jo says:

    Well done with sticking with your policy into January.

    I love reading people summary posts and plans for February.

    I need to decide what I am going to read next.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jo, Have fun deciding!

  9. Dan Holloway says:

    particularly looking forward to seeing what you make of the Delius

    1. Jackie says:

      Dan, It is very high up my list so you shouldn’t have to wait too long :-)

  10. FleurFisher says:

    What a wonderful January! I hope February will be as good a reading month for you. I was underwhelmed by Tony and Susan when I read it a few years ago, but I absolutely loved Chess

    1. Jackie says:

      FleurFisher, I keep hearing wonderful things about Chess, so am very excited. I hope I love it as much as everyone else does. I have heard very little about Tony and Susan, but I hope I enjoy it more than you did. Fingers crossed!

  11. Jackie, I’m so glad your new reading plan is working! I’ve started scheduling my reading, and it worked well for me in January. I read 12 books, which is a lot for me, but only one was less than four stars, one was four stars, and most were 4.5 stars. I hope the trend continues for both of us!

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, Great news! Let’s hope we can continue this for a very long time :-)

  12. Wow, 5 stars for The Road. I thought it was a really good read, but I think my boyfriend has made me watch too many post-apocalyptic type movies which somehow dulled my reaction to it! :) THe father/son relationship was pretty special though.

    1. Jackie says:

      Novel Insights, LOL! I can see why that might happen. I have watched very few so it is all new to me :-)

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