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January Summary and Plans for February

This month I read two outstanding books. Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius and Strangers by Taichi Yamada  were both fantastic and I highly recommend that you give them a try. 

Books of the Month

Strangers Ghost Boy

Books Reviewed in January:

Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius 

Strangers by Taichi Yamada

The Room by Jonas Karlsson

Wake by Anna Hope

Minor Angels by Antoine Volodine

Like a Virgin by Richard Branson

Pandora in the Congo by Albert Sánchez Piñol

Hummingbirds in my Hair by Pamela O’Cuneen

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Plans for February

I haven’t got any firm plans for the month ahead, but these books are near the top of my TBR pile:

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

The Darkroom Of Damocles by WF Hermans

Into That Forest by Louis Nowra

Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

Strange Telescopes by Daniel Kalder

The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day

In the Time of Madness by Richard Lloyd Parry

I hope you have a wonderful month!

10 replies on “January Summary and Plans for February”

WF Hermans is a new name on me, but ‘The Darkroom of Damocles’ sounds really interesting. Louis Nowra is an author I’ve been meaning to try for a while (I quite fancy reading ‘Ice’) so I look forward to seeing what you make of that one. My Mum is reading Anna Hope’s ‘Wake’ at the moment – maybe I’ll have to borrow it of her when she’s done.

January was a mixed month for me with two books that are likely to be in my top ten of the year, a couple I really didn’t get on with at all, and a few hovering between those two poles.
The stand-outs were Paul Scott’s ‘The Jewel in the Crown’ which I thought was superb: he’s incredibly good at creating psychologically complex characters and I loved the structure of the novel which utilises a number of different voices, addressing themselves either directly or in writing to an unseen interviewer and a couple of different timeframes. It is also one of the most balanced and intriguing views of those years towards the end of Britain’s involvement in India that I have read.
The other five star read was Dorothy Edwards’ ‘Rhapsody’, a collection of short stories originally published in 1927. Edwards was a Welsh writer who for a while was on the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group – she published just one collection and one slim novel before taking her own life at the age of just 31, but what exquisite stories they are!

Other books I enjoyed a lot: the next two volumes of the ‘Raj Quartet’, in many ways the equal of ‘Jewel in the Crown’, I only marked them down a bit because they are a bit more straightforward in their approach. But I do love the way that Scott keeps returning again and again to the same few events and playing them out from different perspectives.
Sam Shepard’s ‘Cruising Paradise’ from 1996 was the third collection I’ve read by him and confirms him as one of my favourite writers of short fiction. Joan London’s ‘The Golden Age’, about a Polio Sanatorium in 1950’s Perth is a lovely book, and I now want to read her other two novels.

Julia Elliott’s ‘The Wilds’, a collection of Southern Gothic stories that she herself describes as ‘weirdo fiction’ disappointed me by not being weird enough and also very same-ish. The best story was, ironically, the most conventional of the bunch. She does write very well about adolescence, but then so do many writers.

Given how much you liked it, the less said about ‘The Book of Strange New Things’ the better probably! I did finish it, but only to see what all the fuss was about. The first book in over three years I’ve rated as a one star read.

I’ve no particular plans for February, except to read the final volume in the ‘Raj Quartet’ and the Booker-winning sequel ‘Staying On’. Hope you have a great month, Jackie 🙂

David, So sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy ‘The Book of Strange New Things’ It is amazing how reading tastes differ 🙂

It is good to hear that you enjoyed the rest of ‘The Raj Quartet’. I hope the ending is outstanding! It is getting dangerously close to the top of my TBR pile. It is strange that I am daunted by a series of 4 books when I’m quite happy reading one book the same length. I will be brave very soon.

Have a fantastic February!

Well, you could easily read just ‘The Jewel in the Crown’ and leave it there as it is quite self-contained with a clear ending, but if you get that far and enjoy it I’m sure you’ll be desperate to read the next book!

I reeeeally want to read the Claire North book! I have heard many good things about it. My January took a sharp turn for the better late in the month (because I got all the comics I wanted to read), and I am feeling very optimistic about my February reading. We’ll see!

Jenny, I’ve started listening to the Claire North audio book. I didn’t enjoy the beginning, but it is getting more intriguing all the time. Hopefully I’ll be in love with it by the end!

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