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January Books

January Books

Posted on: Sunday 4 February 2024

a line of books on a windowsill next to a vase of dried flowers

Another year, another new reading goal! I'm attempting the #52bookclub challenge, which I attempted last year, but only made it to 30. The idea is you read 52 books in 52 weeks and each one has to fit a prompt set by the founders of the 52 book club (prompts here if you fancy giving it a go!). Amazingly, I am actually on track and have read a book a week so far so I have a pretty good feeling about this year (as long as I can find a book for each prompt that is!)

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin // The first read of the year was an extremely strong one! I feel like everyone else read this last year and it was one of those that I was apprehensive to read because sometimes books don't quite live up to their hype. This one definitely did though. It follows the relationship of two childhood friends, Sadie and Sam, as they fall out, make up, create world famous video games together, then fall out some more. I think it says on the blurb that it's not a love story, but a story about love (or something like that!) and that couldn't be more true. I rated it 4.5 stars (thank you StoryGraph for the half stars), but looking back I'm not really sure what it lost that half star for because I really did love it. 

The Offing by Benjamin Myers // Set just after the Second World War on the Yorkshire coast, this is the story of an unlikely friendship between Robert, a 16-year-old boy who has just left school and doesn't know what he wants to do with his life and Dulcie, an eccentric middle-aged woman whose wild cottage he stumbles upon. It started a little slow, but the second half really picked up in pace and depth and it was actually quite moving. I rated it 3.5 stars. 

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah // I always love Kristin Hannah books and this one was no exception. I found it quite different to her other novels and to begin with I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it as much, but I really got into it. Set in Alaska where the Allbright family has fled for another 'new beginning', Leni grows up in the harsh wilderness of the state and in the presence of her increasingly volatile father, who was a POW in the Vietnam War. She loves her life in Alaska, meets the love of her life and finally feels like she belongs, but her father's violence overshadows everything. There was something in the very atmosphere of this book that I loved and I definitely want to visit Alaska now! I rated it 5 stars. 

The Ruthless Lady's Guide To Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner // Not quite my usual read, but it's definitely refreshing to try something different now and again. It took me a good long while to get into this because the language is quite stylised and a lot of the fantasy elements aren't really properly explained so you have to wait to work out what they might mean! I did enjoy it once I got past those hurdles though. Dellaria Wells is a poor firewitch who takes a bodyguarding job because she's behind on her rent and it ends up leading her on a bit more of an adventure (and earning her a lot more money) than she first envisaged. I quite liked the genre in that it wasn't fully fantasy, but sort of a historical/fantasy hybrid. I rated it 3 stars. 

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight // I feel like this book has been around for ages and I am one of the last people to read it. I don't know if it's a case of too much hype, but I wasn't really a fan. The general concept of caring about things a bit less and prioritising your own happiness was something I liked, but the book itself was very simple, very repetitive, not entirely realistic and also not really that funny. I rated it 2 stars. 

Amy x


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