January Reads

More for myself than anything really, I thought I’d keep track of every book I read this year, month by month.

Just in case anyone does fancy reading something I’ve mentioned, I’m giving details of the books (no more of a spoiler than you’d read on the blurb) and a rating. My rating system is 1 – 5:

  • 1 Awful, the writer should be banished to a far away land
  • 2 Poor, I didn’t die of boredom but it was a struggle to reach the end
  • 3 Average, fine but I’ll have forgotten about it in a year
  • 4 Good, I enjoyed this
  • 5 Excellent, hot damn this is a great book and the writer should be knighted

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January’s Books

Title(s): The Divergent Trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant) by Veronica Roth

Category: Fiction

About: A ‘young adult’ set of science fiction adventure books. Set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian Chicago where society is divided into 5 factions based on personality traits. We follow Beatrice Prior (Tris) who transfers to Dauntless from Abnegation as she tries to conceal her Divergence while fighting ‘the system’.

My Rating: 4, Good.

This kind of combined all the things I like; I enjoy young adult fiction, love sci-fi and am a sucker for a good post-apocalyptic story. It’s well written, I cared about the characters and there weren’t too many plot holes. They’re good holiday books I think, a nice, easy read.

Read this if you like: The Hunger Games, Maze Runner etc.

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Title(s): The Bizarre of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

Category: Fiction

About: A compilation of short stories, some previously unpublished.

My Rating: 2, Poor.

I’m loathe to give my favourite author a rating of poor but I have to be honest, a lot of the stories in this book were complete garbage. A couple I’d also read before but only because I’d sought them out in other publications, but even so, I felt like this was a hastily put together jumble of nonsense – nothing like the King books I know and love. I also found his intro to each story a little self indulgent. But then this is coming from the person who is writing a blog on what she reads so hey, I’m all for a bit of self indulgence.

Read this if you like: Short story compilations, Stephen King (only because you’re a fan), Graham Masterton (writes weird stories with bizarre endings).

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Title(s): The Missing of the Somme by Geoff Dyer

Category: Non-Fiction

About: Slightly misleading title really. More about war memorials, graves and rememberance
in general. Told by the author visiting and revisiting notorious sites of the Somme.

My Rating: 3, Average.

I really wanted to like this but it was a bit of a roller-coaster. I went from enjoying the way he wrote to becoming frustrated by purple prose and clichés. Still, it was less ‘boring historian’ than other WWI books I’ve read so I got through it easily enough and probably learned some new stuff- which is never a bad thing.

Read this if you like: WWI as a passing interest (not if you’re a full on historian/expert)

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Title(s): Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Category: Fiction

About: A man’s wife goes missing and all the clues are pointing to him.

My Rating: 4, Good.

I worried that this might be either an average crime novel or worse, chick lit (sorry, I’m not a fan) but it’s actually quite an entertaining thriller. Although I’d sort of worked out what would happen, there were still some nice surprises and I enjoyed the way it was written from both character’s perspectives.

Read this if you like: Derailed (James Siegel), Jodi Picoult

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Title(s): The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Category: Fiction

About: A novella about a pearl diver called Kino who finds the mother of all pearls, which he tries to sell. The pearl buyers are corrupt and this leads Kino on a journey to the city in an attempt to sell the pearl there.

My Rating: 3, Average.

I got through this quickly enough but the story didn’t really engage me. It’s a parable telling the battle of good vs evil and the power of greed and corruption.

Read this if you like: The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho), Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck at his best)

 

That’s it for January – see ya’ll in February :).

 

 

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4 thoughts on “January Reads

    1. It felt a bit like a lecture and also a lesson to not aspire to anything or you’ll be bitten! I bet it’s a hit on school reading lists though :). Thanks for your comment, really glad you liked the blog.

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