I feel like I say this in every wrap up post, but the last month has been both the longest one and also I can’t believe another January has already come to an end. This time last year I was furloughed and this year I am exhausted from work – both have grateful moments but through it all books are a comfort! So what did I turn to in the first month of 2022 (yikes!!) to bring me joy? Well, I somehow managed 10 books, despite the business, and most were pretty good reads.
I want to cut down on ARCs I request – have I succeeded? Uncertain, but these three from this month were worth it, so I’m not complaining!
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan is a beautiful and atmospheric story based on the legend of Chang’e, and is the first in a duology.
Seven Mercies by Elizabeth May & Laura Lam is the conclusion to the Seven Devils duology and was probably my favourite read for January – this book kicks butt, no other way to say it!
Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham is the start of a new fantasy trilogy by one of the co-authors of The Expanse sci-fi series. I only finished it yesterday and am still dwelling with my thoughts but I have attempted to articulate some of them into a review, which I’ll link up when posted.
The Coward by Stephen Aryan was my buddy read with Max from The Geek Pyramid, who is a wonderful person to read a book with. We both really enjoyed this gritty fantasy and hopefully I’ll have a review soon! This also counts for January’s reading prompt for the 2022 Adult SFF Backlist Books Challenge by Bookish Valhalla – the prompt was Winter and The Coward is all about a journey to the frozen north as continuous winter threatens the kingdoms.
I am also a bookseller, and a children’s bookseller at that, so I’m doing my best to stay up to date with some of the newer releases in middle grade and teen fiction – these are the ones I got to, with another on my currently reading.
The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant was Waterstones’ children’s book of the month for January and is about a young girl whose family has the ability to make hats imbued with special properties to give its wearer heightened skills. Someone is using that magic to cause chaos, though, and only Cordelia Hatmaker can stop it. It was a cute story, though it definitely felt like a debut.
Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean was such a wholesome story and one of the few LGBTQ+ focused narratives I know of for middle grade reading. The narrator Archie was so loveable and the adventure he and his friends go on was just wild enough to make a good story without stressing me out.
The Crossing by Manjeet Mann is a verse novel about a girl in Dover who has just lost her mother to cancer, and a boy in a war torn country, trying to make his way to the UK for a better life – their paths cross and it is a powerful story full of sorrow and hope mixed together.
And lastly, I’m getting into my non-fiction a little more, especially thanks to audio books – I seem to be able to listen to non fiction a lot more easily than fiction.
Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn is a fascinating look at places around the world that have been abandoned by humans for various reasons (chemical waste, volcanic eruptions, obsolete industries) and how nature finds a way to thrive despite the mess we made. This was really good and I’m hoping to find the time to review it because I want to share it with as many as I can!
Wilding by Isabella Tree linked nicely with Islands of Abandonment, as both advocate sitting back and letting nature do its own healing, but this one focuses on a farm given back to nature and the massive benefits this brought.
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Phillipa Perry is a very useful read even if you’re not a parent and never planning to be – it looks a lot at the childhood of the adult as well as that of the child. I am not a parent yet but this gave me food for thought for the future.
Currently Reading & February Plans
I’m in a weird space where I am reading way too much at once, and I’m trying to get out of that so I can focus on the book in front of me – I don’t mind doing an audio book and a physical book at the same time but I need to stop having an audio book, an ebook, and two paperbacks on the go at once because most of them end up being neglected. There’s just so much to read!!
My Currently Reading list doesn’t look too bad at the moment, though Senlin Ascends has suffered from my new habit since I started it much earlier in the month as January’s #TidyTheTBR challenge (which you can find At Runalong the Shelves) because it was the last book I added to by TBR last year. Though I’ve loved the opening I just haven’t given this book the time it deserves. Hopefully I can catch up soon and start February’s prompt, which will probably be Age of Assassins by RJ Barker. As for the SFF Backlist challenge, since the prompt is ‘Time’ I’ll probably pick up either Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky or The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas. Maybe both? Probably too ambitious…
Children of the Quicksands by Efua Traore is a middle grade book that I am very intrigued by, and though I’ve only read two chapters I can tell it’s going to be good.
I am also hoping this is the last month I have The Bone Ships on my CR list, because then it’ll mean I’ve finished reading it to my husband and we can start book two, which brings me closer to book three and the inevitable end of the series.
Other plans involve my Feb ARCs which are The Thousand Eyes by A. K. Larkwood (eek!), The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh (it looks stunning), and The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan (so many good things said about this everywhere). I also want to start Bloodsworn by Tej Turner because he’s kindly offered me an ARC of his sequel as well.
I think that is just about me done – lots of exciting bookish things lie ahead and I hope you will stick with me and my little blog as we venture towards them! Thank you for reading, and feel free to link your wrap ups so I can see what everyone else has been reading!