Yeah, doesn’t look like January was a particularly productive month for reading, was it? There are a few factors to this but I’ll go into those in a bit and discuss more the books I read and why it wasn’t the biggest numbers this month.
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In January I read four books (well, “finished” as I started reading some in December). There was quite an array of different genres throughout the month, so that was good.
There was one historical fiction novel, one contemporary fiction, one thriller and even a non-fiction book – the best-selling of all time in fact. So yeah, it was a really good month for diverse reading and so, despite me only managing to squeeze in four books, I think it was still a great month for reading.
So why did I only manage to read four books instead of the usual 7’ish that I manage to get through? Well, I blame my kitten, Nala. Mid-way through the month we saw a little kitten on the RSPCA website and decided we absolutely needed to have her so we filled out the form and went to go meet her that weekend and picked her up the following.
Therefore, I asked to work from home for two weeks to help Nala embed into life at home including meeting our older cat, Benny. This means that my usual few hours a week of listening to an audiobook wasn’t possible and so I didn’t manage to squeeze in the usual amount of reading. Also, instead of spending the spare time in the morning reading, I chose to get to the gym during the time in the mornings.
But anyway, enough with the excuses – what books did I actually read this month and were they any good?
“Act of Oblivion is a book based on the fascinating story of how two young men were chased across America and then Europe with a bounty on their heads for the killing of King Charles I. The story suffers from some really slow moments where Harris is trying to fill in actual events but these slower moments are held up by the great characters of Whalley and Goffe and their connection. My highlights were Naylor, the villain character chasing them and his thoughts throughout and the final third of the book where the action really ramped up.”
“Spare bordered on a little boring and weird at times but in the end, it’s an absolutely fascinating look into the behind-the-scenes of one of the most talked-about men of the past decade. Seeing what it’s like to grow up a prince having never chosen that life and then the vast differences from most other people’s lives are fascinating to read.
The book focuses on the impact the press and his mother’s death have had on Harry’s life. Almost every decision he’s ever made has been because of one of those two elements. Spare is a hate letter to the press, a love letter to his mother and a fascinating look into the real life of a price that we only usually read fictional depictions of in fantasy books.”
“Anxious People may already be my favourite book of the year already. Backman has an incredible ability to write the smartest things in the dumbest ways. He makes emotions, anxieties and adult difficulties relatable, he talks about them, applies them and has his characters experience them. He intertwines these deep and powerful moments with humour in the most perfect blend.
If you’ve heard of Backman and been meaning to read one of his books – start with Anxious People. It blends heart, humour and an intelligent story together to create one of the best books I’ve ever read.”
I’ve not written the review up for this one yet but I’m thinking I probably won’t be giving it the highest score. It’s about a group of young adults who, just as they’re about to get their exam results, end up committing a crime. On this same evening they decided that only one of them needs to go down for the crime and that when they grow up, they will all owe them a favour. Years later, this person gets out and all of their lives are turned upside down.
I liked the premise and there’s a great turn in the book you’re not expecting but it was one of those books where it finished and I never ready felt like it blew my mind. It was ok, it just wasn’t exceptionally good.
Keep an eye out for my review coming in the next few days.
My favourite book of the month had to be Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. I’ve already decided there’s a high chance it’s going to feature in my top books of the year list at the end of the year – it’s utterly fantastic; Fredrik backman is a genius writer, managing to balance humour and the serious incredibly well. If you pick up a new author this year, let it be Fredrik backman.
SPare by Prince Harry is another huge talking point this month. The launch caused a lot of talk, controversies and intrigue in the press for quite a while. My review tries to avoid having too many opinions on the whole debacle and tries to keep it more on the book itself. Have a read, and let me know what you think.
What book did you read this month? Have you read any of the books above? Let me know via the comments below or via social media!
Have a look at some of the books I’ve read in previous months: