I think I have had the best reading month in my entire life. Normally, I read up to 6 books a month averaging around 400pages each. This month I’ve read 14 books!!! Fair enough, they are shorter but not by much. On average, the books this month is around 280 pages, not including the audiobooks. So to break it down, I read 10 ebooks and listened to 4 audiobooks, I gave four 5⭐️, seven 4⭐️, and three 3⭐️. To me a 5⭐️ is an amazing book that stuck with me, surprised me, one I could stop thinking about, I got lost in, etc. A 4⭐️ is an enjoyable read something I really liked, but that’s it. A 3⭐️ are either a disappointing read, or the book is just OK.
Let’s dive in.
The Autobiography of Gucci Mane
By Gucci Mane with Neil Martinez-Belkin
Published 19th September 2017
Ebook – Owned – ReadHarder
The first book of the year and it took me by surprise. I read this book as part of the ReadHarder challenge as a celebrity memoir. I didn’t know about Gucci Mane when I picked it up apart from some of his songs. I have to confess, I initially thought this book was about Gucci the fashion designer 😂 but after the first paragraph, I realised this was not the case. The book starts with a court case scenario and moves on to tell the reader about his childhood and growing up selling drugs. It was a highly entertaining book and showed light on a specific place (Atlanta) and industry (drugs and rap music) I didn’t know much about. It was a great and highly entertaining start to the year.
The Book of Dust – Volume One – La Belle Sauvage
By Phillip Pullman
Published 19th October 2017
Audiobook – Library (RB digital)
La Belle Sauvage is the name of the canoe most of this story takes place in. Its been a while since I read His Dark Material, but luckily for me, this book doesn’t require that. It takes place before the Golden Compass, book 1 in His Dark Material Series, and follows Malcolm as he goes on an adventure down the Thames with baby Lyra. Its filled with weird and magical events along the way, as they are being hunted by someone in the shadows. I really enjoyed the trip and I think its a must read if you have enjoyed His Dark Materials. I will definitely read the other books when they come out.
By Nancy F. Castaldo
Published 7th February 2017
Ebook – Owned – ReadHarder
I read this in one sitting as part of the ReadHarder 2018. It’s a book for “young readers” and as I qualify myself as “young” (age is a personal opinion right?) I read it. It’s an easy read but too simple for me hence the 3⭐️. I did enjoy it, but it was too brief. I would have liked more details and science behind it all. The book summaries the history of animal behaviour studies with their findings and new questions. It’s a good start if you don’t know anything, or for children who are interested in animals and why they behave the way they do, but for me it was too simple.
His Majesty’s Dragon – Temeraire #1
By Naomi Novik
Published 28th March 2006
Ebook – Owned
I actually started this in November last year after I read, and loved, Uprooted by the same author. At the same time, I was ready Les Miserable and since the two books both talks about Napoleon I got a bit confused and had to put it down for a while until I finished Les Mis.
The book takes place during the Napoleon war. Temeraire is a dragon in the British air force with its handler Laurance who is new to the air force after several years serving in the navy. I would categorise it as a middle grade and it explores being new and inexperienced in a secluded and protected environment very well. The premise sounded good, but the longer it took to read the less interest I had. I also had minor issues with the writing. In Uprooted I had zero issues about anything, I loved every word of it. His Majestys Dragon, on the other hand, had a tendency to leave a big gap between chapters leaving me confused and frustrated (sorry if I broke the ice for you). I therefore only gave it 3⭐️. At this stage, I’m sure if I will pick up the others in the series, I would rather read her newer stuff.
Traitor to the Throne – Rebel of the Sands #2
By Alwyn Hamilton
Published 7th March 2017
Audiobook – Library (RB Digital)
I found the first book to be just OK but intriguing. I think my hopes for the first book was a bit high and I got disappointed. My hope for the second book was, therefore, less and I think I, therefore, enjoyed it more. Also as I got to know the characters in book 1 and now knew them, I got to enjoy them more. The first book follows a desert girl from the end of the desert as she finds out who she is and where she belongs in the world filled with djinns and desert horses made of sand. The second book starts where the first left off and continues the adventure with more politics and adventure. I changed my opinion of certain characters throughout the second book as I got to know them better, and I enjoyed this more than the first book and gave it a 4⭐️. I think I will read the last instalment, just for completing the series.
The Gunslinger – The Dark Tower #1
By Stephen King
Published 1st July 2003
Ebook – Owned – ReadHarder
I read this as a western book for ReadHarder 2018. I picked it for two reasons; 1) I wanted to try a Stephen King book as I read his book on writing last year, and 2) I wanted to see the movie with Idris Alba, but then I had to read the book first. I didn’t know much about this apart for there were a gunslinger, a desert and a raven. I was mostly right, but I was surprised the raven has such a small part, to be honest. The book is about a gunslinger hunting for a magician and the journey they go on including how they meet and how the magician set him up for several uncomfortable events. It was an enjoyable and weird read, and I do love weird stuff. The ending was very “special” but in a random funny way. The writing was enjoyable and didn’t dabble too much in emotions which I enjoyed, the thing was more a matter of fact instead of soapy sad. I’m interested in reading the rest of the series but not right now I think.
City of Brass – The Daevabad Trilogy #1
By S.A. Chakraborty
544 pages (longest of the month)
Published 14th November 2017
Ebook – Library (RB Digital)
❤️❤️ I loved this book! I got hooked after a few pages and thought there was no way back. I loved the historical setting in 18th century Cairo when the Turks and the Franch were fighting over Egypt, a part of history I don’t know much about. The main character is Nahir, a young woman living in Cario and works as a healer, psychic, and con-artist stealing from the city’s wealthy population with the dream of becoming a doctor. To me, she is a great character filled with female power and kicks a punch. She is not stereotypical and I really enjoyed reading about her. The books as I said starts in Cairo, whereby the end of the first chapter she summons something she shouldn’t have (aaaaaand, I’m hooked). I had problems putting it down as Nahir and her new friend flys (yes fly, this is the middle east, clue the magic carpet people) across the desert to arrive at Nahirs family origin, Daevabad – The City of Brass! its a melting point of the djinn world, and its not a well-balanced place, its a complicated place and peace between the groups of people living here is a fine line. Nahir gets pulled into the political situation the city. She trying to find out who she is, who people are expecting her to be while dealing with the political drama of the palace. The book also follows Ali who is on the opposite political aspect of Nahir. He is the youngest prince to the crown and is just want to be a scholar. Throughout the book, the two points of view will and insight to both sides of the story, and different aspects and opinions. As there are no villains in the story just good and bad people with good an bad actions, I found it compelling and didn’t feel the need to choose a side. At one point I considered taking a side, but I found I had to be neutral otherwise I would go against a “friend”. It’s a compelling read and really drew me in hence the 5⭐️. I wouldn’t call the ending a cliffhanger more or a subtle information drop which made me do a double take. Loved it!! Can’t wait for the next book it the series. I think this will be one of my favourite books of the year (I know we just entered February, but still).
By Stephanie Gaber
Published 31st January 2017
Audiobook – Owned
The premise of the book intrigued me, but after the first chapter, i felt like I knew what the book would be about. It was predictable, but enjoyable hence the 3⭐️. The story takes place around two sisters trying to get away from their abusive father. Scarlett, the oldest believes the solution is an arranged marriage where she will make sure Tella, her younger sister, moves with them. Tella, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same beliefs, especially after an exclusive invitation from the master of Caravel arrives. Its pretty obvious from the title of the book that they end up going. Caravel is not a circus or a carnival, is a reality-play where the audience either play or watch. Scarlett and Tella, obviously play but get separated in the beginning. However, Scarlett obviously finds someone else to play with who helps her through the game. As I mentioned predictable but enjoyable. At this moment I don’t think I will continue with the series.
Six of Crows – Six of Crows #1
By Leigh Bardugo
Published 29th September 2015
Audiobook – Owned
I’ve had my eyes on this duology for a while now and when I finally got to it it didn’t disappoint. However, it didn’t blow my mind either hence the 4.5⭐️. I really enjoyed the premise about six criminals undertaking the impossible heist in a magical word. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure about the characters, but that may be because I didn’t know them. By the end of the book, I enjoyed reading about all of them. The world comes to you as a finished product which I really enjoyed. The book is told from several points of views and the different narrators on the audiobook made the whole experience much better. My only problem with this is that Nina’s narrator is the same as for the entire Throne of Glass series and I kept thinking it was Aelin talking and not Nina, haha! I honestly don’t think Kaz and Aelin would get along much, to much pride in both of them. Though maybe Jasper and Aedion would get along nicely 😉 Anyway I very much enjoyed it and went straight on to the second and final instalment which will be in the February wrap up blog as I’m just finishing it off. I might even pick up the Greisha series by the same author at some point.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman
Published 18th May 2017
Ebook – Library (Libby)
I started this book because many of my Goodreads friends were loving it. I have to say the beginning of the book was funny. Eleanor reminded me a bit of me and a bit of Sheldon Cooper in her line of thinking, but not as intelligent as Sheldon just factly. I really enjoyed it. Some of her reasoning match my own feelings and reasoning which made me laugh out loud. It’s a very emotional book, not just funny, but tragic and dramatic. However, Eleanor talks about it as if it isn’t that bad and only listing facts, which sometimes makes it more emotional. Gail Honeyman had a lovely style of writing and portrayed Eleanor as an individual rather than a weird person at a distance if that makes sense. I really enjoyed it and did not guess the ending, which I also really enjoyed and found fitting to the story. This book will be with me for a while hence the 5⭐️ 😊
Thing Fall Apart – The African Trilogy #1
By Chinua Achebe
Published 1st September 1994
Ebook – Owned – ReadHarder
I quite enjoy African literature. My first adventure to Africa was last year went I read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I picked this book up as my selection for colonial or post-colonial literature task for ReadHarder 2018. The book follows the downfall of the main character, Okonkwo, as he is raised by a non-successful father, to become to most successful and feared warrior in the clan, to his own downfall as the British enter the scene with Christianity and their way of government. It gives you an insight into how the society where set up before the white man enters, the importance of yams, and woman role in the household. It’s a very interesting read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness after Siobhan Dowd
Published 27th September 2011
Ebook – Owned
This was an emotional journey. Even from the premise, you can kinda expect there to be tears. However, I still very much enjoyed it, both the story and the emotional trip. It cleansed my system, as I cried my eyes out. I loved the way the book portrays Conor’s situation through the monster that visits him at 12:07 at night while his mom is struggling to get through her cancer treatment. It was a beautiful book and I read it in one sitting while I was travelling. I had a problem towards the end though, where there is quite an emotional scene and I was sitting outside the airport gate waiting for boarding. I couldn’t wail in public so I ended up reading one sentence than taking a break and looking around, swallowing hard, then reading another sentence. It was a personal struggle to not cry at that bit, but I did it and finished the book with good feelings. Highly recommend this book to anyone.
Eleanor and Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Published 12th April 2012
Ebook – Owned
I finally got around to this one ❤️ There are two Rainbow Rowell books I really want to read, this one and Fangirl. Now that I finally got to read Eleanor and Park I’m left with a taste for more. It won’t be long before Fangirl is read I think. I again didn’t really know much about this book apart from it being about first love. I found it to be amazingly sweet without being sickly sweet. It was uplifting even though one of the characters deals with being bullied, poor and almost unwanted in a way. They also read comic in this book which made me want to read comics myself, which is something I don’t really do. I read this right after A Monster Calls, literally right after; put one down, dried my tearstained face, and took up the other. A Monster Calls cleared my systems while Eleanor and Park filled the holes. It was a refreshing sequence of events. This book will be in my head for a while as a source of sweetness to my grey everyday life. Loved it!
Assassin Study Novella – The Chronicles of Ixia #1.5
By Maria V Snyder
15 pages (shortest book of the month)
Published 1t March 2008
Ebook – Owned
I read Poison Study last year and I really want to continue with the series. However, I m highly skilled at starting new series and not continuing on, no matter how much I like them. So for me to awaken my appetite for the rest of the series I picked up this novella and it didn’t disappoint. The short story follows Valek on a little trip to make sure Yelena gets to where she should be. Action upon action for 15 pages, and left me wanting to dive straight into Magic Study which is book 2 in the series. I can’t wait to start it 🙂
That’s it, people! All the books I read in January. I don’t think there will be a more success full month ever again. I have raised my own bar, and it is now too high.