What I Read in January 2020

I’ve set myself a goal this year to read 20 books in total. Not some crazy big goal that would make me work my butt off – something attainable and I thought I could sustain throughout the craziness that will shortly ensue.

Starting off the year strong, in January I read 4 books in total (which according to my Goodreads challenge, puts me 3 books ahead of schedule!);

The First Lady by James Patterson and Brendan DuBois (ebook) is where I started off. Starting pretty strong with a 5 star rating from myself, I loaned this ebook out from my library. I quite liked the flow of the book and the twists involved. Also jumping to different perspectives and the roles the characters played in their jobs and home lives was a really nice contrast.

Pretty Little Things by Jilliane Hoffman was up next following my good review on The First Lady. I grabbed this one from an op shop and had been sitting on my shelf for a while so I thought I would give it a go. The first 5 chapters were really difficult to read as they were from the perspective of a prepubescent teenager who was no relatable in any good way. After that I began to enjoy it as we switched it up to adults (again, different perspectives in different chapters), and when we revisited the perspective of our teenager she became less irritating and I no longer wished she remain captive (because if I’m being honest, I did not want to read from her view point any further given what I had already and if she was kept away I could stay away and enjoy it). I rated this one 4 stars.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. I gave this 3 stars as I found it to be quite predictable – but that will be the case when reading historically accurate fiction/retellings. An interesting story, the descriptions were well done. I did find it a bit jarring with the romantic sections thrown in and it seeming like the main character and the people he interacted with most, didn’t really suffer as much as they perhaps did.

Finally, Room by Emma Donoghue (ebook). I once again gave 3 stars and that felt generous. The entire book is told in the perspective of Jack, a 5 year old boy who has never left the tiny room he and his mother had been held captive in. The first 150-odd pages were so incredibly hard to get through. Once they had escaped however the language began to change and it became bearable. I wont lie, I skipped quite a few pages of them being captured as I couldn’t force myself to sit down and read through it. Without spoiling it, it did have an open ending which was somewhat nice, which could lead on to a sequel or an open interpretation of life ahead.

I’m pretty damn proud of my efforts in January to get through 4 books. In a way I do feel like I have some “in the bank” incase things get too hectic and I’m unable to read for a month or two. That said, I really enjoyed getting back into reading.

So far in February I have picked up another book from my local (and only) tiny bookshop (seriously, it has about 20 fiction books, 15 cook books, and a couple biographies/children books thrown in there) and have started in on that. I have some more ebooks on hold from the library, and some sitting on my bookshelf at home that I will read at some stage this year. I’m determined.

My Goodreads profile if anyone wants to follow along or recommend any books they think I might be interested in!

– Caitlin –

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