January Wrap Up – 2019

Goal for the year: 80 books

Current books read: 5

Pages read: 2974

This year is the year! The year I read 80 books! Last year, I read more than I ever have before in the space of a year, with a total of 70.

I’m feeling so excited and ready to knock off 80 books in 2019. For the book club I host at my workplace, we chose to read The Stand by Stephen King over December and January, however, I didn’t actually start until the beginning of January, so I’m very happy I read it (all 1300 pages of it!) and 4 other books as well :)

1. The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

4 out of 5 stars

This was a really great read! Unfortunately, I find the cover (and even the title to a certain extent) to be incredibly misleading. Combined with the quote on the cover stating that Higashino is “the Japanese Stieg Larsson”, I feel like I definitely went into this book expecting a different vibe. This book was nowhere near as dark and gritty as Stieg Larsson’s books, or as the cover, with its many quotes, would imply. Instead, this was more like a good old-fashioned detective novel. I really enjoyed ‘Detective Galileo’ and all the main characters, they were fascinating to follow and kept me guessing the whole time. The setting of Tokyo was a fun, new one for me to read in the context of a crime book. 
Overall, I just really, really had a great time reading this. From what I can tell, the first 2 books in the series aren’t translated into English, which is a shame, but hopefully one day!

2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

4 out of 5 stars

This was my second Agatha Christie novel and it was such a delight! Honestly, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know I’m going to enjoy her books but just never read them?? After reading The Murder on the Orient Express about 18 months ago, and now this, I really need to hurry up and read more – I even own about 6 other Christie novels!

This is one of Christie’s most famous novels as it introduces the concept of the locked-room murder. Ten people on an island with people dying under mysterious circumstances and no possible way for anyone else to get on or off the island.

This was a fast read and, being Christie, thoroughly entertaining. I loved it and actually gasped out loud towards the end when things were revealed!

3. The Stand by Stephen King

3.75 out of 5 stars

As mentioned before, this was chosen by our work book club to read over the Christmas break. I can safely say I did not vote for this as my choice, however, I am also very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this! I have never ever read anything so long before. My longest book before this was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt at around 800 pages – so this was quite a step up in length from that!

I really, really liked this book! This being by first Stephen King book, I can now see why he’s so popular, he really draws you in and sure can tell quite a tale. The Stand is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where the majority of civilisation has been wiped out by a highly ccontagious superflu.

I did have some issues with how certain characters (generally females) were portrayed and there were a few sections I just found dragged on unnecessarily, but overall, I’m so glad I was forced by book club to read this, as I doubt I ever would have picked it up otherwise. I’m very much looking forward to reading other Stephen King novels now too.

4. Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

4 out of 5 stars

I have been meaning to read Nevermoor for so long. I literally bought it as soon as it came out, it then became wildly popular and I ended up gifting it to several people, all whom read and loved it. I also saw it reviewed everywhere on YouTube and Goodreads and I think the hype just got too much for me?! I actually started it about 3 times before I finally got properly stuck into it. That all being said – I’m so glad I finally read it! I had such a great time, and I stayed up until about 3am one morning finishing it.

I loved the world-building, characters and the adventures that happen in the book and the only things that makes me give it 4 stars instead of 5 was that it was all a bit much at times. While I loved the world-building in general, there were also times where just a lot was happening in quick succession.

However, I still had such a great time, and I immediately ran out to buy the sequel, which I have just started.

5. Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

4.25 out of 5 stars

I loved this book so much!! This book came out in 2008 and I’ve essentially been meaning to read it ever since. I do, however, feel that this book suffers from just terrible covers. The Australian cover is just a generic flame, and across the series, the flame changes colour … It’s not exciting in anyway and if anything gives the book a bit of a paranormal vibe. Whereas the American covers have generic mass market fantasy covers that make it look a bit more childish than it actually is.

This is a great fantasy set in an undisclosed time (but seems medieval-y?), that just follows some classic fantasy elements, with lots of adventure and drama. This book was just everything I was expecting from it, and I’m so excited to read the following books in the series.

Overall:

I had a bloody great reading month in January. While I am behind in my schedule for reading 80 books for the year, I also read The Stand, which equals about 3 books! So I feel that if I keep up with the amount of reading I did in the following months, I’ll meet my target.

I also just started so many great series’, so I look forward to continuing with the Study series and the Nevermoor series :)

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